Narrow canyons with clear, rushing rivers, high glaciated summits, wide variety of colorful panoramas, picturesque river valleys and thousands of lakes set amongst juniper forests make this region one of the most attractive mountain regions in Central Asia.
Apart from the mountains, Tajikistan is famous for the riotous sense of color Tajik people have. They love vivid colors, as many as possible. The people are very hospitable and make friends easily. In many small villages hidden in the mountains they still speak ancient Sogdian dialect, the language that Alexander the Great heard when he came to these places. They say that he had been camping on the shores of Iskanderkul lake, and hence it was named after him. You will also have a chance to feel the mystery and magic beauty of ancient oriental culture and spend a couple of days in the famous ancient Asian cities which are more than two millennia old.
In 2011 the border crossing between Samarkand (Uzbekistan) and Penjikent (Tajikistan) was closed. Due to the fact we will not be coming via Uzbekistan for the Fann Mountains trek. The group will be arriving and departing from Dushanbe, the capital of Tajikistan. When the Border crossing is opened again we will start doing the trek the way is used to be done: flying in and out through Uzbekistan and having some sightseeing in Bukhara and Samarkand.
The following itinerary is intended as a working guide only and is a subject to variation as a result of local conditions, weather and governmental restrictions. We reserve the right to alter (lengthen or shorten) the trek at any time if necessary.
DAY 1. Arrive in Dushanbe, the capital of Tajikistan. Tour of the town. Night in a hotel.
Dushanbe is an ancient site, there are archaeological remnants dating back to the 5th century BC. Dushanbe (meaning “Monday” in Persian) appeared as a small village on a Monday marketplace. By the beginning of the 20th century there were already 3 settlements in the area. Emir of Bukhara while running away from the Red Army in 1920 made Dushanbe his residence, but only for about 1 year after which he moved on to Afghanistan. During the Soviet period Dushanbe was the capital of Tajik Soviet Socialist Republic.
DAY 2. Drive to the start point of the trek – camp by the 6th Marguzor Lake in the Fann Mountains.
DAY 3. The donkeys arrive in the morning to carry the luggage. After a gentle section we climb steeply, passing the village of Kiogli, to camp below the Tavasang Pass at about 3000m, (10,000').
DAY 4. After crossing the Tavasang Pass, 3300m, we descend to the Sarymat river for lunch. A gentle climb through sparse juniper woods leads to a magical meadow and campsite below the icy north face of Munora.
DAY 5. Walk up to the Munora Pass, 3520m, and descend to the deep, craggy gorge of the Archa-Maidan river. The more energetic can take-in a side trip to visit Lake Pshtykul before dropping down to the campsite - this option makes for a long but rewarding day.
DAY 6. We go down the Archa-Maidan valley to Zurmech Wood. Along the way we pass several small villages which appear to blend into the rocky mountainsides. At Zurmech we pass through semi-wild apple, cherry and apricot orchards to reach our camp by a crystal clear stream (2000m).
DAY 7. Walk up a colorful canyon to the Zurmech Pass, 3200m. Descend to the next campsite by the Chukurak lakes. The gnarled junipers combine with steep cliffs to make this a very scenic spot. The inviting lake waters are icy cold! Camp by the lake.
DAY 8. Cross the Chukurak Pass to Kulikalon hollow with its numerous streams and lakes. Camp by Bibijona Lake with magnificent panorama of the steep glaciated north face of the Chimtarga, the highest summit of the Fann.
DAY 9. We spend an extra night here; relaxing or doing a circular walk from the campsite.
DAY 10. Hike up to the Alaudin Pass, 38000m, from where there are stunning views of the deep-blue Alaudin Lakes and the main peaks. Descend to a campsite by the lakes.
DAY 11. A day tour up to the Mutnye ("Murky") Lakes which are surrounded by glaciers and summits amongst these being Energia, 5120m, Zamok, 5150m, Chimtarga, 5489m, the highest peak in the Fann. Although the lakes are located at the altitude of 3500m there are still alpine flowers to liven up the stark, high mountain setting. Camp by Alaudin Lakes.
DAY 12. Walk half an hour down by the picturesque valley, then 2,5 hours up to cross the Laudan Pass, 3630m, and down to camp at a vast alpine meadow in the NE part of the Kulikalon Hollow.
DAY 13. Walk down the valley to our waiting transport. Drive down the Zeravshan river valley and on to Dushanbe. Hotel.
DAY 14. Transfer to the airport for the return flight.
Also see tour packages in:
Asia Tajikistan Outdoor: Land Rambler Hiking & Trekking Cultural Journey
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