Dramatic Scenery and Isolated Village Life

At the heart of the Silk Road in Central Asia, Tajikistan is colored with the influence of Persia, Islam and Russia. From the Zoroastrian ruins of Penjikent to the crystalline air of the High Pamirs, to little villages where international travelers are rarely seen yet warmly welcomed, let us introduce you to this diamond in the rough.

Why Travel with MIR to Tajikistan
  • 30 years of Tajikistan travel experience
  • Travel programs such as Harvard University 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”
  • MIR affiliate office in nearby Uzbekistan
  • On-the-ground support and quality you can trust
  • Personalized travel planning from start to finish
  • Guides and tour managers that clients rave about
Signature Why end mights

We regularly garner raves from our travelers for the inspired opportunities we provide to help them get to know the local people, distinctive art, architecture and accomplishments of Tajikistan.  Below is just a sampling of the Tajikistan experiences MIR has designed to take our clients far from the familiar.

  • Catch your breath at Pamir Highway vistas
    Admire the unmatched mountain scenery and plunging valleys along the Pamir Highway, one of the highest international highways in the world....
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    Catch your breath at Pamir Highway vistas

    Tajikistan

    Pamir Highway, Tajikistan

    Admire the unmatched mountain scenery and plunging valleys along the Pamir Highway, one of the highest international highways in the world.

    Journeys with this Signature Why end might

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  • 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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    Explore Khujand, with its pink-painted covered bazaar

    Tajikistan

    Khujand, Tajikistan

    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 handles, hanging haunches of meat and piles of vegetables.

    Journeys with this Signature Why end might

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  • Enjoy a traditional Tajik meal in a private home
    Get to know a Tajik family, conversing and breaking bread during a  meal in their home...
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    Enjoy a traditional Tajik meal in a private home

    Tajikistan

    Various locations, Tajikistan

    Get to know a Tajik family, conversing and breaking bread during a  meal in their home.

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    Journeys with this Signature Why end might

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  • Crest dramatic Torugart Pass, a demanding Silk Road caravan route
    Crest Torugart Pass, a 12,000-foot pass through the Tien Shan Mountains on the border of Kyrgyzstan and China, a route used by the old Silk Road caravans...
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    Crest dramatic Torugart Pass, a demanding Silk Road caravan route

    Tajikistan

    Torugart Pass, China/Kyrgyzstan border

    Crest Torugart Pass, a 12,000-foot pass through the Tien Shan Mountains on the border of Kyrgyzstan and China, a route used by the old Silk Road caravans and one of the most spectacular routes into or out of China.

    Journeys with this Signature Why end might

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Ways to Travel to Tajikistan with MIR

We love traveling in gorgeous, hospitable Tajikistan. We design every one of our trips here to enable you to experience the commanding views and the wild beauty of rarely-visited Tajikistan, a nation rich in ancient cultures now at the cusp of a new era.

Take a look at your options, from small group escorted tours and independent trips to custom and private travel:

Small Group Tours
Journey Through Central Asia: The Five ‘Stans

Journey Through Central Asia: The Five ‘Stans

A Classic Silk Road Survey

Travels to: Central Asia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan

21 Days / Departures in April, May, August, September, October 2018

Small Group land tour from $7,895, plus $350 internal air

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Chinese Turkestan & Central Asia

Chinese Turkestan & Central Asia

The Silk Road Through Western China and the Five ‘Stans

Travels to: Central Asia, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan

24 Days / Departures in May, August 2018

Small Group land tour from $8,095, plus $900 internal air

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The Pamir Highway & Across Fabled Frontiers

The Pamir Highway & Across Fabled Frontiers

The Silk Road Less Traveled from Kyrgyzstan to Tajikistan

Travels to: Central Asia, China, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan

18 Days / Departures in July 2018

Small Group land tour from $7,795

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In Search of Nomads & Mountains: Kyrgyzstan & Tajikistan

In Search of Nomads & Mountains: Kyrgyzstan & Tajikistan

A Silk Route Adventure with World Nomad Games

Travels to: Central Asia, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan

20 Days / Departures in September 2018

Small Group land tour from $7,295, plus $75 internal air

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Rail Journeys by Private Train
Essence of the Silk Road & Beyond by Private Train

Essence of the Silk Road & Beyond by Private Train

From Almaty to Tashkent aboard the Orient Silk Road Express

Travels to: Central Asia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan

16 Days / Departures in August 2018

Rail Journey by Private train land tour from $5,795

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Custom and private travel is our specialty. We’ve been designing unforgettable custom itineraries that afford travelers a glimpse of remote and secluded Tajikistan for 30 years; a majority of our guests travel on custom itineraries.

For ideas, peruse one of our Regional Travel Planners, a roundup of the must-sees from our savvy staff.

Take a look at our Private Journey, Essential Tajikistan, or read more about how to design your own trip.  Also, consider this: You can customize our Pamir Highway & Across Fabled Frontiers small group tour or other MIR small group Central Asia tour to match your preferred dates of travel.

Design Your Own Custom Trip

Traveling privately on a custom program means flexibility:

  • You set the dates, the focus and the level of accommodations.
  • You are met on arrival and seen off at the end of your trip.
  • Your in-country transportation is pre-arranged hassle-free.
  • Your own expert local guides ensure that you get the most out of your visit.
  • And the best part? You travel at your own pace on an itinerary exclusive to you.

Check out just a handful of our Tajikistan signature experiences below and then get in touch with a MIR Private Journey Specialist to craft an itinerary that suits your travel goals, budget and style.  Or get started planning now.

Suggested Itineraries for Private Travel

Whether you’re looking for a compact trip with all the highlights or something a little roomier with some of the extras, MIR offers itineraries that are available on a private departure basis with your choice of dates. They can also serve as inspiration for your own custom itinerary.

Our itinerary, your dates – great for solo travelers, couples or small groups.

Essential Tajikistan

Essential Tajikistan

Mountains & Markets

Travels to: Central Asia, Tajikistan

Departures in April, May, June, July, August, September, October 2018

This itinerary available as a private journey

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Weather
Our Favorite Places in Tajikistan
Tajikistan

Dushanbe

Named for the Persian word for Monday, Dushanbe was at one point a small market village where traders would gather each Monday to sell their goods. During the Soviet era, the city grew to be the most important industrial center in Tajikistan. As Tajikistan’s capital, the city is home to various national museums, but many residents and travelers prefer to take in Dushanbe from its shady public teahouses, chaikhana, most of which are decorated in the traditional, colorful Tajik style.

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Tajikistan

Penjikent

Penjikent was founded in the 5th century. Visit the site of an archaeological dig at Old Penjikent, excavations which began 50 years ago. Tour the remains of Shakristan, two Zoroastrian temples, the citadel, and the houses of wealthy families. Visit the Rudaki Museum of History and Regional Studies, named after the celebrated founder of Tajik and Persian poetry.

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Journeys that travel to Penjikent

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Tajikistan

Khujand

Khujand, situated at the entrance to the Fergana Valley on the Syr Darya River, is the second largest city in Tajikistan. Its origins have been attributed to both Alexander the Great (in 329 BC) and Cyrus the Great of Persia (several centuries earlier); whichever is true, the city is an ancient one. A former religious center and a Silk Road center, Khujand is home to several medieval monuments.

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Tajikistan

Iskanderkul Lake

Beautiful turquoise Iskanderkul, Lake Alexander, is a high-altitude lake ringed by craggy mountain peaks. From Khujand, drive over the dramatic 11,000-foot Shakristan Pass through the Fan Mountains, favorites with adventurous trekkers and hikers. Serene Iskanderkul was formed when debris from a landslide dammed up the outlet of the Iskander River.

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Journeys that travel to Iskanderkul Lake

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Tajikistan

Pamir Highway

The Pamir Mountains of Tajikistan are some of the most rugged and beautiful on Earth, soaring upward where the Himalayas, the Tien Shan and the Hindu Kush meet. Take an adventurous journey along the Pamir Highway, a breathtaking route in use since the time of the Silk Road. The road snakes up and over the sheer passes of the majestic Pamir Mountains through the remote ravines and secluded villages of Tajikistan.

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Journeys that travel to Pamir Highway

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When to Travel to Tajikistan

Tajik Independence Day, Dushanbe and Throughout Tajikistan (September)

Tajikistan declared its independence from the Soviet Union on September 9, 1991, and each year since then has been celebrating the day with parades and performances. In Dushanbe the main thoroughfare, Rudaki Avenue, is freshly painted in preparation for a huge parade consisting of school children, university students, dance troupes, armed forces troops, and members of different trades.

Most of the participants and many of the onlookers wear their finest traditional costumes – the women in cool ikat-patterned tunics called kurtas or intensely-colored embroidered chakans, dresses. The men wear Tajik caps called toqis, some black embroidered with white thread and others with a band of vivid embroidery over green or red felt.

Traditional music and dancing is everywhere, both in the parade and among the spectators. Over the week, public and ticketed performances take place all over town. The celebration ends with a big public concert in the main square, followed by fireworks.

Navruz (March)

The tradition of Navruz started as a Zoroastrian festival to celebrate the spring equinox. The ancient people closely followed the celestial cycle and noticed that when the hours of daylight started to equal the hours of darkness, the seasons changed and new life was born.

The Persians celebrated the start of the new year at this time, and spent the thirteen days following Navruz settling debts and mending relationships in order to set a positive tone for the upcoming year. In Tajikistan, holiday celebrations start the night before, when families share a meal of favorite national dishes, including sumalak, and visit the gravesites of their family members. The festivities continue the next day, with traditional horse games and dances, egg painting, tree planting, house cleaning and making new dresses.

Ramadan (dates vary by year)

The Islamic holiday, Ramadan, is a time when Muslims focus on self-reformation, spiritual cleansing and strengthening their relationship to God. The holiday lasts a month, and during this period, Muslims fast during daylight hours, eating only before sunrise and after sunset. Islamic teachings explain that without the distraction of attending to physical needs and worldly matters, one is better able to focus on reforming one’s spiritual self. The religious pray more often than the rest of the year, and dedicate themselves to acts of charity. Some scholars believe the name is derived from the Arabic word for “scorching,” referring to the holiday’s power to “scorch” away past sins.