Uzbekistan is a country of warmth and light where you can enjoy the clear sunny sky over 300 days a year. The warmth of the sun in Uzbekistan is complemented with the warmth and hospitality of the local people, which gives you the great feeling of comfort and coziness. The Uzbeks are famous for their hospitality but you can understand what a guest means for the Uzbeks only when you sit at a feast table prepared in your honor in an Uzbek home.
Uzbekistan boasts very diverse terrains and natural attractions. They are the impressive sand dunes of the Kyzylkum Desert; they are various plain and alpine lakes, steppes and green oases; they are the majestic mountains of the Tien Shan not far from Tashkent, with their breathtaking landscapes and healing resorts, with thousands of streams feeding the great rivers ofAmudarya and Syrdarya; they are fertile valleys with orchards and gardens yielding the tastiest Uzbek fruit and vegetables, melons and grapes; they are numerous cotton fields… There is also a number of most interesting nature reserves with their unique flora and fauna in the country.
Uzbekistan is also a country of world-famous historic cities and sites of ancient settlements with their most impressive architectural monuments. During its long and rich history, the predecessors of today’s Uzbekistan experienced a lot of everything. They were involved in the growth and decline of the world’s most powerful empires of Alexander the Great, Genghis Khan andTamerlane; they suffered from a lot of wars and massacres – and enjoyed outstanding blossoms of art and science. They were crossroads of civilizations’ interaction for centuries where various cultures met and exchanged their values; thousands of caravans crossed these lands along the Great Silk Road connecting the Middle East, Mediterranean and Europe with India and China. Foreign achievements became part of the local culture then, complemented it. Uzbek traditional cuisine, for example, adopted and modified recipes foreign merchants once shared with the locals.
Today’s Uzbekistan has a developed tourism infrastructure with various services provided. An excellent holiday in the country can be spent depending on income and preferences: you can stay either in a five-star hotel or in a modest traditional Uzbek guesthouse; you can opt for an exciting adventure tour (jeep safari, skiing and heli-skiing, paragliding, mountain hiking and climbing, etc.), a beach leisure stay, a guided sightseeing tour, etc.
Almost two-thirds of the country’s territory is desert and steppes; the rest part of it is mountains, valleys and oases.
Uzbekistan consists of 12 provinces and an autonomous republic (The Autonomous Republic of Karakalpakstan, also spelled Qaraqalpaqstan).
Population: over 29 million (2012 estimate): urbanites – 37%, and rural population – 63%. The density is 60/km². The ethnic structure: Uzbeks – 80%, Russians – 5.5%, Tajiks – 5%, Kazakhs – 5%, Karakalpaks – 2%, Tatars – 1.5%.
Government: Uzbekistan is a presidential republic whereby the President of Uzbekistan is both head of state and head of government. Executive power is exercised by the government. Legislative power is vested in both the government and the two chambers of parliament, the Legislative Chamber and Senate.
The capital of Uzbekistan is Tashkent, with a population of over 2.5 million. Tashkent is the only Central Asian city which has an underground railway system (Tashkent Metro). Its stations are probably among the world’s most beautiful.
Electric power: 220 V AC, 50 А; CEE 7 standards 2-pin plugs and sockets.
Traveling about Uzbekistan is possible at any time of the year but the best periods to come are from March to July and from September to October inclusive. The period from the end of June to mid-August, called chilla by the locals, is the hottest: the day temperature frequently rises to 40°C and even higher in some parts of the country. Autumn is warm and abundant in agricultural produce; the bazaars are full of a wide variety of cheap and quality fruits, vegetables and cucurbit crops. At the end of November the day temperature may still remain around 10°С. Although the average winter temperatures are not far below zero, they may occasionally drop to around minus 15° in the cities and lower in the mountains and the steppe areas. Showers, rains and snows in spring, autumn and winter are occasional; they are less frequent and shorter than in Europe, for instance.
The Republic of Uzbekistan is located between the rivers Amu Darya and Syr Darya.The length of the territory from west to east is 1,425 kilometers and from north to south – 930 km.
The northernmost point of Uzbekistan is the Ustyurt plateau, near the western shore of the Aral Sea (45o36 ‘N latitude), the southernmost point is in the Surkhandarya region, near the town of Termez (37o11’ N latitude), the westernmost point – on the Ustyurt plateau (56o east longitude), the easternmost point – in the Ferghana valley, on the border with Kyrgyzstan.
In the north-eastern the republic borders with Kazakhstan, on the east and southeast – with Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan in the west – with Turkmenistan, in the south – with Afghanistan. The total length is 6,221 km of borders. Among them: the border with Kazakhstan is 2,203 km, Kyrgyzstan – 1099 km, 1161 km with Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Afghanistan -1621 -137 miles, correspondently.
The territory of Uzbekistan is a peculiar combination of flat and steep terrain. The plains are located on the south-west and north-west and consist of Ustyurt, the Amu-Darya delta and the Kyzyl-Kum desert. In central and south-western part of the desert are quite large mountain hill. Mountains and foothills, occupying about a third of the republic, are in the east and south-east, where the interlock with the powerful mountain formations in Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. The highest point of the mountains of the republic is 4,643 m.
Between the mountains there are valleys and plains. The largest valley is Ferghana. It stretches over 370 km. Its width reaches 190 kilometers.The valley is surrounded by mountains from three sides and only from the West it is open.
For the natural conditions of the republic is characterized by high seismicity, there are known facts, when the tremors reached eight or nine points. In particular, a destructive earthquakes took place in Tashkent on 26 April 1966.
The largest rivers of both Uzbekistan and throughout Central Asia are Amu-Darya and Syr-Darya. The total length of the Amu-Darya River is 1437 km, and Syr-Darya river – 2137 km. Syr-Darya, exceeding Amu-Darya by length, is less by water content.
Uzbekistan has an extreme continental climate. It is generally warmest in the south and coldest in the north. Temperatures in December average -8°C (18°F) in the north and 0°C (32 °F) in the south. However, extreme fluctuations can take temperatures as low as -35°C (-31°F). During the summer temperatures can reach 45°C (113°F) and above. Humidity is low.
Spring (April to June) and Fall (September through October) are in general the most pleasant times to travel. In Fall it’s harvest time, and the markets are full of fresh fruit. If you’re interested in trekking, then summer (July and August) is the best time, because summers are almost dry.