Undiscovered Tajikistan

14 Days


Mountainous and landlocked, Tajikistan is the smallest of the five ‘Stans’ of Central Asia. Though its lands may not spread wide, they certainly grow tall as more than half of the ‘roof of the world’ – as its frequently referred to – sits at altitudes above 3,000 metres. This breathtaking journey begins in the Tajik capital and descends deep into the heart of one of the region’s most hauntingly beautiful landscapes filled with majestic mountains, crystal-clear lakes and wide-open valleys.

After the opportunity to explore Tajikistan’s modern capital, you’ll then head towards the towering peaks of the Pamirs. Against a backdrop of spectacular mountain scenery, the drive passes through valleys, gorges and villages, skirting the Afghan border before taking the famous Pamir Highway deep into Tajikistan’s solitary south.

Take in lively Afghan markets and the deep blue waters of lake Yashikul, drive into the fertile Wakhan Valley and gaze across to the immense grandeur of the Afghan Hindu Kush. The history of Central Asia is etched deep into the soul of this landscape, from its Stone Age petroglyphs and abandoned fortresses to its captivating mountain villages and the distant camel caravans that still ply their trade across these timeless panoramas.


Upon arrival into the Tajik capital early this morning, you will be met and driven to check into your hotel and recuperate from the flight. Later in the day you can enjoy a sightseeing tour of Tajikistan’s modern capital visiting the blue-domed mosque, mausoleum and madrasah complex of Mawlana Yakubi Charki, a 15th-century Sufi teacher. Also visit Dushanbe's Museum of Archaeology which now holds the largest surviving Buddha in Central Asia. This evening, you’ll be taken out to enjoy dinner at a local restaurant.

The journey deep into Tajikistan’s famous mountain scenery begins as you leave Dushanbe for the Pamirs this morning, via Tawildara and the Khaburabad Pass (3,252m). A change in both the scenery and the people is noticeable as you make for today’s destination of Kalaikhumb located on the Panj River, a major tributary of the famous Amu Darya (Oxus) river.

Following the Amu Darya river that outlines the border with Afghanistan, you’ll make your way over to the town of Khorog which marks the beginning of the Pamirs. Today’s full-day drive cuts through gorges and villages, providing the rare opportunity to compare differences between those on the Tajik and Afghan sides.

Taking the legendary Pamir Highway, the formidable peaks of the Pamirs engulf your car from all sides as you get lost deeper into Tajikistan’s wild southern mountain plateau. The spectacular drive eventually turns off the highway down a wide valley strewn with immense boulders to the tiny village of Bulunkul. The village is home to just 30 families that make a living fishing in the nearby Yashikul lake. Settle into your homestay for the afternoon.

Pull up a pillow and sit down to a homemade breakfast this morning before walking down to the lake to see its brilliantly blue glacial water reflecting an image of the encircling snow-capped mountains. Saying goodbye to your host family, this afternoon you’ll advance towards Murgab with a stop in the valley to visit an old Soviet observatory from which, on a clear day, the western peaks of China can be seen.

The small town of Murgab is the largest in the Pamirs, and the highest in Central Asia, dramatically located at the foot of a mountain. At the heart of the village is a market made from containers, which you’ll take a walk around with your guide. Later, drive to the nearby flower filled Madiyan Valley dotted with hot springs for a scenic afternoon walk. Return for dinner back in town.

A long, scenic drive back across the Pamirs and into the fertile Wakhan Valley brings you to the village of Langar, one of the largest in this remote corner of the country. As you pass along the river gorge separating the two countries of the Wakhan, Afghanistan feels so close you could touch it; camel caravans of traders can often be seen on the paths on the opposite bank.

A steep climb to the top of the village this morning takes you to some petroglyphs. These largely ignored etchings chronicle the history of those passing through the region from the Stone Age to early Islamic texts and Russian soldiers. Then, drive on to the village of Yamg, once home to a Sufi poet whose ancestors you will stay with tonight. There is the possibility of stopping off en route for a hike up to see isolated Buddhist relics above the villages.

The long day’s drive passes through the border town of Ishkashim today where a lively Afghan market is held on Saturdays. The road clings to the river and the Afghan side becomes more and more populated with small houses and villages before arriving back to your hotel in Khorog, this time for a couple of nights.

Spending a day in the city provides the opportunity to visit the local history museum and explore the market. You could also spend the afternoon sat drinking tea in the park cafes relaxing by the ice-cold river that cuts through the town.

A short drive north brings you to the Bartang Valley. The road through this narrow valley winds through green and fertile villages decorated with pretty flowers and fruit trees. Take a walk through some of the nearby villages along the valley this afternoon where the local irrigation systems provide every house with their own stream giving rise to the beautiful, lush gardens you see before you.

Backtracking onto the main road, the return journey towards the capital begins with a stop in Kalaikhumb this evening, where the valley scenery and protruding peaks are no less majestic.

Exiting the incredible peaks of the past days, the feeling of isolation starts to leave you as you make your way through larger towns and small cities to arrive to Dushanbe for your final night.

A good night’s sleep at one of the city’s higher-end hotels is followed by breakfast and check out before you’re transferred to the international airport in time for your flight back home, concluding your magical adventure into the Pamirs.


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Undiscovered Tajikistan
From $ 5,750
/ Adult
From $ 5,700
/ Child
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