August 17 - August 30 2024

The Pamir Highway Mountain Crossroads Tour

Travel across the roof of the world along the
Pamir Highway! A unique tour from Kyrgyzstan
to Tajikistan.

This 13-night tour traces the route of the ancient Silk Road and the adventures of Marco Polo. Starting in the
capital of Kyrgyzstan, Bishkek, we will follow the M41 Pamir Highway to Dushanbe, Tajikistan, while passing
the most amazing mountain scenery.

From 2900 USD per person

Please apply by 1st August, 2024.

The Pamir Highway Mountain Crossroads Tour

Travel across the roof of the world along the
Pamir Highway! A unique tour from Kyrgyzstan
to Tajikistan.

This 13-night tour traces the route of the ancient Silk Road and the adventures
of Marco Polo. Starting in the capital of Kyrgyzstan, Bishkek, we will follow
the M41 Pamir Highway to Dushanbe, Tajikistan, while passing the most amazing
mountain scenery.

From 2900 USD per person

This tour is managed by...

Rich Beal

Rich Beal is our International Tours Manager.

Rich is one of our most experienced tour leaders. He has led tours worldwide since 2004, specialising in Mongolia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and the surrounding area. Currently living in Mongolia, he leads multiple specialised trips annually and has over 20 years of experience running and designing tours of the region. 

  • Overall

    On this Tajikistan tour, you will start in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. In this fascinating capital, we'll immerse ourselves in its serene parks and vibrant streets, where the fusion of Persian and nomadic cultures creates a unique and captivating atmosphere. From here, we follow the route of the historical M41 Pamir Highway.

    Journeying along the Pamir Highway is truly an experience like no other. We'll drive through rugged terrain, where towering peaks and winding roads offer a glimpse into the untamed beauty of Central Asia. It is also otherwise known as the roof of the world and the world's second-highest highway

    We will cross into Tajikistan over high passes and past beautiful lakes and snow-capped mountains. Staying in small towns and villages along the way, this journey will take you to some of this region’s most remote but rewarding destinations.

    Our adventures will lead us ultimately to Dushanbe, Tajikistan’s lovely, laid-back capital.

    Throughout your tour in Tajikistan, our knowledgeable guides will accompany you and be at hand to provide local insight and knowledge on the region, its history, and traditions, sharing insights into the ancient Silk Road routes and enduring customs of its people. From the hospitality of Tajikistan to the lush landscapes of Kyrgyzstan, and everything in between. 

    ✍️ For more information on this tour, our experience, and what you can expect from this Pamir Highway Tour, see our blogs below. 

    High Pamirs Reading

    What's a Trip to the Pamir's Really Like?
    High Pamirs & the Kuhistani-Badakhshan Autonomous Region
    Towns & Villages on the M41
    Travelling the Pamir Highway

    Note: Due to the adventurous nature of this tour, this itinerary is subject to change depending on adverse weather conditions or other factors that are out of our control. It's all part of the adventure! 


    • Explore the highlights of the capitals of Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan.
    • Follow the historic M41 Pamir Highway and see the most remote and dramatic scenery Tajikistan has to offer, passing lunar landscapes, ancient fortresses, and hot springs along our way .
    • Traverse the Wakhan Corridor and the Afghan Border.
  • Itinerary

    Day 1 of 14
    1. August 17 | Saturday

      Arrival Day

      Flights to Bishkek
      • Arrive at Bishkek Manas International Airport (FRU) from a handful of international destinations. All group members will be met at the airport and be taken to our hotel. The latest recommended arrival time is this morning.
      • We will gather at 13:00 in the hotel reception for our tour briefing and orientation.
      Bishkek City Tour
      • Osh Bazaar | We begin our visit by stopping at the Osh Bazaar. This is an amazing produce market which gives us our first chance to take photos of local life.
      • National Philharmonic | After experiencing the shopping with the locals, we stop at the building of the National Philharmonic. This Soviet-style building is an imposing structure dominating the surrounding area.
      • Ala-Too Square | The central square of Bishkek that was built in 1984 to commemorate the foundation of the Kirghiz SSR. A Lenin Statue stood on the square till 2003, then moved to a smaller park. In 2011 the statue of Manas, the legendary khagan of the Kyrgyz Khaganate took its place.
      • State Historical Museum | Opened in 1925, it follows the history of Kyrgyzstan and its area from the time when nomadic people lived here till the present days.
      • Oak Park | The city's oldest park where the trees are the same age as the city of Bishkek. It gives us the chance to view some local sculptures as well as the Open-air Art Gallery that was born in 1984 when works on the theme of 'Labor and Peace' were first installed.
      • Victory Square | Built in 1985 to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the defeat of Nazi Germany in World War 2. It is where Victory Day celebrations take place each May 9th.
      • ZUM | Central Universal Department Store, once located in most capital cities across the USSR. It sells goods every department store would, but if you head up to the top floor you can browse Bishkek souvenirs as well as antiques from the Soviet period.

      Accommodation | 3-4 star hotel

      Included Meals | Lunch, Dinner

    2. August 18 | Sunday

      M41 Highway: Bishkek to Song Kul Lake

      • M41 Pamir Highway Begins! | This morning we'll begin our adventure along the M41 Pamir Highway, making our way out of the Kyrgyz capital, Bishkek. We head south along this Soviet-era ribbon of tarmac.
      • Burana Tower | Making our way out of the city, we'll stop to visit the 12th-century Burana Tower. A fantastic example of classic architecture in Central Asia, and a handy detour on our way towards our next destination.
      • Song Kul Lake | Our next stop will be Song Kul Lake, a stunningly beautiful alpine lake nestled in the Naryn region of Kyrgyzstan. The lake is the second largest in the entire country. And the largest of Kyrgyzstan's freshwater lakes.

      Accommodation | Shoreside Yurt

      Included Meals | Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    3. August 19 | Monday

      M41 Highway: Song Kul Lake to Tash Rabat Silk Road

      • Moldo Ashuu Pass | This morning we'll be up bright and early as we head out from Song Kul Lake to reach Moldo Ashuu Pass. This drive will give us the chance to enjoy a pleasant drive, admiring the colourful mountains passing by.
      • Naryn City | Finally, we'll arrive in Naryn City where we'll stop for a bite to eat. Naryn City was established as a fortress city along one of the region's major Silk Road caravan routes. It has since grown to encompass over 40,000 people deep in the heart of central Kyrgyzstan.
      • Tash Rabat Silk Road | Having enjoyed a hearty Kyrgyz lunch, we're off again, heading towards the Tash Rabat Silk Road caravanserai. Once we arrive, we'll spend time touring this historical site, marvelling at the architecture and wonderous buildings which populated this centre for trading in everything from tea to silk.
      • Yurt Camp | Tonight we'll spend the night under canvas in a traditional Kyrgyz yurt, the famous design of Central Asian tent which serves as a semi-permanent home to the many nomads who live throughout the country.

      Accommodation | Kyrgyz Yurt

      Included Meals | Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    4. August 20 | Tuesday

      M41 Highway: Tash Rabat Silk Road to Kazarman

      • Leave Yurt Camp | Today we'll leave our Yurt camp and make our way back up the road towards Naryn City. Just passing by today, we'll continue through Naryn, making our way deeper and deeper into the mountainous core of the country.
      • Kazarman Village and Homestay | Our destination today is Kazarman Village. Today will be filled with progress on our expedition along the M41 highway. Leaving the comfortable flats in exchange for more and more beautiful mountain passes. Passing local yurts, shepherds tending their flocks, and locals going about their daily business, we'll finally arrive at our homestay accommodation in Kazarman.

      Accommodation | Local Homestay

      Included Meals | Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    5. August 21 | Wednesday

      M41 Highway: Kazarman to Osh

      • Kaldama Pass | Today, we will be traversing the incredible Kaldama Pass. Leaving our homestay, and saying a thankful goodbye to our hosts, we'll head out once again onto the road. Eventually, we will arrive at the Kaldama Pass, an incredible natural mountain pass that we'll have to drive through should we wish to arrive at our destination for today.
      • Osh | Finally, with a long drive under our belts, we'll pull into Osh, Kyrgyzstan's second-largest city. We will spend the night here.

      Accommodation | 3-4 star hotel

      Included Meals | Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    6. August 22 | Thursday


      • Explore Osh | Today you will have a free morning to explore Osh. Discover its hidden secrets, tiny shops, and winding alleyways!
      • Sulaiman-Too Sacred Mountain | This beautiful area has fantastic views over Osh and was once a place of worship for Muslims as well as earlier pre-Islamic people. It is also one of Kyrgyzstan's first UNESCO-listed sites.
      • Babur's House | Situated on the top of the mountain, the history of this small building is fascinating. We'll learn about the stories surrounding it.
      • Tahti Suleiman Mosque | A cave complex and the Museum of Suleiman.

      Accommodation | The Classic Hotel

      This aptly named hotel is conveniently located in the heart of this thriving city within walking distance of some of the central city sites.

      Included Meals | Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    7. August 23 | Friday

      M41 Highway: Osh to Sary Tash

      • Jaima Bazaar | A fantastic market that is one of the largest in Central Asia and sells everything you could need and a lot you wouldn’t! Locals say Jaima Bazaar has been in existence for over 2000 years.
      • We will have some time to explore the stalls and see trade being conducted from the backs of old shipping containers and the remains of Soviet-era trucks. Practice your haggling skills before lunch.
      • Sary-Tash | This afternoon we begin our adventure with a drive to the village of Sary-Tash through the high Taldyk Pass. This road was constructed between 1930 and 1932 and offers some grand views as we snake up over 3615 meters.
      • Remote Village Stay | After our first day of driving, we stay in this remote village with a population of only 1500 hardy souls. High mountains surround this backwater settlement, seemingly cut off from the world outside.

      Accommodation | Sary Tash (village) Guest House

      Along the route, this accommodation is a real mix of local homestay and traditional-style guest houses.

      Included Meals | Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    8. August 24 | Saturday

      M41 Highway: Entry into Tajikistan and Ak-Baital Pass

      • Kyzyl Art Border Point | After an early start, we leave heading out back onto the highway, driving up through the Kyzyl Art border point up to 4,280 m. We say goodbye to our Kyrgyz guides and drivers and greet our Tajik hosts at the Kizil Art border point. The stark landscape on our route will make for some great photography as we make stops along the way.
      • Entry into Tajikistan | We are now in the Republic of Tajikistan!
      • Karakul Lake | This high-altitude lake was formed millions of years ago after a meteorite impact. We will stop here to enjoy the stunning views of the lake with the snow-capped Lenin Peak as its backdrop. The 7134-meter-high Lenin Peak is considered to be one of the most accessible 7000-meter peaks in the World to climb.
      • Highest Point on the Pamir Highway | We drive upwards over the 4650-meter Ak-Baital Pass, the highest point on the M41 (Pamir) highway. In Tajikistan, it is said that you are closest to the moon here. Not only for the height of the place but also due to the scenery looking like a lunar landscape.
      • Murgab | We eventually arrive in Murgab. Formerly known as the Pamirsky Post, it was founded by the Russians in 1893 as their most advanced military outpost. It now remains the highest town in Tajikistan at 3,618 meters. This far-flung settlement is now home to around 4000 inhabitants. In Murgab, we will pay an afternoon visit to the local bazaar, the nearby Lenin statue, and some Soviet reliefs.
      • Visit Local Herder's Home | Before dinner (time permitting), we will stop by a local herder's home to see what life is like in these remote regions.

      Accommodation | Hotel Pamir

      In this small town, the Hotel Pamir may be basic but offers us hot showers and relatively comfortable beds. Some facilities may be shared in this Soviet relic.

      Included Meals | Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    9. August 25 | Sunday

      M41 Highway: Murgab to Langar

      • Today we drive to Langar village, continuing along the Pamir highway over the Khargush Pass at 4344 meters, driving past mountain lakes and arid lunar landscapes. We will stop for photographs as we go.
      • Wakhan Valley | The pass leads us out to the Wakhan Valley, which runs for about 350km sandwiched between the Pamir and the Karakorum mountain ranges. This valley supports around 12,000 inhabitants in Tajikistan, Afghanistan, and Pakistan.
      • Afghanistan Border | Along the route, we will follow the Panj River as it flows along the border with Afghanistan. We will regularly stop to take photos of the beautiful landscapes. Time permitting, we will also view some ancient petroglyphs (rock carvings).
      • Village Stay | We will stay the night in Langar village. (Not to be confused with the town of the same name just across the border in Afghanistan).

      Accommodation | Local guesthouse

      Included Meals | Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    10. August 26 | Monday

      M41 Highway: Langar to Khorogh

      • Wakhan Corridor | After breakfast and a short walk through the village, we continue along the Panj River and the border with Afghanistan following the Wakhan corridor.
      • Osorkhonai Abdullo Ansori | We will stop at Vrang village to see Osorkhonai Abdullo Ansori and its museum. This once-important site is well worth the visit to view the ancient cave dwellings of Buddhist monks who lived here in the past, at the fringes of Buddhist civilization.
      • Kahkaha Fortress | This once-great, 4th-century clay-built fortification is said to be named after a legendary hero known as a king of fire-worshippers. Its ruins now offer views of the surrounding countryside with stunning vistas into neighboring Afghanistan.
      • Khorogh | Our aim today is to make it to the town of Khorogh, the regional capital of the GBO area (Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Region) with a population of 28,000. We will be able to squeeze in a chance to relax or soak in the outdoor Garm Chashma Hot Springs and the grave of Nosiri Khisrav Qabodieni.

      Accommodation | Hotel LA'L

      This newly built hotel offers us a welcome break on our journey, within a great setting and comfortable rooms.

      Included Meals | Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    11. August 27 | Tuesday

      M41 Highway: Khorog to Kalaikhum, along the Afghan Border

      • We continue our journey along the Panj River bordering Afghanistan. This follows the route of the old Silk Road and traces in the footsteps of explorers such as Marco Polo.
      • Small Towns, Villages, and Local Families | On our drive today we will visit the many small towns and villages that line this well-trodden path.

        In Rushan, Dekh, Amun, and Kevran, we will visit local family homes and catch a glimpse of life in this remote corner of the world. Local people across this region are friendly and welcoming. We will not be there to exoticize them but to interact. Hear what their lives are like, learn and experience, even in brief moments, a little bit of commonality. You’ll see when we are there what a treat this can be!

      Accommodation | Karon Palace Hotel

      A jewel in this delightful gateway town. This hotel looks out of place with its gold trim and blue-shaded windows. Although with its soft beds, warm showers, and clean rooms it offers a relaxing stay.

      Included Meals | Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    12. August 28 | Wednesday

      M41 Highway: Khataon Province to Dushanbe

      • Khatlon Province | As we continue to trace the Panj River, we eventually bid farewell to the Pamir territory and enter Khatlon Province. Located in the Southeast of the country and is one of the least visited parts of Tajikistan.
      • Glimpse of Afghanistan | During the Soviet period, this was also one of the country's poorest regions. We will stop to catch some final glimpses of Afghanistan along the way as well as pass a couple more high passes. Impressive but not a reflection on our earlier adventures.
      • Kulyab | We stop at Kulyab, the center of Khatlon province and the fourth-biggest town in Tajikistan.

        Kulyab has a history stretching back over 2500 years and borders Afghanistan. We will walk around the city, stop at the local museum, and visit the market. This is one of the best ways to mix with the locals and their culture. Kulyab is changing rapidly, but mosaics of Lenin remain along with some impressive Soviet architecture.
      • Norak Basin | Later, we will also stop to view Norak Basin. This is a large reservoir that was created in 1961 when the 300-meter Nurek Dam was constructed. The dam is currently the second-highest in the world. Unfortunately, we cannot get right next to it, but we can view it from a distance.
      • Dushanbe | We make our final leg driving into Dushanbe city for a well-deserved rest! We'll have dinner and afterwards the opportunity to have a much-needed drink in one of Dushanbe's bars. The first one is on us!

      Accommodation | Hotel Vatan

      A new hotel located within a 5-minute walk of the central city. This comfortable hotel has beautiful rooms located on a designated floor with free laundry facilities, a kitchen area, and a reading room. A buffet-style breakfast is provided in the main restaurant area.

      Included Meals | Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    13. August 29 | Thursday

      Dushanbe City Tour

      • Victory Park | This memorial complex was constructed to commemorate the 40th anniversary of Victory in the Great Patriotic War (1941–1945). It bestows its visitors with the best views over the capital. It is also a tranquil spot from where to enjoy a nice shaded walk.
      • Rudaki AvenueFormerly Lenin Street, this road runs north from Dushanbe Train Station, past many of the city sites and highlights. For many visitors, this is not only a walk through the capital but a walk back through the history of Dushanbe. The Avenue shaded by beautiful trees incorporates a central tree-lined boulevard perfect for cover on those hot summer days.
      • Park of the Flag of Tajikistan | The flag of Tajikistan weighs 700 kilograms and flies on a flagpole that once was the tallest in the world. With its 'mere' 165 meters, today it only ranks no. 4. The flagpole was erected for the anniversary of Tajik independence in 2011.
      • Monument of Ismaili Somoni | The statue of the former amir of the Sadamik Empire and Tajik national hero is situated on the site of the old Lenin statue.
      • Rudaki Park | A scenic, meticulously landscaped garden area featuring fountains, statues, manicured lawns, trees from across the globe, and a plethora of stunning flowers.
      • National Museum | Here we will learn a little more about the beautiful country we have been visiting.
      • Victory Tank Monument | After lunch, we will drive to this monument known by locals as Oslinie Ushi which translates to “The donkey ears" and visit the botanical gardens.
      • World’s Largest Tea House | We finish our day with a visit to the world’s largest tea house with its amazingly decadent interior.

      Accommodation | Hotel Vatan

      Included Meals | Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    14. August 30 | Friday

      Departure day

      • Flights leave from Dushanbe International Airport (DYU) to a few international destinations (Istanbul, Dubai, and Almaty offering the best worldwide connections). Let us know when and where you are going and we will get you there on time!
      • There is also the option of extending your room until a later date. Contact us to discuss this.

      Included Meals | Breakfast

      End of Tour

  • What is / is not included?


    • English-speaking local guides and Koryo Tours Tour Leader
    • Meals as indicated on the itinerary
    • Hotel accommodation
    • All entry fees for attractions and sights
    • All transportation in the country
    • Airport pick-up and drop-off at the start and end of the tour


    • Tips for the local guides and the driver (approx. $10 USD per day)
    • Spending money on incidentals such as drinks and souvenirs
    • Meals that are not included on the itinerary
    • Single-room supplement ($50 USD per night)
    • International Flights to Bishkek and from Dushanbe
    • GBAO permit
    • Visa fee, if applicable
    • We occasionally have the opportunity to visit a performance; this may cost extra
  • Notes

    How To Apply

    Simply click on the application button listed with this tour and fill out the online form. Upload a passport copy and photo (or send it to us by email) and you can consider yourself booked on this adventure!

    For any questions or comments about this trip get in touch with Rich Beal at [email protected].

    We ask for applications to be completed a minimum of one month in advance of the tour.

    We ask for a deposit of 50% of the tour fee.

    Kyrgyzstan Visa

    Up to 83 countries can travel without a visa to the Kyrgyz Republic. To see a full list of visa-free countries, please visit the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kyrgyz Republic. You can also check your availability here.

    If the country that issued your passport is not included on the list of visa-free countries, in most cases you can apply for an e-Visa.

    Please note that should you need a visa, it needs to be arranged and paid for by yourself.

    Tajikistan Visa

    Due to the ever-changing nature of the visa policy of the Republic of Tajikistan, please contact your Tour Manager to confirm whether you need a visa or not.

    In case you need a visa, it needs to be arranged and paid for by yourself. In most cases, you can do so via the official e-Visa site of the Republic of Tajikistan.

    Please note that for this tour you will need to obtain a GBAO permit.

    If you need to apply for a visa, the GBAO permit can be obtained at the same time.

    If you do not need a visa, your Tour Manager will advise you about the procedure for obtaining a GBAO permit.

    Cancellation and Refund

    We practice the same cancellation policy with this tour as we do with our DPRK tours. Please check our Terms and Conditions for further details.

    We do not seek profit from people who cannot go on tours but we do make arrangements and commit to payments in good faith once a booking is received and payment is made.

    We always try to refund more than the minimum. As with any trip it is best to be as sure as possible that you will be able to attend the trip when making the final booking.

    If the tour is cancelled by Koryo Tours for any reason then a full refund is made.

    In all cases, we return as much as we can and we do not take a fee for client's cancellation.

    Please be sure that you will be joining the tour when you send all application details

    Additional notes

    This tour has been specifically arranged to visit remote areas. As such it may have elements of an expedition about it, due to the nature and ruggedness of the terrain.

    Any change in the itinerary at the time cannot be helped.

    We will do our best to keep to the advertised itinerary as closely as possible. However, please be aware that things are subject to change, especially if we encounter any extreme weather conditions or other factors that are out of our control.

    Along the way, all tour decisions will rest with our Tour Leader Rich Beal, and an expedition leader. We will also be taking advice from local people on the ground whose expertise will far exceed our own.

Please apply by 1st August, 2024.

[email protected] | + 86 10 6416 7544
WhatsApp (message only): +44 7822 014058
Room A409, Jucai Building. No. 76 Caoyuan Hutong.
Dongcheng District, Beijing, 100027, PR China

中国北京市东城区草园胡同76号聚才大厦A 座409 室,
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