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One of the oldest countries in the world, colorful, warm and mysterious Tajikistan is a rapidly growing travel destination. The reasons are obvious – ancient sites of the Great Silk Road, amazing mountaineering opportunities, varied and delicious cuisine. Tajikistan is a landlocked country that is almost entirely covered by mountains. The country is known for its stunning natural beauty, including the Pamir Mountains and the Iskanderkul Lake. Its capital, Dushanbe, is a vibrant city with a rich cultural heritage.
Featured Tours in Tajikistan
Virtual tour of Tajikistan
Entry rules & visasFree entry with any electronic or hard-copy vaccination certificate. 72 hrs PCR test before arrival (by air or land border) or on arrival (express test at port of entry for 30$, land borders only) for non-vaccinated travelers. Quarantine: Not required. Visa-regime restrictions, if any: Visa-free for citizens of EU, UK, AU.
Climate in UzbekistanUzbekistan features a Mediterranean climate with strong continental climate influences. As a result, Tashkent experiences cold and often snowy winters not typically associated with most Mediterranean climates and long, hot and dry summers. The city experiences two peaks of precipitation in the early winter and spring. The slightly unusual precipitation pattern is partially due to its 500m altitude. Summers are long in Tashkent, usually lasting from May to September. Tashkent can be extremely hot during the months of July and August. The city also sees very little precipitation during the summer, particularly from June through September.
Hotels and level of accommodationYour accommodation has been selected for convenience of location, comfort or character, and can range from a standard hotel in one city to a family run guesthouse in a smaller town. In remote areas, accommodation may be of a lower standard and may not have all western amenities. Please note that there is no international classification system for hotels and differences in facilities and quality do exist. Rest assured that all hotels used by are regularly inspected by our staff and our partners to ensure that standards meet your needs. Please note double bed requests can be made at time of booking but cannot be guaranteed.
Food in UzbekistanCentral Asian cuisine is diverse and flavoursome with a legacy stretching back thousands of years. It is important to keep an open mind and be adventurous. In Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, the cuisine is influenced by Middle Eastern and Turkic (or Mediterranean) dishes – yoghurts, dried fruit, legumes, fruit vinegars, or mild spices like cumin season the common dishes such as lagman (handmade noodles), shashlyk (kebabs), naan (flat bread) and plov (rice pilaf dish). Beef, mutton and chicken are the only meats available in most areas and feature in most dishes. Local breakfast dishes include naan and airan (like sour cream), savoury noodles with vinegar and green tea. You may also be served a fried egg, jam, honey or toast. Black tea and coffee can usually be requested. Hotels and restaurants in this region are not generally accustomed to serving many western tourists, however by default tend to ‘spice down’ the dishes, due to the tourists they do service coming from Europe. The food is always local in style and derives from what is in season and harvested locally. Vegetarian only alternatives are not usually limited by grilled vegetables and meet-free soups. There are always plenty of salads, vegetables and bread offered at most meals. Drinking alcohol is acceptable.
Roads & VehiclesMost roads are paved and in good condition. 80km part of Bukhara-Khiva road is under reconstruction. Coaches: Coaches with air conditioning are used on our group tours for city sightseeing, short excursions to the countryside and longer transfers where necessary. Main and inner-city roads in Central Asia have a reputation for being very congested. For this reason, it may not always be possible to return to your hotel after sightseeing to freshen up before going to the restaurant for dinner. Roads in Central Asia have generally been improved over recent years, but traffic and/or weather conditions may extend driving times. Road construction work usually covers an enormous section of road - not just one or two kilometers as you may be used to. For this reason, the timings listed in the sections below are approximations only. Planes: Internal flights are based on economy class, with reputable airlines. Pre-seat flight allocation is not available.
Guides and driversThere will be an accompanying guide throughout your journey (different one for each country) who is highly educated and speaks very good English. In some places you may also have local guides in addition to the escort (e.g. at some museums). In all cases the guides do not cross borders. You will be assisted with border formalities on one side and proceed to the check point where you are met by the guide on the other side.
Border CrossingsMost travelers prefer to visit several countries of the Silk Road within single trip. In general borders are easy to cross, but sometimes delays occur. The time it takes to pass through a border is not always predictable. Expect there may be delays. Some crossings require a walk between exit and entry. Have luggage on wheels and keep weight of carry- on (day bag) to minimum. We suggest back pack style for day bag as easiest to manage without assistance.
Tips for ground staffLocal tipping is customary in Asia but in general is expected by all service staff. Tipping size depends on the quality and satisfaction of provided services.
InsuranceWe strongly encourage all customers to take a copy of their travel insurance documents (especially relevant international contact numbers) with them while on tour. We advise that you check the inclusions and procedures for lodging claims prior to your departure. These documents should be stored separately from the originals. We will not be liable for any costs incurred by you due to your failure to take out suitable travel insurance from the date of booking.
Your Tour GuideOften locals with intimate knowledge of an area, its culture, and history. Their role entails providing commentary, routing the tour, and seeing that people have a good time. They are a licensed, qualified expert who supplies specific information on history, art, architecture and culture of the city/village/attraction in which he or she is guiding the tour. The guide meets the group at the required place and leaves the group at the end of the tour.
SouvenirsWe want to be able to give you an opportunity to buy souvenirs; so in a selection of cities, we will visit a workshops or factories which demonstrates a craft or product unique to that region with pieces available to buy. We understand that souvenir hunting is not for everyone so we aim to take you to places which hold local interest. We trust you will enjoy these opportunities to learn about local arts and crafts and understand their historical and cultural importance.
Money Exchange & Personal ExpensesIn Central Asia the US Dollar and Euro are still the easiest currencies to exchange. You should be able to use credit cards at some hotels and department stores. In other towns, you will find banking facilities less reliable and may encounter staff that refuse to deal with a currency they are unfamiliar with. Very few establishments accept credit cards. There are only a handful of ATM machines in cities and none in rural areas. Personal Expenses - You will need to take some extra money to cover drinks, laundry and souvenirs, plus any additional sightseeing that may be offered to you.
Climbing StepsSightseeing at nearly all of the palaces, fortresses and some temples involves climbing quite a number of steps. These palaces were built to provide defense against potential invaders so nearly all of them stand on top of a hill, while the interiors have layers of narrow hallways and steps to slow down the advance of enemies once they were inside. The steps tend to be quite large, not level and sometimes without handrails. Mosques and Madrassas also tend to be built at an elevation, as this is the most auspicious position according to ancient beliefs. This means you sometimes need to walk from the bus park to the entrance, and/or need to climb some steps inside. People with knee or hip injuries, who have poor balance or are otherwise unable to complete these activities independently should consider the suitability of this itinerary carefully.
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