Turkmenistan – Legends of the Silk Road, – 8 days

days | 2 - 12 people in a group
tour description

history, culture, sightseeing

We would like to invite you to an expedition to Turkmenistan – one of the most interesting countries of Central Asia. During our trip, we would like to present to the travellers the extraordinary and long history of the civilisations and cultures that have developed for centuries in the territory of this country.

We will visit archaeological sites and also see the unique geological-nature-made attractions as the burning Darvaza gas crater or the Yangykala Canyon. We will also do our best to present the culture and traditions of the inhabitants of Turkmenistan that was shaped for centuries under the influence of many civilisations.


Flights to Ashgabat usually arrive at night or early in the morning. After arrival, visa formalities. Transfer to the hotel and, after a short rest, breakfast and an introductory meeting. On this day, we will visit the National History Museum, the Neutrality Monument and the Ertugrul Gazi Mosque. In the afternoon, we will visit the Park of Independence and the bazaar. Dinner in one of local restaurants, night rest at the hotel.


After breakfast, we will set off to visit the Old Nisa and New Nisa archaeological sites. We will see the remnants of a urban centre whose history dates back to more than 2500 years ago. We will also see the remnants of the Old Nisa citadel from the times of the Parthian dynasty. The archaeological structures in Nisa are under the protection of UNESCO. Then start our drive through the Kara-kum Desert to the town of Darvaza. This place is called the Gates of Hell. In Darvaza, there is a crater created during an attempt at extracting natural gas in 1971. Since that time, the crater has been continuously burning. We will have dinner near the crater so as to fully see the extraordinary beauty of this place. Night rest in traditional Turkmen tents.

B. L. D.

After breakfast, we will set off to the town of Köneürgenç, also known as Kunya-Urgench. It was founded near the ruins of the Kyrkmolla fortress built in the times of the Persian Achaemenid dynasty. The golden age of Kunya Urgench was in the 10th and 12th centuries when it was the largest city of Central Asia. It was completely destroyed as a result of its invasion by Genghis Khan. In the afternoon, a drive to Dashoguz. Flight to Ashgabat. Dinner and night rest at the hotel.


Early breakfast, after which we will go to the airport. Flight to Turkmenbashy, the largest harbour of Turkmenistan on the Caspian Sea. After arrival, we will go to the Yangykala Canyon. The name of the canyon means “the fiery fortress” in Turkmen. Owing to its geological structure and rock colours, the canyon displays the whole array of colours that change in the course of the day. In the afternoon return to Turkmenbashy. There will be an option of taking a bath in the Caspian Sea. Dinner and night rest at the hotel.


After breakfast, we will start our whole-day journey to the capital of Turkmenistan. En route we will stop for lunch and to have some rest. We will also visit a unique cemetery in Nohur, a town in the Kopet-Dag Mountains. In the evening, we will arrive in Ashgabat.


After breakfast, we drive to the airport. Flight to the town of Mary, than we will go to the Gonur Depe archaeological site. We will see ruins of one of the oldest cities of Asia whose origins date back to the Bronze Age, more than 4500 years ago. We also see the largest and most interesting fragments remaining from the settlement that had more than 55 hectares of surface area. We will visit the ancient palace of rulers of the city and to the remnants of water and fire temples. We will also see the ancient necropolis of the inhabitants of the old Gonur Depe. In the afternoon, return to Mary. Visit at the archaeological museum and a short walk through the city. Then dinner in one of local restaurants. Night rest at the hotel.


After breakfast, we will set off to visit the archaeological site at the Murgab river. The town founded by Alexander the Great and enlarged by his successors was the largest Greek colony in Central Asia. In the era of the Persian Parthian and Sassanid dynasties, Merv was one of the most important science and culture centres. We will see the remains of the town that despite multiple invasions had been continuously developing to the 12th century when it was completely destroyed by the Mongolian army. We will see the remnants of the fortress and temples. Then we will go to visit the Sultan Sanjar Mausoleum. In the afternoon, drive to Ashgabat for dinner and night rest.


Depending on the departure time, transfer to the airport. Flight home from Turkmenistan.


Practical information

  • the length of the tour : 8 days in Turkmenistan;
  • start of the trip: Ashgabat;
  • end of the trip: Ashgabat;
  • the highlights of this expedition The highlights of the tour will be the visits in towns and archaeological sites of the current Turkmenistan that are most interesting from the historical and cultural points of view. There will also be no shortage of natural geological attractions such as the famous Gates of Hell in Darvaza and the colourful Yangykala Canyon. During the trip, we will have an opportunity to meet the inhabitants of this exceptional Central Asian country where the local culture was shaped by multiple civilisations, religions and traditions.

Because of the special nature of the visited places and of the expedition features, the travellers are required to be physically and mentally fit. Long drives on desert roads and visits in cities and towns may cause considerable fatigue and discomfort. Accommodation is planned in 3- and 4-star hotels, although one night we will spend in traditional Turkmen tents. The drives during our tour will be on minibuses and off-road vehicles. Short hikes to viewpoints and archaeological sites are planned during the tour. The itinerary was designed to enable best possible viewing of the places away from mass tourism routes, while meeting safety standards and ensuring comfort to the travellers. Bear in mind that Turkmenistan is mostly inhabited by Sunni Muslims, which means the need to respect cultural differences and to adhere to the appropriate dress code.

Depending on the political situation, the length of the tour and the order of visited places may change. In a situation of a serious threat to travellers’ safety, the tour may be cancelled. We will keep you updated as to whether the expedition is possible.

Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months after the planned end of the tour.

Before departure, you must obtain the tourist visa at one of your nearest embassies of the Turkmenistan. Having booked the tour, the travellers will receive a letter of invitation necessary for obtaining the visa. The completed visa application and two current colour photographs will also be necessary.

To obtain a visa, you may use the services of visa agents or the help of BTP Adventure.

Furthermore, you should take with you for the trip a photocopy of your passport (the photo page) and an additional ID document.

  • Before departure, we recommend a consultation with a family physician and a tropical medicine specialist.
  • Malaria prophylaxis is recommended but an infection is rather unlikely because of the climate, the trip dates and the itinerary of the planned tour.
  • Vaccination against tetanus, diphtheria, viral hepatitis A and B and typhus is recommended.
  • There is a risk of tuberculosis.
  • We recommend visiting https://travelhealthpro.org.uk/countries.
  • During our expedition, we will drink only bottled water. You should avoid ice in your beverages and eating raw or undercooked foods.
  • At the visited places, only private healthcare exists (a visit cost is approximately USD 50).
  • Because of difficult travelling and accommodation conditions and particularities of the country, good general health is necessary. Please take with you a first aid kit and a sufficient supply of your regular (prescription) medicines, if any. Some useful contents of the first aid kit:

Turkmenistan is a relatively politically stable country and safe for tourists.

Owing to the good relations we have with local contractors, we keep following the news to be aware of any potential threats and safety risks. We also recommend you to read the latest news on the Foreign & Commonwealth Office website: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice.

During the tour, please take seriously the instructions of our contractors, guides and tour leader.

It is very important to respect local customs and abide by local laws and regulations. You will receive the necessary information on an on-going-basis from your local guides and the tour leader.

The official currency in Turkmenistan is the Turkmenistan manat  (TMT). Currency exchange is possible at the airport, in banks, in some hotels and at foreign exchange points in the street. During the exchange, you must thoroughly calculate the received money and make sure what exchange rate is used. Using payment cards is not always possible. The best foreign exchange rate is for US dollars and euros. Please note that dollars should be printed after 2006.

For current foreign exchange rates see www.xe.com or install xe.com on your phone.

The official languages in the Turkmenistan are Turkmen and Russian. Several dozen local languages are also spoken within the Turkmenistan territory. In the case of a group tour, the tour leader will speak English or  Russian. For self-guided tours, you must speak basic English or Russian hire a local guide with a command of English or Russian.

The Turkmenistan is a multi-ethnic country where Sunni Muslims constitute a vast majority. Because of cultural considerations and for safety reasons, it is advisable to learn about the recommended dress code. Women are not required to wear headscarves at public places but it will be necessary during visits in mosques and orthodox churches. Clothes that reveal too much flesh are frowned upon – both in men and women. Discussions about political subjects should be avoided.

It is very important to respect local customs and abide by local laws. You will receive the relevant information from your local guide or the tour leader.

The proposed tour dates fall in the periods of of the best possible weather conditions at the sites included in the itinerary. The best time for expeditions is the periods between March and May and between September and November. In these periods, in most of the places we will visit, temperatures during the day range from +20 to +30°C. At night, temperatures range from +5 to 15°C. There may be some occasional showers in these periods.

For detailed information see https://www.meteoblue.com/en.

Mobile network coverage is available in most towns and villages. However, it may not be present in many desert regions and during our rides from town to town. It is possible to purchase a local SIM-card with an Internet package. To avoid a nasty surprise, we recommend disabling mobile data usage.

  • Wi-Fi is available at most hotels and restaurants.
  • Power sockets of type C, E . Voltage 230 V, frequency 50 Hz.
  • Additionally, we recommend taking a capacious power bank.

For climatic and cultural reasons, loose garments will be most appropriate: long trousers, long skirts, long-sleeved shirts, which can be easily washed and will quickly dry. The most comfortable footwear for the tour will be lightweight boots. Palladium brand boots are recommended. Wearing open sandals is possible. Light hiking boots may prove useful.

The following are worth taking:

  • aluminium sleeping pad or light self-inflating mat and thin summer sleeping bag; we provide a mattress during the trip but taking your own pad or mat will improve your sleeping comfort
  • sachet for documents and money
  • lightweight sleeping bag
  • wet wipes for body cleaning and antibacterial gels
  • polar fleece jacket or warmer blouse, especially useful at evening and night times in northern areas of Pakistan
  • head cover and sunglasses – mandatory, the sun is no joke!
  • comfortable summer clothes, useful during practically the whole trip
  • light T-shirts/shirts
  • useful odds and ends: torch, Swiss Army knife, sewing kit (usually is not needed but is not heavy and does not take much place), chargers, mug (for special occasions); inflatable neck pillow, useful on the plane and during car rides; small wallet for the local currency; books to pass the time on flights and car rides


Price: £ 1890 p/p

Price includes

According to the program, three domestic flights are planned:

  • Dashoguz – Ashgabat,
  • Ashgabat – Turkmenbashy,
  • Ashgabat – Mary

During the expedition, we will travel by minibuses and off-road vehicles. Depending on the daily agenda in the itinerary and the current situation as regards traveller safety, we will spend 4 to 10 hours travelling every day.The speed and transfer times depend on the road surface conditions, terrain characteristics and number and length of stops.

We are not able to guarantee a uniform accommodation standard at each of the planned sites during the stay in Turkmenistan. Our priorities are your comfort, safety and appropriate location. We always place emphasis on the support of local community when selecting the sites for our accommodation. In general, rooms will be assigned on the assumption of two people sharing a twin room (rooms with individual bathrooms). The surcharges for single rooms are quoted in the “Price” section.

  • overnight stays in hotels approximately corresponding to the 3 and 4-star standard are planned during the tour.
  • In the vicinity of Lompoul, the overnight stay will be in the vicinity of Turkmen tents

Meals are included in the tour price, as specified in the itinerary. B – breakfast, L – lunch, D – dinner. Breakfasts will usually be offered in hotels. We will go for lunches and dinners to local restaurants. The Turkmenistan cuisine is varied, similarly as the culture and history of this exceptional country.

For information about the local costs of living see https://www.numbeo.com/cost-of-living/.

Services of a tour guide,  local and special guides in National Parks

All entrance fees and permits to visit national parks and reserves in the itinerary

The price includes the cost of tips and porters’ fees.

Trip preparation, visa mediation, the invitation necessary to obtain a visa

Price does not include

Costs of the main flight to and from Ashgabat

Costs of flight tickets are not covered by the tour price. BTP Adventure does not directly arrange and buy tickets for international flights. However, we may suggest the best connections and airlines. For this purpose, contact us by e-mail or call us.

Visa for Turkmenistan

Insurance is not covered by the tour price. Having valid insurance is a condition for taking part in the trip. We recommend taking out insurance that will be appropriate for the planned itinerary and for your individual state of health and needs. Please send us the proof of your insurance contract.

You can purchase insurance on your own on the website of Axa or any other insurance company: https://www.axa.co.uk/travel-insurance/.

BTP Adventure may help you obtain adequate insurance cover. If you want our help, please contact us.

Meals other than those listed in the final itinerary.

Personal expenses and souvenirs.

Surcharge for a single room: 200 £

supplementary payment for the additional accommodation  In the case of  arrival or departure on a different date,

We will keep updating the detailed information on the safety and final itinerary of the tour. Before you decide to submit the booking form, please learn about the current political and sanitary situation in Turkmenistan.

The planned expedition is an exclusive proposal prepared on the basis of our experience and knowledge of the local peculiarities and major sightseeing attractions of Turkmenistan.

We are committed to ensure the best possible and safe and, as far as feasible, comfortable travelling through this little-frequented and extremely interesting country with a fascinating history.

Depending on the political situation, the length of the tour and the order of visited places may change. In a situation of a serious threat to travellers’ safety, the tour may be cancelled. We will keep you updated as to whether the expedition is possible.

We can arrange a self-guided tour – if you are interested, please contact the office.

It is possible to combine this tour with trips to Tajikistan, Iran, or Pakistan.

With any questions please contact BTP ADVENTURE

dates & prices
06/10/2024 - 13/10/2024
27/04/2025 - 04/05/2025

1890 £ Per Person
  • We can arrange a self-guided tour – if you are interested, please contact the office.
  • It is possible to combine this tour with trips to Tajikistan, Iran, or Pakistan.





you can find price for the group in description