Mountain Bike & Trekking Tour Tajikistan

Yagnob & Fann mountains adventure

Hike the rugged and beautiful Fann Mountains and have the ride of your life mountain biking through one of the most isolated and pristine mountain valleys in Tajikistan, the Yagnob Valley.

Days

15

Price

€2270

Briefing

Comfort level:

Physical rating:

Group size: Max 12 persons

Countries: Tajikistan

Route:

  • Dushanbe
  • Yagnob Valley
  • Fann Mountains
  • Dushanbe

Themes: Active Adventures

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. On this tour, you’ll have the opportunity to hike through the magical scenery of the Fann Mountains, characterized by remote mountain passes, serene glacial lakes, and craggy snow-capped peaks.  Using well-maintained and comfortable mountain bikes, you’ll explore the villages and unspoiled landscapes of the Yagnob Valley, relishing the chance to meet the descendants of the ancient Sogdians who will welcome you into their homes. The biking and trekking route combines the Alaodin, Mutnoe and Kulikalon Lakes of Fann Mountains with Yagnob Valley, and reaches an altitude of approximately 4,000m.

It’s a unique combination of active adventure and cultural immersion, giving you an insight into an authentic Tajik rural way of life that has remained unchanged for centuries.

highlights

  • Go for a sightseeing tour in charming Dushanbe, capital of Tajikistan
  • Go trekking & mountain biking 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
  • Meet the Yagnobis – direct descendants of the ancient Sogdians who still speak Sogdian language today

ITINERARY & MAP

Dushanbe, Tajikistan capital

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.

hiking tour Tajikistan, Yagnob valley

Heading out of the Tajik capital this morning, we’ll 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.

After 2-3 hours, at Takfon village, we drive off the main road towards Yagnob valley. After one more hour of a bumpy ride we reach the village of Marghib, where we stop for lunch at a local family’s guesthouse. This place, lost in time, is one of the most photogenic villages in Tajikistan and you can enjoy uninterrupted views of the sheer rock face of Zamin Karor.

In the afternoon, we drive further to enter soon the Yagnob gorge, named after the Yagnob river. From the gorge we cannot continue by car and will hike the last 3km to the village of Pskan. We will stay for overnight in a very simple guesthouse in Pskan, and get familiar with the lifestyle of the Yagnobis – direct descendants of the Sogdians from the time of Alexander the Great. Still today the Yagnobis speak Sogdian language.

Please note: Toilet at Pskan is a pit latrine and there is no shower available.

Trekking in Yagnob valley village in Tajikistan

After breakfast, we will leave the village and trek down to Numetkan village where the mountain bikes will be waiting for us. Along Yagnob river we will have a delightful ride to Marghib (30km, ca. 5 hours). We will stop for lunch in form of picnic at a picturesque place along the way. In Marghib we will have dinner and stay for overnight in a family-run guesthouse (shared shower and western toilet available).

Mountain bike tour Tajikistan, Central Asia

After breakfast, we will continue mountain biking on the dirt road (mainly downhill) and partially (1/3) on the paved road. Lunch at café in Sarvoda where you can take a rest and have a nice lunch before ascending to Marguzor village. Overnight at a family guesthouse (shower available, but no western toilets).

Fann mountains alpine camp vertikal

Today the route goes through scenic gorge of alpine landscape of Fann mountains further up to around 2700m altitude. The first part of the mountain biking ends at lunch time today. Overnight at Russian base camp “Vertical” in a cottage (shower and western toilets available)

Alauddin lake trekking tour Tajikistan

The next day we are tackling a trekking route at an even higher altitude, where the air is thin and breaths are measured. To acclimatize we will hike today up to Mutnoe Lake (3500m altitude). From the lake we have a fabulous view of Alauddin gorge and to the South, glaciers and peaks as far as the eye can see. Our guides will point the peaks out to you: Zamok (5070m), Energiya (5120m) and Chimtargha (5489m), the highest peak in the Fan Mountains. After a picnic at the Lake we return to Alauddin Lake, where we will spend the night at the shore of the picturesque lake in a tent (2770m).

Tajikistan tour, Kulikalon lake

Today we will embark on a tough but rewarding hike via Alauddin Pass (3860m) to Bibijanat Lake. The path to Alauddin Pass is quite steep at times, and one of the most demanding parts of this tour. The incredible view from the pass is the first reward for your efforts. The second reward awaits you at Bibijanat Lake, one of our favorite lakes in the Fann mountains, amidst many more turquoise lakes. Despite the altitude of almost 3,000m if the weather is nice, it will likely be quite hot during the day and you might want to jump into the lake to get rid of the sweat of the long hike. We will set up our tents for the night right next to Bibijanat lake.

Tajikistan trekking tour near bibijannat & artuch

After breakfast we will have a short walk around the area of Kulikalon Lakes and trek down to the Artuch alp camp (3 hours) where you have lunch overnight at Alp camp (shower and western toilet). For the rest of the day you can relax or do a short hike to Chukurak and Ziyorat lakes.

Mountain bike tour Tajikistan

Today it’s time to get back on our mountain bikes. We will drive mostly downhill on a dirt road until Rudaki Mausoleum, where you will have a short break and visit museum and mausoleum of the most famous Tajik poet – Rudaki. We then continue mountain biking, ascending to Zimtud village, where we will have lunch in a family guesthouse. In the afternoon you can explore the village, get acquainted with the locals and their lifestyle or just relax at the guesthouse. We will have dinner and overnight in the same guesthouse (shower available, but no western toilets).

Zimtud village in Tajikistan, Fann Mountains

The first part of today’s route can be done on mountain bike – to the village called Humorigung. There we load our mountain bikes on the donkeys and continue by foot towards the campsite below Tovasang pass. Overnight in tent.

Trekking tour, Tajikistan, Hazorchashma

Today is our last trekking day. We hike slowly up to Tovassang pass (3305m) and then down to Hazorchashma lake. On the way we stop for picnic and at Hazorchashma lake we will set up our tents for the night.

seven lakes trekking trip tajikistan

We will start the day with a short walk around Hazorchashma, the “7th lake”. The path is a popular route for local shepherds to move between the village and their summer pastures. After the walk, we get back on our mountain bikes and ride down along the river towards Shing village, passing 6 more lakes along the way. Near the 4th lake, at Noffin village we will stop for lunch at a family guesthouse. Overnight at a simple guesthouse in Shing village (no shower, no western toilets).

Penjikent on mtb tour

Today we have another quite relaxed ride over off road and paved road (mostly). Our destination if the town of Penjikent, whose name translates as “the city of five villages”. It is located in the verdant Zeravshan river valley. Lunch at Penjikent where you taste the famous Penjikent traditional Plov at guesthouse. After lunch visit Penjikent Historical Museum and the old ruins of Sarazm – UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Overnight at local hotel (private bathroom available).

Best of Central Asia Tour, Penjikent Bazaar

Our tour is slowly coming to an end and we are driving back through the mountains to Dushanbe. We arrive back in Dushanbe in the afternoon and you will have some time for last souvenir shopping or relaxing before farewell dinner. Overnight in hotel.

Dushanbe Chaikhana cafe in national decoration in Tajikistan Tour

Today it is time to say a fond farewell to Tajikistan.  We will provide transfer to the Airport.  We sincerely hope you have enjoyed your trip and will return soon to explore more of Central Asia.

Inclusions

Transport
Foot, Minivan
Meals
15 breakfasts, 14 lunches, 14 dinners
Accommodation
Hotel (4 nights), Family Homestay (6 nights), Tent (4 nights)
Included Activities
  • City Tour of Dushanbe
  • Trekking & mountain biking in the Fann Mountains and Yagnob Valley

dates & price

Total trip price

€2270

Euro

15

Days

Single supplement available for €300

Deposit: €250

Departing
Finishing
Status
Booking
23 Jul 2018
6 Aug 2018
+ Available
1 Sep 2018
15 Sep 2018
+ Available
Price includes
  • All accommodation, including 4* hotel with early check in on day 1 in Dushanbe and camping gear
  • MTB and Trekking Guide services
  • Porters with donkeys during trekking & mountain biking
  • Cook’s services while camping
  • All transportation during the trip
  • All specialist and safety equipment
  • All meals (breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks)
  • All permits and taxes
  • Airport pick up/drop off
Price does not include
  • International air fares
  • Mountain bike rental (230 EUR)
  • eVisa fee (50 USD)
  • Personal kit and equipment (e.g. sleeping bag, inflatable mat)
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Travel insurance
  • Tips to porters, guide 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
  • Trail riding and trekking experience is required, incl. surefootedness – maximum duration of trekking and mountain biking is approximately 5 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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