Turkmenistan

Visit one of the worlds most unexplored countries. Turkmenistan, in Central Asia remains largely off the tourist trail, but with more of the country now opening up the chance is now available to be one of the first Turkmenistan tourist pioneers!

Turkmenistan has so much to offer. Ancient archaeological sites, the lunar landscape of the Karakum Desert, mountainous regions with exotic flora and fauna, ultra modern Ashgabat with its incredible architecture, the magnificent site of the flaming gas crater at Darvaza and much more.

We have been running tours here since 2009 and over that time we have built a great relationship with our guides on the ground along with an in depth knowledge of all the must see sites across the country.

Our 8 day group tours cost just 1225 EUR. We also offer private bespoke tours all year around. Visit the country now and witness all it has to offer for yourself!

Upcoming Group Tour dates:

Nawruz tour 21st-28th March 2018: 1225 EUR

Check out our 5 Stan Tours that also include Turkmenistan.


This price include:

- Turkmenistan letter of invitation
- Entry pass
- Registration
- 4 and 3 star hotel accommodation (twin or double room)
- Breakfast each day
- Air conditioned transport
- English speaking guide throughout
- Entrance fees at all sites and museums
- Dinner at Darvaza
- Camping gear on visit to Darvaza (tent, sleeping bag, mat, cooking equipment and eating utensils

The price doesn't include:

- Visa fee
- Immigration duty (14 USD p/p)
- Flights
- Camera fees at sites
- Tips
- Some lunch and dinner costs
- Other personal expenses
- single room supplement 240 EUR (we can allocate someone to share with on a group tour if you prefer to avoid this cost)

If you prefer to arrive a day earlier then there is a 55 EUR surcharge for an additional night.


Payment methods.

A deposit of £150 is taken on booking and can be made by credit card (via Paypal), bank transfer or cheque (UK customers only)

Balance is due 8 weeks prior to departure.

March 21st

Arrive at Ashgabat airport early morning and transfer to your hotel (4 star Ak Altyn) to drop luggage off before starting a tour of the capital.

In the morning we will visit the Nawruz festival village, 15km west of Ashgabat to participate in festivities. Here we will experience Turkmen culture, traditional yurts, cooking of national dishes, carpet making, embroidery, singing and dancing.

Locals will be dressed in traditional costume and there will be the chance to see national dances and music played with traditional instruments such as dutar and gyjak. Afterwards we return to Ashgabat. Evening at leisure.

March 22nd

In the morning we will visit the parks and squares of the capital, Ertogrul Ghazi mosque, the archaeological site of Nisa. Here there are mud brick remains of fortifications and palaces, temples, ceremony hall and treasury building. It covers the remains of Parthian civilization, which combined traditional Turkmen art and culture with Greek and Roman elements. The richly decorated architecture of religious, royal power and ordinary domestic functions has been revealed as the result of archaeological excavations which started at the beginning of 20th century and continues in the present day. Nisa or Parthaunisa is presumed to be the first capital of Parthians.  The ancient civilisation lived along the Kopet Dag mountain range (modern Turkmenistan and Iran). UNESCO states that Nisa played an important role of a barrier to Roman Empire expansion to the East, whilst also acting as the communication and trading centre between East and West, between Central Asia and Mediterranean cultures.

Afterwards we visit Turkmenbashy spiritual mosque in Kipchak before returning to hotel and spending the evening at leisure.

Turkmenistan Tour NawruzTurkmenistan Tour NawruzTurkmenistan tour NawruzTurkmenistan Tour Camel

 

March 23rd

After breakfast we will drive to the Kopetdag mountain range, visiting en route the Kov Ata cave lake & Akhal Teke private horse farm

The Akhal-Teke horses are one of the most prized breeds in the world. It is believed they are the last remaining strain of the Turkoman horse, which has existed since 2400 B.C. In the Middle Ages, Akhal-Tekes lived with nomadic tribesmen near the Kopet Dag Mountains, with the nomads treating the horses as part of their families. 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 breed has preserved its purity and performance abilities through to modern times thanks to the geographically isolated area of the harsh Karakum desert where the horses have been bred by the Akhal-Teke tribe since ancient times.

Afterwards we proceed to the underground cave of Kov-Ata for an optional swim! The cave features a unique hot-water sulphur lake which is 35C all year round.

We drive onwards and leaving the asphalt road at Archman we ascend into the mountains, and drive to Nohur village. Experience the old traditional way of life as we meet the villagers and stay overnight with a local family.

Turkmenistan Tour valleyTurkmenistan Tour local familyTurkmenistan Tour walking groupTurkmenistan Tour group with locals

March 24th

Further sightseeing in Nohur in the morning before starting our drive to Balkanabat. Visit Parau Bibi pilgrim site along the route.

Arrive in the Western Turkmen city of Balkanabat and check into the 3 star Nebitch hotel.

Evening at leisure.

 

March 25th

Drive to Yangy Kala, arguably the most breathtaking and incredible natural sight in Central Asia. The south eastern border area of Gara Bogaz Gol bay has spectacular views of the former sea bed, and canyons of bizarre shapes and variety of colours.

After exploring the region we will drive to Turkmenbashy and check into the 4 star Serdar hotel, located in the Awaza Caspian Sea resort area. Evening at leisure.

Turkmenistan Tour YangykalaTurkmenistan Tour AwazaTurkmenistan Tour YangykalaTurkmenistan Tour Caspian Sea resort
 

March 26th

After breakfast we fly back to Ashgabat. In the afternoon we will drive to the incredible Darvaza Gas crater.

En route we stop off for supplies in the desert village of Erbent. We then turn off road and drive across huge desert dunes.

Arrive at Darvaza early evening when the light is fading and all you can see for miles around is the glow of the crater.

Our guide will set up camp in tents at a safe distance from the crater before cooking dinner while you relax and stare in awe at the Gas crater

March 27th

Morning drive back to Ashgabat. Visit Tolcuchka bazaar before returning to your hotel. Rest of day at leisure around the capital.

Turkmenistan Tour BazaarTurkmenistan Tour AshgabatTurkmenistan Tour BaazarTurkmenistan Tour Ashgabat

March 28th

Transfer to the airport for your flight home or take an optional extension to Merv and Gonur Depe.

The tour price of €1225  includes:

- Turkmenistan letter of invitation
- Entry pass
- Registration
-Four nights 4 star hotel, One nights 3 star hotel, One night homestay accommodation
- Breakfast each day
- Air conditioned transport
- Domestic flight Turkmenbashy - Ashgabat
- English speaking guide throughout
- Entrance fees at all sites and museums
- Dinner on day 6
- Camping gear on visit to Darvaza (tent, sleeping bag, mat, cooking equipment and eating utensils

The price doesn't include:

- Visa fee
- Immigration duty (14 USD p/p)
- International Flights
- Camera fees at sites
- Tips
- Some lunch and dinner costs
- Other personal expenses
- single room supplement (we can allocate someone to share with on a group tour if you prefer to avoid this cost)

Single supplement is 240 EUR.

If you prefer to arrive a day earlier then there is a 55 EUR surcharge for an additional night.

How much freedom will I have?
Turkmenistan is a very restricted country but in comparison to North Korea, you will have much more freedom. Your guide will accompany you on your tours but you will also have free time to explore on your own in the evenings and during other periods of free time throughout the tour.

What is the visa process?
Upon joining one of our tours, we will obtain your letter of invitation, a process which takes around two weeks. We can obtain invitations for all nationalities except Russians (although please check with us as this can change quickly). We also can't obtain visa invitations for journalists. Once the letter of invitation is issued you can then obtain a Turkmen visa at your nearest Embassy or on arrival at the airport.

Is alcohol allowed?
Alcohol is widely available

Are credit cards accepted?
Credit cards are not widely accepted and there are not many ATMs available. It is advised to bring cash with you (US Dollars are the preferred currency).

Is internet available?
Internet access is available at all hotels throughout the tour.

Which flights can I book to get to Turkmenistan?
Turkmenistan Airlines fly from London and Birmingham to Ashgabat. These flights can not be booked online, only by phone. Price is around £600. A cheaper option is to fly to Istanbul on a budget airline and then fly return with Turkish Airlines for around £280.

Booking