Round Tour in Turkmenistan

Round Tour Turkmenistan Complete

Fossil in Kugitang, Turkmenistan

Highlights of this 15-day tour in Turkmenistan:
– the bizarre capital Ashgabat
– experiencing the Darwaza gas crater during an overnight in a yurt camp
– the excavations at Merv
– village life and tribal people in the desert
– cultural treasures at Konye Urgench
– the wonderful Yangikala canyons
– Kugitang mountains and fossils

In 15 days you can see a lot of Turkmenistan. With the aid of three domestic flights you literally visit every corner of the country. This is an adventurous and challenging journey, suitable for experienced travelers.

You will experience the extremes of this sparsely populated country, with its essentially tribal desert culture. Canyons, deserts, excavations, a burning gas crater, desert people and of course the remarkable capital Ashgabat.

You still needa visa and even an invitation letter (LOI) to visit the closed Turkmenistan. We arrange the LOI for you, you receive and pay for the visa on the spot upon arrival in the country.

You can read more about travelling in Turkmenistan and in Central Asia here. Including much practical advise.

Day 1

Flight to Turkmenistan, capital of Turkmenistan (or entrance over land from Iran or Uzbekistan)

Day 2

day distance: 70 kms

Arrival at Ashgabat airport, normally at night or in the early morning, and transfer to your hotel, a distance of approximately 20 km.
Start of your tour in Turkmenistan!

Today you will enjoy a city tour in Ashgabat, including visits to the Neutrality Arch, the Independence Park, the National Museum, Nissa (UNESCO) historical site, the Ahalteke and Lenin Monuments and the Earthquake Memorial.

You will be amazed by the new parts of Ashgabat, entirely made of Italian white marble! And rather empty…

Ashgabat, new city, Turkmenistan

Day 3

day distance: 150 kms

Transfer to the unusual town of Nohur in the Kopetdag Mountains, after having first visited the Turkmenbashi Mosque & Mausoleum, the Geok Depe Mosque, and the underground lake (springs) of Kowata (swimming is possible!).

Arrival in Nohur, populated by an ancient people who once settled here from Mesopotamia. It is said that polygamy is common here and was even allowed in times of the Soviet Union!

In the afternoon the village is explored, including a visit to tribal cemetery and a silk weaving workshop. Dinner and overnight n a guesthouse in the nearby town of Serdar.

Nohur Village in Turkmenistan

Day 4

day distance: 150 kms

A tough day ahead, ending at the ruins of Dehistan. To get there, you travel about 150 km from Serdar, on partly unpaved roads. You travel along and through the Kopetdag mountains, enjoy the lunar landscapes and have a picnic lunch.

Dehistan was a thriving city in the time of the Silk Road that connected Khorezm with Iran and the Arab countries. Remnants of two twenty-meter high minarets, an 18-meter high door of a mosque and five mausoleums bear witness to the heyday and the subsequent devastation. A great place to camp!

Camping in the Karakum, Turkmenistan

Day 5

day distance: 250 kms

From Dehestan and its ruins you travel on to the capital of the province of Balkan, namely Balkanabad. Thanks to the booming oil and gas industry in the area, this town also has modern hotels and restaurants in the wake of branches of foreign companies.

On the way to Balkanabad you first visited the Mashhat Ata Mosque and an old cemetery.

Day 6

day distance: 300 kms

Transfer from Balkanabad to the Yangikala Canyons, via the Gozli Ata pilgrimage site and Kemal Ata volcanic rock formations. Picnic lunch on the way. You will travel around in these unreal landscapes with a dinner and overnight stay in the pilgrimage site of Gozli Ata.

Camping in the Karakum, Turkmenistan

Day 7

day distance: 250 kms

Staring with a drive to Caspian Sea and Turkmenbashi. Visit to the port and fish bazaar. Followed by a transfer to airport for evening flight to Ashgabat (60min). You will be taken to your hotel.

Turkmenbashi in Turkmenistan

Day 8

day distance: 400 kms

In the morning a domestic flight to the city of Dashoguz in the far north of Turkmenistan, on the border with Uzbekistan.

Nearby is the interesting site of Konye Urgench, a UNESCO protected area, with remains of mosques, minarets and mausoleums from the time that Konye Urgench was still the capital of Khorezm. The changing course of the river Amudarya (which happened regularly) was the reason that Konye Urgench eventually lost its relevance.

In the afternoon you travel further by car straight through the Karalkum desert to the infamous gas crater of Darwaza. The camp is set up here and you can experience a night at the burning crater. Since 2023 you can stay in a brand new yurt camp!

Darwaza crater in Turkmenistan

Day 9

day distance: 300 kms

Transfer full day to Akmolla, via Damla desert village. Picnic lunch on the way.

Setting up the camp. Camp dinner and overnight in tent.

Darwaza yurt camp, Turkmenistan

Day 10

day distance: 350 kms

On the way, further through the desert, to the provincial capital Mary. Along the way you will visit the archaeological site of Gonur Depe (from the Bronze Age). Picnic lunch on the way.

The area of ​​the archaeological site is called Margush, and it is a particularly rich one. Discovered in 1972 by Russian-Greek archaeologist Professor Viktor Sarianidi, this turned out to be the lost capital of the Margush empire. The quality of the found objects warranted a position as the fifth major civilization. That is, in addition to that of China, India, Mesopotamia and Egypt. However, were it not for the fact that no writings were found (yet), a requirement to obtain that status!

According to Professor Sariandi, Margush was the place where Zoroastrianism was born. You will find impressive finds from Gonur Depe in museums in Mary and Ashgabat.

Ruins in Merw, Turkmenistan

Ruins in Merv

Day 11

day distance: 300 kms

Nearby Mary is also the interesting place Merv.

The stories from the history of Merv (UNESCO protected area) are rich, in a landscape of camels and ruins caused by (who else) the Mongols in 1221. Interesting fact; Yelena Bonner, the wife of Andrei Sacharov, comes from Merv.

You will travel on a paved road to Turkmenabad in the north, near the Amudayra River, and spend the night in a hotel.

Turkmen desert

Day 12

day distance: 500 kms

A long day ahead, ending in a special and beautiful mountain setting.

You will end up in Kugitang in the far northeast of Turkmenistan, in the Koyten Day Mountains. A beautiful green and water-rich environment, with various attractions including fossil footprints of dinosaurs!

Along the way you will also visit the old caravan serai of Astana-Baba and the mausoleum of Alamberdar. You drive for a long time along the Amudarya, lifeline of the region and of all of Turkmenistan.

Accommodation in a lodge.

Kugitang Fossils, Turkmenistan

Day 13

day distance: 150 kms

Compared to yesterday a relaxed day, where you stay the entire day in this (protected) area. You will visit the Dinosaur Plateau, the Umbar Dere ravine and the Kyrk Gyz cave.

Picnic lunch en route, accommodation, just like yesterday, in a cabin.

Kugitang Dinosaur Print, Turkmenistan

Day 14

day distance: 500 kms

Starting with a log drive to to Turkmenabad, with visit of Kainar Baba sulphur spring and pilgrim site. Transfer to airport for evening flight to Ashgabat (50min). From here you will be taken to your hotel.

Kugitang, Turkmenistan


Day 15

day distance: 20 kms

Transfer to the airport for your flight back home.

The cost of this tour in Turkmenistan is €1,806 per person ar six people, €1,930 p.p. at four people and €2,260 p.p. at two people. You can write to us for other group sizes.

Included in the offer are:
– all nights of accommodation in 3* hotels (7x), huts (2x), yurt (1x), guesthousess (2x) and tents (2x), all incl. breakfast
– all transfers in Turkmenistan by car (two people) or minibus (from four people)
– plane tickets Turkmenbashi-Ashgabat,  Ashgabat-Mary and Turkmenabad-Ashgabat
– four times lunch and six times dinner
– 1.5 liters of mineral water en route per person per day
– invitation letter for the visa (LOI)
optional: services from an English-speaking guide during the entire trip with entrance fees to all sites included; the extra charge at tw0, four and six persons per person is resp. €750, €425 and €300.

Single room surcharge €285

Not included are international flight tickets, other meals, English-language guidance, entrance fees for the sights, the Turkmen visa (costs incl. migration tax around USD 120, cash to be paid on arrival) and the services not mentioned. Finally, we withhold €9 per person for the Dutch GGTO Guarantee Fund.





    all year


    from €1,930-2,260 p.p. at 4-2 persons


    15 days