From the Tajik capital of Dushanbe, embark on a truly memorable journey through the rugged and beautiful Pamir Mountains. Discover the true landscape of Tajikistan as you cruise alongside the Panj river, with views across the border to Afghanistan. Visit towns with museums packed with history and surrounded by natural beauty and wonder. Dip in hot springs and marvel at ancient rock carvings. Stay in hotels and guesthouses and enjoy real Tajik hospitality and food. Enjoy uninterrupted views of the night sky, from the peaks of one of central Asia’s most romantic mountain ranges.This itinerary is an example. It’s designed to inspire you and provide you with thoughtfully curated ideas. You can choose to do this exact itinerary or completely personalize it. All trips are 100% bespoke.
• Scenic Drives: The Pamir Mountains contain natural beauty in epic proportions. Landscapes that can't be missed are Chichkan Gorge, Arslanbob Valley's walnut groves, and Karakul Lake, to name but a few.
• Bibi Fatima Zahra: Named after the daughter of the Prophet Muhammad, the hot springs of Wakhan Valley are a popular Muslim pilgrimage site and believed to possess powerful healing properties.
• Celestial Vistas: Gaze up at the Milky Way without the disruption of light pollution, deep in the mountains of Murgab.
Arrive in Tajikistan’s capital city and check into your hotel. Spend some time acclimatizing to your new surroundings and experiencing Tajik culture. Enjoy dinner in a local restaurants and and the comforts of your hotel before the adventure truly begins.
Today you’ll explore some of the best sites Dushanbe has to offer, including the Gurminj Museum of traditional musical instruments, the Museum of Antiquities - full of ancient Buddhist art from the lost cities of the Kushan Empire, and the Greco-Bactrian school of art. Dine tonight at a local restaurant in town, before heading back to your hotel for a good night’s sleep ahead of tomorrow’s departure to the Pamir Highway.
Hit the road and embark on a journey down the M41 highway. The seven-hour journey winds first through the Kulyab region where guests are welcomed with warm hospitality. Later, the highway leads to Qal'ai Khumb, home to the Badakhshanis, on the Panj river. Bed down in a local hotel.
Bid goodbye to Qal'ai Khumb and its friendly inhabitants and strike out on the road for the 160-mile drive to Khorog. The journey runs alongside the Panj river and across it lies Afghanistan. The beautiful and important city of Khorog lies nestled in the mountains at the meeting point of the Panj and Ghunt rivers. In these beautiful surroundings, spend the night in a private guesthouse.
Less than 30 miles from Khorog are the famous mineral hot springs, the site historically mined for Badakhshani rubies. After another four-hour drive, at the mouth of the Wakhan Corridor, lies the pretty town of Ishkashi, home to the cross-border Saturday market between Tajik and Afghan traders. With stunning views of the Pamir peaks all around, Ishkashim is a pleasant spot to spend the night and we recommend the Dekhli Darbor hotel.
Along the way on your six-hour drive today, visit an ancient silk road fortress, the Kah Kaha in Namadgut, where you will also find a fascinating museum about a famous Sufi scholar who created a solar calendar. Stop off to explore a Buddhist stupa and experience the healing powers of the natural hot springs of Bibi Fatima Zahra. Once at Langar, check into a cozy local guesthouse and rest for the night.
After an early breakfast, take advantage of the cool of the morning to climb the rocks above Langar to see the ancient carvings of goats, horse riders and caravans. Back on the road, the highway climbs up to Murgab, where the views of the night skies often include the twinkle of the Milky Way. Here, the guesthouse for the night is eco-friendly and locals sell their handicrafts.
Today you will travel nearly 140 miles through the Pamirs. The Akbaital Pass leads to the beautiful Karakul lake, a turquoise jewel set in mountainous scenery. Round off the adventure with dinner on the shores of Lake Progulka before reaching your guest house at Kizylart.
Drive approximately three hours from Kyzylart to Osh. After you arrive in this colorful town, check out the local market with Uzbek and Kyrgyz shops, and perhaps pick up a few goodies to bring home. Explore the city sights, including Solomon’s throne, a pilgrimage site located on the top of a hill dominating the city where Solomon stopped to pray. Visit Central Asia’s largest and most crowded outdoor market - the Great Silk Road Bazaar. Rest and stay in Osh overnight.
Today, get back on the road and continue on to Arslanbob Valley. The lush walnut grove for which Arslanbob is famous dominates the surrounding landscape. An oasis of vibrant leafy green in an otherwise dry corner of Kyrgyzstan, and the perfect place for an afternoon stroll between the trees. Stretch your legs in the picturesque environs before settling into your guest house.
Drive onward and spend the entire day exploring around Jalal-Abad. Jalal-Abad is famous for its mineral springs, so visitors should take advantage! There are plenty of excellent “Kurorts” (spas) in town where guests can spend their day relaxing in natural mineral spring baths. Beside one of the main Kurorts is a cafe located more than 3,000 feet above the town. Enjoy the view as well as the nearby craft hall, where visitors can pick up some locally-bottled water and little trinkets.The main street of Jalal-Abad is called Lenin Street, just like many others former Soviet towns. This central area of town features fountains and statues of Vladimir Illych, a historical and cultural museum, and shops where visitors can purchase local goods.
This morning, you will drive north from Jalal-Abad to Chichkan Gorge and Toktogul Dam. Enjoy the beautiful highland scenery of virgin coniferous forests and flowing mountain river. The Chichkan Gorge is home to the ibex, roe deer, argali, wild boar, and junipers, spruce and wild berries. The Chychkan River flows through the gorge and empties into the Toktogul Resevoir. Also within the area are two alpine lakes and a 60-meter waterfall. Overnight at a homestay in the area.
Depart Chichkan Gorge and drive to Bishkek through the stunning Suusamyr Valley. From Bishkek, you can continue with an extension in Kyrgyzstan or depart on your international flight.
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.
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.
Surrounded by the Pamir Mountains and on the border with Afghanistan, Qalai-Khumb is a gateway to many exciting destinations. The hotel's 22 spacious, inviting rooms combine local and modern design elements with such amenities as complimentary Wi-Fi, satellite televisions, air conditioning, modern bathrooms, high-quality linens, and essential toiletries. Both smoking and non-smoking rooms are available. The hotel's front desk is operated 24-hours a day by a knowledgeable staff and guests can enjoy the hotel’s bar or room services. Breakfast is included with the room and other meals are available on-site. The hotel also offers free parking, laundry, and meeting facilities.
On a far, quiet edge of Khorong, Parinen Inn is one of the most comfortable places to stay in the city. Guestrooms have beds (unlike some homestays in Tajikistan, where guests must sleep on the floor), TVs, and relatively reliable electric service. Bathrooms are shared, and include a toilet and shower. Meals, often included in the stay, are served outside the main building. The main appeal of Parinen Inn is its friendly service: here, the staff treat guests like family, and no task is too challenging for them to help with. Many of the front desk staff speak excellent English, greatly easing communication.
The extremely cozy, welcoming atmosphere of Serena Inn belies its noble purpose. Originally built especially to accommodate Aga Khan on his visit to the town, it’s the pride of Khorog, sitting on its outskirts, nestled in the foothills of Mount Badakhshan. On the banks of the Panj river, with views over to Afghanistan, the inn is elegant and understated. Built in the traditional style and beautifully decorated with authentic Pamiri artworks, bedecked with locally-made textiles, it’s a little corner of Tajik heaven, surrounded by soaring mountains. Meanwhile, it is well-equipped with international standard facilities and all six comfortable rooms feature WiFi, air conditioning and satellite television, with beds blanketed in crisp, clean linens. Breakfast is included for all guests and food is served all day in The Pamir restaurant, while lighter snacks and drinks are available in the lobby lounge. When the weather is kind, delicious barbecue food is sizzled up outdoors in The Panj Garden.
For visitors to Ishkashim, we recommend Hani’s Guesthouse where the accommodation may not be luxurious, but the welcome is warm. Well located in the center of town, next to the police station and close to nearby amenities, the two storey guesthouse provides clean and comfortable rooms with double or single beds. One of the town’s best places to rest up for the night, guests can usually rely on getting a hot shower and, what’s more, there are western-standard toilets. This might not seem noteworthy but it’s something of a perk in the area and certainly a welcome addition to the facilities for international visitors. There’s a pleasant outdoor space with eating area and garden, not to mention laundry and ironing facilities. Guests can make use of the communal kitchen, which is well equipped with fridge, freezer, oven and stove.
A homestay offers a fascinating window into Tajik culture where guests will feel an immediate connection with the culture and locals that can’t be found in hotels. In this humble but comfortable homestay with the basic facilities covered, guests will have a chance to live how the locals live, while having a base from which to explore remote Tajikistan. Meals are often included in private homestays here, and, though they may not be five-star, will provide guests with the sustenance needed to explore the stunning area that surrounds the city.
The lonely town of Murghab, in its position in the midst of the Pamirs, is a town well accustomed to receiving tired and weary travelers, worn out from their adventures in the surrounding areas in the beautiful but punishing terrain, and looking for a little respite. Luckily Ibrahim and his charming family, who run the Anara Guesthouse, are ready to welcome tired and grubby guests with a warm smile and even warmer showers. Indeed, the plentiful hot water at Anara sets it apart from most other accommodation options in Murghab. Guests arrive at Anara, drop their heavy things and relax in a little haven of comfort. The rooms, while not luxurious, are well maintained and cozy and the large bathroom is clean. After an invigorating clean up, guests can enjoy a tasty and hearty home-cooked meal and a peaceful night’s sleep.
In remote areas of Tajikistan, travelers rely on basic guest houses where the accommodation may not be luxurious, but the welcome is warm. Typically located in the center of town, the guesthouse provides clean and comfortable rooms with double or single beds. Guests can usually rely on getting a hot shower and western-standard toilets. Commonly provided facilities include eating areas, garden, laundry and ironing facilities, and communal kitchen.
In remote areas of Kyrgyzstan, travelers rely on basic guest houses where the accommodation may not be luxurious, but the welcome is warm. Typically located in the center of town, the guesthouse provides clean and comfortable rooms with double or single beds. Guest houses are equipped wtih electric and coal heating, hot water, showers and outdoor toilets. Commonly provided are laundry services and an opportunity to try national cuisine.
A popular stop on the Silk Road, in Kyrgyzstan's beautiful Fergana Valley, Jalal-Abad is a typical Kyrgyz town surrounded by beautiful countryside. Explorers and travelers looking for somewhere to stop in Jalal-Abad will be delighted by the warm welcome at Roza Park Hotel. The plain and simple exterior belies the friendly atmosphere within. With double, twin superior and deluxe rooms available, there’s sure to be a configuration to suit all guests in need of comfortable and cozy accommodation. The rooms are pleasantly decorated with local style and all feature high-speed internet and en-suite bathrooms. There are conference facilities for business guests and a shuttle service to the city’s airport for total convenience. Breakfast is served for all guests in the quaint dining room every day and lunch and dinner are also available upon request.
Exploring the gems of Kyrgyzstan will take you to distant lands, often hundreds of miles away from the nearest city. In these remote areas, from the outskirts of Karakol to the Tian Shan mountains, the only accommodation to be found are homestays at which local families happily host weary travelers in their houses for a peaceful night’s rest. Genuinely warm and hospitable, the hosts keep the rooms clean and comfortable, and the tasty authentic meals are carefully prepared. There is no better way to really get the sense of life in a community than to eat, talk, share and stay with the locals.
Price is based on double or twin hotel room occupancy and includes accommodation, transfers, car/driver, English-speaking guide, activities and entrance fees, breakfasts and some casual lunches while touring. Flights and optional special activities will be quoted separately. Most personal expenses, including dinners, alcoholic beverages, spa treatments and gratuities can be paid on the spot while traveling. Prices may vary depending on season, choice of accommodation and other factors.
With Remote Lands you'll travel with people who have made Asia the solitary focus of their own lifelong adventure. As our guest, you'll discover Asia on a journey that is completely, authentically your own, adapted from our own remarkable experiences and adventures over the years.
With Remote Lands you'll travel with people who have made Asia the solitary focus of their own lifelong adventure. As our guest, in the continent that our north American founders Catherine and Jay have adored and explored for decades, you'll discover Asia on a journey that is completely, authentically your own, adapted from our own remarkable experiences and adventures over the years.
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