Turkmenistan Classic Tour

Merv, Mary, Ashgabat, Darvaza

Curious about seeing Turkmenistan, one of the most closed and mysterious countries in the world, in a short time? The Classic Tour to Turkmenistan is a 4-day trip that showcases the country's key architectural and natural sights.

You will visit the ancient city of Merv with its secular and religious monuments, climb the 30-meter high fortress walls built before our era, and explore the sights of Ashgabat and Old Nisa. Witness the most unusual monument to Lenin in the post-Soviet space and visit the largest mosque in Turkmenistan. Experience the Darvaza gas crater, famously known as the Door to Hell, and much more.

You will also encounter sand dunes, camels, and have the chance to interact with the locals. Additionally, this classic tour to Turkmenistan will delight you with authentic national cuisine.

After passing through customs, your Turkmenistan guide will meet you to continue the journey to Merv (300 km, 4-5 hours). Merv is an ancient city that was a major center of international trade and crafts on the Silk Road. Your guided sightseeing tour of Merv will include:

  • Sultan Sanjar Mausoleum (12th century) – considered by many to be the most majestic architectural monument of Merv, this mausoleum amazes with its thick walls, symmetrical proportions and a domed top that displays amazing architectural craftsmanship for its day;
  • Greater Kyz Kala and Lesser Kyz Kala (8th-9th centuries) - These unique fortified homes are built of mud brick, with no known archaeological equivalents;
  • Erk Kala (6th century BC), the seat of ancient Merv and its oldest settlement, whose remaining walls are nearly 30 meters high. Climb the walls for a great view of the surrounding area;
  • Gyaur Kala (3rd century BC) - Merv’s second oldest settlement, famous for its thick, 2-km long walls.

After the tour, transfer to Mary for an overnight stay at the hotel.

In the morning transfer to Mary Airport to take a flight to Ashgabat. Upon arrival in Ashgabat, transfer to the hotel, and check-in at noon. Tour Ashgabat with your private local guide and driver. Begin your sightseeing adventure in the capital by meeting at your hotel:

  • Old Nisa, a spectacular archaeological site just 15km from the city. Nisa was the capital of the Parthian Empire, founded in the 3rd century BC and remaining in power for nearly 500 years. Today it’s listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site;
  • Turkmenbashi Ruhy Mosque - one of the largest mosques in Central Asia. Also referred to as the Spiritual Mosque and the Gypjak Mosque, it includes a mausoleum with the tombs of former president Turkmenbashy and his immediate family members;
  • Neutrality Monument, a 95-meter-high tower topped with a gold statue of former president Saparmurat Niyazov (Turkmenbashy) that rotates to face the sun. Ride to the top in a funicular to tour a small museum and enjoy a panoramic view of the city;
  • Independence Park, including the yurt-shaped Independence Monument housing the Museum of National Values. The museum is surrounded by lavish fountains, 27 statues of Turkmenistan’s key historical figures and a golden sculpture of Niyazov himself;
  • Statue of Lenin, unique in that it stands on a large base decorated in traditional Turkmen ornamentation.

After your tour, transfer to the hotel. Overnight in Ashgabat.

After free time in the morning, your driver and guide will pick you up from your Ashgabat hotel and drive to Darvaza Gas Crater (280km, 4-5 hrs). The drive to Darvaza is filled with fun breaks along the way: Stop to take photos of dunes and camels along the way. Marvel at the mud and water craters, smaller and tamer versions of the Gate to Hell. Cross the final dunes to reach Darvaza Gas Crater, arriving at the crater in the evening to enjoy a spectacular sunset view before admiring the crater’s flames accentuated by a pitch-black sky. The fire crater is about 80 meters in diameter and 30 meters deep, and staring into this ‘Door to Hell’ with your own eyes is an experience like no other. Enjoy a delicious campfire dinner as you lounge near the burning crater. Drive back to Ashgabat after dinner for drop-off at the hotel.

Check out from the hotel by noon and transfer to the Ashgabat International Airport for departure to your next destination. End of Turkmenistan Classic Tour.

  • Accommodation based on double/twin room sharing, with breakfast, 3 nights;
  • All road transfers (1-2 persons in sedan, 3-8 persons in minivan, 4WD in Darvaza);
  • Economy class flight tickets from Mary-Ashgabat;
  • Private, local English-speaking escort guide;
  • Entrance fees to sights as per itinerary;
  • Visa support letter for Turkmenistan tourist visa;
  • 1L bottle of water per person per day.
  • Consular fees for Turkmenistan tourist visa and migration tax;
  • International flight tickets before and after the tour;
  • Tips are not included (driver, guide, porter);
  • Hotel charges for additional services;
  • Full board (3 lunches and 2 dinners);
  • Travel insurance;
  • All other charges and services not mentioned under “Inclusions”.

Download the PDF brochure for the Turkmenistan Classic Tour.

As our journey through Turkmenistan concludes, we hope you leave with unforgettable memories of this extraordinary land. From the stunning Karakum Desert to the ancient ruins of Merv, Turkmenistan has revealed its secrets and shared its rich history and culture. As you depart, may the warmth of Turkmen hospitality and the timeless stories of this unique country stay with you, inspiring future adventures. Thank you for joining us on this classic tour of Turkmenistan. Book your Turkmenistan Classic Tour with OREXCA.

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