The majestic Pamirs stretching throughout Tajikistan are regarded as the most famous highland of the world with absolute peaks ranging from 2800 to 7495 meters above sea level and known as the “roof of the world”.
A high mountain asphalt road in Gorno-Badakhshan (“Mountain Badakhshan”) Autonomous Region (GBAO), over 700 km long, connects Dushanbe and Khorog with Kyrgyzstan's Osh. The route runs along the border with Afghanistan and China.
It is a very scenic highway: paved through plateaus, bottomless gorges, "Martian plains" and deserts, glaciers and eternally snow-covered ridges. The name of the road itself translates as "roof of the world", "bird's foot", "foot of death".
The Pamir highway is unpredictable and desolate: there are several passes over 4,000 metres high and almost no infrastructure or vehicle services.
But there are records along the route: the highest mountain village in Central Asia - Murghab (altitude 3,600 metres), and one of the world's highest mountain passes - Akbaital (altitude up to 4,655 metres). The main visitors of Pamir are alpinists who dream of climbing the famous seven-thousandth peak, Ismoil Somoni (7495).
You can also find jeep, motorbike and bicycle tourists here. When travelling along the tract, people usually stay overnight in the guest houses of local people.
The Pamirs are unique in their natural resources, astonishingly diverse landscapes and climate contracts, rare fauna and flora, abundance of mineral springs and high-mountain lakes.
When going up to the mountains the travellers encounter different climatic zones: hot breath of the dessert, chilly larch groves, abundant mix of alpine meadows, arctic cold.
Snowfields and glaciers are the inestimable treasure of the Pamirs. They are a large deposit of the purest fresh water. Glaciers feed the great Tajik rivers. Cold, rough and impetuous they bring waters to the hot valleys and sultry desserts. Glaciers stretch for several hundreds of square kilometres in the high land. Among them is the world largest glacier named after Fedchenko (around 77 km2).