Just as Uzbekistan is the heart of Central Asia, the Ferghana Valley is the heart of Uzbekistan. Over nine million people, about a third of the population, live in this fertile flood plain of the Syr Darya.
In summer, the Ferghana Valley.s resemblance to a dusty cauldron helps many people renew latent nomadism and head for the hills.
This green valley is the most picturesque oasis in Central Asia, and provides the opportunity to combine mountain trips with visits to old cities and archaeological sites. In the geographical center of the valley is Fergana, the administrative center of the region. Just a small village only two hundred years ago, it developed into a political center in the time of Russian expansion in Central Asia and played a significant role in the "Great Game", a rivalry between the Russian and British Empires for domination of Asia.