Explore Pamirs /10 days trek to Bartang valley/
Duration: 23 days
Tour season: June-September
Group size: 1-15pax
This tour is specially developed for acquaintance with the basic sights located in Pamirs with beautiful scenery of Oxus river making the boundary line between Tajikistan and Afghanistan. This is a photogenic place with shrines, signs and decoration.
Advantages of the trip
- Through this region passed one of the arteries of the Great Silk Road – the route through the Pamir knot.
- Visiting all trekking zones of Pamirs
- Meeting different ethnic groups, and familiarize with their interesting lifestyles.
- Very small number of Europeans have seen this part of the world;
Day 1: Arrival in Dushanbe, the capital of Tajikistan with about 800,000 inhabitants and the most modern city of the country. Transfer to the hotel. Evening walks across Dushanbe. B/L/D.
Day 2: Dushanbe. Visit to Gurminj Museum of traditional musical instruments and Museum of Antiquities, 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, with great Buddha in Nirvana (After destroying of Bamian Buddha in Afghanistan this is the biggest in Central Asia). Excursion to Hissar Fortress, the Kohna Madrassa museum and nearby Seminary. Dinner at a local restaurant in Hissar. Overnight in Hotel in Dushanbe. B/L/D.
Day 3: Departure to the Pamirs via Tawildara and Khaburabad pass (3252m) or via Kulyab region. When we pass over Khaburabad to Kalaikhum the scenery and the people change again. The people here are Pamiris with their own languages. There are seven different languages used in Tajik Pamirs. Kalaikhum is located on the Panj River, a major tributary of the famous Amu Darya (Oxus) River. Accommodation in a private guesthouse. B/L/D.
Day 4: 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. Acclimatization before the trek to Gisev. Homestay. B/L/D.
Day 5: Moving to Gisev. Gisev village is one of the ecological villages in the Pamirs that still has neither vehicle road not electrical cabling. Some houses use solar energy or small generators. The entire valley has only about 15 houses. This valley has many small beautiful lakes, different varieties of birds and herbs and few groves and is very popular for tourists. We will cross the Bartang river through wooden bridge but optionally we can cross it by a cable cart that is used by locals. Further we begin the trek to Gisev village (10 km). Homestay. B/L/D.
Day 6: A full day here allows for a thorough exploration of the area. Renowned for its beautiful and clear lakes, the area is incredibly scenic and is a good place to sample the traditional Pamiri way of life. We will have short walks up to some of the higher lakes. Bartang folklore music. Homestay. B/L/D.
Day 7: We will descent to the main road and drive to Khorog. The road will follow near Panj River. Khorog is the administrative centre of the Pamir region, dramatically set deep in the valley at the confluence of the Panj and Ghunt rivers and boxed in by the mountain peaks. Accommodation in hotel. B/L/D.
Day 8: Visit, to the Ethnographical Museum, Botanical Garden (one of the highest in the world) and the construction site of one of Central Asia University’s campuses (unique university of its kind that is specifically developed for the mountain regions by the Aga Khan IV the leader of Ismaili Shia Muslims of the World, and its campuses are spread in tree countries, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan). Accommodation in hotel. B/L/D.
Day 9: Khorog-Javshangoz. Drive up trough Shokhdara Valley about 100km until Barchid village. The route is packed with ancient fortresses and small settlements, where we will be able to get a flavor of Pamir life, both ancient and modern, and a hot spring that will provide the perfect preparation for the acclimatization trek tomorrow. Home Stay. B/L/D.
Day 10: Trek from Javshangoz to Turumtay Kul lake and drive to Yashil Kul Lake. Today we get our first taste of trekking in the Pamirs. We will pack backpacks and leave early in the morning for acclimatization trek. The trek will be about 18km from Barchid to the beautiful Lake Turumptai Kul. The vehicles will meet us there and we will continue along the Pamir Highway to Lake Yasil Kul, where the long trek begins. Home Stay. B/L/D.
Day 11: Rest and acclimatization day in Bulun Kul village near Yashil Kul Lake. This day is an opportunity to sort out our equipment, acclimatize and explore the stunning terrain around Yashil Kul. The people living here are Tajiks and Kyrgyz. This day we will learn how difficult and harsh the life of these people is. The winter temperature falls to – 50°C but people never leave their village. We may also take the opportunity to visit a small nearby geyser. Camp. B/L/D.
Days 12-20: Trekking from Yashilkul to Bardara in Bartang valley. These days we will be on a fantastic eight day trek that will take us into some of the most remote and beautiful areas of the Pamir region. Along the way we will climb high mountain passes, camp on the shores of remote mountain lakes, witness rare wildlife and bask in the sheer dramatic beauty of the places we trek through. Our pace will largely be dictated by the strength of the group and the terrain but there should be an opportunity for a rest day during the trek to recharge and relax. Camp. B/L/D.
Day 21; This day, we will take a nice drive towards Kalai Khumb. There should be an opportunity to see some of the sights that we may have missed on the way down and, if possible, we will aim to stay in one of the villages outside of Kalai Khumb to help us to appreciate some of the culture of the inhabitants of the Pamir region. The village is so close to the Afghan border that we can wave to the Afghani villagers on the other side of the river. Homestay. B/L/D.
Day 22: The final day of our trip takes us back to Dushanbe to stay in a luxury Hotel. B/L/D.
Day 23: Early morning transfer to the airport. Fly home. B.
Items to bring with you
- Sleeping bag
- Silk sleeping bag
- Mattress Term-a-rest
- Rain gear
- Dawn jacket
- Water bottle
- trekking socks
- Sun hat
- Sun glasses
- Sun cream with high protection - lipstick
- Flashlight or headlamp
- Water purification
- Personal medical kit
- Solar panel
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.