Highlights of Turkmenistan8 Days | Ashgabat, Mary, Merv, Darvaza Gas Crater, Dashoguz, Kunya-Urgench, Nohur, Turkmenbashi, Yangikala

Highlights of Turkmenistan

During the 8-day Highlights of Turkmenistan tour you will see the monuments of legendary Merv and ancient Nisa, visit archaeological excavations in Gonur and reserve of eastern medieval architecture in Kunya-Urgench. In addition, you will learn about the unique culture and way of life of semi-nomads in the Karakum Desert and visit the picturesque village of Nohur isolated from civilization by Kopet Dag Mountains and Yangikala - the red-orange canyons, known for its stunning views and places of pilgrimage.

Tour itinerary:

Day 1: Arrival in Ashgabat
Arrive in Ashgabat. Transfer to the hotel. After breakfast visit Sunday market (=Tolkuchka) (if it is Sunday). After that sightseeing tour in Ashgabat, the capital of Turkmenistan that has recently been noted by the Guinness Book of World Records as having more white marble buildings than any other city in the world. During the city tour you will explore an archaeological site of Old Nisa (included in UNESCO World Heritage list) and Spiritual Mosque, one of the biggest mosques in Central Asia. You will visit the National Museum of History, the Monument of Neutrality, Ertugrul Gazi Mosque and newly built Independence Park. Rich and interesting excursion also includes a stopover at the Akhalteke horse stables and Lenin Monument. Overnight at the hotel.
Duration of sightseeing tour: 6 hours
Day 2: Ashgabat – Mary
In the morning drive to Mary (370 km, 4 hrs 30 min) En route visit Anau Mosque remains and pilgrim site and Abiverd urban Silk Road remains on the way. Afternoon excursion to Merv, an ancient city that was a major center of international trade and crafts located on the Silk Road. Afternoon visit History museum of region. Discover historical park with Sultan Sanjar Mausoleum, Large and Small Gyz Gala, Erk Gala, Gyaur Gala, Keshk Fortresses, and others. Return to Mary, Transfer to the hotel upon arrival.Overnight at the hotel.
Day 3: Mary – Ashgabat
Full morning for visit to the excavations of the ancient Margush country capital – Gonur, which consists of the Palace of the city, Fire and Water Temples, Royal Necropolis. Return to Mary, take a late afternoon flight back to Ashgabat (370 km, 40 min). Transfer to the hotel upon arrival. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 4: Ashgabat – Darvaza
Free time in the morning. In the afternoon 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.
Day 5: Darvaza – Dashoguz – Ashgabat
Drive to Dashoguz with excursion to Kunya-Urgench historical sites which have been included into the UNESCO World Heritage List: visit mausoleums of Turabek Khanum, Sultan Tekesh,Sultan Il-Arslan, Najmuddin-Kubra, Sultan Ali. Discover the Kutlug-Timur Minaret and Kyrk Molla Hill. Afternoon transfer to Dashoguz. Evening flight to Ashgabat. Upon arrival transfer to the hotel. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 6: Ashgabat – Nohur – Turkmenbashi
Day trip to Nohur village in the Kopet Dag Mountains (visit tribal cemetery and pilgrim site; silk weaving homes), with visit of Turkmenbashi Mosque-Mausoleum and Gokdepe Mosque on the way. Evening flight to Turkmenbashi at Caspian Sea. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 7: Turkmenbashi – Yangikala
Early departure for overnight trip to Yangikala Canyons. First 2 hours on tarmac, then followed by potholed tarmac and gravel tracks.
Day 8: Yangikala – Turkmenbashi – Ashgabat
Visit pilgrim sites of Gozli-Ata and Kemal-Ata. Drive to Turkmenbashi, and evening flight back to Ashgabat. Transfer to the Airport. End of the tour.
  • Road transport as per program per AC road vehicle (2x2) or AC jeep (2x4 or 4x4) depending on terrain (3-seater or 5-seater vehicles);
  • Accommodation based on double/twin room sharing, breakfasts included; (please note that rooms offered in Oguzkent Hotel are with court yard view, rooms with city view are available at additional cost);
  • Utensils and necessary equipment for staying in tents (sleeping bags, sleeping mats, pillows, dining table, chairs);
  • Cold camp breakfast, cold picnic lunches and hot camp dinners;
  • Simple camp cooking services (no separate cook); dining equipment and tools (seating arrangement, cutlery, etc.);
  • English speaking tour leader;
  • Sightseeing tour program in each city;
  • Entrance fees to sights as per itinerary;
  • Economy class ticket for flight Mary-Ashgabat;
  • Economy class ticket for flight Dashoguz-Ashgabat;
  • Economy class ticket for flight Ashgabat-Turkmenbashi-Ashgabat;
  • Visa support for Turkmenistan tourist visa;
  • Porter services on the tour;
  • Bottled water 1.5l per person a day.
  • Full board (lunches and dinners);
  • Hotel charges for additional services;
  • A tax of 2 USD per night, paid to the hotel upon check out;
  • Consular fees for tourist visa and Turkmenistan migration tax (14 USD);
  • Personal travel insurance;
  • Alcoholic and soft drinks during meals indicated in the table above;
  • Camera usage fees at historical parks and museums;
  • Souvenirs and other personal items;
  • Tips are not included, but would be appreciated;
  • Excess luggage charges.



Economy Option
Comfort Option
Ashgabat - 3 nights
Sport, Ak-Altyn, Grand TurkmenNusay, Oguzkent
Mary - 1 night
Mary or similarMary or similar
Darvaza - 1 night
Tents (optional alternative: yurt shared with other group members)Tents (optional alternative: yurt shared with other group members)
Turkmenbashi - 1 night
CharlakSeyrana, Charlak
Yangikala - 1 night
Camping or a pilgrim houseCamping or a pilgrim house

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