Wander through the amazing parks and marvel at the skyline and architecture of modern Ashgabat. Discover Turkmenistan’s Silk Road historical UNESCO heritage. Watch the flames of the burning gas crater at Darwaza or camp under the stars in the spectacular landscapes of Yangikala. Watch the camels graze in the Karakum Desert, or discover hundreds of dinosaur footprints on the slopes of the Kugitang Mountains. And more: join the locals at the celebration of Navruz Spring holiday (21 March), the Turkmen Race Horse festival (last Sunday of April) or the Turkmen Carpet festival (last Sunday of May).
Owadan Tourism has designed 4 itineraries along the most spectacular travel highlights in Turkmenistan. These itineraries have been based on requests for such itineraries by individual travelers in earlier years, for whom a private tour was eventually not a viable option. All the itineraries have a unique character: sites and scenes within the country that are otherwise challenging to visit. This is your chance to join!
Three of the tours are kept at a length of a modest 7 days total, to enable travelers with limited time available to join. For those that have a bit more time, we highly recommend to add one or both of the extensions to the western or eastern parts of the country, where travel through spectacular landscapes will complete your Turkmenistan experience. The fourth tour is a 12-day adventurous desert journey, that focuses on experiencing the Karakum Desert in all its facets.
Groups are composed of a minimum of 4 and a maximum of 12 participants, in order to maintain a pleasant group dynamic and a high quality travel experience. For the extensions to the western part of Turkmenistan (Caspian Sea and Yangikala Canyons) and to the eastern part of the country (Kugitang Mountains and the Dinosaur Plateau), prices are given for a minimum of 2 persons traveling.
You can sign-in by contacting us at firstname.lastname@example.org or by filling in the contact form in the Contact Us section of the website. Tour departures will become guaranteed when a minimum of 4 travelers have firmly signed up, provided passport and personal information (in order for us to initiate your visa support) and have made payment arrangements on a particular tour. The deadline for new sign-ups is indicated below each tour program and cannot be exceeded.
To sign-up for a tour, you will need to provide passport and personal information, as well as your preferred payment plan, about which our team will inform you as soon as you express your interest for any of the tours. Updates on the various tours’ departure status will be available upon direct request at email@example.com and on our website’s homepage.
Tour prices mentioned include services such as visa support (letter of invitation, arrival registration and issue of travel pass), English-language excursions and travel escort, overland transport by air-conditioned foreign-brand minibuses and/or 4-wheel drive vehicles, domestic flights (where applicable) by Boeing airplanes, accommodation based on shared double or twin hotel rooms and trekking tents (as applicable per tour), camp gear (sleeping mats, sleeping bags, camp table and chairs, camp cooking and camp dining arrangements). We have chosen not to include dinner arrangements in Ashgabat and other towns, where public dining options are available, in order to provide flexibility and freedom to the individuals where possible. The price and the listed services reflect the essential ones needed to ensure an optimal travel experience.
Tour prices do not include the cost of your international travel (international flights to and from Ashgabat, or land arrangements, if you reach Turkmenistan from neighboring Iran or Uzbekistan); your Turkmen visa cost (at an embassy abroad, at Ashgabat Airport or at a land border), the cost of meals not included in the program; alcoholic drinks, souvenirs, gratuities and camera fees at historical parks and museums.
Owadan Tourism can also prepare any of the four itineraries for private (closed) groups with a minimum of 4 participants at their own preferred travel dates. However, price supplements are applicable for such closed group tours.
Overland travelers using their own mode of (4WD) transport are also welcome to join-in on the overland section of the Karakum Special itinerary. Please contact us directly for a price indication.
All tours allow for the possibility to be combined with travel to/from Uzbekistan or Iran; and with the possibility to obtain your Turkmenistan visa upon arrival, either at the Ashgabat International Airport or at the relevant land border.
Note of caution:
All itineraries here have some elements of uncertainty in them (flight timetables, site opening hours, festival programs might be subject to minor changes): Owadan Tourism will do its very best to ensure that the exact program will be carried out, but we do request from all participants an understanding and flexible mindset, in case unexpected situations appear and minor adjustments to the programs are unavoidable.
Individual travelers that make up these group will originate from various countries worldwide, of various age, language and professional backgrounds and with various different personal perspectives and points of interest. Owadan Tourism provides an English-speaking excursion guide with the tours, but this person will not act as a group leader or moderator. Therefore, we expect an open attitude to fellow participants throughout the tour.
For details on tour dates and sign-up deadlines, itineraries and day-today program content, tour prices and services, click the tour that has your interest here:
Arrival in Ashgabat by air (evening D1 or early morning D2, depending on airline used) or overland from Iran at Bajgiran-Gaudan land border. Transfer to hotel. Overnight.
0900h Departure from hotel lobby for city tour, including visits of Independence Park, Neutrality Arch, Ferris Wheel, Wedding Palace Viewpoint. Afternoon drive out of the city into the Kopetdag Mountains, with visits of Turkmenbashi Mosque-Mausoleum and Geok Depe Mosque on the way. Camp dinner and overnight in tents in the foothills of the Kopetdag, with a view on Peak Dushak Eretdag (2450m).
We drive the short distance to Kowata cave where those interested can take a swim in the mineral-rich waters of the underground lake. We carry on through the foothills and valleys of the mountains to the peculiar grey mounts that are widely known as Moon Mountains. Picnic lunch on the way. Camp dinner and overnight in tents in the Moon Mountains area.
A drive of several hours takes us to Gumdag. Not far from here we visit the extinct mud volcano of Boyadag. Those who wish, can make the 30-minute climb to the top and back. We then carry on to Balkanabad, where we visit the local bazaar before carrying on to the sand dunes of Cheleken peninsula. Picnic lunch on the way. Camp dinner and overnight in tents in Cheleken sand dunes.
We drive the short distance back to the main road, but make a stop at Mollagara where you can to a swim in the salt lake. The phenomenon is the same as the Dead Sea. From here we drive several hours across the highland plateau to the coastal cliffs of the Garabogaz. You can continue to Yangisuw Canyon on foot or by 4x4. Picnic lunch on the way. Camp dinner and overnight in tents in Yangisuw area.
We drive the short distance from Yangisuw to Yangikala Canyon. Time to explore the canyon area. From Yangikala we drive in several hours to the white cliffs of Koymat. Picnic lunch on the way. Camp dinner and overnight in tents in Koymat area.
Today we travel along the white cliffs and the banks of the dried-up Uzboy River to the desert settlement of Balishem. We pass several traditional villages on the way. Picnic lunch on the way. Camp dinner and overnight in tents in the dunes near Balishem.
We start with a long drive northwards, passing several villages, until we reach the cliffs of Akchagaya. Close to sunset we reach Darwaza. Picnic lunch on the way. Camp dinner and overnight in tents near Darwaza crater.
Today we travel over tarmac in 4 hours back to Ashgabat. Lunch is free. This afternoon is free to do some souvenir shopping or visit any further city sights. After our traditionally Turkmen farewell dinner we make a city-by-night tour through the post-independence district and the main avenues of downtown Ashgabat, with stops at the Neutrality Arch, Ferris Wheel and the Wedding Palace Viewpoint.
Transfer to airport or overland border with Iran at Gaudan-Bajgiran land border post.