Tajikistan Trekking Tour

Tajikistan Trekking in Fann Mountains

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

Days

13

Price

€1890

Briefing

Comfort level:

Physical rating:

Group size: Max 12 persons

Countries: Tajikistan

Route:

  • Dushanbe
  • Penjakent
  • Fann 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, you’ll 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 Fann 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

  • Go for a 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 City Tour, Tajikistan Tour

Most people choose to fly to Dushanbe with Turkish Airlines, arriving very early in the morning. You will be met at the airport and transferred to the hotel where you can check in right away. You will have time for a rest, breakfast, and shower after your long flight before meeting your guide and fellow travelers in the hotel lobby at 11:00 AM.

After introduction and lunch we visit ancient fortress at Hisor, just outside Dushanbe, dating back to the 7th century. It was once the residence of the Emir of Bukhara’s deputy and reflects his status. Returning to Dushanbe, we take a city tour which encompasses the city’s main sights: Rudaki Park, the National Library, the White House and the National State Seal. Just as impressive is what is currently the second tallest freestanding flagpole in the world – after Jeddah – a whopping 165 meters high with a flag measuring thirty by sixty meters.

Hotel Atlas or similar

Tajikistan, trekking tour, Penjikent Bazaar

Heading out of the Tajik capital this morning, we drive through the Varzob gorge – weekend getaway for locals from Dushanbe. Moving on, we climb steadily from the foothills into the Fann Mountains. These picturesque peaks form part of the lofty Zarafshan ridge. As passengers, you will be able to gaze uninterrupted at their beauty while someone else takes care of the driving, allowing your mind to wander and the stress of your regular life to fall away like the valley slopes by the side of the road.

Around 1 or 2 PM we plan to reach Penjakent, just in time for lunch.  You get the chance to taste a famous Central Asian dish – Plov (rice with meat and carrots). In Tajikistan, it is said that the best Plov (or Pilaf) is made in Penjikent. After delicious lunch, we will check in at the hotel before exploring the town.

Penjikent translates as “the city of five villages” and is located on the verdant Zeravshan river valley. Dating from 5th century, Penjikent was a thriving regional hub on the Great Silk Road. We visit the local market of the town, the Mosque and the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Sarazm (ruins from 4th – 2nd millenia BC).

Hotel Umariyon or similar.

Tajikistan Trekking Tour, Seven Lakes

We will be back on the road again today following a route which 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 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.

Trekking tour, Tajikistan, Hazorchashma

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

Tajikistan Trekking tour, Tovassang Pass

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 metres above sea level at the confluence of the Archamaidon and Sarmat rivers.

Trekking tour in Tajikistan, Zimtut village

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

Tajikistan Trekking, Chukurak Lake

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 Artuch Alpinist camp, where you will be able to sleep in twin rooms with private bathroom and shower.

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

Fann mountains, Tajikistan Tour

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 lake, Fan Mountains, Tajikistan

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 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.

Tajikistan group tour, Iskanderkul

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 nearby waterfall, also known as the Niagara Falls of the Fann Mountains. After lunch at the shore of the lake we drive to a mountain village, about 10km from the lake, where we spend the next two nights in a guesthouse.

Overnight in guesthouse, ca. 2400m altitude

Tajikistan Trekking Tour, Iskander Kul Lake

After having seen so many passes and lakes, today for a change we will hike to the top of a mountain. We chose not just random mountain, but the peak with the legendary name “Alexander’s Hat” that you could see yesterday already from lake Iskander Kul and is named after Alexander the Great. The altitude on top is 3340m and will enjoy a breathtaking view on Iskander Kul Lake. Depending on how much we will do by car the hike will take about 4-6 hours, so we will have enough time to go for a walk in Saratog village afterwards and enjoy a “Banya”, the Russian type of a sauna.

Overnight in guesthouse, ca. 2400m altitude

Dushanbe City Tour, Chaikhana Tajikistan

Today it is time say farewell to the Fann mountains and transfer back to Dushanbe. We drive again via through Anzob tunnel and Varzog gorge the same way as we came. We arrive in Dushanbe in time for lunch. In the afternoon we can visit a market, or you can choose to spend your time freely in the city. Farewell dinner.

Overnight in Hotel Atlas or similar

Tajikistan Trekking Tour

Today it is time to say a fond farewell to Tajikistan. Early morning transfer to Dushanbe International airport.  We sincerely hope you’ve enjoyed your trip and will return soon to trek in the Pamir mountains or as they call them here, the “Roof of the World”.

Inclusions

Transport
Foot, Minivan
Meals
13 breakfasts, 12 lunches, 12 dinners
Accommodation
Accommodation: Hotel (5 nights), Family Homestay (4 nights), Tent (5 nights)
Included Activities
  • Dushanbe – City Tour
  • Fann Mountains – Trekking

dates & price

Total trip price

€1890

Euro

13

Days

Single supplement available for €300

Deposit: €250

Departing
Finishing
Status
Booking
25 Jun 2018
7 Jul 2018
+ Available
30 Jul 2018
11 Aug 2018
+ 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. Upon arrival, please provide your insurance details to the tour guide. Which insurance you choose is up to you. We recommend for example WorldNomads.
  • 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
  • Please get your electronic visa here: https://www.evisa.tj– where asked for address you can enter Atlas Hotel, 32, Nisor Muhammad Street 3/4, Dushanbe

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 centres, 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 bank notes 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 credit card is still not possible at most places, except for 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 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 e-Visa online 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 almost immediately 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.
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 altitude, 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 metres. The best season to visit is during summer.

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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