Tour duration: 10 days
Travel season: March - June; September - November
Hot Turkmenistan is the brilliant heart of Central Asia. The great dynasties of the past left behind magnificent palaces, mosques and caravanserais.
Dates of group departures 2022:
Maximum number of participants per departure: 16
Price per person person: xxx USD (minimum number of participants - 3)
Single room supplement: xxx USD
Serices included :
All transfers and excursions according to the program;
Transport: 4x4 SUV; minibus during city tour
Domestic air tickets: Ashgabat – Turkmenbashi, Mary – Ashgabat.
Accommodation in DBL/TWN rooms, yurt camps;
Meals: full board;
Entrance and environmental fees;
Russian or English speaking guide;
Letters of Invitation.
Services not included:
Photo and video fees in museums;
Single room supplement;
Additional overnight stays in cases of early arrival or late departure
Medical expenses and insurance;
1. Arrival in Ashgabat
Morning drive to visit Nissa fortress - the Sanctuary of Parthian Kings. UNESCO declared fortress a World Heritage Site in 2007. Nissa is described as one of the first capitals of the Parthians. It was founded by Arsaces I (reigned c. 250 BC – 211BC), and reputedly the royal necropolis of the Parthian Kings, although it has neither been established that the fortress at Nissa was a royal residence or a mausoleum.
Drive to visit Turkmenbashy Ruhy Mosque in Kipchak (the largest mosque in Central Asia). Drive to visit Turkmenbashy Ruhy Mosque in Kipchak (the largest mosque in Central Asia).
Afternoon city tour of Ashgabat. In 2013 the Guinness Book of Records named Ashgabat “white marbled city” – here you can see the biggest number of structures in the world made out of the white marble. You will see Presidential Palace, Ruhyyet Palace, Wedding Palace, modern “Yildyz” Hotel, Ferries Wheel, Constitution Monument, Arch of Neutrality, Monument and park of Independence, Ertogrul Gazy Mosque.
2. Yangikala Canyons
Transfer to airport for flight to Turkmenbashi. Arrival and drive to Yangikala Canyons (2.5h), one of the scenic natural objects and outstanding sight of Turkmenistan. The word expression “yangy kala” translates from Turkmen as “fire fortress”. Indeed, the sheer cliffs of white, yellow, ocher, purple and red colors, fancily carved by winds and rains, are very similar to the stone castles from a fantasy. Explore the Canyons. Lunch on the spot.
Then drive further to explore Yangisuv Canyon (1h), which is close to Garabogaz gulf. It has striking color variations; you can walk to gain fantastic views. A narrow corridor used to get there. The Yangisuv Canyon becomes progressively narrower, until visitors may touch both the walls of the canyon at the same time.
When the sun sets we drive to the pilgrimage site of Gozli Ata - one of the holiest pilgrim sites in Turkmenistan. The mausoleum of Gozliata, located on a low platform against the backdrop of stunning pink and red limestone rock formations.
Morning drive to Kemal ata Mausoleum (1/2 h) where a freshwater source carves out a small valley through various ancient volcanic rock formations.
Then drive to Nohur (6 h). On the way we will have a lunch in Balkanabat city. Nohur village itself fills a small valley in the mountains of the Kopet Dag Range, apart from the main street through the middle of the town, the streets are so narrow that they only just fit a car between the high stone retaining walls on each side. The Nohkuri people who populate this remote mountain village are quite different to other Turkmen tribes. According to legends, this was the place where Noah’s Ark moored and all animals were let out and various seeds were planted. Indeed, the nature of Nohur differs from the surrounding places. Visit the great tree and one of the unique cemetery, which is isolated. Nearly every grave is marked by a wooden post decorated with the horns of a mountain goat. Make your sacred wishes visiting wish tree named after Kyz Bibi.
4. Gokdepe & Ashgabat
Morning drive to Kowata underground lake which is located 107 km from Ashgabat. The Turkmen name Kow-Ata means "father of caves". This underground area looks like a magnificent auditorium: the overall length of the cave is 230 m, its height reaches 20 m, and its width is at some points 57 m.
Continue to Gokdepe fortress that was attacked in December 1880 by Russian Empire Army. The siege of Gokdepe lasted 23 days, after which the city was taken by storm. Visit Geokdepe Mosque (Saparmyrat Hajy) that was built in 1995 to commemorate the defeat and is noted for its mint-turquoise blue colored roof and white marble structure.
Then visit Gokdepe museum about the battle between Russians and local tribe “Akhalteke” in 1881.
Later drive to visit Horse Farm to see a national proud of Turkmen people - Akhalteke horses, the nicest horses in the world. 5000 years ago, Turkmens begin breed Akhalteke horses.
5. Mary & Merw
Morning drive to Mary (4 h). You also see ruins of Seyitjemalledin mosque in Anau. The mosque was built in 1456, when Abu-ibn-Kasim Baber Bahadurkhan ruled in Khorasan (1446-1457). Construction of the mosque was financed by Bahadurkhan’s vizier, Muhammed Hudaidot, who also selected a site of construction–near the grave of his father, sheikh Jemaleddin, a native of Anau.
On the way visit Abiwerd that was once an important trading town of North Khorasan. It was a key link on the Great Silk Road between Nisa and Merw, and also enjoyed ties in Nishapur, across Kopetdag Mountains to the south.
Transfer to Merw to explore ancient Merv – “Queen of the world”, was one of the most important capitals of Islam along with Baghdad, Cairo and Damascus. Sightseeing of ancient Merw.
Morning you will visit Mary History Museum, located in the center of the city. The exposition of the museum reflects the history and culture of Mary from ancient times to the present day, is unique in size and content of the exhibits.
Then drive to Gonurdepe. Gonurdepe was a capital of Margush (Margiana) State that occupied an area of over 3000 sq. km and consisted of 78 oases and more than 150 compact settlements. The American newspaper "Boston Globe" wrote that before we had known four oldest centers of the world's civilization: Egypt, India, China and Mesopotamia, and now due to the fantastic results of the Margiana expedition it is quite possible to think that there was another, the fifth center. After sightseeing, return to Mary city
7. Kunya Urgench
Morning transfer to domestic airport of Mary for flight to Dashoguz. Arrival in Dashoguz. Then drive to Kunya Urgench (3.5 h). Sightseeing tour in Kunya Urgench: visit Portal of Caravansaray, Mamun Minaret, II Arslan Mausoleum, Sultan Tekesh Mausoleum, Academy of Horezm, Kutlug Timur Minaret, Turabek Hanum Mausoleum. Drive back to Dashoguz.
Excursion to the famous bazaar.
Afternoon drive to Darwaza burning Gas Crater (3.5 h) dubbed by locals as "The Door to Hell". The Darwaza area is rich with natural gas. While drilling in 1971, Soviet geologists tapped into a cavern filled with natural gas. The ground beneath the drilling rig collapsed, leaving a large hole with a diameter of 70 meters. To avoid poisonous gas discharge, it was decided the best solution was to burn it off. Geologists had hoped the fire would use all the fuel in a matter of days, but the gas is still burning today. In the evening watch the spectacular and fascinating view of the gas crater. BBQ dinner by Gas Crater.
9. Return to Ashgabat
Picnic style breakfast. Morning drive to visit "Altyn Asyr" Oriental Bazar (opens on Wen, Thurs., Sat, Sun) - Jygyldyk located in 20km to the north of Ashgabat. It is one of the largest open bazaars in the world filled with colourful rugs, jewellery, carpets, silk and national Turkmen costumes and animals in other part.
Then visit National Museum of History & Ethnography.
Drive to visit Carpet Museum, one of the best in Central Asia featuring designs from the Tekke, Yamud, Sarik and Chodor tribes. The Turkmen carpet museum is one of the cultural centers of Turkmenistan, where about 2000 carpet exhibits, including rare ones, are exhibited.
In the programs of guaranteed tours, as a rule, we use 3 * level and less often 4 * Hotels, as well as proven guest houses and yurt camps, which combine modern comfort with a national atmosphere.
Accommodation in yurt camps does not imply single accommodation. As a rule, 4 clients are accommodated in one yurt. Each yurt has beds with comfortable mattresses and a heating stove or electric heater, depending on the location.
Local cafes and restaurants offer a wide variety of National, European and Russian cuisine. There is always a choice of 1-2 vegetarian dishes.
The following vehicles will be used (depending on the number of people in the group):
Turkmenistan: 1 4x4 SUV per 3 pax. Minibuses for city tours.
For each reservation, we charge a prepayment of 100 USD (or the equivalent in other currencies) to the account via SWIFT transfer or a bank card. The final invoice is paid no later than five days prior to the planned arrival via SWIFT transfer. Payment instructions will be sent after pre-booking
Cancellations up to five days prior to planned arrival are subject to full refund. Cancellations made less than five days prior to the start of the tour are non-refundable.