Combined tour of Pamir highway and Uzbekistan
Travel in the footsteps of history's greatest explorers and conquers as you partake in this penultimate road trip along the “roof of the world.” Your journey takes you along one of the most remote, but also most rewarding road routes in the world. Travel through isolated mountain villages, and experience the unique culture of the Pamirs. Anything else?! So, let’s Wander!
Description of Itinerary:
DAY 1 TASHKENT
DAY 2 TASHKENT - URGENCH - KHIVA
DAY 3 KHIVA - BUKHARA
DAY 4 BUKHARA - SAMARKAND
DAY 5 SAMARKAND
DAY 6 SAMARKAND- PANJAKENT
DAY 7 PANJAKENT - SEVEN LAKES
DAY 8 SEVEN LAKES - VORU VILLAGE
DAY 9 VORU VILLAGE- ISKANDARKUL
DAY 10 ISKANDARKUL- DUSHANBE
DAY 11 DUSHANBE - KALAIKHUM
DAY 12 KALAIKHUM
DAY 13 KALAIKHUM - KHOROG
DAY 14 kHOROG - ISHKOSHIM
DAY 15 ISHKASHIM - BULUNKUL
DAY 16 BULUNKUL
DAY 17 BULUNKUL - MURGAB
DAY 18 MURGAB - KARAKUL - OSH
DAY 19 OSH
Day 1 Tashkent – arrival
Arrival in Tashkent. Meet your driver and transfer to the hotel. Check in at noon. Free day.
Day 2 Tashkent – Urgench – Khiva
After breakfast start guided sightseeing tour in the capital of Uzbekistan, the biggest city in Central Asia. You will start with exploring the Old City. Visit Khast-Imam Complex, where the world famous Quran, holy book that belonged to Caliph Uthman, has been preserved. The complex consists of Barak-Khan Madrasah, Tillya Sheykh Mosque, Saint Abu Bakr Kaffal Shashi Mausoleum and the Islamic Institute of Imam al-Bukhari. Continue to Chorsu Bazaar. Then take a ride on Tashkent Metro to the city center to walk through Amir Timur Square, Independence Square and visit Applied Arts Museum.Duration of sightseeing tour: 4-5 hours. After driving toward Khiva. Overnight at hotel , in Khiva.
Day 3 Khiva – Urgench – Bukhara
After breakfast sightseeing tour in Khiva. Visit Ichan-Qala Fortress, a UNESCO World Heritage site. In Ichan-Qala Fortress visit Kunya-Ark, Sayeed Alauddin Mausoleum, Arab-Mukhamadkhan Madrasah, Oq-Masjid Mosque, Madrasah of Hodjan Berdi-biya, Shirgazikhan Madrasah, Abdullakhan Madrasah, Juma Mosque, Allakulikhan Madrasah, Tosh-Khovli Palace, Pakhlavan Makhmud Mausoleum, Minaret of Islom-Khoja. Duration of sightseeing tour: 4-5 hours. After sightseeing driving to Bukhara. Overnight in Bukhara.
Day 4 Bukhara - Samarkand
After breakfast start walking sightseeing tour in Bukhara.
Visit Lyabi Hauz Ensemble, Magoki-Attori Mosque, Chor-Minor Madrasah, trade domes, Kalyan Minaret, Kalyan Mosque and Miri-Arab Madrasah, Ulugbek and Abdulazizkhan madrasahs, Ark Fortress, Bolo-Khauz Mosque, Ismail Samani and Chashma-Ayub mausoleums. Dinner and a National Show at Nadir Divan-begi Madrasah.Duration of sightseeing tour: 5-6 hours. Driving towards Samarkand . Overnight at hotel.
Day 5 Samarkand
After breakfast, Samarkand sightseeing tour. Visit spectacular Registan Square, Gur Emir Mausoleum – the mausoleum of Amir Timur, remains of Bibi Khanum Mosque, Siab Bazaar, Ulugbek Observatory. Continue sightseeing tour in Samarkand. You will visit Shakhi-Zinda Necropolis, Afrasiab Museum and the Tomb of Saint Daniel. Then drive to Konigil village to explore traditional way of making Samarkand paper from mulberry. Farewell lunch in Samarkand.Duration of sightseeing tour: 6-7 hours. Overnight in hotel.
Day 6 Samarkand - Panjakent
After having breakfast driving to Panjakent.
Panjakent: an ancient welcome to Tajikistan
Panjakent was once the capital of the Sogdian Empire, a Zoroastrian civilization well predating Islam in the region. There are several ancient sites in the area worth visiting on your way to the mountains.
Places to visit around Panjakent:
Sarazm: A stone’s throw away from the border crossing are the UNESCO-listed ruins of Sarazm. More than 5,000 years old, they’re remains of the first agricultural society in Central Asia. A remarkably tall human skeleton, dubbed the “Princess of Sarazm”, was found here with some of her ornaments. Archaeologists also found artifacts indicating ancient trading routes stretching as far as modern day Iran and Pakistan.
Panjakent Bazaar: This bazaar has a beautiful central building ringed by brick archways. It’s a good place to stock up on trekking snacks like nuts and dried fruits, or get your first taste of Tajik hospitality.
Old Panjakent: The 1,500+ year old ruins of ancient Panjakent are outside the city, accessible by taxi or hitchhiking. The hilltop site spans several kilometers; roam through it at your leisure. Here archaeologists found remarkably well-preserved frescoes. They’ve since been relocated to the Rudaki Museum in Panjakent, the National Museum in Dushanbe, and the Hermitage in St. Petersburg, Russia. You can see copies in the small museum at the Old Panjakent entrance. Overnight in hotel.
Day 7 Panjakent- Seven Lakes( Haftkul)
Haft Kul: teary lakes
Seven small lakes make up the Haft Kul, “ lakes”, in northwest Tajikistan. Legend says they’re the tears of the daughters of a missing man. Science says they were created after earthquakes altered the Shing River’s course.Whichever version you prefer, the Haft Kul road is one of Tajikistan’s most accessible treks; the perfect introduction to Tajikistan’s natural beauty.
To the lakes! Getting to the Haft Kul can be as easy or as strenuous as you like—you decide how far to trek. Aside from the azure lakes, there are plenty of villages to wander through, with many kind locals happy invite travelers for tea.
The final lake of Haft Kul: Hazor Chashma, thousand springs.The slope is gentle, the altitude low (the the lake is around 2,400 m/7870 ft). Overnight in Homestay.
Day 8 Seven Lakes - Voru village
After having breakfast driving to Voru village.This village located on the altitude more tha 3000m above sea level . It's name is VORU . Also the village is considered to be one of the most ancient villages not only in Tajikistan but also in Central Asia . But still the village is not excavated by scientists in depth. The main thing which amaze every visitors is the location of the houses . Voru differ from other village for his strange and various traditions and cultures. It seems like a grandiose multistorey in the heart of skyscraper mountains . Here just WOWW . Be ready , you are not going to visit just a village you are in the Stone Age. Dinner in the guesthouse .Overnight in traditional Guesthouse.
Day 9 Voru village - Iskandarkul
Iskanderkul is a mountain lake of glacial origin in Tajikistan's Sughd Province. It lies at an altitude of 2,195 metres (7,201 ft) on the northern slopes of the Gissar Range in the Fann Mountains. Triangular in shape, it has a surface area of 3.4 square kilometres (1.3 sq mi) and is up to 72 metres (236 ft) deep. Formed by a landslide that blocks the Saratogh river, the outflow of the lake is called the Iskander Darya, which joins the Yaghnob River to form the Fan Darya, a major left tributary of the Zeravshan River.
Iskanderkul a milky-blue lake with numerous green treetops in the foreground and multiple steep-sided mountains in the background. According to the legend, the Lake Iskanderkul was named after Alexander the Great, known as Iskander in the East. People say that Alexander the Great's path to India passed by this lake. Lunch at the traditional homestay "Dilovar". After, you will stroll around the lake, explore five springs and Zmeinoe (Snake) Lake, walk to 38 m high waterfall that local people compare to Niagara and call Fanskaya Niagara (Niagara of Fann). Overnight in Homestay.
Day 10 Iskandarkul- Dushanbe
Dushanbe as the capital of Tajikistan considered to be one of the most safest cities in Asia. For it's good security Dushanbe was awarded with reward of "The city of independence " by UNESCO in 2004 . And again by increasing of security stage in Dushanbe this reward was given to the city again. Nowadays Dushanbe is acknowledged as cultural, historical and modern city with fully significant sights. Here also located the highest flag in the world.
Dushanbe: a perfectly pleasant starting city!
Arrival in Dushanbe airport. And we will take you from the airport and we will begin the tour.
Places to visit in Dushanbe for today:
National Museum: the museum has some interesting collections you will 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.
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. Food and regional bar snacks are on offer
Botanical Garden: A short walk from Chatr Café, stroll in this sprawling garden where couples and families enjoy days out. Overnight in hotel.
Day 11 Dushanbe - Kalaikhum
Our first destination is the Norak water reservoir. The dam here is the tallest earth-fill embankment dam in the world and the second tallest man-made dam overall. We’ll stop so you can get out of the car, stretch your legs, and grab some stunning pictures. From here, we’ll head toward the Afghan border through the Shuraba pass (2,267m). It’s here on the edge of Tajikistan that we’ll officially enter the Pamirs. We’ll drive along the natural border between Tajikistan and Afghanistan, formed by the Panj River. As we drive you’ll be able to see some of the Afghan villages that have settled themselves along the banks of the river. In the evening we’ll arrive in the Rushan region of Tajikistan. This evening you’ll be staying in a home stay in the village of Kalai-Khum. It’s here that we’ll get our first look into the unique culture of the residents of the Pamirs.
Day 12 Kalaikhum
RUSHAN – BARTANG VALLEY – TREK TO JIZEW
From Rushan we begin the most difficult but rewarding portion of our journey through the Pamirs. The people of the Pamirs are famous in Central Asia for their ability to carve out a life in the harsh, mountainous environment and their amazing hospitality. Today we’ll hike through Jizew Valley, a stunning oasis in the middle of the stark sandy Pamirs. In the afternoon, we’ll return to our homestay in the main valley for dinner.
Day 13 Khorog
In and around Khorog JIZEW – KHOROG.
Our journey today takes us to the remote city of Khorog. The city is located on the confluence of the Shokhdara, Ghund, and Pyanj rivers. Take advantage of your free afternoon to explore the sites of the city. Take a minibus to the botanical gardens on the outskirts of the city, or stick to the city center and explore Khorog Park and Bazaar. Reconvene with the group for dinner at a café and then retire to your guesthouse for the evening.
Day 14 Ishkashim
KHOROG – ISHKASHIM
Today we continue to drive along the Tajik – Afghan border on the way to the village Ishkashim. The village straddles the border and is home to a unique bazaar. Take advantage of your Saturday to visit the border market, located on a river island in no-mans-land between Tajikistan and Afghanistan. This is a great place to pick up some interesting souvenirs for yourself or your loved ones back home. In the late afternoon, take the opportunity to relax in the hot springs and Garmchashma Spa. This area of Tajikistan has long been a popular destination for people who believe the waters possess healing properties. In the evening we’ll head to our homestay for dinner.
Day 15 Bulunkul
ISHKASHIM - LANGER
Today we’ll travel through the Wakhan Valley. Historically, the Wakhan Valley has served as the divide between eastern and western Asia, as well as later becoming the natural divide between the Russian and British Empires. With such a rich history, there’s a plethora of interesting sites for us to stop at on our way to Langer Village. Our first stop for the day is the ancient fortresses of Kahkaha and Yumchun which date to between 100 and 300 BCE. These ruins once served not only as defensive posts against foreign armies and raiders, but also as ancient temples and customs points controlling the flow of people and goods through Wahkan Valley. Our next stop is the Vrang Stupa. The small complex located at the top of the stupa has unknown origins, but local historians believe it shows signs of being used as both a Zoroastrian and a Buddhist temple during its use. Even its construction period is unknown, with potential dates anywhere from the early 4th to the late 7th centuries. Next we’ll head to the reconstructed home of the Sufi Mystic, Muabara Kadam. The reconstruction of his home has been converted into a museum dedicated to the life of this famous mystic, musician, and astronomer. Highlights include an abundance of his hand bound manuscripts, musical instruments, and the stone pillar he used to calculate a solar calendar. Our final destination of the day is Langer village. We’ll spend the evening at a homestay.
Day 16 Bulunkul
LANGER – BULUNKAL LAKE – ALICHUR
We’ll start the morning by visiting the petroglyphs above Langer Village. The field contains almost 6000 petroglyphs, the oldest of which date back to the Bronze Age. After our hike, we’ll hop in the car and make our way through the Khargush Pass (4344m) to the lakes region of the Pamirs. Yashil Kul and Bulunkul, located at an altitude of 3700m above sea level, are the most beautiful lakes of the region. They’re famous for their stunning blue color and serve as a destination where mountain shepherds graze and water their flocks. If we’re lucky, perhaps we’ll spot a herd of yaks, the domestic animal of choice for this harsh region. Overnight in a homestay by the banks of Lake Bulunkul.
Day 17 Murgab
ALICHUR – MURGAB
Today we’ll go to the mountain village of Murgab, or the “Roof of the World.” To get to the village we’ll take the Naziatash Pass (4137m). The village of Murgab was established in 1893 as a Russian military post. The remote city sits above 3500 meters making it the highest city in the Commonwealth of Independent States. Because of its isolation, the people living in Murgab often have to go without but they have still managed to carve out a comfortable living. Murgab is the last city before the Kyrgyz-Tajik border. We’ll stop here and take some time to relax after our long journey on the rough roads of the Pamirs. If the day is clear you will be able to catch a peek of Muztagh Ata Mountain in the distance.
Day 18 Karakul Lake - Osh
KARAKUL – TULPAR-KUL
A few hours past Murgab is the second highest mountain lake in the world, Karakul (3815m). To get to the lake we’ll take Ak-Baital pass (4655m). Lake Karakul, Black Lake in English, formed in a meteoric crater and is fed by glacial melt. The area is well known for the various bird species that roost there and is thus an ornithology mecca. From Karakul we descend through the Taldik Pass (3615m) as we make our way to the Tajik-Kyrgyz border. Once we make it through the border crossing, we’ll head to Tulpar Kul Yurt Camp at the base of Lenin Peak. The winding decent to Osh Oblast will furnish you with amazing views of impressive mountains and gorges.
Day 19 Osh
TULPAR-KUL – OSH
We’ll arrive to our hotel in Osh in the afternoon. Take some time to explore the city on your own.
End of tour.
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;
Note: For groups of more than 2 people we have good discounts.