Flight to Ashgabat. Arrival in Ashgabat in the morning. After passport / visa / migration formalities meet the driver and guide at the meeting zone. Transfer to the hotel. Early check in. Short time to rest after the flight. Breakfast in the hotel. Start Ashgabat city tour with visiting:
- Ertogrul Gazy Mosque, Independence Park with Monument of Independence (it's a 118 m column that consider the highest building in the country), - Earthquake memorial, Ferris Wheel; - Neutrality Arch - unique composition that rotates slowly after the sun; - National Museum, where you can see more than 166 unique exposition from Ancient Merv and Nisa. - A trip to ancient Nissa (18 km from Ashgabat) that is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Visit the ruins of the ancient city ; - Turkmenbashi Mosque-Mausoleum is considered as the biggest in Central Asia (10 thousand people). There are beautiful garden and fountains near the mosque. Transfer to the local airport Evening flight to Turkmenbashi Arrival in Turkmenbashi. Transfer to Awaza resort complex. Resting time in the evening.
Yangisuw - Impressive white, green and red limestone formations rise up from the desert sands. These cliffs are the remains of massive coastline and seabed of the prehistorical Parathetys Sea. This surreal landscape is impressive at any time of day, but sunset and sunrise offer particularly spectacular views. The area is reachable only by 4-wheel drive, passing through the Balkan Mountains and a vast highland area where camels, sheep and horses graze.
Gozli Ata - A respected Sufi teacher in the early 14th century, Gozli Ata had a large following until his untimely death at the hands of Mongol invaders. His mausoleum, located in a natural depression of rocky desert, is now a popular place of pilgrimage. Gozli Ata is 135 km north of Balkanabat; an experienced driver is needed to find it.
Transfer to Balkanabad city for a light sightseeing.
Continue to Parau Bibi shrine - A square-based but now roofless mausoleum, known as Parau Ata, is the main structure standing at the town site. But the building of most interest lies on the steep hillside to the south. This is the Mausoleum of Parau Bibi, which dates perhaps to the 11th century. It is now one of the most important centres of shrine pilgrimage in Turkmenistan.
Transfer Darwaza gaz crater via 2 small craters mud and water.
Continue to Darwaza crater and change from the asphalt road to the Karakum desert.
In 1971 geologists accidentally found an underground cavern filled with natural gas. To avoid poisonous gas discharge, it was decided to burn the gas. Geologists hoped the fire would go out in a few days but it has been burning ever since. Locals have named the cavern The Gate - Darwaza. The views are impressive, especially in sunset and night when the mild sunlight and burning crater evoke incredible and ambiguous feelings.
Drive through the Karakum Desert to Gonur Depe archeological site. Have an excursion there.
- Gonur Depe - long before Merv raised its first tower, Bronze Age villages were assembling along the Murgab River in what is called the Margiana Oasis. The greatest of these ancient settlements, currently being excavated around Gonur Depe, has stunned the archaeological world for its vast area and complex layout.
- Mohammed bin Said Mausoleum; - Medieval castles – “Kesk” fortresses (6-7 centuries); - History museum of Merv region; Transfer to Mary Airport. Evening flight to Ashgabat Arrival in Ashgabat. Transfer to the hotel. Resting time in the evening.
- Accommodation in standard twin- shared rooms a/c;
- Accommodation based on shared yurt (incl. sleeping mat, sleeping bag, and pillow);
- Meals: breakfast at hotels; camp-style breakfast and BBQ dinner in Darwaza camp;
- All transfers as per program by comfortable tourist class transport as per road conditions including transfers to- from airports, train stations, and borders
- English speaking escorting guide in Turkmenistan;
- Single entry tickets to the sites, museums, mausoleums as per program;
- Tourist tax in the hotels per person;
- International flights;
- Turkmenistan tourist visa from 85+4 USD per person (subject to change; nationality dependent) and migration tax 10+4 USD per person (subject to change; nationality dependent);
- Photo/video fees (professional camera);
- Meals: Lunches and dinners; breakfast during night train trip/s;
- Personal travel/medical insurance, portage, tips, personal expenses and other services not specified under “Tour Price Includes”
- Turkmenistan: tourist fee 2 USD per person per night (obligatory) charged in the hotels;
Check-in 14.00, checkout time 11.00. No early check in, late check out are included, unless indicated.
• Please note that the drivers do not speak English or can speak only basic English.
• All the changes in the basic itinerary, timing for transfers depending the international flights departure/arrival time are to be discussed and pre-agreed with Tour Operator
• Train tickets are booked/bought as per the actual schedule and train tickets availability. Please note that the train trip/s MIGHT be replaced for transfer/s by car depending on train tickets availability and trains schedule.