Best of Tajikistan Tour

Highlights of Tajikistan

Experience the cultural and natural highlights of Tajikistan

Days

8

Price

€1590

Briefing

Comfort level:

Physical rating:

Group size: Max 12 persons

Countries: Tajikistan

Route:

  • Dushanbe
  • Iskanderkul
  • Seven Lakes
  • Khujand
  • Dushanbe

Themes: Cultural Tours, Immersive Experiences

Kalpak Travel would like to introduce you to Tajikistan – a fascinating country of rugged mountains, turquoise lakes, friendly people and a mix of cultural influences from Persia, the Islamic world, and Russia. This trip will lead you in one week on a roundtrip through the country.

highlights

  • Go for a sightseeing tour in charming Dushanbe, the capital of Tajikistan
  • See UNESCO World Heritage Site of Sarazm
  • Visit Iskander Kul mountain lake, named after Alexander the Great
  • Experience the hustle and bustle of oriental bazaars
  • Explore the green capital of Kyrgyzstan, Bishkek
  • Visit the “Seven Lakes” in the mountains near Penjakent
  • Meet black smiths & a wood carver in Istaravshan
  • Taste the famous Plov of Penjakent

ITINERARY & MAP

Dushanbe City tour, tea house, Tajikistan

Welcome to Tajikistan! Arrive at the airport early in the morning. Transfer to the hotel and early check-in. You can have a rest after your long flight, take a shower and have breakfast.

We start the city tour with a visit to the National Archaeological Museum of Tajikistan with the famous Buddha statue. Our next stop is the Navruz Palace. Initially, this building was supposed to become the largest teahouse in the world. However, during construction, which involved hundreds of artisans from all over the country, the interior became so impressive that it was decided that it was going to become a palace instead of a teahouse. Most of its rooms are now used only for official government meetings with guests from abroad or for international conferences. Just one room is open for public use and usually, weddings take place there. You get a chance to have a tour inside this unique modern palace. After lunch, we 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 arts flourished. From there we walk up to Rudaki Park, dedicated to great Persian poet Rudaki, who also lived during Samanid time in the 9th century AD.

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

Hotel Sheraton or similar

Tajikistan group Tour, Iskander Kul

Today after breakfast we drive to Iskanderkul Lake, named after Alexander the Great. Triangular in shape, it is considered one of the most exquisite lakes in all of the former Soviet Union nations, nestled in the Fan Mountains at 2,200m altitude. The route is a delightful one, past rugged mountains scenery. At the shore of the lake, we will have lunch and you can go for a swim if you like. We then take a short hike to a nearby waterfall, also called the Niagara Falls of the Fan Mountains. Free time in the afternoon at the lake.

Overnight in cottage at the lake (single/ twin room, western toilet and shower in each cottage), ca. 2200m altitude

Best Tajikistan Tour

After an early breakfast, we drive back to the main road towards Penjikent. About half an hour before we reach Penjikent we turn left following a mountain road 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 will certainly take a photo stop at each of the lakes. The roads are very bad and steep, but we lucky to have skilled and experienced drivers. Near the fourth lake, we stop at the village of Noffin for lunch in a family guesthouse. If we are lucky we will get served fresh fish from the lake.

After lunch, we drive further up to the sixth lake with a short walk in Podrud village on the way. From the sixth lake, we hike in less than one hour up to the 7th and last lake – Hazorchashma. We will have a rest, enjoy the scenery, and meet some shepherds who are staying there during the summer months with their cattle. After a short while we hike down to the car waiting for us at the sixth lake and we drive back down to the fourth lake. In the guesthouse where we had lunch, we will have dinner and stay for the night.

Overnight in family guesthouse (single room cannot be guaranteed, shared western toilet and shower), ca. 2000m altitude

Tajikistan bazaar, Penjikent

After breakfast, we drive all the way back down to the main road leading to Penjakent. The distance is not great, but due to the bad road condition, we will reach Penjakent only shortly before lunch time. 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. If you are interested you can also see how it is made. 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 the 5th century, Penjikent was a thriving regional hub on the Great Silk Road. We visit the local market of the town, the Mosque, the local history museum and the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Sarazm (ruins from 4th – 2nd millennia BC).

Hotel Umariyon or similar

Istaravshan,Tajikistan

From Penjikent we drive up North to Istarafshan first and finally to Khujand. The road to Istaravshan is very scenic, crossing Shahriston Pass. Istarafshan was founded by Cyrus the Great in the 6th century BC and recently celebrated its 2500th anniversary. The Timurids of the 14th century then called Istaravshan Ura-Tube and the city’s artisans were highly regarded in Central Asia. Today, Istarafshan is well known in Tajikistan for its blacksmiths, hand-crafting knives of high quality. We will visit the workshops of the blacksmiths near the entrance of the market. We will also meet a famous wood carving master, who will tell you more about his work and passion. We will also visit the Hazrati Shoh Mosque and Mugtepa fortress.

From Istarafshan it is another one and a half hours driving to Khujand. Check in at the hotel and have dinner in the second largest city of Tajikistan.

Grand Hotel or similar

Tajikistan tour, Khujand

Khujand is situated not far from the Fergana Valley on the Syr Darya river. It is another ancient city with a history dating back to Cyrus the Great of Persia and Alexander the Great. Today it is the second largest city in Tajikistan with Tajikistan’s biggest market – Panjshanbe Bazaar. City tour of Khujand includes the bazaar and the adjacent Maslihaddin Mosque, the historical Museum of Khujand, and Arbob palace.

In the evening we will have a walk around Kmaoli Khujand park and see the Lenin statue.

Grand Hotel or similar

Dushanbe City Tour, Tajikistan travel

Today we drive all the way back to Dushanbe. It is a long and scenic ride on the same road that we took before. Along the way, we stop for lunch. In the early afternoon, we arrive in Dushanbe and you have free time in the capital. Farewell dinner in the evening.

Sheraton hotel or similar

Tajikistan people

Transfer to airport for departure flight back home. We hope you enjoyed your trip to Tajikistan and will return soon to discover more places in this beautiful part of the world!

Inclusions

Transport
Foot, Minivan
Meals
8 breakfasts, 7 lunches, 7 dinners
Accommodation
Hotel (6 nights, incl. early check in on day 1), Guesthouse (2 nights)
Included Activities
  • Dushanbe – City tour
  • Visit to Iskander Kul lake
  • Visit to “Seven Lakes”
  • Penjikent – City tour
  • Meet blacksmiths & wood carver in Istaravshan
  • Taste plov
  • Khujand – City tour

dates & price

Total trip price

€1590

Euro

8

Days

Single supplement available for €400

Deposit: €250

Departing
Finishing
Status
Booking
8 Sep 2018
15 Sep 2018
+ Available
2 Jun 2018
9 Jun 2018
+ Available
Price includes
  • All transfers by minivan 4WD according to the itinerary, from/to airport
  • Accommodation based on double / twin room sharing
  • English speaking tour leader accompanying the group through the country
  • All entry fees as per itinerary
  • Full board (breakfasts, lunches, dinners)
Price does not include
  • International air fares to and from Tajikistan
  • Hotel charges for additional services
  • Travel insurance policy
  • Personal expenses (e.g. souvenirs etc)
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Tips for 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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