Incredible journey through Central Asia. Discover the divers culture and traditions of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan & Turkmenistan. Visit the unforgettable sight and markets of Central Asia along the ancient Silk Road. Cross the Pamir Highway M41 in Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan is known as the “Roof of the world” Then explore the medieval streets of two of the Silk Road’s most iconic cities—Bukhara and Samarkand, Tamerlane’s ancient capital. Discover Turkmenistan’s white-marbled capital of Ashgabat. One of the most scenic journeys on the planet WELCOME to Explore!!
Included to tour price• Arrival and departure transfer
• Meals as listed: 29 Breakfasts, 28 Lunches, 28 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;)
• English speaking guide service
• Domestic flight ticket
• Mineral water (1L per day per person)
• Horse and local guide during the Horse riding days
• Ticket for Tajik National park and other permits
Excluded to tour priceInternational flights
Supplement for single room
Early checking for first night
Any airport taxes
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
Country Notes – Kazakhstan Kyrgyzstan Tajikistan Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan
A regional security system that is emerging in the Central Asian region, includes international institutions, different in format, tools and methods of work, specific tasks, but aimed at the common goal of ensuring security in the region.Kazakhstan is the best example of preserving harmony and stability in the CIS, and also played a leading role in ensuring regional security.
Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan is safe place, much more than many European countries. However, because of the civil war of the 1990s, your embassy will have a website setting out their view of the latest assessment of the security situation.
MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS REPUBLIC OF KAZAKHSTAN. Visa regime of Kazakhstan with other gosudarstvennoy regime of Kazakhstan with other States LIST countries with with the Republic ofKazakhstan agreement on visa-free travel by type of passports http://mfa.gov.kz/index.php/ru/vizovyj-rezhim-rk-s-drugimi-gosudarstvami
Visa regime of Uzbekistan with other States LIST ofhttp://www.norma.uz/nashi_obzori/grajdane_uzbekistana_mogut_vyezjat_bez_vizy_v_52_gosudarstva
THE MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS OF THE KYRGYZ REPUBLIC
In the framework of Agreements between the Government of the Republic of Belarus, the Government of the Republic of Kazakhstan, the Government of the Kyrgyz Republic, the government of the Russian Federation, Government of the Republic of Tajikistan about mutual visa-free trips of citizens, signed on 30 November 2000 in Minsk, against the citizens of the Republic of Belarus, Republic of Kazakhstan, the Russian Federation and the Republic of Tajikistan visa-free regime.
Under the previously concluded (for applicable international law the principle of “silent consent” on the continued application of international obligations up to the signing of and accession to new international treaties) agreements between the former USSR and foreign States following a visa-free regime:http://www.mfa.gov.kg/contents/view/id/216
Most nationalities will need to apply for a visa for both Tajikistan. Should you require an invitation letter, we will provide this for you. However currently British passport holders do not require a visa for stays of less than 60 days in Kyrgyzstan – for other nationalities please check with your nearest embassy.
For Tajikistan you will need to request the embassy to issue the GBAO permit, which allows you to travel the Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Oblast, which we visit on this tour.
Please note that visa regulations can and do change and so you should check this again before your departure.
From 1st June, 2016 in Tajikistan earned a new portal for the issuance of e-visas and GBAO permit “e-Visa”,
( https://www.evisa.tj ) enabling foreign citizens entering the country with tourist or business purpose, fill out an online application and e-visa without appearance at the Consulate of Tajikistan abroad.
The categories and types of visas and the procedure of their registration, issuance and extension of their validity are regulated by law of Turkmenistan “On migration” and other normative legal acts of Turkmenistan:http://www.mfa.gov.tm/ru/articles/57?breadcrumbs=no
It is your responsibility to ensure that you are in possession of a full passport, valid for at least six months after the date of return to the UK.
We strongly advise that your passport contains a minimum of two blank pages, as this may be a requirement of the local immigration authorities. In addition certain countries will stipulate that the two blank pages are opposite each other. If you are unable to meet these requirements you may be refused boarding by your airline or denied entry by the immigration authorities.
For specific information about the requirements for your destination please check with the country’s embassy or consulate. Alternatively UK citizens can visit www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice
No departure tax currently applies when leaving Kyrgyzstan by air. There are also no border taxes to pay for the land borders crossed within this tour.
Health and Immunisations
We strongly recommend that you contact your doctor’s surgery or a specialist travel clinic for up-to-date information, advice and the necessary vaccinations. For a visit of less than one month, almost certainly you will be advised to have immunisations against the following: Diphtheria and Tetanus, Hepatitis A, Typhoid, Meningitis.
Health at Altitude
95% of Tajikistan is mountainous. On the Pamir Highway between Murghab and Osh, you cross two passes over 4300 metres and altitude sickness is a possibility. It is quite normal to feel tired for the first few days in mountain areas and it is important that you drink plenty of water. Do not drink any tap water. We will provide you with 2 litres of water per person per day. We will always try and gain height slowly.
What should my travel insurance policy cover?
medical and health cover for an injury or sudden illness abroad
24 hour emergency service and assistance
personal liability cover in case you’re sued for causing injury or damaging property
lost and stolen possessions cover
cancellation and curtailment (cutting short your trip) cover
Extra cover for activities that are commonly excluded from standard policies, such as certain sports
The policy should cover the whole time that you are away.
Your policy may also have:
personal accident cover
legal expenses cover
Common travel insurance policy exclusions
Always check the conditions and exclusions of your policy:
most policies will not cover drink or drug-related incidents
You must take reasonable care of your possessions or your policy will not cover you.
The currency in Tajikistan it is the somani, and in Kyrgyzstan it is the som. For current exchange rates visitwww.xe.com
Where currency can be exchanged
It’s relatively easy to exchange money in Dushanbe, either at banks or moneychangers. ATM machines are not widely available in Tajikistan – and those that do exist tend to be unreliable. The best way currency to bring is US dollars – these should be crisp and free from any marks as many places will not accept them otherwise. Other currencies can be extremely difficult to exchange. Outside of Dushanbe you will find it difficult to exchange money. When you cross borders into Kyrgyzstan, your guides will be able to assist you with obtaining local currency.
Credit cards and travellers cheques
Changing travellers’ cheques can be difficult and we do not recommend that you bring these. In addition to this, credit cards are not widely accepted. We recommend that you bring sufficient cash in US dollars to last your visit.
Best time to go
The Pamirs can only really be visited between mid April and October due to the possibility of snow closing the roads at other times of year
In Tajikistan the official language is Tajik, from the Persian language family. In Kyrgyzstan it is Kyrgyz. English is becoming increasingly widely spoken but it is still not always easy to find someone who speaks it. With both countries only recently released from the Soviet Union, Russian is widely spoken.
The region is predominantly Sunni Moslem, although in the Badakshan region of Tajikistan most are Ismaili and follow the Aga Khan. Islam is interpreted less strictly here than in other parts of the world. There are also small pockets of Orthodox Christianity.
Food and drink
Central Asian cuisine tends to feature a fair amount of mutton as a staple. Food here is influenced by Turkish style cuisine and often involves kebabs, breads and various dips. Plov is a regional favourite – a mixture of rice, meat, fried onions and vegetables which is similar to a pilaf. Other dishes to look out for are steamed pumpkins, stuffed cabbage and vine leaves, and a variety of dishes made from fermented dairy products. The food in Central Asia contains a fair amount of spices but tends not to be too hot – cumin, coriander and sesame seeds are some of the most popular spices used. In summer, fruit, vegetable and nuts can be found in abundance. In home stays you will be offered tea – this is reasonably safe, as the water has been boiled.
If you have any special dietary requirements you must notify us at the time of booking. While we will make every effort to cater for you, we cannot guarantee that this will be possible. Vegetarians may experience a lack of variety in food as much is made or flavoured with meat. As a rough guide, a simple meal will cost around $4-8, while something more elaborate will cost $8-10 or more depending on where you eat. Street snacks are cheaper, at around $1-3.
Transport & Roads
On our tours through Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan we mainly use 4WD vehicles. On some sections of the tour, when a 4WD is not required, a minivan will be used. The significance of roads does not correspond to their quality. The quality of roads, the weather conditions and the quality of the vehicles are decisive in calculating the time needed between destinations. The roads in the region are rough and often unsealed, with some sections travelling on single-track roads above river valleys.
We use highly experienced drivers, however this itinerary may not be suitable for those who suffer from heights or are nervous passengers. The driving habits in this part of the world are something for which you ought to prepare yourself!
Travelling in the destinations that we visit requires a good deal of understanding that often standards simply won’t be as they are at home. While we aim to make your trip as comfortable as possible, please be aware that we are visiting remote, less developed regions that have little infrastructure. This is particularly the case with regards to Tajikistan, where the tourism infrastructure lags behind its neighbouring countries. Tajikistan is almost completely undeveloped in terms of tourism and has a basic infrastructure once outside Dushanbe. During this journey the group will spend time in remote areas without home comforts or easy access to medical facilities. Apart from in parts of Dushanbe, most toilets are squat type. Although a high level of physical fitness is not required, travellers should be comfortable with the realities of a wilderness adventure, and prepared for very basic conditions in the countryside.
What to take with you
First Aid Kit
The first thing on your list should be a first aid kit. Whilst there is no undue cause for alarm, travellers are best advised to travel well-prepared: adequately immunized, with sufficient supplies of prescription drugs, along with a medical kit.
When it comes to clothing it is usually recommended that lighter clothes are worn through the day, and warmer ones at night. A hat is also advised to be worn through the day to protect from the sun as well as a hat for the cold. You should make sure that you bring a waterproof jacket for any rainy days. As the region is conservative in terms of dress codes you should make sure that you bring a few outfits that are suitable for entering mosques and religious buildings – long sleeves and trousers / skirts are a good idea.
Torch / Head torch
Essential everywhere. Power cuts are frequent, there are holes in roads and pavements and toilets
and stairwells often have no lights.
Footwear is a main priority on this tour. Comfortable walking shoes/boots are recommended.
Your luggage should not exceed 20kgs (44lbs). Our style of travelling means that it is desirable to carry a backpack as your main luggage and use a daypack for items you will want to access during the day. Please bear in mind that your luggage will be loaded in a jeep and we are travelling on bumpy roads – fragile items should be well protected, and you must be prepared for your luggage to get dusty and be thrown about a bit. Please pack as light as possible since there will be times when you will need to carry your own luggage and this will also maximise space in the vehicles. Investment in protective bags for camera equipment and similar is well worthwhile.
Suncream/sunblock is a must. Insect repellent, including a bite spray will also be useful to have.
This tour does not require any special degree of fitness but you will find it more enjoyable if you are reasonably fit.
Cultural and environmental guidelines
Women should not enter mosques unless specifically told they can do so and you should always refer to your guide regarding dress code and behaviour in and near religious sites.
You may come across beggars while on tour in Central Asia. Every traveller has different perspectives on this and ultimately the choice is up to you. Many sources recommend that you watch to see if local people give, and then follow their lead with genuine beggars. We do not recommend giving money, sweets, pens etc to children as this can encourage a begging mentality and can lead to children choosing to beg rather than go to school.
Haggling is a way of life in Central Asia when making many purchases, especially with tourist souvenirs. Usually, but not always, the vendor will start with a price that is higher than they are prepared to accept, and the buyer is expected to haggle. There are no hard and fast rules with this – some vendors may initially quote a vastly overinflated price, others may start with a price close to the true value, while others may just present you with one price and not be prepared to discuss it. Although many tourists may feel uncomfortable with this, it’s important to remember that this is best entered into in a relaxed manner. Once you have agreed upon a price, it is extremely bad form to then not pay this. Please also bear in mind that a small amount of money to you can be a relatively large amount for the vendor, and that it is not necessarily best practice to ‘beat the vendor down’ to the lowest possible price. Remember that they also have a living to make.
A sleeping bag is not required as bedding will be provided when camping. However, you should take a lightweight sleeping bag liner as this will be required in the home stays when only blankets may be provided. We also recommend that you bring a towel.
Email us now on email@example.com to make your reservation
Please make sure that you take any rubbish back to the hotels or camps with you where it can be properly disposed of – this includes cigarette butts as well.
Please do not buy any products made from endangered species – this is not sustainable and hastens the species’ decline.
You should always ask permission before taking anyone’s photograph and respect their decision if they say no. In more remote areas women and older people often do not want to be photographed. Some people may also ask for some money – sometimes a little, sometimes a lot – in return for a photo. Taking photos of military installations, state buildings, and airports can lead to problems with local authorities. If you are unsure about whether it is acceptable to take a photo, please ask your tour leader or guide.
Please note that many sites charge photography fees, which are not included in the cost of your tour. You should allow around $40 or so if you wish to take photos at a wide range of sites.
Tipping is common practise in Central Asia. If your local guide has been helpful then you could think about tipping. For people travelling on our group tour, a reasonable amount to allow would be around $70-100, to be split between the guide and driver.
Foreign Office Advice
We constantly monitor the advice posted by the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO). In particular we will always advise clients of any travel warnings. At the time of writing there is an FCO advisory in place for travel to the GBAO area of Tajikistan. Please feel free to contact us should you have any specific concerns or if would like to know in detail what measures are being taken to ensure visits remain trouble free and without incident. It should be noted that this information applies to British citizens. Other nationals are asked to check the current position of their respective government.
Public Holidays in Kazakhstan:
- Fatherland Defender’s Day – 7 May
• Political Repression Victims Memory Day -31 May
• The Republic of Kazakhstan National Symbols’ Day – 4 June
• Police Day – 23 June
• Health Professionals’ Day (third Sunday of June)
• Press, Television and Radio Day (last Sunday of June)
• Diplomatic Service Day – 2 July
• Tax Service Day – 6 July
• Metal-Maker’s Day (third Sunday of July)
• Transport and Communication Workers’ Day (first Sunday of August)
• Builders’ Day – (second Sunday of August)
• Sports Day (third Sunday of August)
• Miner’ Day (last Sunday of August)
• Knowledge Day – 1 September
Public Holidays in Kyrgyzstan:
- 1 January – New year
- 7 January – Christmas
- February 23 – defender of the Fatherland Day
- March 8 – international women’s day
- 21 March – national holiday “Nooruz”
- May 1 – labor Day
- 5 may – Constitution Day of the Kyrgyz Republic
- May 9 – Victory Day
- 31 August – Independence Day of the Kyrgyz Republic
- November 7 – the Day of the great October socialist revolution
Two Muslim holiday of “Orozo AIT” and “Kurman AIT” determined annually according to the lunar calendar and is established annually by separate decisions of the Government of Kyrgyzstan.
- Public Holidays in :Uzbekistan
- January 1 – New year.
- January – Eid al-Adha (date floating).
- January 14 – the Motherland defenders Day.
- March 8 – international women’s day.
- March 21 – Navruz (Nowruz, Noroc – Islamic New year). The New year celebration lasts an entire month “Farvardin” (“khamal”).
- March-April – birthday of the prophet (floating date).
- May 1 – labor Day.
- May 9 – Day of memory and honour (formerly Victory Day).
- 1 September – Day of independence.
- 1 October – Day of teachers and mentors.
- October-November – Ramadan Bairam (end of Ramadan).
- November 18 flag Day.
- December 8 – Constitution Day.
Public Holidays in Tajikistan:
1 Jan New Year’s Day.
8 Mar Women’s Day.
21 Mar Navruz (New Year)
1 May Labour Day
9 May Victory Day
27 Jun National Unity Day
9 Sep Independence Day
6 Nov Constitution Day
9 Nov National Reconciliation Day
In addition to there are a number of Islamic holidays which follow the lunar calendar and so vary annually.
Dates are for guidance only and may vary year to year
In Turkmenistan twelve official holidays, which are holidays. So national holidays are:
1 January – New year
12 January – Day of remembrance
February 18 – birthday of Turkmenbashi
19 February – National flag Day
March 8 – international women’s day
20 March – Novruz Bairam (Turkmen New year)
May 9 – Victory Day
18 may – Constitution Day
June 21 – the Day of the election of the first President of the country
October 6 – Day of commemoration of the victims of the earthquake of 1948
28 October – independence Day
12 December – neutrality Day
Electrical supply is 220V and plugs usually have two round pins like most European countries.
Central Asia – The Lonely Planet Guide – Bradley Mayhew
The Great Game – Peter Hopkirk
The Lost Heart of Asia – Colin Thubron
IMPORTANT NOTES – PLEASE READ
Please note that the information provided is correct at the time of writing but may change. It is intended as a guide only. Further information regarding vaccinations and travel health visit www.fitfortravel.scot.nhs.uk or contact your local healthcare provider.
In addition we strongly advise you to check the information and any travel advice provided by your government. For British citizens you should visit the Foreign Office website www.fco.gov.uk.
- Fatherland Defender’s Day – 7 May
Dates not fixed, we will organize this tour based on your request dates. Please contact us to request this tour.
Day 1: Almaty KAZAKHSTAN
Arrive in Almaty the capital of Kazakhstan and transfer to your hotel.
The tour starts with sightseeing in the central part of Almaty. You will know more about history and development of the southern capital of Kazakhstan and see its major attractions: Central State Museum, Palace of President, Republic Square and Monument of Independence, Abai Opera and Ballet Theatre, Astana Square, Almaty Railway Station, Central Mosque, Green Bazaar, Panfilov Park, Abai Square and Palace of Republic. After exploration of the sport, cultural and business areas of the city (Sport Palace, Central Stadium, Kazakh Circus, Wedding Palace, Auezov Drama Theatre, Almaty Towers, Nurlytau Business Center, Financial Center, Kok-Tobe Hill) the tour route will take you to the Medeo Gorge, where in surrounding of wonderful Trans-Ili Alatau mountains the largest high mountain skating rink in the world is located as well as a huge dam, which protects the city from destructive mudflows formed on the tops of the western Tien Shan. Overnight at the hotel Kaz Jol Meals included: 1 breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 dinner (BLD)
Almaty city, whose name is translated as “Apple” or “Father of Apples”, throughout the whole XX century was the Kazakhstan capital. The country’s all administrative and cultural institutions were located there, but in year 1997 the capital was moved to Astana. However, the city has not lost its status, and now, is often called the country’s southern capital.Throughout the 150-year-old history, the city saw construction of dozens of important monuments, architectural sites, museums, parks, and so on. And today, the Almaty’s guests can learn more about the history and culture of the city, which still continues to expand. In addition, the Almaty outskirts are famous for various natural attractions and the famous skating rink Medeo.
Day 2: Almaty – Altyn-Emel
Today we drive to Altyn-Emel national Park. Arrive in Altyn-Emel National Park. Upon arrival walk around the park to see Kyzylauyz petroglyphs. After some time for picnic and rest continue sightseeing Bes-Shatir burial mounds. In the afternoon transfer to Altyn-Emel hotel. Overnight at the hotel Altyn Emel Meals included: 1 breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 dinner (BLD)
Day 3: Altyn-Emel Nature reserve
After breakfast leave hotel for sightseeing tour to the Singing Barchan – a unique phenomenon of nature. At noon return to the hotel for lunch. In the afternoon continue sightseeing. Enjoy time at Katutau and Aktau mountains.
Late in the afternoon return to Altyn-Emel hotel. Overnight at the hotel Altyn Emel
Meals included: 1 breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 dinner
You will enjoy the magnificent and varied types of the largest natural reserve in Kazakhstan – Altyn Emel, walk through the Aktau mountains and hear the singing Barkhan, a song, a unique occurrence of nature, which has many legends. You can also see the necropolis of BES-Shatyr, the oldest burial place of the ancient Scythians, surrounded by huge rocky rings – large structures like the famous Stonehenge in the UK. Take a trip to Charyn canyon, a beautiful valley of red stone, as if built by unknown giants. You are guaranteed positive emotions and a great selfie!
Day 4: Altyn-Emel – Charyn Canyon – Almaty
After breakfast depart Altyn-Emel and drive to Charyn Canyon. En route stop to see the old ash-tree grove on the Temerlik River. After some time for picnic and rest continue drive to Charyn Canyon. Arrive in Canyon. Walk along Canyon and enjoy its beautiful views, one of which is the so-called “The Valley of Castles”. It is thought to be one of the sights of the Canyon – these rock deposits resembling a tower by its form seemed to be created by unknown giants.The Valley of Castles is over 2 km in length and its width reaches from 20 to 80 m at some places. Late in the afternoon return to Almaty (4hrs). Overnight at the hotel Kaz Jol Meals included: 1 breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 dinner (BLD)
Day 5: Almaty to Bishkek 235km 4/5h KYRGYZSTAN
After breakfast we drive to Biskek.
Arrive in Bishkek the capital of Kyrgyzstan.
Our city tour includes in itself the visiting of such places of interest as: Ploshad Pobedy (Victory Square), Duboviy Park (Oak Park), Ploshad Ala-Too (Ala-Too square), the History Museum, National philharmonic and many others places upon your request. It is not a real city tour without visiting real central-Asian Bazaar! We will show it for you today and you’ll be able to make a lot of photos in there.
Overnight in Hotel Rich
Meals included: 1 breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 dinner
Kyrgyzstan’s capital is a modern city, originally founded in 1825 but developed extensively by the USSR and at that time named Frunze after a famous Bolshevik general. With over a million inhabitants it follows the typical Soviet city pattern of wide boulevards and drab apartment blocks, large squares and public parks and before Kyrgyz independence had a majority Russian population, although not now. Although not blessed with the interesting sights of other Central Asian cities, it does have a few things worth visiting – the impressive Ala-Too square, the History Museum and the Orthodox Church, a reminder that not all Russians left in 1991.
Day 6: Bishkek to Song kol Lake 400km 6/7h
Today we drive to Son-Kul Lake where we are introduced to the nomadic life of Kyrgyz families who live much as their ancestors have for generations. We will have the opportunity to sample fresh airan (yogurt) and kumis (the national drink of fermented mare’s milk). This evening we spend the night in a yurt camp in the summer mountain pastures.
Overnight in Nomadic yurt camp
Meals (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner) (BLD)
Day 7: Song kol Lake – Chychkan 260km 6/7h
We proceed further to Kyzyl-Oi village via Kara-Keche pass, which is on the altitude of the 3384m. This pass is popular for cyclists and off-road lovers. Kyzyl-Oi is a mountain village located at the altitude of about 1800 meters above sea level in the valley of the mighty river Kekemeren. Here you can see an extraordinary landscape of majestic mountains surrounding the village.
Continue our trip to Suusamyr valley to the Chichkan gorge. Time permitting, spend some time with opportunities to take hikes, ride horses or simply meet the local shepherds who still adhere to age old traditions. Communicating with local shepherds who still keep customs and the way of life of their ancestors.Overnight Hotel Ak Ilbirs or Oson or similar
(single rooms not available) Meals (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner) (BLD)
Day 8: Chichkan to Arstanbap
After breakfast depart to Arstanbap. The Arstanbap Valley which is near the Dashman Forest Reserve where there is a largest walnut forest in the world. Arstanbap is a unique creation of nature and is situated at 1,600 meters above sea level. The main treasure of the southern forests is the walnut tree. Walnut trees can live up to 1,000 years, can reach enormous sizes, and they produce an abundance of walnuts. Muslims consider the picturesque fruit forests to be sacred. According to legend, in the ancient times there lived an extremely hardworking man called Arstanbap, who served the prophet Muhammad (S.A.S). All those who visit the forest can take away with them a bit of its paradise.
Overnight at a local family run guest house. Meals: (1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch and Dinner) (BLD)
Day 9: Arstanbap to Osh 175km/3h
Early in the morning leave from Arstanbap to Osh.
Before arriving in Osh we suggest going on excursion in the ancient minaret and mausoleums in Uzghen town (60 km from Osh). Uzghen was one of the capitals of Karakhanid State, occupied vast areas in Central Asia in 10-12 centuries AD. Islam became state religion in this khanate in Central Asia that is why minaret and mausoleums of governors were situated in the very citadel (center) of the city.
Overnight in Hotel Sun Rise.
Meals: (1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch and Dinner)
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.
Day 10: Osh to Sary Mogul
Today we drive from Osh to Sary Moogul village, via beautiful Alay ranges and over the Taldyk Pass (3615m). We will stop for a lunch in between. Once we pass the village of Sary Tash, the natural scenery of Pamir Alay range is spectacular. You could even see, we will arrive Kyrgyz nomadic village near the lake Tulpar Kul,the village is close to see Lenin Peak (7134m)
Overnight in Nomadic yurt stay.
Meals: (1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch and Dinner)
Day 11: Tulpar Kul to Lenin peak (Horse riding)
Today in the morning we will start with horse our adventure to see the Lenin Peak more closely, These open valleys are beautiful. There many nomadic herders living in the lower plans of the peak Lenin. You may drink Kyrgyz traditional Kumyz, (fermented horse milk). Local herders consume as local alcohol. Closer to the evening return to the village Sary Mogul.Overnight in Home stay.
Meals: (1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch and Dinner)
Day 12: Sary Mogul to Kara Kul TAJIKISTAN
Today we will start our trip to Karakul. Our first step the High Pamir, we depart the high mountains of the Pamir-Alay range, leaving behind us the cross roads of Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and China. 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. Kara kul means “black lake” but in spring, summer and autumn the water are almost always turquoise blue. Karakul lake spread its waters in Markansu valley – one of the most driest place in Central Asia. Surrounded by high mountains which block humid air masses the valley has less than 30 mm of precipitation a year which is 3 times less than in Karakoram desert. Fluctuation of temperatures is a usual thing for desserts and in Karakul lake they are just incredible. Tonight you will sleep on Asian style bedding on the mattresses and blankets on the floor in a few rooms of a Pamiri House with shared bathroom facilities.
Overnight at Home stay (Saadat).
Meals: (1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch and Dinner)
Day 13: Kara Kul to Murghab (135 km, 3/4 hours altitude 3650 mh)
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 Muztag Ata is visible to the northeast of town, 110 km away in a direct line.Overnight in Home stay
Meals: (1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch and Dinner)
Day 14: Murghab to Langar (240 km, 6/7 hours altitude 2882mh)
Today we will drive at Langar via the Kargushi Pass (4344 meters). On this journey we leave behind the lush valleys of the M41 and enter to Wakhan Valley 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.
Overnight in Home stay
Meals: (1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch and Dinner)
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 15: Langar to Ishkashim (110 km, 6/7 hours altitude 2665 mh)
Driving along 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. number of stops will be made throughout the day. Drive to Vrang a stroll through the village will bring you to a number of caves dug by Buddhists who inhabited the area at one time. In addition there the remains of a number of fire – worshipping platforms and Buddha stuper. At Yamg, visit a quirky museum of Sufi Muborak-Kadam, a local Sufi scholar. After short driving you will be to see the Kakhka kala Fortress which dates from the 3rd C. Yamchun fortress or Zulkumor Fort is located on ridge overlooking the valley and river below. Further up the hillside there are the hot springs at Bibi Fatima. The water at Bibi Fatima is crystal clear. It is possible to take a natural stream bath in a rocky cave.
Your next stop will be at the Abrashim Fortress. It was built to guard this branch of the Silk Road from Chinese and Afghan Invaders. Afternoon you will arrive to Ishkashim the center of Wakhan valley, which stands at the mouth of wakhan River valley. This is where the 19th C Great Game ended; When Britan and Russian signed a treaty adding a strip of the Wakhan valley to Afghanistan to create a neutral buffer zone between their two empires. As you enter the Wakhan, there are amazing views of the Pamirs to the right and the Hindu Kush to the left.
Driving along 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.Overnight in Guest House
Meals: (1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch and Dinner)
Day 16: Ishkashim to Khorog (130 km, 6/7 hours altitude 2780 mh)
After breakfast we will drive via Wakhan valley to Khorog, along the road to our next stop at Garmchasma hot springs for an (optional) dip in the waters. After exploring or taking a shower we will have a lunch than transfer to Khorog. 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.
Overnight in Hotel Lal In.
Meals: (1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner)
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 17: Khorog to Rushan, trekking in Gizev valley (9/10km trekking 120km driving, altitude 2412mh)
Today our trip for Rushan village, Rushan in the Eastern part of Tajikistan, the administrative center of Rushan district of Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous region. The village is located in the Pamirs, on the right Bank of the Panj river at the confluence Woman are river, on the border with Afghanistan Travel to Rushan the administrative centre of the Bartang district.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 Rushan for overnight.From Baghoo village, after the trekking we leave for Rushan along river Pianj, border of Afghanistan.Overnight in Home stay.
Meals: (1 Breakfast, 1 Picnic, 1 Dinner)
Day 18: Rushan to Kalaikhumb ( 206 km, 5/6 hours altitude 1345 mh)
Today we set off in 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. 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 Guest House.Meals: (1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner)
Day 19: Kalikhumb to Dushanbe, (360 km, 6/7 hours)
After breakfast drive to Dushanbe the capital of Tajikistan. 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. In front of the fortress there is a big square where concerts are held on the occasion of holidays and visits of distinguished guests. Guide in Khulbuk fortress Across the road from the fortress yiu can see the museum of local lore where, to speak frankly, because of restoration we will be show only one big banner on the wall. It was a map of all historical places and sights of Tajikistan.
Overnight at the hotel “Lotus or similar”.
Meals: (1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch and Dinner)
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 20: Dushanbe-Hissar-Dushanbe (30 km 1 hours)
Today we go to Hissar it Located 30 km from Dushanbe (4-5 km from Hissar settlement) is one of the most important landmarks of Tajikistan – Hissar History and Culture Reserve. This name is related to archeological and architectural monuments of different ages found on its 86-hectar territory. The reserve location – Hissar Valley – is a vast intermountain hollow with the rivers Kafirnigan, Karatag and Shirkent. People inhabited this place in the Stone Age, in the 4th-3rd millennia B.C. Later the valley territory was a part of Bactria, and then of Greek-Bactrian and Kushan states. This fact is proved by the remains of ancient settlement found by the archeologists. However, today only orbicular mounds called “tepa” – “a hill” – has survived. In the Middle Ages Hissar was known for its crafts and markets. In the 18th – 19th centuries it was known as Hissar province – one of 28 domains of Bukhara Emirate. Hissar fortress which has survived since those times is considered the most famous landmark of the reserve.The city is located in the central western part of the republic, in the center of Hissar Valley, the greenest and the most densely populated part of the country. The city is surrounded by mountains: from the north by The Hissar Ridge, from the south – the Gazimalik Mountains, from the southwest – the Babatag Mountains. It has been proven that people inhabited Hissar Valley 40 thousand years ago. In the evening return to Dushanbe.
Overnight at the hotel “Lotus”. Meals: (1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, , 1 Dinner)
Day 21: Dushanbe – Sariosie – Samarkand UZBEKISTAN
Meet the group at Tajikistan – Uzbekistan border check point Sariosie
Transfer to Samarkand, upon arrival check in and Overnight at the hotel Malika Classic Meals: (1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, , 1 Dinner)
Day 22: Samarkand
After the breakfast, you will have full day sightseeing tour of Samarkand. It will include visiting of Guri Emir- Legendary mausoleum where Amir Temur and all his family buried, Registan square, world famous complex of three Madrasahs and golden dome mosque, Mosque of Bibi Khanum, the biggest mosque ever built in Central Asia as gift from wife of Temerlame to her husband. Shahi – Zinda necropolises, a holy place and cemetery with graves of Temured’s dynasty and a grave of cousin of Prophet Muhamed, observatory of Ulugbek, incredible construction of 15 century for studying astronomy. 0.5l water to be given each person & Overnight at the hotel Malika Classic Meals: (1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, , 1 Dinner)
Day 23: Samarkand – Shahrisabs – Bukhara
After the breakfast, we’ll start our way to Samarkand – The pearl of the East.
On the way to Samarkand, we will stop over at Shahrisabs. Meet with local guide and tour in Shahrisabs: Ak Sarai and Kok Gumbaz mosque, and Mausoleum of Jehangir (Tamerlane’s grandson) as well as Tamerlane’s Mausoleum. Afterwards continue drive to Samarkand. Upon arrival check in & settlement at the hotel.Overnight at the hotel Old City Meals: (1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, , 1 Dinner)
Day 24: Bukhara
Full day will be dedicated to a city tour in Bukhara. Today you will do tour with local guide to Ismael Samani mausoleum (9-10c) – vault of Bukhara rulers’ dynasty, Chor-Minor, Chashma-Ayub Mausoleums (14 c), and Bukhara local bazaar. In Old Bukhara you are going to see Poli-Kalon ensemble including Minaret (12c) , Mosque (15c), functioning Madrassah Miri-Arab (16 c), Amir- Alim-Khan Madrassah (14c), Taqi (trading domes), and Kukeldash Madrassah (16c). After lunch time you will see Lyab-i-Hauz (17c), Nadir Divanbegi (17c), Magoki Attari (16c), Ulug Beg (15c), Abdul Aziz (17c) Madrassahs as well as Registan Ensemble, Ark Fortress (16c) and Bolo-Hauz complex (18 c). Overnight at the hotel Old City Meals: (1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, , 1 Dinner)
Day 25: Bukhara – Khiva 460 km / 7h
Today we will have a long transfer to Khiva
On the way we will stop near the biggest river in Central Asia Amudarya (Oxus).
Upon arrival to Khiva you will have free time for rest.
City tour in Khiva At the first half of the day you are going to visit the oldest part of the city – Kunya-Ark fortress, including Kurinish Khana (17c); Mohammed-Amin-Khan(19c) Madrassah, Islam Khodja Minaret; Palvan-Kari complex, Abd Al Bobo complex(18c), Rafanek Madrassah, Mohammed Rakim Khan (19 c), Amir-Tur Madrassah, and Sho-I-Kalandar Bobo Mausoleum. After lunch you will see Mazary Sharif Madrassah, Kheivak well (10c), Uch Avlioli («three saints») Mausoleum, Jami Mosque(18c), Kutluq-Murad Inaq (19c) Madrassah, and Pakhlavan Mahmoud Mausoleum. Evening time transfer to airport in Urgench, flight to Tashkent as per schedule. Arrival and transfer to the hotel. 0.5l water to be given each person & overnight will be at the hotel Old Khiva Meals: (1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, , 1 Dinner)
Day 26: Khiva – Shavat – Dashoguz-Kunyaurgench- Dashoguz – Ashgabat (by air) TURKMENISTAN
After the breakfast transfer to Uzbekistan – Turkmenistan border Shavat (60km) continue to Turkmenistan
In the morning arrive to Uzbek/Turkmen border “Shavat” (ab. 70 km from Khiva; opens at 08:30 am). After Customs formalities meet your guide and driver, transfer to Dashoguz for lunch at local restaurant (optional; not included). Then drive to Kunyaurgench (c. 100 km). Sightseeing on arrival (UNESCO monuments). After sightseeing drive back to Dashoguz airport to take an evening flight to Ashgabat. Transfer to hotel on arrival. Overnight in hotel in Ashgabat Meals: (1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner)
Day 27: Ashgabat
In the morning we explore the capital of Turkmenistan, Ashgabat. Within the city, we visit the Park of Independence with its Independence monument, and Neutrality Square, famous for its Arch of Neutrality topped by a gold-plated statue of the first President of Turkmenistan, and others. After lunch we visit the National Museum of History and Ethnography to see exclusive ancient artefacts from numerous historical & archaeological sites of the country and Old Nissa fortress (UNESCO). Return to hotel in Ashgabat for overnight in hotel Ashgabat Meals: (1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner)
Day 28: Ashgabat – Kov ata (100 km) – Ashgabat
In the morning drive to Kov Ata underground lake, en-route visit Geokdepe fortress and Saparmurat Haji mosque. In Geokdepe we’ll also visit local private stud farm where you can see famous Akhalteke horses. After a swim in the lake (optional) and visiting all sites drive back to Ashgabat. Evening is free at leisure. Overnight in hotel Ashgabat Meals: (1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner)
Day 29: Departure
Transfer to airport for your departure flight to home.
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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
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