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    Turkmenistan XL tour for individual travellers


     11 nights in Turkmenistan
    Ashgabat – Gokdepe  Kow Ata Nokhur Karakala Dehistan – Baklanabat – Yangikala Canyons – Turkmenbashi – Darwaza(Gas Crater) – Kunya Urgench – Dashoguz – Turkmenabat – Kerki – Koyten – Merv – Mary – Ahgabat

    Travel to the most mysterious and unexplored country of Central Asia - TURKMENISTAN!

    Turkmenistan is a country of natural wonders that very few people have heard about, and even fewer people have seen. This tour will show you the most important ones. But of course, we will not forget about "classic" sights associated with the ancient and modern history.
    During this journey you will be able to drive all of Turkmenistan from west to east - from the port of Turkmenbashi on the Caspian Sea to the Koytendag reserve, located near the tripoint with Uzbekistan and Afghanistan. You will also cross the country from south to north - from the capital Ashgabat to Kunya Urgench in the vicinity of the Uzbek border.
    Visit major landmarks of the fascinating Turkmen capital Ashgabat included in Guiness Book Record for world's highest density of white marble-clad buildings, travel to the ancient Merv and Kunya Urgench - important cities on the Silk Road, and enjoy an amazing off-road journey to Darwaza Gas Crater which has been burning since 1971. Stay for overnight in Nokhur - an isolated village located in a beautiful valley of the Kopet Dag Mountain range and prepare a traditional Turkmen lunch in one of the famous Horse farms. Discover remainings of Dehistan which used to be a prospering medieval city but was abandoned in the 15th century.
    Explore Yangikala Canyon - one of the country's most spectacular natural attractions and spend a whole day at Koytendag natural reserve - a rarely visited place with fantastic nature located in the extreme southeast of Turkmenistan.

    **TRAVEL TO TURKMENISTAN FROM EUROPE AND TURKEY
    The national carrier Turkmenistan Airlines flies usually 1-2 times a week from several Western European capitals and offers DAILY flights from Moscow. Note that Turkmenistan airlines flights are not bookable online but we can help you with booking. Turkish Airlines have DAILY connections between Istanbul and Ashgabat and these tickets can be booked online.

     

    ITINERARY

    Info
    The tour itinerary is a PRELIMINARY one. Korea Konsult reserves the right to change some parts of the itinerary below if needed. Eventual itinerary changes after the group arrival in the DPRK are beyond our control. Under no circumstances can Korea Konsult be held responsible for any itinerary changes.

    Day 1: Ashgabat – Nissa – Ruhy Mosque – Ashgabat

    • Arrival in Ashgabat International Airport early in the morning.
    • Transfer to Ashgabat - capital of Turkmenistan, often called as "White city". Ashgabat is built in the Karakum Desert and is located 25km north of the border with Iran from which it is separated by Kopet Dag mountain range. Since the independence from Soviet Union in 1991, the city has completely changed its look. An impressive architectural re-styling effort led by the government of Turkmenistan resulted in Guiness Book Record for world's highest density of white marble-clad buildings.
    • Check-in at the Sport Hotel - very good 4* hotel in Ashgabat city center. The Berkarar shopping center is just across the street.The Sport hotel was completed in 2017 for the 5th Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games. From the restaurant on the top floor you can enjoy a fantastic city panorama.
    • Rest at the hotel, breakfast.
    • Drive to Nissa fortress - the Sanctuary of Parthian Kings, UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2007. Nissa is described as one of the first capitals of the Parthians. It was founded by Arsaces I (reigned c. 250 BC – 211BC), and was reputedly the royal residence and necropolis. The ruins of the ancient settlement Nissa are located 18 km from Ashgabat at Bagyr village.
    • Turkmenbashi Ruhy Mosque - located in 7 km from Ashgabat, this is one of the biggest mosques in Asia built in 2004 in the home town of the first president of Turkmenistan. Next to the mosque there is a mausoleum where the president was buried in 2006. His family rest here as well: his father who was killed in WWII, his mother and 2 brothers, all killed in the devastating Ashgabat earthquake in 1948
    • Lunch
    • ASHGABAT CITY TOUR:
    • Pass by Presidential Palace - is the official residence and principal workplace of the President of Turkmenistan, located on Independence Square. It is forbidden to take pictures of the Palace.
    • Square of Revival (Galkynysh) - in the middle of this grandiose square there is a huge stele designed to embody the spirit of the new Turkmen statehood based on independence and permanent neutrality, peace and creativeness.
    • Rukhiyet Palace - built by the French company Bouygues, it is a place for holding official meetings and events, forums and inaugurations.
    • Wedding Palace - "palace of happiness" in Turkmen. This impressive building is crowned by a cube with a ball displaying the map of Turkmenistan. The palace consists of several halls for celebrations, banquet halls for weddings, dozens of shops, photo and beauty salons, etc
    • Yyldyz Hotel - "star" in Turkmen. It is one of the best hotels in Turkmenistan offering a fantastic panorama of Ashgabat city. This hotel is also one of the few places with good wi-fi.
    • Constitution Monument - a 91-meter high four-sided pillar decorated with Turkmen carpet ornaments on all sides and crowned with a spire with a gold crescent moon and five stars. This monument is associated with the proclamation of Turkmenistan's independence on October 27, 1991 and the Constitution's adoption om May 18, 1992
    • Arch of Neutrality - built in 1998, it is a 75-meter-high rocket-shaped tower topped with a gold statue of the former Turkmenistan's president Niyazov (died in 2006). The statue was rotating throughout the day so that its face would be always in the sun. In 2010 the monument was removed from the city center and reassembled in the outskirts of Ashgabat.
    • Independence Monument - inspired by traditional Turkmen tents, this impressive monument is one of the largest of its kind. Together with the surrounding park which is the place of numerous statues, water fountains and pools, it covers an area of more than 80,000 m².
    • Ferries Wheel - inaugurated in 2012, it holds Guiness Book Record for world's largest indoor Ferris wheel
    • Ertugrul Gazi Mosque - named in honor of the father of Osman Empire first ruler, this building is a beautiful combination of Islamic and Byzantine architecture. It is also one of the first mosques built after the independence of Turkmenistan in the early 1990s
    • Aziada 2017 - is the impressive infrastructure built in a central area of Ashgabat for the 5th Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games in 2017(Aziada). It includes Olympic Stadium, 30 sport facilities, the Athletes Village, various support and administrative buildings. Aziada 2017 became the first major multi-sport event hosted in Turkmenistan and attracted 5,500 athletes from 62 countries to participate across 21 sports.
    • Dinner

     


    OVERNIGHT: Sport Hotel**** or same level
    Day 2: Ashgabat – Gokdepe – Kow Ata – Nokhur

     

    • Breakfast
    • Tolkuchka Bazaar - is the Ashgabat's largest bazaar. It offers a huge range of goods from fruits and vegetables to Turkmen carpets, handicrafts, jewelry, silks and even camels.
    • Drive to Gokdepe Fortress - a place of important battle for annexation of Turkmen land by Russian Emperor at the end of the XIX century.
    • Gokdepe Mosque - built on the orders of the first President of Turkmenistan on the site of the former Gokdepe fortress, it commemorates Turkmen civilians and soldiers who lost their lives in the bloody battle against the Russian Empire in 1881
    • Horse farm - unique chance to see beautiful Akhalteke horses. This horse breed exists since 5000 years ago and is the real proud of the Turkmens. Akhaltheke horse breed was never mixed with other breeds.
    • Lunch and cooking class at the horse farm: we will be preparing the Turkmen National dish Tamdyrlama (lamb).
    • Drive to Nokhur Mountain Village by 4WD car (190km, 3,5 h) via Kow-ata underground lake.
    • Kow Ata underground lake - located about 100 km away from Ashgabat, it is a cave that is 65 meter underground with natural underground lake inside. Kow Ata is home to the largest colony of bats known in Central Asia. The lake contains therapeutic warm water (34-37 degree Celsius) which includes more than 30 elements (iodine, magnesium, iron, potassium, sodium, sulfate, sulfur and others) good for blood circulation, rheumatism etc. Inside the cave the sulfur is responsible for the distinct odor. If you want to take a “therapeutic bath” in the lake, don’t stay in the water more than 20 minutes. We recommend to take precautions like wearing non slip footwear and use hand rails.
    • Lunch
    • Drive further to Nokhur - isolated village located in a valley of the Kopet Dag Mountains, mountain range on the border between Turkmenistan and Iran. The about 5,000 inhabitants living in an isolated settlement have retained a distinct cultural identity and customs. They speak a Turkmen dialect, which is difficult for other Turkmens to understand. The population there is polygamous. Nohurly regard themselves as descendants of the legionnaires led by Alexander the Great.
    • In the evening enjoy a short introduction with a local silk textile weaver.
    • Dinner at local family

    OVERNIGHT:Tents or local family's house
    Day 3: Nokhur Karakala Syunt-Khasardag State Reserve

    • Breakfast at homestay
    • In the morning drive to Karakala - urban-type settlement in the Kopetdag mountains, in the valley of the river Sumbar. Once there was a fortress that controlled the road to Iran and was called Karry-Kala - "old fortress". Over time, the name changed to Kara-Kala - "black fortress".
    • Lunch
    • Visit the Syunt-Khasardag State Reserve - founded in 1977 in the Southwest Kopetdag Mountains, it is an amazing corner of nature covering an area of 30,300 hectares.  Here you can find many species of mammals and birds included in the Red Data Book. The local flora includes 1,266 species of higher plants.
    • Dinner on site

    OVERNIGHT: Tents
    Day 4: Karakala Dehistan Balkanabat

    • Picnic breakfast
    • Drive to Dehistan - the principal city of Western Turkmenistan in the Middle Ages, it was located on a major caravan route from Khoresm to Gurgan in northern Iran. Dehistan used to be a prospering medieval city but over the course of time it declined and finally was abandoned in the 15th century. Dehistan's finest bildings were constructed by the Khorezmshahs and today you can see here remainings of the medieval city and cemetery including some sites from the third millennium BC. Dehistan is included in the tentative list of UNESCO World Heritage sites.
    • Lunch
    • Drive to Balkanabat - the capital city of Balkan Province located at the foot of the Balkan Daglary mountain range. Balkanabat was founded in 1933 under the name "Neftedag" which is translated as "oil mointain" (from Russian neft, "oil", and Turkmen dag, "mountain"). First it was a little settlement along the Trans-Caspian Railway but in 1946 it was transformed into a city.
    • Dinner
    • Overnight at Nebitchi Hotel - a top hotel located in Balkanabat city center

    OVERNIGHT: Nebitchi Hotel***** or same level
    Day 5: Balkanabat – Yangykala Canyons – Turkmenbashi – Ashgabat

     

    • Breakfast
    • Drive to Yangikala Canyons - located in 165 km North of Turkmenabat and 160 km East of Turkmenbashi city, this natural wonder is among the most spectacular natural attractions in Turkmenistan. The word "yangikala" means "fire fortress" and refers to rock formations as tall as 60-100 meters coloured with red, pink and yellow colours. The view opening from the top of Yangikala is breathtaking.The region has a very arid climate.
    • Explore the canyons
    • Lunch
    • Drive to Turkmenbashi - city and major port of Turkmenistan, located in the Eastern part of the Caspian Sea and formerly known as Krasnovodsk (meaning "City of Red Water"). In 1869 a Russian military force landed on the Eastern coast of the Caspian Sea and founded the port of Krasnovodsk. The city was renamed to Turkmenbachi ("Grand Turk") under the presidency of the president Nyýazow in 1993. Turkmenbashi is an important transportation center and the site of Turkmenistan's largest oil refining complex. A ferry connection is established between Turkmenbashi and Baku in Azerbaijan.
    • Arrival in Turkmenbashi
    • Dinner
    • Drive to the airport, departure by flight to Ashgabat

     


    OVERNIGHT: Sport Hotel**** or same level
    Day 6: Ashgabat – Darwaza Gas Grater

    • Breakfast
    • Free time in Ashgabat. You can enjoy walking in the city on your own. A good idea might be visiting Berkarar shopping center - one of the best in Ashgabat. This huge modern mall features stores of all kinds, a hypermarket, nice cafés, restaurants etc. Berkarar is located just in front of Sport hotel, across the street.
    • Park of Inspiration - opened in 2010, it is located between two central avenues of the Turkmen capital. It is a series of four parks and each section is dedicated to famous Turkmen. More than forty statues are erected along the park tracks. The park is beautifully decorated by artificial river, bridges, fountains and flowerbeds.
    • Lenin Monument - this first monument to Lenin in Central Asia dates from 1927. It stands atop three plinths, each one carrying traditional motifs of the Turkmen carpets. While most of the buildings in Ashgabat fell to the ground during the terrible 1948 Ashgabat earthquake, the monument survived it with virtually no damage.
    • Alabay statue - this 6 meters high golden statue representing the Turkmen shepherd dog Alabay is placed on the pedestal of 9 meters height in the middle of one of Ashgabat's roundabouts in the Western part of the Turkmen capital. The monument was unveiled in November 2020 by the Turkmen president in person.
    • Lunch
    • Drive to Darwaza Gas Crater - located in 3,5 hrs ride from Ashgabat, this place is dubbed by locals as "The Door to Hell". The Darwaza area is rich in natural gas. While drilling in 1971, Soviet geologists discovered a cavern filled with natural gas. The ground beneath the drilling rig collapsed, leaving a large hole with a diameter of 70 meters. To avoid poisonous gas discharge, it was decided to burn it off. Geologists had hoped the fire would use all the fuel in a matter of days, but amazingly Darwaza is still burning today. In the evening, the view of the burning Darwaza is even more spectacular.
    • Dinner with a view on the Gas Crater
    • Overnight at Tents - every tent's capacity is 2 people, sleeping bags included

    OVERNIGHT: Tents
    Day 7: Darwaza Gas Crater – Kunya Urgench – Dashoguz

    • Breakfast with a view on the Gas Grater
    • Drive to Kunya Urgench - located in the North-West of Turkmenistan, in the vicinity of the Uzbek border. It was the capital of Khorezm, part of the Achaemenid Empire. The town had a strategic location on one of the most important medieval paths: the Silk Road which was the crossroad of western and eastern civilisations.
    • Sightseeing in Kunya Urgench - the old town contains a series of monuments mainly from the XI to XVI centuries, including a mosque, the gates of a caravanserai, fortresses, mausoleums and a 60-m high minaret. In 2005 the ruins of Old Urgench were inscribed on the UNESCO List of World Heritage Sites.
    • Lunch
    • Drive to Dashoguz - capital city of northern Turkmenistan's Dashoguz Province located in 10 km from the Uzbek border. In ancient times Dashoguz was and an important stop on the Silk Road. The modern Dashoguz is a Soviet-designed city and an important agricultural center.
    • Free time, dinner
    • Overnight at Dashoguz Hotel - this top hotel opened in 2014 and is located in a quiet and peaceful part of the city

    OVERNIGHT: Dashoguz Hotel**** or same level
    Day 8: Dashoguz – Ashgabat – Turkmenabat – Kerki – Koyten

    • Early breakfast
    • Transfer to the airport. Departure by flight to Ashgabat and then take connecting flight to Turkmenabat - the second largest city in Turkmenistan and the capital of Lebap Province. It has a population of approximately 260,000 people. The city features food processing, textile (cotton processing and silk) factories. Turkmenabat has its own dialect of the Turkmen language and is known for its bazaars. The largest bazaar is "World Bazaar".
    • Arrival in Turkmenabat, drive to Koyten village on 4WD cars (420km).
    • Lunch
    • En route stop at Astanababa Mausoleum - a complex consisting of a tomb and mosque constructed in various periods. Today it is a popular tourist attraction and a place of pilgrimage
    • Another stop at Kerki - a town with a population of 20.000. The city differs from others with its 19th century architecture and is rich in archaeological monuments. Kerki is also famous with fish from Amudarya River.
    • Arrival in Koyten village.
    • Overnight at Koytendag rest center.

    OVERNIGHT: Koytendag rest center
    Day 9: Koytendag area

     

    • Breakfast
    • Drive by 4WD cars to the Koytendag valley. The Koytendag mountain range is located in the extreme southeast of Turkmenistan on the border with Uzbekistan and not far from the border with Afghanistan. It represents one of the most distinctive places in Central Asia. There is a state nature reserve covering the territory stretching from the hot, dry semi-desert plain of the right bank of the Amu Darya river to the snow-capped peaks of Airi Baba, the highest point of Turkmenistan (3137 m).
    • Visit the Dinosaur Plateau - discovered by Soviet palaeontologists in the 1950s, this is one of the most magnificent collections of fossilised dinosaur tracks on Earth.  About 2,500 dinosaur tracks have been discovered here, some are 40 centimetres long and 30 centimetres wide and others even bigger, measuring 70 by 60.
    • Lunch at sight.
    • Drive to Kyrk Gyz Cave - translated as "Forty Girls' Cave", it is located in a spectacular canyon. The nam refers to an old legend of forty girls who once retreated there, in order to avoid rape and murder by bandits. 
    • Drive to Umberdere waterfall - 27 meters high, it is one of the highest waterfalls in Turkmenistan. The rolling rumble of falling water spreads far along the gorge. The crystal mantle of the mountain waterfall is unlike any other water cascade in the country. Despite the difficult road, it is worth to come here to enjoy a sight of stunning beauty.
    • Dinner and overnight at Koytendag rest center.

     


    OVERNIGHT: Koytendag rest center
    Day 10: Koyten – Turkmenabat

    • Breakfast
    • Drive to Turkmenabat.
    • En route visit of Kaynar-Baba - a famous place in the foothills of the Kugitangtau ridge. There is a hydrogen sulphide spring here, as well as a small lake, perfect place for recovering after a long walk in the desert and to gain strength for the further journey. This has been the custom since ancient times, when numerous caravans from Kelif to Guzar and further to Bukhara or Samarkand passed through these places. A large resort and sanatorium complex is planned to be built on the basis of a hydrogen sulphide source.
    • Lunch
    • Arrival in Turkmenabat.
    • Dinner
    • Overnight at Jeyhun Hotel - marble building located in the heart of the city Turkmenabat offering the city's best accommodation.

    OVERNIGHT: Jeyhun Hotel
    Day 11: Turkmenabat – Merv – Mary – Ashgabat

    • Breakfast.
    • Drive to Merv - located in 220 km from Turkmenabat, it is an ancient city on the Silk Road. The earliest references of Merv were found in the 8-6th centuries B.C. During the XII and XIII centuries it became one of the largest cities in the world with a population of about 500,000 and chroniclers described Merv as “the city that holds the universe." In 1221 Merv was invaded by Mongolian nomads and completely devastated. Even after being rebuilt after the Mongol destruction, the city could never regain its former prosperity.
    • Sightseeing in ancient Merv - we will be driving through the State Historical and Cultural Park to see the many remains. They include Bronze Age (2500-1200 BC), Iron Age (1200-300 BC) and other historic urban centers, as well as the post-medieval city. The Mausoleum of Sultan Sanjar and Kiz Kala fortress are one of the best preserved monuments of ancient Merv.
    • Drive to Mary - the third largest city of Turkmenistan, located 370 km East from Ashgabat on an oasis in the Karakum desert. The city was founded in 1884 as a Russian military and administrative post and today it is a large industrial centre for the natural gas and cotton industries. The ruins of the ancient city of Merv are located in 30 km from Mary.
    • Dinner
    • Departure by flight to Ashgabat
    • Arrival in Ashgabat, transfer to the hotel

     


    OVERNIGHT: Sport Hotel****or same level
    Day 12: Ashgabat
    • Breakfast
    • Transfer to the Ashgabat International Airport, departure by flight to your next destination

    TOUR PRICE: Please contact us

    INCLUDED:

    • Turkmen visa support (visa approval document from Turkmen Foreign Ministry).
    • Registration in Ashgabat city
    • Twin-share accommodation throughout the tour (11 nights)
    • Transportation throughout the tour
    • English-speaking guide (guide in other language can be arranged)
    • Entrance fees to sightseeing sights
    • 3 Domestic flights: Turkmenbashi-Ashgabat, Dashoguz-Ashgabat and Mary-Ashgabat
    • Meals according to the itinerary (alcoholic beverages not included)

    NOT INCLUDED:

    • International flights to Ashgabat and back
    • Cost of Turkmen visa (80-100 USD) & ev. border fees
    • Early check in at hotels
    • Eventual single room supplement
    • Photo and video fees at sites and museums
    • Tips for guide and driver
    • Travel insurance
    • Services not shown in the program
    • Travel tax in hotels - 2 $/person/night. Pay cash at the hotel

    GOT QUESTIONS?

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    Call us: +46(0)73981 0372
    +46(0)70116 5525
     
     
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