Meet with the group in the lobby of the hotel at 13:00. Lunch.
After lunch visit the Tajikistan National Museum of Antiquities, which hosts the famous statue of Buddha in Nirvana, and the National Museum of Tajikistan. End the afternoon by exploring a local bazaar, where you’ll be able to feel the real Tajik spirit, witness the eastern art of trading, and see locals shopping for the Navruz holiday. Overnight at the hotel.
Spend the ancient Persian holiday of Navruz in traditional Tajik style with the local people in and around Dushanbe.
Visit Botanical Garden, one of Dushanbe residents’ favourite leisure venues, to enjoy the spring flowers.
A highlight will be seeing how the famous Navruz dish, sumalyak, is made from germinated wheat grains put in a large pot and stirred for a whole day by the women. Enjoy a traditional Navruz lunch in a local “house-restaurant”, with the chance to try dishes such as sambusa (puff-pastry stuffed with meat or greens) and sabzi (vegetables). Continue to the Hissar Fortress (30 km from Dushanbe), where you can see the Kukhna Madrassah. Return to Dushanbe and visit Rudaki Park and the Kokhi Navruz Centre (also called the “Navruz Palace”, this is an opulent building decorated with intricate wood carvings, painted ceilings, mosaics, and mirrors, and a large garden with fountains and summer pavilions).
Finish the tour by visiting the mosque of Hoji Yakub, the Statue of Ismail Samani with your guide. In the public areas of the city, you may get to see other Navruz festivities like traditional dance performances, music, and art and craft displays, as well as locals dressed in their traditional clothes. End the day with dinner at the home of a Tajik family. Overnight at the hotel.
Duration of sightseeing tour: 4 hours
In the afternoon drive to Istaravshan through Shakhristan tunnel. Visit a local bazaar, Hazrat Shah architectural complex, which consists of Hazrat Shah Mausoleum, the grave of brother of Kusam ibn Abbas, Khudayar Valami Mausoleum, and Namazgah Mosque dating back to 19th century. Continue to Mug Teppe, one of the ancient settlements in Istaravshan. The city is believed to be founded by King Cyrus in the North-East boundary of his empire. Continue driving to Khuhand.
Arrival in Khujand. Overnight at the hotel.
Late in the afternoon drive to the border point Oybek, customs and passport control, continue to Uzbekistan.
Meet Uzbekistan guide and driver and drive to Tashkent (100 km, 1 h). Transfer to the hotel. Overnight.
Duration of sightseeing tour: 6-7 hours
Then drive to Konigil village to discover the traditional way of making Samarkand paper from the bark of the mulberry tree. At 20:00 transfer to the railway station. Take the high-speed Afrosiyob train departing at 21:00 and arriving in Bukhara at 22:35 (270 km, 1 h 35 min). Transfer to the hotel for overnight.
At 14:50 transfer to Bukhara train station. Fast going train Afrosiyob departs at 15:50. Scheduled arrival is at 19:40. Upon arrival transfer to the hotel. Overnight.