Day 1 – Almaty
Arrival – Almaty. Meeting in airport and transfer to Hotel.
Overnight Hotel Kaz Jol. Meals included: (D)
Day 2 – Almaty – Bishkek Bishkek 270 km 4/5 hours
Today continue the journey on the same route. Almost all the journey will run through the desert, it is very convenient. The route is called concrete, it is quite comfortable to go there.Cross not a lot of passes. We cross the border with Kazakhstan near the settlement Korday.It will take no more than 30 minutes.
Arrive in Bishkek, the capital of Kyrgyzstan and transfer to your hotel. Overnight Hotel Rich. Meals included: (BLD)
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 3 – 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 4 – 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 Meals (BLD)
Day 5 – Chichkan to Arstanbap 315kms 6/7 hours
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 6. Arstanbap to Osh 176kms 3/4 hours
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 7. Osh to Sary Mogul Tulpar Kul (summer pasture camp) 255kms 5/6 hours
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 8. 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 or Yurt stay. Meals: (1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch and Dinner)
Day 9. 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 10 – Sary Mogul to Kara Kul 180kms 5/6 hours
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 11 – 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 12 – Murghab to Keng Shiber (125 km, 5/6 hours altitude 4115mh)
Today we get a chance to explore the amazing landscape of this area. We drive up to Keng Shiber. 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. Arrival to Keng Shiber jailoo (herders summer camp in yurts). The inhabitants have rarely seen Europeans and are friendly and hospitable.
Overnight in nomadic yurt camp. Meals: 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Day 13 – Keng Shiber trekking to Bel Airyk pass (trekking 5/6 hours altitude 4835mh)
Walking on this area an excellent and adventures trip is hike up the Bel Airyk pass (4835m) which is a migration route of Marco Polo sheep, starts from the foot of the mountain. Ascending up the pass in four/five hours walk you can see the majestic northern wall of Afghanistan Hindikush and fantastic Zor Kul Lake.
Along the western half of the Zor kul Lake runs Afghan – Tajik border. The lake’s eastern half lied in Tajiksitan. In 1842, Lieutenant Woods of the British India Navy Explored the Pyanj and Pamir rivers as far as the latter’s source in Zor kul. Zor kul itself is 20 km long – the road runs along its northern shore.
Wildlife observation will be undertaken during the trek. The famous and endangered Marco Polo sheep (ovis ammon poli) world’s largest-horned argali sheep, Snow leopard endangered and fully protected species, ibexes, marmot and Brown bear, fox, hare are not full list of representatives of wild life of the area. From birds one can find the mountain goose (ular) pigeons, eagles, vulture, and etc.
Good eyes and a sporting scope or more powerful binoculars are essential tools and a field guide for wildlife viewing. These areas are all unique in their own way, and trips to these places are always fascinating.
Overnight in yurt camp. Meals: (1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner)
Day 14 – Keng Shiber to Langar (230 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 or similar 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 “Vatan 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 to Khujand, (360 km, 6/7 hours)
In the morning depart Dushanbe and drive to Khujand . Drive through Anzob tunnel. Lunch at local Chaihana. Arrival in Khujand. Free time. Overnight at the hotel.
Overnight in Grand Hotel. Meals: (1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner)
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.
Day 21. Khujand to Oybek Tajik-Uzbek border
We depart today to Tajik – Uzbek border Oybek and cross the border into Uzbekistan , then continue our trip to Tashkent