This exciting eight day tour will give a great insight into Tajikistan’s diverse wonders. Discover ancient Zoroastrian monuments, fabulous cities of the Great Silk Road, beautiful lakes and majestic Pamir. Explore the ancient cities of Khujand, Penjikent and Istaravshan and see the colourful lakes of the Fan mountains. Also visit the bright and noisy bazaars, museums and mosques of this interesting country and taste the cuisine and enjoy refreshment in a Tajik teahouse (chayhana).
Arrive in Dushanbe and transfer you to your centrally located hotel. After a rest, enjoy a guided tour of this green leafy capital that is full of cultural monuments, parks, gardens and museums. Visit the National Archaeological Museum of Tajikistan, with its famous Buddha statue and rich collection of archaeological artefacts and collections of fine art, before moving on to the splendid Navruz Palace. Hundreds of skilled artisans were appointed to work on the building, with it initially being planned to be built as the largest teahouse in the world. After lunch continue onto the statue of Ismail Samani, a large monument commemorating the 1,100th anniversary of the Samanid State, which is considered by many to have been the heyday of the Tajik nation when science and arts flourished. From there walk up to Rudaki Park, dedicated to the great Persian poet Rudaki, who also lived during the Samanid period. This evening head out to a Tadjik restaurant to taste the local cuisine.
This morning drive to Khojand via Istravshan in the northern foothills of the Turkistan Mountain – your journey will take you through the 3372m Anzob tunnel. This small historic town has one of the best preserved old towns in Tajikistan and you will get to explore the maze of alleys that make up the old city of Shahr-e-kuhna. Walk around the colourful central bazaar and the blue domes of the Abdullatif Sultan Medressa which date from the 15th century. Visit Mug Teppe, the site of a Sogdian fortress which was stormed by Alexander the Great in 329BC before continuing overland to Khojand, capital of Tajikistan’s Sughd province and the second largest city in the country. It is thought to have been founded by King Cyrus in the North-East boundary of his empire.
Today go with your guide on a tour of Khojand. Visit the Soghd Museum of History and Archeology, Shaikh Muslihiddin Mosque, Panjshanbe Bazaar – the biggest bazaar in the country, and Arbob Palace, the former headquarters of a Soviet collective farm, built in the 1950s and modelled on the winter gardens of Peterhof, St Petersburg. This afternoon you may want to head to the Kayraccum Hydro Power Station, built in 1968 and sometimes referred to as the Tadjik Sea and take a dip in the reservoir. Overnight in your hotel and enjoy a traditional Tadjik meal.
Drive to Penjikent which is in the Khojand area of Tajikistan in the picturesque Zeravshan river valley. After checking into your guesthouse, start your guided sightseeing tour where you will visit the mausoleum of Abu-Abdullo Rudaki, a famous poet. Next, explore the settlement of Ancient Penjikent which was founded in the 5th and then abandoned in the 8th century by Arabs. Foundations of houses, a citadel with a couple of Zoroastrian fire temples and the city bazaar are visible in the excavated ruins. End the day with tea in a local Chaikhana
This morning travel south to the Seven Lakes and along the way stop to visit the settlement of Sarazm – a UNESCO World Heritage site. The Seven lakes of Marguzor are located west of the Fan Mountains; each of them has its own colour which varies from all shades of turquoise to purple. At the last lake, Khoazorchashma, you can take a stroll to soak up the beautiful scenery and enjoy a picnic. Return to Penjikent where you stay overnight in your guesthouse.
Leaving Penjiknet, drive through steep mountain passes to Iskander-Kul, the largest and arguably the most beautiful lake in the Fann Mountains. This beautiful glacier lake takes its name from Alexander the Great, as it is said he passed by its waters on his way to India. Spend some time walking around the lake and visit a 40 metre high waterfall that flows out of the lake. After a picnic by the shore, continue to the remote mountain village of Sarytag. Overnight in guesthouse.
After breakfast drive to Dushanbe which will take most of the morning and after checking into your hotel the afternoon is free for you to walk around this bustling capital. Overnight in a centrally located hotel.
This morning transfer to Dushanbe airport with your local guide, where your tour ends.
This itinerary costs from £1850 per person B&B based on 2 sharing and including all private transfers but not international flights.
You can get flights from as little as £570 per person return and do ask us for advice. Alternatively we can book the flights for you but a booking fee may apply.