Explore the Silk Road: Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and Kyrgyzstan

Trip description

This trip takes you along the ancient Silk Road, originating from Samarkand - the pearl of the Islamic East and cradle of oriental architecture from Samanids and Tamerlane. You will get acquainted with the 6,500-year-old city of Sarazm in the north of Tajikistan, added to UNESCO World Heritage List, take a journey through high-mountain passes with breathtaking beauty of landscapes and surrounded mountains of Pamir Highway. Feel fantastic hospitality of locals staying in homestays of Wakhan and make a deep immersion in lifestyle of nomads in foothills of Lenin Peak 7134m. Oriental cuisine in the capitals of three countries complement the impressions from this tour. A challenging journey through an enigmatic region – exciting is an understatement!

Is this trip is right for you?

  • Central Asia is a specific region of contrasts, where the climate can range from below freezing to 45 degrees above zero
  • Traveling in Tajikistan, we gradually gain height up to 5000 meters above sea level, this factor can cause dizziness or nausea or other altitude sickness, regardless of age and physical shape
  • The nature around in Tajikistan is undoubtedly beautiful, but the roads are sometimes shaky and we have to drive off-road plains in the heat of 5-6 hours in a row
  • We will travel along the remote plains of the Pamir Highway, the locations are very remote and there is no access to medical points and doctors. Please consult with your doctor before joining this trip, if you have ongoing illnesses
  • In Pamirs we will spend the night in local homestays, where we sleep on mattresses on the floor and sometimes several people from the group together, in one big room. The toilet is outside and bath facilities are very limited. A couple of days have to be bypassed without a hot shower. This is part of the adventure and you must be prepared


  • Registan Squire, grandeur architecture of madrasa, mosques and mausoleums of Samarkand conquer the imagination of travelers
  • Ancient city of Sarazm –ruins with over 6500 years history UNESCO heritage site
  • Museum of Antiquities – rich with wonderful collection of Buddhist art from the lost cities of ancient Kushan empire, the Greco-Bactrian periods’ with biggest in the world statue of Buddha in Nirvana
  • Travelling along enchanting Pamir Highway alongside with Afghanistan, get glimpses of the other side, from the hair-raising Afghan-built footbridges –ovrings, to epic landscapes surrounded by snowcapped peaks
  • The cultural heritage of ancient Silk Road: ancient fortifications, Buddhist ziggurats, petroglyphs and cave paintings of different ages, Pamiri house, solar calendars and other mysteries of Wakhan valley
  • Deep immersion in Nomadic lifestyle staying in yurts of Tulpar Lake with breathtaking view to mighty Lenin Peak 7134m sublimed at Alay valley


Upon arrival in Tashkent airport, our guide will meet the group and transfer to hotel. Check in to the hotel at noon. Then, you will start sightseeing of the biggest city of Central Asia, the capital of Uzbekistan – Tashkent. Starting with Old City, we visit the Khast Imam Complex, where the world famous Koran is preserved. This holy book belonged to Caliph Usman. This complex consist of Sheykh Tilla Mosque, Madrasah of Borak khan and Saint Abubakr Kayfal mausoleum. The guests can visit the Islamic Institute of al-Bukhari as well. The rest of the day can be spent with sightseeing of Amir Temur square and Applied Art Museum. Overnight in hotel.

Meals included: Today the meals are not included

Sightseeing: 4 hours

Altitude: 455m↑

After breakfast, we head to railway station and take the high-speed train Afrosiab to reach Samarqand. The journey will take around 140 minutes. We start city tour of Samarkand with spectacular Registan Square, then Bibi Khanum Mosque. We drive to Koni Gil village to have kunch with family, which used to make paper by several generations. They show how they make this paper from mulberry. After we return to Samarqand to visit the Shohi Zinda Necropolis.

Overnight in hotel

Meals included: Breakfast

Sightseeing: 5 hours
Altitude: 705m↑

Today we start earlier, we drive one hour to Uzbekistan – Tajikistan border in Jarteppa, here we say goodbye tou our Uzbek guide and drivers and after formalities cross the border to Tajikistan. Tajikistan team will meet the group at the border and drive to Penjikent. En-route we will pass the ancient Sarazm – UNESCO Heritage listed site. For lunch we will have traditional Penjikent Osh prepared from special rice grown in Penjikent.  We visit Rudaki Museum and the ruins of lost town of Sugdian era – Old Penjikent. Overnight in hotel.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch

Sightseeing: 4-5 hours
Altitude: 900m↑

Today we head to Dushanbe; en route, we stop to visit the Penjikent Wine factory. The guests can try the famous in Tajikistan several sorts of wines made in local way. We drive about 35 km of the shaky road to visit Iskanderkul – the Lake of Alexander the Great. The lake is one of the most beautiful in Tajikistan. Here we have picnic lunch on the beach. After the guests can make 10 minutes, walking to visit the impressive waterfall called Fanns Niagara. After we drive to Dushanbe. Overnight in hotel.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch

Drive: 305 km, 6-7 hours
Altitude: 706m↑

After breakfast, we start sightseeing tour of Dushanbe. We start our city tour with visit of Museum of Antiquities – rich with wonderful collection of Buddhist art from the lost cities of ancient Kushan empire, the Greco-Bactrian periods’ arts school from various sites along the Oxus river and elsewhere, with great statue of Buddha in Nirvana (After destroying of Bamians’ standing Buddha statues in Afghanistan, this is the biggest in Central Asia).  After lunch, we drive to Hissar. We head out of the city to the nearby town of Hissar, famous for its ancient fortification and interesting madrasah is dating back to the VII – XVI centuries. Drive back to Dushanbe we continue our city tour with visit of second highest flag stock (165m), Rudaki park, Souvenirs and Jewelries shops.  Overnight in hotel.

Meals included: Breakfast

Sightseeing: 4-5 hours.
Altitude: 706m↑

Pick up the guests at the hotel, load the luggage and start the driving to High Pamirs!  Today we have long drive with several stops for photos in viewpoints. Lunch in traditional restaurant in Kulyab. When we go deep among the high cliffs with snow-capped tops from one side and wild roaring Panj River in another side, you begin to understand, why this place called dramatic Pamir Highway. Overnight in local guesthouse in Kalaikhumb. Local family prepares dinner.
Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner
Drive: 370km, 6-7 h
Altitude: 1200m↑

Today we start earlier, because the road we will drive today is shaky and dusty, though we use the 4WD vehicles, we will move slowly with several stops. We drive along the Panj River upstream, passing the Vanj Valley. During this day trip, we will see Afghanistan from right side across the river, where the big difference of lifestyle of Afghan and Tajik Pamirs is visible. We can see the efforts of the Afghani people to open their first highway; the process is running almost with no machinery. We stop to observe the “Ovrings” - hair-raising Afghan-built footbridges. We make a short stop for lunch and reach Khorog – the capital of High Pamirs. The rest of the day the group is free for exploration of the city, and if our visit happens on Saturday, we can visit a Tajik-Afghan cross-border market in 20 min walking from Khorog. Overnight in hotel.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch
Drive: 280km 6 -7 h.
Altitude: 2200m↑

First half of the day we spend with sightseeing of Khorog – the small administrative town. We visit Botanical garden – the second highest in the world, Central Park. After lunch we start the sightseeing of Wakhan valley. Wakhan corridor become famous after the Great Game in XIX century, which divided this valley between Russian and British Empires, using Panj river, as a border. Today we drive till Ishkashim – The administrative center of Ishkashim district.  If our visit happens on Saturday, we have opportunity to visit one of the most famous tajik – afghan bazaar in Afghanistan territory, near the bridge in Ishkashim.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Drive: 180km 5 h.
Altitude: 3200m↑

Today we have one of the most active days of the trip. We continue the exploration of so-called Wakhan corridor. First, we stop to observe the Darshay canyon and ancient shrine, then, we drive uphill to relax in famous hot springs of Bibi Fatima and visit the fort of Yamchun III-I B. C - one of the most important fortifications belonged to Zoroastrian worshippers. This site is without doubt the most impressive in Wakhan. To reach the ruins the group have to climb the narrow path up to the citadel. Those who will do it will have a scenic view to all Wakhan valley and Hindu Kush range of Afghanistan. After the fortress, we can enjoy the thermal springs of Bibi Fatima Holy Hot-springs. Lunch we have in one of small cafeterias near the Hot Spring. To enter the thermal spring is optional.  Our next stop will be in Vrang village, where we walk uphill to see the ziggurat of Buddhist Stuppa IV A.D. one of reminders of the ancient pilgrim caravans that passed through this region following the Silk Road. In surrounded hills, you can see the caves, where the Buddhists used to pray. We come down to the cars and drive further to Hisor. Overnight in in guesthouse in Hisor.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Drive: 120km, Sightseeing: 5 h.
Altitude: 2909m↑

Today you have an advantage to stretch your legs, as it is an active day of the trip! The trek is optional and the number of guests who prefer to observe the ancient shrines and locals lifestyle and make a cultural immerse will stay in the village and those who want to stretch legs, be prepared with water, sun cream, trekking shoes and shack! Moreover, do not forget your cameras, you will see numerous rock carves dated back to Bronze and earlier eras and fantastic view from 3500m to all Wakhan valley!  The driver  will drop the group to uphill of Zong village (5 km down) and from here the group will start the trek lead by our guide. First 50 meters are tough, you need to hike the steep path going up to irrigational canal, then you can relax, enjoy the views and follow the canal upstream gently going up. After one hour (depends on fitness) walking, you will see the first carvings on the burned marble: the figures of Marco Polo sheep, goates, people, hunting scenes, Zoroastristic and Islamic symbols and some strange figures. We will have picnic lunch enjoying the Hindu Kush range from birds flight elevation. After the group will descent to Langar village or back by the same route to Zong, will be decided with guide on place. Reaching  Langar, we will stay in guesthouse of local family, we ask the owner for short music performance and cold beer and enjoy our dinner Overnight in homestay in Langar.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Trek 3-4 h.
Altitude: 2909m↑

Today our journey take us over Kargush pass 4344m to wide and plain valleys of Eastern Pamirs. We will drive up the serpentines and reach the bird’s flight altitude above Langar – our last village in Wakhan. We stop in view point in birds-flight altitude, to enjoy the panorama view of Wakhan valley with mighty Hindu Kush range behind. Here, you can understand why Pamirs was called ‘The Roof of the world.’ From here up to Border Checkpoint, we travel alongside with Pamir River, which is one of the sources of Panj River. Soon the trees disappear and we will see only the bushes of wild rose and teresken, but in early summer, here all the plants are in flowers. After passing the Border Checkpoint, we climb Khargush pass 4344m in foot of which we stop in green valley to have a picnic lunch. After, we pass by two beautiful alpine lakes, summer camps of shepherds. Here we begin to understand why people choose these grandiose latitudes as a place for life. We reach M42 Pamir Highway, than turn right to visit the coldest place of Tajikistan – Bulunkul Lake (3737m) with breathtaking landscapes. In winter, the weather temperature here drops down to - 65°C. After, we drive down to visit the most beautiful alpine lake of Pamirs – Yashilkul lake (3719m) from the top of the hill.
We continue our journey through picturesque Alichur Valley to Murghab 3666m – the administrative center of Eastern Pamirs.
Here we stay in homestay. Perhaps the group will share one big room with several mats put on the floor, so please be prepared for such kind of adventure here. Bathroom facilities are limited and the toilet is outside.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Drive: 270 km 6 h,
Altitude: 3666m↑

After breakfast prepared by local family, which usually consist of omelet or rice porridge or pancakes, with coffee, tea, jam and homemade yoghurt, we continue the journey along Pamir Highway to Karakul. Today we pass the highest part of M41 Pamir Highway – the Ak-Baytal pass 4655m! This pass is the highest section of former Societ Union and up to some scientists consist of ice. We continue our journey along Pamir Highway to Karakul. The hidden site in this expanse of arid landscape is the stunning Karakul Lake, appeared after meteorite impact 10 million years ago and noted as one of the most geologically fascinating places on the earth. The lake is too high to support aquatic life. We will stop for lunch in local homestay and continue our way to Kizil Art pass 4336m, where the Tajik Cross-Border point is located. We need to wait patiently, while the officials finalize the procedures. Then, we go dawn to Alay valley after passing the 25 km neutral zone between Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan. Here we cross another Cross Border Point of Kyrgyzstan and head to Sary Mogol – our destination for tonight. Overnight in mini hotel with good bathroom facilities.
 Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Drive: 270 km 7 h,
Altitude: 3100m↑

After breakfast, we will drive 30 minutes along the dusty path of the hills towards the snow-covered Avicenna peak 7134m (former Lenin peak), majestically rising above Alai Valley. Lenin Peak belongs to Tajikistan, but because of the inaccessibility, almost all ascents take place from Kyrgyz side. We will reach the yurt camp near Tulparkul Lake at 3500m. All yurts inside have 4-5 beds. On cold days, yurts will heated by coal. After accommodation, the guests can do an optional trek to the foot of Lenin Peak and back to the camp. Picnic lunch. Green meadows, beautiful small lakes and epic peaks betray the atmosphere of pacification to this place. The sky is especially beautiful at night.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Drive: 16 km, 30 min,
Altitude: 3500m

Today we say goodbye to our hosts in Tulpar kul and continue our travel among wide Alay valley with herds of horses to typical Kyrgyz villages and pass over Chiyirchik pass 2402m and Taldik pass 3589m with stunning view on the top. Arrive in Osh – the second capital of Kyrgyzstan.  We will directly drive to accommodate in our hotel, than try for lunch the delicious Uygur cuisine in traditional restaurant. After the group approve the dinnertime with guide and can spend the rest of the day with free exploration of the city. Overnight in Hotel
Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner
300km, 4 hours.
Altitude: 600m↑

Today we spend the day with sightseeing of Osh. After breakfast, we walk to visit the sacred Solomon Mountain (Sulayman Too), one of the most famous shrines of the Islamic world in Central Asia, following the trail of pilgrims to the top of the hill. We also explore the caves and if the time permits visit the Historical museum placed inside the caves of Sulayman Too. Before starting climbing the stairs, please get prepared with water, in sunny days Osh is quite hot and to reach the top of Sulayman Too needs time. After lunch, we visit the local market Osh bazaar – the biggest market in Central Asia and get inspired with eastern way of trading like written in the fairy tales. For the dinner the guests can choose the restaurant themselves, the guide will assist. Overnight in hotel.
Meals included: Breakfast
Sightseeing: 4-5 hours
Altitude: 600m

After breakfast in hotel we transfer to Osh airport and take a morning flight to Bishkek – the capital of Kyrgyzstan. Our Kyrgyz guide will meet the group at the airport and transfer to hotel. After, we visit Ala Archa National Park to get introduced to the beauties of Tien Shan mountains. We will have a picnic lunch enjoying the beauty of the gorges, forests and riverbanks. After, we drive back to Bishkek to explore this quite, Soviet style city. Overnight in hotel.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch
Drive: 80 km 1.5 h,
Altitude: 900m

This adventure through these three -Stans ends after breakfast this morning. There are no activities planned and you are free to depart at any time before the hotel check-out, usually at 12 noon.
Meals included: Breakfast
Altitude: 900m

Dates & Prices

Departing Finishing Availability Guaranteed Departure Total from USD
28 Apr 2022 14 May 2022 12 Places left $2,500
17 May 2022 2 Jun 2022 12 Places left $2,500
2 Jun 2022 18 Jun 2022 12 Places left $2,500
21 Jun 2022 17 Jul 2022 12 Places left $2,500
20 Jul 2022 4 Aug 2022 12 Places left $2,700
5 Aug 2022 21 Aug 2022 12 Places left $2,500
11 Aug 2022 27 Aug 2022 12 Places left $2,500
28 Aug 2022 13 Sep 2022 12 Places left $2,500
22 Sep 2022 9 Oct 2022 12 Places left $2,500
29 Sep 2022 15 Oct 2022 12 Places left $2,300

What’s included

  • Meals: 17 breakfasts, 10 lunches, 8 dinners
  • Transport: Private vehicles.
  • Accommodation: Guesthouse/Hotel with private rooms (10 nights),
    Guesthouse/Homestay multishare (6 nights)

    • You want your own room? From extra US $400
  •  Included activities:
    • Samarkand - Shakh-I-Zinda
    • Tashkent - Khast Imam Complex with unique Koran
    • Samarkand - Registan
    • Samarkand - Gur-e-Amir Mausoleum
    • Samarkand - Bibi-Khanym Mosque
    • Samarkand - Paper making workshop & home cooked lunch
    • Penjikent – ruins of 6500 years old Sarazm city added in UNESCO heritage list
    • Iskanhderkul – Alexander Lake
    • Dushanbe - City Tour
    • Dushanbe – Hissor Fort
    • Dushanbe – National Museum of Antiquities of Tajikistan
    • Pamir – Highway
    • Khorog - Regional Museum
    • Khorog - Pamir Botanical Gardens
    • Khorog – Bazaar
    • Yamchun - Yamchun Fort
    • Vrang - Buddist Stupa
    • Langar - Petroglyphs
    • Eastern Pamir – Bulunkul & Yashilkul alpine lakes
    • Eastern Pamir - Karakul Lake
    • Alay – walking to the foot of Lenin Peak 7134m
    • Alay – overnight in Yurts
    • Osh - Suleiman's Mountain
    • Osh - Bazaar
    • Bishkek – Ala Archa National Park

What’s not included

  • Visa and GBAO permission
  • Items of a personal nature such as laundry, phone calls, alcohol, etc
  • Tips and gratuities
Trip Length
17 Days
Group size
4 – 16 people
April - November
Physical rating
Departure / Return
Tashkent - Bishkek
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Explore the Silk Road: Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and Kyrgyzstan