Turkmenistan-Navrus Bayram Festival


Turkmenistan-Navrus Bayram Festival

Style: PioneerGroundbreaking tours to unique destinations
Duration: 13 days
Type: GroupSmall group tours with a maximum of 12 travellers

Itinerary

Day 1 – Ashgabat

Arrive in Ashgabat and transfer to your hotel. Depending on your time of arrival, you may have the opportunity to explore the city. Overnight at Ak Altyn Hotel or similar.

Day 2 – Ashgabat

After a briefing with your tour guide spend the day exploring Ashgabat including the Sunday Bazaar, Independence Park and Neutrality Arch with time to enjoy a traditional Turkmen lunch. Ashgabat is a city of grandiose monuments, giving an insight into the nation building efforts that took place after the breakup of the Soviet Union, and a good place to start getting to grips with Turkmenistan. Overnight at Ak Altyn Hotel or similar. (BL)

Day 3 – Mary (360 kms)

After breakfast we travel east stopping first at the Seyitdzhemaliddin Mosque at Anau; dating from the 15th century the mosque was badly damaged by an earthquake in 1948, but has since been restored. We will also visit the remains of the once important city of Abiverd, before arriving in Mary in time to visit the Regional Historical Museum. Overnight at Hotel Mary or similar. (B)

Day 4 – Merv - Ashgabat

Visit the ancient site of Merv, the most important in Turkmenistan dating back 2500 years, with an array of surviving mosques and citadels. Return to Mary for a visit to the bazaar before taking a late evening flight to Ashgabat. Overnight at Ak Altyn Hotel or similar. (B)

Day 5 – Navrus Bayram Festival- Kow Ata Underground Lake

This morning we travel out of Ashgabat to join in the celebrations of the Navrus Festival; this is held to mark the most important holiday in the entire region. In the afternoon we visit the Kow Ata underground lake before returning to Ashgabat for a night time tour of the city. Overnight at Ak Altyn Hotel or similar. (B)

Day 6 – Konye- Urgench- Dashoguz

This morning we take a flight to Dashoguz and on arrival transfer by road to Konye- Urgench, an ancient capital of the land of Khorezm, with beautiful mausoleums. After visiting its key sites we return to Dashoguz to visit the lively bazaar. The rest of the day is at leisure with no organised activities. Overnight at Hotel Dashoguz or similar. (B)

Day 7 – Darwaza (280 kms, approx. 4 hrs)

After the morning at leisure we depart by jeep to travel along the highway through the Karakum Desert to Darwaza, a burning gas crater where flames literally leap from the ground. We set up camp here, and over a barbeque dinner watch the sun go down, the crater lighting up the night sky with its fires. Overnight camping. (BD)

Day 8 – Ashgabat (310 kms)

After breakfast we set off for our return to Ashgabat, paying a visit to a desert village on the way. On arrival in the city we will head to the National Museum and onto the ruins of the ancient Parthian fortress at Nisa. Overnight at Ak Altyn Hotel or similar. (B)

Day 9 – Nohur- Karakala (250 kms)

Today we leave Ashgabat and head to the west of the country. Our first stop will be at a stables housing some of the famous Akhal –Teke horses greatly prized by the people of Turkmenistan. We continue to the village of Nohur whose inhabitants believe that they descend from the armies of Alexander the Great.  Leave Nohur behind and drive through walnut and pomegranate groves to the “Moon Mountains”, a series of rather striking barren hills. Overnight camping. (BLD)

Day 10 – Dekhistan- Balkanabat (200 kms)

An early start takes us alongside the Iranian border so we can expect to encounter several checkpoints along the way. We will stop to view the ruins of Dekhistan, once an important state in its own right, before continuing on to Balkanabat. Arrive early evening and check in to your hotel. Overnight at Nebitchi Hotel or similar. (BL)

Day 11 – Yangikala – Gozli Ata (200 kms- approx. 7 hrs)

After a visit to the local bazaar to stock up on supplies, we drive to the Balkan Mountains and the canyons of Yangikala, home to some of the best scenery in Turkmenistan. We explore on foot and take a picnic lunch among the cliffs. When the sun sets we drive to the pilgrimage site of Gozli Ata. Overnight at a local pilgrim house (multi-share accommodation). (BLD)

Day 12 – Turkmenbashi- Ashgabat (150 kms)

We drive today to Turkmenbashi with time to visit the port and the fish market before taking a flight back to Ashgabat. Overnight at Ak Altyn Hotel or similar. (B)

Day 13 – Ashgabat

Transfer to the airport for your flight home.(B)


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