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Cycling In Uzbekistan

Cycling in mystical Uzbekistan.

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The Rumi Trail cycle route in Uzbekistan offers you some 1433 km of cycling through Karakalpakstan, Khorezm, Bukhara, Navoiy, Samarkand, Kashkadarya and Surkhandarya regions. Pure cycling pleasure in a natural environment on the ancient silk road. Cycling in Central Asia, a hidden gem.



Nukus: Nukus is the gateway to the fast-disappearing Aral Sea and home to the remarkable Savitsky Museum hosting one of the best collections of Russian avant-garde art in the world.

Visit of Savitsky Museum -“pearl in the desert”- or, as the French magazine Télérama called it, “Le Louvre des steppes” is located in Nukus, the capital of the Autonomous Republic of Karakalpakstan. Opened in 1966, this museum is the life’s work of the Russian artist Igor Savitsky. Today the Savitsky Museum is widely known for its second-largest collection of Russian avant-garde art in the world (after the Russian Museum in St. Petersburg). It hosts also a large collection of archaeological objects and folk, applied and contemporary art originating from Central Asia.



Khiva: Khiva – called as “The Crown Jewel on the Silk Road”, Khiva has a history that spans over two millennia. Once it was an important trading post on the Silk Road, mostly famous for its slave trade. Amazingly, the total area of the Itchan Kala, the inner fortress of Khiva with its defensive walls and surroundings has remained intact up to now. Khiva’s old town is extremely scenic and feels like a journey back in time.

The Itchan Kala fortress is very compact so it is a perfect place for a walking tour. Enjoy several outstanding spots such as the Djuma Mosque, the mausoleums and the madrasas and the two magnificent palaces. Don’t miss out Khiva at the sunset – you can enjoy the most spectacular view from the top of the 10-meter high outer wall


Bukhara – another important stop on the Silk Road and Rumi Trail, the city has long served as a centre of trade, scholarship, culture, and religion. Bukhara represents the most complete example of a medieval city in Central Asia the 10th to 17th centuries, with an urban fabric that has remained largely intact. UNESCO has listed the historic centre of Bukhara (which contains numerous mosques and madrasas) as a World Heritage Site. In the beginning of the XX century Bukhara was the last capital of the Emirate of Bukhara and was besieged by the Red Army during the Russian Civil War. The Bukharan People’s Soviet Republic existed from 1920 to 1925 when the city was integrated into the Uzbek Soviet Socialist Republic

Sightseeing in Bukhara – walking tour in the Bukhara’s old town including the famous Po-I-Kalyan architectural complex with the city’s highest minaret (46m), Mir-I-Arab madrasa, Samanid Mausoleum, Lyabi Hauz Ensemble, Bukhara’s citadel, Bolo Hauz Mosque and many others.










General information

Rumi Trail starts in Uzbekistan with the major historical historical cities of Nukus, Khiva, Bukhara, Samarkand Shahrisabz and Termez.

Length is 1430 km.


Start point

The starting point of the Rumi Trail is the city of Nukus, located in the centre of the Republic of Karakalpakstan at the very Northwest of Uzbekistan.

How to get there

Both Nukus, Bukhara and Samarkand have international airports. 

Tashkent Airport has better connections to the world than other cities at the and is therefore also used frequently by Rumi Trail travellers.

Busses and trains connect all cities on the route on afrequently basis, travel time depends from your start point.

Tashkent has high-speed train connections to the cities of Samarkand and Bukhara.

For further information, check:

Website of Uzbekistan Travel

GPX/KML files

GPX/KML files are available with guidebooks or as a digital package with your membership including Rumi Trail passport.

Basic Facts

Uzbekistan is a country in Central Asia.

The currency in Uzbekistan is Uzbekistani soʻm. Credit cards and bank cards are rearly accepted. There are a few ATM’s so cash is mostly used.

The official language is Uzbek, and Russian and English are the languages of international communication. Uzbek is a language in Turkic language family and if you speak Turkish you can manage.

Visa: Many European countries and Turkey does not need a visa for 30 day visit. Otherwise check the visa regulations here.

Visa forms are here to fill.

International phone prefix is +998


Route Updates

There are no updates yet. First guidebook will be published around September/October 2021

Connecting countries


The Prolog runs down the shores of Amou Darya river, bordering Turkmenistan to the west.

The main route passes through the fields using country roads and field tracks. The Amou Dara river is bordered by woods, providing sun shelter in the summer.

When the Amou Darya curves around two pretty large hills, the trail runs close to the river. In springtime, the track can be flooded. When it does, a short detour is recommended. 

We continue along the Amou Darya till Darganata and turn to Gazli cycling through the desert. From Gazli route continues climbing to Bukhara and Samarkand. Till Termez we follow mountain areas before we descend to Termez.


Would you like to change the climate, enjoy the beautiful nature, unique flora and fauna, to sunbathe on the coast of crystal lakes and noisy rivers and to ascend to the highest point on the planet, or ride across the desert?

Now it is possible. Visit Uzbekistan! The unique nature of Uzbekistan opens the entire palette of its colors of natural and pristine beauty to you.


Green tea is the national hot beverage taken throughout the day; teahouses (chaikhanas) are of cultural importance. Black tea is preferred in Tashkent. Both are typically taken without milk or sugar. Tea always accompanies a meal, but it is also a drink of hospitality, automatically offered green or black to every guest. Ayran, a chilled yogurt drink, is popular in the summer.

Uzbekistan produces some outstanding wines.

Uzbek cuisine shares the culinary traditions of Turkic peoples across Central Asia. There is a great deal of grain farming in Uzbekistan, so breads and noodles are of importance, and Uzbek cuisine has been characterized as “noodle-rich”. Mutton is a popular variety of meat due to the abundance of sheep in the country and it is a part of various Uzbek dishes.

Uzbekistan’s signature dish is palov (plov or osh or “pilaf”), a main course typically made with rice, pieces of meat, grated carrots and onions. It is usually cooked in a kazan (or deghi) over an open fire; chickpeas, raisins, barberries, or fruit may be added for variation. Although often prepared at home for family and guests by the head of household or the housewife, palov is made on special occasions by the oshpaz, or the osh master chef, who cooks the national dish over an open flame, sometimes serving up to 1,000 people from a single cauldron on holidays or occasions such as weddings. Oshi nahor, or “morning plov”, is served in the early morning (between 6 and 9 am) to large gatherings of guests, typically as part of an ongoing wedding celebration.


Uzbekistan is home to many cultures. The majority group is the Uzbek, forming seventy-one percent of the population, followed by Russians, Tajiks, Kazakhs, and other minority groups. The population of Uzbekistan is predominantly Muslim, though this was suppressed by the state during the Soviet era. The observance of Islam has gradually increased since 1991.

Music is an important part of Uzbek culture. Shashmaqam is a form of classical music similar to classical Persian music. Folk music lives on in religious and family events such as weddings as well as special events.

The applied art of Uzbekistan has a wide variety when it comes to style, materials and ornamentation. Silk, ceramics and cotton weaving, stone and wood carving, metal engraving, leather stamping, calligraphy and miniature painting are some genres passed down from ancient times. Embroidery, carpet weaving and miniature painting have also been revived in their traditional form as well as some modern variants. Today, Uzbek craftsmen still practice ancient jewellery making techniques for cutting gemstones, grain filigree, granular work, engraving and enamelling.


Brief History

The first inhabitants of Uzbekistan were said to be the Indo-Iranians, who came to the region in 1000 BC. Their settlements grew into the cities of Bukhara, Samarqand, and the capital of modern Uzbekistan, Tashkent and are some of the oldest continually inhabited cities in the world

By the 5th century BC China and Europe began trading along the Silk Road. Uzbekistan was at the heart of the ancient Silk Road trade route connecting China with the Middle East and Rome. Bukhara and Samarkand are now both UNESCO World Heritage sites due to their history, cultural legacy and architectural heritage.

In 327 BC, Uzbekistan came under the rule of the Macedonian king Alexander the Great, becoming part of the Macedonian Empire which stretched from the Ionian Sea to the western portions of the Himalayas.

In the 8th century the Arabs came, bringing with them Islam at a time of the Islamic Golden Age.

Changes came in the thirteenth century when the Mongolian ruler Genghis Khan conquered Central Asia and rid the Indo-Iranians of power. By the fourteenth century, the region began breaking up into tribes and one tribal chief, Timur, became the dominant power and under his rule, artists and scholars once again flourished. After the death of Timur in the fifteenth century, the Uzbek tribe became the predominant ethnic group in modern Uzbekistan.

Modern Uzbekistan was established in the 1900s and with other states in Central Asia, was under the firm hold of the Soviet Union until 1991 when Uzbekistan declared itself an independent and sovereign country. Uzbekistans National Independence Day is celebrated every 1 September.



Capital of the country is Tashkent. Here you find many monuments:

  • Alisher Navoiy
  • Independence square
  • Courage Earthquake Memorial
  • monument of people’s friendship

There is a Statue of Amir Temur in Samarkand and a Monument of Nasreddin Hodja in Bukhara.

The cities in Uzbekistan are museums on their own. The Madrassas (schools), Palaces and old Mosques are the most impressive versions of the world. Samarkand, Khiva and Bukhara are popular film locations and with good rights. Uzbekistan ceramic art through many centuries was the most developed craft in this region. Ceramic masters made of clay various necessary potteries: cups, pialas, dishes, jugs. Then the pottery was painted and glazed.
The most outstanding schools of traditional ceramic art were Rishtan (It is renowned for the blue glaze Ishkor), Gijduvan, Khina, Samarkand, Gurumsay, Shakhrisabz, Urgut, Khorezm, Tashkent. Each school was distinguished for own style and features. You find the elements of architectural adornments. 

It’s the heart of our civilization, scholars and wisdom. The art is famous all over the world and the position is like on the silk road in the exact middle of Central Asia it’s our monumental treasure to cherish.

When you return, there is a good chance that you will experience homesickness regardless of your ethnicity. It is as if you are in a Sufi world. Uzbekistan pearl of the Silk Roads, but more in an immaterial sense.

Burhanettin Carlak

Author and journalist, Han Productions

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