September 30 - October 7/8 2017

Turkmenistan - October Tour

Our most ambitious Turkmenistan
adventure yet!

7 nights in Turkmenistan
with an optional tour extension

From 1,700 EUR per person

Please apply by 2nd September, 2017.

View package Tour Full

Turkmenistan - October Tour

Our most ambitious Turkmenistan
adventure yet!

7 nights in Turkmenistan
with an optional
tour extension

From 1,700 EUR per person

  • Overall

    See Ashgabat in all its marble-clad glory, a night at the unique and bizarre Darvaza Gas Crater, the 'Turkmen Grand Canyon' area of Yangykala, the frankly weird Caspian Sea resort at Awaza, the cities of Turkmenbashi and Balkanabad, and much more besides. an epic trip through a remarkable country - extend the tour to visit the Silk Road Oasis of ancient Merv too if you like!


    • 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 stunning Yangykala Canyon, known as the ‘Grand Canyon of central Asia’
    • Caspian seaside city of Turkmenbashi & the unique Awaza
  • Itinerary

    Day 1 of 10
    1. Saturday 30th September


      • 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!

    2. Sunday 1st October


      • Tolkuchka Bazaar – the nation’s largest market, built outside the city and home to various sctions 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
    3. Monday 2nd October

      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 ended 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

    4. Tuesday 3rd October


      • 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
    5. Wednesday 4th October

      Nisa Fortess & Kow Ata Underground Lake
      • Nisa Fortress - a UNESCO site and former capital of the mighty Parthian state in ancient times
      • 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
      • We will drive in our 4x4 fleet on to the remote city of Balkanabad, this sleepy town is a easily explored on foot in a couple of hours of free time before dinner and overnight in a hotel shaped like a giant yurt
    6. Thursday 5th October

      Yangykala Canyon & Turkmenbashi

      • We drive to the stunning Yangykala Canyon, known as the ‘Turkmen Grand Canyon’ little-known but an absolutely beautiful area with shifting colours in the rocks, amazing formations, and some wonderful photos to be taken
      • Through the afternoon we make our way across country, stopping at scenic areas, pilgrimage sites and so on until we reach our destination; the Caspian sea city of Turkmenbashi and the bizarre ‘touristic zone’ of Awaza. This place has to be seen to be believed and we will have a look around the hotel-covered peninsular before checking in for a relaxing evening at the coast
    7. Friday 6th October


      • A free morning to relax at the coastal resort, try swimming (although the Caspian is a cold sea) or some watersports, wandering around, or even sleeping in!
      • Late morning we will take a boat ride down a canal stretching the length of the Awaza area, see the different architectural styles of the buildings here, all of which have sprung up in the last few years
      • We will drive to Turkmenbashi city for lunch, the oldest city in the country and one settled by Russians during their invasion from across the sea during the late Great Game
      • A city tour of Turkmenbashi – the local bazaar, railway station, Oil Workers’ Square, various monuments, and even a cemetery for Japanese POW’s who were brought here to labour after their capture at the end of WWII, and never got home again
      • Flight back to Ashgabat for a final meal, and fond farewells 
      • Final dinner of the tour, time for goodbyes and a last night out if you’ve got the energy!

    8. Saturday 7th October


      • Departure day – airport transfers provided for everyone regardless of the time of flight or where you are going 
      End of tour, OR;


      Extension Day 1: Mary & Margush
      • Flight from Ashgabat to Mary, in the centre of the country and the nearest city to the ancient silk road metropolis of Merv
      • Visit Gonur-Deppe (Margush); another ancient city in this area, with some lovely extent architectural features 
      • Back to Mary City and explore this modern town, mix with the locals, go to parks, bars, etc as you like, a sleepy area with welcoming and friendly locals
    9. Sunday 8th October

      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 civilisation 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 the following day
    10. Monday 9th October

      Extension Day 3: Departure

      • Departure day – airport transfers provided for everyone regardless of the time of flight or where you are going
  • 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 EUR 450
      Optional single supplement: EUR 40 per night
      Visa issuing fee - USD $80 to USD $140 depending on nationality
      International fights to/from Turkmenistan not included;
      Return flights from Beijing to Ashgabat cost approximately EUR 660*
      Return flights from London to Ashgabat cost approximately EUR 850*
      *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.

Please apply by 2nd September, 2017. | + 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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