Yagnob valley trek
Yagnob Valley sparks the imagination of any explorer. This remote, secluded and hardly visited valley has been inhabited for thousands of years by the Yagnobis, thought to be the last remaining people to speak the ancient Sogdian language. Only a few still live in this virtually untouched part of the world.
You will follow the course of the river, passing along mountain slopes fringed with wild alpine flowers. The trekking opportunities in Yagnob are vast but most of the treks are moderate and advanced due to the steep and challenging passes. The Tabaspin and Rost passes that lead to the Upper Zerafshan Valley are frequently blocked by avalanches and snow.
DESCRIPTION OF THE ITINERARY :
You meet you guide and driver in Dushanbe/Khujand/Penjikent and start journey towards Yagnob over the Anzob mountain pass, Overnight at the guesthouse in Margeb (135km , 3 hours). The village is located in dramatic location surrounded by jagged peaks, with the giant Zamin-Karor rock wall looming over it from behind.
The starting point for this trek is Margib, a village pinned against the rock face of Zamin Karor, with jagged peaks looming all around. You will hike east along the bottom of the river valley to Bedev – the first Yagnobi village – which typically takes around seven hours. Even this close to ‘civilization’, the people are cut off by ice and snowfall for six months of the year, and the road along the valley floor is little more than a dirt track.
Distance: 7 hours (18 km)
Accommodation: Overnight at guesthouse.
The first part of today’s trek is an easy stroll along the banks of the Yagnob River. The path winds its way through three mountain villages and over a couple of small bridges before heading towards the right hand side of the valley. You will reach the village of Garman by the afternoon, where you will stay in the Sanginmurod’s family house. The village is split in two: Upper Garmen and Lower Garmen, and there two families in each. They are friendly, keen to talk and introduce you to their traditions, even if you only share a handful of words in common.
Distance: 12km, 7 hours, +600m/-450m
Accommodation: Overnight at guesthouse .
Today, we will have an opportunity to hike to the most remote village in the southern section of the Yagnob Valley, tucked within a beautiful alpine meadow. Explore two small villages commonly called Qul, home to just five local families. For an authentic experience, you will be hosted at Hussein’s family house for lunch before trekking down to the Pskan village to spend the night at homestay.
Distance: 13km, 6 hours +450/-350m
Accommodation: Overnight at homestay.
After exploring Pskan – the biggest village in the valley – we head to the last village in the Yagnob Valley, approaching from the eastern side, which is inhabited by Tajiks. On the way, we will pass through a few interesting villages, some of them abandoned since the villagers were relocated by the Soviets to work on the cotton fields in the 1950s. In the late afternoon, we will reach Kirronte to spend the night, a peaceful village that is home to just three families.
Distance: 11km, 5 hours, +630m/-440m
Accommodation: Overnight in Kirronte village at homestay .
After breakfast, we will follow the zigzag of the path down to the Yagnob Gorge where our
driver will be waiting to transfer us to Dushanbe/Khujand/Penjikent. En-route, we will have lunch in Pskan village before meeting our driver on the other side of the bridge. Overnight in hotel .
Dushanbe: a perfectly pleasant finale!
Places to visit in Dushanbe
National Museum: I’m not a museum person, but the National Museum has some interesting collections I did enjoy: some of the frescoes from Old Panjakent, and an entire top floor with unique artworks from Tajik artists.
Rudaki Park: Dushanbe’s prettiest park is next to the National Museum. Its tree-lined ways contain everything from Palace of Nations (where the president works) to eccentricities like the second tallest flagpole in the world. Visit after a trip to the museum, but know the park really comes alive at night.
Rohat Chaikhana: Massive teahouse on Rudaki Avenue. Beautifully decorated and a pleasant place to have an affordable nice lunch outside. You can sit in a columned open hall, or an elaborate wooden interior.
Museum of Antiquities: I know, I know, museums. But wait: it contains the bones of the Princess of Sarazm (creepy, but cool), plus an impressive collection of ancient artifacts.
Mehrgon Bazaar: Grand bazaar in the north of the city where you can buy everything from freshly diced carrots to stuffed dried dates.
Ayni Opera & Ballet Theatre: Here you can see operas or ballets in a grand theater for unbeatable prices: US$2 per ticket. Pop in to see if any shows are on!
Sim Sim brewery: Tajikistan’s favorite beer is brewed here in Dushanbe. You can enjoy two varieties of local brew on its rooftop terrace, or in the restaurant below. Food and regional bar snacks are on offer.
For your final day in Tajikistan, head a bit deeper into Dushanbe.
Botanical Garden: A short walk from Chatr Café, stroll in this sprawling garden where couples and families enjoy days out. However, if you’re not already at the cafe I don’t think it’s worth a trip—there are other parks in Dushanbe.
Kurutobhona Olim: Kurutob is one of the few Central Asian dishes that excite me. Strips of bread, yogurt, salad, and herbs make up this curious but delicious dish (one of the few decent vegetarian options in Tajikistan!). Olim restaurant, outside the city center, is a popular local lunch spot.
Navruz Palace: Kokhi Navruz is an attractive palace on the water that’s been converted to a place for events and entertainment. Its grand halls overflow with woodwork, ceiling frescoes, and tiled mosaics. Visit its interior and/or dine at one of the teahouses by its entrance.
Chavonon Gardens: Lining a lake and beachfront behind Navruz Palace, these small gardens are a popular hangout spot in afternoons and evenings. There’s a small cafe on the water where you can sit and people watch .
PRICE FOR PER PERSON : 1264$
NOTE: THE PRICE WILL CHANGE DEPENDING ON YOUR GROUP AMOUT ,AS MUCH AS YOUR GROUP SIZE INCREASES AS LESS THE COST DECREASES .
THE PRICE INCLUDES:
-All transfers and transport; All accommodation. Hotel, Guest houses and Home stays.
-All meals (B.L.D.)
-All entrance and sightseeing fees;
-1L bottled water per day for each
-VAT Tax and Profit of organization;
THE PRICE DOES NOT INCLUDE:
-Visa, international flight;
-Photo and video charges;
-All personal expenses (extra luggage fee, room service, medical expenses/insurance, etc.)
-Fees for extra service (folklore performance, meetings);
-Tips to the guides, drivers and donkey men;
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