Book one of our Tajikistan tours or travel packages to discover one of the oldest states in the world, a land of stunning mountains and fascinating cities. Visit the pure alpine lakes of Iskanderkul and Karakul, climb up into the heights of the Pamir Mountains, or explore the cities of the Great Silk Road—Khujand, Penjikent and Istaravshan—where merchants came to make their fortunes and travellers rested on their long journeys. Whether you choose a small group tour, a private trip, or one of our other holiday packages, your trip to Tajikistan will be a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Many travellers come to Tajikistan to experience the famous Pamir Highway. Some of the best guided tours of Tajikistan take adventure-seekers along this famous highway, which travels through the high passes and deep valleys of the Pamir Mountains. Due to the harsh climate, the Pamirs have relatively few inhabitants, and so the landscapes are some of the most pure and untouched in the world. Karakul, a lake that formed in a meteor impact crater, is also a popular destination. Or visit Iskanderkul, a turquoise lake in western Tajikistan that is surrounded by the picturesque Fann Mountains. Whether you’re an adrenaline junkie who wants to go rafting or hiking, or you’re just looking for a spot to get away from the rush of civilization, Tajikistan has something for everyone.
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About Tajikistan tour
As the only Persian-speaking country in Central Asia, Tajikistan feels different to its neighbours. In the lower, flatter lands towards the north are Khujand, Penjikent, and Dushanbe, well-known as trading centres along the Silk Road, with long traditions of craftsmanship, literature, and intellectualism. In the Pamir Mountains, where the harsh terrain keeps villages isolated from each other, villages have their own dialects and traditions. Overall, people in Tajikistan are open, friendly, and welcoming to foreigners. And make sure to try traditional Tajik cuisine, which is particularly delicious when cooked by local people in their own homes.
Whether you’re looking for an adventure or a relaxing getaway to somewhere new, our escorted tour packages in Tajikistan will meet your needs. With years of experience in the country, Samarkand Tours Operator offers Tajikistan tours in small groups with scheduled dates, which give you the best value-for-money without sacrificing quality or experiences. Or let us create the perfect private trip or travel package for you, tailored to visit all the places you’re interested in, on your own schedule. No matter what you choose, travel in Tajikistan is an experience you won’t soon forget.
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Tajikistan Tour Information
Capital city: Dushanbe
Type C (European 2-pin)
While evidence of human habitation has been found in the region dating back as far as 4,000 BC, Tajikistan as we now know it only came into formation with the break-up of the Soviet Union in 1991. Prior to this, the region – defined by extreme isolation and testing climes – principally existed as one sprawling swathe of independent tribal lands and villages, regularly getting overrun and ruled by a series of empires, Achaemenid, Kushan, Arab, Tibetan and Mongolian, until Imperial Russia moved in.
With the 1917 overthrow of Tsarist autocracy, a Central Asian independence movement called the basmachi sought to make the most of the disarray by waging war against the Bolsheviks to no avail – in 1924 the Tajik Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic was created as a part of Uzbekistan and the collectivisation of agriculture and implementation of other communist policies soon followed. The Tajiks suffered greatly under Soviet rule in the following decades, being targeted in purges, conscripted into the Soviet Army in World War II and lagging behind the other Soviet Republics in terms of industry and education. So when the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, it looked like happy days were afoot.
Unfortunately, this wasn’t the case. Split by various clan loyalties into numerous fighting factions, the country very soon plunged into civil war. By the time Emomalii Rahmon came to power in 1994, the number killed was estimated at over 100,000 and refugees numbered around 1.2 million. While his prime ministership and his party’s handling of democratic elections have not been without criticism, Rahmon has retained power through two successive elections.
|Tajikistan’s Difficult Development Path||Martha Brill Olcott|
|Social and Economic Change in the Pamirs (Gorno-Badakhshan, Tajikistan)||Frank Bliss|
|Land Beyond the River: The Untold Story of Central Asia||Monica Whitlock|
With more than fifty per cent of the country sitting at over 3,000 metres above sea level, Tajikistan’s weather wavers between extremes. Pay a visit in winter (November–February) and you’ll be greeted by daytime temperatures that can dip below freezing, particularly along the Pamir Highway. Rock up during summer (June–September) and temperatures will likely climb to over 40°C (and be accompanied by dust storms) – though this is the best time for a trip into the mountains. Otherwise spring (March–May) or autumn (September–November) is the most pleasant times to travel. Light rains may still fall on occasion, but the days are sunny and warm, and the skies clear.
1. Traditional Dress
Having been segregated from the rest of Tajik society by bad weather and roads for much of their history, the people of the Pamir Mountains have developed a certain style of dress that can still be seen in the region. Among Pamiri women, this amounts to a flowing kaftan-like costume, usually white and narrowing at the waste, with sleeves closely fitted to the wrist. A red skullcap, called a toki, typically completes the ensemble.
2. Russian Dress
When the Soviets came to town, elements of Russian fashion were gradually adopted and incorporated into Tajikistani culture. Western-style dress is now fairly common among the younger generations in urban areas, but you’re bound to spot plenty of women garbed in colourful loose-fitting dresses highly decorated and elaborately embroidered. A kerchief or shawl usually goes on the head.
3. The Monobrow
Get ready, you might need to read this one again: monobrows are in. Yep, that’s right: monobrows. And not just among the men either. An emblem of prestige and beauty, they’re upheld as a sign of feminine purity, and women not fortunate enough to sprout one naturally will sometimes resort to daubing the space between their eyes with a local herb called usma. So don’t stress if you forget to pack the tweezers.
4. The Toki
Tajik men and women alike are big fans of the toki: a type of cap that varies in design between genders and regions. Among northern Tajiks, the crown of the cap can be flat, boxed or conical, whereas that of mountain dwellers and plainsmen more closely resembles a skullcap.
5. The Calf Cotton
Head into the Pamir Mountains and you’ll probably spot a few insanely fit-looking old dudes with long strips of cotton wound around their calves. This isn’t so much a fashion statement as a practical measure: tightly bound calves adds extra muscle support when traipsing up and down mountains. Give them a nod of respect. They’ve probably ambled in this morning from that distant peak way over yonder.
Samarkand tours takes the health and safety of its travellers seriously, and takes every measure to ensure that trips are safe, fun and enjoyable for everyone. We recommend that all travellers check with their government or national travel advisory organisation for the latest information before departure:
Go to: https://travel.gc.ca/
Go to: http://www.fco.gov.uk/en/
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Tajikistan Travel FAQs
All visitors to Tajikistan require a visa. You will need to obtain your visa & Gorno-Badakshan Autonomous Oblast (GBAO) permit online at the following link: https://www.evisa.tj/
Below is the information required for filling out the application form:
GBAO Permit – Yes
Purpose of visit type – Tourism
Purpose of visit – Tourism sightseeing or Tourism vacation
Group identifier – leave blank
Date of arrival – Day 5 of your trip
Address in Tajikistan – This will be supplied at time of booking
Upload your scanned, colour passport copy (no other documents are required) and submit the form for payment. You will then receive a link to download your e-visa. Please ensure you print a copy to bring with you on your trip.
In restaurants and eateries, yes. A 10 per cent gratuity is the standard for a decent meal and adequate service.
Internet cafes exist in the bigger cities, though don’t expect wireless connections available in hotels or cafes.
Roaming agreements are in place with most major international phone carriers, though coverage is mostly limited to urban areas.
Toilets in Tajikistan run the gamut of not-too-bad-at-all western-style toilets in plusher hotels and restaurants, very minimalist drop toilets everywhere else and ‘jeepers-creepers!’ in rural areas. Have emergency loo-paper with you wherever you go.
domestic 0.5 litre beer from a supermarket – 4.50 SM
cappuccino in a restaurant – 5.75 SM
three-course meal for two in a mid-range restaurant – 60 SM
Toggle CNo, Tajikistan’s tap water is non-purified and untreated. Stick to bottled water or fill a reusable canteen with the filtered water that will be available at some hotels. Also steer clear of ice in drinks and only eat fruit that can be peeled or vegetables that have been well cooked.ontent
No. Don’t bank on being able to use your credit cards for any transactions. Tajikistan is overwhelmingly a cash-based economy.
ATMs – accepting Visa, Mastercard and Maestro – can be found in the major cities of Dushanbe, Penjikent, Khujand, Khorog, Isfara, Istaravshan and Qurghon-Teppa, plus a few smaller places besides. Some dispense US dollars, which (along with euros) are widely accepted. Try to carry with you small denominations, as small change for small purchases is in short supply.
- 1 Jan New Year’s Day
- 2 Jan New Year’s Holiday
- 8 Mar International Women’s Day
- 21 Mar Navruz Celebration
- 22 Mar Navruz Celebration
- 23 Mar Navruz Celebration
- 24 Mar Navruz Celebration
- 1 May International Day of Solidarity
- 9 May Victory Day
- 25 Jun Idi Ramazon / Ramadan Celebration
- 26 Jun Idi Ramazon / Ramadan Celebration Holiday
- 27 Jun Day of National Unity / Reconciliation
- 1 Sep Idi Qurbon / Kurban Bayram Celebration
- 9 Sep Independence Day
- 11 Sep Independence Day Holiday
- 6 Nov Constitution Day
- 16 Nov President’s Day
Please note these dates are for 2017. For a current list of public holidays in Tajikistan go to: http://www.worldtravelguide.net/tajikistan/public-holidays