In the morning your driver and guide will pick you up from your hotel to start your day tour of ancient Penjikent and Sarazm, which will include:
- Republican Museum of History (Rudaki Museum), which has eight exhibition halls on archaeology, nature, history, culture, lifestyle, Tajik customs and the life of Rudaki, the founder of Tajik-Persian classical literature
- Central Mosque and Olim Dodkhoh Madrasah, originally from the Middle Ages and rebuilt in recent times, it now serves as the city’s main mosque and a popular gathering place for locals
- Penjikent Bazaar – a bustling bazaar at the junction of the city’s main roads, complete with all the standard goods and Tajik souvenirs
- Ancient Penjikent (5th century BC), a labyrinth of walls and passages decorated with amazing murals, the site includes foundations of houses, Zoroastrian fire temples, a cemetery and reconstructed living spaces.
Drive to the settlement of Sarazm (15km, 15min). A UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2010, this archaeological site bears testimony to the development of human settlements in Central Asia. The sprawling ancient city is divided into three sections and still holds intact structures of palaces, temples, altars, homes, city walls and paved roads.
Continue the day with a drive to Seven Lakes
(Haft Kul) in the Fann Mountains (70km, 1hr to first lake).
Each lake has its own name and color. You’ll stop at every one, about a 10-15 minutes’ drive apart from one another, to take photos and learn about each lake’s history and unique characteristics:
- Lake 1 - Nezhigon (Eyelashes)
- Lake 2 - Soya (Shade)
- Lake 3 - Hushyor (Vigilance)
- Lake 4 - Nofin (Central)
- Lake 5 - Khurdak (Baby)
- Lake 6 - Marguzor (Tulip)
- Lake 7 - Hazorchashma (Thousand Springs)
Stretch your legs with a 30-40-minute hike between the sixth and seventh lakes, the latter of which is situated along a small river 2300 meters above sea level. After a picnic lunch, go for a stroll around a nearby village and take photos along the way.
Check-in to the guesthouse. Overnight at Seven Lakes.
Tour duration: 4 hours