Desert Landscapes of Turkmenistan

Desert Landscapes of Turkmenistan

Desert in Turkmenistan

Highlights of this 10-day tour in Turkmenistan visiting a.o. the Darwaza gas crater:
– the bizarre capital Ashgabat
– experiencing the Darwaza gas crater during a campsite overnight
– village life and tribal people in the desert
– the deserts of West Turkmenistan
– camping and outdoor life
– as a compensation: one day relaxing at a Caspian Sea beacg resort

An adventurous trip, travelling through the western part of Turkmenistan and often on unpaved desert roads. You camp a lot on this trip (five nights) and you even stay once in a pension in a pilgrimage destination.

Along the way you will come across a burning gas crater, archaeological excavations, a place of pilgrimage, and once you care allowed to have a rest in a luxury hotel in the coastal town of Turkmenbashi!

In 2020 and it is unlikely that this will change in the near future, you still need a visa to enter Turkmenistan. This can be obtained at the (any) border with the Letter of Invitation that we will arrange for you.

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: 300 kms

Early morning departure for off-road trip to the Darwaza gas crater, across the sands of the Karakum Desert. Visits of several small settlements on the way.

You will arrive at ethe infamous gas crater of Darzawa, burning since the early 70s. An ideal place to camp!

Camp BBQ dinner and overnight in tents.

Darwaza gas crater, Turkmenistan

Darwaza gaskrater, Turkmenistan

Day 3

day distance: 260 kms

Mainly off-road drive westwards towards the riverbed of the ancient Uzboy River. Picnic lunch in the Guy-Islam desert settlement. In the afternoon visit Parthian Ygdykala fortress.

Camp dinner and overnight in tents.

Turkmen desert

Day 4

day distance: 245 kms

After breakfast drive to Kemal Ata rock formations. Picnic lunch on the way (near Koymat settlement).

Overnight in tents.

Camping in the Karakum, Turkmenistan

Day 5

day distance: 90 kms

After camp breakfast drive to Yangikala viewpoint. Discover the canyons by jeep and on foot. Picnic lunch in canyons.

In the afternoon continue to Gozli Ata pilgrim site. Opportunity for hiking in the nearby canyons of Gozli Ata.

Overnight in a guesthouse at the pilgrim site.

Camping in the Karakum, Turkmenistan

Day 6

day distance: 200 kms

Drive towards the Caspian Sea to Turkmenbashi Town. Visit the town center and take a rest at a hotel at the Caspian Sea coast. Turkmenbashi has a modern sea resort and the big question is, ay any time, whether it will be used by local vacationers, or empty like the new part of Ashgabat…

Accommodation in a 4* hotel.

Day 7

day distance: 310 kms

Drive southwards to the Misrian Salt Plains and the remains of Dehistan Silk Road town. Set up camp in the surroundings of the site.

Camp dinner and overnight in tents.

Kopetdag Mountains, Turkmenistan

Day 8

day distance: 350 kms

Drive eastwards through the Sumbar River Valley and the lunar landscapes of the Kopetdag Mountains. Visit Nohur mountain village with its tribal cemetery, pilgrim site and silk weaving traditions. Set up camp in the mountains.

Camp dinner and overnight in tents.


Day 9

day distance: 200 kms

Return to Ashgabat with a visit of the Kowata underground lake on the way. Afternoon at leisure in Ashgabat.


Day 10

day distance: 10 kms

Transfer to the airport for your flight back home.

The costs of this program including the Darwaza gas crater are €1,475 per person at four people and €1,595 per person at two people. You can write to us for other group sizes.

Included in the offer are:
– three nights of accommodation in 3* hotels, one night in a guesthouse (in double rooms and incl. breakfast) and five nights of camping in two person tents
– all transfers in Turkmenistan by car (two people) or minibus (from four people)
– 8x times lunch and 6x 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, quotation on request

Single room surcharge €175

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 100, cash to be paid on arrival) and the services not mentioned. Finally, we withhold € 15 per booking for the GGTO Guarantee Fund.



    West Turkmenistan


    all year


    from €1,475-1,595 p.p. at 4-2 persons


    10 days