The Yagnob Valley
In the remote valleys and uplands of the Western Pamir, it is still possible to hear the Sogdian tongue being spoken. This was the language of the Persian kings - Cyrus, Darius and Xerxes - and of Roxanne, the wife of Alexander the Great. The people of the Yagnob valley have preserved their culture and traditions, including elements of the Sogdian religion, Zoroastrianism. Fire worship is believed to have been associated with the underground coal fires which have been burning for thousands of years and can still be seen today on the mountains in the region where smoke is visible by day and fire by night. This trek combines walking in some of the least frequented mountains of Central Asia with an chance to see this almost extinct culture and hear a language that echoes from 2500 years ago
Fann Mountain Trek
This week-long trek takes in some of the most beautiful scenery in Tajikistan, starting from a string of blue lakes in the west, crossing three mountain passes and finishing at Iskandarkul, the lake associated with Alexander the Great. Donkeys take most of the strain and you will only need to carry your requirements for each day. Camping is in two person tents. This is a deservedly popular trek, which is possible from mid May to early October.
Lake Sarez, 60 km long and containing an estimated 17 cubic km of water is quite young. It was formed after an earthquake of colossal proportions on 18 February 1911 in which two cubic kilometres of rock were dislodged, burying Usoi village and blocking the Murghab River. The resulting Usoi Dam holds back the lake, at least until the next earthquake of such a magnitude. South of Lake Sarez in the Alichur river valley is the picturesque Yashikkul Lake ("Blue Water"). This one week trek begins in the Gunt valley not far from Khorog and passes through high mountain summer pastures – be sure to accept the curds and local bread when it is offered to you by the generous hill folk. From Lake Sarez there is a gradual ascent to a string of upland lakes, allegedly good for trout fishing, before the route descends to Yashikkul and Bulunkul lakes and the Pamir Highway.