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Top of Tajikistan - way off the beaten track
Beautiful and remote, Tajikistan is now rolling out its traditional Kayrokum carpets for visitors. Come and discover this unspoiled ancient destination along the Silk Road. Over 90% mountainous, this is the land of the elusive snow leopard, and mountain yak, golden eagles and pastures of springtime flowers… of nomads, traditional village culture and a heartfelt welcome for guests. Spend the night in a cosy yurt or boutique hotel and travel by your choice of caravan: Land Rover or camel, horse, donkey, yak or bike, it's all here for you. How would you like to experience Tajikistan? Endless possibilities of culture, nature, birding, rafting, mountaineering, music, handicrafts and art, resort or camping, culinary experiences, history, archaeology, trekking… or simply relaxing at a spa or enjoying wide open landscapes, pristine alpine waters and unbelievable vistas. Let us get you into the picture!
Interesting and unusual buys include an incredible array of cotton, silk and wool items, elaborate zarduzi gold and silk embroidery featuring roses and nightingales, hand embroidered suzane decorative fabrics for the home, carved wood objects, and semi-precious stone jewelry.
- Panjshanbe Bazaar, Khujand. Everyone comes here to shop… for everything!
- Noor Art Gallery, Dushanbe
Top Festival Experiences
- New Years Navruz festival, March. A UNESCO Intangible Heritage throughout the nations which celebrate Navruz, everyone gets into the spirit with colorful exhibits of music and dance, traditional dress, special foods including spring wheat, and wrestling competitions!
- Roof of the World festival, Khorog, July. Every summer this event celebrates the culture and traditions of life in the Pamir mountains through music, dance, handicrafts, and nomadic games.
- National Museum of Tajikistan, Dushanbe. With snowy peaks as a backdrop, a reflecting pool and a tilted minaret and elliptical roof on a baroque style building, the architecture is part of the attraction.
- Museum of Antiquities and Ethnography, Dushanbe
Hiking and Photography: Tajikistan treasures their unique natural resources and preserves them through sustainable ecotourism, a win for all of us!
- Fan mountains. Start from Penjikent, Khujand or Dushanbe to experience the pristine beauty of the Fan Mountains. Small local villages dot the foothills. 10 peaks reach heights of 5,000 meters, 30 alpine lakes are nestled amongst them and the slopes and valleys are covered with rich pasture land, steppe and semi-desert habitats - a paradise for wildlife lovers, bird watchers and outdoor enthusiasts.
- The emerald waters of Iskanderkul Lake reflect the snowy surrounding peaks yet are warm enough for swimming in summer. Discover the local legend about Alexander the Great and his horse.
- Seven lakes at Marguzol. Near Penjikent in the far west of the country. The trail starts in the winding gorge up through the mountains to each of these unique lakes.
- The Pamirs "Rooftop of the World" This vast mountainous region of Central Asia intersects with the Tian Shan, Hindukush, Kunlin and Karakoram ranges.
- Karakul or Black Lake lies within Tajik National Park at 3,900 meters above sea level. Lake Yashikul or Green Lake, in the heart of the Pamirs is one of the purest water sources anywhere.
- The legendary Pamir Highway, once part of the Silk Road through the Pamir Mountains, it runs from Kyrgyzstan to Tajikistan.
Unesco Heritage Site
- Sarazm, Panjakent On the ancient Silk Road to Samarkand, this 5500 year old settlement exported gold and silver to India and the Middle East.
- Ancient Panjakent Now a suburb of modern Penjakent, archaeologists have uncovered the ruins of a medieval citadel, the ancient Kainar necropolis from the 5-8th c. and fabulous 1,300 year old frescoes of the Divashtich Palace and its temple complexes. Panjakent played a pivotal role on the Silk Road between China and Europe, yet the city was abandoned after the 8th c. Arab invasion.
- Hissar Fortress, near Dushanbe. The ruins of the former residence of the local bek, the deputy of the Emir of Bukhara, include the rebuilt cylindrical towers and arch of the monumental gates that belie the legendary location for tales of heroes and fabulous deeds. There is a 16th c. madrassah and the registan (square), the 19th c. caravanserai and the restored 8th c. Chashmai Mokyihyon mosque.
- Hotel Atlas, Dushanbe
- Firuz Plaza Hotel, Khujand
- Hotel Sirena, Dushanbe
- Hyatt Regency, Dushanbe
- Hilton, Dushanbe