Travel, tour, hike, trek, camp
Turkmenistan natural sites and history
Day 1 airport- Ashgabat
Meet at night. 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 in Kipchak. Return in Ashgabat. O/N at hotel.
(*Tolkuchka bazaar visiting is available on Thu, Sat, Sun and it can be added into program).
Day 2 Ashgabat- Nokhur, 175 km
Drive to Kopetdag mountains. Discover on the way Kov Ata cave lake & Ahal Teke private horse farm (Experts say the 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).
Leaving the asphalt road at Archman we ascend in mountains, and drive to village Nohur (one of the Turkmen tribes). Enjoy with beauty of the mountains and discover the people. Homestay
Day 3 Nohur- Balkanabat, 305 km
Drive to Balkanabat town. Visit Parau Bibi mausoleum and pilgrimage, along the route.
Short visit of Mollakara area for promenade and photos. Arrive in Balkanabat. Check in htl.
Day 4 Balkanabat-Gumdag-Messerian- Ekerem, 250 km
Start drive to Gumdag, the area of oil fields. Along the route, visit the ancient mud volcano ‘Boyadag’- Rock of colours. Leaving the asphalt road at Bugdayly, follow the Messerian plain trails to arrive at ancient town- fortress ‘Messerian’ & group of mausoleums ‘Mashad’. Sightseeing at the site. Drive to Okarem. O/N in local guest house
Day 5 Ekerem -Akpatlauk- Ekerem
Return to asphalt road & continue drive to Gasan Kuli. Trekking along Caspian Sea coast line & explore the mud volcanoes around Chekishlyar and Akpatlavuk. O/N at guest house
Day 6 Ekerem – Balkanabat, 200 km
Drive to Balkanabat. Arrive and check in htl. Time for leisure. O/N at htl
Day 7 Balkanabat- Yangy Kala- Turkmenbashy, 350 km
Drive to Yangy Kala (The south eastern bordering region of Gara Bogaz Gol bay, spectacular view of the former sea bed, and millions years work of natural forces to form the canyons in its unusual shapes and variety of colors). Arrive and discover Yangy Kala canyons. Visit Gozli Ata pilgrimage. Return to Turkmenbashy. Check in htl in town. O/N
Day 8 Turkmenbashy- Ashgabat- Turkmenabat / FLT
Transfer to airport. Flight to Ashgabat. Change flight to Turkmenabat. Arrive. Transfer to hotel. Free program. O/N at htl
Day 9 Turkmenabat- Koyten, 400 km
All day drive to Koyten. Have lunch at chayhana in Atamyrat (former Kerki) .Cross Amudarya river, along the route. Late evening, arrive at Koyten tourist lodge. O/N
Day 10 Kugitangtau mountains (The spur of Alaimountain range)
Drive to mountains & walk up on dinosaur plateau. Explore the dinosaur rock traces.
All day sightseeing in the area, visit water fall & ‘maidens’ cave Kyrk Gyz, Kaynar Baba lake lake. O/N at tourist lodge.
Day 11 Koyten – Turkmenabat, 400 km
Return drive to Turkmenabat. Arrive. Check in hotel. O/N
Day 12 Turkmenabat- Merv-Mary, 230 km
Drive to Merv historical park (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. Arrive in Mary. O/N at htl.
Day 13 Mary- Gonur- Mary- Ashgabat/ drive 200 km+ FLT
Drive to Gonur archeological site. Arrival and discover the archeological excavations.
Gonur Depe (Turkmen 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 state 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 National museum of history in Ashgabat.
*The road comes through agricultural area of Mary region and finally enter the Karakum desert on its last length. Return in Mary. Flight to Ashgabat. Check in htl. O/N
Day 14 Ashgabat- Darvaza- Ashgabat/ 257+257 km
Time for leisure in the morning. At 13:00 drive to Darvaza. Arrive & start to visit gas craters. Venture in the desert and arrive at Darvaza fire gas crater. See it after sunset. Return on road and drive back to Ashgabat. Arrive late evening or start of night. O/N at htl.
Day 15 Ashgabat- airport
Transfer to airport, as per flight time. End of tour in Turkmenistan
1 person group 3140 USD (SGL room)
2 persons group 1956 USD per person
3 persons group 1715 USD per person
Including the services:
· Letter of invitation, registration
· A/C car service, 4 WD cars for off road parts (TOYOTA, NISSAN or equal)
· Local English speaking guides only for excursions in Ashgabat Day 1, Merv Day 12, Gonur Day 13
· Flight tickets Turkmenbashy- Ashgabat- Turkmenabat, Mary- Ashgabat (included Turkmen Air prices for local flights from April 12, 2015/ 70 USD, 60 USD, 50 USD)
· SGL or DBL sharing room at htls, other arrangements. Breakfast included. Pls. look bellow
*Water in car- complimentary
Pls. kindly note that visa consular fee (cost depends on place to obtain/ at airport around 130 USD/11-20 days visa), tax at border (12 USD p/p, paid once), sites entrance fees, photo/video fees, meals L D escort guide service, gratuities, personal items, any other services missing above – NOT included into quotes. Thank you.