Fann Mountains Trek & Silk Road Cities

Starting From

$2,599/person

Number of days

14

Start Location

Uzbekistan

Group Size

4-16

Operated by

World Expeditions

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We combine a trek in the impressive Pamirs Fann Mountains with the fabled Silk Road cities of Tashkent, Samarkand and Bukhara

Operated by:

World Expeditions

World Expeditions is an adventure travel and ecotourism company that offers guided small group trekking and adventure holidays.

Itinerary

Arrival in Tashkent

On arrival into Tashkent you will be met and transferred to the group hotel. The rest of the day is free at leisure. This evening you will meet the rest of the group for dinner and your guide will provide a trip briefing. Overnight: Arien Plaza or similar

Across the Tajikistan border & to Artuch Base Camp

After breakfast we first drive to Khujand where we enjoy a brief tour before continuing on to the Oybek border point, where we complete border formalities and cross on foot into Tajikistan. You will need to carry your own luggage across this border for approx 150m. Along the way to Artuch base camp we will travel over the Shakhristan pass (3378m) and into the amazing Zeravshan Valley. This area is famous for its unique mountain landscapes and beautiful lakes. Artuch base camp comprises of wooden chalets and cottages set amidst a wide expanse of juniper woods and it is here that we will meet our trekking guides, cook and porters. Driving distance: Tashkent to Uzbek/Tajik border (70 km, 1,2 hrs), then cross over the border / continue drive to Artuch base camp (350 km, 6hrs) Overnight altitude: 2200 masl Overnight: Local cottage

Trek to Kulikalon Lakes

A well trodden trail takes us up the Urjam River valley through mixed juniper and deciduous groves covering two giant scree dams steeply rising up the right hand side of the tight gorge. The dams serve as a natural filter for water running into the stream. The track levels out and once we top the upper dam, the turquoise necklace of Kulikalon Lakes frame the jagged summits of the Fann Mountains including Maria (4970m) Mirali (5120m), Rudaki (4900m) and Adamtash (4700m) which are known as the "Kulikalon Wall". After a picnic lunch we continue through the juniper forest and head to the eastern shore of Bibidjanat Lake for our first night camping. Sit back, relax and enjoy the sunset over Mirali Peak. Hiking distance: approx 10 km, 5hrs Elevation gain: +700m Overnight altitude: 3000m Overnight: Camping

Alauddin Pass (3860m) to Alauddin Lake

After a hearty breakfast we pack up camp and head steeply uphill out of the juniper forest and alpine meadows to the Alauddin Pass (3860m). Here we will be able to see the entire Kulikalon Lakes system. The impressive snowcapped peaks of Chapdara (5050m), Bodhona (5138m) and Zamok (5070m) can also be viewed. After a picnic lunch we descend steeply on a rocky path to our campsite in a clearing beside Alauddin Lake. This afternoon you can opt for an easy walk around the lakes or relax at our campsite. Hiking distance: approx 7 km, 7 hrs Elevation gain: +960m/-1060m Overnight altitude: 2800m Overnight: Camping

Ascend to Mutnoye Lake, return to Alauddin Lake

We begin today with an optional walk. There are some steep ups and downs and we make our way up to Matnoye Lake. We will see trailing glaciers, abrupt rock walls and rare birch trees. Nicknamed "Piala" for its round form, this is the smallest lake of the system which we will see today. Or you are free to stay and explore the area around the camp site. Hiking distance: approx 8 km, 6 hrs Elevation gain: +800m, - 900m Overnight altitude: 2800m Overnight: Camping

Laudan Pass to Kulikalon Lakes

The track climbs up the pass to a saddle from which the huge hollow of Kulikalon Lakes and the western part of the wall are almost completely visible. We will then descend on a wide track to our camp at Kulikalon Lake. Today, weather permitting is fantastic for photography as we will have unforgettable panorama views of all surrounding mountains. Hiking distance: approx 12,5 km, 7 hrs Elevation gain: +830 m/-730 m Overnight altitude: 2900 m Overnight: Camping

Gujtan Pass to Zimut

The ascent of Gujtan Pass is relatively difficult, following a track amongst a grove of fir-trees. After approx. 2 hours we descend from the pass to the gorge of the Gujtan River and onto the picturesque village of Guytan. We follow the wide valley of the Achimajdan River to Kishlak Zimut where we will overnight in a homestay. You will be treated to some local food and hospitality readily offered by the people of Guytan. Hiking distance: approx 21 km, 9 hrs Elevation gain: +800 m/-1700 m Overnight altitude: 1870m Overnight: Homestay

Transfer from Zimut to Pendjikent

Today the tour will return to civilization, to the rural city of Penjikent (65km, 2 h). Located in the Zerafshan Valley, Penjikent is located on a piece of prime flat ground, a scarce commodity in the middle of high mountains. With a history extending back to the times of the ancient Silk Road, and celebrated for its ties with treasured poet Rudaki, the city boasts an archaeological site, an intriguing regional museum and a colourful, energetic bazaar. The nearby border was long closed and so this region has seen very few visitors for many years. You will be sure to be warmly welcomed. Overnight: Sughd Hotel or similar

Transfer to then explore Samarkand

After breakfast we transfer to the Uzbek - Tajik border at Jartepa (30 min, 20 km) and then on to Samarkand (1h, 40 km). Following lunch, we head out for our first exploration of this ancient and important Silk Road city. Overnight: Hotel Dilshoda or similar

In Samarkand

Today we enjoy a full days sightseeing in and around Samarkand. First we visit the impressive "heart" of Samarkand, Registan Square enclosed by three spectacular madrasah. These huge buildings with domes and minarets covered in a mosaic of azure tiles were built from the 1400s. Registan Square is truly one of the wonders of the ancient world. We will also visit the beautiful 15th centrury Bibi-Khanym Mosque, Siyob Bazaar and Ulugh Beg Observatory which dates back to the 1420s. Overnight: Hotel Dilshoda or similar

Transfer to Aydar Yurt Camp

Today is a long drive through the Kyzylkum Desert. Throughout the desert more than 4,000 petroglyphs dot the slopes of the Sarmysh River. Despite the carvings dating back to the Stone Age, many have the appearance of being carved just yesterday. We will stop to view some of the best. En route we also visit Nurata, an ancient town founded in 327BC by Alexander the Great. The remains of this military fortress rise above the town and represent one of the most ancient archaeological monuments of the region. We arrive at our Yurt Camp late in the afternoon where we enjoy a hearty dinner round the camp fire in the company of local akyn (folklore singers). Overnight: Yurt camp

Transfer to Bukhara

After breakfast we pack up camp, bid farewell our hosts and drive to the beautiful Adyarkul Lake where we will enjoy a swim and stop for a leisurely lunch. Then we continue on to Bukhara to check into our hotel and you can enjoy an evening of free time, at your leisure. Overnight: Kavsar Boutique Hotel or similar

Sightseeing in Bukhara

Bukhara is one of the most ancient cities of Uzbekistan, situated on a sacred hill where sacrifices were made by fire-worshippers in springtime. Bukhara City was founded in the 13th Century BC during the reign of Siyavushids who ascended to power 980 years before the arrival of Alexander the Great. The city's name originates from the word "vihara" which is Sanskrit for monastery. The city was once a large and important commercial centre on the Great Silk Road. Bukhara boasts more than 140 architectural monuments dating back to the middle Ages. The city consists of atmospheric narrow streets, open green parks and gardens, and superb historical and architectural monuments. This evening we celebrate our journey with a farewell dinner. Overnight: Kavsar Boutique Hotel or similar

Train to Tashkent, trip concludes

We enjoy a morning at leisure before boarding the late afternoon train to Tashkent. You will be met at the train station and transferred to either the airport or the post tour hotel. Trip concludes.

Additional Information

The Fann Mountains, boasting numerous 5,000m plus peaks, are a section of the western Pamir-Alay mountain range in Tajikistan, sandwiched by the Zarafshans to the north and the Gissar to the south. The Pamir Mountains are a rugged and remote wilderness of jagged ridges, crystal alpine lakes and snow capped peaks that stretch and fold towards the Hindu Kush and the Karakoram. We combine a five day trek in these impressive mountains with time in the fabled Silk Road cities of Tashkent, Samarkand and Bukhara. From Tashkent, the capital of Uzbekistan, we travel south to the Tajikistan border and up into the foothills of the Pamirs. In the company of our expert local guides and mule handlers we enter deep valleys with crystal clear lakes and flowering alpine meadows where we may see the summer camps of the Tijiki shepherds. Crossing a string of passes linking isolated valleys including Alauddin Pass (3,530m), we are rewarded with views of the ranges that stretch far into Central Asia and the south. Completing our trek we travel west to the recently reopened border point at Jartepa and on to Samarkand to marvel at the intricate mosques and palaces of the great Tamerlane rule. We complete our trilogy of the Silk Road Cities by visiting Bukhara, a prominent city along the Silk Road trade route between the East and West, with ancient architecture dating largely from the 9th to the 17th centuries.

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