Price is based on double or twin hotel room occupancy and includes accommodation, transfers, car/driver, English-speaking guide, activities and entrance fees, breakfasts and some casual lunches while touring. Flights and optional special activities will be quoted separately. Most personal expenses, including dinners, alcoholic beverages, spa treatments and gratuities can be paid on the spot while traveling. Prices may vary depending on season, choice of accommodation and other factors.
To this day, Turkmenistan, a country rich in unique culture and fascinating history, has remained one of the most mysterious regions Central Asia. Little is known about this vast desert country, and this tailored seven-day tour is your chance to uncover a true hidden gem. Starting in the capital of Ashgabat, you’ll delve deep into the Turkmenistan’s long-reaching history with visits to the ancient city of Mary, as well as seeing the mausoleums – sometimes glistening, sometimes in ruins - of Kunya-Urgench. The atmospheric Karakum Desert is not to be missed either, and you’ll journey through this sparse land via jeep, passing rugged mountains, bubbling geysers and hidden caves, all before you end up back in the ever-developing capital of Ashgabat.
After an early morning arrival in the Turkmenistan capital, you’ll have time to check into your five-star hotel and meet your guide before embarking on some sightseeing for the rest of the day, with trips to Neutrality Square and the National Museum. In the evening, head south to the Kopetdag Mountains via cable car ride and see a stunning view across the white marble capital city as the sun sets.
Catch an early flight to the northern city of Dashoguz, ready for a full-day tour of this historic region. A short onwards drive will take you to Kunya-Urgench (Old Urgench), a current World Heritage Site and former capital and of the Khorezmshah Empire. Here, you will explore the 15th-century mausoleum of Turabeg Khanum, the minaret of Kutlug Temur (the highest of its type in Central Asia) as well as the iconic turquoise dome of the mausoleum of Sultan Tekesh. Transfer back to Dashoguz in the evening for dinner of your choice at the hotel or nearby.
A 6-7 hour drive deep into the Karakum Desert awaits on the third morning of your trip, and there’s a chance to visit the mysterious Izmukshir on the way, an ancient mausoleum of Abulkasim az-Zamakhshari. After hitting the highway again, you’ll cross a thrilling five-mile off-road route, just a few 100 meters away from a flaming crater at one point. End the day in memorable way, sampling delicious nomadic food in front of a campfire before bedding down for the night in a tent.
Wake up in the stunning Karakum Desert near Darvaza before packing your things and heading back to the capital, Ashgabat (around 4 hours' drive). The four-hour drive back will present the opportunity to see some more craters in this volcanic region, bubbling with hot water and natural gas produced underground. After arriving back in Ashgabat, you’ll have the rest of the day to yourself to enjoy in the luxurious hotel or rest of the city at your leisure.
A day trip to the ancient and historically significant city of Mary is on the day’s agenda, and to get there you’ll take a short morning flight and then drive onwards. Before exploring Mary, there’s an opportunity to see the ancient suburb of Merv, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Your tour guide will take you around the 1200-hectare historical park, visiting the fascinating archeological ruins of this once key stronghold on the ancient Silk Road, including forts, mausoleums and village remains. After a full day of adventure around both Merv and the major city of Mary, you’ll catch a short 40-minute flight back to Ashgabat from the newly-built airport in Mary, then check back into your five-star hotel in the capital.
This final full day of your tour of Turkmenistan will be spent in the capital, with your tour guide showing you around the popular Tolkuchka Market, as well as the beautiful Geok Depe mosque (about 30 miles from Ashgabat) and a nearby farm to see the legendary Akhal-Tekke horses. In the afternoon, there’s time to head underground to the cave of Kov-Ata (56 miles from Ashgabat) where you’ll get a chance to take a dip in the hot water. On the way back to Ashgabat, stop-off at Kipchak, the largest mosque complex in Turkmenistan, before returning for dinner at your hotel and resting before your trip home the following day.
Fill up at the hotel’s buffet breakfast before checking out of the hotel and making your way to the international airport of Ashgabat via private transportation. It’s time to say goodbye to your unforgettable week-long tour of Turkmenistan and catch your onwards flight home via Istanbul.