Day 1 – Bukhara/Samarkand – Nurata city - Yurt Camp
You will be picked up from you hotel in Bukhara or Samarkand at 9:00 and be transferred by car to the desert Yurt Camp located near the village of Dungalak (total 5 hours of drive). On the way to the camp make, stop in Nurata city to have a lunch in local family’s house and visit some local sights such as the ruins of Alexander the Greats fortress, holly spring and mosque.
Arrive in Nurata and have lunch with local family. After lunch, start sightseeing in Nurata. There are many legends related to the origin of the city and its name. People refer the origin of the city to the fortress ‘Nur’, founded there in the 3rd century BC by Alexander the Great. However, according to archaeological excavations the cultural layer in this area reaches the age of 40 thousand years. Supposedly, the main reason to choose this place as a settlement was holly “Chashma” (spring). Visit the 9th century mausoleum, mosque and the remains of the Alexander the Great’s fortress.
Once you complete the sightseeing in Nurata, continue to the Yurt camp (65 km / 1 hour)
Arrive and settle in on of the 20 yurts of the yurt camp. In the evening, ride on the camel or just walk around the dunes. You might be lucky to spot steppe tortoises, hares and desert agamas depending on the season.
After having dinner, enjoy listening to the songs of local bard around the fire..
Overnight stay in the Yurt camp
Day 2 – Yurt Camp –Lake Aydarkul - Samarkand/Bukhara
After breakfast, you may drive or walk to the nearby desert village Dungalak (4km) to get familiar with the life of village people. The population of the village mainly live on livestock and sheep farming. After visiting the village drive by car or ride on the camels (additional 20$ per camel) from the camp to the lake Aydarkul located at 8 kilometers (3h) to the south –east. Aydarkul is an artificial salty lake that stretches 180km to the east, being the largest wetland body in the area, it is a home to many aquatic birds such as cranes, pelicans, numerous waders, many duck and goose species. Depending on the season you can have a swim or just stroll along the lake shores watching the bird life at the lake.
In the afternoon transfer to Samarkand/Bukhara (5 hours of drive).
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