Maydanak Observatory Tour
  • Maydanak Observatory Tour
  • Maydanak Observatory Tour
  • Maydanak Observatory Tour
  • Maydanak Observatory Tour
  • Maydanak Observatory Tour
  • Maydanak Observatory Tour
  • Maydanak Observatory Tour
  • Maydanak Observatory Tour
  • Maydanak Observatory Tour
  • Maydanak Observatory Tour
  • Maydanak Observatory Tour
  • Maydanak Observatory Tour
  • Maydanak Observatory Tour
  • Maydanak Observatory Tour
  • Maydanak Observatory Tour
  • Maydanak Observatory Tour
  • We’ll have fantastic trip to the unique object – a high-altitude observatory equipped with telescopes, leading year-round observation of the sky. The observatory is located in a mysterious place with special astrophysical conditions, which allows conducting astronomic observations for most of the time of the year.

    During a trip to the observatory located in the south of Uzbekistan, you will have the opportunity to walk along the ancient paths and mountain villages of Kashkadarya Province, visit Langar Canyon and descend into the operating salt mines. Arriving at the high mountain observatory Maydanak, you will have an opportunity to see the powerful telescopes, but also see galaxies invisible to eyes, planets and other space objects.

    Enjoy the starry sky, which seems to hang right above your heads, it is seems like you can stretch out your hand and you can touch a Big Bear. Spend the night in a house built for working astronomers. You will also see the ever-white peaks of the mountains of the Hissar Range from the observatory territory. Explore the complex forbidden for outsuders in the Soviet times.

    Itinerary program
    Explore sights of Kashkadarya Province, and Maydanak Observatory

    We’ll pick you up from the hotel in Samarkand, and drive to mountain region, to ascend to Maydanak Observatory. On our way, we’ll see:

    -      Langar Canyon. The length of 3 km, the canyon is an interesting place, with narrow rock corridors and high steep walls;

    -      Katta Langar holy place. The Sufi shrine is located on the top of the mountain, which opens a fabulous view of the canyon and nearby villages. In order to get to it you need to go up the steps to the top of the mountain. The complex is surrounded by ancient burial places of Sufis (since the 16th century) on the one hand and a large fruit garden and a cliff on another;

    -      Salty mines, where salt is still produced by primitive methods. The mines are grottos of 3-6 meters depth, usually round in shape. You can see how the local "miners" get salt, taste and take clean crystals of salt home.

    Arrival at Maydanak founded in 1970. The technical equipment of the station, telescopes were upgraded. But the properties, the houses built by people from Moscow and Leningrad, Kiev and Kharkov, Lithuania and Estonia remained the same and preserved their names, history and feelings of those years. We’ll accommodate in cottages, and have dinner.

    After that, we’ll have an excursion around the observatory, a walk on the plateau of 32 hectares (beautiful landscapes, sunset view). Then, we’ll go to AZT-22 telescope to observe the night sky. The scientist will tell us about the stars, show the planets.

    Overnight in cottages

    Visit the karst Mingchukur Plateau

    After breakfast, we’ll visit karst Mingchukur Plateau located at an altitude of 2500 meters in the spurs of the Hissar Range. The surface of the plateau is rocky and waterless, but almost its entire surface is densely vegetated with trees and shrubs, where numerous sinkholes and caves hide. The depth of the caves can reach up to 50 meters. Every year, the underground and aboveground appearance of the plateau changes slightly; due to the “soft” limestone frequent collapses and the birth of new washouts and sinkholes occur.

    After lunch, it’s time to start our drive back to Samarkand. 

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    tour themeTour theme: Facts, Culture/Arts
    tour durationDuration: 2 days
    tour pathPath: Samarkand - Katta Langar - Maydanak - Mingchukur Plateau - Samarkand
    tour difficultyDifficulty level: Easy
    Price for tour package (for one person) in USD (prices for 2019 for reference)
    hotel starshotel starshotel stars
    Stay in cottages
    2-3 $450
    4-5 $380
    6-9 $320
    10-15 $260
    Book tour
    Tour map
    Tour notes
    • Operate based on Observatory schedule, announced in April
    • Start/finish – Samarkand
    • Can start from Shakhrisabz, with later departure
    • Can start from Tashkent, with earlier departure
    • Need to book 1 month in advance
    • Accommodation on private basis is possible, based on group size
    • Basic amenities at cottages (outhouse, no shower, washbasin)
    • Changes may occur according to weather, other circumstances
    Included services
    • Transfers Samarkand – Kitab/Shakhrisabz by private vehicle (sedan cars);
    • Transfers from Kitab/Shakhrisabz to destination by local 4WD (Niva, UAZ) or diesel minivan/bus, based on weather;
    • Local guide;
    • Full board (lunch and dinner);
    • Entrance tickets to the museums, mausoleums and other sights ;
    • 1,5 L water per person daily;
    • Accommodation on shared basis;
    • Permit.
    Not included services
    • Alcohol drinks;
    • Personal items;
    • Travel insurance;
    • Gratuities.
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