forbidden mountain roads

a great game adventure from BRITISH india to russian central asia and across china's wild west

Islamabad – Peshawar – Gilgit – Tashkurgan – Kashgar –Pamir – Dushanbe


Tour dates

Regular monthly departures: this tour is offered regularly once a month from May to September. Let us know your desired departure month by clicking on the ask-us button below and we will match your preferences with the relevant scheduled group departure. If you are unsure about the month you wish to travel in, then simply tell us a period or a season of the year and we will give you a wide range of scheduled group departures: just pick up yours! 

Our scheduled group departures don't suit your plans? If you are travelling with friends and there are 5 or more of you, you can set your own dates and we will organise a tour just for you without charging any additional fee. If you are travelling solo or with less than 4 companions we will organise a slightly more expensive tailored tour according to your time schedule and specific geographical preferences.


ITINERARY

THis TOUR IS UP AND RUNNING AND YOU CAN ALREADY MAKE YOUR BOOKING. below you can find a summary of the route. FULL DETAILED ITINERARY IS BEING EDITED and will be online very soon. for more info please send us an email at info@soviettours.com

DAY 1 - Islamabad

  • Our tour guide will meet you in the arrival hall of Islamabad International Airport (exact meeting time will be communicated well in advance per email in accordance to your flight schedule).
  • Introductory briefing about the region, the route and the set of rules to observe while travelling in Pakistan.
  • We'll spend the day touring Islamabad, a city where the country's past, present and future bump into each other amid the colourful chaos of its crowded streets and exotic bazaars.
  • Lunch, dinner and overnight in Islamabad

DAY 2 - Peshawar

  • After an early breakfast we'll transfer to Peshawar, a predominantly Pashtun city in the Northwest and close to the border between Pakistan and Afghanistan.
  • Peshawar is not only the fascinating and at the same time intimidating gargantuan frontier town of drug trafficking, tribal feuds and black markets: this is also a place of ancient Islamic architectures and fading colonial grandeur and its intricate network of crowded streets and narrow alleys is the epicentre of all the different aspects of Pakistan's society, history and culture.
  • Highlights of our walking tour around town include: Yadgar Square, Mahabat Khan Mosque, Qissa Khawani Bazaar and the Peshawar Museum, which houses a rich treasure of art, sculpture and historical relics dating from the Gandhara period.
  • Dinner and overnight in Peshawar

DAY 3 - Swat

  • Today we'll move north to the legendary Swat Valley.
  • We'll drive toward the picturesque Malakand Pass and visit the magnificent ancient Buddhist monastery of Takht-i-Bahi en route.
  • We'll then continue to the enchanting slopes of the Swat Valley and stop at the world-famous Churchill's Picket along the way.
  • Dinner and overnight in the Swat Valley

DAY 4 - Chitral

  • We'll start early in the morning and drive towards Chitral via the Lowari Pass.
  • We'll devote all the day to the exploration of this almost mythical land of impervious roads, towering mountains and secretive valleys inhabited by infidel and polytheist Indo-European tribes, the Kalash, who are rumored to be the descendants of four Greek soldiers of Alexander the Great's army.
  • Dinner and overnight in Chitral

DAY 5 - Mastuj

  • In the morning we'll transfer to Mastuj, a picturesque village north of Chitral.
  • The unpaved tracks carve their way through stark and rugged mountainscapes: this traditional route has been used for centuries by traders between Chitral and Gilgit and en route we'll have magnificent views of Tirich Mir and Buni Zom, two of the highest peaks in the Hindukush
  • Dinner and overnight in Mastuj

DAY 6 - Gupis

  • We'll continue our odyssey across Pakistan's untamed borderlands and enter the Karakoram range: wilder sceneries will greet us during the drive as this route is visited by much less people and is snow covered during the wintertime: only nomads inhabit this forgotten land moving around with their flock of goats in constant search for green pastures.
  • In the afternoon we'll reach the otherworldly settlement of Gupis on the Southern bank of the Gilgit river.
  • Dinner and overnight in Gupis.

DAY 7 - Hunza Valley

  • We'll driver further east and head to Karimabad, a glorious settlement of the higher Hunza Valley, set against a backdrop of peaks towering above 7000 metres.
  • On the way we'll have excellent views of Rakaposhi and Ultar, yet two more of the highest mountains in the region.
  • We'll als stop for tea at a viewpoint to see Rakaposhi in its all glory from summit to its glaciers.
  • Dinner and overnight in Karimabad.

DAY 8 - Tashkurgan

  • Today we will travel along the mythical Karakoram Highway north to the border of China, known as Khunjerab Pass, which at 4700 metres is the world's highest border crossing between two countries.
  • Along the way we will be able to admire the unique flora and fauna of Khunjerab National Park.
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  • Dinner and overnight in Tashkurgan

DAY 9 - Kashgar

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  • Dinner and overnight in Kashgar

DAY 10 - Kashgar

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  • Dinner and overnight in Kashgar

DAY 11 - Kashgar

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  • Dinner and overnight in Kashgar

DAY 12 - Taklamakan

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  • Dinner and overnight in Kashgar

DAY 13 - Sary Tash

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  • Dinner and overnight in Sary Tash

DAY 14 - Alay Mountains

  • Dinner and overnight in Sary Tash


DAY 15 - Tajikistan: Pamir

  • We'll continue our epic journey along the Pamir Highway heading towards Rangkul, yet another remote hamlet surrounded by unreal natural beauty and crumbling Soviet ruins. 
  • We'll visit the nearby Rangkul Valley Bird Reserve and after lunch we'll drive south to Murghab, the main urban settlement in Northern Pamir.
  • After a quick tour around the rather dull downtown (read Soviet nostalgia plus deserted bazaars plus empty mosques) we'll visit the local mountaineering association and learn more about the history and the explorations of this extremely remote corner of Asia.
  • Dinner and overnight in Murghab

DAY 16 - Tajikistan: Pamir

  • Another day driving along the legendary Pamir Highway.
  • We'll first head to the tiny village Alichur where we'll enjoy a traditional Pamiri lunch.
  • In the afternoon we'll reach the extremely isolated Bulun-Kul Lake and the nearby fishing hamlet.
  • Dinner and overnight in Bulun-Kul
  • DAY 17 - Tajikistan: Wakhan Valley

  • Today we'll finally reach the Wakhan Valley, arguably the most beautiful of its kind in the whole Pamir region.
  • We'll drive on remote mountain roads and catch stunning glimpses of Afghan villages located a few metres away on the opposite bank of the narrow Panj river. 
  • Besides the routine pauses for food, toilet and random landscape pictures, we'll break the journey in semi-abandoned Soviet military outposts straight out of a post-apocalyptic movie. 
  • In the afternoon we'll reach Vrang, a pretty rural village mostly inhabited by the Wakhi people. 
  • Dinner and overnight in Vrang.  
  • DAY 18 - Tajikistan: Wakhan Valley

  • We'll continue our adventure across the Wakhan Valley visiting hot springs and ancient pagan temples along the way.
  • We'll stop in several traditional Wakhi hamlets along the way and after lunch we'll reach Ishkashim, a relatively larger village and the crossing point into Afghanistan. 
  • Dinner and overnight in Ishkashim.  

 

DAY 19 - Tajikistan: Khorog

  • Late wake-up call and lazy morning in Ishkashim.
  • We'll then head to Khorog, the capital of the Autonomous Badakhshan. 
  • Khorog walking tour: House of the Soviet, Aga Khan Botanical Gardens, Pamir University, Lenin Statue.
  • Dinner and overnight in Khorog

DAY 20 - Tajikistan: Dushanbe

  • Early morning start for an epic 10-hour drive to Dushanbe, the capital of the country.
  • Besides the routine pauses for food, toilet and random landscape pictures, we'll break the long haul in Rushan, Kalaikhum, Tavildara and other fascinating little villages along the way. 
  • Please note: theoretically there is a daily flight from Khorog to Dushanbe; in practice, however, the flight schedule is absolutely unreliable, as it largely depends on 1) weather conditions 2) number of booked passengers 3) the unforeseeable whim of pilots, flight attendants and airport authorities. If lucky enough, then we might be able to skip the bumpy odyssey to Dushanbe gloriously flying over an epic landscape of high peaks and narrow gorges. The flight is included in the tour price. 
  • Overnight in Dushanbe

DAY 21 - Flight back home or transfer to further destinations  

  • After enjoying a last Tajik breakfast together we'll take care of your transfer to the airport/train station of choice.  
  • For those flying out: we will arrange transfer to Dushanbe International Airport for your flight back home.
  • For those wishing to take the train/bus to reach further destinations: we will arrange transport to the train/bus station.
  • End of the tour. 

PRICE

3 to 6 participants: 4600 €


The price includes: double/twin room accommodation (breakfast included; single supplement: 25 euro/night), private transport in the region, entrance fees to the attractions listed in the itinerary, guiding and translation service.

The price does not include: international flights, meals, drinks and tips, visas if required, entrance fees to attractions not listed in the itinerary, insurance.

Please note: entry to Pakistan will be refused to Israeli passport holders and travellers with any evidence (stamp, visa, permits) of visiting Israel


WHERE THE HECK AM I TRAVELLING TO?  

BELOW YOU CAN SEE THE DIFFERENT TOUR STAGES MARKED ON A MAP OF THE REGION YOU ARE GOING TO EXPLORE WITH US

CLICK HERE FOR SOME NICE PICTURES AND MORE INFO ABOUT THIS DESTINATION

POSSIBLE TOUR COMBINATIONS FOR THIS ITINERARY INCLUDE

Sovietistan and/or Baluchistan