Turkmenistan - the Unexplored Side of Central Asia
Turkmenistan is one of the bizarre and least explored countries in Central Asia, mainly because of the dictatorship rule of Saparmurat Niyazov - Turkmenbashi (father of all the Turkmen). Though he passed away in 2006 many of his golden statues can still be seen in Ashgabat and all over the country. But Turkmenistan is also an ancient land, situated along the ancient Silk Road and here you can enjoy natural phenomena, ancient ruins and warm hospitality.
♦ Ashgabat - the capital impresses with marble buildings, golden domes and vast parks and squares with numerous fountains
♦ The ancient ruins of Merv and Kunya Urgench
♦ Darvaza Fire Gas Crater - called the Door to Hell
Day 1 (Friday). Departure from your country
Day 2 (Saturday). Ashgabat
Arrival to Ashgabat early in the morning, transfer to your hotel and time for rest. Sightseeing in Ashgabat: the capital's parks and squares, Ertogrul Gazi mosque. Drive to the archaeological site of Nisa. Nisa was the first capital of Parthians and served as a barrier to the Roman Empire's expansion. After that visit to Turkmenbashi spiritual mosque and mausoleum in Kipchak. Overnight in Ashgabat.
Day 3 (Sunday). Ashgabat - Nokhur
After breakfast drive to Tolkuchka bazaar - the biggest in Cetral Asia. Continue to Kov Ata Cave Lake, where you will have the chance to swim in the warm waters. Next stop is Nokhur village in Kopet Dag Mountains, where you can meet the local people. Overnight at local home in Nokhur.
Day 4 (Monday). Nokhur - Ashgabat
Before returning to Ashgabat (175 km) you will visit some local sites in the mountains and hear some of the local legends. In Ashgabat visit the History Museum of Turkmenistan. Overnight in Ashgabat.
Day 5 (Tuesday). Ashgabat - Darvaza
Free time in the morning. At noon drive to Darvaza (250 km) with a stop at Erbent village. Visit to the gas craters. Enjoy the fire gas crater after sunset. Overnight in a camping
Day 6 (Wednesday). Darvaza - Kunya Urgench - Dashoguz
Drive to Kunya Urgench historical site, protected by UNESCO. Visit the ruins of the mausoleums of Il Arslan from 12th c., Sultan Tekesh from 12th c., Turebeck Khanym from 14th c., minaret of Kutluk Timur from 14th c. etc. Continue to Dashoguz for overnight at a hotel.
Day 7 (Thursday). Dashoguz - Mary - Merv
Transfer to the airport in Dashoguz for a flight to Mary. In the afternoon visit to the historical site of Merv - one of the famous cities on the ancient Silk Road. Among the ruins you will see Sultan Kala, Sultan Ahmad Sanjar mausoleum, Gyz Kala castle, Yusuf Hamadany shrine etc. Return to Mary for overnight.
Day 8 (Friday). Mary - Gonur - Mary - Ashgabat
Drive to Gonur archaeological site - lots of the beautiful and sophisticated artefacts found here can be seen in the History Museum in Ashgabat. Return to Mary for a flight to Ashgabat. Overnight in Ashgabat.
Day 9 (Saturday). Departure
Transfer to the airport for departure or you can stay a few more days in Ashgabat
The price includes: ► accommodation in a double room with private facilities and breakfast - 4 nights at a 4**** hotel in Ashgabat including early check in, 1 night at 2** hotel in Mary, 1 night at 2** hotel in Dashoguz; 1 night home stay in Nokhur with shared facilites outside the house ► 1 night camping in tents at Darvaza with breakfast and dinner ►all transport as per program ►domestic flights Dashoguz-Mary-Ashgabat ►visa invitation
The price doesn not include: ►Flight tickets to/from Ashgabat ►Insurance ►drinks and meals not mentioned in the program ►tips ►entrance fees: about 51 USD ►photo and video charges where required ►visa ►local English speaking guide ►additional nights in Ashgabat, additional transport
Price of extra service: ►single room supplement (only possible at the hotels): 115 EUR ► service of English speaking local guide: 580 EUR ► FB supplement (7 lunches + 6 dinners): 200 EUR
►Supplement for 3 persons travelling together: 40 EUR per person (single room supplement is not included if any)
►Supplement for 2 persons travelling together: 125 EUR per person (single room supplement is not included if any)
Visa: Almost all nationalities need a visa to Turkmenistan, which can be obtained at the airport in Ashgabat upon arrival against presenting a visa invitation letter (included in the price). Please, send to us a colourful scanned copy of your passport when booking the tour in order to apply for your invitation. The price for the visa is about 97 USD (visa fee + border tax, to be confirmed on spot)
Practical information: ►NB! Due to Asian games and the Independence day celebrations in 2017 this tour is only on request in September and October 2017. ►Sleeping bag is included in the camping, but bring towels ►There are no beds in the private homes in Nokhur - you will sleep on felts and carpets on the floor - blankets, bed linen and towels are provided ►The local driver speaks very basic English and have good experience in working with tourists ► If you decide to buy a carpet in Turkmenistan you will need a special permission for export of the carpet. It takes a few days to obtain such a permission and you have to pay a fee for it depending on the size of the carpet. Many state run shops include in the price of the carpet the permission and the fee. ► All visitors to Turkmenistan must be registered with the State Service for the Registration of Foreign Citizens, which is organised by our local partner. You will need two passport photos and your entry card, which you’ll need to pick up at the airport or the border post where you enter the country. As well as this initial registration, you will automatically be registered by any hotel / homestay you stay at in the country. ►The local currency is called Manat, you can use USD for shopping at some places. Credit cards can be used only in some luxury hotels in Ashgabat. Bring EUR or USD in cash, new banknotes.
Recommended travel period of the year: spring, autumn