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Epic Tajikistan Trek: Lakes, Mountains & Valleys

Welcome to Tajikistan – one of the least-touristed parts of the world. This thrilling journey is certainly not for the faint of heart, with average daily treks of around five to six hours, and nights spent camping high up in the mountains of Tajikistan. Starting in the capital of Dushanbe, you’ll begin your intrepid 16-day trip through the Fann mountains and many lofty passes, stopping along the way at the Karakul river, Sarikhodang gorge, Lake Koulikalon, among others. Don’t forget your camera – this is a journey that simply must be captured through a lens, if not just committed to memory. 

Highlights   Pricing
  • Visit some of Dushanbe’s most important historic sites
  • Enjoy picnic lunches in some of the most beautiful, most remote valleys of the world
  • Camp under star-blanketed skies, nestled into the foothills of Tajikistan’s massive mountains
  • Enjoy close encounters with locals - and their sheep - as they welcome you to spend the night in their homes
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Day by Day Itinerary
Day 1

Arrive in the Tajik capital of Dushanbe, situated at the confluence of two rivers, in the afternoon. You’ll be met at the airport and transferred to your private Tajik home. Once you settle in, you are free to explore the city, or relax in your quarters for the adventures ahead.

Day 2

Enjoy a pleasant breakfast in your private residence before stepping out into Dushanbe’s historic streets. Today you’ll visit the Botanical Gardens, the Place of Ismoil Samoni, and a bustling local market. Markets are important in this city - the name “Dushanbe” translates as Monday, which was when the major local market was held. You’ll dine at local restaurants for both lunch and dinner, and return to your private home in the evening.

Day 3

After breakfast this morning, you’ll say goodbye to your private residence, and hit the road as your adventure truly begins. The route will take you through the stunning Varzob Gorge, complete with majestic mountains and sparkling waterfalls. Lunch will be served on the road today, as you continue through a tunnel that leads to the Zerafchan valley and the stunning Iskanderkul Lake nestled into the picturesque Fann mountains, over 7,000 feet above sea level. Enjoy a stroll around the lake and visit a waterfall. Next you’re headed to Sarytag village and the Karakul river, where you’ll be greeted by a team of local guides and their donkeys. Tonight, you’ll set up camp and sleep soundly under the stars.

Day 4

Wake up this morning on the stunning Karakul river, nearly 8,000 feet above sea level. Enjoy breakfast amidst the fresh mountain air – you’ll need a good amount of sustenance today for the exciting trek that lies ahead. After breakfast and packing up, you’ll begin your trek through a forest valley, eventually tracing the Dugdone stream. The entire trek will take about four hours, before you reach your camping spot for the evening at 9,500 feet above sea level.

Day 5

Wake up to another al fresco breakfast, savoring your food as you enjoy the exquisite natural views that Tajikistan’s countryside has to offer. You’ll hike over a mountain pass to the foot of Dugdone glacier, 17,000 feet above sea level. From here, you’ll descend into the beautiful Sarikhodang gorge. Here, the views of the glaciers are jaw-dropping, with flocks of sheep scattered across the mountainsides. Set up camp once again and enjoy a restful sleep in the great outdoors.

Day 6
Lake Ptchikoul Archa Maidan Valley

After breakfast this morning, you’ll begin your four-hour trek to lake Ptchikoul, located 8,000 feet above sea level. Sit down to a picnic and rest your legs before you continue down to the Archa Maidan Valley, 7,200 feet above sea level. Here, you’ll set up camp and enjoy a peaceful sleep.

Day 7
Gointan Village

A long hike today will take you from the Archa Maidan valley to the town of Gaza Gointan, passing some of the best Tajik nature has to offer along the way. Seven hours in total, the trek will also take you through small villages dotted along the way, where you can meet and greet locals and learn about their ways of life. Tonight, you’ll trade in your tent for a proper bed at a local homestay.

Day 8
Lake Tchoukourak Artoutch Base Camp

The eighth day of your thrilling Tajikistan adventure begins with breakfast, followed by a climb to the Gointan pass, over 8,500 feet above sea level. Next, you’ll descend to the mountain-framed Tchoukourak lake, where you’ll enjoy a picturesque picnic. The final leg of your five- to six-hour trek today will take you down to the base of Artoutch mountain, where you’ll stay in a comfortable bungalow for the night.

Day 9
Lake Koulikalon

This morning your trek continues – but begin first with a hardy breakfast to prepare you for the five to six hours of hiking ahead. You’ll head back to Tchoukourak Lake, and continue on to a village of shepherds. Your trek will next take you to a beautiful view of the Chimtarga mountains, before descending to Koulikalon lake, on the final leg of your five- to six-hour trek, where you’ll enjoy another picnic lunch while admiring the exquisite mountain scenery. If you feel like it, now is a great time to a swim – the water here is warmer than other lakes. You’ll set up camp here and enjoy an overnight stay under the stars.

Day 10
Lake Douchokha

Breakfast today is followed by a trek along the stunning lake Koulikalon, with its sparkling turquoise-hued waters. The final destination today, after three to four hours of hiking, will be Douchokha Lake, 9,500 feet above sea level. Set up camp once again and fall asleep to the sounds of nature.

Day 11
Lake Alaoutdine

After breakfast this morning, you’ll climb to Alaoutdine pass, 12,500 feet above sea level. From here, you’ll be at the perfect vantage point to capture both Zamok and Chapdara peaks, soaring high in the sky. Once you catch your breath, pause and enjoy the incredible scenery, it’s time to descend to Lake Alaoutdine, where you’ll dine and set up camp in the great outdoors. After five to six hours of trekking today, you’re sure to enjoy a restful sleep tonight.

Day 12
Lake Moutnoye

Get ready for another five to six hours of trekking today, taking you past breathtaking views of Zamok, Paygamber, and Energiya peaks, as well as the Kaznok pass. You’ll eventually come to a small lake named Piala, before climbing up to the stunning glacial lake Moutnoye, at the foot of Mount Chimtarga – the highest peak to the Fanskiye Mountains. Here, at the base alone, you’ll be nearly 11,500 feet above sea level. Relax here for the rest of the day, enjoying a picnic lunch and al fresco dinner, alongside the epic views.

Day 13
Lake Aladoutdin

This morning you’ll climb to Kaznok, over 13,000 feet above sea level. From here, you’ll take in unforgettable panoramas of the surrounding peaks. Enjoy a picnic lunch amidst these beautiful views, before descending to Lake Alaoutdin, and setting up camp for the night. Your total hiking time today will be five to six hours once again.

Day 14
Tchapdara Pass Bodkhona Gorge Pasruddaria Valley

After breakfast this morning, you’ll prepare for another five- to six-hour hike that will take you across Tchapdara pass, descending into Bodkhona Gorge, to the Pasruddaria river, 7,500 feet above sea level. Once in the Pasruddaria valley, you’ll be dazzled by its sparkling streams, verdant pastures, and flocks of sheep. Camp here this evening, resting up for your final full day in Tajikistan.

Day 15

It’s back to Dushanbe today, starting with breakfast, followed by a one-hour trek down to the motorway (it is also possible to be transported by vehicle). From here, you’ll depart for Dushanbe, where you’ll sit down to a traditional Tajik lunch in town. In the afternoon, visit famous Dushanbe sites, including the Tajikistan History Museum – complete with 40-foot-tall Buddha statue, the Museum of Musical Instruments, and a local bazaar. You’ll dine at a restaurant in town, before bedding down in a private local home.

Day 16

Say goodbye to Dushanbe and beautiful, exotic Tajikistan today, as you’re transferred to the airport for your onwards journey. Reflect back on your wonderful time in Tajikistan on the plane ride to your next exciting destination.


Suggested Accommodations

Hyatt Regency Dushanbe, Serena Hotel

Hyatt Regency Dushanbe

Set in the heart of Tajikistan’s capital city of Dushanbe, the Hyatt Regency boasts luxury five-star accommodation, reflecting the country’s unique culture throughout its generously-sized suites. Located on the grounds of the city park and near to the stunning lake Komsomol, this hotel boasts not only stunning urban surrounds, but is also conveniently located to reach many local attractions by foot and the international airport is just four miles away. It is one of the most beautifully-appointed hotels in Dushanbe and one of the finest luxury properties throughout the whole of Tajikistan. Boasting over 200 luxury rooms and suites over three accommodation options, the hotel is proud to maintain a distinctive theme that runs throughout to encompass the local Tajik culture so prevalent in this region. One of the best restaurants in the city is also featured here, where creative cuisine combined with sophisticated surroundings provide an elegant retreat. There is enough to keep guests occupied at the hotel during their stay relaxing in the heated, indoor pool to the unwinding in the tranquil surroundings of the spa.   


Serena Hotel

This luxury hotel in the center of Dushanbe really is head and shoulders above most of the city's other accommodation options. As soon as you step inside the grand lobby with its traditional Tajik features, it's clear that plenty of time and effort have gone into the hotel's design. There's a choice of serviced apartments or deluxe double rooms, all with 24-hour room service, large comfortable beds, TV and internet. The great location of the Serena, situated on the main boulevard at the center of Dushanbe, offers a stunning backdrop, surrounded by a lush garden and mountains in the distance. It also provides ease of access to the city's attractions, such as the National Art Museum, cinemas and the opera theater, and is just a 10-minute drive from the international airport. 



Traveling through the Fann Mountains is an unforgettable experience, a unique opportunity to become immersed in the glorious scenery - from soaring peaks dusted with icy glaciers to forests and meadows packed with flora and fauna. Some of the highlights of these adventurous trails are the glittering lakes, lying like turquoise crystals in the the foothills of the Fann Mountains. And the best way to fully enjoy this escape into nature is to camp within these stunning surroundings. After a long day’s hike, travelers can bed down in cozy, comfortable tents, on the banks of these glacial lakes, utterly within nature but without forgoing shelter and warmth. While it’s not the same accommodation style as a five-star hotel, waking up with the sun and the birdsong, ready for another day of discovery, breathing in the fresh mountain air and jumping into the lake for an invigorating morning swim is surely the best way to forget the hustle and bustle of real life. 

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Tajikistan is truly an epic destination, and our co-founder Jay Tindall is continually amazed by its spectacular scenery and potential for incredible road trips.
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