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PARAMOUNT JOURNEY

Expedition in Zarafshan valley, Tajikistan

EXPEDITION IN YAGNOB AND UPPER ZARAFSHAN VALLEYS

Paramount Journey’s expeditions take place in areas where time has stood still, far beyond the reaches of development and the well-trodden tourist trail. Every part of Tajikistan has its individual character, from pristine alpine lakes and thundering rivers, to lush green valleys and empty high-altitude desert plains. Often you will see several of these unique ecosystems within a single day, though of course we recommend you stay longer to understand and appreciate the beauty of the landscape and to get to know the fascinating cultures of the friendly people who live there.

Even if you have only a limited time available, you can join us in our exploration of the Yagnob valley and the Zerafshan Valley. These expeditions offer you the chance to stay with local families, the surviving descendants of the ancient Sogdians, whose lifestyle was unaffected by time and external influences. The tremendous mountainscapes will surround you each step along your journey, a poignant and majestic reminder of the might of the natural world and its impact on its inhabitants. We offer several ways of exploring these stunning valleys, on foot or by bike, so whatever your fitness level and whatever your budget, there is ample opportunity to explore.

This is an excellent challenge in one of the most beautiful and isolated regions in Tajikistan. It is a journey to experience its remoteness, the constant sight of mountain peaks and the hospitality of the people living from their flocks and small fields in a harsh environment. You will experience the country from a unique, on-the-ground perspective, staging several day-long treks in Yagnob Valley. The end of the valley opens a view to the wild and dramatic place with view to the spectacular summits.

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Day 1

Welcome to Tajikistan! On arrival at Dushanbe airport, you will be met by your guide and transferred to the hotel. For the rest of the day you can rest or explore Dushanbe.

Day 2

We start our journey towards Yagnob over the Anzob mountain pass, Overnight at the guesthouse in Margeb (135km , 3 hours). The village is located in dramatic location surrounded by jagged peaks, with the giant Zamin-Karor rock wall looming over it from behind.

Day 3

We hike towards the first Yagnob village (Bedef) requires at least four hours of walking (18 km). Camping in the meadow near village orchards.

Day 4

This day starts with an easy walk along Yagnob river by taking the clear path, then passing by three other villages,nd few bridges to cross. Overnight at the Yagnobian guesthouse in Pskan.

Day 5

This day we will have opportunity to acquaint with indigenes in Pskan and other surrounding villages and continue the journey after the lunch. Camping near the Qiansi village.

Day 6

The path widens, moves away from the river, then few hops across side streams. The incline remains gradual. Pass the aylaq and a river on widen place, then take the clear path towards the Honi Pass (3,664m ). Camp at the foot of the Honi pass.

Day 7

Follow the zigzag of the path up to the pass. The pass is initially ascent but then levels out. After the settlement, you reach a downhill track leading to Rufigar, and a well-earned dinner and bed.

Day 8

After a breakfast at the guesthouse at Rufigar you drive through Romit Nature Reserve back to Dushanbe.

 This Expedition includes a trek over Tabaspin Pass (4040m ) and further descend towards Zarafshan river valley. The mountain pass does not require any technical experience and the skills required on the mountain, it will be taught on the higher slopes. The last part of the trek is more picturesque than further part of the valley, with long scree slopes leading down to the river gorge, interspersed with typical mountain villages surrounded by woods and fertile fields. The trek finish in the Langar Village, situated along Zarafshan river. The village has houses with walled gardens and orchards of apples, almonds, walnuts, apricots and mulberries, so creating a green patch in a rather arid area. The program includes a day
stop in Veshab village before departure.

Day 1

Welcome to Tajikistan! On arrival at Dushanbe airport, you will be met by your guide and transferred to the hotel. For the rest of the day you can rest or explore Dushanbe.

Day 2

We start our journey towards Yagnob over the Anzob mountain pass, Overnight at the guesthouse in Margeb (135km , 3 hours). The village is located in dramatic location surrounded by jagged peaks, with the giant Zamin-Karor rock wall looming over it from behind.

Day 3

We hike towards the first Yagnob village (Bedef) requires at least four hours of walking (18 km). Camping in the meadow near village orchards.

Day 4

This day starts with an easy walk along Yagnob river by taking the clear path, then passing by three other villages,nd few bridges to cross. Overnight at the Yagnobian guesthouse in Pskan.

Day 5

This day we will have opportunity to acquaint with indigenes in Pskan and other surrounding villages and continue the journey after the lunch. Camping near the Qiansi village.

Day 6

After breakfast, we ascend to upper side of the Valley leaving the Yagnobi villages behind and enjoying wild unexplored nature. From this part up to Langar there will be no any settlements on the way except some summer camp of shepherds Marmots are the most frequently met friends among the Yagnob fauna

Day 7

Another hike day along the Yagnob river with hops across side streams before the most challenging day summit Tabaspin pass. Therefore, we take easy this day and hike only 8 km, to save energy for the next day.

Day 8

Early morning we start trekking over Tabaspin Pass (4040m) and further descend towards Zarafshan river valley. The mountain pass does not require any technical experience and the skills required on the mountain, it will be on the higher slopes.

Day 9

The last trekking day, we continue descend (18km) in the area with towering mountains with hanging glacier, beautiful meadows and the narrow Tabaspin gorge dotted with juniper. There are several shepherds’ houses on the way who can invite you for tea. There will be a car waiting us to pick us up from the further point it can get on. In Langar we will be hosted at Kholov’s guesthouse, a very interesting person who has а big and well-groomed garden near his house and down near Zarafshan river.

Day 10

The trek finish in the Langar Village, situated along Zarafshan river. The village has houses with walled gardens and orchards of apples, almonds, walnuts, apricots and mulberries, so creating a green patch in a rather arid area. After а nourishing breakfast, we follow the route to the old Tajik Village – Veshab where the inhabitants have preserved old traditions in their everyday life till this day. The houses built on top of each other, a creative solution for survival in such a mountainous area.

Day 11

The way back to Dushanbe/Khujand, after 6 hours ride and you are at your hotel.

Day 1

Welcome to Tajikistan! On arrival at Dushanbe airport, you will be met by your guide and transferred to the hotel. For the rest of the day you can rest or explore Dushanbe.

Day 2

We start our journey towards Yagnob over the Anzob mountain pass, Overnight at the guesthouse in Margeb (135km , 3 hours). The village is located in dramatic location surrounded by jagged peaks, with the giant Zamin-Karor rock wall looming over it from behind.

Day 3

We hike towards the first Yagnob village (Bedef) requires at least four hours of walking (18 km). Camping in the meadow near village orchards.

Day 4

This day starts with an easy walk along Yagnob river by taking the clear path, then passing by three other villages,nd few bridges to cross. Overnight at the Yagnobian guesthouse in Pskan.

Day 5

This day we will shortly get acquaint with indigenes in Pskan and other surrounding villages and get familiarized with local traditions and the life of a remote community. We continue ascend to upper side of the Valley leaving the Yagnobi villages behind and enjoying wild unexplored nature. From this part up to Ghuzn village there will be no any settlements on the way except some summer camps of shepherds Marmots are the most frequently met friends among the Yagnob fauna. Camping at the foot Rost mountain pass.

Day 6

Early morning we start ascent through small glaciers by the path of Rost Pass (4020m) and further descend towards Zarafshan river valley. The mountain pass does not require any technical experience and the skills required on the mountain; on the top, it is possible to see the magnificent panorama of the range. Camping in the alpine zone at the foothills of Zerafshan range, in the Sari Pul place (2350m).

Day 7

The last trekking day, we continue descend along the Ghuzn river and make a short stay in Ghuzn village where there are coal mines that still practice a manual mining. There will be a car waiting us to pick us up from the further point it can get on. In the evening we will be hosted at Kholov’s guesthouse, a very interesting person who has а big and well-groomed garden near his house and down near Zarafshan river.

Day 8

After а nourishing breakfast, we can do short walks around village, which has houses with walled gardens and orchards of apples, almonds, walnuts, apricots and mulberries, so creating a green patch in a rather arid area. Later we continue our journey towards Rog village by stopping on the way to Sabag where there are some petroglyphs – engravings of animals and people, geometrical forms, symbols etc. Overnight at traditional private house in Rog.

Day 9

Rog is the largest village in the Upper part of the Kuhistone Mastchoh, where you can go for the walk around the village, in the narrow streets, meet locals and take a photo them. Or make a short hike to the place Takob, a summer settlement where female part of the village seclude themselves for pasturing.  In the second half of the day, we will head towards Mazori Poyon stopping by on the way to enjoy the nature, view of the valley, potato fields that blossom in August and visiting the shrine of famous religious figures.

Day 10

Early morning we start trekking to the foot of Zerafshan Glacier. The Zerafshan river crossing will be done by aerial ropeways and few hops across side streams. Heading to the pass Hoja Muso (3635m) on the rocky ground, we pass by several small lakes on the top of mountain and descend to the south along the Duburso river. Camping in the nearest flat ground.

Day 11

We start trekking in the new valley (Kamarob nature refuge area) which has a completely distinctive flora and fauna known for its thickly forested with birch, mulberry, wild fruit and nut trees where in the numerous rivers and streams swim “king’s fish”. Above the forests are the sub-alpine meadows where tulips, crocuses, mountain violets, anemones, poppies, carnations, irises, and geranium grow. After a lunch break in the picturesque place, we meet our driver in Khoja Ali village and drive to Dushanbe.

Trip Date & Price

Season of the Trip
June – September

Easy Trekking Trip
• 3 travellers 590 $/pp
• 6 travellers 490 $/pp
Duration: 8 days

Moderate Trekking Trip
• 3 travellers 805 $/pp
• 6 travellers 655 $/pp
Duration 11 days

Advanced Trekking Trip
• 3 travellers 950 $/pp
• 6 travellers 760 $/pp
Duration: 11 days

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Included

  • Mountain guide
  • Porter with donkey
  • All transport
  • All specialist and safety equipment
  • Accommodation noted in itinerary (incl. camping gears)
  • All meals noted in itinerary (breakfast, lunch dinners, snacks)
  • All permits and taxes
  • Airport pick up/drop off

 

Excluded

  • Accommodation in Dushanbe
  • All meals in Dushanbe
  • International Flights
  • Visa fee
  • Personal kit and equipment
  • Alcoholic beverage
  • Travel Insurance
  • International Phone calls
  • Gratuities to porters, guides and drivers

Suggested Items

•    Backpack (+50kg)
•    sleeping bag
•    trekking sticks
•    trekking shoes
•    warm and windproof clothes
•    rain jacket and pants
•    stock of clothes
•    Hat/cap
•    sunglasses
•    sunscreen
•    flashlight
•    First-aid kit
•    personal care products
•    sleeping bag
•    other personal items

Food and Drinks

A typical Tajikistan meal is a sumptuous affair with appetizers and soups, exquisite preparations of meat and specially cooked rice. Many indigenous soups are also prepared in Tajikistan. Tea is the most common drink among the inhabitants of Tajikistan, although many restaurants also serve wine, beer and vodka.

A large group will be accompanied by a cook while trekking who will prepare freshly cooked, high-energy food with a blend of Tajik and Western flavours.

Cultural and Social etiquette

  • Men typically salute each other with handshakes and women typically salute women with hugs. With opposite sex the greeting is made only by putting the right hand on the heart.
  • In the countryside, people wear in traditional clothes. We do not recommend not to bring, shorts, tank tops/singlets and any types of clothes with bare shoulders, above the knee and backs
  • Make sure that you ask permission for visiting mosques and shrines from locals if the guide is not near
  • Ask permission to take photo of someone. Usually, people do not mind if you take the photo of them, but respect their wishes if they refuse. Offer to send hard copy them, Paramount Journey will assist you to keep your promise.
  • Bargaining is expected in the bazaars but not in places like department stores.