Iskanderkul is a scenic lake not far from the main M34 road between Penjikent/Khojand and Dushanbe, that takes its name from Alexander the Great’s time in Tajikistan. For those that don’t have the time for a long trek into the Fann mountains, an overnight stay at one of the chalets near the lakeside will give a good feel of the glory of Northern Tajikistan.
There’s a waterfall about 30 minutes hike away from the chalets, the locals can point it out to you. But basically, everywhere you look is a hike. To give some more pointers: the president’s dacha on the other side of the lake, the village of Sarytag and the Kaznok valley are worth your time. There are springs, and local wildlife includes marmots and camelback spiders. Very little fish survive in the lake, though, so you will have to order at the lakeside restaurant or self-cater.
How to get there
There is no public transport, and cars heading to the lake are few and far between except on weekends. If you don’t have your own wheels, you will need to rent a taxi somewhere between Dushanbe and Penjikent or Khojand to drive you there. You can also hike there from other destinations in the Fann mountains.
There are 30 basic chalets at the lake. There is lots of space for wild camping as well, if the price (a handful of somonis) is too much.