Tajikistan Tour Plan

As a country that starts with T listed on Countryaah.com, Tajikistan is a high mountain country: Less than a tenth of the country’s area is below 1,000 m above sea level, while half is above 3,000 m. The highest peak in the country is the 7,495 m high Pik Ismoil Somoni in the Pamir Mountains.

Tajikistan 4

  • Day 1: Arrival in Tajikistan
  • Day 2: Dushanbe – city tour
  • Day 3: Dushanbe – Iskanderkul
  • Day 4: Iskanderkul – Margeb
  • Day 5: Margeb – Dushanbe
  • Day 6: Dushanbe – Gharm – Muk
  • Day 7: Muk – Aral – Sazayel
  • Day 8: Sazayel – Yashilkul Lake
  • Day 9: Lake Yashilkul-Karashura
  • Day 10: Karashura – Baizirek – Kulike – Jilukul
  • Day 11: JiluKul
  • Day 12: Jilu Kul – Shirinsu
  • Day 13: Shirinsu – Yashilkul
  • Day 14: Yashilkul – Dushanbe
  • Day 15: Dushanbe: Free day
  • Day 16: journey home

Our journey begins at Iskanderkul Lake, a moraine lake that lies in a depression, entwined with juniper trees. Alexander the Great is said to have passed here with his troops, hence the name (“Iskander” for Alexander, “Kul” for sea). According to legend, he had to leave his beloved horse Bucefal behind by the lake. On full moon nights it should rise out of the water and graze on the meadows. We are drawn further into the high mountains, into the rough Yagnob Valley. The direct descendants of the ancient Persian people of the Sogder, the Yagnobi, live here. They live in low stone houses, some of them still speak the old language. We spend the night with a host family, in the evening we bake bread together. We are drawn on When it comes to luxury, we have to make a few compromises, but our guide is looking for spectacularly beautiful campsites for us: on high alpine pastures and on mountain lakes. In the capital Dushanbe, we finally see the largest tea house for ourselves.

Meals: B = breakfast / L = lunch / packed lunch / D = dinner

1st day:

Arrival to Tajikistan

Flight from Europe to Dushanbe.

2nd day:

Dushanbe – city tour

We reach the capital of Tajikistan in the early morning hours, are greeted by our tour guide with a “worldwide hiking sign” and brought directly to the hotel. There we can treat ourselves to a leisurely morning to catch up on the sleep that we missed last night. In the afternoon, you can start exploring the capital.
Dushanbe was expanded into a model socialist capital during the Soviet era: ready-made boulevards, many parks and architecturally well-designed administrative and residential buildings still show the great optimism of the time. Even after independence, many new buildings and extensive parks were built, with which the President demonstrated his ideas of a great nation with an idiosyncratic mixture of tradition, modernity, a little kitsch and a dash of pomp. We find this contradiction in particular exciting and well worth seeing!
We visit the Shohmansur market, the opera, Rudaki street, the monument of Ismoil Somoni, the museum of antiquities, the Gurminj museum with its Pamir instruments, Kokhi Navruz and the “Pamir house” in the botanical garden. In Dushanbe it is hot in summer, the city is about 700m.

Overnight in a guest house or hotel
(B / L / D)

3rd day:

Dushanbe – Iskanderkul

Today we drive through one of the most beautiful valleys in Tajikistan, the Varzob Valley. On the way we have to pass the dark Istiklol tunnel and after a long drive we arrive at the lake, where we set up camp for today. The moraine lake lies in a depression between four- and five-thousand-meter peaks overgrown with juniper trees. Alexander the Great is said to have passed by here with his troops, hence the name (“Iskander” Tajik for Alexander, “Kul” for sea). According to legend, he had to leave his beloved horse Bucefal behind by the lake. On full moon nights, it is said, it rises out of the water and grazes on the meadows…
Today the lake is a popular recreational destination for the (quite small) Tajik middle class.

Driving time: approx. 4-5 hours (approx. 130 km)
Overnight in tents by the lake (2,200 m)
(B / L = picnic / D)

4th day:

Iskanderkul – Margeb

We have breakfast on the lakeshore and then make our way to the Yagnob Valley, where the direct ancestors of the “Sogdians” live. Some of the families still keep ancient Zoroastrian traditions. Some of the residents still speak an old language here. This valley has about 14 villages – the largest is Qirionte with almost 200 residents. After a picnic lunch we will do a hike around the village of Margeb and also go to the waterfall there. In the evening we bake traditional bread together with our host family.

Driving time: approx. 1–2 hours.
Hike: approx. 2–3 hours.
Overnight stay with a host family in Margeb
(B / L = picnic / D)

5th day:

Margeb – Dushanbe

After our excursion to the north of the country and two nights in a slightly higher location, we are prepared for our actual hiking tour in the Rashttal. We drive back to the capital and move into our great accommodation in Dushanbe.

Driving time: approx. 4–5 hours (approx. 160 km)
Overnight in a hotel or guesthouse
(B / L = picnic / D)

6th day:

Dushanbe – Gharm – Muk

Today we start in the direction of the Gharm valley. The route leads along the Gharm River through a wide valley with fertile fields and impressive mountain panoramas. A stopover is in Jafr, where we will enjoy a hearty local meal for lunch in an orchard with 32 different kinds of apple trees and possibly get to know the very ecologically minded, interesting owner of the orchards. Then we continue our journey – last on a somewhat bumpy road – to the village of Muk, where we will set up our camp next to the stream.

Driving time: approx. 7–8 hours (approx. 330 km)
Overnight in a tent (approx. 2,100 m)
(B / L / D)

7th day:

Muk – Aral – Sazayel

In the morning we meet our trekking team and make the remaining preparations for our longer trek. The loads are packed and weighed and distributed to the individual pack animals. We then hike from Muk to Sazayel through the Aral Valley. We keep climbing up and enjoy beautiful views of the mountains and the river valley. At noon we enjoy our picnic together and in the evening we will eat together in the camp on the Hochalm. Drink a lot and protect yourself from the sun, because today there is a lot of altitude to be covered. The ascent is fairly steady and not very steep.
Today we will spend the night in tents on a high mountain pasture (“Ailoq”) near yurt settlements and herds. These first encounters with the semi-nomadic shepherds are certainly impressive. But we as visitors are also admired, because foreign guests don’t come here too often.

Hike: approx. 6–7 hours
overnight in a tent (approx. 3,000 m)
(B / L = picnic / D)

8th day:

Sazayel – Yashilkul Lake

Today the stage is quite comfortable. We hike along the Sazayel Shepherd’s Path. The path leads gently uphill over green hills. Again and again we pass shepherds’ settlements, marveled at and usually greeted in a very friendly manner. We hike along the Peter I chain, an impressive mountain range in the northwestern high mountains of Tajikistan called the Pamir. An idyllic hiking day: impressive views of the nearby glaciers, an easy-to-walk path through the green hills and meadows. The day ends on the shores of Lake Yashilkul. We set up our camp on the shores of the high mountain lake at approx. 3,400 m. There is still enough time to go swimming – at around 14 degrees, a real refreshment – to explore the area a little or simply to admire the mountain peaks reflected in the water.

Hike: approx. 4–5 hours
overnight in a tent (approx. 3,400 m)
(B / L = picnic / D)

Day 9:

Yashilkul Lake Karashura

Today we go towards the wide high plateau of Karashura. In the south, the snow-covered glacier mountains of the “Peter I. Range” are our companions and enable wonderful panoramas. We will cross a river on horseback and then enjoy our picnic lunch on the way. And if we’re lucky, shepherds meet again on the way and are invited to tea by them. In the evening we may see how butter and yoghurt are made in one of the yurts and maybe even help out a little.
Overnight in tents near yurts.

Hike: approx. 5–6 hours
overnight in a tent (approx. 3,200 m)
(B / L = picnic / D)

10th day:

Karashura – Baizirek – Kulike – Jilukul

We descend a little from the Karashura plateau and reach the Baizirek valley. It goes downstream through a wide high valley. In a nice place we rest for lunch with a picnic. After lunch we continue our trek refreshed and cross the river over a bridge. On the other side, we climb up the hill and have the option to choose between 2 routes: short and but “crisp” – or longer, but flatter and easier.
After we have reached the highest point of our hike, we continue over a wide plateau to Jilukul Lake. Around the camp we enjoy green lawns and the tranquility of the very, very lonely lake. (You feel a bit like “at the beautiful end of the world”…)
The lake is quite shallow and therefore surprisingly poor despite the high altitude in summer and is very inviting for swimming.

Hike: approx. 6 hours
overnight in a tent (approx. 3,250 m)
(B / L / D)

11th day:


Today is for relaxing! We can swim in the lake or just relax and read a book on the lake shore and let our mind wander.
Short or longer hikes in the vicinity of the lake are also possible.
The wide glacier mountain panoramas, together with the gently rolling lush green meadow hills and the lake form a really beautiful ensemble!
(Important information: Please do not wash yourself or your laundry with soap in the lake! This would pollute the lake’s ecology too much. For this purpose, please fill a container with water and do the washing at a greater distance from the lake. Please move away Not too far from the camp without a guide either, there is a risk of getting lost in this wide landscape.)

Overnight in a tent (approx. 3,250 m)
(B / L / D)

12th day:

Jilu Kul – Shirinsu

Today we have the longest hiking day of our trek ahead of us. We go back a part of the way – down to the bridge – and then climb up a southern side valley. If we are lucky today we will see lots of marmots on the way! Our hike ends today at a high alp with semi-nomads and herds. We may also have the opportunity to have a cup of tea with locals there and set up our tent camp near the Almdorf.

Hike: approx. 7–8 hours
overnight in a tent (approx. 3,000 m)
(B / L = picnic / D)

13th day:

Shirinsu – Yashilkul

The last stage is ideal for a leisurely night out. We hike up a hill and after we have passed a small Ayloq (high mountain pasture) with friendly residents, we reach the large Yashilkul lake. We then set up our camp here with a beautiful mountain landscape behind us and an enchanting lake in front of us. We have the feeling that we can catch a rainbow here. We can use the rest of the day to swim in the lake, hike in the area – or just enjoy the tranquility of the landscape while reading a book.

Hike: approx. 3–4 hours
overnight in a tent (approx. 3,300 m)
(B / L = picnic / D)

14th day:

Yashilkul – Dushanbe

Today our trek ends and we will be picked up by our drivers and taken back to Dushanbe. At first on very bumpy mountain slopes we then reach the Gharmtal again, from there it is easier to continue. We will have another picnic on the way back to Dushanbe during a break from driving. Arrived in the capital – in “civilization” we check into the hotel. After the “basic cleaning” has been completed, we will then make our way to dinner in a local restaurant.

Travel time: approx. 8–9 hours
overnight in a hotel / guesthouse
(B / L = picnic / D)

15th day:

Dushanbe: Free day

Time to review, to be lazy after the sometimes adventurous tour, or to stroll through the city, maybe write a few postcards and soak up the last impressions of a “different world”. If you want to visit a restaurant, our tour guide will be happy to assist you. If you have certain things in mind, it is essential that you make a precise plan and, if necessary, have the hotel staff write a note to ease the language barriers a little.
Possibly afterwards take an extended afternoon nap, as it starts early in the night towards home.

(F / – / -)

16th day:

Home trip

Travel home early in the morning, make sure to think about acclimatization

(- / – / -)
Transfer to the airport

Tajikistan 3

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