What about Turkmen cuisine? And noisy bazaars? And rural villages? And the genuine hospitality of the people? In this country, there is a proverb: ‘’ the guest is higher than father ’’.
All the answers in this trip: Unique culture and traditions.
Arrival in Ashgabat International airport. You will be met by our representatives and transfer to hotel. Free time.
Ashgabat is the capital and largest city of Turkmenistan even though it is relatively young city. 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 can walk around the hotel; near the hotel, you can visit beautiful monument of Akhalteke horses, park of “Ylham” (Inspiration), “Altyn Asyr” trade market and “Gulistan” market (so called Russian bazaar).
After lunch half day tour of Ashgabat including visit to: Park and Monument of Independence, National Museum of History and Ethnography, Arch of Neutrality, a 75m- high monument with a revolving golden statue of the first President Turkmenbashy. Hit the viewing platform of the Arch of Neutrality to see the beautiful panorama of Ashgabat. Panoramic tour to “Alem” Ferris wheel, “Bagt Koshgi” (wedding palace). Continue tour to the historical and archaeological site “Ancient Nisa – the Residence of Parthian Kingdom” UNESCO site from 2007. The Parthian Empire was one of the most powerful and influential civilizations of the ancient world, and a brilliant rival of Rome which prevented the expansion of the Roman Empire to the east. Overnight at hotel.
BF at hotel. Later drive to east of Ashgabat into desert to visit Horse stables to see a national proud of Turkmen people - Akhalteke horses, the nicest horses in the world. 5000 years ago, Turkmens begin breed Akhalteke horses. The World’s unique breed was never mixed with other breeds. Such illustrious Emperors like Alexander the Great, Darius I desired to own Ahalteke horses. Per superstition, every sick person who touches an Ahalteke horse will get well soon. On the way back to Ashgabat you will make a stop to see ruins of Seyitjemalledin mosque in Anau. The mosque was built in 1456, By the nineteenth century, the subsidence of land had already damaged the building heavily, and during the 1948 Ashgabat earthquake it was destroyed completely. Now, only lower parts of the portal and some fragments of the walls are extant. Nowadays it’s famous as pilgrimage place for locals.
Then visit National Museum of History & Ethnography. The museum has s rich collection of ancient artifacts from Turkmenistan. More than 500,000 exhibits are displayed here. It has 9 halls, each dedicated to a certain period or theme. The museum reveals the variety of Turkmenistan's landscape its flora and fauna, fossils and rare geological finds. The Hall of Independence, illustrating the modern development of the country. The Hall of Ancient History presents a collection of flint tools from the Mesolithic era (50 000 years B.C.), used by primitive people in Western Turkmenistan, along with Neolithic ceramics and ornaments from the first human settlements along the northern slopes of Kopet-Dag. Overnight at hotel.
After breakfast drive to Nokhur Mountain Village by 4WD car (190km, 3,5 h). En route stop to visit “Kow-ata” underground lake. A warm hydrogen sulphide lake lies in a cave at the Kopet Dag foothills. 276 steps lead into the lake. On your way down you will admire marvelous grapes and lines of stalactites and see bat’s bevies. This cave impresses with its greatness. It has the length of 250 m, width 50 m, depth of 65 m. The lake is available all year round because of constant temperature of water (33-37◦C) and air.
Arrival in Nokhur village. Short sightseeing of Nokhur village and visiting of "Gyz Bibi" Pilgrimage site & its unique cemetery where each tomb has the horns of mountain goats, the Great Tree - oldest tree in the village thought to be 800 years old. Evening short introduction with local silk textile weavers and having dinner at local family. Overnight in tents or at local family’s house.
BF at homestay. Drive back to Ashgabat. Transfer to Ashgabat railway station to travel to Mary.
Arrival in Mary and transfer to hotel. Overnight at hotel.
BF at hotel. Then drive to the north to visit local village where we can see the demonstration of crafts such as carpet making, felt rug making, dying yarns, weaving, broom making and other crafts. Locals will show milking camel and demonstrate making national instruments.
Drive to Merv 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 Merv includes Greater Kyz Gala & Lesser Kyz Gala (VI-VII), Complex of Askhabs (VIII-XIV), Erk Gala (VI BC), Gyaur Gala (IV BC), Hoja Yusup Hamadani complex, Sultan Sanjar mausoleum, Muhamed Ibn Zeid mausoleum. After sightseeing, drive to Mary city.
Overnight in Mary city.
BF at hotel. Transfer to airport for flight to Ashgabat. Arrival in and departure for overnight trip to Karakum desert; after 2 hours on tarmac road, drive off-road to Damla desert semi-nomadic settlement; and further off-road to Darvaza gas crater located in the middle of Karakum desert. Arrive at the crater, set up the camp. Enjoy a delicious fire-cooked meal for dinner near the burning gas crater. Overnight in tents.
Picnic style breakfast. Drive back to Ashgabat. Trasnfer to hotel. Free time. Overnight at Ashgabat.
BF at hotel. Transfer to Ashgabat International airport.
- • Letter of Invitation (State Registration, Travel Pass)
- • Accommodation in DBL/Twin room:
- • Ak altyn hotel 4* - 4 nights
- • Mary hotel 4* - 2 nights
- • Homestay – 1 night
- • Tent stay – 1 night (incl sleeping mats, sleeping bags, pillows, tent light)
- • Escort English speaking guide service
- • Transportation as per program per AC regular road vehicles and 4x4 where terrain requires
- • Entrance fee: per program
- • Meals: per program
- • 1.5 L water per person per day
Price doesn't include
- • International flights
- • Cost of Turkmen visa w/border fees
- • Payment for photo and video
- • Meals: L,D
- • Tips for guide and driver
- • Medical insurance
- • Services not shown in the program
- • Travel tax: 2 usd per person per night
Visa Regulations - The process of obtaining Turkmenistan visa is very simple. All foreign travelers to Turkmenistan require a visa. To get Turkmen visa you need to have a Letter of Invitation (LOI) first. LOI processing period is 14 days. To get LOI you need to send us the following: * Color passport copy (page with photo only - scanned in JPEG) * Color photo (scanned in JPEG) * Filled application form If the State Migration Service issues LOI we will send it to you by e-mail. Having the LOI with you, you can get Turkmen visa upon arrival to Turkmenistan or Turkmen embassy.