10:40 Arrival in Mary. Meet your driver in the terminal. Transfer to the excursion.
Excursion to Ancient Merv (UNESCO). Discover the historical park with:
- Sultan Sanjar Mausoleum - The best remaining testimony to Seljuk power at Merv is the 38 m-high Mausoleum of Sultan Sanjar, located in what was the center of Sultan Kala. The building was restored with Turkish aid and rises dramatically in the open plain. Sanjar, the grandson of Alp-Arslan, died in 1157, reputedly of a broken heart when, after escaping from captivity in Khiva, he came home to find that his beloved Merv had been pillaged by Turkic nomads.
- Mohammed bin Said Mausoleum, medieval castles – “Kesk” fortresses (6-7 centuries) and others.
Breakfast at the hotel. Transfer to Darwaza with sightseeing en-route:
- Anau Mosque Ruins, - Akhal-Teke horse stables and Sunday Bazaar; - 2 small craters with mud and water.
Continue to Darwaza crater and change from the asphalt road to the Karakum desert track, continue 10 km deep inside.
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.
In the morning transfer to Kunya-Urgench. Start sightseeing tour with visiting: the founder mausoleum of Sufi sects:
- Najmuddin Kubro (Persian) - (Shaykh Ab al-Jann b Ahmad ibn 'Umar) was a 13th-century Persian Sufi from Khwarezmia, the founder of the Kubrawiyya or Kibruyeh Sufi order, influential in the Ilkhanid and Timurid. His method, exemplary of a "golden age" of sufi metaphysics, was related to the Illuminism of Shahab al-Din Suhrawardi as well as to Rumi's Shams Tabrizi;
- The mausoleum of Mongolian princess Torebeg-Hanym (XII-XIV centuries);
- Minaret Kutlug-Timur (XII-XIV c, the highest minaret in Central Asia - 67m height);
- Mausoleum Kyrkmolla (II in BC - III A.D.) - The sacred hill Kyrk Molla, “40 mullahs” in Turkic, is found in Kunya-Urgench. According to a local legend, during the Mongol invasion, 40 scholars who lived in the library began to pray for the salvation of the priceless manuscripts, stored there. When the enemy approached, the library tipped over and went underground;
- Mausoleum Arslan II (the oldest building in the city - date of its bookmark is roughly estimated by XI century). Moving to Dashoguz.
- 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.