Travel guide -Turkmenistan
Table of contents:
Turkmenistan is the country in the Central Asia (Western part of Asia),
Mainly between 35º 08´N - 42º 48´N & 52º 27´E- 66º 41´E
Total area of the country is 488.100 square km. stretching from Caspian Sea to hills of Badhyz and Karabil elevations (northern foothills of Paropamisus range) 1,100 km and from Ustyurt plateau to Kopet Dag mountains 650 km.
The geographical location is outlined by common borders with Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Afghanistan and Iran & via Caspian Sea to Azerbaijan, Russia.
The northern and central part of the country is the realm of Karakum desert, about 72 % of territory (350.000 km2).
North-east of the country, Amudarya river is touched by Sundukli barchans (extremity of Kyzyl Kum desert). Eastern shore of Caspian Sea passing in West-Turkmen maritime lowland, and contains the alkaline lands and loose sands. Kugitangtau is the spur of Pamir – Alay mountain system, wedged in its extreme east, with the highest peak ‘Ayrybaba’ (3.139 m). Akjakaya depression, - 81 m below sea level is the lowest point in the country, in Karakum desert. The elevations changes surpasses 3200 m.
Amudarya (1415 km) is the main river in the country. Karakum canal (1375 km) starts from Amudarya and cross the country to the west, joining on the way - Murgab (978 km), Tedjen (1150 km), Atrek (669 km) rivers. Forming the water supply network of the country.
Secular democracy and presidential republic. It is young country, independent from October 27, 1991 (the date recently changed to Sep 27). This region has the old history.
Being the part of Ancient Empires:
Achaemenids VI- IV c B.C
Greeks: Alexander the Great 321 BC, then Seleucids, Greco-Bactria 256-247 B.C
Parthians 247 B.C – 224 A.D
Sassanians 224-651 A.D
Arabs: Umayyad Caliphate 661 – 750 A.D & Abbasids 750 - 821 A.D
Tahirids 821-873 A.D, Saffarids 873 A.D, then Samanids and Ghaznavids till 1040 A.D
Seljuks till 1157 A.D
Mongols of Genghis Khan from 1221
Safavid dynasty from 1505 A.D,
Khanate of Khiva till 19 century
Russian Empire from 1881 A.D, then part of Soviet Union 1918 (1925) – 1991 A.D
If you plan trip in Central Asia, partly coming through Turkmenistan or plan only a visit in Turkmen land, for the start, it is important to choose a local travel agent. There have been around 60 travel agents in Turkmenistan before 2020 and probably, this number increase in 2020, as it is the current policy of government. Mainly, the dozen of this number have previous experience to work with Asian or Western Clients. I would not write here the names of these travel agencies, as some of them are very sensitive to this point and consider this as act of “incorrect competition”. Rather, explain what difference can be here in connection with price composition.
First, any Turkmen travel agency arrange a tourist letter of invitation LOI (what is approved in Turkmenistan State Migration Service). When this LOI approved, clients can get Turkmen visas and proceed with a trip.
Before to start LOI process, trip arrangements (itinerary, services and final price) should be discussed and concluded. Here is the difference:
- Many offer just a standard package of services and standard itinerary. The price may differ from agency to agency. Attention to confirm the cheapest price as there can be problems with the quality of service at the ground (old cars, impolite drivers, unacceptable hotels, inconvenient itinerary planning, guide with you all time even if you don’t like to book it…). Better to discuss the details of the services and only then to book.
- Second approach, you can meet – it is flexibility. Normally, only the experienced travel operators make it in practice, listen the client and create personalized offer as per request. This can be unique trip and for the good real price.
- Third point, I would like to bring here – it is VIP service/ offer. The main difference here, it is the hotel. Some agencies practice it, just to make extra profit for the same service. Believe me that there is always way to make this price lower for the same services and quality. Discuss your itinerary with all requirements as normal trip and then change hotels for those you would like to stay in. You get real VIP service and for the best price
Having the above, I recommend be suspicious to the cheapest and highest/ VIP prices. Choose in the range between it. As for the budget travel – cheapest offer can be reached based on the effectiveness of itinerary planning and arrangements.
The main requirement for tourist visa is to have the approved letter of invitation. The normal way to arrange it, is to book LOI via a local travel agent. Travel agent collects documents and details, make LOI application and submit it to the State Migration Service of Turkmenistan. There, the process can be around 14 days (*delays may happen up to 3 weeks due to National holidays or National Government Events). When LOI approved, Turkmen migration issue it for travel agent. Travel agent scan it and send to traveler/ client. When you get the scanned copy of LOI, you can apply for Turkmen visa at any Turkmenistan embassy or consulate, as per your convenience.
If you have not Turkmen embassy in your country or it isn’t convenient for you to obtain visa at Embassy, due to business or travel plans. You can plan to get visa directly at the certain borders: at airport in Ashgabat, at port in Turkmenbashy, at Dashoguz, Kunya Urgench, Farap and Gaudan borders. Pls. note that only above border crossings can offer this consular service.
Borders at Serakhs, Artyk, Gidrolium, Bekdash don’t offer visa obtain consular services, and you need to plan visa obtain in advance, before arrival at these borders.
Another point for LOI issuance: if, Turkmenistan Migration service deny LOI application and issue reject letter. The visa cannot be obtained and trip is not possible. Turkmenistan migration never explains the reason why a reject issued. Therefore, it is difficult to explain it in legal way. In this case, we recommend asking travel agent suggestions and possibly repeating the LOI application again after some months. Sometimes, it works. There had been clients who get approved LOI after second or third time.
Visa cost at borders: 1-10 days visa normal price 55 USD, except UK 85 USD, Belgium 75 USD, and Russian 165 USD.
Up to ten days visa cost at airport in Ashgabat: Western Countries 85 USD, Russians 165 USD
If passport changed after LOI process started: After LOI issued accordingly to the old passport details. You can send new passport asking travel agent to correct LOI. It may take 1-3 days and cost 10 -15 USD
Turkmenistan has many border zone areas what should be on the visa (if you go there).
Then if the itinerary is coming through any border zone, it should be added in LOI application before to start process.
If LOI issued without border zones – it may risk your travel plan and damage tour. As for to add border zone/s after LOI approved – it is expensive and may cost double price and take time to resubmit LOI.
First, come to final itinerary and then start LOI process.
If the itinerary goes via Turkmenistan, there is option to get 5 days transit visa to come through the country.
What advantage has transit visa:
You can get it directly at Turkmenistan embassy or consulate and do not pay LOI cost to travel agent.
Having it, you can plan your travel in country independently. Without travel agent or book only really needed or interested services. This may lower your travel costs.
What disadvantage has transit visa:
It is only for 5 days maximum. Correct itinerary discussed with consul and visa authorization is done accordingly this itinerary. It should start and finish at land borders and visas of neighboring countries done before transit visa application started. For example, Iran- Turkmenistan- Uzbekistan.
Visa authorization process is the same 2 weeks or around. Transit visa application has very high risk not to be accepted even at the start. It is up to consul to start it or advise to apply for tourist visa.
Started authorization process doesn’t guaranty the visa approval.
Travel with your own car do not make any changes for visa process. All are the same as usual for tourist visa (color scand of passport and photo, personal and travel details as per LOI application form)
As for transport: All taxes paid directly at the border, on arrival.
These are transport tax (depending on the vehicle/ engine), fuel tax (as per total distance in Turkmenistan), customs tax, sanitary disinfection charge.
Documents issued by transport service and customs:
Transport itinerary list (map of Turkmenistan with drawn itinerary for your vehicle. Accordingly, you are allowed to drive as per this itinerary you agreed at the border)
Customs Document for Temporal Vehicle Import in Turkmenistan (this document important for departure border, as customs require it. Without it, there can be long delay to leave country with vehicle)
Receipts for all taxes paid at border
Every year, there are different bike travel clients in Turkmenistan.
Usual directions are:
Port in Turkmenabshy – Ashgabat – Mary- Farap border crossing to Uzbekistan
Iran – Bajgiran – Ashgabat- Mary- Farap border crossing to Uzbekistan
Iran – Serakhs - Mary- Farap border crossing to Uzbekistan (or reverse direction)
Rare itinerary, Uzbekistan – Dashoguz- Darvaza- Ashgabat- Bajgiran – Iran
Tourist visa arrangement process is the same.
Depending on the travel agency, the minimum required services can be: LOI approval service for tourist visa, transport escort between the towns, hotel accommodation in towns. Other services is the discussion subject between you and travel agent.
There are three main areas for trekking in Turkmenistan:
Nohur valley, Kopet Dag mountains, valley and mountain gorge. It is all green and in flowers April- May.
Yangykala canyon – Karakum desert – Darvaza. Former bed of Uzboy river, wild desert of Karakum, Turkmen lake, Darvaza gas craters. Combination of hiking and 4WD cars drive. Spring is the best period, the desert is green and in flowers. Summer is for real hot lovers. Autumn is as mellow season (September – start of October)
Kugitangtau mountains – Dinosaur plateau – Umbar Dere, Kyrk Gyz gorges. Best time, through May – June. Then September – start of October. Summer is hot.
UNESCO World Heritage Sites:
Ancient Merv History Park
UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1999. Entrance ticket 21 DTM
The 26 km to the east from Mary. There are five big cities inside of Merv. All dated to the periods of its lives.
Erk Kala starting from VI century B.C (also known: Alexandria of Margiana). The town of Achaemenids VI- IV c B. C, Alexander the Great 321 BC
Gyaurkala, second town from III century B.C (also known: Antiochia of Margiana). The town of Seleucids, Greco-Bactria 256-247 B.C, Parthians 247 B.C – 224 A.D, Sassanians 224-651 A.D, Arabs: Umayyad Caliphate 661 – 750 A.D & Abbasids 750 - 821 A.D who starts the construction of third city of Merv – Soltankala
Soltankala (Sultan Kala)
The most prosperous largest city in Merv. The town of Arabs, Tahirids 821-873 A.D, Saffarids 873 A.D, then Samanids and Ghaznavids till 1040 A.D
Seljuks till 1157 A.D – Seljuks’s first capital, Khoresmshakhs, finally destroyed by Mongols of Genghis Khan from 1221
Abdullakhan Kala, the last renaissance of Merv after Mongol destruction, Safavid dynasty from 1505 A.D,
Bairam Ali Khan Kala, Khanate of Khiva till 19 century, Russian Empire from 1881 A.D
Merv can be visited on the way from Farap border crossing or as day trip from Mary, Ashgabat (flight, car). At least three hours required for the visit. If you have time and interest the visit can be combined with Gonur Depe sightseeing (Bronze Age site and start of Merv Oasis), at least plus 6 hours or separate day.
Konye Urgench (also known as Old Urgench, Gurganj)
Entrance ticket 21 DTM
Dashoguz region, 90 km to the north-west from Dashoguz. UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2005.
Ancient remains scattered inside of the complex:
Turabek Khanum Mausoleum XIV century
Kutluk Timur Minaret, started in XI century, finished in XIV century
Tekesh mausoleum XII century
Kyrkmolla remains of previous town, formed 12 meters hill, place of ancient necropolis
Il Arslan mausoleum XII century
Najm ad Din al Kubra Mausoleum, XIV century construction
Sultan Ali Mausoleum XVI century
Piryar Vali Mausoleum XIV century
Ibn Khajib Complex between XIV – XIX centuries
AkKala fortress, southwest remains of medieval town
Khorezm Bag fortress remains, mid of XIX century
Dash Mosque, XX century, now Kunya Urgench History museum
Kunya Urgench can be visited on the way to Darvaza or just as return day trip from Dashoguz or Ashgabat (Flight, car). Two hours required for the visit
Nisa Fortress, UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2007
Entrance ticket 42 DTM
The earliest cities of Parthian Empire, III c B.C – III c A.D, Consisting of Old Nisa and New Nisa, the remains of the cities stamp the start of Parthian empire, its development and combination of Parthian nomadic cultural elements and Hellenistic culture. Old Nisa is also known as Mithradatkirt after name of Mithridates I of Parthia. The fortress is around 15 km from Ashgabat to the west. New Nisa is located around 1 km to the west from Old Nisa. Half of the day required to visit both sites.
Silk Road traces of caravanserais, small towns, fortresses. (Mainly all have free entrance)
There are two main directions of the ancient Silk Road in Turkmenistan.
One is good to plan from Ashgabat, Nisa and then take Mary, Turkmenabat, Dargan Ata, Dashoguz direction. Where the main ancient trade roads passed and left the history remains in the forms of artificial hills, fortresses, castles. Easy to see it directly from modern roads. Except of sites after Turkmenabat to Dargan Ata and Dashoguz, where should cross the desert.
Second is adventurous, as it starts from Southern part of Caspian area, it goes to Dekhistan town remains and then enter into Karakum desert, along former Uzboy river and to Kunya Urgench. This requires 4 WD caravan expedition and love of desert trip.
Margiana country(also known as Margush or Gonur Depe
Entrance ticket 21 DTM
The 100 km from Mary town, the road goes through the villages and ancient fortresses, caravanserais, castles, signal towers. Finally enter in the Karakum desert for last 30 km. Gonur Depe archeological site is only part of Bronze Age country nourished by Murghab river. The start of history for this region Margiana- Merv – Mary.
Five hours return drive and plus time for sightseeing.
Darvaza gas craters (Derweze)
Entrance is free
Since 1940 there have been gas production fields in the central Karakum sands. Around 1971, geologists confirmed large gas deposits around Darvaza village, 250 km from Ashgabat (or 310 km from Dashoguz). After start of works in one deposit (around 4,1 km to the north-east from Darvaza through the sand) drilling rig collapsed into large cavern underground. Drilling works stopped. Methane gas started to come out this accidental crater, after some time, geologists decided to fire it, thinking that it would extinguish within a few weeks. After half of the century period it is still burning. Now, it is the main tourist attraction on the way from Ashgabat to Kunya Urgench or reverse direction.
Wild camping is available at the place. Two other gas craters are before Darvaza, at one side from main road. These are not burning but gas can be seen bubbling out through water and mud.
This visit can be planned as stop on the way to Kunya Urgench (Uzbekistan), or reverse direction to Ashgabat. Day trip to Darvaza gas crater is also possible to plan. Better to have 4 WD to come in desert but normal car can also do it with a good driver.
Extension of visit, into the desert and sightseeing at Damla nomadic village, required at least 1 more day.
Yangy Kala canyon
Entrance is free
Caspian Sea region, around 170 km from Turkmenbashy (former Krasnovodsk). The former bottom of big ancient Sarmat Sea. Later, around 5,5 million years ago Amudarya river formed the most impressive colorful limestone composition of the rock canyon, playing with white, red and pink.
Closer to the west, backside of Garabogaz bay, another canyon – Yangy Suw. On the route, local pilgrimage places – Gozli Ata mausoleum and Gaytaramysh Ata mausoleum (Kaytaramysh).
It is ok to plan day trip to Yangy Kala canyon with return back to Turkmenbashy or Balkanabat. To visit thoroughly all the sites in the area, 2 days or more days required. Only 4 WD cars can drive there.
Caspian Sea mud volcanoes
Mostly, all active mud volcanoes are in western Turkmenistan, along the south eastern shore of Caspian Sea. Known mud volcanoes are around Akpatlavuk and Chyakishlyar, with 1-3 m in diameter and mud or slurry eruption of 3-7 meters high. Visit requirements: 4WD car and at least 2 days for this part of trip. The trip can be combined with sightseeing at Dekhistan ancient town remains on Messerian plain. Possible stop at ancient mud volcano Boyadag, to the east from Gumdag.
Garakala (Makhtumkuli) area. Kopet Dag mountains
Kopetdag mountains are beautiful in this part. Together with Sumbar river and Moon landscapes of pre- Kopetdag hills.
The itinerary planning can be 4 WD trekking in mountains, Upper Nohur – Garakala to see the Kopetdag mountains flora and fauna or drive along main road and visit sites in its turns. This can be as part of longer trip or just drive for this area Ashgabat- Nohur- Garakala... At least 2 days required.
Nokhur village (Nohur)
Kopet Dag mountains (Turkmen – Khorasan mountain range), Nohur is 140 – 150 km from Ashgabat to the west. Nohurli Turkmen tribe living in the mountains. There are two villages Lower and Upper Nokhur.
The high valley inside encircled by four mountains, rich of sacred places connected to Persian legend of Peri. Nokhurli people tell that they are descendants from Alexander the Great, some locals believe that they come from Noah.
Day trip Ashgabat – Nohur – Ashgabat or two days trip with overnight at local home.
Kow Ata cave and underground lake
Entrance ticket 40 DTM
The cave is at the foot of Kopet Dag mountains, 96 km to the west from Ashgabat. The 60 meters’ deep cave has the lake at its bottom. Three hundred fifty stairs allow coming inside of cave, all the way the odor of sulfur, the sound of bats accompanying the descent. Lake water are + 33-35 C all the year. Swimming is ok in two interconnected sections, up to 80 meters long and 30 m wide, lake depth is essential up to 16 m or even deeper coming under the rock. Attention to the underwater streaming. Lake’s waters are medicinal, containing sulfur, iodine, bromine and other 38 elements.
Day trip or visit on route as part of long trip.
Akhalteke horse farm, behind Geok Depe
Entrance ticket 100 DTM
Private Akhalteke horse farm, 50 km to the west from Ashgabat. Good opportunity to see the famous Turkmen horse and relax in quite atmosphere of the private horse farm. It is located outside of town in rural area, just before Karakum desert. If you horse rider, you are welcome for horse riding inside of farm or for day horse riding trip in Karakum desert or Geok Depe lake. Horse riding trips can be also for 3, 5, 7 days, having itinerary in the desert, making a loop with return back at horse farm.
Visit horse farm – require 2-3 hours. Day trip can combine Turkmenbashy mosque, Nisa fortress, Geok Depe mosque and Kow Ata cave. Visit on the way, as part of long trip, is ok.
Another option to see Akhalteke horses – it is State Akhalteke equestrian and sport complex in Chuli gorge area.
Akhalteke horse festival is last weekend of April. Festival horse races are on Sunday
Turkmenbashy Spiritual Mosque in Kipchak
Kipchak was the native village of the first Turkmenistan president Saparmyrat Niyazov. This complex of biggest mosque in Turkmenistan and mausoleum- cenotaph for his family, was built in 2004, by French Bouygues company. Later in 2006, Niyazov died and is buried in this mausoleum.
The mosque and mausoleum are impressive and worth a visit for understanding of the modern history of Turkmenistan. The visit can be as part of sightseeing in Ashgabat.
Sightseeing in Ashgabat
The main tourist attractions (cost of entrance ticket):
Independence Park (free)
Ruhnama book monument (free)
Neutrality tower (starting at 3 DTM)
Alem Ferris Wheel (starting at 5 DTM)
Monument of Constitution (inside closed/ outside free)
Serdar Yoly Health Road on mountains (free)
Cable car visit (5 USD)
Russian bazaar, Lenin monument
Ertogrul Ghazi mosque
Turkmenistan Heritage Cultural Center: History & Archeology section (ticket starting from 10 USD), Ethnography section (ticket starting from 10 USD), Modern History of Turkmenistan (ticket starting from 10 USD)
Turkmen carpets museum (ticket starting from 43 DTM)
Fine Arts museum (ticket starting from 10 USD)
Recommended: night tour in Ashgabat, when all town in lights. Visit Neutrality tower, Wedding Palace area, Independence Park with chains of fountains there
Sightseeing in Mary
The main tourist attractions (cost of entrance ticket):
Svyato Pokrovskaya Orthodox Church 1900, representing the Russian Orthodox architecture.
Together with Svyato Alexandrovskaya Orthodox Church in Bayram Ali 1910, show the Russian period in Mary region (built for Russian Tsar Nikolai II visit)
Zelenyi bazaar. The most popular daily bazaar in Mary. Location is convenient as it is just across Mary hotel.
Central mosque, in the same area with Mary hotel and Zelonyi bazaar, Murghab river
Regional History museum (ticket starting at 5 USD). Museum has the rich collection of exhibits from Margiana and Merv History park, Ethnography and Fauna sections.
All can be done on foot, require 2- 3 hours
Sightseeing in Dashoguz
The main tourist attractions (cost of entrance ticket):
Bay bazaar – the most interesting place to see in Dashoguz. Normally, it is very active from early morning to 3 p.m.
There is also Regional history museum, but not very popular between tourists.
In general, Dashoguz has just transit planning for trips in the country
Old Town – Amul. The remains of Amul can be seen at the entrance to Turkmenabat
XIX century – early XX century part of Turkmenabat, Russian St. Nicolas Orthodox Church
Town zelyony bazaar, interesting place to see local people and Chinese good shopping. Attention to safety!
Turkmenabat Regional museum, History of the region, Ethnography, Flora and Fauna
Normally, planning as transit point for trips in the region
Kugitang (Koyten) sightseeing:
Kuguitangtau mountain range appeared in Oligocene epoch and is the spur of Pamir - Alay mountain system. The natural border with Uzbekistan
Dinosaur plateau with the visible dinosaur footprints left on the ground. Rock platform dimensions 400X300 meters, totally 31 dinosaur tracks with visible 3000 footprints. All have different length: 195, 226, or even 311 meters
Kyrk Gyz gorge, with wishing cave. Local belief connected to the legend of 40 virgins hiding in this cave. Visitors come to make a wish. They moisten the ribbons at one end in the mud and throw it up to the ceiling of the cave, trying to stick it there that wish come true.
Umbar Dere gorge with waterfall, 28 meters high. Good place to hide from hot summer day and have cool waterfall shower, refreshing for the rest of the day
Kaynar Baba lake, good option to swim in the lake. It has unique experience to swim in company with local fish. Local belief connected to the legend that local people don’t try to catch these fishes.
Karluk (Karst/ Karlyuk State Nature Sanctuary) lakes and caves, there are around 50 km underground labyrinths under the mountains (Kattakul, Khurdzhumkul, Garlyk, Kap Kutan…). All caves closed for public. Required authorization of Ministry of Nature Protection to visit it.
At least 3 days required for this part of trip. Turkmenabat – Koyten 440 km drive one way.
Domestic flights only to Turkmenabat. (Probably this year, Turkmenistan airlines may start domestic flights to Kerki (there is construction of new airport), what is around 180 km to Koyten).
- Entrance tickets to sites or museums: Good advantage to pay with manats DTM, directly at the sites, museums (*No difference, only at History museum, museum of Fine Arts in Ashgabat)
- Money exchange at airport in Ashgabat is not advantage
- Visa cost, migration tax, state travel tax paid USD. Recommend to have USD cash prepared before arrival. EUR not exchanged correctly at airport or at border (EUR- USD correct rate only at banks in Ashgabat)
- Visa credit cards cash withdrawal: possible only in Ashgabat, Foreign Economic Affairs bank at Visa department stand. Bank commission 3 %, Business days MON- FRI 09h00-13h00, 14h00-16h00, SAT 09h00-13h00, then closed for weekend. Bank address Garashsyzlyk street 1986, tel 406198
- ATM use not advantage for you, possibly withdraw only manats DTM as per this rate 1 USD - 3.5 DTM
- Guide service not compulsory in the country. Some travel agents insist on it. Flexibility in this question is always possible; there are legal ways to meet local state requirements and lower price
- Public Transportation in Ashgabat: TAXI starting 10 DTM per ride, Public Bus 50 tenne
- Public coaches, start at Ashgabat International Passenger Bus Terminal (at north of Ashgabat, Choganly area). There are coaches to all three directions of the country: North- Dashoguz, East – Tejen – Mary- Turkmenabat, West- Balkanabat – Turkmenbashy. Tickets starting at 50 DTM (manats). Air Conditioning available
- Trains from Ashgabat train station: Daily trains to every main town. Tickets prices starting from 30 – 80 DTM (manats). E-tickets available https://www.railway.gov.tm/
- Domestic flights, Turkmenistan Airlines, https://turkmenistanairlines.tm. Website often does not work correctly.
- International flight tickets better to book via Hanh Air https://www.hahnair.com (German scheduled and executive charter airline, An der Trift 65, 63303 Dreieich, Germany, phone +49 6103 7331 200). Price is lower than in Ashgabat ticket office.
- Domestic flight tickets, best way to book – via travel agent in Turkmenistan
Turkmenistan area has extremely arid continental climate. The main climate resulted factors are the remoteness from the oceans, the lowlands relief, the specifics of the atmospheric circulation in the area, the location of the mountain systems in the south and south – east. The continentality of the climate is shown in the severe daily and annual fluctuations of the temperature, high aridity of the region, low annual precipitation, dry air and rare cloudiness, intense evaporation.
The vast open and flat desert relief of the north and north- west open the atmospheric corridor from middle and high latitudes spaces, realizing the sudden temperature changes as normal. It is more expressed in the winter and early spring periods. The Kopet-Dag mountain system in the south and south-east stop the atmospheric moisture from Indian ocean.
The main winds:
Winter period: about 60-70 % of the winds in winter and cold periods are arriving from the north and northeast of the country (Dashoguz – Turkmenabat line) and coming to south and southeast through the country to the direction of the Caspian Sea. The Kerki area can have wind coming from Afghanistan to the direction of Mary and then along Kopet Dag mountains, around 20-30 %. (The atmospheric pressure around 1025)
Summer winds: about 25- 30 % of the winds starting from the northwest, along the Caspian sea, turning to the east along Balkan and Kopet Dag mountain ranges, before Ashgabat, it joins with the main winds coming from the north (60-70 % of winds) – central Karakums, and continue to Mary – Gushgy direction. The line Bir Ata (Gaz Achak) – Turkmenabat - Kerki have separate winds from the north and northeast coming also to Gushgy- Afghanistan direction. (The atmospheric pressure between 1002-1008)
The temperatures: Turkmenistan *note: the temperature between the regions inside of the country may differ 2- 5 C
+9 C / +3 C
-5 C/ -9 C
+8 C / +2 C
-10 C/ -15 C
+12 C / +7 C
-5 C / 0 C
+20 C / +10 C
+9 C / +5 C
+28 C / + 15 C
+ 11 C / + 5 C
+35 C / +25 C
+17 C/ + 12 C
+42 C / + 30 C
+ 30 C / +20 C
+48 C / +37 C
(the temperature on the surface of sands may reach +80 C)
+38 C / +25 C
+44 C / + 35 C
+ 31 C / +23 C
+35 C / +25 C
+17 C/ + 12 C
+21 C / + 17 C
+9 C / +4 C
+15 C / +10 C
+5 C / +0 C
- Garabogaz bay region and Zaunguz Karakum sands – less than 100 mm annually
- Low Karakum desert regions – around 150 mm annually
- In the south, the foothills of Kopet Dag mountain range and in the southeast of the country – around 250 mm annually
- Kopet Dag mountains – more than 250 mm annually