Nurata-Aydarkul region – is one of the most interesting regions of Uzbekistan. Situating in Jizak and Navoi districts, at the border of great Kyzylkum Desert and Nurata Mountains, far from big cities, this region is a fine place for amateurs of ecologic, active and rural tourism.
In this large region you will see all variety of landscapes of Uzbekistan – Nuratau and Aktau Mountains, foothills, steppe, desert and a huge Aydarkul Lake. You will discover a wonderful world of wild nature, meet with traditional way of life of local people in ancient mountain settlements. You will be waited for stump and horseback walking, spring rage of flowering plants, bright mountain tulips and fields of scarlet poppies, nut-plants woods, almond and pistachio bushes, Alpine meadows. Local fauna is also varied and manifold. Here you can see more 100 kinds of birds, including quite rare as black vulture, lammergeyer, golden eagle, pelican, paradise flycatcher, common bee-eater and etc. There are a lot of turtle, hares, giant lizard – a dragon of desert is often found. In Nurata Mountains you can see a rare kind of wild rams – Severtsev’s sheep.
For keeping of biovariety and protection of these unique territories Nurata-Kyzylkum Bioreserve was created here.
Accommodation: tourists can stay in traditional houses of local people. Nine of such houses in the settlements Ukhum, Khayat, Sentyabsay are prepared specially for accommodation of foreign tourists. The owners of the houses had their training within the bounds of European project on support of country communities in tourism.
Each house has 2-3 rooms with square from 6 to 20 m2, in which from 2 to 6 tourists can be accommodated. There are no any beds in the houses of local people and by traditions the people sleep on the special mattresses on the floor. The bed is laid before sleeping, rolled up in the morning and laid up at one of the walls of the room. The bed set is included: mattress, bed-sheets, blankets, pillows, towels. Toilet and shower are outside in the yard. A garden with fruit-trees is attached to each house. Food is prepared on firewood in special fireplaces, and bread (flat round national bread) is prepared in special earthenware stoves – tandyrs. Tourists can watch and take part in the process of food preparing.
Meals. It is prepared from traditional products by the hostess of the house. Fruits, vegetables are from own kitchen garden as a rule. The dishes are from Uzbek cuisine in general: vegetable soups with previous fried and then boiled meat, dishes from pastry, traditional Uzbek plov (rise, meat, vegetables), potatoes fried meat (beef, mutton), dablyama (ragout from stewed vegetables). Sweets are given for tea.
By traditions the yogurt from cow’s, sheep’s or goat’s milk are given before lunch or dinner. Tourists can take part in milking of goats.
A standard program of staying in Sentyabsay settlement.
Day 1. 16:00. Arrival in the settlement (from Samarkand, Bukhara, Tashkent).
Accommodation in the house. Walking along picturesque settlement. The settlement is located along a small river in shady gorge. The length of the settlement is more 6 kms. All houses are built from saman (blend from clay with straw). This constructional material is cost nothing, it is hygienic and it protects from summer heat.
Local stone is used in auxiliary building. Walking along the settlement one can watch every day work of local people: tillage, storage of fodder, repairs of houses, yogurt preparing, traditional woman fancy-work. The people are hospitable and they invite to their house to drink traditional Uzbek tea. In the evening after dinner they organize a concert, where local people play national instruments and sing their songs.
Day 2. Next day in the morning after breakfast tourists go up along the gorge, visit old water-mill, enjoy nature, watch and listen to birds’ pipe. The walking is finished by lunch-picnic near picturesque waterfall. The walking is available to any tourist and takes ~ 4-5 hrs. It’s possible to organize hiking for young and experienced (7-8 hrs, distance 26 kms, altitude drop 990 m) to Fazilman Lake, located on Nuratau Gange at the altitude 1640 m. From the lake you can ascend on dominating Kichik-Fazilman Summit (1833 m.a.s.l.). From the range and the summit the picturesque panoramas are opened at Sentyab settlement, Aydarkul Lake, surrounding mountains. The returning to Sentyab settlement is taken place along other way and takes ~ 2.5 hrs.
After walking your can drive to Samarkand (Bukhara, Tashkent) or stay in the settlement for one more night.
It’s possible to organize a “kupkary” (goat-tearing up) – an ancient national horse game special for tourists. It’s exotic and enthralling sight.