Pamir Highway Group Tour 2018

  • TOUR DOSSIER:

    This 9 Days Tajikstan and Kyrgystan trip is one of the serious road trip, travelling along the famous Parmir Highway, the second highest highway in the world running between Osh in Kyrgyzstan to Khorog in Tajikistan and winding its way through the Parmir Mountains, their 7,000m peaks earning this artery the title ‘roof of the world’. As we travel through remote communities scattered along the Highway and beyond, we stay in welcoming homestays, immerse ourselves in a cacophony of cultures, with each village speaking in a unique dialect.

    This journey through some of the most exquisite elevated landscapes in the world is more about following in the tracks of ancient traders and explorers than those of modern day tourists, with isolated communities that still see very few foreign visitors, and traditions that haven’t changed for generations.

    The trip starts in Tajikstan’s capital city, Dushanbe, a more modern hub, but we very quickly enter a world of mountain passes and impressive peaks. As we continue through the historic and cultural landscapes of the Silk Road, a route that was both traded on and fought over for centuries, there are many fascinating sites to visit such as ancient forts, a ruby mine and an ancient Buddhist stupa.

    Our trips are designed to offer a mix of active adventure, culture, wildlife, and sightseeing and there is also time to relax and explore for yourself – the balance is just right. Tour ends in Osh, Kyrgyzstan.

    1. BOOKINGS AND PAYMENT CONDITIONS

    By booking with us and paying the nonrefundable deposit 50% of payment per customer for all trips, or full payment, acknowledge that you have confirmed and agree with to be bound by these booking conditions. Acceptance of your booking will be confirmed in writing to you a confirmation letter or email.

    2. Payment conditions: -         

    Payment of 50% upon group confirmation; -         

    Payment of 50% 30 days before group arrival; 

    1. CANCELLATION BY YOU

    If you wish to cancel all or any part of your booking, notification of cancellation must be made to pCa in writing. The date of the cancellation is the date on which written notification is received by pCa. Days before departure Charge applicable as follows, per person:

    Cancellation Charges:

    - Cancellation prior 60 days of arrival – no charges;

    - Cancellation prior 30 days of arrival – 50% charge;

    - Cancellation prior 15 days of arrival – 100% charge;  

  • Inclusions: 
    • Arrival transfer
    • Meals as listed: 9 Breakfasts, 9 Lunches, 9 Dinners.
    • Entrance fees for sites listed as part of the itinerary
    • All transfers according the program (price includes driver's per diem, road and parking fees, all necessary permissions fuel and taxes;) Experienced and basic English speaking drivers, type of car: (A/C Toyota Land Cruiser or Nissan Patrol)
    • English speaking local guide will include more than 7 customers
    • Mineral water (1L per day per person)
    • Ticket for Tajik National park and permition
    • LOI (Letter of invitation) for free of charge after confirming the tour with Pamir Central Asia
    
    Excluded:
    • International flights Supplement for single room USD 104
    • Eraly chechking for first night  58 USD per pax
    • Any airport taxes Travel Insurance GBAO permit                            
    • Drinks Tips and gratuities
    • Any personal expenses
    • 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
  • Departure
    End
    Status
    Price
    22.05.2018
    30.05.2018
    Available
    877 USD
  • Day 1 – Dushanbe

    Arrive in Dushanbe, the capital of Tajikistan, and transfer to your hotel. The rest of the day is free to relax or explore.

    Overnight Hotel Atlas 3 stars hotel.

    Meals included: (1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch,1 Dinner)

    Dushanbe

    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.

    Day 2 – Dushanbe to Kalaikhumb  360km 7/8hours altitude 1245 mh.

    We set off east towards the Pamirs and Kalaikhumb, driving through beautiful scenery and interesting villages en route. This area is a little more conservative, and we see many men with beards, and women wearing traditional dress. We will cross the Shurabad Pass (2200m high) On the road we will visit to the ancient fortress Hulbuk dated by VIII century recently restored under the decree of the president. The local guide will talk interesting stories about the life in the fortress, shows outlines of the bases of rooms, halls and harems of the local governor’s palace. Arrive to Kalaikhumb in the early evening.

    Overnight in Guest House.

    Meals included: (1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch,1 Dinner)

    Day 3 – Kalaikhumb to Rushan  206 km, 5/6 hours altitude 2131 mh.

    From Kalaikhumb we leave for Rushan the administrative center of Rushan district with some 206kms of terrain ahead of us, and the promise of some spectacular scenery along the way. The road joins the river Pianj, which in turn forms the border with Afghanistan. The contrast across the river valley is telling, Tajikistan is undoubtedly a poor country, but in general the roads are sealed and buildings are connected with electricity. The situation barely 100m away is even starker, and it is as if the river represents not just a physical divide, but also a step back in time.

    Overnight in Home stay.

    Meals: (1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner)

    Day 4 – Rushan to Gisev valley and trekking, after the trekking transfer to Khorog.

    (9/10 km trekking, 120km driving, altitude 2412mh)

    From Rushan we leave for Geisev through Bartang valley with some 30 km of terrain ahead of us, and again the promise of some spectacular scenery along the way. Arrival in Baghoo village in Bartang valley. We will cross the river by the small bridge. Our trek begins on the river Bartang just beyond Bhagoo village. The hike is mostly gently uphill, for about 8km to the upper of three lakes. The first house in Geisev are reached after about 5km. The abundant vegetation, the gnarled trees, the lakes and the ever-changing river – sometimes frothing with energy, sometimes limpid and blue – create a very special peaceful atmosphere, ideal for a short break without too much physical effort. This rout passing lakes, and the rivers traversing some of the most magnificent scenery in the Pamirs. We will again cross the river and drive to Khorog for overnight. From Baghoo village, after the trekking we leave for Khorog along river Pianj, border of Afghanistan. We have reached the capital of Gorno-Badakshan Autonomous Oblast (GBAO).

    Overnight in Hotel Lal In.

    Meals: (1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner)

    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.

    Day 5 – Khorog – Ishkashim (130 km 4/5 hours)

    We have a little time to explore Khorog including the bazaar and the lovely Botanical Gardens which are perched high above the town, affording some great panoramic view. About 50kms along the road to our next stop, Ishkashim, we will stop at Garmchasma hot springs for an (optional) dip in the waters. Visit detour to the nearby village of Namadguti to visit the Khahkha Fortress. From here, we enter the Tajik half of the Wakhan Valley (shared with Afghanistan) and pass regional gem mines mentioned by Marco Polo. The most famous mine is Koh-i-Lal ruby mine which is visible from the road. Ishkashim itself the regional centre, but it is essentially still a large village and we stay in 

    Guesthouse in Ishkashim.

    Meals: (1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner)

    Wakhan Valley

    The Wakhan Valley (also pronounced Vakhan) is a majestic alpine valley in the Badakhshan region of Afghanistan and Tajikistan (the “Wakhan Corridor” refers to the part of the valley in Afghanistan). It is located in the Pamir Mountains in Central Asia. Its upper reaches consist of two wide, hilly plains surrounded by alpine peaks, beginning near the Chinese border in one of the most remote regions of the world. Further down, where the Pamir and Wakhan rivers join to form the Pyanj River, the valley narrows, finally becoming a severe canyon with roaring river rapids at its end in Ishkashem. Its muddy rivers are fed by water from huge glaciers on some of the highest mountains on the planet, fantastic views of which are visible throughout the area.

    Day 6 – Ishkashim to Langar (110 km 6/7 hours)

    Driving along the Wakhan valley and visit detour to the nearby village of Namadguti to visit the Khahkha Fortress. This impressive structure rises from a naturally formed platform of rock and dates back to the Kushan era of the 3rd Century. There are a number of these ancient fortresses in the area, and we also visit Yamchun fort, perhaps the most impressive of them. We take a break at the Bibi Fatima hot springs, named for the Prophet Mohammed’s sister and where local women believe they can increase their fertility. Continuing on we then stop at the 4th Century Buddhist stupas at Vrang, reminders of the ancient pilgrim caravans that passed through the region. 

    Overnight homestay.

    Meals: (1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner)

    Day 7 – Langar to Murghab (240 km, 6/7 hours)

    Today we get a chance to explore the amazing landscape of this area. We drive up to Murghab via the Kargushi Pass (4344 meters). On this journey we leave behind the lush valleys of the Wakhan Valley and enter a landscape that is rocky, mostly barren but nevertheless dramatic. This is the Pamir Highway we have anticipated, with the route between Khorog and Osh completed in 1931 across a Tibetan-plateau style high altitude terrain. We leave for Murghab the center of East Pamir. The road up Murghab, however, is spectacular an, passing through again the settlement of Mamazair. This small town bestrides the Murghab River at an altitude of 3,650 m. Younghusband visited it in 1890 and wrote “It is a dreary, desolate spot… with a certain amount of grassy pasture and a few scrubby bushes by the river, but surrounded by barren hills, and bitterly cold. How these Russian soldiers can support existence there is a marvel…shut up in dreary quarters, with nothing whatever to do – week after week, month after month passing by in dull monotony….” Over a century later, nothing much has changed.

    We anticipate arriving in Murghab in Lunch time. Murghab (3670 m) itself has few attractions, but it will serve as our base for a one night as we explore the area a little. The 7546 m – high Chinese peak of Mustag Ata is visible to the northeast of town, 110 km away in a direct line. 

    Overnight in Home stay. 

    Meals included: 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner

    Day 8 Murghab – Kara kul (135 km, 3/4 hours)

    We depart today to Karakul. This drive will see us enjoying some of the most dramatic scenery of the trip, with the lunar-like landscapes and bright blue lakes providing plenty of opportunities to take our breath away. We will again cross a high-altitude pass Ak-Baital Pass (4655 meters) 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.

    Overnight in Home stay. 

    Meals: (1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner)

    Day 9 – Karakul to Osh

    We depart today to Osh Kyrgyzstan. Our final Pamir Highway 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, with 20kms of ‘no man’s land’ to cross. Having crossed to Kyrgyzstan, we will keep our driver – although we are in a different country, the ethnic lines in this region are greatly blurred, and Russian, Tajik, Kyrygz and Uzbek are all spoken with interchangeable ease! 

    After Sary Tash village we depart the high mountains of the Pamir-Alay range, leaving behind us the crossroads of Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and China. The drive offers a contrast as we encounter lush farmlands and small villages on this side of the mountains, instead of the stark high-altitude plateau we recently crossed in Tajikistan. En route we will cross the Taldyk Pass (3554m) and enjoy some beautiful views. We must travel about 185km from Sary Tash, and depending on road conditions and travel times we expect to arrive in Osh, Kyrgyzstan’s oldest city early evening.

    Overnight in Hotel Sun Rise. 

    Meals: (1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner)

    Osh city

    Osh is ancient – various sources date it back around 2500 years, and legends abound over who founded it, including Alexander the Great and King Solomon. On the edge of the Ferghana Valley it is home to both Uzbek and Kyrgyz people, with its position on the border giving rise to an extremely lively market, one of the most interesting in Central Asia. The rock known as Solomon’s Throne is an important place of pilgrimage for Muslims, and a 15th century mosque on the top has now been reconstructed, with excellent views of the surrounding countryside. Osh is also home to the largest mosque in Kyrgyzstan, and is one of the few places in the former Soviet Union still to have a statue of Lenin.

    End of tour.

    From Osh you can continue your trip to explore Kyrgyzstan through Silk Road till Bishkek, otherwise we can book domestic flight tickets from Osh to Bishkek if required. 

Book now and we will contact you as soon as possible to confirm your booking.

Responsible Pamir Central Asia!

Our friendly team of experienced specialists, managers and guides are always ready to help you to organise tours on request in Tajikistan and throughout Central Asia. Tours offered can begin in Dushanbe, Bishkek or Tashkent or Almata. On our tours we give all our guests the opportunity to experience something completely different, your own adventure, and thereby giving you the tour you want at a price you can afford. We have a deep and long-standing bond with the amazing countries of Central Asia. We want, you to experience the beauty of the arched mosques and mudbrick minarets, as well as the fabulous bazaars piled with pomegranates and vivid handloomed carpets. And we want to introduce you to the amiable people who live among these treasures. We visit ruined forts from the days of the old Silk Road, and pass gem mines mentioned by Marco Polo. Our tours runs through the Pamir Highway, Pamir Mountains have long been known as ‘the roof of the world’, a region of utterly breathtaking scenery and home to a fascinating melange of cultures. This is an ‘Expedition’ trip and we hope to expose you to all aspects of the local culture. Please be open-minded. The easiest way to overcome any problems is to be open-minded and bring with you “The Spirit of Adventure”! Take a look at your options, from small group escorted tours to independent trips, from luxury rail journeys to custom and private travel: “Pamir CENTRAL ASIA” team