NAVRUZ (Eastern New Year) tour

Ashgabat, Mary, Nokhur, Dashoguz, Darwaza
Fixed departure NAVRUZ (Eastern New Year) tour to Turkmenistan
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7 Days
Guaranteed departure –
even if there is only 1 pax

Duration: 7 days / 6 nights
Type of route: airway, motor coach tour
Tour dates: 17–23 March
Deadline: 17 February

Navruz (also called Noruz, Nowruz, Nowrooz, and Nawruz), the spring "New Year" holiday, has been celebrated for at least 2,500 years, and perhaps for as long as 5,000 years. Originating in Persia and long associated with the ancient Zoroastrian religion, its name means "new day" in Farsi because for ancient Persians it marked the first day of the New Year. On this day, Persian kings would have worn a crown with images of the annual solar cycle on their heads, participated in the divine mass in the Temple of Fire, and distributed generous gifts to citizens.

Today, Navruz is celebrated each year on March 21, when the sun enters the sign of Aries on the astrological calendar. In the northern hemisphere, this date frequently coincides with the spring equinox, the day on which the number of daylight hours equals the number of nighttime hours. On our modern Gregorian calendar, the spring equinox varies from March 19 to March 21. Although their calendars were different, ancient peoples followed the course of the sun and moon closely, and knew that the seasons began to change on this date. For them, it was as if the powers of light had overcome the powers of darkness, allowing the earth to awaken and life to be rekindled. Many of us have similar feelings today, even though we understand the more scientific explanation: that the northern hemisphere begins to tilt toward the sun at this date, which results in longer and warmer days.

This tour offers a unique opportunity to experience Navruz celebrations in Turkmenistan. The festivities express a wide variety of Turkmen colorful traditions that cannot be observed during travel through the country in any other period of the year. We will take you to the outdoor location of the festivities, located against the backdrop of the Kopetdag foothills. Next to this, the tour comprises all highlights of a visit to Turkmenistan, such as visits to the three UNESCO World Heritage listed historical sites of Nissa, Merw and Kunya Urgench, as well as diverse museums that showcase Turkmenistan's historical and ethnographic wealth. The tour also offers a glimpse of the Karakum Desert, the Kopetdag Mountains, as well as visits to the famous Darwaza gas crater (with BBQ dinner), a silk and carpet weaving workshop (these are authentic workshops and not a shopping tour), and the stables of the world-famous Ahalteke horses. The tour is based on hotel accommodation, and uses domestic flights (operated solely by Boeing aircraft) to cover long distances.

The groups will be composed of no less than 6 persons and no more than 18 persons, in order to maintain maximum quality of your travel experience. Participants can originate from various countries worldwide, be of various ages and of various professional backgrounds and with various interests. We are providing an English-speaking escort-interpreter with the tours, but this person is not a group leader or moderator. Therefore, we expect an open attitude towards fellow participants throughout the tour.

Travel itinerary: Ashgabat – Mary – Ashgabat – Nokhur – Ashgabat – Dashouz – Ashgabat – Darvaza – Ashgabat

Day 1 (Mon, 17 Mar): Ashgabat

City tour, including visits of:
- the National History Museum;
- Nissa (UNESCO);
- Independence Park;
- Neutrality Arch;
- Earthquake Memorial;
- and Ahalteke Horse Monument.
Check-in hotel after 13:00.
Overnight in Ashgabat.

Meals: L

Day 2 (Tue, 18 Mar, 2014): Ashgabat – Mary – Ashgabat
Transfer to airport for morning flight to Mary.
Excursion to Merv (UNESCO).
Transfer to Mary for a visit of the Mary History and Ethnography Museum.
Transfer to airport for evening flight to Ashgabat.
Transfer in Ashgabat.

Meals: B, L

Day 3 (Wed, 19 Mar, 2014): Ashgabat – Nokhur – Ashgabat
Day trip to Nokhur village in the Kopetdag Mountains, with visits of Turkmenbashi Mosque-Mausoleum, Geok Depe Mosque and carpet weaving home workshop on the way.
In Nokhur, lunch at private home, and visit of silk weaving home workshop and tribal cemetery.
Overnight in Ashgabat.

Meals: B, L

Day 4 (Thu, 20 Mar, 2014): Ashgabat – Dashouz – Ashgabat
Transfer to airport for morning flight to Dashoguz.
Excursion to Kunya Urgench (UNESCO).
Transfer to airport for evening flight to Ashgabat.
Transfer to hotel, with city-by-night tour on the way.
Overnight in Ashgabat.

Meals: B, L

Day 5 (Fri, 21 Mar, 2014): Ashgabat
Day trip to the location of the Navruz celebrations, with visit of Anau Mosque remains and pilgrim site on the way.

Meals: B, L

Day 6 (Sat, 22 Mar, 2014): Ashgabat – Darvaza – Ashgabat
City tour, with visit of Carpet Museum, Ertogrul Ghazi Mosque and Ahalteke horse stables.
Afternoon transfer to Darwaza via the Karakum Desert.
BBQ dinner at Darvaza.
Return to Ashgabat after dark.
Arrival in Ashgabat around midnight.

Meals: B, L, D

Day 7 (Sun, 23 Mar, 2014): Ashgabat
Morning visit of the Sunday Bazaar.
Afternoon at leisure.
Check-out hotel by 13:00.

Meals: B, L


Price includes: Price does not include:
  • Visa support (invitation letter, registration, travel pass);
  • All overland transport by air-conditioned foreign-brand vehicles (except Ashgabat Airport transfers on arrival and departure);
  • All domestic flights by Boeing aircraft of Turkmenistan Airlines;
  • Accommodation based on shared twin *** hotel room, including breakfast;
  • Half board meals: cafe or restaurant lunches, including water, tea, instant coffee and packed juice; excluding soft and alcoholic drinks;
  • Dinner at Darwaza BBQ style, including water, tea, instant coffee and packed juice; excluding soft and alcoholic drinks;
  • English-speaking escort and interpreter services for full duration of the program;
  • Entrance fees to all sites mentioned in the program (National Museum, Carpet Museum, Mary Museum, Nissa, Merw, Kunya Urgench, Ahalteke stables).
  • International flights;
  • Turkmenistan tourist visa from 85+2 US$ per person, when obtained at Ashgabat Airport (subject to change and nationality dependent);
  • Turkmenistan migration tax 10+2 US$ per person, to be paid at the Ashgabat Airport (subject to change);
  • Dinners not included in the above table;
  • Camera usage fees (National Museum, Carpet Museum, Mary Museum, Nissa, Merwand Kunya Urgench);
  • Tips for local guide and driver;
  • Souvenirs and other personal items;
  • Excess luggage charges;
  • All other charges not mentioned under the section "Included in tour price" above.

Important notes for all travelers:
- Please bring only cash USD for your local expenses in Turkmenistan, no EURO and no credit cards;
- There will be various different vehicles and drivers during your trip, depending on the section of the route and the type of vehicle required for that section (regular OR 4WD only on 19 and 22 March, 2014);
- Please bring 2 identical pass photos per person for state registration on Monday 17 March;
- Please be aware that a member of staff of our agency will need to take your original passport for several hours for this registration.

We hope you like the program and assure you that we are absolutely open to any suggestions to increase the range of our services for the complete satisfaction of our clients and are happy to meet your special requirements.
You can alter the duration of your tour and places of visits by adding one of the extensions. Our tour operator will work closely with you or your travel agent to carefully prepare an itinerary based on your stated interests.

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