One of the most spectacular Silk Road countries, Uzbekistan is awash with architectural treasures; travel to Uzbekistan to see delicate mosaics, intricate tile work, soaring minarets and relics from an era when the region was a seat of learning and culture.
Whilst gritty Tashkent, a mix of Soviet-era architecture and Islamic influence, isn't the most inspiring place, three cities encapsulate the country and conjure up spectacular images: Samarkand, steeped in history, culture and beauty is today an Islamic centre for scholarly study whilst the Bibi-Khanym Mosque remains a major landmark; Bukhara is one of the holiest cities in Central Asia. Admire the beautiful architecture, bazaars, old town and mosques and visit the Poi Kalan minaret dating from 1127; historic Khiva has been preserved in its entirety; walk amidst mosques, tombs and palaces that have been tidied up but still retain an air of their original bustle.
Outside of the urban centres there are walking and activity options at Chimgan; travel to Ugam-Chatkal National Park for rafting, kayaking and even exploring by helicopter. The Tien Shan and Nurata Mountains also offer walking activities and some ecotourism opportunities.