Our guide in Uzbekistan seemed to know everyone wherever we went which made us feel like locals.
A Couple from California

A Flying Visit to Ancient Turkmenistan

The four-day trip through Turkmenistan takes you to all the must-see sites of this historically significant and culturally rich Central Asian country. After visiting the stunning UNESCO World Heritage Site at Kunya-Urgench, the former capital of the medieval Khorezmshah Empire, you’ll head on to the capital of Turkmenistan, Ashgabat, where you’ll have a full day of sightseeing. There’s also time to see the archaeological jewel in Turkmenistan’s crown, Mary, as well as visit the 1,200-hectare UNESCO historical park at nearby Merv. You’ll fly back to Ashgabat after four action-packed days exploring this mysterious and fascinating country.

Highlights   Pricing
  • Explore the ancient ruins at the famous UNESCO World Heritage Site of Kunya-Urgench, the former capital of the medieval Khorezmshah Empire
  • Visit bazaars, monuments and mountain forts in and around the fascinating capital of Ashgabat
  • Fly to Mary, the archaeological jewel in Turkmenistan’s crown, visiting the 1,200-hectare UNESCO historical park at nearby Merv
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Day by Day Itinerary
Day 1

This action-packed four-day tour of Turkmenistan kicks off in the border town of Dashoguz, where you’ll meet your friendly guide before hitting the road to Kunya-Urgench, a UNESCO World Heritage Site famous for being the former capital of the medieval Khorezmshah Empire. You’ll have ample time to explore the ancient mausoleums and stunning architecture of the city, with your knowledgeable guide taking you to all the most worthwhile spots. Return to Dashoguz and catch an evening flight to Ashgabat, which is where you’ll be spending your first night in a modern hotel.

Day 2

Start the day with a trip to the popular Bazaar of Tolkuchka (open Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday), which sells everything from camels to intricately-handcrafted jewellery. After the market, it’s on to the stunning Old Nisa fortress, a UNESCO World Heritage Site situated in the foothills of the nearby mountains. The afternoon will be spent back in the capital, with sightseeing trips to the Park of Independence, Neutrality Square and the National Museum of History and Ethnography, which is home to more than 300,000 objects from ancient archaeological sites of Turkmenistan. Head back to your modern Ashgabat hotel for a night’s rest.

Day 3

This third day is dedicated to one of the most historically-important cities in Turkmenistan: Mary, and the nearby historical park at Merv. Catch an early morning flight to Dashoguz and make the 19-mile overland trip onwards. The rest of the day will be spent exploring the dazzling mausoleums, ancient Islamic monuments and stunning architecture for which this region is so famous. As well as the remnants of the city of Merv, you’ll visit the ancient forts of Big and Little Kyz-Kalas, the mausoleums of Sultan Sanjar and Muhammad ibn-Zayd, and finally the local History Museum in Mary. Catch an evening flight back to Ashgabat and transfer back to your hotel in the capital.

Day 4

Day four marks the end of what has been a short, yet action-packed tour of Turkmenistan. After a leisurely buffet breakfast, check out of your modern hotel and head to the airport via private transportation. From there, catch your onwards flight to your next destination of choice.


Suggested Accommodations

Uzboy Hotel (Dashoguz)

Uzboy Hotel (Dashoguz)

Renovated in 2009, the two-star Uzboy Hotel is a basic yet convenient stop-off for tourists travelling through the Dashoguz region of Turkmenistan. Some of the most important historical monuments in the country are located nearby, such as the architecturally-impressive Kunya-Urgench, Butentau and scattered ruins of ancient settlements. Uzboy hotel offers a range of comfortable guestrooms, with basic amenities included such as en-suite bathrooms, furniture and air conditioning/heating. Elsewhere, guests can enjoy Uzboy’s on-site bar and restaurant and shop that sells local souvenirs and crafts. There is also an indoor swimming pool and a beauty salon open for all guests. There is Wi-Fi available throughout the hotel at a small extra cost.

Ak Altyn Hotel, Grand Turkmen Hotel

Ak Altyn Hotel

Ak Altyn Hotel is a modern four-star hotel located just outside Ashgabat city center in some more tranquil, leafy surroundings, whilst all the main tourist attractions of the Turkmenistan capital can be reached in just a few minutes. This 10-storey hotel was recently refurbished, and the 100 well-appointed guestrooms here all include air conditioning, satellite TV, international telephones, a mini-bar, in-room safes and elegant en-suite bathrooms. Ak Altyn Hotel also has its own large restaurant which serves up a buffet breakfast spread every morning, as well as an on-site swimming pool, bar, conference room, sauna and salon. Popular attractions nearby include the Independence Monument and the National Museum, both of which can be reached on foot or via a cheap taxi ride.


Grand Turkmen Hotel

The five-star Grand Turkmen Hotel is one of the most luxurious and famous hotels in Turkmenistan’s capital, Ashgabat, and is located right in the heart of this bustling city. Rooms here come with all the facilities you’d expect with any five-star hotel, and guests can also enjoy the added convenience of having on-site cooking facilities, various dining options, an elegant swimming pool and a fitness suite, massage and sauna room. From the comfort of the hotel, some of the city’s standout attractions, including Independence Monument and the National Museum, are just a short walk or drive away, and the immediate area is full of lively restaurants, bars and cafes. The Grand Turkmen Hotel also caters for a wide range of tastes at its large all-day restaurant which serves up Asian, European and international flavours. There’s also an on-site casino and disco for some entertainment after the sun goes down over Ashgabat.

Dayanch Hotel, Margush Hotel

Dayanch Hotel

Recently opened in 2011, the comfortable and modern Dayanch Hotel is easily accessed by car from the airport in Mary, Turkmenistan. The rooms sleep two, four, and eight people and all come with private bathrooms and the usual mod-cons. If guests have time to kill, there are enough activities at the Dayanch Hotel to keep everyone occupied for the day, with a sauna, bar, restaurant, and a cute little cafe with tables set inside colorful yurts (traditional tents). The hotel is located in the rural area of Sakarchaga and guests can find plenty of amenities such as local cafes and bars in the nearby area. There’s also several nearby households willing to open their doors for visitors to take a peek into their live craft workshops.


Margush Hotel

This three-star hotel is one of the most popular places to stay in the oasis city of Mary, which is situated in the Karakum Desert, on the Murghab River. Close to the ancient and famous ‘Murgab’ site, Margush Hotel offers 28 spacious guestrooms, all of which are relatively modern with this hotel only having opened in 2004. What really makes this hotel special is its interior design, such as the impressive white marble at the entrance and pastel tones featured throughout the rooms giving reference to the surrounding desert terrain of Turkmenistan. The hotel also boasts an excellent swimming pool, an all day restaurant serving local and international food, as well as a bar and fitness center.

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