Tajikistan & Kyrgyzstan Cycling tour Along The Pamir Highway

Tajikistan & Kyrgyzstan Cycling tour Along The Pamir Highway

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914
19-Days
Availability : From June September 2018
Dushanbe Tajikistan
Kyrgyzstan Osh, Bishkek
Min Age : Ex. "16+"

Tajikistan & Kyrgyzstan Cycling tour Along The Pamir Highway

Tajikistan cycling tour Along The Pamir Highway trip is an epic, high altitude cycle ride through spectacular remote mountains in two of the least visited countries in the world. At the cutting edge of adventure cycling, this journey offers a fascinating insight into ex-Soviet Central Asia.

Our cycle tour starts in Dushanbe, Tajikistan’s sleepy capital; We set off east towards the Pamirs and take Kulob rout to Zigar, driving through beautiful scenery and interesting village’s en route. This area is a little more conservative, and we see many men with beards, and women wearing traditional dress. A precipitous cycling descent takes us into the deep cleft of the Pyanj valley where the massive Pyanj river marks the border with Afghanistan. Cycling through small villages, we follow the river upstream to Khorog, capital of the Pamirs.

From Khorog, we set out riding along the Pamir Highway, climbing the picturesque Gunt valley to the summit of the Koi Tezek Pass (4,200m). We descend onto the wide open Pamir plateau, a Tibet-like region of snow-capped peaks and eerie turquoise lakes. Threading our way through the mountains we reach the small town of Murgab, not far from the Chinese border.

Our route continues north to climb the 4,655m Ak Baital Pass, the highest point of the cycle tour. On the far side of the pass, biking through a remote valley we reach the the hauntingly beautiful lake at Kara Kul. From here, we ascend the Kyzl Art Pass and enter Kyrgyzstan. A very rough descent from the pass takes us out into the wide grassy Alay valley, studded with the Kyrgyz nomads traditional yurts. There are spectacular views of the 7,000m summits Pik Lenin and Pik Kommunizma.

We transfer by vehicle to Osh, Kygygzstan’s second city and take a flight to Kyrgyzstan capital Bishkek where the Pamir Highway mountain bike tour ends.


Tour Itinerary:

Day 1 – Dushanbe

Arrive in Dushanbe, the capital of Tajikistan, meeting at the airport and transfer to hotel.

Today after some relax at the hotel, we will prepare our bikes and visit bazars for shopping foods and all arrangements for the Pamir cycling tour. 

Dushanbe is a relatively modern town that rose to prominence during the Soviet era, when it was made the capital of the Tajik Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic and named Stalinabad. Its name means ‘Monday in the Tajik language, arising from the fact that this was the day that the market was held when Dushanbe was still a small and fairly insignificant village. The ousted Emir of Bukhara, fleeing from the Bolsheviks, stayed in Dushanbe and cooperated with Enver Pasha’s Basmachis until he had to leave the region. From Dushanbe, he fled to Afghanistan in 1921, the year the town was freed from the Basmachis as well. 

Cycling distance: 0km        Accommodation: Hotel Vatan       Meals: (B-L-D)

Day 2 – Dushanbe Zigar transfer by bus.

We set off east towards the Pamirs and take Kulob rout to Zigar, driving through beautiful scenery and interesting village’s en route. This area is a little more conservative, and we see many men with beards, and women wearing traditional dress. More arrestingly, along the road we also see relics of Tajikistan’s bitter civil war of 1992-96, as tanks and armored vehicles lie decaying wherever they were left.  

Cycling distance: 0km      Accommodation: Tent camp      Meals: (B-L-D)

Day 3: Zigar to Kalaikum

The cycling begins on the Obgard road fork just beyond Zigar village and is mostly gently uphill, for about 70km to the Kalaikumb town. This route passing along the Panj River traverses some of the most magnificent scenery in the Pamirs. The fortress that gave its name to Kala – i-Khum located on the left bank of the Khumbob river just above the confluence with the Panj, no longer stands.  

Cycling distance: 70km      Accommodation: Tent camp      Meals: (B-L-D)

Day 4: Kalaikum towards Vanch district (Pyanj Valley) 

From Kalaikum we head along the deep Pyanj gorge towards Vanch valley. Afghanistan is just a short distance away across the river. The road rises and falls as it finds its way along this steep rocky valley and we pass thorough small villages and apricot orchards. Overnight near by Baravni Tag small village, Vanch district. The Vanch valley is much broader and more fertile than the other valleys feeding the Panj, and – if less dramatic – offers pleasant scenario , especially at the top.  

Cycling distance: 80km      Accommodation: Tent camp      Meals: (B-L-D)

Day 5: Vanch and Rushan valleys

We continue our journey along the Pyanj valley passing through Vanch checkpoint and the Marble minefield. The gorge of Pyanj is narrower and steeper between Vanch and the Rushan valleys and passes within view of a number of Afghan villages and of the precipitous paths clinging to the cliff face on the Afghan side. From Vanch district we head along the deep Pyanj valley towards Rushan district, Besyad village (close to Dehrushan). Rushan, the district center (also known as Vomar), lies just below of the confluence of the Bartang with the Panj. 

Cycling distance: 80km      Accommodation: Tent camp      Meals: (B-L-D)

Day 6: To Khorog Cycling distance: 80km

Cycling through more superb scenery, alongside the river Panj which forms the border with Afghanistan. We stay in relative luxury tonight, having reached the capital of the Gorno-Badakshan Autonomous Oblast (GBAO).  Khorog The capital of Gorno-Badakshan Autonomous Oblast, Khorog is a small town that at various times has been under the control of the Russia, the Emirate of Bukhara and Afghanistan. The Russians built a fort here in the Soviet era, with Khorog being in a highly strategic location on the border with Afghanistan, but today it languishes and is one of the least developed parts of the country, with the Aga Khan Foundation contributing to the bulk of the local economy. It holds the distinction of being home the second highest botanical garden in the world, at 3900m.

Cycling distance: 80km      Accommodation: Hotel Lal      Meals: (B-L-D)

Day 7: Khorog (Rest Day)

We have a rest day, opportunity to relax in the cafes, and little time to explore Khorog including the bazaar and the lovely Botanical Gardens which are perched high above the town, affording some great panoramic views. Overnight in home stay. 

Cycling distance: 0km      Accommodation: Hotel Lal      Meals: (B-L-D)

Day 8: Khorog to Wer 

We set out on the Pamir Highway. A steady, but not too strenuous climb up the pretty Gunt valley. From the east of Khorog , the Pamir Highway follows the Gunt valley upstream as far as Sardem , where it follows to the Koi Tezek Pass and crosses the high Pamir plateau to Murghab and Osh. The Gunt carries little glacial residue and is almost always a pure turquoise colour. 

Cycling distance: 62km      Accommodation: Tent camp      Meals: (B-L-D)

Day 9: Wer to Jelandy

We continue up the Gunt valley to the sanatorium at the tiny settlement of Jelandy. Here there’s the chance to bathe in the geo-thermal pools and enjoy unlimited hot showers. 

Cycling distance: 62km      Accommodation: Tent camp      Meals: (B-L-D)

Day 10: Jelandy to Tuz kul meer

Continuing our climb up through the valley, the landscape becomes ever wilder and more desolate. A long climb on gravel tracks takes us over the Koi Tezek pass (4,200m) and from the pass we descend onto the empty Pamir plateau, a Tibet-like region of snow-capped peaks and eerie turquoise lakes.

Cycling distance: 65km      Accommodation: Tent camp      Meals: (B-L-D)

Day 11: Tuz kul meer Mamazair

We cycle on across the Pamir plateau passing eerie turquoise lakes and ride through the tiny settlement of Alichur. Mostly on flat terrain, our journey continues through a wide-open landscape of dry rocky mountains. Twenty kilometers further from Alichur there is a huge rock in the middle of the Alichur plain – known as “Chatyr Tash” (‘Tent rock’) on top of which there are graves. 

Cycling distance: 65km      Accommodation: Tent camp      Meals: (B-L-D)

Day 12: Mamazair to Murgab

Threading our way through the mountains we reach the small town of Murgab, not far from the Chinese border. Here we are able to stay in friendly home stay and stock up on supplies in the small bazaar. Murghab (3670 m) itself has few attractions, but it will serve as our base for the night as we explore the area a little. The 7546 m – high Chinese peak of Mustag Ata is visible to the northeast of town. The Eastern Pamirs have been populated by nomadic ethnic Kyrgyz since the 17th century. The traditional architecture is beautifully represented buy yurts, mobile habitations made of felt on an ingenious wooden frame, with the interior decoration bearing witness to the wealth and skills of the owners. Felt and wool serve as the basis for handicrafts. Precise stones, including rubies and emeralds, are also found in the area, and these are sometimes used in local handicrafts. 

Cycling distance: 68km      Accommodation: Hotel Pomir      Meals: (B-L-D)

Day 13: Murgab to the Ak Baital

Heading to the foot of Ak Baital pass from Murgab, we set out across a flat desert of dry mountains. At times the border zone between Tajikistan and China is only a few hundred meters away.

Cycling distance: 65km      Accommodation: Tent camp      Meals: (B-L-D)

Day 14: Ak-Baital Pass to Kara Kul

We start the day climbing to the summit of the 4,655m of the Ak Baital Pass, which is the highest section of road in the former Soviet Union. We descend to Karakul Lake, the highest lake in Central Asia, and at 3915 meters, too high to support any aquatic life. Although it’s a steep climb in the thin air, it is not desperately long as we are starting from around 4,000m. A very rough descent from the pass brings us out into the remote valley leading to the lake side settlement at Kara Kul. Formed by a meteorite some 10 million years ago the lake at Kara Kul is hauntingly beautiful place and one of the highlights of the trip. 

Cycling distance: 65km      Accommodation: Tent camp      Meals: (B-L-D)

Day 15: Kara Kul to the Kyzyl Art Pass to Sary Tash, via the Alay Valley

We continue round the lake before summiting high pass is the Kyzyl Art Pass (4282 metres), which essentially forms the border between Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan. Border formalities take place shortly after crossing the pass, wi th 20kms of ‘no man’s land’ to cross. A very rough descent takes us into the wide Alay valley, with spectacular views of the 7,000m summits of Koh-I-Samani and Koh-I-Garmo. Heading down the wide grassy Alay valley, studded with the traditional yurts of Kyrgyz nomads after crossing the check post on the Kyrgyz side at Bor dobo.. Across the valley are spectacular views of the 7,000m summits of Pik Lenin. The Alay valley is a favorite spot for Krygyz nomads and the grasslands are studded with their traditional yurts. We camp after passing the village of Sary Tash.

Cycling distance: 60km      Accommodation: Tent camp      Meals: (B-L-D)

Day 16: Sary Tash to Gulcho, via Taldyk Pass

From Sary Tash we have a strenuous climb up the double-headed Taldyk Pass (3,600m), before a spectacularly dusty descent leads us into the pretty Gulcho village. 

Cycling distance: 60km      Accommodation: Tent camp      Meals: (B-L-D)

Day 17: Gulcho via Chyiyrchyk to Osh

We continue at a relaxed pace to the foot of pretty Chyrchyk pass. We climb the Chyrchyk pass (2,600m), the final pass of the trip and are rewarded with a 60km racing descent into Osh.

Cycling distance: 60km      Accommodation: Hotel Sun Rise      Meals: (B-L-D)

Day 18 Transfer to the airport departure to Bishkek

Meeting at the airport Manas transfer to Hotel.  

Cycling distance: 60km      Accommodation: Hotel Rich      Meals: (B-L-D)

Day 19 Transfer to the airport departure to homeland

END OF SERVICE.


Included to tour price:

  1. Arrival and departure transfers in Dushanbe, Osh and Bishkek
  2. Accommodations: 3 Stars Hotels in city, tents for camping
  3. Full board meals as listed: 18 Breakfasts, 18 Lunches, 18 Dinners.
  4. Entrance fees for sites listed as part of the itinerary
  5. Support transportation by 4WD coach till 6 people in the group (Land Cruiser with roof rack for bicycles)
  6. Support transportation by BUS more than 7 pax in the group. (Mercedes Benz)
  7. Transportations with drivers, parking fees, all necessary permissions fuel and taxes, per the whole route
  8. English speaking guide service for whole tour
  9. Cook during the cycling tour ( 2 Cook will be included more than 7 pax in the group)
  10. Cooking equipments, including gas, dishes and all necessary equipments
  11. All equipments for camping, Tents and mattress
  12. Clean water for whole tour.

Excluded to tour price:

  1. Bicycles and spare parts
  2. Transportation of bicycles from Osh to Bishkek 210 USD for all bicycles
  3. Supplement for single rooms per person  USD 173
  4. Domestic flight tickets from Osh to Bishkek per person 43 USD
  5. International flights
  6. Any airport taxes
  7. Travel Insurance                  
  8. Alcohol drinks
  9. Tips and gratuities
  10. Any personal expenses
  11. Any services not included in the above itinerary

_ PS

  • Important – early arrival is not included.
  • Some sightseeing places and excavations might be closed / not possible to visit due to local changes, reconstruction, roads condition, and security reasons. We do not guarantee all advised places will be covered, but we will try to do our best to cover them.
  • Pricing is confidential & non commissionable