Classic Tajikestan,Rural Tour

Tajikistan, a remote land of remarkable stark beauty, beckons travelers with its towering peaks and vast open spaces. Embedded in the rugged terrain are crystal-clear rivers and waterfalls that remain hidden from the vast majority and rustic villages that still bask in rich local culture and ancient traditions. Over nine unforgettable days, adventure across Tajikistan and discover its wealth of natural and cultural charms.

You will have the opportunity to hike to a necklace of vivid-blue lakes in the Fann mountains, explore  historic crossroad towns and ancient ruins, and witness the country’s ambitions of modernity in Dushanbe. 



Day 1


Begin your journey through Tajikistan in the capital city of Dushanbe. You will be met at the airport and transferred via private vehicle to your hotel. Check in and recuperate over breakfast and the rest of the morning. In the afternoon, step out to explore the city. After Soviet troops overthrew the emir, Dushanbe (then dubbed Stalinabad) was named the capital of the new Tajik soviet state and underwent rapid industrialization and reconstruction. Similar to other Soviet-planned cities in Central Asia, Dushanbe features wide, straight, tree-lined boulevards with large public buildings. See Dousti Square, the central area around which the Soviets erected government buildings and statues. Today in place of Lenin stands a statue of Ismoil Somoni, an ancient leader and hero of the region. Visit the Ismaili Center, a community complex also dedicated to Somoni, which features modern conference halls and serves as a school fo Muslim child. Round out the day with a visit to the National Museum which showcases the country’s natural history, fine arts, and ancient to contemporary history.

Day 3


After breakfast, set off to Iskanderkul Lake, situated on the slopes of the Fann mountains, 7,201 feet above sea level. Along the way, stop to admire the views of Varzob gorge. A picturesque pastoral scene of sweeping meadows and pastures, cacading waterfalls, hot springs, and snow-capped mountains in the backdrop, this area is popular for hiking and mountain climbing. Upon arrival at Iskanderkul Lake, you can check into your local hotel and have lunch before heading out to explore the area. A short walk from the lodge will lead you to a magnificent waterfall, hidden within a rocky gorge, where the Iskandardaya falls from an impressive height of 78 feet. From here, visit the reed-covered Snake Lake and if you wish, have a refreshing swim in the crystal-clear and refreshing waters of Iskanderkul Lake. Spend the night in beautifully natural and tranquil surrounds.

Day 5


Today drive onward and upward to the mysterious Alaudin Lakes, located at an altitude of 9,022 feet. Here you will settle into the Verticle Base Camp which offers small basic private lodges and is well-situated for your exploration into the heart of the Fann Mountains. When ready, set off on a short 1-hour trail with a gentle ascent to Alaudin Lake. Azure skies hanging over the dazzling turquoise waters of the lake and fresh alpine air make for a rewarding trek. A picnic along the shores gives you the opportunity to marvel at the beautiful and remote surroundings, rarely visited by outsiders. After lunch, continue hiking and exploring the other lakes. The mountainous landscape is filled with craggy rocks and mirror-surfaced lakes, each a different and unique jewel-toned color. Tonight, reflect on the day’s surreal views over dinner and enjoy a quiet night’s rest.

Day 7


Pack up this morning, and before leaving the Fann Mountains, head to the famous Seven Lakes, a series of glacial-melt lakes embedded along a narrow rocky valley and connected by the Shing River. A windy road will take you along the river and you can admire each of the lakes as you drive along. At the sixth lake, embark on a hike to explore the seventh, elevated at 7,874 feet and only reachable on foot. After, depart from the mountains and make your way to the ancient city of Pendjikent where you will spend the evening.

Day 9


Your final day on this Tajikistan journey is spent touring ancient Khudjand. The second-largest city in the country, it is located strategically in the northern tip at the mouth of the fertile Fergana Valley and was a stop along the Silk Road. Visit Sheikh Muslikhidin Madrasah, the olden remaining central mosque, bazaar, and Fortress. Cross the Syr Darya River, which divides the city in two, by cable car and enjoy views of the city overhead. Also visit the regional history museum. After lunch in the city, transfer to the border town of Oybek. Here you leave the unforgettable country of Tajikistan. Cross over to Uzbekistan where you will continue to Tashkent to depart to your next exciting destination.

Day 2


An early breakfast in the hotel is followed by more city exploration. As you drive around the city, observe the many Soviet-era blocks which are artfully covered in colored tiles. Begin with a visit to the Buddha in Nirvana at the Museum of Antiquity. At over 39 feet high, this reclining Buddha statue is the largest Buddha in Central Asia and is believed to be 1,600 years old. Then make stops at the famous Gurminj Museum of Musical Instruments and 13th century Fort Hissar where the deputy of Bukhara emir resided. Finally at Mehrgon Bazaar, get acquainted with the locals and the local specialties. This new and modern food market is well-organized and brimming with flat breads, dried fruits, and legumes.

Day 4


This morning, travel onward a short distance to the village of Saritag, where you will stay the night in a guesthouse. This small village is located in a subalpine meadow, elevated at 7,874 feet, and is home to local farmers and livestock herders. A walk through this scenic location, surrounded by snow-capped peaks, will take you to the meandering river Karakul, onto the fork pass of Dugdon, and to the eerie black waters of Karakul Lake. Take in the gorgeous views over a picnic lunch. Spend the rest of the day exploring the area before returning to the village before dark.

Day 6


Your evening in the Fann Mountains is spent at the Artuch base. Set in the heart of the Fann mountains, amidst majestic peaks, Artuch is located 7,217 feet above sea level and boasts panoramic views over alpine meadows as well as traditional Tajik architecture. Enroute, stop for lunch at the small Rudaki village where an authentic, home-cooked Tajik meal is served amidst these beautiful surrounds. Also pay a visit to the mausoleum of A. Rudaki, a classic Tajik poet,after whom the village is named. After reaching Artuch base and settling into the camp lodge, take a 2-3 hour hike up to Chukurak Lake at 8,038 feet. This elongated lake fringed by juniper-covered mountains is the lowest in altitude of three lakes within Chukurak Gorge. It is separated in two parts, with water from the higher, larger part cascading into the smaller one situated below.

Day 8


This morning, visit Pendjikent’s Rudaki Museum and browse the bazaar. In its previous life, the city was a thriving trade post on the road between the mountains and Samarkand. Today it is still a border city for those crossing into Uzbekistan. Superbly fortified city walls held a ruler’s palace, temples, markets, and fine homes. Though its golden trading days are in the past, the spirit lives on at its bazaar which touts fruits for travelers’ onward journeys. Journey onward to the northeast and reach Istaravshan, in the foothills of the Turkestan mountains. Another ancient city, Istaravshan was famous in the past for its handicrafts, particularly carving, pottery, and embroidery. After lunch here, explore its remaining historical monuments and ancient remains and meet the local artisans. Finally drive an hour to Khudjand, your final destination for today.


  • FANN MOUNTAINS: The rugged snowcapped peaks of the Fann Mountains with its wealth of jewel-toned lakes, wide dramatic vistas, and countless small villages of friendly pastoral locals, makes for some of the country’s most spectacular scenery, and some of the world’s best trekking.
  • ANCIENT CROSSROADS: Travel to ancient towns that predate the Silk Road they sit along. Occupying strategic locations, these towns flourished during the trading heyday and still serve as crossroads of the region. Explore monuments and ruins, and taste the yellow and white cherries that were once coveted goods exported along the Silk Road.
  • DUSHANBE: Once a small village that grew to be a Soviet capital, it is now racing towards modernization and erasing its USSR past. An ecclectic mix of old buildings and modern skyscrapers, witness how Dushanbe rapidly remaking itself into a European-style city.