To the west of Dushanbe and approaching the border with Uzbekistan is the sweeping Hissar (Gissar) Valley, which encompasses the Shirkent National Park. This 3,000 hectare reserve, which is expected to be expanded to some 30,000 hectares in the coming years, has an unusually high concentration of sites of historical and scientific interest.
The landscapes vary from juniper and broad-leaf forests, to alpine meadows, grasslands, and arid steep. Each of these distinct ecosystems supports different types of wildlife including 30 species of mammals, and 95 types of local and migratory birds. The animals thrive here because of the availability of water: in addition to the Shirkent River, there are a large number of smaller watercourses, all providing natural irrigation to the land. ...
The Vanj Valley Tajikistan, which overlooks Afghanistan, was a key location in the 19th century Great Game, the spying match between the Russian Empire and British India. More than a century on, the Tajik villages developed with the arrival of electricity and passing trade, but those on the Afghan bank of the river appear to be caught in a time warp. The contrast is a fascinating case study in development.
If you are looking for things to do in the Vanj Valley, you should know that this part of Tajikistan is less about actual modern landmarks and more about the incredible natural scenery. You’ll discover a host of extraordinary high-altitude hikes, glacier treks, rock climbing, jeep rides, and mountaineering adventures on a Vanj Valley hiking holiday.
Forming part of the glorious ‘Roof of the World’, the Pamir Mountains are filled with an impressive collection of sky-scraping glaciers. While the largest glacier on Earth is hands down the Lambert-Fisher Glacier in Antarctica, the 70-plus-kilometer Fedchenko Glacier right here in Tajikistan is the longest outside of Antarctica and the Arctic.
If you’re up for hiking the Vanj Valley’s high-altitude climbs, make sure you acclimatise for a few days first – there are plenty of authentic Tajik villages to choose from in the surrounds of both Tajikistan and Afghanistan.
Another highlight of the Vanj Valley is trekking around the Poi Mazar, Academy of Science Range, and Ismoli Somoni Peak, the highest in Tajikistan. As the Fedchenko Glacier lies within Tajik National Park, part of the West-central Gorno-Badakhshan (or Gbar Tajikistan) region, permits are required if you’re looking to scale the surrounding peaks.
Outdoorsy travelers will be in their element discovering the various trekking routes in the Western Pamir. The Vanj Valley to Yazgulom Valley route specifically attracts trekkers to visit Vanj Valley, winding its way along dusty tracks up the Langar Glacier and past old quartz mines. This route is best enjoyed in the fall or spring when the river is at its lowest flow rate, so we’d recommend taking this into account when planning your hiking holiday in Tajikistan.
hissar valley Tours
Trekking in Tajikistan: Top 7 Destinations for Adventure Seekers
Beyond the Horizon: Paramount Journey’s Path of Resilience, Community Engagement, and Honored Recognition
Historic Sites of the Pamir
The time I turned my back on the Fann Mountains…
Central Asia’s hidden destinations
The Art of Kandakori Woodcarving
Paramount Journeys has learned from leading international companies how to create and run extraordinary adventures reaching out into incredible locations that would otherwise be inaccessible and unexplored. If your aim is to get beyond the standard Tajikistan tourist trail and to discover for yourself the most remarkable aspects of our high-altude heaven, let Paramount Journey guide you on your way. We not only exhibit the pristine nature of Tajikistan in its numerous unique environments, but also introduce you to the culture and ways of life of the extraordinary and hospitable communities who have battled against, yet also worked in harmony with, that same nature to survive and thrive in Tajikistan for millennia. Every adventure we plan is pioneering and bold, accessible to those with determination and a passion for discovery.
I visited the Fann Mountains with Paramount Journey in early October for a four-day trek (starting and finishing in Dushanbe). It was my first visit to Tajikistan. Paramount Journey were... read more
Iskanderkul Weekend - My wife and I and two friends of ours enjoyed an excellent autumn weekend Iskanderkul, one of the top tourist spots in Tajikistan. It was a very smooth and... read more
Travel to Tajikistan - We took a 7 day tour to Tajikistan taking in Dushanbe and trekking in the Fann Mountains. The mountain scenery was breathtaking and the tour was very professionally arranged.... read more