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    Turkmenistan Nowruz tour

     7 nights in Turkmenistan
    Ashgabat – Yayla – Gokdepe – Mary – Merv – Chashgyn village – Darwaza  (Gas crater) – Kunya Urgench – Ashgabat

    Celebrate Nowruz in Celebrate Nowruz in Central Asia's most mysterious and unexplored country - TURKMENISTAN! Nowruz, also known as the Iranian New Year or Persian New Year, marks the arrival of spring in the Northern Hemisphere and falls on March 21 or the nearby days, depending on the location. This momentous occasion signifies the vernal equinox when day and night are of equal length and is precisely calculated every year. Families come together to partake in these cherished traditions.
    During this tour, we will revel in the Nowruz festivities nestled in the sub-mountain valley of Akhal. Here, locals construct a Turkmen village reminiscent of an Oriental tale, characterized by its warm hospitality and open-hearted welcome to friends and neighbors.
    Our journey will also take us to the notable landmarks of Ashgabat, the astonishing Turkmen capital included in the Guinness Book of World Records for the highest concentration of white marble-clad buildings.
    Explore the ancient cities of Merv and Kunya Urgench, both of which played pivotal roles on the historic Silk Road.
    Additionally, we will witness the incredible Darwaza Gas Crater, a natural wonder that's been on fire since 1971.
    You'll have the opportunity to savor authentic Turkmen craftsmanship in the charming Chashgyn village and partake in the preparation of a traditional Turkmen lunch at one of the famous Horse farms.

    The national carrier, Turkmenistan Airlines, usually operates 1-2 flights per week from several Western European capitals. Please note that Turkmenistan Airlines flights cannot be booked online, but we can assist you with the booking process. Turkish Airlines offers daily connections between Istanbul and Ashgabat, and you can book these tickets online.



    The tour itinerary is a PRELIMINARY one. Korea Konsult reserves the right to change some parts of the itinerary below if needed. Eventual itinerary changes after the group arrival in the DPRK are beyond our control. Under no circumstances can Korea Konsult be held responsible for any itinerary changes.

    Mar 16 (Sat): Ashgabat


    • Option 1 (Turkmenistan Airlines): Departure from Istanbul Airport by flight T5-986 at 17.40 local time. Arrival in Ashgabat International Airport at 23.30 local time.
    • Option 2 (Turkish Airlines): Departure from Istanbul Airport by flight TK322 at 21.00 local time. Arrival in Ashgabat at 02.45 am local time (March 17)
      Departure from Frankfurt International Airport by flight T5-464 at 15.50 Arrival in Ashgabat at 00.20 am local time (March 17)

      Departure from Dubai International Airport by flight FZ731 at 23.55. Arrival in Ashgabat at 03.25 am local time (March 17)

    • Transfer to Ashgabat - capital of Turkmenistan, often called as "White city". Ashgabat is built in the Karakum Desert and is located 25km north of the border with Iran from which it is separated by Kopet Dag mountain range. Since the independence from Soviet Union in 1991, the city has completely changed its look. An impressive architectural re-styling effort led by the government of Turkmenistan resulted in Guiness Book Record for world's highest density of white marble-clad buildings.
    • Check-in at the Sport Hotel - very good 4* hotel in Ashgabat city center. The Berkarar shopping center is just across the street.The Sport hotel was completed in 2017 for the 5th Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games. From the restaurant on the top floor you can enjoy a fantastic city panorama.

    OVERNIGHT: Sport Hotel**** or same level
    Mar 17 (Sun): Ashgabat
    • Breakfast
    • Aziada 2017 - is the impressive infrastructure built in a central area of Ashgabat for the 5th Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games in 2017(Aziada). It includes Olympic Stadium, 30 sport facilities, the Athletes Village, various support and administrative buildings. Aziada 2017 became the first major multi-sport event hosted in Turkmenistan and attracted 5,500 athletes from 62 countries to participate across 21 sports.
    • Tolkuchka Bazaar - is the Ashgabat's largest bazaar. It offers a huge range of goods from fruits and vegetables to Turkmen carpets, handicrafts, jewelry, silks and even camels.
    • Pass by Presidential Palace - is the official residence and principal workplace of the President of Turkmenistan, located on Independence Square. It is forbidden to take pictures of the Palace.
    • Rukhiyet Palace - built by the French company Bouygues, it is a place for holding official meetings and events, forums and inaugurations.
    • Wedding Palace - "palace of happiness" in Turkmen. This impressive building is crowned by a cube with a ball displaying the map of Turkmenistan. The palace consists of several halls for celebrations, banquet halls for weddings, dozens of shops, photo and beauty salons, etc
    • Yyldyz Hotel - "star" in Turkmen. It is one of the best hotels in Turkmenistan offering a fantastic panorama of Ashgabat city. This hotel is also one of the few places with good wi-fi.
    • Lunch
    • Constitution Monument - a 91-meter high four-sided pillar decorated with Turkmen carpet ornaments on all sides and crowned with a spire with a gold crescent moon and five stars. This monument is associated with the proclamation of Turkmenistan's independence on October 27, 1991 and the Constitution's adoption om May 18, 1992
    • Arch of Neutrality - built in 1998, it is a 75-meter-high rocket-shaped tower topped with a gold statue of the former Turkmenistan's president Niyazov (died in 2006). The statue was rotating throughout the day so that its face would be always in the sun. In 2010 the monument was removed from the city center and reassembled in the outskirts of Ashgabat.
    • Independence Monument - inspired by traditional Turkmen tents, this impressive monument is one of the largest of its kind. Together with the surrounding park which is the place of numerous statues, water fountains and pools, it covers an area of more than 80,000 m².
    • Ertugrul Gazi Mosque - named in honor of the father of Osman Empire first ruler, this building is a beautiful combination of Islamic and Byzantine architecture. It is also one of the first mosques built after the independence of Turkmenistan in the early 1990s
    • Square of Revival (Galkynysh) - in the middle of this grandiose square there is a huge stele designed to embody the spirit of the new Turkmen statehood based on independence and permanent neutrality, peace and creativeness.
    • Park of Inspiration - opened in 2010, it is located between two central avenues of the Turkmen capital. It is a series of four parks and each section is dedicated to famous Turkmen. More than forty statues are erected along the park tracks. The park is beautifully decorated by artificial river, bridges, fountains and flowerbeds.
    • Lenin Monument - this first monument to Lenin in Central Asia dates from 1927. It stands atop three plinths, each one carrying traditional motifs of the Turkmen carpets. While most of the buildings in Ashgabat fell to the ground during the terrible 1948 Ashgabat earthquake, the monument survived it with virtually no damage.
    • Dinner

    OVERNIGHT: Sport Hotel**** or same level
    Mar 18 (Mon): Ashgabat – Gokdepe – Horse farm – Nissa – Ruhy Mosque – Ashgabat

    • Breakfast
    • Alabay statue - this 6 meters high golden statue representing the Turkmen shepherd dog Alabay is placed on the pedestal of 9 meters height in the middle of one of Ashgabat's roundabouts in the Western part of the Turkmen capital. The monument was unveiled in November 2020 by the Turkmen president in person.
    • Drive to Gokdepe Fortress - a place of important battle for annexation of Turkmen land by Russian Emperor at the end of the XIX century.
    • Gokdepe Mosque - built on the orders of the first President of Turkmenistan on the site of the former Gokdepe fortress, it commemorates Turkmen civilians and soldiers who lost their lives in the bloody battle against the Russian Empire in 1881
    • Horse farm - unique chance to see beautiful Akhalteke horses. This horse breed exists since 5000 years ago and is the real proud of the Turkmens. Akhaltheke horse breed was never mixed with other breeds.
    • Lunch and cooking class at the horse farm: we will be preparing the Turkmen National dish Tamdyrlama (lamb).
    • Nissa fortress - the Sanctuary of Parthian Kings, UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2007. Nissa is described as one of the first capitals of the Parthians. It was founded by Arsaces I (reigned c. 250 BC – 211BC), and was reputedly the royal residence and necropolis. The ruins of the ancient settlement Nissa are located 18 km from Ashgabat at Bagyr village.
    • Turkmenbashi Ruhy Mosque - located in 7 km from Ashgabat, this is one of the biggest mosques in Asia built in 2004 in the home town of the first president of Turkmenistan. Next to the mosque there is a mausoleum where the president was buried in 2006. His family rest here as well: his father who was killed in WWII, his mother and 2 brothers, all killed in the devastating Ashgabat earthquake in 1948
    • Dinner

    OVERNIGHT: Sport Hotel**** or same level
    Mar 19 (Tue): Ashgabat – Mary – Merv – Chashgyn Village – Mary

    • Breakfast
    • Flight to Mary - the third largest city of Turkmenistan, located 370 km East from Ashgabat on an oasis in the Karakum desert. The city was founded in 1884 as a Russian military and administrative post and today it is a large industrial centre for the natural gas and cotton industries. The ruins of the ancient city of Merv are located in 30 km from Mary.
    • Arrival in Mary, lunch
    • Drive to Merv - located in 33 km from Mary, it is an ancient city on the Silk Road. The earliest references of Merv were found in the 8-6th centuries B.C. During the XII and XIII centuries it became one of the largest cities in the world with a population of about 500,000 and chroniclers described Merv as “the city that holds the universe." In 1221 Merv was invaded by Mongolian nomads and completely devastated. Even after being rebuilt after the Mongol destruction, the city could never regain its former prosperity.
    • Sightseeing in ancient Merv - we will be driving through the State Historical and Cultural Park to see the many remains. They include Bronze Age (2500-1200 BC), Iron Age (1200-300 BC) and other historic urban centers, as well as the post-medieval city. The Mausoleum of Sultan Sanjar and Kiz Kala fortress are one of the best preserved monuments of ancient Merv.
    • Continue to Chashgyn village - local Turkmen village situated north of Merv, it is a place where we can see demonstration of differents crafts such as carpet making, felt rug making, dying yarns, weaving, broom making etc. Locals will show the milking of camel and demonstrate making traditional instruments.
    • Drive back to Mary
    • Dinner

    OVERNIGHT: Mary Hotel**** or same level
    Mar 20 (Wed): Mary – Ashgabat


    • Breakfast
    • Drive from Mary to Ashgabat (5 hrs)
    • Lunch
    • Free time in Ashgabat. You can enjoy walking in the city on your own. A good idea might be visiting Berkarar shopping center - one of the best in Ashgabat. This huge modern mall features stores of all kinds, a hypermarket, nice cafés, restaurants etc. Berkarar is located just in front of your hotel, across the street.
    • Dinner

    OVERNIGHT: Sport Hotel**** or same level
    Mar 21 (Thu): Ashgabat – Yayla (Celebration of Nowruz) - Darwaza Gas Crater

    • Breakfast
    • Drive to Turkmen Yayla to take part in Nowruz Holiday Celebration. Visit folk show of five Turkmen regions: Balkan, Ahal, Mary, Lebap and Dashoguz. See by your own eyes ancient traditions of celling carpets, making jewelry and clothes. Show of the woven of carpets, processing of wool. Cooking of traditional meals, watch Turkmen national wrestling. Enjoy an amazing performance of the Galkynysh group on Akhal-Teke horses, showing various tricks and horseback riding. Lunch on sight.
    • Back to Ashgabat
    • Drive to Darwaza Gas Crater - located in 3,5 hrs ride from Ashgabat, this place is dubbed by locals as "The Door to Hell". The Darwaza area is rich in natural gas. While drilling in 1971, Soviet geologists discovered a cavern filled with natural gas. The ground beneath the drilling rig collapsed, leaving a large hole with a diameter of 70 meters. To avoid poisonous gas discharge, it was decided to burn it off. Geologists had hoped the fire would use all the fuel in a matter of days, but amazingly Darwaza is still burning today. In the evening, the view of the burning Darwaza is even more spectacular.
    • Dinner with a view on the Gas Crater
    • Overnight at Tents - every tent's capacity is 2 people, sleeping bags included

    OVERNIGHT: Tents
    Mar 22 (Fri): Darwaza Gas Crater – Kunya Urgench – Dashoguz – Ashgabat
    • Breakfast with a view on the Gas Grater
    • Drive to Kunya Urgench - located in the North-West of Turkmenistan, in the vicinity of the Uzbek border. It was the capital of Khorezm, part of the Achaemenid Empire. The town had a strategic location on one of the most important medieval paths: the Silk Road which was the crossroad of western and eastern civilisations.
    • Sightseeing in Kunya Urgench - the old town contains a series of monuments mainly from the XI to XVI centuries, including a mosque, the gates of a caravanserai, fortresses, mausoleums and a 60-m high minaret. In 2005 the ruins of Old Urgench were inscribed on the UNESCO List of World Heritage Sites.
    • Lunch
    • Transfer to the Kunya Urgench/Khodjeili border crossing point to see off group members who will continue the trip to Uzbekistan
    • Drive to Dashoguz - capital city of northern Turkmenistan's Dashoguz Province located in 10 km from the Uzbek border. In ancient times Dashoguz was and an important stop on the Silk Road. The modern Dashoguz is a Soviet-designed city and an important agricultural center.
    • Departure to Ashgabat by flight
    • Arrival in Ashgabat, dinner

    OVERNIGHT: Sport Hotel**** or same level
    Mar 23 (Sat):


      Departure from Ashgabat International Airport by flight T5-463 at 11.20 am. Arrival in Frankfurt International Airport at 14.20


    • Option 1 (Turkish Airlines): Departure from Ashgabat International Airport by flight TK325 at 04.05 am local time. Arrival in Istanbul Airport at 06.25 am local time.
    • Option 2 (Turkmenistan Airlines): Departure from Ashgabat International Airport by flight T5-985 at 14.10 local time. Arrival in Istanbul Airport  at 16.10 local time 



    • Turkmen visa support (visa approval document from Turkmen Foreign Ministry).
    • Registration in Ashgabat city
    • Twin-share accommodation at Sport 4*Hotel (5 nights), Mary 4* Hotel (1 night)
    • Twin-share accommodation in Darwaza in tents (1 night)
    • Transportation throughout the tour
    • English-speaking guide (guide in other language can be arranged)
    • Entrance fees to sightseeing sights: Nissa fortress, Kunya Urgench sites, Horse farm, Merv
    • 2 Domestic flights: Ashgabat-Mary and Dashoguz-Ashgabat
    • Meals according to the itinerary (alcoholic beverages not included)
    • Travel tax in Turkmenistan


    • International flights to/from Ashgabat
    • Cost of Turkmen visa (80-100 USD) & ev. border fees
    • Cost of mandatory COVID Express test (35-45 USD, to be paid in cash upon arrival in Turkmenistan)
    • Early check in at hotels
    • Single room supplement 280 USD per person for 7 nights
    • Photo and video fees at sites and museums
    • Tips for guide and driver
    • Travel insurance
    • Services not shown in the program


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