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Tour program code: EAT-TAJ-1

Trip season: 01/06/2010-31/10/2010

Duration: 14 days (Tashkent-Dushanbe-Bishkek)

Guarantee: Departures guaranteed subject to 4 people travelling.  Please contact us for individual departures.

Accommodation: 4 nts-hotels, 6 nts-homestay, 3 nts-guest houses

Meals: Full board 14 breakfasts, 13 Lunches, 13 dinners.

Transportation: Comfortable a/c vehicles: 4WD or Van.

Highlights: Explore the famous Pamir Highway, Follow the ancient Silk Road through Central Asia and the footsteps of Alexander the Great and Marco Polo, experience local culture at homestays and enjoy numerous mountain panoramas along the way.

Group size:  No minimum set, Maximum 6

Price: On request.

Extensions:  It is possible to extend your tour to other Central Asian republics: Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan. Please inquire.



Day 1. Tashkent
Arrive Tashkent. Transfer to hotel to freshen up and sleep for a few hours. Half-day city tour of Tashkent, including the Fine Arts Museum of Textiles and Ceramics. Return to hotel (min.3*+)

Day 2. Tashkent to Istarafshan
After breakfast, transfer to Tajik border then drive to Khujand. After lunch, an exploration of the fortress by the Syr Darya river, the Khujand ethnographic museum, Panjshanbe Bazaar and the mosque/madrassa complex. In the evening continue to Istarafshan and watch the sun go down from the Mugh-Teppa hill fortress. Overnight in newly constructed hotel (min. 3*+)

Day 3. Istarafshan to Lake Iskandarkul
Istarafshan’s history has shaped the character of the people who live in the city. It’s a fascinating place with some of the oldest and most intact Islamic buildings in Tajikistan where the traditional street layout of the old city has been preserved. In the morning, visit the mosque and madrassa of Kok Gumbaz, the mausoleum of Chor Gumbaz After lunch, depart for Iskandarkul passing over Shahriston Pass (3,378 m) and descend to Aini, before leaving the main road to ascend to the lake. Overnight in basic chalets.

Day 4. Lake Iskandarkul to Dushanbe
Return to the main road and drive over Anzob Pass (3,373 m), descending into Varzob Gorge. Arrive in Dushanbe in the afternoon with some free time, schedule permitting. Accommodation in guest house.

Day 5. Dushanbe
Visit nearby Hissor Fort, former capital of Eastern Bukhara province; the site has two fine 18th/19th century madrassas. After lunch under an ancient tree, head back to Dushanbe for shopping, extra sightseeing or rest. Overnight in guesthouse.

Day 6. Dushanbe to Kalaikhum
Drive east from Dushanbe towards Khorog and the Pamirs. Today’s drive is a sharp contrast to the first few days of the tour. This region is much more strongly Muslim and this can be seen in the conservative dress and beards. Over a mountain pass to Kalaikhum and the scenery and people change again. Here the people are Pamiris, not Tajiks, a number of separate tribal groups with their own languages. Overnight in guesthouse

Day 7. Kaiaikhum to Khorog
Follow the fascinating road along the Afghan border. On the Tajik side, the road is asphalted and buildings have metal and glass in their construction. On the Afghan side, about 100m away, everything is mud, wood and donkey tracks. Dinner is accompanied by music, singing and dancing from a local Pamiri group. Overnight in hotel.

Day 8. Khorog to Yashikul
In the morning we explore Khorog, then head east to Bulunkul and Yashikkul Lakes. Overnight in a Kyrgyz home.

Day 9. Yashikkul to Murghab
We explore the environs in the morning and then travel east from Bulunkul along the Pamir Highway to Murghab. The view is stark and desolate. At night the clear view of the Milky Way is unparalleled. Overnight in a local homestay.

Day 10. Murghab to Karakul
Drive to Karakul Lake, which at 3,915 m is too high to support aquatic life. Cross Tajikistan’s highest section of road, Ak-Baital Pass (4,655 m). Stop to see the remains of a Great Game-era Russian military post. Overnight in a local home.

Day 11. Karakul to Osh
Cross Kyzyl-Art Pass (4,280 m), which forms the border with Kyrgyzstan and descend to Sary-Tash and then continue our drive to Osh. Overnight in a guesthouse.

Day 12. Osh-Bishkek
Visit Suleyman Mountain, Babur’s house, History Museum, Rabat Abdullah Khan Mosque and Mausoleum, Osh Bazaar. Transfer to airport for flight to Bishkek and overnight in guest house.

Day 13. Bishkek
Sightseeing tour of Bishkek including the most interesting sites:  Ala-Too Square, Panfilov park, Osh market, Protected state flag, Lenin statue – the only one of that size left in central Asia, History Museum, ZUM, and Victory Square. Overnight in a guesthouse.

Day 14. Bishkek-Airport
Onward travel – Transfer to the airport for your return or onward journey.


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