If you want a good introduction to Tajikistan, but don’t have a lot of time, consider this 4-day tour. Start from Samarkand, and cross to Panjakent on the Tajik side. Panjakent is famous for its ancient ruins (all that remains of a city that was resettled in the 8th century by Arab conquerers) and the Rudaki Museum, dedicated to the famous Persian poet who was born here. From Panjakent, head into the Fann Mountains, where you will see the Seven Lakes.
Each lake has a unique color and setting, making them ideal for a mountain excursion and picnic. The last stop is Khujand, long an important city for its fortress and bazaar. Explore Khujand to learn about the history and culture of the region, with stops at the Museum of Archaeology and Fortification and the Payshanba Bazaar. Return to Tashkent, Uzbekistan at the end of the tour.
Tajikistan tour from Samarkand descriptions
1 person – no discount 2 persons – 10% discount 3 persons – 20% discount 4 persons and up – 30% discount
All transfers 1-2 pax by sedan type car; 3-7 pax by van type car; 8-13 pax by 20 seat bus, 14 pax and more by 40-50 seat bus;
Accommodation based on double/twin room sharing, breakfasts included;
Sightseeing tour program in each city with local guides;
Entrance fees to sights as per itinerary;
English speaking tour leader in Tajikistan.
Full board (lunches and dinners);
Hotel charges for additional services;
Consular fees for Tajikistan tourist visa;
Tips are not included, but would be appreciated;
Must visit on your Tajikistan tour from Samarkand
As mentioned above, Panjakent’s history stretched back over 2,500 years and a wealth of ruins can be found about 1.5 kilometers from the center of modern Panjakent. Russian archaeologist Boris Marshak spent over 50 years of his life excavating the site of old Panjakent, digging up pottery, sculptures, frescos, and manuscripts. The ruins have been carted off to museums in Russia and Uzbekistan, but walking among the sunbaked walls is still interesting nonetheless. The small Ancient Panjakent Museum sits at the southern edge of the site of Old Panjakent that showcases the excavation processes, however, most of the pieces inside are replicas. Admission is 5 TJS.
Panjakent was an ancient city of Sogdiana that dates back to the 6th century BC. Panjakent flourished until 722 BC when the Arab (Umayyads) Conquest of Transoxiana arrived at Sogdiana. The Umayyad general, Al Harshi chased Divashtich, the ruler of Sogdiana, into the Upper Zeravshan Valley, east of Panjakent where he was eventually captured and killed. Many of the inhabitants of Sogdiana and the city of Panjekent fled into the Upper Zeravshan Valley with Divashtich, and after his death moved south to settle into the difficult to access Yagnob Valley. Several inhabitants of the Yagnob Valley are descendants of the ancient Sogdians and some even still speak Yagnobi, a language directly derived from ancient Sogdian.
Khujand is considered by some to be one of the oldest cities in Central Asia. Khujand is possibly the site of Cyropolis (city of Cyrus), an ancient city founded by Cyrus the Great.
Cyrus was constructed in 544 BCE, marking the northeastern border of the Achaemenid Empire. If this is true, it would make even more sense that Alexander the great would latter include it in his list of conquests in 329 BC, making it the furthest Greek outpost and thus renaming it aptly Alexandria Eschate (Alexandria the Furthest).
It was to survive throughout the Hellenistic period (323 BC until 31BC) holding out against increasing nomadic attacks.
Khujand is considered a key city because of its location on the Great Silk Road connecting Samarkand with the Fergana valley, thus offering a perfect staging post.
Early morning transfer to Uzbekistan-Tajikistan border crossing at Jartepa (50 km, 1 h) from your hotel in Samarkand. Customs and passport control on both sides, cross the border, meet Tajik local guide and driver and drive to Panjakent via the settlement of Sarazm, included in the UNESCO World Heritage list (20 km). Sightseeing in Penjikent: Rudaki Museum – Panjakent is a birthplace of Abu Abdallah Rudaki, considered by many to be the father of Persian Poetry. Visit ancient Panjakent - ruins of old Sogdian town, founded in the 5th century and abandoned in the 8th century by Arabs. Foundations of houses, a citadel with a couple of Zoroastrian fire temples and city bazaar are visible in the excavated ruins. Overnight at the hotel. Duration of sightseeing tour: 3-4 hours
Day 2: Panjakent – Seven Lakes – Panjakent
Drive to Seven Lakes (80 km). Visit Haf Kul - seven lakes of different colors in mountains of Tajikistan: 1. Mijgon, 2. Soya, 3. Hushyor, 4. Nophin lakes (2139m a.s.l.), Khurdak, 6.Marguzor, 7.Hazorchashma lakes (2400m a.s.l.). Picnic at the lake. Drive back to Penjikent (80 km). Overnight at the hotel.
Day 3: Panjakent – Istaravshan – Khujand
In the morning depart Panjakent and drive to Khujand via Istaravshan (260 km, 5-6 h). In Istaravshan visit a local bazaar, Hazrat Shah architectural complex, which consists of Hazrat Shah Mausoleum, the grave of brother of Kusam ibn Abbas, Khudayar Valami Mausoleum, and Namazgah Mosque dating back to the 19th century. Continue to Mug Teppe, one of the ancient settlements located in Istaravshan. The city is believed to be founded by King Cyrus in the North-East boundary of his empire. Arrival in Khujand. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 4: Khujand – Oybek BP – Tashkent
In the morning, continue sightseeing in Khujand. Visit the Museum of Archeology and Fortification, Shaikh Muslihiddin Mosque, and the Payshanba Bazaar, the biggest bazaar in Tajikistan, Arbob Palace named after S. Urunhodlaev (20th century), “Tajik Sea” Kayrakkum HPS (Hydro Power Station) - the symbol of People’s Friendship, built in 1968. Transfer to Oybek cross border point (70 km, 1 h). As you cross the border, our driver will meet you on meet on Uzbekistan side. Transfer to the hotel in Tashkent (100 km, 1 h 30 min). End of the tour. Duration of sightseeing tour: 4-5 hours
No Credit Cards required. Book With Flexibility. If your plans change, you can easily change the date or cancel the tour.