Serdar Heath Walk,
Turkmenistan | Turkmenistan
Travel Guide

The Serdar Health Walk was built by Turkmenistan's president to encourage healthy living. One of the strangest, and most intense walks anywhere in the world!

Sedar Health Walk,

The below is an introduction to the Sedar Health Walk in Turkmenistan.

Feel free to skip to the chapter below that answers your question. 

Sedar Health Walk Introduction
What is the Serdar Health Walk?
Significance & Quirks of the Sedar Health Walk
Walking the Sedar Health Walk

Updated March 2024.


Sedar Health Walk Introduction

The Seder Health Walk: A path of varying distances in Turkmenistan just outside Ashghabat.

From Turkmenistan's independence in 1991, until he died in 2006, Turkmenistan was ruled by its First President (and President for Life) Saparmurat Niyazov. He is known as the Turkmenbashi; Leader of all Turkmen. 

With this modest title and position, the Turkmenbashi was responsible for transforming Turkmenistan from one of the more backwards and underdeveloped parts of the former USSR into the quirky oddity it is today.

While a lot of his architectural and cultural innovations have been superseded by those of his successor, Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, there remains one that the Second President hasn’t yet improved upon.

This is the Serdar Health Walk.

Serdar Health Walk Ashgabat Turkmenistan

What is the Serdar Health Walk?

Good question! 

Basically, it is a hellish concrete path built into the foothills of the Kopet Dag Mountains just outside of Ashgabat. 

There are two paths.

8km or 37km?

One is a nightmarish 37km. Do not attempt this one. Honestly, if you must walk a marathon in Ashgabat, do it in the city!

The other is a much more manageable 8km route. 

Walking the Sedar Health Walk

The path itself starts with a white statue of Turkmenbashi himself. He is kitted out in a tracksuit and trainers and looks like the coach of a primary school football team.

Along the path are various inspirational slogans of his designed to push you onwards. Slightly undermined by the fact that he probably never walked it himself..!

It starts with what is a 1.5 km cement staircase. This then relentlessly drives upwards with uneven steps, a real thigh-tester.

From there the summit is achieved and the next 5km is very pleasant. Wonderful views of the mountains on one side and the city of Ashgabat (or some fog, depends when you go) on the other.

Then a painful 1.5km descent at the end to an area with a small car park and a café. 

Congratulations; you have completed the Health Walk! 

Serdar Health Walk Ashgabat Turkmenistan

Significance & Quirks of the Sedar Health Walk

This more-grueling-than-it-should-be path became famed among Turkmenistan watchers shortly after it was completed in 2005.

Building the Sedar Health Walk

Turkmenbashi ordered his entire government to complete it and he helicoptered to the top to congratulate them on a job well done.

Just kidding of course! 

He is rumoured to have mocked them for being so unfit..! 

Truly a leader of the People!

The Sedar Health Walk Today

In the late Turkmenbashi/early-Berdimuhamedov era, it was still common for school groups/army units, and even civil servants to be expected to complete the course once a year.

These days the path is rarely used. You may well find yourself the only visitor on certain days. 

Soldiers guard the start and finish. Some people perform maintenance of the plants along the way as well as the small pavilions and the Turkmen flag at the halfway point. But usually you have it all to yourself. 

No shops; so take water. And don’t twist an ankle! 

Walking the Sedar Health Walk

Most people of moderate fitness should take 1-2 hours including stopping for photos and to wonder what on Earth you are doing there in the first place. 

The best way to get to the start and from the finish would be to simply ask a taxi driver to take you there and then pick you up again.

That will only cost $10 or so. 

The path itself is free entry. 

Those with heart issues, bad legs, and hatred of near-endless steps, should consider giving it a miss! 

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Turkmenistan Tours



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