Depart Heathrow 2135 on Uzbekistan Airways.
Arrive Tashkent 0825 for overnight stay. Morning introductory lecture and city tour: Independence Square, Amir Timur Square, State Museum of Applied Art. Afternoon: Hazrat Imam complex (mosques and madrasahs from the 16th to 20th centuries, home to one of the oldest extant copies of the Quran).
Morning in Tashkent: State Museum of History of Uzbekistan (archaeological and ethnographical artefacts). Afternoon flight to Urgench, and transfer to city of Khiva for two nights.
Khiva: Ichan-Qala (ancient citadel surrounded by crenellated clay walls), Muhammad Amin Khan madrasah, Kalta Minor minaret, Kunya-Ark fortress, madrasah of the poet-king Mohammed Rahim Khan. Evening lecture: Alexander of Macedon in Sogdiana.
Drive through the Kyzylkum desert to Bukhara, occasionally sighting the River Oxus (now the Amu Darya) crossed by Alexander the Great. Stay in Bukhara for three nights.
Bukhara: 12th century Kalon minaret and complex with 16th century mosque and madrasah Mir-i-Arab, Toki Zargaron trading domes, 12th century Maghoki-Attar mosque (built on the site of a Zoroastrian temple).
Bukhara: Lyab-i Khauz (16th and 17th century buildings surrounding one of the city’s surviving water pools), 10th century Samanid Mausoleum, Chashma-Ayub mausoleum (‘Job’s Spring’), Bolo-Hauz mosque and the Ark Fortress. Evening lecture: Amir Timur and his legacy.
Drive to Samarkand via the 11th century Rabat-i Malik caravanserai. Lunch in Mitan as guests of a local family. Stay in Samarkand for three nights.
Samarkand: Gur-i Amir mausoleum (burial place of Timur), Registan Square with 15th and 17th century madrasahs, huge Bibi Khanum mosque and colourful Siyob Bazaar. Evening lecture: The Silk Roads.
Whole-day excursion to Shakhrisabz, hometown of Timur: portal of Ak-Saray palace, 18th century bazaar, Kok Gumbaz mosque (15th century), Hazrat-i Imam mosque and mausoleum complex. Evening lecture: Themes in Islamic Art.
Samarkand: 15th century observatory built by Ulugh Bek, Shah-i-Zinda tiled funerary complex. Afternoon at ancient site of Afrasiab (rare 7th century Sogdian fresco), before train transfer to Tashkent for overnight stay.
Depart Tashkent 1620, arriving Heathrow 2000.