Mountains & Markets

Secluded Tajikistan is wreathed in spectacular mountains and colored with the influence of the Islamic world and Russia. From the country’s capital, Dushanbe, to storied Khujand in the fertile Fergana Valley, discover Tajikistan’s hospitable people, famed archaeological sites and enduring culture. Explore the ruins of the ancient city of Penjikent and share a meal with a family.

8 Day Trip

  • Private Journey
    Minimum of 2 Travelers
  • Travels to:
    Central Asia, Tajikistan
  • Flexible Essential:
    Dushanbe to Khujand and back

Overview Itinerary

MIR Signature Experiences on this Tour
  • Explore Khujand, with its pink-painted covered bazaar
    Visit the Khujand market, a huge columned structure with rows of tables covered with bags of brilliant spices and nuts, straw-bedded melons with macramé...
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  • Admire the bright turquoise of alpine Lake Alexander
    Admire beautiful turquoise Iskanderkul, Lake Alexander, a high-altitude lake ringed by craggy mountain peaks; it was formed when debris from a landslide dammed up...
    Read More
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Why Travel with MIR on this Tour
  • Over 30 years of Central Asia travel experience
  • The first American travel company to open an accredited office in Central Asia
  • Travel programs such as Vassar, Dartmouth and the Harvard Museum of Natural History have chosen MIR to guide them to Central Asia
  • Twice named one of National Geographic Adventure’s “Best Adventure Travel Companies on Earth”
  • On-the-ground support and quality you can trust
  • Personalized travel planning from start to finish
  • Guides and tour managers that clients rave about
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Itinerary & Highlights at a Glance

Days 1-2: Dushanbe

Browse the busy markets and museums of the capital, then explore the Ibrahim Bek Fortress in the nearby Silk Road center of Hissar.


  • Dushanbe, capital of Tajikistan with shady traditional teahouses, chaikhana
  • Imposing 18th century Hissar Fortress

Days 3-4: Iskanderkul, Penjikent

Journey overland through plunging Varzob Gorge and over 11,000-foot Anzob Pass to beautiful turquoise Iskanderkul, Alexander Lake. Admire the medieval frescoed merchant houses at Old Penjikent before meeting with local people.


  • Gusgarf Waterfall in deep Varzob Gorge
  • Iskanderkul Lake, formed when a landslide blocked the Iskander River
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Days 5-8: Istaravshan, Khujand, Dushanbe

Arriving in 2,500-year-old Istaravshan, admire the pale blue dome of Kuk Gumbaz, built by Ulug Bek’s son. In Khujand, at the entrance to the lush Fergana Valley, enter the Historical Museum of Sogdiana through a medieval city gate and browse the exotic covered bazaar. Fly back to Dushanbe for a final night in this remote and remarkable country.


  • Istaravshan, founded in the 6th century BC by Cyrus the Great
  • 16th century Kuk Gumbaz mosque and madrassah
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See Dates & Prices for more details or to see suggested extensions.

Download Detailed Itinerary
Tour Dates & Prices
Trip Length: 8 Days

Land Tour Price, Per Person
based on double occupancy

  • 2 Traveler Minimum $3,325
  • Plus Internal Air $100
  • Single Supplement $715

2020 Dates

Your Choice of Dates
Start on a Thursday

Recommended months of travel:

  • April,  
  • May,  
  • June,  
  • July,  
  • August,  
  • September,  
  • October,  
  • FROM
  • $3,325
  • Min 2 Travelers

Group Size

Pricing is based on a minimum of 2 travelers on this trip. Call for solo trip pricing.

Private trip prices vary by season and are subject to hotel availability for your travel dates. Hotel upgrades, additional nights and solo traveler prices are available on request.

What’s Included

On Your Tour

  • Shared accommodations in well-located hotels in the cities, and shared accommodations in very basic guesthouse-style/private hotels in the more rural locations. Some may have outhouse-style toilet facilities and will not offer bathing opportunities.
  • Breakfast daily, 6 lunches and 5 dinners, per the itinerary. Some lunches and dinners are left free so you may enjoy a chance to dine on your own.
  • One arrival and one departure transfer. (Additional arrival and departure transfers available at additional cost.) MIR will arrange for travelers to be met upon arrival and seen off on departure, whether we make your air arrangements or not.
  • Ground transportation throughout itinerary by private vehicle (size of vehicle depends on number of travelers in your party).
  • Guided sightseeing tours and entrance fees as outlined in itinerary.
  • Evening cultural performances per the itinerary.
  • Services of experienced, English-speaking local guides, drivers and other staff.

Before Your Tour

  • Personalized pre-departure support from one of our knowledgeable Tour Specialists.
  • Complete pre-departure information including detailed packing list and reading list.
  • Touring with MIR handbook with country-specific information, maps, and travel tips.
  • Customized visa application instruction kit (please note, visa fees are not included in the tour price).
  • Final document packet including luggage tags, final updates, and more.
  • Assistance booking your custom flight arrangements (on request; please note that international and internal airfares are not included in the land tour cost).
Download Detailed Itinerary
Prepare for Your Trip

International Airfare

MIR's in-house, full-service air department will gladly assist with your air travel needs.

More Info

Reading List

MIR recommends reading up before you leave home. So settle back in your armchair with some of our favorite books about our favorite places.

More Info


Most MIR programs require one or more visas, and each visa requires a completely blank page in your passport. Visa information for this particular tour is listed in the Detailed Descriptive Itinerary.

More Info

Travel Insurance

Stay a Little Longer…

MIR can arrange for an extended program in Central Asia, the South Caucasus countries, Iran, Western Russia, or Eastern Europe. All of MIR’s destinations are open to you, and all can be attached to this program. Please contact MIR for more details about exciting options for extended travel.

Or, choose from one of these suggested itineraries:

Is this Trip Right for You?

The accommodations vary from superior tourist class to more basic hotels. It is important to keep in mind that the country of Tajikistan may not be up to the standards North American travelers expect.

A full list of details about the rigors of this tour are explained in the Detailed Descriptive Itinerary.

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