Travel, tour, hike, trek, camp
Travel in Turkmenistan- Iran. Cultural trip
Period: March- October 2016
The cultural tour in Turkmenistan and Iran, two countries along Kopetdag mountains and Caspian Sea in central Asia. Explore two different cultures in close neighborhood, entwined in ancient history background. See the Antique and Islamic monumental architecture at the sequential stages of Persian history. Meet people and have cultural exchange with the variety of ethnic groups. Discover modern Ashgabat and Tehran cities
Day 1 airport- Ashgabat
Meet at night (or early in the morning). Transfer to hotel. Check in & O/N
Sightseeing in Ashgabat, visiting the parks and squares of the capital, Ertogrul Ghazi mosque, the archeological site “Nisa” (The ruins have mud brick remains of fortifications and palaces, temples, ceremony hall, treasury building. It covers the remains of Parthian civilization, what combined the traditional art and culture with Hellenistic and Roman elements. The richly decorated architecture of religious, royal power and ordinary domestic functions had been revealed as the result of archeological excavations, started from beginning of 20th century and are continued in our days. Nisa or Parthaunisa presumed to be the first capital of Parthians, its ancient people lived along Kopet Dag mountain range (modern Turkmenistan and Iran). Accordingly to UNESCO description, Nisa played important role of a barrier to Roman Empire expansion to the west, while playing the communication and trading centre between east and west, between central Asia and Mediterranean cultures. Discover Turkmenbashy spiritual mosque and mausoleum in Kipchak (Gypjak). Return in Ashgabat. O/N at hotel.
*if you arrive in the morning and would like to start sightseeing immediately and check in htl at 13:00. One night can be removed from quotes as 40 USD per pax
Day 2 Ashgabat- Darvaza- Ashgabat, total 510 km
Free program in the morning.
P.M start drive to Darvaza. Stop for photos at Yerbent village. Arrive in Darvaza and start to visit the gas craters along the route (first – full with water, second – with mud at bottom, in both gas can be seen bubbling outside). Then leave the road and follow the desert trail to arrive at fire gas crater. Enjoy the view of the gas crater after sunset, at night.
Return on the road and drive back to Ashgabat. Arrive around 24:00. O/N
Day 3 Ashgabat- Nokhur, 175 km
Drive to Kopetdag mountain, village Nokhur. Visit along the route: Akhalteke horse farm. (Akhal-Teke breed is at least 3,000 years old, may be the last remaining strain of the Turkoman (a horse that has existed since 2400 B.C.). In the Middle Ages (500 to 1500 A.D.), Akhal-Tekes lived with nomadic tribesmen near the Kopet Dag Mountains in Turkmenistan. The nomads treated the horses as part of their families, tethering them near their shelters. In the early 1900s, Russians used Akhal-Tekes as cavalry horses. Today they excel in sport, particularly in racing, show jumping, dressage and endurance racing. The Akhal-Teke breed has preserved type, purity and performance abilities of its ancestors into modern times thanks to the geographically isolated area of the harsh Kara Kum desert where the horses have been bred by the Akhal-Teke tribe since ancient times. The Akhal-Tekes are still being bred for speed and stamina by the Turkmen and one of the most famous stallions of modern times, Yanardag, is a part of the national emblem). Visit Kov Ata cave and see underground lake.
Change road and continue to Nohur village (one of the Turkmen tribes). Sightseeing in mountains. Cultural exchange with the people. Homestay
Day 4 Nokhur – Ashgabat- Mary, 175 km + FLT
Return drive to Ashgabat. Afternoon flight to Mary. Drive to Merv. (One of the famous cities on the ancient Silk Road, having more 2500 years of history, declared a World heritage site from 1999. It is located 26 km to the east from Mary, the first ruins appeared on the outskirts of Bayram Ali town. Its immense domain enclose five main sites (Erk Kala, Gyaur Kala, Sultan Kala, Abdullah Khan Kala, Bayram Ali Khan Kala) and numerous remains of caravanserais, fortresses, fortified castles and small towns or estates now seen in the forms of mounds, total surface is around 70 sq. km. As Gonur, the Merv in its turn had appeared, thanks to the Murgab river, flowing in the area in ancient times. Silk Road important city, Merv had four directions of trade caravan routes: Kunya Urgench to its north, Bukhara and Samarkand (Sogdiana) to its east, Herat (Bactria) to its south, to Mashad (Iran) to its west. Sightseeing: Alexandria Margiana (Erk Kala), Antiochia Margiana (Gyaur Kala) remains, Sultan Kala, Sultan Ahmad Sanjar mausoleum, Yusuf Hamadany shrine, Mohammed ibn Zaid mausoleum, Gyz Kala castles. Return in Mary. O/N at htl
Day 5 Mary- Serakhs border- Mashad
Drive to Serakhs border crossing.
Arrive at the border. Formalities at Turkmen customs.
P.M Meet and assist at border then transfer to Mashad city lunch boxes en route at night visiting shrine of Imam Reza 8th Imam of Shiit .O/N
Day 6 Mashad /Shiraz ( B/L/D)
City tour of Tus visiting Iranian poet tomb Ferdowsi and Haroniyeh at evening tomb of Nader shah at evening transfer to airport and fly Shiraz .O/N
Day 7 Shiraz ( B/L/D)
Full day city tour of shiraz visiting Karin khan citadel , Vakil Bazaar, Eram garden , pink mosque, Narenjestan, Qoran Gate, Saadi and Hefez tomb .O/N
Day 8 Shiraz/Persepolis /Necropolis/Passargade/Isfahan ( B/L/D)
After breakfast drive to Isfahan with stop at Persepolis and Necropolis and Passargade .O/N
Day 9 Isfahan ( B/L/D)
Full day city tour of Isfahan visiting Naqshe Jahan square, Imam and Sheikh Lotfollah mosques, Old bazaar and Aliqapou palace lunch after lunch free time for shopping at evening carpet show.O/N
Day 10 Isfahan/Tehran ( B/L/D)
Full day city tour of Isfahan visiting vank church, Jame mosque, Hasht Behesht palace and old bridges then fly to Tehran.O/N
Day 11 Tehran( B/L/D)
Full day city tour of Tehran Visiting jewels museum, carpet museum, Golesatan palace and Grand Bazaar of Tehran.O/N
Day 12 Tehran (B)
Transfer to airport for departure flight to your country
2 persons group 3053 USD per person
4 persons group 2860 USD per person
6 persons group 2170 USD per person
*we can also offer separate prices as per country/ upon request
Including services in Turkmenistan:
Letter of invitation, registration
A/C transportation service as per program & group (car / minivan or bus. Toyota, Nissan, Ford or equal)
Escort English (Russian) speaking guides services for whole program
Local flight tickets Ashgabat – Mary (based on new Turkmenistan airlines price 50 USD p/t, from April 12, 2015)
Hotel lodging in DBL/Twin shared room B&B, at htls, homestay. pls. look bellow
*water on board - complimentary
*SGL room supplement 325 USD per SGL room in both countries
Excluded in Turkmenistan:
Pls. kindly note that visa consular fee (cost depends on place to obtain), migration tax at border (12 USD p/p, paid once at entrance), sights entrance fees, photo/video fees, gratuities, personal items, meals L D , any other services missing above – NOT included into quotes. Thank you.
For info: Sights entrance tickets direct fees: at History museum (former National history museum) 20 USD per ticket / guide visit * only entrance 10 USD p/t, Nisa 8 USD p/t, Merv 4 USD p/t, Akhal Teke horse farm 15 USD p/t, Kov Ata cave lake 10 USD p/t.
*if escort guide service in Turkmenistan not necessary, we can do program without guide. Drivers are experienced. All speak Russian, some speak English or basic English.
Possible also engage only guide for sightseeing in Ashgabat 55 USD, or for excursion in Merv 55 USD. This option can save 160 USD, total per group
Price includes in Iran:
• Invitation letter if needed
• 7 Nights Accommodation in 3* hotels on TWIN sharing basis B/B + all taxes
• A/C comfortable transport with professional driver per itinerary for all transfers and transportation, 1-2 persons Peugeot sedan car, 3-6 persons minivan 10 seats
• English speaking cultural guide
• Entrance fees for all mentioned monuments
• one bottle of mineral water per person per day
• Portage at hotels
Price does not include in Iran:
• Fee for issuing Visa (at Iran embassy)
• mashad/shiraz & isfahan/tehran domestic flight ticket ~ 138 USD per ticket
• International air tickets
• Tip of the guide and driver
• Any personal expenses & services not included in the above itinerary
• meals upon request or you could arrange yourself
• FB ( 14 meals) atlocal city restaurants, not in hotels 220 USD and it can be added to package price as mention above B/L/D .
• HB ( 7 meals) atlocal city restaurants, not in hotels 110 USD and it can be added to package price as mention above B/L/D .
Set menu: 1 soup or salad + 1 main dish with 2 different choices to be selected by clients +1 drink