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This 7 day trip will take you on a journey to the least visited of Central Asia's countries - Turkmenistan. Go off the beaten path and enjoy this ancient land of great spirituality, tradition and natural beauty.
This itinerary is also a great add-on to any other Central Asia trip. Contact our GetAboutAsia travel agents to find out more.
Arrival in Ashgabat International airport. You will be met by our representatives and transfer to hotel. Spend the rest of the day at your leisure.
After breakfast at the hotel, visit the Nissa fortress -the Sanctuary of Parthian Kings. The UNESCO declared the fortress a World Heritage Site in 2007. Nissa is described as one of the first capitals of the Parthians, founded by Arsaces I (reigned c. 250 BC – 211BC), and reputedly the royal necropolis of the Parthian Kings, although it has neither been established that the fortress at Nissa was a royal residence or a mausoleum. The ruins of ancient settlement Nissa are located 18 km from Ashgabat at Bagyr village. The tour continues to the Turkmenbashy Ruhy Mosque in Kipchak (the largest mosque in Central Asia).
In the afternoon, enjoy a tour of the beautiful city of Ashgabat. You will see many of its palaces and monuments and have some time to get an impression of this ancient and bustling city.
After breakfast, transfer to the Ashgabat domestic airport for your morning flight to Mary. Upon arrival in Mary your driver will bring you to the ancient city of Merv – the “Queen of the world”, historically one of the most important capitals of Islam along with Baghdad, Cairo and Damascus.
Enjoy the morning at your leisure before heading off to the Darwaza burning Gas Crater (268km) dubbed by locals as "The Door to Hell". The Darwaza area is rich in natural gas. While drilling in 1971, Soviet geologists tapped into a cavern filled with natural gas. The ground beneath the drilling rig collapsed, leaving a large hole with a diameter of 70 meters. To avoid poisonous gas discharge, it was decided the best solution was to burn it off. Geologists had hoped the fire would use all the fuel in a matter of days, but the gas is still burning today. En-route we cross the Karakum desert, and also make a stop in small desert village called Erbent. In the evening watch the spectacular and fascinating view of the gas crater while enjoying a delicious BBQ.
This morning, enjoy a picnic-style breakfast at the crater before continuing your journey towards Kunya Urgench where your guide will take you on a city sightseeing tour.
After breakfast, transfer to the Dashoguz airport for morning flight to Ashgabat. Your guide will pick uyou up at the airport and transport you to the Kow Ata underground lake, located 107 km from Ashgabat. The Turkmen name Kow-Ata means "father of caves". This underground area seems like a magnificent auditorium: the overall length of the cave is 230 m, its height reaches 20 m, and its width is at some points 57 m. The bottom of the cave is covered with lumps of dissolved limestone (stalagmites), and its warm and gushing water is clear and emerald colored. The water has a constant temperature of 33-37°C. Tip: Do not forget to bring your swimming gear.
Your tour continues to the Gokdepe fortress, which was attacked in December 1880 by the Russian Empire Army. The siege of Gokdepe lasted 23 days, after which the city was taken by storm. At this historical site you can also visit the Geokdepe Mosque (Saparmyrat Hajy) that was built in 1995 to commemorate the defeat and is noted for its mint-turquoise blue colored roof and white marble structure. Later in the afternoon, drive to visit a traditrional Horse Farm to see the national pride of Turkmen people - Akhalteke horses, the nicest horses in the world. 5000 years ago, the Turkmen started to breed these Akhalteke horses. The World’s unique breed was never mixed with other breeds. Such illustrious Emperors like Alexander the Great or Darius I desired to own Ahalteke horses. There are over 35 beautiful horses in the farm. Locals believe that every sick person who touches an Ahalteke horse will get well soon.
After breakfast drive to the Ashgabat Airport for your onward journey.
All Get About Asia trips have been designed to make sure you have an unforgettable travel experience. We have developed several trip styles to cater for our diverse range of travellers. Read what your ideal Get About Asia experience might look like here.
|Superior:||from AU $2,549|
All GetAboutAsia prices are based on twin share and depend on availability and season. All our itineraries can be customised including international flights and extra nights. For questions or further information, Enquire Now!
Hotels each night of the itinerary (excluding your departure day). All GetAboutAsia accommodation is handpicked by us. Upgrades are available for this itinerary.
Availability of accommodation and season.
"Turkmenistan was awesome and very very friendly people… They actually have heaps of money from gas and crude… Worth a look at… Tent at the gas cavern was ok, but a little hard ground was hard- was an experience! Thank you for an enjoyable trip." — Mr and Mrs Mitchell, Yamba, October 2019