Welcome to Khiva, the quiet overachiever of Uzbekistan’s Silk Road gems. A quick hop, skip and a jump from Uzbekistan’s larger tourist cities -- Samarkand and Bukhara -- Khiva certainly does not disappoint. Easily accessible from the transport hub of Urgench, it would be a real mistake to skip Khiva’s magic. Days can easily turn into a week exploring the labyrinthine alleyways of Khiva’s historic heart. Khiva’s hostels are growing, emerging out of a long tradition of historic B&Bs. Regardless of your choice in accommodation, your Khiva hostel experience will undoubtedly be one of hospitality and homeliness.
Khiva’s primary cultural wealth is situated within the old city, or the Ichon-Qala. Your Khiva hostel will most likely be located within the old city walls, or right outside them. Either way, you will spend most of your days simply walking between the north to south, east to west gates, via the various main arteries of the old town. As Khiva’s sights are spread out throughout the Ichon-Qala, your Khiva hostel will likely provide you the requisite information on walking routes, rooftop cafes (with the best views) or hidden medrassas. History lovers will delight in the historical relics and sheer grandeur of the Kuhna Ark, close walking distance to most inner city Khiva hostels.
Similarly, all appreciators of art will take pleasure in the azure mosaic marvels of Khiva’s countless madrases, the omnipresent graceful Islamic calligraphy, and the spectacular Kalta Minor Minaret. For most, this minaret will serve as the point of orientation after leaving your Khiva hostel for the day. No matter which Khiva hostel you choose, the sunset viewpoint from atop the Kalta Minor Minaret should not be missed! Another key highlight of Khiva will be an exploration of the city’s back streets. Under the hot Central Asian sun, Khiva’s mysteries will slowly begin to unravel. Make sure to ask your Khiva hostels for some tips, but without doubt the joy of finding a rundown medrassa, resplendent with the glories of yesteryear, cannot be explained until experienced.
Most Khiva hostels will offer some form of breakfast option, enabling you to experience the legendary Uzbek hospitality. Dorms in Khiva are normally available on short notice, but beware that Khiva hostels can get very full during the summer months! The Khan is long gone, the slave trade is all but a historic relic. So what’s left? Only some of the most glorious historical monuments, minaret, and mosaic works in the world; the mystery and grace of Khiva awaits!
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