From North to South
Duration: 15 days
Tour season: May-October
Group size: 1-15pax
Advantages of the trip
- Mountain scenery of Tajik and Afghan side.
- Meeting different ethnic groups and familiarize with their interesting lifestyles.
Day 1. Meeting at the Uzbek-Tajik border in Oybek (Between Tashkent and Khujand cities). After the border formalities proceed we will drive to Khujand. We will visit the Khujand market and eat its famous meat cakes (sambusa). Hotel. L/D.
Day 2. Travel to Penjikent. We will visit the V century AD site of an important Sogdian city Sarazm. Overnight in Penjekent. City tour. Hotel/guesthouse. B/L/D.
Day 3. Travel to Iskandar Kul Lake. Fann Mountains named after the Alexander the Great. There is a legend that Alexander has lost his horse Bucefal here in this village. Camp/home stay. B/L/D.
Day 4. Drive to Dusahnbe. We will travel thorough Anzob pass tunnel and a beautiful valley of Varob and arrive to Dushanbe. Overnight in Dushanbe. Hotel. B/L/D.
Day 5. Dushanbe. Visit the Museum of Antiquities with a wonderful collection of Buddhist art from the lost cities of Kushan empire, the Greco-Bactrian school of art from various sites along the Oxus and elsewhere. We will also see the largest Buddha in Nirvana in the region after the destruction of Buddhas of Bamiyan. Later we shall visit Gurminj Museum of folk musical instruments and a local bazaar. Hotel. B/L/D.
Day 6. Depart to Kala-i-Khum via Kulyab. Yoy will make a short stop in Kulyab to see tomb of Mir Sayed Hamadani – the great Ismaili philosopher and poet from 15 century. Accommodation in Guest House. BLD.
Day 7. Kalaikhum to Bartang. We will drive along the Panj river upstream passing the Vanj Valley. During this entire 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 will see the effort of the Afghanis to have their first highway that is built with no machinery. Then we arrive to the meeting point of the Bartang and Panj Rivers where our rout will turn left from the main road and follow the Bartang River upstream. Bartang is dotted with small villages and plots of land are carved out of the mountainsides by local farmers. Considered one of the most beautiful spots in the western Pamirs, the valley is famous for its superb hiking, hospitable villages and local musicians. We will stay a night in Siponj village, historically used as a shelter from neighboring Afghan slave traders. Homestay. B/L/D.
Day 8. Drive to Kudara. This road is through a wild valley with few inhabitants. It is very close to Fedchenko and Grum Grujemaylo glaciers. During the Bolshevik revolution this valley was the safe haven for the Basmaches. Camp. B/L/D.
Day 9. Drive to Karakul lake. On the way we will go through a very deserted valley Kok Jar and visit Shurali.The Shurali Valley is large and flat, with the Kokulbel River flowing to the extreme east. The traces of ancient occupation in the valley include a small Saka necropolis and a collection of intricate geoglyphs without comparison in the Pamirs. Later we will arrive to Kara-Kul. We will walk across the lake and village. Home stay. B/L/D.
Day 10. Depart towards Murghab (3630m) via the highest pass in post Soviet area, Ak Baital Pass (4655m). On arrival we will visit “Yak House” handicraft shop to buy some souvenirs. Guest House. B/L/D.
Day 11. Departure to Langar. We will pay a visit to the Grot Shakhti to see the ancient colored paintings, then we departure to Langar through Hargushi pass. All the way Pamir river and Afghanistan being on the left side we will reach Khargush pass and later Langar (3000m), the first village of Wakhan valley, which in old times was the meeting point of the Great Game players. We are now looking at the best of the Wakhan scenery with river Oxus making the boundary line between Tajikistan and Afghanistan. This is a photogenic day as we often come across shrines with peculiar signs and decoration. There are about 6,000 petroglyphs near Langar up in the mountain (3900m) the visit of which demands an additional day of stay in Langar. Homestay. B/L/D.
Day 12. Departure to Ishkashim. On the way we will visit Budha Stupa in Vrang, a museum of Sufi Muborak Vakhani (Philosopher and poet of XIX century. A calendar created by him was popular in East), his Solar Calendar, Ruins of Yamchun fort(IV-III. BC), Bibi Fatima spiritual Hot Spring and Ruins of Kah Kaha fortress. We will continue to Ishkashim and on arrival transfer to a local guest house. Ishkashim has a regular border point with Afghanistan. This place was the door to Badakshan and the Chinese pilgrims of 7th AD and Marco Polo must have used this passage to visit Badakhshan on the way to China. Guest house. B/L/D.
Day 13. Depart to Khorog. If this day happens to be Saturday we shall make an excursion to Tajik-Afghan bazaar near Ishkashim (It takes place on Afghan side on Saturdays and there is no need for Afghan visas). We will have a tour into the one of the side valleys to visit famous Garam Chashma Hot Springs. There are well made places of Hot water baths. Later we will continue to Khorog (2069m). On arrival transfer to hotel. B/L/D.
Day 14. Flight to Dushanbe. If there is no flight between Khorog and Dushanbe then moving to Kalai Humb by car. Accommodation in Kalai Khumb Guest house. BLD.
Day 15. Moving to Dushanbe. Hotel. BLD
Day 16. Transfer to airport. Departure home. B.
Items to bring with you
- Rain gear
- Dawn jacket
- Water bottle
- Sun hat Gloves
- Sun glasses
- Flashlight or headlamp
- Water purification
- Personal medical kit
- Solar panel
- Sun cream with high protection and lipstick
Temperatures: please note that there can be large variations in temperatures. In daytime it can be very hot and a thin layer of clothing will be comfortable but long sleeves protect you from the sun rays. At night it can be cold so a layered approach is best. Predicting temperatures is very hard but they could range between +5°C and + 25°C. Rainfall in the Pamirs at this time of year is not expected but dust storms are. Please take a waterproof layer just in case.