Discover Ancient Turkmenistan10 Days | Ashgabat, Mary, Merv, Darvaza, Gas Crater, Dashoguz, Kunya-Urgench, Turkmenbashi, Yangikala

Discover Ancient Turkmenistan

The Discover Ancient Turkmenistan tour program includes virtually all the interesting places of Turkmenistan. You will see modern Ashgabat, whose attractions were entered into the Guinness Book of World Records several times, visit the ruins of the world's oldest settlements – Nisa, Merv, Gonur, peers of the first civilizations. You will also make a journey to the heart of the Karakum Desert –  Gas crater in Darvaza. Furthermore you will spend a day in picturesque Nohur village in highland, visit pilgrimage sites, veiled from the eyes of the world in the Kopet Dag Mountains, relax alone with nature in the scenic canyons of the Yangikala and host of other sights.

Tour itinerary:

Day 1: Arrival in Ashgabat
Arrive in Ashgabat. Transfer to the hotel.
Day 2: Ashgabat
After breakfast visit Sunday market (Tolkuchka) if it is Sunday. Start guided 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. Intense and interesting excursion also includes a stopover at the Akhalteke horse stables and Lenin Monument. Overnight at the hotel.
Duration of sightseeing tour: 4-5 hours
Day 3: Ashgabat – Mary
Morning flight to Mary, Visit centre of the city, including Juma mosque, Central bazaar, and Russian Orthodox church. 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 Fortress and others. Return to Mary, Transfer to the hotel upon arrival. Overnight at the hotel.
Duration of sightseeing tour: 4-5 hours
Day 4: 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 5: Ashgabat – Darvaza
Early 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. Enjoy a delicious fire-cooked meal for dinner near the burning gas crater. Overnight in yurt camp.
Duration of sightseeing tour: 4-5 hours
Day 6: 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 7: Ashgabat – Turkmenbashi – Yangikala
Morning flight to Turkmenbashi at Caspian Sea. Departure for overnight trip to Yangikala Canyons. First 2 hours on tarmac, then followed by potholed tarmac and gravel tracks. Dinner and stay in tents in the Canyon or at pilgrim house Gozli Ata.
Day 8: Yangikala – Turkmenbashi – Ashgabat
Visit pilgrim sites of Gozli-Ata and Kemal-Ata. Drive to Turkmenbashi, and evening flight back to Ashgabat. Overnight at the hotel.
Duration of sightseeing tour: 4-5 hours
Day 9: Ashgabat – Nohur – Ashgabat
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. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 10: Ashgabat – departure
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; 
  • 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 Ashgabat-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.
  • International flights;
  • 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;
  • Tips are not included, but would be appreciated;
  • Souvenirs and other personal items;
  • Excess luggage charges.


Economy Option
Comfort Option
Ashgabat - 6 nights
Sport, Ak-Altyn, Grand TurkmenNusay, Oguzkent
Darvaza - 1 night
Tents (optional alternative: yurt shared with other group members)Tents (optional alternative: yurt shared with other group members)
Mary - 1 night
Mary or similarMary or similar
Yangikala - 1 night
Camping or a pilgrim houseCamping or a pilgrim house

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