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Follow the Disappearing Coastline Tour

Tour details:

Tour program

First day

Departure from Nukus at 8:00 A.M. along the route Nukus – Khodjeili (sacred complex Mizdahkan, Gyaur Kala fortress) – Kungrad – Natural Salt Deposit at Barsa-Kelmes – Ustyurt Plateau – Sudochie Lake – Kubla-Ustyrt settlement  – relay station.

Second day

Breakfast and trip to the ex-seaport of Soviet military forces – trip along Ustyurt Plateau canyons to the camp at Aral Sea.

Third day

Sunrise and early breakfast and long way along Usturt Plateau canyons to the downhill to the bottom of the Aral Sea and road to Uchsay settlement and the city of Muynak. Visiting sights of Muynak: Ships cemetery and regional museum and return to Nukus.

This route has been developed taking into account the wishes of many and is the best one at the moment, but however, we will be glad to consider opinions of our guests and make appropriate changes in this trip if required.

Tour Description

Mizdahkan complexThe departure is from Nukus early in the morning. The road lies through the ancient city of Khodjeili. The sacred complex Mizdahkan (currently represented by a huge cemetery) is stretched on three hills close to Khodjeili. Mizdahkan and ruins of ancient Gyaur Kala fortress are covered with many legends. Even though historically the place is related to Zoroastrian religion, it is still popular within thousands pilgrims from all over Uzbekistan.

A few miles away from Kungrad there is a natural salt deposit “Barsa Kelmes” (translated as – If you go there, you will never return). Borderless white plane of salt stretches to many kilometers and this unearth landscape can impress any visitor.

After a short stay, the trip will be continued along Ustyurt Plateau to the fishermen’s settlement at Sudochie Lake.
Ustyrt canyonsAn ancient Watch tower – reminder of warlike past – rises over the fishermen settlement at Sudochie lake. Rich fauna of this lake is famous far beyond from Karakalpakstan. Many scientists and fans of fishing and hunting come to this place from all over the world. The lake is a key stop on the long way of migrating birds: pink flamingo, white swans, duck and others.

Travellers will be offered a lunch here and then they will continue the trip along the grandiose canyons of Ustyurt Plateau chink. The layers of canyons breakups are stratums of thousands of years of history.

Mysterious and inscrutable Ustyut Plateau remains not only huge deposits of gas and oil but also many secrets and riddles. The trip along Ustyurt is not an easy one – only experienced drivers and off-road vehicles can cope with it.

There is a settlement Kubla Ustyurt (Komsomolsk-Na-Ustyurte in Soviet times) in the middle of Ustyurt. It was settled in the middle of 20th century by the conquerors of Ustyurt – constructors of pipelines, electricity supply, geophysics, road constructors. A small airport was in service for many years nearby. Currently the settlement is inhabited mainly by cattle-breeders and their families.

Soon the travellers will reach a place where they will have dinner and stay for a night – relay station. Often nomad cattle-breeders stay there too. Station keepers usually are happy to meet new guests and gifts. They live alone for weeks or months and maintain relay station in working condition. The interior of the station will bring you back in time to the middle of last century: every detail reminds of those times and hard work of romantic Ustyurt conquerors.

In the morning travellers will continue their way to the ex-seaport, where Soviet military garrison was once based. Ships transported people, animals, goods and other supplies to the Vozrojdenie Island, where secret military laboratory invented and tested biochemical weapons. Nowadays the lab is completely destroyed and there is nothing to see there.

The port is ideal for swimming in warm season: yellow sand, big stones, moorage – everything looks like just left for rest of tourists.

Sunrise at the Aral SeaAfter lunch the travellers will have to reach camp at the Aral Sea where they will stay for night. Dinner at campfire and night under clear sky of stars are unforgettable memories of the trip. This is a good chance to enjoy and study borderless stellar sky and the Milky Way.

Undoubtedly, the sunrise will be stamped in memory of those who will wake up early and delight in the red sun rising behind the sea horizon. After breakfast and cup of hot tea the travellers will start a way back.

This time the road lies along the former sea bed among brushes and sand dunes. The canyons will be left behind and the travellers will reach city of Muynak which used to be a large port for hundreds of ships. There is a museum of history and ship cemetery which tell a lot about history and mode of life of local people.

The road to Nukus will be comfortable and on the way you will see endless flats and fields of Karakalpakstan.

Please, see our gallery of interesting photos from the trips to the Aral Sea.

If you have any questions, please contact us now!