Pamir offroad adventures
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Our 16 - 18 Day Pamir Highway Itineraries!

This tour starts from the Uzbek border in Oybek in North Tajikistan and finishes in Kyrgystan.

Our driver will meet you at the airport, railway station or border with a sign with your name.

The best time for this trip is between the middle of April to the end of October. We do offer this trip all year round, with winter trips geared towards people who want stunning winter landscapes and wild life such as Marco Polo sheep, ibex, fox, wolf, snow leopard etc.

 

 

16 DAY SAMPLE TRIP ITINERARY

 

Day 1: Meet at the Uzbek-Tajik border and travel to Istrafshan via Khudjand city.

From the border we start by driving to Khujand. Khujand is the second biggest city in Tajikistan and there is a lot of industry in the Sogdian provence. In Khudjand we visit medieval citadels and the best known mosque called Sheikh Muslekhmeddin (17th-18th century) as well as the local market Paishanbe. We drive to Istrafshan and spend the night in guest house Hodja Nosir. Lunch and dinner provided. (LD)

Day 2: Istrafshan - Panjkent.

In Istrafshan we visit the Bazar looking for handicrafts and the light-blue dome of Kok-Gumbez & mosque-madrasah (15th Century). we then drive to Penjikent crossing the Shahriston pass through the new tunnel. Once over the pass we stop for lunch at a road side cafe before continuing to Panjkent. En route you'll witness agricultural life in a tradtional way without machinery or tractors and the beautiul scenery of the Fann mountains. Panjikent is small city where two different nationalities live - Uzbeks and Tajiks. Stay at Hotel intourist. BLD

Day 3: Panjkent - Dushanbe via Iskandar kul.

In the morning we visit the outskirts of Panjkent where there is an ancient settlement with a medieval citadel surrounded by dwelling and public buildings, some of which still have wall paintings. Nearby there is a necropolis. The clay and wooden figures found during excavations are kept in the Rudaki History and Local Lore Museum. After sightseeing we leave for Dushanbe, en route stopping at Ainy town, where we'll visit the oldest Munara from the 11th century. We drive to Iskandar kul Lake which is beautifully situated in the Fann mountains. We drive to Dushanbe through Anzob pass, crossing via the old tunnel, before getting to the city. We stop for tea while our drivers wash their cars. We overnight in hotel of your choice in Dushanbe. BLD

Day 4: Sightseeing in Dushanbe and Hissor.

In the capital of Tajikistan we visit the antique museum, and local market,. We have lunch in the city at the Tajik national restaurant Rohat, then visit the ancient city of Hisor Khala. On the weekends local people have wedding partys next to the Hissor fort, so if you are lucky you may witness this and particiapte in dancing. We then return back to your hotel. BLD

Dushanbe and Hissor Facts

Dushanbe is a relatively modern city that rose to prominence during the Soviet era, when it was made the capital of the Tajik Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic. Its name means ‘Monday' in the Tajik language, arising from the fact that this was the day that the market was held in the then small and fairly insignificant village. The ousted Emir of Bukhara, fleeing from the Bolsheviks, stayed in Dushanbe and cooperated with Enver Pasha’s Basmachis until he had to leave the region. From Dushanbe he fled to Afghanistan in 1921, the year the town was freed from the Basmachis as well.

The history of Hisor fort is colorful, with the fortress the stronghold of local Basmachi forces resisting the might of Russia . Through the 1920s a power struggle was played out in the region between the Bolshovik forces and the Pan-Turkic would-be occupiers under the Ottoman Enver Pasha, who was eventually killed in Tajikistan. Today the fort is largely in ruins although the impressive main gate has been reconstructed. Opposite sit two madrassahas dating back to the 16th century, one of which has a small museum in it.

Day 5: Dushanbe to Khalaikum.

Today our journey is 400 km. We`ll drive through Kuliab city, Kuliab is the largest province in Tajikistan and also where the best cotton is grown. We stop at the top of Shar-shar pass for a view of the Nurek dam, and then in Vose where we visit the Khulbuk - Kala  (9th-11th century). We stop for lunch in Vose, then cross the Shurabad pass, through several villages, where you'll see old men in national dress with long beards and a view of Afghanistan across the river Panj. We arrive in Kalai-kum in the early evening. Kalaikum is the first district of GBAO. Overnight at home stay Roma. BLD. Wi-Fi.

Day 6: Kalaikhumb to Khorog (along the spectacular Afghanistan border).

From Kalaikhumb we leave for Khorog with some 250kms of terrain ahead of us, and the promise of some spectacular scenery along the way. The road joins the river Panj, which in turn forms the border with Afghanistan. The contrast across the river valley is telling. Tajikistan is undoubtedly a poor country, but in general the roads are sealed and buildings are connected with electricity. The situation barely 100m away is even starker, and it is as if the river represents not just a physical divide, but also a step back in time. We stay in relative luxury tonight, having reached the capital of the Gorno-Badakshan Autonomous Oblast (GBAO) - a restricted part of the country and we have obtained permits to travel here. We have a little time to explore Khorog including the bazar and the lovely Botanical Gardens which are perched high above the town, affording some great panoramic views. Hotel Kivekas. BLD. Wi-Fi. 

Day 7: Khorog to Ishkashim (along the spectacular Afghanistan border).

Our next stop is 50kms along the road at Garmchashma hot springs for an (optional) dip in the natural hot springs. From here, we enter the Tajik half of the Wakhan Valley (shared with Afghanistan) and have a further 100km to cover. We pass regional gem mines mentioned by Marco Polo in his descriptions of what he called the “Mt Shugnon region” the most famous Koh-i-Lal ruby mine which is visible from the road. Ishkashim itself may be the regional centre, but it is essentially still a large village and we stay in a traditional style local's guesthouse here. BLD

Day 8Ishkashim to Langar (along the spectacular Afghanistan border).

There is little to see or do in Ishkashim itself, so we detour to the nearby village of Namadguti to visit the Khahkha Fortress. This impressive structure rises from a naturally formed platform of rock and dates back to the Kushan era of the 3rd Century. Please note that the fort is sometime still used by local Tajik army. There are a number of these ancient fortress in the area, and we also visit Yamchun fort, perhaps the most impressive of them. We take a break at the Bibi-Fatima hot spring, named for the Prophet Mohammed’s daughter and where local women believe they can increase their fertility. Men and women will have separate bathing time. Continuing our sightseeing today we visit the sufi museum in Yamg village, we then stop at the 4th Century Buddhist stupas at Vrang which is a reminder of the ancient pilgrim caravans that passed through the region. There are traces of this Buddhist history to be found throughout Central Asia, despite the dominance of Islam in recent centuries. Overnight in Langar home stay Nigina.BLD

Day 9: Langar to Murghab.

Today we get a chance to explore the amazing landscape of this area. Moving on, we cross a second high-altitude pass, Khargusht and Naiza-tash Pass (4137 metres), and pass several lakes. On this journey we leave behind the lush valleys of the Wakhan Valley and enter a landscape that is rocky, mostly barren but nevertheless dramatic. This is the Pamir Highway we have anticipated, with the route between Khorog and Osh completed in 1931 across a high altitude terrain. We have a total of 310km to cover today. We drive up to see the Bulunkul & Yashilkul lakes, We stop at Alichor village to explore the village and have lunch, including a visit to the Shakhty cave rock paintings which are situated in an unreal martian like landscape, arriving in Murghab early evening at home stay Eraly. BLD

Day 10: Murghab to Pshart.

Murghab is my hometown and is small, with only 17,000 people live in the whole region, the majority of whom are Kyrgyz ethnic. We visit the local handicraft shop, the market (built out of old shipping containers), and the Lenin statue. After exploring the town we drive some 30 km to the north to the Gumbez-kol valley, the summer pasture of Kyrgyz nomads. This is offroad driving and we spend the rest day here with a picnic lunch watching Kyrgyz nomadic life and enjoying the fantastic mountain scenery. Depending on the time of year and your preference we can overnight in a yurt or we can return to Murghab to the same home stay. BLD

Day 11Murghab to Lake Kara-kul.

From Murghab we drive to Rankul lake. If you like we can do a short hike to enjoy the scenery of Muztag Ata peak in China. We then return to the Pamir Highway to drive to Kara-kul which is the highest lake in Tajikistan at 3960m. We cross the second highest pass in the world, Akbaital at 4655m, and en route stop at the first Russian fort dating back to 1873. Before the Russians came, this place was a caravanserai on the silk road. We have lunch in Kara-kul, then explore the village, and walk along the lake with views of peak Lenin. This is our last night in Tajikistan. Overnight in home stay Saadat. BLD

Day 12: Kara-kul to Osh.

Our final Pamir Highway high pass is the Kizilart (4270m) which essentially forms the border beetween Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan. We also drive along the Chinese border to start with. The border crossing will take at least half an hour, but while you wait you have specatuclar mountain views. Be warned even in summer we could have sub-zero temperatures through the border areas, so make sure you have some extra layers at hand in case we are delayed by formalities. You keep the same guide as you go into Kyrgyzstan. We cross the Taldik pass (3650)m and Chyirchik pass. On the journey we enjoy the scenery of Alay, Tien Shan mountains, river Kyzyl-Suu, and river Gulcha. You will now have the famous views of the Kyrgyz nomads in their pastures (jailoo) with flocks of animals. We drive to Osh, then visit the Sulaiman’s hill and cave, and the famous central market. Overnight in a hotel Sunrise. BLD

Day 13: Sightseeing the old city of Osh. 

Today we go sightseeing in the old city. Osh is the second largest city in Kyrgyzstan, located in the Fergana valley in south of the country and often referred to as the capital of the south. It is the oldest city in the country estimated to be more than 3000 years old, and has served as the administrative center of Osh region since 1939. The city has an ethnically mixed population of about 255,800 in 2012, comprising Kyrgyz, Uzbek, Russians, Tajiks, and other smaller ethnic groups. We visit local markets, Solomon's hill and historical caves.Same hotel Sunrise. BLD

Day 14: Osh to Sonkol. 

We journey to Sonkol via Uzgen and stop for sights such as the Munara (tower) Jalalabad, Kazarman, Aktash highest pass, Moldo Ashuu pass. En route to Sonkol we stop for picnik and enjoy the landscape. In the evening we arrive at Sonkol which has Sonkol lake, the largest alpine lake which is sandwiched in a alley between the internal ridges of the Tien Shan. At the lake there is a nice yurt camp to see and we enjoy the sun set ponarama views. Stay at yurt Janish. BLD

Day 15: Sonkol to Bokonbaev via Kochkor.

From breakfast untill lunch you will have free time for horse back riding and walking around the lake. After we will drive to Bokonbaev village along the Issikkol lake and have a short stop in Kochkor to visit the local women's handcraft shop and lunch. From Sonkol we drive through the Kalmak Ashuu pass, seeing the nomads with their yurts and flocks of horses, sheep and yaks. Home stay in Bokonbaev. BLD

Day 16: Bokonbaev to Bishkek via Balikchi, Tokmok.

Today you will see an Eagle rabbit hunt. Near the Issikkol lake a person will come with his eagle and he'll send his bird to hunt for a rabbit. After this show you leave to Bishkek and on the way stop for swim in the beach, Balikchi. We may catch a local wedding or festival or national horse games in Kokbooru. And then welcome to Bishkek! You will have just completed one of the most spectacular journeys of your life! Accommodation will be booked and payed by yourselves in Bishkek.BL

 

At your discretion we can change any of the tour details.

                           

                                                                                                

18 DAY SAMPLE TRIP ITINERARY

 

Day 1: Same as 16 day trip.

 

Day 2: Istrafshan to Saritog valley in the Fan mountains.

In Istrafshan we visit the Bazar looking for handicrafts and the light-blue dome of Kok-Gumbez & mosque-madrasah (15th Century). we then drive to Penjikent crossing the Shahriston pass through the new tunnel. En route stop in Ayni for seeing the Munara (11th century), including a lunch stop at track stop chayhona. An hour later you'll get to the beautiful lake Iskandar kul in the middle of the Fann mountains. Enjoy the scenery and take a short hike to the lake then drive up over the hill to the small village of Sarytog where you can walk into the beautiful gorge. Home stay Dilovar. BLD

Day 3: Sarytog to Dushanbe.

In the morning we will hike and maybe see a stunning sunrise around the village before leaving for Dushanbe across the Anzob pass through the old tunnel, at the top of that pass we will enjoy the clear view of that area where we have amazing air and the mountains are still with snow and many streams. We get to Dushanbe to go sightseeing before a sunset drive for ponaramic views of the city atl Victoria park (Bogi Galaba). We will have dinner at the famous Tajik restaurant Choyhona Rohat. You will overnight in a hotel of your choice in Dushanbe. BLD

Day 4: Dushanbe to Khalaikum

Today our journey is 400 km. We`ll drive through Kuliab city, Kuliab is the largest province in Tajikistan and also where the best cotton is grown. We stop at the top of Shar-shar pass for a view of the Nurek dam, and then in Vose where we visit the Khulbuk - Kala  (9th-11th century). We stop for lunch in Vose, then cross the Shurabad pass, through several villages, where you'll see old men in national dress with long beards and a view of Afghanistan across the river Panj. We arrive in Kalai-kum in the early evening. Kalaikum is the first district of GBAO. Overnight at home stay Roma. BLD. Wi-Fi.

Day 5: Kalaikhumb to Khorog (along the spectacular Afghanistan border).

From Kalaikhumb we leave for Khorog with some 250kms of terrain ahead of us, and the promise of some spectacular scenery along the way. The road joins the river Panj, which in turn forms the border with Afghanistan. The contrast across the river valley is telling. Tajikistan is undoubtedly a poor country, but in general the roads are sealed and buildings are connected with electricity. The situation barely 100m away is even starker, and it is as if the river represents not just a physical divide, but also a step back in time. We stay in relative luxury tonight, having reached the capital of the Gorno-Badakshan Autonomous Oblast (GBAO) - a restricted part of the country and we have obtained permits to travel here. We have a little time to explore Khorog including the bazar and the lovely Botanical Gardens which are perched high above the town, affording some great panoramic views. Hotel Kivekas. BLD. Wi-Fi. 

Day 6: Khorog to Yamgchun via Ishkashim.

Our next stop is 50kms along the road at Garmchashma hot springs for an (optional) dip in the natural hot springs. From here, we enter the Tajik half of the Wakhan Valley (shared with Afghanistan) and have a further 100km to cover. We pass regional gem mines mentioned by Marco Polo in his descriptions of what he called the “Mt Shugnon region” the most famous Koh-i-Lal ruby mine which is visible from the road. Ishkashim itself may be the regional centre, but it is essentially still a large village We continue our journey to Yamgchun en route visiting the village of Namadguti to visit the Khahkha Fortress. This impressive structure rises from a naturally formed platform of rock and dates back to the Kushan era of the 3rd Century. We also visit Yamchun fort, perhaps the most impressive of them. We take a break at the Bibi-Fatima hot spring, named for the Prophet Mohammed’s daughter and where local women believe they can increase their fertility. Men and women will have separate bathing time. Nearby your guest house is up in the gorge where there is nice views of Hindu Kush mountains range. Guest house Pamir. BLD

Day 7: Yamgchun to Alichor via Langar.

Continuing our trip to Alichor via Langar today en route sightseeing visit the sufi museum in Yamg village, we then stop at the 4th Century Buddhist stupas at Vrang which is a reminder of the ancient pilgrim caravans that passed through the region. There are traces of this Buddhist history to be found throughout Central Asia, despite the dominance of Islam in recent centuries. Lunch in Langar home stay Nigina, after lunch quickly climbing up a hill to see more than 100 petroglyphs on the face of a rock then continue trip to Alichor where you'll cross the high altitude Khargush pass at 4234m. On this journey we leave behind the lush valleys of the Wakhan Valley and enter a landscape that is rocky, mostly barren but nevertheless dramatic. This is the Pamir Highway we have anticipated, with the route between  Khorog and Osh completed in 1931 across a high altitude terrain. We have a total 210km to cover today. We drive up to see the Bulunkul& Yashilkul lakes, We stop at Alichor village explore the village then have dinner and stay the night in homes stay Tursunbai. BLD

Day 8: Alichor to Sarygorum.

Today we get a chance to explore the amazing less travelled landscape . We'll stop for several sights en routeto see the Akbalik holly resource full of fishes. 40 km from Alichor we do an off-road drive in to remote areas to see wild life such as Marcopolo sheep, ibex, fox. We will also witness the life of a real nomad, how they live in the mountains with their animals, livestock breeding and making food from yak milk. Lunch stop is at a place called Mashaly in a yurt. We then go to hot springs in Jartygumbez where there is deep warm swimming pools. We continue our trip to summer pastures in Sarygorum where we can take a short yak trek into the gorge. In the evening back at the yurt camp we have a short Kyrgyz national concert show with national dancing and music. We will stay in the same yurt for the night. BLD

Day 9: Sarygorum to Murghab.

In the morning watch local ladies milking yaks and enjoy the sunsrise in the pasture. After breakfast we leave to Murghab via Shakarak pass at 4250m and on the way we visit the Shahkty cave in a stunning unreal landscape where you see rock painting which belongs to 500-800 years b.c. Murghab is my hometown and is small, with only 17,000 people live in the whole region, the majority of whom are Kyrgyz ethnic. We visit the local handicraft shop, the market (built out of old shipping containers), and the Lenin statue. Home stay Eraly. BLD

Day 10: Murghab to Lake Karakul.

From Murghab we drive to Rankul lake. If you like we can do a short hike to enjoy the scenery of Muztag Ata peak in China. We then return to the Pamir Highway to drive to Kara-kul which is the highest lake in Tajikistan at 3960m. We cross the second highest pass in the world, Akbaital at 4655m, and en route stop at the first Russian fort dating back to 1873. Before the Russians came, this place was a caravanserai on the silk road. We have lunch in Kara-kul, then explore the village, and walk along the lake with views of peak Lenin. This is our last night in Tajikistan. Overnight in home stay Saadat. BLD

Day 11: Karakul to Tulpar kol.

Our final Pamir Highway high pass is the Kizilart (4270m) which essentially forms the border beetween Tajikistan and  Kyrgyzstan. The border crossing will take at least half an hour, then over the pass with 20km of no man’s land. Be warned even in summer we could have sub-zero temperatures through the border areas, so make sure you have some extra layers to hand in case we are delayed by formalities. We keep our drivers and guide as we go into Kyrgyzstan. We cross the Taldik pass (3650)m and Chyirchik pass. On the journey we enjoy the scenery of Alay, Tien Shan mountains, river Kyzyl-Suu and the Chon Alay valley. From Sarymogol village we then drive to Tulparkol where there is a yurt camp situated near by a small lakes with the beest clear views of peak Lenin  (7134m). Yurt homestay. BLD

Day 12: Tulparkol to Osh.

In the morning you have time untill lunch exploring the area around the camp where you can also experience horse back riding. After lunch we start the journey to Osh via Saritash, Gulcho villages and also cross several passes Katin-Art, Taldik, Chiyirchik. we can stop to have conversations with nomad people and taste milk products such as Airan, Kymyz and Kurut. There will be a possibility to witness local festivals and horse games such as Kokbooru. Early evening we will arrive in Osh and stay at Hotel Sunrise. BLD

Day 13: Osh to Arlanbap wallnut forrest.

Today the trip is not long, after breakfast we do some sightseeing in the old city of Osh which is the second largest city in Kyrgyzstan, located in the Fergana valley in the south of the country and is the capital of the south. It is the oldest city in the country estimated to be more than 3000 years old, and has served as the administrative center of Osh region since 1939. The city had an ethnically mixed population of about 255,800 in 2012, comprising Kyrgyz, Uzbek, Russians, Tajiks, and other smaller ethnic groups.We visit local markets, Solomon's hill and historical caves. After sightseeing we start our trip to Arslanbap via Uzgen, Jalalabad, Kochkor-ata. First we stop at the Munara in Uzgen, and then have lunch in Jalalabad. In Arlanbap we will get to your home stay before taking a walk to the walnut forest and enjoy waterfalls.

Day 14: Arslanbap to Chichkan gorge.

In the morning we can take a short hike for sunrise scenery and after breakfast leave for Chichkan gorge via Tashkomur, Karakul, Toktogul. These lakes are for hydro power in Kyrgyzstan. Chichkan gorge is so beautiful in the mountains with lots of pine trees and animals. There is many bee keepers here and it is the best place for quality hunny. Then we will arrive at your guesthouse then enjoy free time. Guesthouse Oson. BLD

Day 15: Chichkan to Sonkol.

Today you'll leave to the Sonkol alp lake via Alabel Ashuu, Suusamir where Kyrgyz nomad people lives for three months during summer time. The scenery of the area is spectacular and there is a full day driving with short stops for photos and lunch. We journey to Sonkol via Uzgen and stop for sights such as the Munara (tower) Jalalabad, Kazarman, Aktash highest pass, Moldo Ashuu pass. En route to Sonkol we stop for picnik and enjoy the landscape. In the evening we arrive at Sonkol which has Sonkol lake, the largest alpine lake which is sandwiched in a alley between the internal ridges of the Tien Shan. At the lake there is a nice yurt camp to see and we enjoy the sun set ponarama views. Stay at yurt Janish. BLD

Day 16: Sonkol.

From breakfast untill lunch you will have free time for horse back riding and walking around the lake. Sonkol lake is the largest alpine lake, sandwiched in an alley between the internal ridges of the Tien Shan. Yurt stay. BLD

Day 17: Sonkol to Cholpon Ata.

We leave for Cholpon ata via Kochkor and Balikchi villages and stop in Kochkor to visit the handicraft shop and lunch. You'll pass through Moldo Ashuu pass at 3200m, get to Cholpon Ata and visit the Saimaluu tash petroglyphs and get your room. The rest of the day we can relax at the beach and have a nice swim in the warm lake before dinner at one of the local restaurants. Hotel Amin. BLD

Day 18: Cholpon Ata to Bishkek.

Today in the morning we will be busy exploring the local museum and Ruh Ordo National Park at the bank of lake before leaving for Bishkek via Balikchi, Kemin, Tokmok. In Tokmok you visit the Burana tower and Balbal tash rocks which forms of mans figure. There is an interesting museum and hand made products to do some shopping if you want souveniers. Before we enter Bishkek city we will stop for a cup of tea while the car is cleaned. You will have just completed one of the most spectacular journeys of your life! Accommodation will be booked and payed by yourselves in Bishkek.BL

 

At your discretion, we can change the tour details. 


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