- Ride more than 200 km through impressive mountain landscapes
- Gain 4,000 m in elevation over 12 days
- Traverse the isolated Yagnob Valley
- Trek 60 km, including over the Alaudin Pass (3,860 m)
- Marvel at the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Sarazm
- Enjoy Tajik hospitality in local guesthouses
The Pamirs might technically be higher, but there are no more dramatic mountain ranges in Central Asia than the Fann and Zarafshan ranges in north-west Tajikistan. You’ll bike on low-traffic roads through remote valleys, then along mountain trails over high passes which normally only shepherds and their flocks can reach. Mix this with hikes to waterfalls and through gorges, swimming in pristine alpine lakes, and campfires beneath the stars and you start to understand why our MTB and trekking itinerary is the most exciting adventure tour around.
This tour is physically challenging. Though your baggage will be transported by donkey or vehicle, you’ll have to mountain bike up to 45 km per day, gaining as much as 1,070 m in altitude. On trekking days you inevitably cover shorter distances (up to 14 km) but at altitude even this can feel strenuous. You’ll be staying in simple accommodation and eating local food: some nights will be spent in local guesthouses, others will be in camp sites.
Why choose us?
- Leading adventure tour company in Tajikistan
- Safe, comfortable 4×4 vehicles and mountain bikes
- Knowledgable local guides
- Professional, English-speaking staff
- Very responsive to enquiries
- Commitment to health and safety
- Passionate about sharing Tajikistan and its treasures
Arriving in Dushanbe — which means “Friday” in Tajik — you’ll learn about Tajikistan past and present. This informative city tour includes the National Museum and the impressive Hissor Fortress, as well as more modern sites such as Rudaki Park (with its colourful monuments) and the Navruz Hall. Stock up in the capital on any kit or clothing you need for the journey as shops hereafter will be few and far between! Accommodation at 4-star hotel.
Day 2 Dushanbe – Pskan (Jeep, 170 km; Trek 3km)
Leaving the city behind you’ll drive north towards the Yagnob Valley. The Yagnobis are an ancient people who were cut off from the outside world for much of their history. Their language is unchanged since the time of Alexander the Great.
Lunch will be in Margheb, and in the afternoon you’ll hike through the Yagnob Gorde to the village of Pskan (3 km), where you’ll spend the night. It’ll be your first introduction to Yagnobi culture and warm hospitality.
Day 3 Pskan – Marghib (МТВ, 30 km, +460m/-700m, Trek 6 km)
After breakfast, it’s a scramble down the track from Pskan to Numetkan village, where well-maintained mountain bikes will be waiting for you. Adjust the height of the saddle, put your helmet on, and you’ll be ready to go! It’s a five-hour ride along the Yagnob River from Numetkan to Marghib (30 km). You’ll stop for a picnic lunch on the way, and in the evening have dinner and overnight at friendly guesthouse in Marghib. The guesthouse has a shower and western toilet.
Day 4 17.08 Marghib – Marguzor (МТВ, 45 km, +1070m/-1400m)
Today you will continue your MTB predominantly off-road and downhill. It’s a long but not uncomfortable ride. Lunch will be at a café in Sarvoda, where you can take a much-needed rest in preparation for the afternoon ascent to Marguzor. You will overnight at guesthouse where a shower is available.
Day 5 18.08 Marguzor – Vertical (МТВ, 20 km, +900m/-180)
The MTB route continues through one of the most scenic gorges in the Fann Mountains’ alpine landscape. At lunchtime this MTB part of your journey will come to and end, and you’ll meet the donkey handlers and cook who will assist you for the next eight days. Tonight you will stay at Vertical Alp Camp, which has a shower and western toilets.
Day 6 19.08 Vertical (trekking, 14 km, +950m/-900m)
You’re already quite high in the mountains, but acclimatisation is essential before you proceed higher. Today’s trek is intended to help you adjust. The 12 km route to Aluddin and Mutnoe Lakes will take approximately six hours, and you will camp for the night on the shore of Alauddin Lake.
Day 7 20.08 Alauddin Lake – Bibijanat (trekking, 8 km +960m/-800m)
It’s time to start trekking at altitude. Conqueriing the Alauddin Pass (3,860 m) you’ll be treated to stunning panoramic views across the Fann Mountains. In bright sunlight the turquoise lakes glitter and shine. Tonight’s campsite is at picturesque Bibijanat Lake, where you might well want to have a swim.
Day 8 21.08 Bibijanat – Artuch Alp Camp (Trekking, 7 km, +300m/-700m)
After breakfast we suggest you take a short walk around the Kulikalon, a group of three glacial lakes akin to the tarns in the Lake District. It’s then a three-hour trek downhill to the Artuch Alp Camp, built in the Soviet era for climbers. The camp has been upgraded in recent years with showers and western toilets, and it’s the one place along our route where you might meet other trekkers. You can spend the afternoon relaxing, or perhaps do a short hike to Chukurak and Ziyorat Lake.
Day 9 22.08 Artuch – Zimtud (МТВ, 26km, +500m/-1000m)
You’ll be glad to hear that the first part of today’s MTB ride is mostly downhill. There will be a short break at the Rudaki Mausoleum so you can visit the small museum and learn about the life and work of Rudaki, the famous 9th to 10th century Tajik poet. Continue by MTB to the village of Zimtud (a slow ascent), where lunch will be served at your guesthouse. A shower will be available.
Day 10 23.08 Zimtud – Tovassang Pass (МТВ/trekking, 20km +1500m/-750m)
Back in the saddle this morning, you’ll MTB to the village of Humorigung, which has attractive stone-built houses. Leave your bike here and continue on foot, trekking to the campsite under the Tovassang Pass.
Day 11 24.08 Humorigung – Hazorchashma (trekking, 11 km +900/-1000m)
Enjoy your breakfast, then you will start the ascent to the top of the Tovassang Pass (3,305m). If the weather is clear, you should be able to see the Hazorchashma Lake in one direction, and the Sarimat River in the other. Coming down from the pass will be faster, and you’ll have a picnic on the way to the Seven Lakes of the Shing Valley. You’ll camp tonight on the lake shore beneath the stars.
Day 12 25.08 Hazorchashma – Shing (МТВ, 23km, +300/-1300m)
You will start today with a short walk around the seventh lake, then continue by MTB, descending towards Shing. En route along the river you’ll pass all seven lakes, each one of which is strikingly beautiful. Lunch will be at the village of Noffin. Our guests frequently say that today is the undisputed highlight of their MTB tour, so we hope you enjoy every minute of it. Accommodation in Shing is in a clean but basic guesthouse.
Day 13 26.08 Shing – Penjikent (MTB, 40km +300m/1070m)
It is a long but actually quite relaxing ride towards Penjikent over a combination of paved and unmade roads. You will reach Penjikent in time for lunch, and will have the chance to taste the delicious traditional plov for which the town is famous. After lunch you will visit the Penjikent Historical Museum and the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Sarazm, learning about the rich ancient history of this region. Tonight you will stay at a local hotel, where a private bathroom is available.
Day 14 27.08 Penjikent – Dushanbe (Jeep, 240 km)
The drive back to Dushanbe from Penjikent is long, but it’s a scenic route through the mountains and there will be plenty of opportunities to stop and take photographs. Reaching Dushanbe in the late afternoon or early evening, you’ll be treated to a farewell dinner and spend your last night in a comfortable 4 star hotel.
Day 15 28.08 Dushanbe (Departure)
Transfer to Dushanbe Airport, or alternative transport arrangements as per your personal itinerary.
- 23 Jul 2018 – 6 Aug 2018
- 1 Sep 2018 – 15 Sep 2018
- $2680 per person (FIXED)
- Intermediate Trails are most suitable for individuals and social groups seeking a short to medium distance trail requiring a moderate level of skill and fitness.
- A variable surface is likely that may include sections of rock, sand, clay, gravel, etc. Obstacles such as rocks, water streams, jumps, drop offs are likely
- Trail with slope 15% and 45 km maximum distance
- Trail riding and trekking experience recommended
- Accommodation in Dushanbe (including early arrival)
- All meals in Dushanbe
- MTB and Trekking Guide service
- Porter with donkey
- All transportation during your trip
- All specialist and safety equipment
- Accommodation noted in itinerary (inc. camping gears)
- All meals noted in itinerary (breakfast, lunch dinners, snacks)
- All permits and taxes
- Airport pick up/drop off
- Mountain Bike rent (possible to rent Specialized Pitch Sport 27.5“)
- International Flights
- Visa fee
- Personal kit and equipment
- Alcoholic beverage
- Travel Insurance
- International Phone calls
- Gratuities to porters, guides and drivers