May 12 - May 19 2018

Turkmenistan - May Tour

7 nights exploring

Featuring the white marble fantasy-capital of Ashgabat, a night camping
at the bizarre Darzaza gas crater, the ancient silk road ruin of Konye-Urgench,
and more!

From 2,300 USD per person

Turkmenistan - May Tour

7 nights exploring

Featuring the white marble fantasy-capital of Ashgabat,
a night camping at the bizarre Darzaza gas crater,
the ancient silk road ruin of Konye-Urgench, and

From 2,300 USD per person

  • Overall

    We’ll see all the highlights and local colour of Ashgabat and journey deep into the desert to Bokhurdag semi-nomadic village, as well as camping next to the amazing and unique Darvaza Gas Crater with dinner cooked on the spot. We’ll take a flight to Dashoguz, visit local bazaar and explore the city. We continue our journey to the Konye-Urgench and sites around the area. We spend the night at Dashoguz before returning back to Ashgabat. In Ashgabat we continue to explore the fascinating city and see Geok Deppe Mosque, Gypjak Mosque, take a cable car ride into the Kopet Dag mountains and visit the World’s biggest indoor Ferris Wheel!


    • Ashgabat - All the highlights and local colour
    • Darvaza Gas Crater - The ‘Mouth of Hell’
    • Kow Ata Underground Lake - Natural hot spring 80m under the ground
    • Nisa Fortess – UNESCO listed archaeological site
    • The Ancient ruins of Konye-Urgench
  • Itinerary

    Day 1 of 9
    1. Saturday 12th May


      · Assemble in Ashgabat, airport pickups will be arranged wherever you fly in from and we will have a group dinner to get introduced and start the adventure!

      Hotel Ak Altyn. a comfortable hotel that has escaped the marbalisation of the main city center. situated around 15 minutes walk from the main area it has easy access to the local regions of the city such as the Teke bazar and good restaurant options.
    2. Sunday 13th May


      · Tolkuchka Bazaar – the nation’s largest market, built outside the city and home to various sections selling household goods, clothes, the famous Turkmen carpets, camels & other animals, and much more!

      · Ashgabat Hippodrome – Sunday is a day at the races, with the sacred Ahal-Teke horses in full display

      · Afternoon city tour – including city monuments and a good look at the marble wonderland of Ashgabat

      · Including Independence Park and Monument, Arch of Neutrality topped by the gold statue of Turkmenbashi, Ahal-Teke horses monument, Earthquake Monument and Museum

      · Free evening for a night out in the city

      Hotel Ak Altyn.
    3. Monday 14th May

      Darvaza Gas Crater & Bokhurdag

      · Desert adventure! We head off in a fleet  of 4x4s into the deep desert today

      · Bokhurdag semi-nomadic village for a look at what desert life is like today and lunch at a local family home

      · Onwards to the bizarre mud and water craters, scenes of accidents that opened sinkholes in the desert

      · Finally we arrive at the stunning and unforgettable Darvaza Gas Crater, in the centre of the country and the scene of a 40 year old industrial accident than aneded with a giant pit burning to this day. A hypnotic sight and one of the strangest and most spectacular things you can possibly see

      · We camp tonight besides the crater, it is best seen at night, dinner cooked on the spot

      Dessert camping. camping in the dessert, tents, sleeping bags and roll mats provided. we will also provide tents based on your rooming options. this affords us the best opportunity to view the amazing gas crater from before sunset to sunrise.

    4. Tuesday 15th May


      · We return to Ashgabat, driving through the morning with a stop at a monument to the suppression of the Basmachi rebellion

      · Once back in the capital the rest of the day is yours to do with as you please; explore, relax, shop, take a side-trip (drivers are available for hire), we and our local guides can give advice on the spot.

      Hotel Ak Altyn.

    5. Wednesday 16th May

      Dashoguz & Konye-Urgench

      · We take a morning 1 hour flight from Ashgabat to the northern city of Dashoguz, in the Uzbek-majority part of the country

      · We’ll see the local bazaar and a taste of life in this very different city

      · The ancient silk road ruined city of Konye-Urgench, ravaged by successive invaders over the centuries and now hope to minarets, impressive mausoleums, and all manner of historical tales and stories – one of the most important sites on the old silk-road

      Hotel Uzboy. this local hotel may be basic although there are not many options in this far flung town. It does offer us the chance to walk out into the local streets and experience life away from the marble city of Ashgabat. 

    6. Thursday 17th May

      Ashgabat & Kow Ata

      · We’ll fly back to Ashgabat and get on with some more touring activities straight upon arrival

      · Ahal-Teke horses are considered as heavenly and sacred beasts in Turkmenistan, this stud farm visit will show you why. Have a ride on one of the horses if you like

      · We then drive on to the bizarre Kow-Ata underground lake. A Sulphur-heated lake 100m deep underground. Take a swim, explore the cave, and then have lunch at a shashlik restaurant on the spot

      · After lunch we will visit a couple of large mosques; first the Geok Deppe Mosque, built on the site of a late 19th Century massacre that marked the beginning of Russian dominance in the region

      · Then we see the even more massive Gypjak Mosque, built on the site of the 1949 Earthquake that devastated the city, this is also home to the Turkmenbashi mausoleum which we will visit

      · Back to the city for relaxing evening before beginning the final day of this adventure!

      Hotel Ak Altyn.
    7. Friday 18th May

      Ashgabat & Kopet Dag Mountains

      · A free morning in Ashgabat for any final shopping, wandering, relaxing that you want to do and then we meet for a packed final afternoon

      · Cable car ride into the Kopet Dag mountains to see a view of the city from above

      · The world’s largest indoor Ferris Wheel – yes indeed! A very weird and quite fun trip to this oddity at the edge of town

      · An evening drive around the marble city, stopping at some viewpoints for some great photos of the nighttime illuminations which are very impressive

      · Final dinner of the tour, time for goodbyes and a last night out if you’ve got the energy!

      Hotel Ak Altyn.
    8. Saturday 19th May


      · Departure day – airport transfers provided for everyone regardless of the time of flight or where you are going


      Extension Day 1: Flight to Mary

      - Take a plane from Ashgabat to the central city of Mary, we will have a look around the town and stay overnight in a local hotel. free time to explore this small city in the evening.
    9. Sunday 20th May
      Extension Day 2: Ancient Merv

      · Excursion to ancient Merv, probably the most important city in the world at certain times of its history and a place where you will learn a great deal about the history of Central Asia, the rise and fall of dynasties and cities, the silk road, and human civilization in this part of the world in general. This vast area is roamed by animals, explorers, extant buildings, ruins, etc. All contributing to a sense of the dynamism of the ancient silk road

      · In the afternoon you fly back to Ashgabat for a final rest/night out before departure.
      Please let us know if you wish to book an extra night in Ashgabat. the flight should return to the capital at around 8PM - 9PM.

  • What is / is not included?

    • Included
      English speaking guide
      Western tour leader
      Internal flights
      All included sight seeing
      All taxes & entrance fees to protected areas
    • Not included
      Optional extension is USD 550
      Optional single supplement: USD 50 per night
      Visa issuing fee - USD $80 to USD $140 depending on nationality
      Room extension - USD 120
      International fights to/from Turkmenistan not included;
      Return flights from Beijing to Ashgabat cost approximately USD 780
      Return flights from London to Ashgabat cost approximately USD 1040
      (Estimates only, we can get these tickets for you or you can buy them yourself )
  • Notes


    Please email Rich Beal at the following information a minimum of one month in advance of the tour, ideally six weeks or more if possible:

    Full Name
    Date of Birth
    Passport Number
    Job Title
    Details of any previous visits to Turkmenistan
    Please also indicate where you plan to join the tour from (London, Beijing, Istanbul etc).

    We also require a deposit to be paid at this time as we start taking on administrative costs as well as an obligation to pay for the visa invitation as soon as we send off an application. We ask for a deposit of 50% of the tour fee.

    You must apply at least 4 weeks before the tour departure date as the Letter of Invitation that we need to obtain in order to facilitate the visa can take several days to be issued by the Turkmenistan Ministry of Foreign Affairs. We can arrange to have the visas issued on arrival at Ashgabat airport or any other point of entry to the country, but if you would prefer to have it issued at the Turkmenistan Embassy in your home country or have any questions at all about the visa process (it is rather complicated!) please contact us early!

    If you are joining the tour from somewhere other than Beijing and buying a ticket via our offices we email the e-ticket voucher to you and also inform you if anyone else is joining the tour from your place of departure so that you can meet up on the way to join the tour.

    It is entirely possible to join the tour by flying in from other destinations also. We can also accommodate people joining the tour after entering by land or sea, and a range of exit methods are available to those joining this tour. Single supplement is available on this tour at 40 Euros per night, if you are travelling alone and wish to share a room to avoid this fee we will attempt to match you up with another traveller. You will also have to pay the visa issuing fee, at Ashgabat airport this ranges from US$80 to $130 (depending on nationality) payable in cash only.


    Please note that for this tour you are required to pay the fee for the issuance of the visa yourself. Due to the extended amount of time that it takes to have a visa authorised and sent to an Embassy of Turkmenistan it is much simpler to collect the visa on arrival at Ashgabat Airport, the fee payable here varies according to your nationality, its usually around US$100. The visa is stamped in your passport and is the same as it would be if issued at a Turkmen Embassy. If you insist on having your visa issued at an Embassy then please be sure to apply for the tour as early as possible.

    The deposit is non-refundable if the tourist cancels himself. If however we cannot arrange visas or for whatever reason it is not possible to travel at the specified time (or you cannot make rescheduled dates) a full refund will be made. Should the client wish to cancel after visa application has been made, charges imposed on us will be paid out of the 50% deposit with the balance being returned to the client. If you have paid in full we will return 50% plus the balance of what is left after the cancellation fee we pay to our partners in Turkmenistan. If you book and cancel a plane ticket through us we charge only the airline’s cancellation fee.

    In all cases we return as much as we can and we do not take a fee for client's cancellation. Please be sure that you will definitely be joining the tour when you send all application details. | + 86 10 6416 7544
27 Bei Sanlitun Nan (East Courtyard).
Chaoyang District. Beijing 100027. P.R China

中国北京市朝阳区北三里屯南 27 号 (东侧院),
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