Travel advice

Useful information for your trip and stay

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Travel advice

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Documents needed

You need an international travel passport for Uzbekistan, which is still valid for at least 6 months after your last day of travel. Citizens of the European Union do not require a visa for a stay of maximum 30 days.

Registration

Tourists have to register every day. If you are staying in a hotel the staff will automatically take care of it. You will receive a stamped proof of registration mentioning the dates of your stay from our local partners.

Advice

Make sure to keep these documents in your passport as they might be checked at customs on leaving Uzbekistan. If you lose these papers, you could be fined.

Flights

We offer journeys with or without flight.

If you book a journey without flight:

  • Book your external flight tickets as soon as you booked your tour with Silk Voyage (round trip Brussels – Tashkent).
  • Send us your e-ticket as soon as possible, so we can finalize the tour you booked with us.

Tip: Three main airlines have direct flights to Tashkent:

If you book a journey with flight:

You can book airline tickets with us. We can offer you competitive flight tickets, thanks to negotiations with our partners.

  • Let us know via the Flight information form if you want to buy flight tickets with us. Please Contact us in case you need assistance from our client support team.
  • When the final (second payment 60%) payment of the tour is made, you will receive detailed documentation of your tour, including the flight tickets within 7-10 working days prior to the date of departure.
  • Depending on our air broker’s offer, you may also benefit from a flight cancellation insurance and a travel insurance. The insurance details will be explained in the information coming with your ticket. We will send it to you by e-mail.

Accomodation

You will mainly stay in smaller hotels, which are very cosy and where you will be received in a very hospitable way. Like this, you will be able to make contact with the local population more quickly and get to know the country better. From time to time, you will also stay in 3 to 4-star hotels depending on tour package “included”. You might also spend 1 or 2 nights in a homestay, under a starry sky or in another unique sleeping place, if you are up for something different. Afterwards, a comfortable bed will be awaiting you again. For accommodation details, please always check your tour “included” and “not included” sections.

Double rooms with in-room sanitary facilities are included in the price. If you travel alone, you share a twin room with someone else.

You can ask for a single room at an additional cost. We try to meet your request, but the number of single rooms is limited per tour. After your booking, we will check the availability. If we cannot offer you a single room, you have the right to cancel your booking.
10 days before your departure, you will receive an overview of the hotels you will stay at.

Health

Uzbekistan is very strict when it comes to importing medicines. You can find more information on the website of the Belgian Federal Public Service Foreign Affairs.

Certain medication may not be included in the list. If you take medication daily, inform yourself before booking your journey.

Medical facilities

You will often travel to remote areas, sometimes within hours distance of medical facilities such as a doctor, pharmacist and/or hospital. Always bring a basic first aid kit and your personal medication for the entire travel period. Always inform your travel guide about any medical conditions. In case of serious medical problems, local doctors will be called in.

There are no compulsory vaccinations for Uzbekistan. Vaccination against hepatitis B is recommended.

Diarrhea is a common complaint among European travellers in Central Asia. Make sure to bring anti-diarrheal medicines on your journey.

Consult your family doctor or the Institute of Tropical Medicine for the latest information:

Language

The country’s official language is Uzbek, a Turkic language written in the Latin alphabet and spoken natively by approximately 85% of the population. However, Russian remains in widespread use. Basic English is understood at most tourist attractions. You may have to rely on hand gestures (or Google Translate) in other parts of the country. The language barrier never causes problems.

Luggage

The luggage list below gives you a general idea of what to bring.

Advice

    • day pack
    • clothing:
      • T-shirts and shorts
      • a sweater and/or fleece for the evening
      • a thin raincoat
      • swimwear
      • headgear
      • sturdy walking shoes
      • regular shoes and sandals
    • water bottle
    • sun cream, sunglasses, mosquito repellent
    • an under-clothing money pouch or belt
    • cutlery

Luggage must be carried in an easily portable bag, e.g. a sports bag, a backpack or a soft suitcase on wheels.

Currency exchange

The official national currency of Uzbekistan is the Uzbek SO’M (UZS). The SO’M comes in 100, 200, 500, 1.000, 5.000, 10.000, 50.000 and 100.000 notes. Foreign currency can be exchanged in most hotels and banks. Notes should be undamaged. Bank cards and travel checks are not popular.

Advice

  • Never exchange money on the street.
  • Always carry some cash with you. You can find ATMs in many hotels and restaurants, and all over the cities.

WiFi

The WiFi connection in most hotels and guest houses is rather poor. Uploading and downloading files can take longer time than you expect. Be prepared for a digital detox!

Food

The Uzbek cuisine is one of the most exquisite and flavourful ones you will ever taste. It will leave you longing for more even when you are back home. Some must-try national dishes are:

  • plov (pilaf): rice dish with onion, carrots and meat
  • shurpa: rich broth with vegetables and pieces of lamb
  • laghman: pulled noodles, meat, and vegetables
  • manti: steamed dumplings
  • somsa (somosa): meat pastry baked in the tandur
  • naan: bread
  • shashlik: kebab made of lamb, beef or chicken
  • kazan kabob: stewed meat with vegetables
  • shivit oshi: pasta dyed green with an infusion of dill

If you’re a vegan or vegetarian, you, unfortunately, might have a hard time finding options. This country loves meat to the highest degree, and most if not all of their signature dishes either include or are prepared with it. With that said, there definitely are restaurants that offer vegetarian options, and salads are available almost everywhere.

Advice

  • Avoid drinking tap water. Still and sparkling water is available everywhere.
  • Wash fruit and vegetables before eating.
  • For vegetarians: say “bez myasa” when ordering salads. It means “without meat”. This can come in handy as some salads may also contain sliced meat (it shows how much Uzbeks love ‘their’ meat).

Safety

Uzbekistan is one of the safest countries one can visit.

It boasts a very low crime rate and doesn’t have the safety concerns that you may find in many European cities. Never once will you feel threatened when you are there, even when walking around at night.

Uzbek people are very heart-warming, extremely friendly and welcoming, and often go out of their way to make sure you have the best experience in their country.

Advice

As in any country:

  • Do not leave your belongings unattended in crowded places.
  • Carry your documents with you in your pocket. Don’t leave them in your backpack or bag. They might get stolen or lost.
  • Watch out for pickpockets at big crowded bazaars.

Tips

It is not obligatory to tip, but everyone will be happy to receive a small sum. If you are satisfied with the service offered you can leave tips to drivers, porters, guides and hotel staff. Most restaurants include a tip in the bill.

How to dress

Contrary to popular belief, Uzbekistan is actually quite liberal. Although most of its population is Muslim, this country isn’t officially a Muslim country and many cultures and religions coexist and are welcome here. Uzbek people consider their homeland to be secular and modern, and there are no strict rules here about how to dress.
You may get certain looks from the older generation if you’re seen in short dresses and tank tops, but just like in many other secular countries, that is only because of cultural and generational differences rather than religious ones. Like many other places in the world, the older generation in Uzbekistan dresses more conservatively while the younger generation is far more liberal.

Advice

  • Do what’s most comfortable for you. But do keep in mind that Uzbek people don’t think of their country as Muslim and don’t expect you to dress like you’re in one.
  • Definitely still bring some clothes that cover your knees and shoulders for mosques and mausoleums. No one will scream at you for not doing so, but it’s the respectful thing to do.
  • Bring comfortable clothes and shoes. In summertime it is worth taking clothes made of natural breathable fabrics.

Weather and best time to visit Uzbekistan

The best time to visit Uzbekistan is during spring or autumn: end of April to mid-May or end of September to mid-October tend to offer the most pleasant temperatures (around +14°C to +26°C). It doesn’t rain much during those periods either. During these times you can enjoy the heat without it being uncomfortably hot like it is in the summer when temperatures can go up to +40°C. In the winter, temperatures can go as low as -10°C.

  • Cold period: November, December, January, February.
  • Warm period: March, April, May, October.
  • Warm+hot: August, September.
  • Hot period: June, July.

Advice

  • Use sunscreen and wear sunglasses and a cap during the hot period. Make sure you stay hydrated.
  • In the mountains, it is usually much cooler than in cities. If you are going to visit the mountains or the desert, you should take into account the significant difference between day and night temperatures.

Documents needed

You need an international travel passport for Kyrgyzstan, which is still valid for at least 6 months after your last day of travel. Citizens of the European Union do not require a visa for a stay of maximum 60 days. Check your visa requirements for Kyrgyzstan on this website: http://www.evisa.e-gov.kg/index.php

Registration

Tourists have to register after 60 days of stay and less than 60 days stay no registration needed. If you are staying in a hotel the staff will automatically take care of it. You will receive a stamped proof of registration mentioning the dates of your stay from our local partners.

Flights

We offer journeys with or without flight.

If you book a journey without flight:

  • Book your external flight tickets as soon as you booked your tour with Silk Voyage.
  • Send us your e-ticket as soon as possible, so we can finalize the tour you booked with us.

Tip: Four main airlines have flights to Bishkek:

There are no direct flights to Bishkek from Europe, connection is made in Istanbul, Moscow or Astana.

If you book a journey with flight:

You can book airline tickets with us. We can offer you competitive flight tickets, thanks to negotiations with our partners.

  • Let us know via the Flight information form if you want to buy flight tickets with us. Please Contact us in case you need assistance from our client support team.
  • When the final (second payment 60%) payment of the tour is made, you will receive detailed documentation of your tour, including the flight tickets within 7-10 working days prior to the date of departure.
  • Depending on our air broker’s offer, you may also benefit from a flight cancellation insurance and a travel insurance. The insurance details will be explained in the information coming with your ticket. We will send it to you by e-mail.

Accomodation

You will mainly stay in small hotels, family-run guesthouses, homestays, yurt or even tents, depending on the itinerary and the type of tour that you chose. The level of comfort can vary a lot from one day to the other.

Small Hotels: Independent rather small hotels, close to European 3 star standards, with private rooms, private toilets and bathroom. Single room accommodation possible. All usual western commodities.

Guesthouses & Homestays: Comfort can really vary from one accommodation to the other. Rooms are usually shared with the other travelers. Private rooms can be organized upon request. Single Room is not possible to book in advance, but can sometimes be arranged on the spot with the family. Beds can be classical western style individual beds, or can be toshoks, the typical Kyrgyz bed made of several layers of stuffed carpets disposed on the floor, with blankets and pillows. Staying at a local family is a truly authentic experience, as travelers will experience the best of the Kyrgyz hospitality, something very important for the Kyrgyz people. Hygiene commodities can be very limited. Some homestays are equipped with western style toilets and bathroom, some have only outside latrines and a Russian banya available. WiFi is randomly widespread, and in the most remote places, electricity might not be available 24/24h.

Yurts: Yurts are usually only available for trips taking place from early May to early October. Yurts are usually private, but can be shared with the other travelers if not other option. Single yurt on demand prior to the trip. Beds can be classical western style individual beds, or can be toshoks, the typical Kyrgyz bed made of several layers of stuffed carpets disposed on the floor, with blankets and pillows. Yurts are usually heated. Staying at a local family’s yurt is a truly authentic experience, as travelers will experience the best of the Kyrgyz hospitality, something very important for the Kyrgyz people. Some yurt camps are equipped with common western-style shower and toilets, but the most remote and authentic yurts usually have no shower and just basic latrines outside. Electricity is randomly widespread, and there is no WiFi at the yurts.

We always try to alternate the types of accommodation, to ensure nice accommodations places after the most authentic ones. For accommodation details, please always check your tour “included” and “not included” sections.

Double rooms are included in the price. If you travel alone, you share a twin room with someone else.

You can ask for a single room at an additional cost. We try to meet your request, but the number of single rooms is limited per tour. After your booking, we will check the availability. If we cannot offer you a single room, you have the right to cancel your booking.

Health

Kyrgyzstan is very strict when it comes to importing medicines. You can find more information on the website of the Belgian Federal Public Service Foreign Affairs.

Certain medication may not be included in the list (such as codein). If you take medication daily, inform yourself before booking your journey.

Medical facilities

You will often travel to remote areas, sometimes within hours distance of medical facilities such as a doctor, pharmacist and/or hospital. Always bring a basic first aid kit and your personal medication for the entire travel period. Besides, a pharmacy will always be available in our vehicles. Always inform your travel guide about any medical conditions. In case of serious medical problems, local doctors will be called in. We strongly recommend our travellers to take a travel insurance with repatriation policy.

There are no compulsory vaccinations for Kyrgyzstan. Vaccination against hepatitis B is recommended.

Diarrhea is a common complaint among European travellers in Central Asia. Make sure to bring anti-diarrheal medicines on your journey.

During your whole trip, we will do our best to follow the customs regarding body acclimatization in altitude in order to avoid altitude sickness. We will also adapt to your physical condition and rhythm. Despite all these measures, altitude sickness can happen. Travelers could feel headaches, insomnia, loss of appetite, general tiredness, or even nausea.

We kindly ask you to communicate us any medical contraindication or food allergy, so that we will adapt to it.

Consult your family doctor or the Institute of Tropical Medicine for the latest information:

Language

The country’s official language is Kyrgyz, a Turkic language written in the Cyrillic alphabet and spoken natively by approximately 70% of the population. However, Russian remains in widespread use. Basic English is understood at most tourist attractions. You may have to rely on hand gestures (or Google Translate) in other parts of the country. The language barrier never causes problems as you will be travelling with experienced guides fluent in both yours and the local languages.

Luggage

The luggage list below gives you a general idea of what to bring.

Advice

  • Day backpack
  • Travel backpack/Duffelbag
  • Sunglasses
  • 50+ sun cream
  • Hat / Beanie
  • Scarf
  • Hiking water bottle
  • Hiking shoes
  • Towel
  • Camera & powerbank
  • Summer clothing
  • Clothes for cooler evenings
  • Light fleece
  • Raincoat or waterproof summer mountain jacket
  • Bathing suit, flip-flops
  • Your good mood

Can be updated according to the chosen itinerary and travel period.

Currency exchange

The official national currency of Kyrgyzstan is the Kyrgyz SOM (KGS). The SOM comes in 20, 50, 100, 200, 500, 1.000, 2.000, 5.000 notes, and 1, 3, 5, 10 coins. Foreign currency can be exchanged at exchange points and banks in Bishkek, Osh, Karakol and Naryn. Foreign banknotes should be new, without any scratch, hole or markings. Bank cards and travel checks are not popular. Visa is more widespread than Mastercard.

Advice

  • Never exchange money at the bazar
  • Always carry some cash with you. You can find ATMs in the main cities of the country.

WiFi

The WiFi connection hotels is rather good. Most of the guesthouses, homestays and yurt camps are not equipped with WiFi. Uploading and downloading files can take longer time than you expect. Be prepared for a digital detox!

Food

The Kyrgyz cuisine is has its root in the nomadic traditions but has been influenced over the centuries by many other cuisines, such as the Persian, the Russian, the Chinese and also the Indian cuisine. Food is usually an unexpected asset of a travel into Kyrgyzstan. It will leave you longing for more even when you are back home. Some must-try national dishes are:

  • plov (pilaf): rice dish with onion, carrots and meat
  • shorpo: rich broth with vegetables and pieces of lamb
  • lagman: pulled noodles, meat, and vegetables
  • manty: steamed dumplings stuffed with mutton and onion
  • samsa (samosa): meat pastry baked in the tandyr clay oven
  • naan: bread
  • boorsok: small pieces of fried dough served with sour cream and fruit jam
  • kurdak: potato, lamb and onion stew with species
  • beshbarmak: homemade noodles with minced meat and onion with sauce
  • chuchuk: horse-meat sausage with horse fat and various species, a Kyrgyz delicatessen
  • shashlik: kebab made of lamb, beef or chicken

If you’re a vegan or vegetarian, you, unfortunately, might have a hard time finding options. This country loves meat to the highest degree, and most if not all of their signature dishes either include or are prepared with it. With that said, there definitely are restaurants that offer vegetarian options, and salads are available almost everywhere.

Advice

  • Food is usually served in enormous quantities, but it does not mean that you have to finish everything on the table. It is part of the hospitality tradition to cover the table with various dishes.
  • Avoid drinking tap water. Still and sparkling water in any shop.
  • Wash fruit and vegetables before eating.
  • For vegetarians: say “bez myasa” when ordering salads. It means “without meat”. This can come in handy as some salads may also contain sliced meat (it shows how much Kyrgyz people love ‘their’ meat).

Safety

Kyrgyzstan is one of the safest countries one can visit.

It boasts a very low crime rate and doesn’t have the safety concerns that you may find in many European cities. Never once will you feel threatened when you are there, even when walking around at night.

Kyrgyz people are very heart-warming, extremely friendly and welcoming, and often go out of their way to make sure you have the best experience in their country. They are very curious and will not refrain themselves to ask you many questions about yourself, your family, your country etc.

Advice

As in any country:

  • Do not leave your belongings unattended in crowded places.
  • Carry your documents with you in your pocket. Don’t leave them in your backpack or bag. They might get stolen or lost.
  • Watch out for pickpockets at big crowded bazaars.

Tips

It is not obligatory to tip, but everyone will be happy to receive a small sum. If you are satisfied with the service offered, you can leave tips to drivers, porters, guides. Cafés and restaurants usually include service in the bill.

How to dress

Contrary to popular belief, Kyrgyzstan is actually quite liberal. Although most of its population is Muslim, this country isn’t officially a Muslim country and many cultures and religions coexist and are welcome here. Kyrgyz people consider their homeland to be secular and from nomadic ascendance, and there are no strict rules here about how to dress.
You may get certain looks from the older generation if you’re seen in short dresses and tank tops, but just like in many other secular countries, that is only because of cultural and generational differences rather than religious ones. Like many other places in the world, the older generation in Kyrgyzstan dresses more conservatively while the younger generation is far more liberal.

Advice

  • Do what’s most comfortable for you. But do keep in mind that Kyrgyz people don’t think of their country as Muslim and don’t expect you to dress like you’re in one.
  • Definitely still bring some clothes that cover your knees and shoulders for mosques and mausoleums. No one will scream at you for not doing so, but it’s the respectful thing to do.
  • Bring comfortable clothes and shoes. In summertime, it is worth taking clothes made of natural breathable fabrics.
  • Evenings in the mountains can be cool, cold even, don’t forget a warm fleece, a pair of jeans, a scarf and a hat.

Weather and best time to visit Kyrgyzstan

The best time to visit Kyrgyzstan is during summer time: end of May to end September tend to offer the most pleasant temperatures. In summer, days are warm and even hot in Chuy or Ferghana valleys (+35-40°C). But as 80% the country lays above 1500m altitude, evenings and nights are cool (10°C), with freezing risks above 3000m. In case of weather conditions that will prevent us to perform some activities, we will do our best to propose alternative activities.

  • Cold period: November, December, January, February.
  • Warm period: April May, September, October.
  • Warm/Hot period: June, July, August
  • Rainiest months: April, May.

Advice

  • Use sunscreen and wear sunglasses and a cap during the warm or hot period. Make sure you stay hydrated.
  • In the mountains, it is much cooler than in cities. As you will be crossing the mountains, you should take into account the significant difference between day and night temperatures.

Documents needed

Foreigners enter the territory of the Republic of Armenia through border-control points. For entry a foreigner must have valid passport, entry visa or a document of residency status unless Armenian laws or international agreements define no other procedure. Minor foreigners may enter Armenia accompanied by parents, a parent or any other legal representative or if one arrives to his parents, a parent, other legal representative or a receiving organization.

Belgium is included in the list of the countries, whose citizens with all types of passports are unilaterally exempt from the requirement to obtain a visa to enter the Republic of Armenia. They can stay in the territory of the RA up to 180 days per year.

Registration

No registration is required in Armenia.

Flights

We offer journeys both with or without flight.

In case you book a journey without flight:

  • Book your external flight tickets as soon as you booked your tour with Silk Voyage.
  • Send us your e-ticket as soon as possible, so that we can finalize the tour you booked with us.

Tip: 

Armenia has 2 major airports. The main airport is Zvartnots International Airport, located at a distance of ~12 km from the centre of Yerevan, while the second one is situated in Gyumri.

There is only 1 airline, having direct flights to Yerevan (Zvartnots International Airport):

  • Brussels Airlines

Alternatively, you can book flights from number of airlines, implementing flights to Yerevan (Zvartnots International Airport) with transits:

  • Ukraine International Airlines (via Boryspil);
  • Tarom (via Bucharest Otopeni);
  • Austrian Airlines (via Vienna);
  • LOT (via Warsaw Chopin);
  • Aeroflot Russian Airlines (via Moscow Sheremetyevo).

If you book a journey with flight:

You can book airline tickets with us. We can offer you competitive flight tickets, thanks to negotiations with our partners.

Let us know via the Flight information form if you want to buy flight tickets with us. Please Contact us in case you need assistance from our client support team.

When the final (second payment 60%) payment of the tour is made, you will receive detailed documentation of your tour, including the flight tickets within 7-10 working days prior to the date of departure.

Depending on our air broker’s offer, you may also benefit from a flight cancellation insurance and a travel insurance. The insurance details will be explained in the information coming with your ticket. We will send it to you by e-mail.

Accomodation

You will mainly stay in smaller hotels, which are very cosy and where you will be received in a very hospitable way. Like this, you will be able to make contact with the local population more quickly and get to know the country better. From time to time, you will also stay in 3 to 4-star hotels depending on tour package “included”. You might also spend 1 or 2 nights in a homestay, under a starry sky or in another unique sleeping place, if you are up for something different. Afterwards, a comfortable bed will be awaiting you again. For accommodation details, please always check your tour “included” and “not included” sections.

Double rooms with in-room sanitary facilities are included in the price. If you travel alone, you share a twin room with someone else.

You can ask for a single room at an additional cost. We try to meet your request, but the number of single rooms is limited per tour. After your booking, we will check the availability. If we cannot offer you a single room, you have the right to cancel your booking.

10 days before your departure, you will receive an overview of the hotels you will stay at.

Health

Armenia is strict when it comes to importing medicines. You can get detailed information with the help of the following link: http://www.pharm.am/index.php/en/import-and-export-control-department

Medical facilities

You will often travel to remote areas, sometimes within hours’ distance of medical facilities such as a doctor, pharmacist and/or hospital. Always bring a basic first aid kit and your personal medication for the entire travel period. Always inform your travel guide about any medical conditions. In case of serious medical problems, local doctors will be called in.

Diarrhea is a common complaint among European travellers in South Caucasus region. Make sure to bring anti-diarrheal medicines on your journey.

Consult your family doctor or the Institute of Tropical Medicine for the latest information:

Language

The official language is Armenian – a separate branch of the Indo-European language family. Generally, the state buildings and public places are also marked with Latin-letter sign boards. Besides Armenian, Russian is also widely spoken, and young generation mostly can communicate in English, too.

Luggage

The luggage list below gives you a general idea of what to bring.

Advice

  • capacious backpack;
  • T-shirts, sweaters, shorts, skirts, trousers,  depending on the season;
  • regular shoes / comfortable closed-toed walking shoes / sandals / boots,  depending on the season;
  • a thin raincoat / jacket, depending on the season;
  • swimwear;
  • sun cream, sunglasses, mosquito repellent.

Luggage must be carried in an easily portable bag, e.g. a sports bag, a backpack or a soft suitcase on wheels.

Currency exchange

The national currency of Armenia is called “Dram” (the code is AMD). There are banknotes of 1000, 2000, 5000, 10000, 20000, 50000, 100000 Dram denomination. There are also coins of 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, 500 Dram denomination. Foreign currency can be exchanged in banks and currency exchange offices throughout the city. Current exchange rates can be found at the official web-site of the Central Bank of the Republic of Armenia: http://www.cba.am.

Credit cards (Visa, Master, AmEx, Arca) are widely used.

You can find ATMs in Yerevan at every step (streets, supermarkets, shopping centres, etc.).

WiFi

WiFi connection is available nearly in all the hotels, hostels, guest houses, restaurants and cafes of Yerevan and provinces.

Food

Armenian cuisine stands as the most ancient in the Caucasus region. Formed around 2000 years ago, it reflects the traditions and the history of ancient Armenia. The traditional Armenian cuisine has a large variety of richly flavored dishes. Fresh vegetables and meat are among the most favorite food products. Dinner parties foresee a great ritual, starting from its preparatory process until the last moment at the table.

Among the most popular and exquisite dishes there are:

  • Tolma (cabbage leaves, stuffed with rice and beef / grape leaves, stuffed with rice and ground meet);
  • Spas (Armenian yoghurt soup with wheat cereal);
  • Ghapama (pumpkin, stuffed with grain rice, raisins, honey, dried fruit, etc., usually prepared during the Christmas season);
  • Garni Yarakh (eggplants, peppers, tomatoes, stuffed with minced lamb/beef and chopped greens);
  • Harissa (thick porridge made from dried/ roasted cracked wheat) and fat-rich meat, usually chicken / lamb).

Safety

Armenia is considered to be one of the safest countries in the world for both solo & family travelers. Tourists can thoroughly enjoy their time in Armenia without any kind of fear for their own safety thanks to the low crime level as well as hospitality of the locals. Streets are always full of happy families, couples and tourists no matter what the time is. Armenia is placed 62nd out of 128 countries with a score of 10.25 on the 2019 Global Finance ranking list of safest countries in the world released on 23 January.

Armenians are openhearted, friendly and welcoming people, ready to help you in any type of situation.

Tips

Tipping in Armenia is not an obligatory thing. In case you feel satisfied with the services received you can tip drivers, porters, tour guides, etc. Nearly all the restaurants include tip in the final bill, however it is widely accepted among Armenians to leave additional tip to the waiters 🙂

How to dress

There are no specifically strict rules in Armenia about how to dress. You are free to wear anything upon your taste.

Advice

  • so that to enter some of the monasteries in Armenia women need a kerchief/scarf on their head, as well as clothing reaching knees.

Weather and best time to visit Armenia

Although Armenia is a country of 7 climate zones, its climate is mostly considered as dry tropical. Clear sunny days are mostly dominant in a year. To be clear – more than 300 sunny days. The summers are hot here, the temperature fluctuates between +22C to +36C. The winters are mainly cold, the average temperature is between -15C to -1C. The mountain peaks are covered with eternal snow, while their slopes are lined by alpine meadows. The best time to visit Armenia is spring or autumn when it is not too cold, the snow has melted, and the fields are ripe with fruits and flowers.

Daily weather forecasts can be found at the following web-page: http://weather.am.

Advice

  • Use sunscreen and wear sunglasses and a cap during the hot period. Make sure you stay hydrated.
  • It’s rather cold in provinces comparing with Yerevan. If you plan to visit mountainous parts of the country or just want to go to the suburbs, better take into account the significant difference between day and night temperatures.

Documents needed

You need an international travel passport for Azerbaijan, which is still valid for at least 6 months after your last day of travel. The standard e-visa is issued within 3 working days and the urgent e-visa is issued within 3 hours regardless of holidays and non-working days. An e-visa to the Republic of Azerbaijan is valid for the period of 90 days with 30 days permission to stay in the country. An e-visa has a single-entry status. Check your visa requirements for Azerbaijan on this website: https://evisa.gov.az/

Registration

Tourists have to register after 15 days of stay and less than 15 days stay no registration needed. If you are staying in a hotel the staff will automatically take care of it. You will receive a stamped proof of registration mentioning the dates of your stay from our local partners.

Flights

We offer journeys with or without flight.

If you book a journey without flight:

  • Book your external flight tickets as soon as you booked your tour with Silk Voyage.
  • Send us your e-ticket as soon as possible, so we can finalize the tour you booked with us.

Tip: Four main airlines have flights to Baku:

If you book a journey with flight:

You can book airline tickets with us. We can offer you competitive flight tickets, thanks to negotiations with our partners.

  • Let us know via the Flight information form if you want to buy flight tickets with us. Please Contact us in case you need assistance from our client support team.
  • When the final (second payment 60%) payment of the tour is made, you will receive detailed documentation of your tour, including the flight tickets within 7-10 working days prior to the date of departure.
  • Depending on our air broker’s offer, you may also benefit from a flight cancellation insurance and a travel insurance. The insurance details will be explained in the information coming with your ticket. We will send it to you by e-mail.

Accomodation

You will mainly stay in smaller hotels, which are very cosy and where you will be received in a very hospitable way. Like this, you will be able to make contact with the local population more quickly and get to know the country better. From time to time, you will also stay in 3 to 4-star hotels depending on tour package “included”. You might also spend 1 or 2 nights in a homestay, under a starry sky or in another unique sleeping place, if you are up for something different. Afterwards, a comfortable bed will be awaiting you again. For accommodation details, please always check your tour “included” and “not included” sections.

Double rooms with in-room sanitary facilities are included in the price. If you travel alone, you share a twin room with someone else.

You can ask for a single room at an additional cost. We try to meet your request, but the number of single rooms is limited per tour. After your booking, we will check the availability. If we cannot offer you a single room, you have the right to cancel your booking.

10 days before your departure, you will receive an overview of the hotels you will stay at.

Health

Health care system in Azerbaijan. Ministry of Health is responsible for the healthcare system.

Medical facilities

You will often travel to remote areas, sometimes within hours distance of medical facilities such as a doctor, pharmacist and/or hospital. Always bring a basic first aid kit and your personal medication for the entire travel period. Besides, a pharmacy will always be available in our vehicles. Always inform your travel guide about any medical conditions. In case of serious medical problems, local doctors will be called in. We strongly recommend our travellers to take a travel insurance with repatriation policy.

During your whole trip, we will do our best to follow the customs regarding body acclimatization in altitude in order to avoid altitude sickness. We will also adapt to your physical condition and rhythm. Despite all these measures, altitude sickness can happen. Travelers could feel headaches, insomnia, loss of appetite, general tiredness, or even nausea.

We kindly ask you to communicate us any medical contraindication or food allergy, so that we will adapt to it.

Consult your family doctor or the Institute of Tropical Medicine for the latest information:

Language

The primary and official language of Azerbaijan is Azerbaijani, Azeri, a Turkic language closely related to and partially mutually intelligible with Modern Turkish. Together with Turkish, Turkmen and Gagauz, Azerbaijani is a member of Oghuz branch of southwestern group Turkic language family.

Basic English is understood at most tourist attractions. You may have to rely on hand gestures (or Google Translate) in other parts of the country. The language barrier never causes problems as you will be travelling with experienced guides fluent in both yours and the local languages.

Luggage

The luggage list below gives you a general idea of what to bring.

Advice

  • Day backpack
  • Travel backpack/Duffelbag
  • Sunglasses
  • 50+ sun cream
  • Hat / Beanie
  • Scarf
  • Hiking water bottle
  • Hiking shoes
  • Towel
  • Camera & powerbank
  • Summer clothing
  • Clothes for cooler evenings
  • Light fleece
  • Raincoat or waterproof summer mountain jacket
  • Bathing suit, flip-flops
  • Your good mood

Currency exchange

The Azerbaijan Manat is the currency of Azerbaijan. The currency code for Manats is AZN.

Foreign currency can be exchanged at exchange points and banks Foreign banknotes should be new, without any scratch, hole or markings. Travel checks are not popular.

Central Bank:

Central Bank of the Republic of Azerbaijan

Website: http://www.cbar.az/

Advice

  • Never exchange money at the bazar
  • Always carry some cash with you. You can find ATMs in the main cities of the country.

WiFi

The WiFi connection hotels is rather good. Baktelekom has provided free WiFi zones in parks, squares, the Boulevard, Old City, malls.

Food

Azerbaijani cuisine is one of the most interesting cuisines in the Caucasus and deservedly enjoys wide recognition

Main dishes may include a selection of the following:

  • Dolma

The traditional recipe calls for minced lamb or beef mixed with rice and flavoured with mint, fennel, and cinnamon, and wrapped in vine leaves (yarpaq dolması) or cabbage leaves (kələm dolması). There are also sour sweet cabbage dolma (turş şirin kələm dolması) and eggplant dolma (qarabadımcan dolması).

  • Badımcan Dolması.

Tomato, sweet pepper, and aubergine stuffed with minced lamb or beef mixed with chickpeas.

  • Dushbara

Small dumplings stuffed with minced lamb and herbs, served in broth.

  • Lavangi

stuffed chicken or fish with onions, walnuts, raisins, albukhara and alcha seasoning. A speciality of the Talysh region in southern Azerbaijan, but very difficult to find common in restaurants.

  • Lyulya kabab

A mixture of mutton, herbs, and spices squeezed around a skewer and barbecued, often served with lavash (thin sheets of unleavened bread).

  • Qutab

A sort of pancake turnover stuffed with minced lamb, cheese, or spinach.

  • Dovga

A yogurt based soup (matsoni) with sorrel, spinach, rice, dried peas, and small meatballs made from ground mutton; served hot or cold depending on the season.

Plov is one of the most widespread dishes in Azerbaijan, with more than 40 different recipes.

Safety

Azerbaijan is relatively safe to visit.

Azerbaijan people are very heart-warming, extremely friendly and welcoming, and often go out of their way to make sure you have the best experience in their country.

Advice

As in any country:

  • Do not leave your belongings unattended in crowded places.
  • Carry your documents with you in your pocket. Don’t leave them in your backpack or bag. They might get stolen or lost.
  • Watch out for pickpockets at big crowded bazaars.

Tips

It is not obligatory to tip, but everyone will be happy to receive a small sum. If you are satisfied with the service offered, you can leave tips to drivers, porters, guides. Cafés and restaurants usually include service in the bill.

How to dress

There are no strict rules as to the clothes to be worn in Azerbaijan, particularly in the cities. However, the clothes should not be too provocative: women should refrain from wearing tight fitting dresses, short skirts and low necks.

Weather and best time to visit Azerbaijan

The best time to visit Azerbaijan is April to June and September to October. The territory of Azerbaijan features 9 climatic zones of the world’s total of 11 zones – from the subtropics to the Alpine meadows.

Annual average temperature ranges between -10°C in the mountain areas and +3°C in the lowlands, with an average temperature of July ranging from +5°C to +27°C in respective areas. In summer the air temperature may reach +45°C, while the mountain regions can suffer a temperature of – 40°C on winter nights.

The region features strong north winds, particularly in autumn.

Documents needed

You need an international travel passport to visit Georgia, which shall be still valid for at least 6 months after your last day of travel. Citizens of the European Union do not require a visa for a stay of maximum 90 days.

Registration

Tourists register at the passport control desk in the International Airport of (Tbilisi, Batumi, Kutaisi).

Flights

We offer flights journeys with or without flight.

If you book a journey without flight:

  • Book your external tickets as soon as you booked your tour with Silk Voyage.
  • Send your E-ticket as soon as possible, so that we can finalize and organize the tour you booked with us.

Note: There is only one Airline operating the direct flight to Tbilisi:

  • Georgian Airlines

Transit flights:

  • Lufthansa
  • Airbaltic
  • Turkish airlines
  • Ukraine International Airlines

If you book a journey with flight:

You can book airline tickets with us , as we can offer you competitive rates, thanks to negotiations with our partners.

Let’s us know via the Flight information from, if you want to buy flight tickets with us. Please contact us in case you need assistance from our client support team.

When the second final payment (60 %) of the tour is made, you will receive detailed documentation of your tour, including the flight tickets within 7-10 working days prior to the date of the departure.

Depending on our air broker’s offer, you may also benefit from a flight cancellation insurance and a travel insurance. The insurance details will be explained in the information coming with your ticket. We will send all the needful information by email.

Accomodation

We mainly offer stay in smaller hotels, which are special in their cozy and extremely hospitable way. This helps you to make a better contact with the local population more quickly and get to know the country and its local culture much better. From time to time you will also stay in higher category of the hotels, such as 3 and 4 star hotels depending on the budget of the tour package. You might also spend 1 or 2 nights under the starry sky or in another unique sleeping place, of course afterwards a comfortable bed will be at your service. For accommodation details please always check your tour  “included” and “not included”.

The pricing  for mentioned tours are given per pax in double room.

In case you are travelling alone and you need the single room, the amount of single room as single supplement will be added to the price (per person in double room).

10 days prior to the departure date, you will receive the overview of the hotels you are staying in.

Health

It’s strictly prohibited to import any kind of narcotic or psychotropic medicines. In case of any kind of chronic diseases or the need of taking that or this medicine needful for the treatment please advise in advance before the confirmation of the tour.

Medical facilities

Being on the territory of Georgia you will travel a lot in different regions, sometimes hours distance of medical facilities such as doctor, pharmacist and hospital. Always bring a basic first aid kit and your personal medication for the entire period of travel. Always inform your guide about the medical conditions.  In case of any serious medical problems local doctors will be called in. Please note, there are no compulsory vaccinations for Georgia. But it’s necessary to take into consideration, that Georgian national food isn’t that easy to digest, so please keep in mind to bring the digestive pills with you.

Please, consult your family doctor or the institute of Tropical medicine for the latest information.

0902/88088 (24 hours a day)

Language

The country’s official language is Georgian and 95 % of the population is speaking Georgian. Unique Georgian alphabet and script is used only on the territory of Georgia. In the capital of Georgia and some other most visited, touristic parts of the country a lot of people talk in English and Russian. Of course, we will not face the same situation in the other more mountainous parts and regions of the country. In this case you always have the possibility to use the google translate and some other practiced skills to break the barrier of miscommunication.

Luggage

The luggage list below gives you the general idea of what to bring with you in the journey

Advice

Clothing:

  • T-shirts,
  • A sweater or fleece for the evening ,
  • A thin raincoat,
  • Swimwear,
  • Headgear,
  • Sturdy walking shoes,
  • Regular shoes and sandals,
  • Water bottle,
  • Sun cream, sunglasses, mosquito repellent,
  • An under-clothing money pouch or belt is always a good idea

Currency exchange

The official national currency of Georgia is Lari (Gel), consisted from 100 tetri. Foreign currency can be exchanged in bank , in the airport itself and also in the spots of currency exchange . Payment can be done by any type of credit card (visa, mastercard).

WiFi

Wi-Fi connection is free in all hotels, guesthouses and cafés. If the Wi-Fi connection in the café is protected by a code, employees will provide this code to their guests. A free Wi-Fi connection – Tbilisi loves you or Tbilisi guest can be connected in the metro.

Food

Georgian cuisine is the mix of delicious food and tastes, mainly flavorful meat and vegetables. Please check the must eat list:

  • Mushrooms – mushrooms fried on Georgian Ketsi with onions, herbs and Georgian flavours.
  • Chakhokhbili – Сhicken with flavor, herbs and onions made in Georgian traditional way.
  • Eggplant – Eggplant with Georgian nuts
  • Cheese Sulguni – Salty, soft Georgian cheese
  • Shoti bread – Georgian traditional bread
  • Churchkhela – Georgian sweet with juice of grape and nuts inside

If you are vegan or vegetarian you can easily choose some dishes with no meat.

Note:

Wash fruits and vegetables before eating them.

For vegans: while ordering salad, please define that you need one without meat.

Safety

Georgia is one of the safest countries to visit.

The crime rate is so low, that you can feel yourself absolutely free to have a walk in the evening.

Georgian people are very heart-warming, extremely friendly and welcoming and often go out of their way to make sure you have the best experience and memories in their country.

Advice:

As in any other country:

  • Do not leave your belongings unattended in the crowded places
  • Carry your documents with your documents with you in your pocket. Don’t leave them in your backpack or bag. They might get stolen or lost.
  • Watch out for pickpockets at big crowded bazaars

Tips: It is not obligatory to tip, but everyone will be happy to receive a small sum. If you are satisfied with the service offered you can leave tips to drivers, porters, guides and hotel staff. Most restaurants include a tip in the bill.

How to dress

Georgia is actually quite liberal. Georgian people consider their homeland to be secular and modern, and there are no strict rules here about how to dress.
You may get certain looks from the older generation if you’re seen in short dresses and tank tops, but just like in many other secular countries, that is only because of cultural and generational differences rather than religious ones. Georgian fashion style is mostly close to the European.

Advice

Do what’s most comfortable for you.

Definitely still bring some clothes that cover your knees and shoulders while visiting churches, even though most of them have scarfs for you to use .

Bring comfortable clothes and shoes. In summertime it is worth taking clothes made of natural breathable fabrics.

Weather and best time to visit Georgia

The best time to visit Georgia is during spring or autumn: end of April to mid-May or end of September to mid-October tend to offer the most pleasant temperatures (around +14°C to +26°C). It doesn’t rain much during those periods either. During these times you can enjoy the heat without it being uncomfortably hot like it is in the summer when temperatures can go up to +40°C. In the winter, temperatures can go as low as -0-20 °C.

  • Cold period: November, December, January, February.
  • Warm period: March, April, May, October.
  • Warm+hot: September.
  • Hot period: June, July,August

Advice

Use sunscreen and wear sunglasses and a cap during the hot period. Make sure you stay hydrated.

In the mountains, it is usually much cooler than in cities. If you are going to visit the mountains or the desert, you should take into account the significant difference between day and night temperatures.

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