Situated on 41 00 N, 64 00 E, Uzbekistan is in central Asia between the Amu Darya and Syr Darya Rivers, the Aral Sea, and the slopes of the Tien Shan Mountains. It is bounded by Kazakhstan in the north and northwest, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan in the east and southeast, Turkmenistan in the southwest, and Afghanistan in the south. If there was a Hall of Fame for Central Asian cities, Uzbekistan would own the top-three entries: Samarkand, Bukhara, Khiva. The names practically epitomize the region. They sometimes overshadow country’s other attractions, which include dazzling bazaars, ancient fortresses like the one at Nurata and an impressive array of largely unsung natural attractions. Uzbekistan has been home for many ancient civilizations, such as the Bactrian and the Khorezm, Sogdiana and the Parthian. The Great Silk Road stretched across this land, running from China to the Mediterranean. Thousand of years ago, fabulous cities with beautiful palaces, grand mosques, high minarets and madrasahs were built on this land. The territory of modern-day Uzbekistan and its close neighbors have witnessed many empires rise and fall. The Sogdians, the Macedonians, the Huns, the Mongolians, the Seljuks, the Timurids and the Khanates of Bukhara, Khiva and Khorezm all held sway here at one time or another.
The climate of Uzbekistan is extremely continental with a great number of sunny days. The average monthly temperature in January ranges from -40°C to +30°C. Summer is hot and dry. The average monthly temperature in July varies from +35C to +45C. Autumn is relatively warm and is the season when delicious fruits and vegetables are in abundance in the numerous bazaars (markets). The average annual temperature is 13 0C.
Large areas of Uzbekistan are desert. Summer is long, hot and dry; spring is mild and rainy; autumn has light frosts and rains; and winter, although short, is unstable with snow and temperatures below freezing. From June to August average afternoon temperatures hit 32°C or higher. The average annual maximum temperature is 40°C in June. Most rain falls in March and April. The summer furnace of 35°C days lasts 40 days from mid-July to the end of August. The worst of winter lasts 40 days from Christmas to the first week of February. For our purposes, the high season is spring (mid-March to the end of May) and autumn September to the beginning of November). Summer is from June to August, and winter is from December to February.