Featured Trips


Wow. What can I say about this, my 2nd trip with HTG in the space of 2 months. Uzbekistan stole my heart, I was mesmerised by the sights and the experience. The tour guide was such a laugh and kept us all entertained, hotels were amazing and again I met some lovely people and made more friends for life. Soumaya kept in touch with us during the trip to make sure everything was okay, which was appreciated. Honestly, if you're hesitating then book the trip to Uzbekistan, it's an amazing place full of so much Islamic history, fascinating facts and mind blowing sights. You'll make the most amazing memories and nourish your soul. And you'll love looking through the beautiful photos, while you wait for your next trip! Thanks HTG for a trip of a lifetime 💕
By Aisha P for The Golden Age: Adventure in Uzbekistan 7D/6N on Nov 06, 2023
What can I say, this was my first trip with HTG (I booked three trips at once-Bosnia, Uzbekistan and Andalusia) and I thoroughly enjoyed myself. I met some lovely ladies and have made friends for life. Thanks to Soumaya and the HTG team for delivering such an awesome trip, I was in awe of the natural wonders of Bosnia-Herzegovina, including waterfalls, mountains, rivers, gorges, and so much Islamic heritage and history which is the main reason I travel for.
By Aisha P for Chasing Waterfalls in Bosnia Herzegovina 6D/5N (Ladies only!) on Nov 06, 2023
This is the first time I travelled with HTG, having previously used another well-established, international group travel company. Overall, I think the intent behind the tour and themes had a lot of promise and were the reasons I was attracted to HTG but unfortunately I didn’t feel the itinerary was executed well. But please note, I did enjoy many of the places we went to and would highly recommend Uzbekistan to any travellers. Detailed feedback below. 1. Hotels - the Tashkent and Bukhara hotels were good but I was disappointed with the other accommodation - particularly Khiva and the Yurt camp. Khiva was extremely basic, although thankfully clean and in a good location. Given the price for the tour in comparison to other companies, I expected a better standard of hotels. The yurt camp (Oxus Adventures) was awful, the bedding looked unclean, we didn’t get given blankets and basically froze the whole night. Bathroom was outside and the camp’s guard dog kept barking whenever we opened our door so we didn’t feel comfortable leaving our room. Lock of door was also broken. My main concern with this place was the mistreatment of the animals. I, on more than one occasion, saw the owners of the camp beat /bully their very docile dog. It was heartbreaking. As an ethical company, I don’t think HTG should continue to work with this camp. Also on the day we left, the camp was full of wasps which was terrifying as they got into everyone’s rooms! 2. Transport - there is far too much driving as part of this itineray. I felt that we were basically in a coach for 4 days in total which is a massive shame. There were also not enough breaks on these very long drives. At one point we drove 4 hours without a break. The coach should at-least have a clean and functioning toilet. I personally did not think the drive to and from the desert stay was worth it. (I also think saying it’s a Nomad Yurt camp is a bit misleading when we’re not actually staying in a yurt.) I would’ve much rather have stayed an extra day in Bukhara and taken a train to Samarkand with more time to relax there. In any case, HTG should update the itinerary to make it very clear on all the travel times (with hours of travel clearly specified each day). 3. Not enough free time - overall, I felt the itinerary was a bit too packed and there was barely any free time. We had a free evening in Bukhara and a free morning in Samarkand. It really was not enough and felt so rushed (e.g. we barely had time to explore Shahi-Zinda). I would recommend adjusting your itinerary to add an extra day in Bukhara and Samarkand (this could be accommodated if you remove the desert camp from the itinerary). These are the main cities everyone comes to Uzbekistan to see so it’s a shame that wasn’t a focus of the itinerary. HTG could offer optional tours/activities to travellers which would allow more flexibility (on the free days). I think my main point here is that sometimes less is more and makes for a more enjoyable travel experience. So I’d recommend fewer activities or make them optional (e.g plov making, although interesting, could be made optional). To note, I felt that the last Friday in Samarkand was totally wasted, we went to Imam Bukhari’s tomb which was a huge construction site, spent 2 hours in a parking lot! would’ve been nice if this last day was a full free day (instead of including lunch on the last day, this could be switched around to include dinner in Tashkent). This would’ve given everyone flexibility to spend the day how they wish and come back to the hotel at 5pm to go to the station together. 4. The Tour literally starts on the day everyone arrives. This makes it very tiring and also means that anyone whose flight is delayed etc could potentially miss the whole day (on our tour, many of our group arrived a lot later than expected due to delays so missed part of the Tashkent tour). I would therefore recommend that you include an ‘arrival’ day where people can arrive at any time they want and there are no activities planned, except for a welcome meeting/perhaps a group dinner for everyone to meet. This gives everyone flexibility to pick appropriate flights etc although the airport transfer is nice, I don’t think it should dictate the day, or the time people arrive. Taxis are very cheap, if you give people clear instructions, it would be fine. NB: there was no official welcome meeting where people got to meet each other properly or where the guide introduced himself and set out tour expectations etc. That would be something I recommend. 5. Tour guides - our Khiva tour guide was not great, he kept walking and talking which meant most of us couldn’t hear him. It wasn’t even clear when he started the tour! Also he kept moving on without checking if the whole group was there and lost me at one point! The Tashkent Guide was good overall but I felt like she was in a rush to finish, we rushed through Chorsu Bazaar where I would have valued free time, didn’t see the metro stations she promised (although our group leader did take us there another time). Samarkand and Bukhara guides were great. 6. HTG should include all costs in the price of the tour. By not including the £65 internal flight, the price is misleading. As I said, there are many other companies that offer very similar itineraries which include ALL transport and they are cheaper than HTG. 7. Food - I am not a vegetarian but I did think the food was very meat heavy. A bit more flexibility with food choices would be welcome I.e just because someone is not vegetarian doesn’t mean they want to eat meat all the time. But overall, I enjoyed all the restaurant choices and the food was good. 8. Itinerary was not always followed - understandable sometimes but the tour leader should explain why if there are changes and manage expectations of the group. It was a shame we didn’t experience lunch by the Oxus river, lunch overlooking Mountain Views or a 3 course meal at the pottery studio, as was stated in the itinerary.
By Miriam B for The Golden Age: Adventure in Uzbekistan 10D/9N on Oct 30, 2023
Salaam Miriam, Thank you for sharing your feedback. I'm glad that you enjoyed your time at the hotels in Tashkent and Bukhara, and that you also enjoyed your tour guides there. Both cities have a lot to offer and it's great that you felt like you had a good time exploring them with HTG! Regarding your accommodation in Khiva, I'm sorry this wasn't comfortable for you. Uzbekistan is still developing its tourism industry, and while there are 4-5* hotels in the major cities, Khiva is still working on this. It is possible to stay in a 4* hotel in Khiva, but it would be next to the airport, which would take away from the whole purpose of visiting Khiva. The hotel we chose for you is inside the old city walls, putting you right in the heart of Khiva. This location is usually very popular with our guests. Nevertheless, we are sharing your feedback with the hotel so that they can work on improving their accommodation, alongside looking at working with other hotels in Khiva. Now, about the yurt camp, I'm genuinely sorry that you didn't have a good experience there. Until recently the camp has been a highlight of the trip, with guests in previous reviews sharing how much they enjoyed it. However, recent observations, coupled with your account, reveal an unacceptable drop in their standards this Autumn. Particularly troubling is the reported animal mistreatment, a stark contradiction to our values. We're just as upset and disappointed as you are that the camp didn't provide you with the same high-quality service that they usually do and that some staff have been mistreating animals. As a result, we have recently decided to cancel all future reservations with this camp, to protect our commitment to quality and ethical standards. Once again, I'm genuinely sorry that the camp experience didn't live up to expectations. Transport: We aim to cover a lot in our tours, which sometimes means more travel time. Usually when guests join us in Uzbekistan, they want to see and do as much as possible, which means it is a busy itinerary. However, your point about the extended driving durations and infrequent breaks is valid and something we'll certainly evaluate. Please note that on this occasion, the road to/from the camp has significantly deteriorated, which is why you spent far longer on the road than usual. This has had a knock-on impact on the rest of your itinerary which is why certain elements felt rushed, unfortunately. For next year we have omitted the camp altogether, to avoid the road (since it isn't being taken care of) and to allow for more time in Bukhara and Samarkand. The idea of having an 'arrival' day with no set activities, apart from an optional welcome meeting or group dinner, is a thoughtful suggestion, thank you. We are looking at incorporating this from 2024 insha Allah. And here's something we wish happened differently: when Gia, our Trip Manager, checked in during your trip, we didn't hear back from you. We truly wish we'd received feedback then, allowing us an opportunity to make immediate amends. I appreciate you taking the time to share your perspective Miriam, and value your thoughts. While we had some wins in Tashkent and Bukhara, it's clear we have room to grow in other areas. Your feedback is the compass we need. We're taking steps, collaborating closely with our local partners, and committing to up our game. Thanks for being with us on this journey. Warm regards, Soumaya
By Halal Travel Guide on Oct 31, 2023