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Southern Uzbekistan is the southern, Tajik-dominated, mountainous portion of Uzbekistan to the south of Samarkand. Parts of it are in the region historically known as Bactria.


  • Kashkadarya — The northern region on the western slopes of the Pamir-Alay mountains.
  • Surkhandarya — The southern region. It embraces the valleys of the Sherabad and Surkhan rivers which flow into the Amu-darya from the north

The Hissar (Gissar) Mountain Range ​marks an ancient frontier between ​the two regions: Kashkadarya was part of Sogdiana while Surkhandarya was part of Bactria.


Map of Southern Uzbekistan
  • 1 Boysun — In 2001 the city of Boysun was proclaimed as an intangible cultural heritage by UNESCO along with its surrounding countryside.
  • 2 Denov — rural town with a circular fortress and a Kushan archaeological site dated to the mid-1st century BC.
  • 3 Derbent — Archaeological excavations in the area have revealed the existence of defensive system consisted of fortresses and massive walls.
  • 4 Qarshi — meaning "Palace" in Uzbek, the city is famous for its production of woven carpets.
  • 5 Sairob — picturesque village in a narrow valley
  • 6 Shakhrisabz —Timur birthplace and a UNESCO World Heritage site
  • 7 Termez — The southernmost city of Uzbekistan and an important border crossing between Uzbekistan and Afghanistan

Other destinations[edit]

  • 1 Airtam — ruins of an important caravan resting place on the Great Silk Road.
  • 2 Dalverzin Tepe — ruins of an ancient city of the Kushan Empire developed around an earlier Hellenistic fortress.
  • 3 Gora Karakamar — cave complex carved into the Sherabad ridge on the border with Turkmenistan.
  • 4 Iron Gates (Timur Darvaza) — in ancient times this narrow valley across the Hissar Mountain Range was used as a strategic passage between Bactria and Sogdia and was of great importance to any power in the region.
  • 5 Kampyrtepa — ruins of an ancient city on the steep bank of the Amu Darya.
  • 6 Kurganzol Fortress — ruins of a round fortress dated to the time of Alexander the Great.


Winters are the mildest in southern Uzbekistan, spring and autumn are bearable and summer are unbearable. In May-Augustus temperatures can reach an extreme 50 °C (122 °F)

Get in[edit]

By plane[edit]

By bus[edit]

Buses from Mazar-e Sharif, Dushanbe, Kerki are infrequent and rarely carry foreigners

By train[edit]

Termez is linked to Dushanbe and Mary by rail lines.

Get around[edit]





Stay safe[edit]

Women travelling seem to face more harassment in southern Uzbekistan than in other parts of the country, whether due to cultural differences or the fact that the region sees fewer tourists. Dress conservatively and be careful.

Go next[edit]

This region travel guide to Southern Uzbekistan is an outline and may need more content. It has a template, but there is not enough information present. If there are Cities and Other destinations listed, they may not all be at usable status or there may not be a valid regional structure and a "Get in" section describing all of the typical ways to get here. Please plunge forward and help it grow!