Tajikistan Tours & Holidays
Small Group Tours & Tailor-Made Holidays
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Rugged, mountainous and landlocked, Tajikistan is the smallest of the Central Asian countries. The lush valleys that make up its northern and southern fringes saw few visitors during the last century, when the country was part of the old Soviet Republic. Independence in 1991 then led to a brutal civil war that lasted for six years. Since then though visitors have begun to return, retracing the footsteps of Marco Polo across the Pamir Plateau ...
Rugged, mountainous and landlocked, Tajikistan is the smallest of the Central Asian countries. The lush valleys that make up its northern and southern fringes saw few visitors during the last century, when the country was part of the old Soviet Republic. Independence in 1991 then led to a brutal civil war that lasted for six years. Since then though visitors have begun to return, retracing the footsteps of Marco Polo across the Pamir Plateau towards the once great palace of Kublai Khan.
Dominated by the towering peak of Ismoil Somoni (7,495 m), this magnificent landscape has been continuously inhabited for over 4,000 years, when Aryan nomads first settled here. Today, the once busy trading routes that made up the old Silk Road wind their way through some of the country’s most spectacular scenery, providing a snapshot into a more prosperous time.
A destination that promises adventure and a real sense of discovery, places like Penjikent and the old Uzbek town of Khojand are high on the list of must-see highlights, whilst a journey along the 'Pamir Highway’, from Murgab near the southern Kyrgyz border, via the banks of the Wakhan River and north to Khorog will, quite literally, take your breath away.
Start your journey
HIGHLIGHTS OF TAJIKISTAN
Wander the ruins of PenjikentOnce home to 20,000 people during the early days of the Silk Road, the 2,000-year-old ruins of Penjikent in the Zerafshan Valley is a local favourite. Wander the ruined streets and easily imagine the well-laden caravans that would have passed this way.
Experience rural Tajik lifeAlways inviting and comfortable, local families have opened their homes for the occasional foreign visitor. Try some delicious local dishes, washed down with milky tea, a shot or two of vodka all the while embracing the warmth of Tajik hospitality.
Explore the Kayrakkum ReservoirKnown as the Tajik Sea, on the Syr Darya River, to walk along the coast and swim. Enjoy a dip in the cool waters surrounded by mountainous vistas, and take in lunch at one of the local restaurants.
Admire the Sangin-i-BaburVisit Istarafshan and its museum containing the Sangin-i-Babur, a rock where Babur, the founder of India's Moghul dynasty, reportedly carved four lines of a poem of Sa'adi when he was on his way to India in 1511.
Hike the Seven Margazor LakesJust south of the beautiful Margazor lakes, there are seven lakes, all a different hue of blue and green. Enjoy a hike that takes you to all seven lakes, complete with many stunning landscapes, finishing with lake Hazorchashma (2400m).
Explore the Shirkent ValleyStep back in time at Shirkent Gorge, a nature reserve since the early 1990's to see a rare discovery of dinosaur footprints. There a numerous trails to choose from, along the way you will enjoy beautiful views of the streams that line the valley.
Cook with the LocalsEmbrace the Tajik life by learning the cooking techniques of local Tajik culture. Plov, Goat, and egg dishes are staples in this region and will give you a new recipe for your next dinner party.
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WHEN TO GO
Health and Vaccinations
There are no mandatory immunisations for travellers to Tajikistan though you should be up-to-date with Typhoid, Tetanus, Polio and Hepatitis A. Malaria is present in some parts of Tajikistan so we recommend you seek advice from your local GP or travel centre as to the correct immunisations and preventative treatments.
The official unit of currency in Tajikistan is the Somani.
To check out the latest exchange rate for the places that you are visiting you can go to www.oanda.com.
On our tours you will frequently interact with local people, each with their own distinct customs and traditions. We therefore ask you to be considerate and to treat them with respect. Your tour-leaders and guides will always be able to advise you accordingly.
The first thing to say about travelling in Central Asia is that most areas, particularly the cities and towns, have a much more laid-back approach to Islam than their neighbours to the south in Afghanistan and Pakistan. However, it should also be remembered that it is technically a Muslim region and therefore a little bit of caution should be applied in certain places. Long shorts and T-shirts are fine for both sexes in the cities, but if visiting any active mosques everyone should wear trousers that fall below the knee and tops that cover their shoulders. Women should also wear a headscarf. Throughout this tour we are travelling in quite remote areas not often visited by tourists. The local people are very modest in their dress and so you are likely to feel more comfortable wearing quite conservative clothing too.
Language & Religion
Tajikistan’s official language is Tajik. Russian is still routinely used for business and communication.
The majority of the population follow Sunni Islam, with the small minority being followers of Russian Orthodox, Catholicism, Buddhism and Judaism.
Tajikistan is 5 hours ahead of GMT. A useful website to check the time zone differences is www.worldtimezone.com.
Food and drink
The food on this tour tends to focus mainly on soups, meat and potatoes. In the more remote and higher altitude places vegetables can be hard to come by. There is an abundance of dried fruits and nuts available to try though.
With regard to alcohol, the choice is mainly limited to vodka or beer so anyone wanting something different - Scotch or Gin for example - should buy it duty free and bring it out. Mixer drinks like tonic water can be extremely difficult to find, though.