Majestic Mountains Of Central Asia

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21 days, from £4795
Wild Frontiers
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Description

Few places on earth can match the grandeur of the epic scenery encountered on this unique itinerary. Travelling along sections of two of the world's most scenic drives - the Pamir and Karakoram Highways - we'll not only meet the varied ethnic groups who call this lofty world home, but we'll also witness the incredible diversity of some of the planet's most famous ranges including the Pamirs, the Karakorum's and the Hindu Kush.

Crossing remote borders between Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Western China, and Pakistan, we'll reach passes of 4800m and find ourselves in the stunning Hunza Valley (often referred to as Shangri La) with views of 7000m peaks all around. Following in the footsteps of ancient Silk Road traders we'll experience the bustling Sunday market in Kashgar and be amongst the few visitors these days to experience northern Pakistan's timeless beauty. This is very much a trip of a lifetime.

Highlights:

- Driving the Pamir Highway & Karakoram Highways
- Homestays and pastoral life of the High Pamirs
- Stunning views of Lenin Peak from Sary Tash
- The hustle and bustle of Kashgar's Sunday Market
- Marvelling at the grandeur of Pakistan's stunning Hunza Valley

Tour Includes:

- Full services of a Wild Frontiers Tour Leader with local guides and drivers
- 20 breakfasts, 19 lunches, 19 dinners (typically in local restaurants where viable)
- Drinking water throughout
- All transport (4WD's, minibuses, domestic flight)
- 20 nights' accommodation ( 16 in hotels, 1 local guesthouse, 3 in homestays with communal facilities)
- All entrance fees, sightseeing, excursions and activities as per the itinerary
- A carbon-offsetting contribution to Carbon Clear (if booking international flights through WF office)
ALL OUR SMALL GROUP TOURS HAVE NO LOCAL PAYMENTS, HIDDEN EXTRAS OR COMPULSORY SINGLE SUPPLEMENTS.

Itinerary


 Days 1-2: Tour starts in Dushanbe


 Day 1: Accommodation is included tonight as the group flights will arrive in the early hours of Day 2. Day 2: After a relaxed start we'll spend the day exploring the city; the museum has a 13-metre sleeping Buddha and is a must-see!



 Day 3: Dushanbe - Kalai - Khumb

This morning we'll head out on the Pamir Highway. Our drive today takes us close to the river with Afghanistan on the other side!


 Day 4: Kalai-Khumb - Khorog

Today we head south towards Khorog, the administrative centre of the Pamir region, dramatically set deep in the valley at the confluence of the Panj and Ghund rivers.


 Day : Day 5:Khorog - Yashil Kul Lake

We continue along the Pamir Highway on to our overnight stop at Yashil Kul Lake, where we will stay in the small hamlet of Bulunkul.


 Days 6-7: Yashil Kul - Murgab


 Day 6: We spend the morning walking around the lake before stopping for lunch with local nomads at a yurt camp. If it's clear weather we will head to the Shorbulak Observatory for the fabulous views of the Kunlun Range. Day 7: Today we explore the Madian Valley and enjoy a scenic walk, spending some time at the hot springs at Eli Su.



 Day 8: Murgab - Karakul

This morning we cross the Ak Baital Pass at 4655m before continuing on to the stunning Karakul Lake and a walk along the shores to our homestay.


 Day 9: Karakul - Sary Tash (Kyrgyzstan)

We cross the border into Kyrgystan to the Pamir Plateau descibed as the 'roof of the world' by Marco Polo. From here we will hopefully see views of the snowy Lenin's Peak.


 Days 10-12: Sary Tash - Kashgar (China)


 Day 10: Today is a full days travelling along the old Silk Road over the Irkishtam Pass, and flanked by multi-coloured sedimentary sandstone into China and Great Game explorer territory. Day 11: A full day to explore Kashgar. We visit the Abak Hoja tomb and the Silk Road Museum, as well as the street markets. Day 12: We will spend our day exploring the famous Yakshambe Bazaar, or the Sunday Market, visit the covered bazaar, and then have free time for personal exploration.



 Day 13: Kashgar - Tashkurgan

Heading south on the Silk Road we come to Tashkurgan, famed for its old fortress which we visit.


 Day 14: Tashkurgan - Passu (Pakistan)

We start early to cross the border and later on head down through striking mountain scenery before arriving in Passu for our overnight stop.


 Days 15-17: Passu - Hunza


 Day 15: We pass Lake Attabad before reaching Karimabad and continue up to the spectacular Eagles Nest Hotel at 2850m, surrounded by 7000m peaks. Day 16: Take a stunning walk down into town or visit a carpet weaving cooperative. Go for a water channel walk or chill out in this fabulous location. Day 17: There is plenty to do in this incredible location, or you may wish to just soak up the views.



 Day 18: Hunza - Gilgit

Leaving Hunza, we continue along the KKH to the strategic town of Gilgit.


 Days 19-21: A Gilgit - Islamabad


 Day 19: This morning we fly to Islamabad and spend the rest of the day visiting the Faisal Mosque and Lok Virsa Ethnographic Museum. Day 20: We take a short drive to take in the ancient sights of Taxila, before returning to Islamabad for our farewell dinner. Day 21: Tour ends after breakfast in Islamabad.