Kazakhstan Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan Highlights On The Great Silk Road

  • Kazakhstan Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan Highlights On The Great Silk Road

  • Included to tour Price:

    • Arrival and departure transfer
    • Meals as listed: 23 Breakfasts, 22 Lunches, 22 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)
    • Mineral water (1L per day per person)
    • Horse and local guide during the Horse riding days
    • Ticket for Tajik National park and perdition
    • LOI (Letter of invitation)
     

    Excluded to tour Price:

    International flights
    Supplement for single room USD 165
    Eraly chechking for first night 58 USD per pax
    English speaking guide service for whole tour 885USD
    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
  • Country Notes – Kazakhstan Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan

    Safety.

    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,Tajikistan 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.

    Visas

    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 of Kazakhstan agreement on visa-free travel by type of passports  http://mfa.gov.kz/index.php/ru/vizovyj-rezhim-rk-s-drugimi-gosudarstvami

    Most nationalities will need to apply for a visa for both Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan. 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.

    Passports

    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

     Airport Tax

    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.

    Insurance

    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.

    Practical information

    Local Currency

    The currency in Tajikistan it is the somani, and in Kyrgyzstan it is the som. For current exchange rates visit www.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

    Main Language

    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.

    Main Religion

    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!

    Local conditions

    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.

    Clothing

    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

    Footwear is a main priority on this tour. Comfortable walking shoes/boots are recommended.

    Luggage

    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.

    Other

    Suncream/sunblock is a must. Insect repellent, including a bite spray will also be useful to have.

    Fitness

    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 tours@pamirhighwayadventure.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.

    Photography

    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

    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.

    Further Information

    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 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

    Electrical Supply

    Electrical supply is 220V and plugs usually have two round pins like most European countries.

    Recommended Reading

    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.

  • Dates not fixed, we will organize this tour based on your request dates. Please contact us to request this tour.

  • Itinerary

    Day 1 – Almaty to Bishkek 230km 4/5h

    Arrive in Almaty, the capital of Kazakhstan and transfer to Bishkek 

    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.

    Bishkek the capital of Kyrgyzstan. Visit to Ala-Too Square and the History Museum among other sites.

    Bishkek city

    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.

    Overnight  Hotel Rich.

    Meals included: (Breakfast Lunch and Dinner)

    Day 2 – 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 Nomadic yurt camp

    Meals (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner)

    Day 3 – 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 (BLD)

    Day 4 – 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)

    Day 5. 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 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.

    Day 6. 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 7. 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.

    Overnight in Tent camp. 

    Meals: (1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch and Dinner)

     

    Day 8. Lenin peak – Kashka Suu – Sary Mogul (Horse riding)

    After the breakfast we start to ride from near the Lenin peak to Kashka Suu village, Then our adventure and nomadic horse riding will be end, Our cars will meet you from Kashka Suu then we will drive to Sary Mogul village, You may drink Kyrgyz traditional Kumyz, (fermented horse milk). Local herders consume as local alcohol.

    Overnight in Home Stay

    Meals: (1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch and Dinner)

    Day 9 – Sary Mogul to Kara Kul

    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 10 – 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 11 – 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)

    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 12 – 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 13 – 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)

    Khorog town

    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 14 – 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 15 – 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 16 – 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 city

    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 Pash
    a’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 17. Dushanbe city excursions

    Visit Museum of National Antiquities. The exhibits in this museum are mostly from Tajikistan’s pre-Islamic civilizations (Greek/ Bactrian, Buddhist, Hindu and Zoroastrian). Assiduous work of archeologists and restorers made possible to revive from the ruins of a vast Buddhist monastery complex in Ajina Teppe, the 14-meter-long a 1,600-year-old Sleeping Buddha. Today, the sculpture the Buddha in nirvana displayed at this museum it is the largest artifact to date on the territory from Middle East to India. 

    Visit the K. Behzod National Museum (Kamoliddin Behzod was a famous miniatures master who lived in the 15-16th century) is right across the street from Hotel “Poytaht”. The museum was opened in 1934. The history, archaeology, and fine arts of the Tajik nation as well as its flora and fauna are represented here. There are both permanent and temporary collections and displays.  

    We will see the ruins of the Fortress Tower know the “Hissar Fortress” that was the country estate of the Emir of Bukhara in the XIX century. Inside the fortress there was a pool and a garden, in outside there was a market, a shelter for caravans and a lot of small shops. The gate of the fortress with portal and one-storied building of new madrasa of XVIII-XIX centuries are only lasted out up to now. Not far the fortress there is History Museum.After the exploring driva back to Dushanbe

    Overnight at the hotel “Lotus or similar”

     Meals: (1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch and Dinner)

    Hissar

    The history of Hissar fort is colourful, with the fortress the stronghold of local basmachi forces resisting the might of Russia. Through the 1920s a power struggle was played out in the region between Bolshevik forces and Pan-Turkic would-be occupiers under the Ottoman Enver Pasha, who was eventually killed in Tajikistan. Today the fort is largely in ruins although the impressive main gate has been reconstructed. Opposite sit two madrassahs dating back to the 16th century, one of which has a small museum in it.

    Day 18. Dushanbe to Iskandar Kul lake, (150 km, 5/6 hours)

     
    Journey North from Dushanbe. The first part of the journey from Dushanbe to the North of Tajikistan follows the Varzob valley. The road to the Zarafshan valley, and on to Khujand, The road rises through two high passes, at Anzob (3,373 m) and Shahristan (3,378 m).

    Arrival to Iskandar Kul Lake the rout is along the Fan darya valley and Iskandar Darya.

    The Lake is surrounded by mountains, and is about four km across. The views across the lake are impressive in all directions. At 2000 m, it is pleasantly cool in summer. “Iskandar Kul or Lake Alexander is indeed a beautiful spot”, there are many waterfowl and it is possible to fish in this tranquil and beautiful spot. Then, drive to Saratog village for dinner and overnight in home stay.

    Stay in Home stay.

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

    Iskandar kul Lake

    Among the most popular is Lake Iskanderkul – a result of both its legendary beauty and the ease of access. A good asphalt road winds up the valley to the lake which has its name derived from Alexander the Great – in Persian called “Iskander”. He camped at Iskanderkul’s shore during one of his campaigns en route to India. According to one of the many legends originating from this time, Alexander’s famous battle horse Bucephalus drowned in the lake – and to this day may be seen racing over its surface at full moon. The lake empties into the river Iskandariya which near the source forms an impressive waterfall of 40m height. A platform allows spectators to stand right above the thunderous torrent.

    Day 19. Iskandar kul Lake to Padrud, Seven Lakes (152km 4/5h)

    After breakfast drive up to the 6th lake “Marguzor”. Today we will walk to Seven lakes which is one of the most fascinating places in Tajikistan. We can enjoy invigorating trip in fresh mountainous air along unique and wonderfully clean lakes. From the Marguzor lake we will start our hike/gentle walk to the 7th lake “Hazor chashma” . Short stay on the shore of the lake, walking around the lake and continue our gentle walking along Hazor chashma River towards Hissar Pass as long as we can. After Picnic Lunch and relaxing on the lush alpine meadows, and juniper forest we will come back to the Padrud village. Before dinner we’ll introduce with the local people and their life.

    Dinner and overnight in home stay.

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

    Day 20. Transfer to Pendjikent

    Transfer to Pendjikent (40 km;1h).  After Lunch sightseeing in Pendjikent to the excavations of ancient city and visiting Museum of local-lore named after national poet Rudaki. 

    Overnight in Guest house.

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

     

    Pendjikent city

    Pendjikent city is situated in the valley of the Zarafshan river, 68 km south-east of Samarkand and 320 km south-west of Khodjikent. In the south-east outskirts of today’s Pendjikent are situated ruins of an ancient Sogd town of the same name, which is a unique monument of Central Asia culture. This town existed in 5-8th cc. B.C. and was called “Central Asian Pompeii”. It is one of not many well studied ancient towns of Sogd.

    Day 21Pendjikent via Istrafshan to Khujand (305km 6/7h)

    We continue our tour (190kms; 4h) to Istaravshan, with its hilltop citadel guarding the beautifully preserved town. We have time to visit the bazaar, which amongst the region’s largest and a good place to look for handicrafts as souvenirs (our shopping options will become more limited later so if something catches your eye it is best to buy it at the time!). Exploring the old town we visit the blue-domed mosque and madrassah complex of Kok-Gumbaz, dating back to the 15th Century. Unlike many towns, Istaravshan retains a more traditional, if maze-like, layout of streets and as we explore we may well experience some Tadjik hospitality – it is common to be invited into private homes for tea and we should seize any such opportunities to visit and see the ornate decoration inside. Then continue our trip to Khujand 115kms 2h.

    Istaravshan

    Istaravshan is a museum city, the ancient center of trade and crafts, one of the most ancient cities of the Central Asia. In 2002 Istaravshan turned 2,500 years old. The city was founded in the sixth century B.C. by a Akhemenid king Cyrus who fortified the settlement by means of three wall lines and a citadel. In the second -seventh centuries B.C. the ancient sentiment Mugteppa was located on the territory of Istaravshan. Mugteppa was the residence of the local aristocracy who erected there numerous palaces distinguished by original expressive architecture. The evidence of that was found in Bundzhikat (Kala and Kakh-Kakh) and Chil’khudzhra settlements which had fortified structures with palaces and cult buildings decorated with paintings and carved panels. For example in Bundzhikat the archaeologists found the painting with the image of a she-wolf feeding two babies – the symbol of contacts between the West and the Orient.

    Only the gate with a dome and columns on the sides has survived on Mug Hill where the residence of the local governor used to be. During the years of Arabian sovereignty Istaravshan became a province Arabian Caliphate. It was at this time when Islamic architectural structures of portal-dome design such as mosques, madrasahs, mausoleums, minarets, etc. started to appear. The rapid development of Istaravshan is connected with the rule of the first ethnic Tajik Samanid dynasty (the 9th – the 10th centuries). In the 13th century the city was destroyed by Mongols. The second period of Istaravshan development began in the 14th century when the powerful Timurid Empire was formed. The city is called also as Ura-Tube.

    In the 16th century Maverannakhr (along with Ura-Tube) lost its significance as a result of formation on a new Shejbanid state with the capital in Bukhara. In the 18th century Ura-Tube entered another stage of its development. It was then that the citadel and the fortress walls were restored and reinforced and new structures capable of resisting attacks of numerous nomadic tribes were erected. In 1886 Ura-Tube became a part of Russia. Today Istaravshan has a number of interesting historical and architectural monuments which bear the evidence of its bright historical past.

    After Istaravshan we drive to Khujand, Khujand is the capital of northern Tajikistan and the second largest city in the country. Khujand, continuously occupied for 2500 years, was founded by Alexander the Great. The city became one of most important places in Central Asia. It was a key junction of the Silk Road. The beautiful city was razed by Gengiz Khan. Through history it remained a center of considerable power. Prior to the Russian invasion in the nineteenth century it was one of the main emirates in Central Asia.

    Khujand stands at the entrance to the fertile Fergana Valley. Owing to this it was one of the main centers of the Great Silk way and enjoyed prosperity and richness. One of the ancient cities of the Central Asia Khujand has been known since the 7th century.

    Night in hotel Grand or Similar

    Meals: (1 breakfast 1 lunch and Dinner)

    Day 22  Khujand to Osh (415km 6/7h)

    Drive to Tajik – Kyrgyz border Isfara and cross the border into Kyrgyzstan Batken province, then continue our trip to Osh via the Kadamjay.

    Arrival to Osh in the early evening, check in to hotel 

    Night in hotel Sun Rise  

    Meals: (1 breakfast 1 lunch and Dinner)

    Day 23  Osh flight to Bishkek

    After the breakfast transfer to airport, flight by domestic flights to Bishkek

    Meeting at the Manas airport transfer to Hotel.

    Night in hotel Rich ***

    Meals: (1 breakfast)

    END OF THE SERVISE

    Level of difficulty: This tour is suitable for both children and adults.

    Conditions: If you have some specific sicknesses you need to bring own first aid kit with necessary medicaments

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Agency's Info

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