Tajikistan Trekking Tour

Tajikistan Trekking in Fan Mountains

Be at one with nature amidst some of Central Asia’s most spectacular scenery in the Fan Mountains of Tajikistan

Days

11

Price

€1960

Briefing

Comfort level:

Physical rating:

Group size: Max 12 persons

Countries: Tajikistan

Route:

  • Dushanbe
  • Penjakent
  • Fan Mountains
  • Dushanbe

Themes: Active Adventures

Trekking Tour in Tajikistan is barely on the tourist radar but those that make the effort will be rewarded with some of the most pristine and precious landscapes on the planet.

Not only will you gain an insight into the diversity of Central Asian culture, but you will also get to explore Tajikistan’s rich cultural heritage.  Soviet-style Dushanbe, Tajikistan’s capital, with its landmarks, museums and busy bazaars, is a world away from the tranquil landscapes of the river valleys and mountain passes that make up Tajik countryside. This Fan Mountains Trekking Tour will take you back in time as you explore wonders such as the Hisor Fortress and the old city of Penjikent.  But the great treat in store for you on this trip is that the countryside through which you’ll trek has been little changed for millennia, its glacial lakes as turquoise as they were in the days of the ancients and its mountain peaks as craggy. If you’re looking for a physical challenge in a country so unspoiled no one can argue it’s a hidden gem, then this is the tour for you.

highlights

  • Sightseeing tour in charming Dushanbe, the capital of Tajikistan
  • Get acquainted with the Persian cultural heritage of Central Asia
  • Visit Iskander Kul mountain lake, named after Alexander the Great and climb to the top of the mountain called “Alexander’s Hat”
  • Go trekking among wild and unspoiled mountains dotted with turquoise lakes
  • Meet local people their carts piled high with hay just as it’s been for centuries
  • Experience the hustle and bustle of oriental bazaars

ITINERARY & MAP

Dushanbe, the capital city of Tajikistan

Welcome to Tajikistan! Arrival at the airport early in the morning (most people arrive on Turkish Airlines via Istanbul). Transfer to the hotel and early check-in. You can rest, take a shower, and have breakfast after your long flight.

We start the city tour with a visit to the Navruz Palace. Originally this building was supposed to become the largest tea house in the world. However, during its construction, which involved hundreds of craftsmen from all over the country, the interior became so impressive that it was decided to make it a palace instead of a tea house. Most of the rooms are only used for official government meetings with guests from abroad or for international conferences. Only one room is open to the public and usually, weddings take place there. You will have the opportunity to take a tour of this unique modern palace. After lunch, we will visit the statue of Ismail Samani. The large monument commemorates the 1100th anniversary of the Samanid state, the heyday of the Tajik nation when science and art flourished. From there we go to Rudaki Park, which is dedicated to the great Persian poet Rudaki who also lived during the Samanid period in the 9th century AD.

We will have a welcome dinner in a nice Tajik restaurant. Your guide will outline the itinerary and give you plenty of opportunities to ask questions about the adventure that awaits you.

Hotel Atlas 4 * or similar

Penjikent central market view

This morning we are leaving the Tajik capital and driving through the Varzob Gorge – a weekend destination for locals from Dushanbe. We continue towards the Fann Mountains. These picturesque peaks form part of the high Zarafshan ridge. We plan to reach Penjikent just in time for lunch at around 2 pm. After lunch, we check-in at the hotel before exploring the city.

Penjikent means “the city of five villages” and is located in the fertile Zeravshan river valley. Penjikent dates from the 5th century and was a thriving regional hub on the Great Silk Road. We visit the city’s local market.

Hotel Umariyon 3 * or similar

Tajikistan Trekking with tents

We will be back on the road again today following a route that takes us through the Shing Gorge, with its famous seven pearls of Tajikistan – seven mountain lakes each with its own distinctive color, microclimate, and flora. We are in no hurry today and can take photo stops at many beautiful spots along the way. Near the fourth lake, we stop at the village of Noffin for lunch in a family guesthouse.

After lunch, we drive further up to the sixth lake with a short walk in Podrud village along the way. From the sixth lake, we hike in less than one hour up to the 7th and last lake – Hazorchashma. The crew of donkeys, cook, and support staff will meet us at the lake. You may relax at the lake, go for a swim, or have a walk around the lake if you like.

Overnight in tent, 2400m altitude.

people trekking in Tajikistan

Start the day with a nutritious breakfast. You will be trekking today around 6 hours, mostly uphill, so you will need the sustenance. We trek westwards from Hazorchashma lake towards Tovassang Pass, climbing steadily as the pass is at an altitude of 3350m. The exertion is well worth the effort, though, as we will be treated to an incredible view over the stunning Sarmat Gorge.  We continue on, through the breathtaking Danisher Gorge, camping along the way.

Overnight in tent, ca. 2800m altitude

Danisher Trekking in Tajikistan

Fortunately, what goes up must come down and it’s downhill all the way today.  We’ll stroll down the trail that leads through dense forest to the small village of Khomori Goitan before crossing the Archamaidon and Sarmat rivers.  We’ll be glad of our crew and their pack mules who’ll take the hard work out of carrying our gear, leaving us free to focus our attention solely on the unmissable scenery that unfolds before us.  Our goal today is to reach the Duoba campsite, located at 1870 meters above sea level at the confluence of the Archamaidon and Sarmat rivers.

Duoba trekking Tajikistan

Another day’s trekking begins this morning, and a very pleasant walk it is too. Our route hugs the banks of the Archamaidon River. In comparison to the rocky slopes, the meadows which surround the river are lush from the water used to irrigate them. We follow the main road past the villages of Voru and Gaza. Having broken for lunch somewhere along the way we will hike until we reach the village of Zimtut, where we are welcomed by a friendly family in their house, where we will have dinner and overnight. There will be some time to discover the charming village of Zimtut and get acquainted with the villagers.

Overnight in a simple guesthouse, ca. 1900m altitude  (multi-share with mattresses on the floor, pit toilets outside)

Chukurak lake surrounded by grey cliffs in Tajikistan

Today it is time to hike uphill again as we will cross Ghuytan pass (3000m) to reach Chukurak lake (2450m). After a short rest at the lake, we hike half an hour down to the Artuch Alpinist camp, where you will be able to sleep in twin rooms with a private bathroom and shower.

Overnight in Artuch Camp (twin/ single rooms, with private bathroom and shower), 2160m altitude

Kulikalon lakes camping in Tajikistan

Feeling refreshed after a good night’s rest, we are ready for the delightful ascent to the Kulikalon Lakes. The Kulikalon area is a plateau at an altitude of around 2800m full of rivers and beautiful lakes – some smaller and some larger. Many consider these lakes to be the most beautiful ones of the entire Fann Mountains. We will arrive early enough at the lakes, so you can go for a swim or explore the area on your own. Overnight at lake Bibijanat, a particularly picturesque lake in the Kulikalon area and suitable for swimming.

Overnight in tent, ca. 2800m altitude.

Alauddin lakes from above

We depart Bibijanat and climb towards the incredible Alauddin Pass (3860m). This is the highest point of our tour. The ascent to the Pass is quite steep, so we make sure to stop sometimes to catch a breath, drink water and eat some snacks. On the pass, you will be rewarded with a clear view of Chapdara Glacier, the peak with the same name, as well as Mount Odamsang and Mount Marriya. Looking down from the Pass you can already spot the two Alauddin Lakes. The descent is quite steep and it takes longer than it seems until we finally reach the shore of Alauddin Lake and can jump into the refreshingly cold water.

We set up our tents next to the lake.

Overnight in tent, ca. 2700m altitude.

Iskanderkul lake shore with 2 travelers near the boat

Today morning we walk down half an hour from Alauddin Lake to Alauddin Alpinist Camp, where the driver will wait for us to take us to Lake Iskander Kul. Named after Alexander the Great, this tranquil lake offers a serene location to mull over the sights and experiences we have had since arriving in Tajikistan.  Triangular in shape, it is considered one of the most exquisite lakes in all of the former Soviet Union nations. We will take a short hike to a nearby waterfall, also known as the Niagara Falls of the Fann Mountains. After lunch at the shore of the lake, we drive back to Dushanbe via Anzob tunnel and Varzog gorge. Farewell dinner.

Overnight in Hotel Atlas 4* or similar

departure passport with stamps

Today it is time to say a fond farewell to Tajikistan. Transfer to Dushanbe International airport. We hope you have enjoyed your trip to Tajikistan and will return soon to see more of Central Asia.

Inclusions

Transport
Foot, Minivan
Meals
11 breakfasts, 10 lunches, 10 dinners
Accommodation
Accommodation: Hotel (4 nights), Family Homestay (1 nights), Tent (5 nights)
Included Activities
  • Dushanbe – City Tour
  • Fann Mountains – Trekking

dates & price

You can choose to join a small group on a guaranteed departure or book a private tour on the date of your choice
*
*
*
Total trip price

€1960

Euro

11

Days

Single supplement available for €300

Deposit: €500

Departing
Finishing
Status
Booking
14 Jun 2021
24 Jun 2021
+ Available
26 Jul 2021
5 Aug 2021
+ Available
30 Aug 2021
9 Sep 2021
+ Available
Price includes
  • All accommodation, including 4* hotel with early check in on day 1 in Dushanbe and camping gear
  • Trekking Guide services
  • Porters with donkeys during trekking
  • Cook’s services while camping
  • All transportation during the trip
  • All meals (breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks)
  • All permits and taxes
  • Airport pick up/drop off
Price does not include
  • International airfares
  • eVisa fee (50 USD)
  • Personal kit and equipment (e.g. sleeping bag, mat)
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Travel insurance
  • Tips to porters, guides, and drivers

Important notes

  • Travel insurance is required for this tour.
  • Single supplement is available only for nights in hotel and tent – no single room available in homestays/ guesthouses
  • Trekking experience is required, incl. surefootedness – average duration of trekking and is 5-6 hours per day on this tour
  • Departure for this tour is guaranteed
  • Citizens of most countries need an electronic visa for Tajikistan. The cost of the visa is 50 USD and we can get it for you.

TAJIKISTAN TRAVEL INFORMATION

MONEY & COSTS:

The Tajik currency is called the Somoni (TJS). In the capital Dushanbe there are a few ATMs that you’ll find in shopping malls, supermarkets, or on the main streets, but most of them accept only Visa cards. Outside of Dushanbe, we don’t recommend relying on ATMs as there are only a few of them and they may run out of money.
We recommend bringing cash in new USD banknotes of denominations of at least 20 USD. There are many exchange offices, some working 24/7. Small and old-looking bank notes are harder to exchange. Paying directly with a credit card is still not possible in most places, except for a few high-end restaurants and hotels. An emergency fund of around 500 USD in cash is always good to have during guided trips to Central Asia.

SAFETY:

The political situation in the country has been calm in recent years and there are no indications of upcoming tensions. The border area with Afghanistan is safe as well, but we do not recommend crossing the border for a trip into Afghanistan. Guests and locals are treated with respect and Tajikistan can be regarded as a safe destination for travelers. That being said, you are advised to wear a money belt, watch your belongings, avoid dark streets at night and only take official taxi rides. Your safety is our first priority at Kalpak Travel; we know and regularly assess all our Tajik partners and we closely monitor political events.

ENTRY & EXIT:

Citizens of almost every country can obtain an electronic visa for stays of up to 45 days in Tajikistan. All you need to do is enter the requested information then pay a fee of 50 USD by credit card and you will receive after 2-3 days the eVisa by email. You can print it out and use it just like an ordinary visa to enter the country. Please note, if you are planning to visit Pamir region, you need a GBAO permit, which you can purchase online, together with the eVisa, for an additional fee of USD 20. If you book a tour with us, we can get the visa for you.
As soon as we receive the deposit payment for your tour, we will confirm your booking and send you an email with important pre-departure information. Please read it carefully as it contains important information on customs regulations for Tajikistan.

BEST TIME TO GO:

The climate of Tajikistan is continental and dry across most of the country, including the largest cities. In regions situated at relatively low altitudes, such as the capital Dushanbe, the south of Tajikistan around Kulob and the Khujand region, summers are very hot with day temperatures between 30° and 40° Celsius. However, most of the country is situated at high altitudes, where temperatures are in the mid-20s or less during the summer. If you visit the Fann or Pamir Mountains, make sure to bring some warm clothes, as it can get very cold at night at elevations of more than 3000 meters. The best season to visit Tajikistan is during summer when it's possible to go to the mountains.

HEALTH:

Do not drink water, unless it is bottled, filtered, or boiled. Do not use tap water for brushing teeth or making ice either. Do not eat ice cream. Only eat well-cooked meat and fish, preferably served hot. Vegetables should be cooked and fruit peeled. If you follow these basic rules, you are likely to avoid any health issues like traveler’s diarrhea. Diphtheria, Hepatitis A and Tetanus are recommended vaccinations for Tajikistan. Ensure you are fully insured for medical emergencies including repatriation. Medical services in Tajikistan are basic at best. Please note: there is a small risk of malaria in the south of Tajikistan by the borders with Uzbekistan and Afghanistan. None of our tours visit this region.

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