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, 2019
April 22-29, 2019
May 7-14, 2019
May 20-27, 2019
June 4-11, 2019
August 3-10, 2019
August 23-30, 2019
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
Separately, services as per choice:
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