This trip takes you from the lands of ancient Sogdiana and Bactria to Pamir Mountains – a kingdom of glaciers and cliffs. You will follow the trail of Marco Polo and Alexander the Great, exploring the mystery of ancient Silk Road and enjoying the epic landscapes, turquoise alpine lakes, breathtaking snowcapped tops over 7000meters and the most hospitable people. Tajikistan is a land of contrasts – you will it in every step from hot Dushanbe to cool and colored Pamir, This tour offers a unique chance to observe the cultural gem of various tribes and nationalities that attend in World Roof Festival. To make your trip memorable, we added some treks to very rare visited gorges among Pamir Mountains and sightseeing of mysterious Wakhan Valley with ancient castles, shrines, hot springs, Buddhist temples and gorgeous views. Tajikistan is a unique place, where a variety of nationalities and tribes left the cultural trail, from the Scythians, Aryans, Sogdiana and Bactria kings to the pagan tribes of Arianam Vaija, who plundered caravans along the Silk Road linking China with Europe.
The Roof of the World Festival became one of the key agents of change in promoting and building peaceful environment for cultural exchange and preserving of various cultural traditions and pluralistic cultural values among the populations living across in the Central and South Asian regions.
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, we head out of the city to the nearby town of Hissar, famous for its ancient fortification and interesting madrassahs dating back to the VII – XVI centuries. Lunch in open-air National restaurant. Drive back to Dushanbe, we continue our city tour with visit of second highest flag stock (165m), Rudaki park, Souvenirs and Jewelries shops. Dinner in traditional restaurant. Overnight in hotel.
Sightseeing 4-5 h
Today we head east towards the most famous destination of Tajikistan – the Pamirs. We will stop to observe a picturesque Norak water reservoir (one the highest dams of the world) and make a short stop in Kulyab, to visit a mausoleum of Mir Sayed Hamadani – the great Ismaili philosopher and poet of XV century. We pass through 2 short tunnels and drive over Shurabad pass 2200m. Arriving in Kalaikhumb, very small but beautiful town in a center of Darwaz region. Overnight in local guesthouse. B/L/D.
Drive: 370km, 4-5 h
We continue to 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 reach Khorog normally at lunchtime. After, we have a little time to explore Khorog, including the bazaar and the lovely Botanical Gardens the second highest in the world, which are perched high above the town, affording some great panoramic views. Overnight in guesthouse. B/L/D.
Drive: 260km, 4 h
Trek 3 h. Altitude: 2200m↑
After breakfast we prepare our trekking shoes and drive upstream of Gund River. We stop in beautiful Bogev hamlet and start trekking towards Bogevdara valley. The terrain is rocky but enough wide and comfortable for hiking. The flora and fauna changes by altitude, higher the trees and plants differ from the lower parts. We can see some summer shepherds camps and the shepherds grazing their animals. We have a picnic lunch near the stream, than descent to the vehicles and drive back to Khorog to see the Roof of the World Festival. Accommodation in guesthouse. B/L/D.
Drive: 25 km drive. Trek 4 h
Today the Festival begins from the morning, so we spend all day enjoying the Festival. The event provided a rare opportunity for all participants coming across the state frontiers to express artistic talents and demonstrate their own culture-specific creative skills in performing music and dances in multi-cultural environment. Along with music and artistic performance, traditional food and musical instruments as well as handicrafts products, master classes, and documentary films of the countries of participants were also at display for the world to see. This festival has raised awareness on the need to protect and promote distinct modes of cultural expression as historical heritage of the region. The festival helped both to re-invigorate and reanimate the disappearing cultural traditions, promote pluralism in the area. The synergy with tourism sector contributed to economic development and improved people’s lives.
Accommodation in guesthouse. B/L/D.
Altitude: 2000 m↑
Today we start earlier, we have long drive through the picturesque Pamir Plato to wide valleys of Eastern Pamirs. We pass the peaceful and beautiful Gund valley and following the M41 Pamir Highway head to Bulunkul – the remotest and coldest place of Tajikistan: the temperature in winter drops here down to 65 degree below zero by Celsius. We pass over Kuytezak pass 4271m. We visit Bulunkul lake 3735m and one the most beautiful alpine lakes of the world – Yashilkul Lake 3715. After we have lunch in small hamlet of Bulunkul, we can try the fish from local lakes. Here we begin to understand why people choose these grandiose latitudes as a place for life. After lunch we drive to Alichur valley in 30 km from Bulunkul. Here we meet the crew of local Yakmen, they organized short Yak riding tour for us. Yak is quite strong and beautiful animal used to live in high altitude of over 4000m.These animals prefer to live in open fields even in winter time, so Kyrgyz nomads use these animals for carrying things and people. We spend 2 hours riding the yaks and observing nomads lifestyle and stay overnight in Yurts or guesthouses in Alichur. B/L/D.
Drive: 330 km, 4 h
Altitude: 3700 m↑
Today our journey take us over Kargush pass 4344m to Military Camp in Kargush and after formalities drive along Pamir river to Langar – the first village of Wakhan valley. We pass by two beautiful alpine lakes, summer camps of shepherds. After passing the Passport Registration Control in Kargush valley, we will make a short stop in viewpoint on the top of Langar serpentine, to observe all Wakhan valley from birds fly altitude. Drive down to Langar, we can have rest, shower and drinking a bear listen to local folklore – a short musical performance by the owner of homestay. Overnight in homestay in Langar. B/L/D.
Drive: 150 km, 4-5 h
Altitude: 3700 m↑
We drive 5 km down to Zong village and start hiking up along the small channel of water. The terrain is normal and gently goes up. After 1 hour hiking we reach the marble platforms full of ancient petroglyphs; The ancient petroglyphs of Langar – the message left by Scythian's, Aryans, Zoroastrians and other habitants of these area, for next generation The petroglyphs date back to Bronze and earlier eras and show the hunting scenes, ibex, different symbols and unknown marks. There are more than 10,000 of various pictograms here. Later, we continue our trek among the narrow gorge to the foot of Engels peak. The gorge very soon turns to green lushes with Small River, where we can meet the shepherds and stocks. We enjoy the view to Engels peak and surroundings and have picnic lunch here. After we can stay in overnight in tents or trek back to the vehicles and stay in homestay. B/L/D.
Distance: 14 km one way,
Trekking: 6 h,
Up: 1100 m
Down: 1100 m
Altitude: 4250 m↑
This morning we explore the hill with topped ziggurat of Buddhist Stuppa IV A.D. one of reminders of the ancient pilgrim caravans that passed through this region following the Silk Road we drive down and continue exploration of the mysterious Wakhan. We visit House museum and Solar calendar of Sufi Muborak – a philosopher, poet, theologian, astronomer and musician of XIX century. A calendar created by him was popular in East.. 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 worshipers. Scenic view to all Wakhan valley and Hindukush range of Afghanistan. Overnight in guesthouse in Yamchun. B/L/D.
Sightseeing 4-5 h
Altitude: 3400 m↑
We continue our journey with sightseeing of Wakhan valley. Wakhan become famous after the Great Game in XIX century, which divided this valley between Russian and British Empires, using Panj river as a border. We stop to observe the Darshay canyon and ancient shrine. After we stop to look at the ruins of Kaahka fortification III-I B.C and continue driving along Panj river. En route, we visit Garmchashma hot-spring. Possible to have an optional bath in open-air pool, surrounded by interesting colored minerals. Overnight in guesthouse in Khorog.
180 km, 4-5 h
Altitude: 2000 m↑
Drive back to Dushanbe downstream of Panj River. For overnight, we stay in Kalaikhumb. Meals: B/L/D.
Drive: 260 km, 4-5 h
Altitude: 1200 m↑
If the road open, we will drive back via Khaburrabot pass 3900 m taking another road after Kalaikhumb. Arriving in Dushanbe transfer to hotel. Meals: B/L/D.
Drive: 370 km, 4-5 h
Altitude: 700 m ↑
|20 Jul - 1 Aug
The country is safe, even if the southern part of it neighbors with Afghanistan. No dress code and limits on food, drinks or free talking to locals. The tour is equipped with very experienced local drivers and well served vehicles. The guides are local with excellent knowledge of the area. The hospitality is a part of DNA of these people - you will feel it soon.