Travel, tour, hike, trek, camp

sightseeing and trekking in Turkmenistan


Cultural and Turkmen history, adventure in Karakum desert                                                                     

 

This trip offers sightseeing in Turkmenistan, together with trekking in Karakum desert. Cross the desert from Caspian see to Murgab river, see the old caravan routes of Great Silk Road. Visit natural sites – Yangy Kala canyons, Darvaza fiery gas crater. Meet the semi nomadic people deep in the desert. Enjoy the Turkmen oasis and limitless of sand barchans. Get knowledge of ancient history of Margiana, Merv..and modern white marble architecture of Turkmenistan (Ashgabat, Turkmenbashy, Awaza, Mary, Turkmenabat). Cultural, nature and adventure

 

Tour dates (trip is guaranteed for groups 4 persons and more) :

March 21-28, 2017

April 22-29, 2017

May 7-14, 2017

May 20-27, 2017

June 4-11, 2017

August 3-10, 2017

August 23-30, 2017

 

Tour program

 

Day 1  airport- Ashgabat

A.M    Meet at airport. Drive to Ashgabat Welcome - complimentary breakfast and short drive around Ashgabat.

12:00 Check in hotel. Time at leisure.

In the evening, train to Turkmenbashy. O/N on train

 

Day 2  Turkmenbashy- Yangy Kala- Gozli Ata, ~180 km

Arrive in Turkmenbashy. Short drive around.

Drive to Yangy Kala (The south eastern bordering area of Gara Bogaz Gol bay, it has spectacular view of the former sea bed, and millions of years work by natural forces to form the canyons in its unusual shapes and variety of colors). Arrive and discover Yangy Kala canyons. Visit the Gozli Ata mausoleum. Arrive and discover Yangy Kala canyons. Camping. O/N

 

Day 3              Gozli Ata- Gaytaramysh Ata – Western Karakum, 250 km

Follow exploration of the region. Drive to Gaytaramysh Ata mausoleum (Kaytaramysh). Visit mausoleum and explore terrain around. Continue drive to Gyzyl Kaya, then change direction to south-east in direction of Melegoch. Visit villages along the route. Camping in the desert. O/N in tent

 

Day 4                 Western Karakum- Melegoch area- Karakum lake- Darvaza, ~ 180 km

Continue 4 WD trekking in Karakum desert, drive by Melegoch settlement. Arrive at Karakum lake. Visit it. Drive around, cross Turkmen lake, then start to east direction, to Darvaza. Arrive. Camping at Darvaza gas crater area. See the gas crater at night

*Total distance 440-450 km. The landscape changes from plateau to Karakum desert. Altitude is from 300 to 100 m.

 

Day 5              Darvaza- Damla- Murzechirla, ~200 km

Continue trekking in Karakum desert. Crossing the barchans, discover landscape. Stop for walk in the desert and lunch. Arrive at Damla village. Discover people and their mode of life. Continue drive to Murzechirla village. Camping. O/N in tent.

 

Day 6              Desert- Gonur Depe / 230 -260 km depending on the road

Continue trekking in the desert. Arrive at Gonur Depe and see the archeological excavations.

Gonur Depe (Turkmen name) or Margush (Persian name), Margiana (Greek name) site discovered to be the most impressive and called by the head of Russian archeological expedition, Mr. Sarianidi, as the capital or “imperial city” of Bronze Age state (which probably has thousands of sites around in desert, still covered by sands). The people of Gonur had lead sedentary life in oasis richly watered by Murgab river (after many centuries Murgab river changed its course and now can be seen in present day Mary), practicing irrigation farming of wheat and barley. Artifacts of Gonur are sophisticated and ingenious consists of bronze tools, horse training tools, ceramics rich in forms and usage, lapis lazuli, carnelian, gold and silver jewelry, semiprecious stone objects, stone seals – now it can been seen in history museum in Mary and  in the history museum  in Ashgabat. Camping. O/N in tent

 

Day 7             Gonur Depe - Merv- Mary, 100 km

Drive to Merv historical site (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 the east, Herat (Bactria) to the south, to Mashad (Iran) to the west. Sightseeing : Alexandria Margiana, Antiochia Margiana remains, Sultan Kala, Sultan Ahmad Sanjar mausoleum, Yusuf Hamadany shrine, Mohammed ibn Zaid mausoleum, Gyz Kala castles. Drive to Mary. Arrive. Check in htl. O/N

 

Day 8  Mary- Farap border, 270 km

Option 1:Continue trip in Uzbekistan         08:30 transfer to Farap border. Cross the Eastern Karakum, Amudarya river and Sundukli barchans along the way. Arrive. End of program

 

Option 2:Return flight to Ashgabat. Transfer to international airport

           

Quotes

Group/ persons

USD per person

4

900

6

892

8-10

792

 

 

SGL room supplement

30 USD per SGL room

 

 

Including services:

  • Letter of invitation, registration
  • A/C transportation service, 4 WD cars in desert / 3 persons in a car (TOYOTA, NISSAN or equal) as per program
  • Train Ashgabat- Turkmenbashy
  • Hotel stay in DBL/Twin shared room, other arrangements. Pls. look bellow

Hotel

Number of nights/City

AkAltyn****

Breakfast included

1/Ashgabat

*for extra night at AkAltyn SGL 70 USD/ DBL 95 USD

Margush or Yrsgal htl**

Breakfast included

1/ Mary

Camping in desert (tent, sleeping bag)

5/ as per itinerary/ * camping gear cost can be removed as per request

 

Separately, services as per choice:

  • FB meals (6 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 6 dinners)                      210 USD per person
  • English escort guide as per program                                     630 USD total per group

 

 

Excluded:

Pls. kindly note that visa consular fee (cost depends on place to obtain/ at airport 87 USD pp), migration tax at border (14 USD pp, paid once at entrance), photo/video fees, entrance tickets, guide, gratuities, personal items, any other services missing above – NOT included into above quotes. Thank you