More than two millennia ago, a sophisticated irrigation system channelled meltwater from the Pamirs into the Amu Darya (Oxus) Delta, a region known as the Khorezm, transforming the desert into a fertile oasis of lakes, reed beds, marshes and lush farmland. The lynchpins of this long lost civilization were a chain of mud-walled citadels, whose remains now rise from low sand hills, an hour’s drive north of Urgench. Almost entirely forgotten but spellbindingly beautiful, two of the most spectacular are Toprak Kala and Ayaz Kala. Both may be visited on day trips from Khiva, or explored at greater leisure by staying in a nomads’ yurt camp nearby – worth a night under camel hide to see the fabulously starry skies of the Kyzylkum at night, and the spectacle of the forts glowing red in the dawn sunshine.

Plan your 2021 Adventure

With the world beginning to open up again, now is the time to begin planning your 2021 holiday to Asia. Our Travel Specialists are ready to take your call and discuss the adventure you have spent 2020 dreaming of.

Make an enquiry

07947 761 237