Joanna Lumley’s Silk Road Adventure – how to follow in her footsteps on your own tour of Uzbekistan in Asia

Joanna Lumley has been giving us seriously glamorous travel inspiration in her latest show Joanna Lumley’s Silk Road Adventure.

The ITV series, sponsored by Saga Holidays, sees the Absolutely Fabulous star taking on the iconic route through Italy, Albania, Turkey, Georgia, Azerbaijan and Iran – and in the final episode she’s rounding off the trip with a visit to Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan, the heartland of the Silk Road.

Almost never seen on television, this little-known corner of the world offers breathtaking landscapes, towering mountains and glittering cities.

We take a look at Joanna’s fascinating trip across Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan – and how you can follow in her footsteps on your own Silk Road Adventure.

Joanna Lumley in Khiva with Shokir, a man whose family have made Khiva’s distinctive sheepskin Chugirma hats for centuries

Joanna kicks off the trip with a stop in Uzbekistan’s Kyzl-Kum desert, where she meets some Bactrian camels and visits a windswept 2500-year-old Silk Road fortress called Ayaz Kala.

Then it’s onwards to beautiful Khiva, an ancient desert citadel that was once a famous slaving town well into the 19th century. It’s a must visit for history buffs from the ancient citadel walls to a 16th-century castle.

Here, Joanna meets Shokir, a man whose family have made Khiva’s distinctive sheepskin chugirma hats for centuries, and witnesses a special chugirma dance.

From Khiva, she journeys on to Uzbek capital Tashkent, where she rides the city’s splendid Soviet-built Metro system and goes to a glamorous society wedding with pop star Rayhon Ganieva.

A small bazaar in Khiva, Uzbekistan

No stranger to travelling in style, Joanna then boards the area’s Spanish-built high speed train along ‘the Golden Road to Samarkand’.

Once in the iconic city, she takes in the awe-inspiring turquoise domes of the Registan, Shakhi Zindar and Bibi Khanum, joins throngs of Uzbek worshippers at the gilded tomb of warlord and ‘destroyer of worlds’ Amir Timur, and whiles away a few hours in the fascinating Afrasiab museum.

And of course, a search for Samarkand’s legendary lepyoshka bread is a must.

Samarkand’s street of mausoleums

After exploring fascinating Uzbekistan, it’s onwards to the equally breathtaking Kyrgyzstan, kicking off the trip with a stop in capital city Bishkek.

But it’s not just the country’s urban spots which she visits – there is spectacular scenery to explore too including beautiful Lake Issyk-Kul, where she learns about eagle-hunting, and a visit to the village of At-Bashi near the Chinese border to meet yak herders, amidst some dramatic snow-streaked mountainous landscape.

Her final stop? The 15th-century caravanserai of Tash Rabat, a huge stone complex tucked into the mountains near the Chinese border.

It’s almost impossible not to get major holiday envy – but the good news is that it’s so easy to follow in the star’s footsteps if you want your own once-in-a-lifetime-holiday.

Discover beautiful Bukhara

How to have your own Silk Road adventure like Joanna Lumley

Saga Holidays offers a 10-night Uzbekistan: Heart of the Silk Route tour which includes visit to a host of destinations explored by Joanna such as the Kyzyl-Kum desert, Khiva, Tashkent, Samarkand and a journey on board the Afrosiab high-speed train she discovers.

For example, the holiday includes a two-night stay in Khiva where, like Joanna, you’ll be able to wander through the streets and stop at the must-see sites including Khiva’s inner fortress, the Ismail Khodja Mausoleum, the 16th-century Kunya-Ark Castle and 19th-century Muhammed Amin Khan Madrassah.

Envious of her trip to the Kyzyl-Kum desert? You can take in the same sweeping landscapes as you travel across from Khiva to Bukhara, including a stop for a packed lunch in the desert.

See the incredible Registan Square in Samarkand

As for the glittering cities she explores, in Samarkand you can see the same incredible turquoise domes of the Registan, Shakhi Zindar and Bibi Khanum which have Joanna in awe, or while away some time in Afrasiab museum where she shows us a seventh century Sogdian fresco, and tells the story of how these powerful traders were long the beating heart of the Silk Road.

And of course if you can, try sampling that mouthwatering lepyoshka bread she raves about during the show.

Of course you’ll also get to have your own Silk Road adventure packed with other exciting excursions and activities from dinners alongside local folk shows to a masterclass on Bukharian cuisine, or even a session learning the art of embroidery.

You can see the full itinerary and book your stay on the Saga website here. Prices start from £1,749pp.

Source link

more recommended stories

  • Madrid guide for Liverpool and Spurs fans heading to the Champions League final

    Hola amigos del fútbol! Magnificent Madrid.

  • Sibenik Croatia guide including best things to see and do on a short break

    Sibenik is tipped to be one.

  • Albufeira Portugal guide including best things to do and top holiday deals

    Albufeira is one of those destinations.

  • Best things to see in Los Angeles and where to find cheap holidays

    Los Angeles is one of the.

  • Plans for huge new zip line attractions in the UK revealed and they sound so fun

    Thrill-seekers may want to start planning.

  • Universal Studios shows riders what to expect on new Hagrid-themed rollercoaster

    Harry Potter fans can get ready.

  • Two words frequent flyer claims has ALWAYS got her upgraded to First Class

    Choose a broken seat, sit next.

  • New Zealand’s visa rules are changing for Brits – here’s what you need to know

    Brits heading to New Zealand for.

  • Calling all gin fans – a bottomless G&T brunch has just launched in the UK

    There’s nothing quite like finding a.

  • Best UK summer festivals which are perfect for families – including a giant picnic and Busted live

    There are some fantastic festivals taking.

  • Lake Garda breaks are going from £139pp for summer including your hotel and flights

    Lake Garda is one of those.

  • Inside the giant inflatable unicorn park complete with a themed obstacle course

    Unicorn fans may want to update.

  • Best cities in Croatia for short breaks that need to be on your radar

    Croatia has fast become a holiday.

  • Dream job will pay you up to £50k to travel the world living on luxury yachts

    If travelling the world and living.

  • Top tips for finding cheap breaks to Spain for the Champions League Final

    Having four Premier League teams in.

  • Iconic bay from Leonardo DiCaprio film The Beach closed to tourists until 2021

    The beach which served as the.

  • 10 beautiful castles in Europe that look like something out of a fairytale

    Castles can make for pretty fascinating.

  • All Points East 2019: Full festival line up, schedule and how to get tickets to Victoria Park show

    If you’re yet to book a.

  • Cheap train tickets – how to get hidden and cheap fares and split tickets

    The start of the year saw.

  • Holiday car hire firms to AVOID ahead of summer holidays

    Holidaymakers have been warned to avoid.

  • Dreamy Athens and Santorini breaks are going from £279pp including flights

    Greece is full of breathtaking destinations,.

  • flash sale includes Ibiza summer breaks from £229pp

    If Ibiza has long been on.

  • Top things to see and do in Jordan including Petra, Wadi Rum and the Dead Sea

    I can’t think of any other historic.

  • Best UK campsites for a brilliant cheap staycation in 2019

    Camping holidays are no longer about.

  • Best things to do in Majorca including top days out for families

    Majorca has everything you could want.

  • How to find cheap holidays in Orlando and visit the theme parks on a budget

    Orlando holidays can make a pretty.

  • Mirror Online: The intelligent tabloid. #madeuthink

    mirrorLoad mobile navigation News UK News.

  • Where London Marathon 2019 runners can get free food and drink after the race

    Completing the London Marathon is no.

  • Brits use nearly half of their annual leave on events they feel forced to attend

    We Brits are renowned for being.

  • Inside the Four Seasons’ private jet that’s basically a luxury hotel in the sky

    The Four Seasons hotel group has.

  • Best things to do in Fuerteventura whether you’re after lazy days or adventures

    Fuerteventura has everything you could want.

  • Universal Studios is opening an adorable new Secret Life of Pets ride

    Universal Studios Hollywood is opening a.