There is 1 basic itinerary in Tajikistan: the Pamir Highway. Many interesting side trips into different valleys can be made. We have highlighted the most significant ones for tourists on the map below. Note that the Fann mountains loop is hiking-only. All other routes can be blocked by snow or landslides but are in principle navigable by bicycle, motorbike and 4×4, if at times with serious difficulty.
All of the valleys are worthwhile for trekking, but Bartang and Yaghnob have special appeal for most travelers, due to the mix of rough nature and small, friendly communities. Wakhan is another valley celebrated especially by cyclists. If you are interested in visiting only the Pamirs, a wonderful loop for self-sufficient travelers is Osh – Karakul – Bartang Valley – Khorog – Wakhan Valley – Karakul – Osh.
Dushanbe and the northern cities of Penjikent, Khujand and Istaravshan are more suited to those who prefer more culture and the occasional shower. Southern Tajikistan is also lovely, an excellent mix of nature and culture at lower altitudes, but the shadow cast over the region by the Pamirs has meant that so far, few have visited here and little has been written about the place.
Most people will visit from Kyrgyzstan, but we also included the exits to Uzbekistan, Afghanistan and China (problematic). If you cannot invest the time to do the whole Osh to Osh loop, you can fly out from Dushanbe or Khujand, or fly the spectacular Khorog – Dushanbe route.