Discover Modern Uzbekistan
Embark on a journey to Uzbekistan, the crossroads of culture in Central Asia. Discover the rich tapestry of Samarkand, Bukhara, and Tashkent, where history meets diversity. Unearth the secrets of this captivating land. Your adventure awaits – explore Uzbekistan today!
1. The renewed Samarkand Airport
Samarkand International Airport, a pivotal hub for National Uzbekistan Airways and the country’s second busiest after Islam Karimov International Airport in Tashkent, serves over 500,000 travellers yearly. In 2019, President Shavkat Mirziyoyev’s visit prompted a modernization directive, resulting in the airport’s grand reopening on December 14, 2022. Operating since 1967, it’s the sole airport in the Samarkand region and one of the CIS’s oldest now ensures a promising future for aviation facilities.
2. Museums and UNESCO Treasures
Uzbekistan is home to an impressive 8.4 thousand cultural heritage sites, with 209 nestled within four museum cities (Ichan Kala in Khiva, Historical Center of Bukhara, Historical Center of Shakhrisabz, and Samarkand – Crossroads of Cultures), all proudly listed on the UNESCO World Heritage List. The country also hosts 104 museums and galleries, adding to its rich tapestry of cultural treasures.
3. The Legend of Pilav
Uzbek pilav, a culinary delight, boasts over 100 global recipes. In Uzbekistan, each region takes pride in its unique pilaf preparation. Legend attributes the term ‘Palov OSH’ to Avicenna, with each letter representing an ingredient: P–Piyoz – onion, A – ayez – carrots, L– lahm – meat, O – olio – butter, V – vet – salt, embodying the essence of this flavorful dish.
4. Unforgettable Mice Experience
Uzbekistan hosts a spectacular array of grand cultural events, festivals, and exhibitions, each with a unique purpose – uniting people, conveying cultural values, and fostering global business connections. Notable among these is Navroz on March 21, a breathtaking celebration marked by Sumalyak, Halim, and joyous festivities. The country also hosts vibrant festivals, offering a deeper understanding of Uzbek traditions. For music enthusiasts, world-famous DJs spin at electronic music festivals in Tashkent and by the Aral Sea in Muynak. Major events include the Tashkent International Tourism Fair, “Tourism on the Silk Road,” “Made in Uzbekistan,” and “Food Week Uzbekistan.” Explore Uzbekistan’s rich cultural tapestry and diverse festivities.
5. Wellness and Healing Retreats
The country’s natural beauty includes pristine landscapes, thermal springs, salt lakes, unique sands, and salt caves. The country boasts numerous sanatoriums and health centres, some offering traditional medicine in a culturally immersive setting. Notable health resorts include the unique Natural Salt Cave – Khojaikon, which offers natural treatments with salt and sand, and the Balneal resort, which provides specialized health services in a modern environment.
6. Shop the Silk Road
Exploring Uzbekistan unveils a treasure trove of shopping experiences, with Tashkent showcasing the best in Central Asian style, from boutiques and bazaars offering traditional rugs, carpets, silk, handicrafts, and suzani to large Soviet-style malls and traditional bazaars. Tourist hubs like Bukhara and Khiva are known for a range of Silk Road mementoes, from crockery to textiles, knives, and spices. Additionally, explore interesting photographic books and maps in Bukhara’s bookshops and don’t miss craft centres in Khiva, where you can witness the traditional art of suzani stitching.
7. A Pilgrimage of Faith and History
Uzbekistan is a land of sacred places from Islamic and Sufi traditions to Christianity and Buddhism, including UNESCO World Heritage sites like Bukhara, Samarkand, and Shakhrisabz. Its history intertwines with Islam and Christianity, with over 10 revered pilgrimage sites. The “springs of Job,” notably in Bukhara, hold significance for both faiths. Whereas, Termez, known for its Buddhist heritage, features ancient temple complexes and Hellenistic cultural elements, with relics now housed at the State Hermitage Museum in Saint Petersburg.
8. Your Gateway to Adventure
Enjoy classic winter sports in well-equipped mountain resorts like Chimgan, Beldersay, Amirsoy, and Yangiabad. For thrill-seekers, there are opportunities for extreme skiing, snowboarding, motorcycle racing, motocross, skateboarding, mountain biking, rock climbing, canyoning, and paragliding. Water enthusiasts can explore Charvak reservoirs and untamed rivers like Chatkal, Pskem, and Syr Darya, with options for scooters, catamarans, and exhilarating rafting tours. And don’t forget paragliding – it’s a year-round adventure, with the Charvak reservoir area as the prime launch spot, where you can soar with a professional instructor or after some cool training.