The rugged and snowcapped peaks of Tajikistan’s beautiful Fann Mountains stretch from Archimaydan River to Fandarya River, across the country’s western province of Sughd. Comprising around 100 mountains, with elevations ranging from 5,000 to more than 16,000 feet, the Fanns are a popular destination for outward-bound travelers in search of action, adventure and, of course, breathtaking scenery.
One of the biggest draws of the region is its many glacial lakes. From the turquoise waters of the Alaudin Lakes in the Chapdara valley to the Kulikalon’s peaceful ice waters, lying on the slopes of the Zeravshan range, visitors are sure to be enchanted by these natural beauties of Tajikistan. From serious climbers and trekkers taking on the notorious hikes around the Seven Lakes hike to laid-back day-trippers who access the range easily from Pendjikent, to the bird watchers who flock to Kulikalon for its rich winged population, there’s something for everyone within the Fanns.
Perhaps the most famous of the lakes within the Fann mountain system, the Alaudin Lakes are deservedly popular. Their blue-green waters, sparkling in the Chapdara River valley make a stunning and stark contrast with the rocky surroundings, overlooked by the mountain of the same name.
Above the mountain center at Artuch, Lake Chukurak is a turquoise gem sprawling peacefully in its valley, surrounded by soaring peaks. It is a popular destination or pit stop with hikers and an ideal setting for picnics on the banks or refreshing dips in its cool waters.
The Kulikalon lakes are surrounded by beautiful juniper forests, climbing up the overlooking mountains. Crystal waters collect in the lakes from the Chimtarga glacier and, in turn, feed the Artuch River. The area around the Kulikalon lakes is home to countless species of birdlife and popular with aviary enthusiasts.
From the south of Pendjikent and through the Fann Mountains, a string of seven aquamarine lakes form the center of a range of popular hiking routes. Besides the breathtaking views, the lakeshores are ideal picnicking spots, the most beautiful and photogenic of which being the seventh, Hazor Chashma.
The vast array of trails within the Fann mountains makes it a popular destination for hikers of all abilities. Leisurely one-day climbs up lower elevations still afford gorgeous scenery and photo opportunities, while more adventurous wanderers will be challenged and amazed by the trails and treks as well as the views from the dizzying heights.
Fann Mountains Travel — Tajikistan is a beautiful country with hospitable people
The best time to travel Tajikistan is in summer, between June and September, as some of the roads in the Pamir Mountains are only passable at this time of the year. In fact, many tour operators don’t even run Pamir Mountain trips outside of this season. However, during this time of the year, the lower lying reaches of the country can be scorching at over 40°C (105°F)