From the Capital to the Caspian

Modern monuments dot Turkmenistan’s capital, Ashgabat, yet tribal culture remains strong in the villages. Crisscross this rarely visited country, connecting with tribal people in the mountains, admiring sweeping landscapes and UNESCO-listed ruins populated by wild camels, and enjoying the cool breezes of the Caspian seashore. Camp at the “Door to Hell,” the burning Darvaza gas crater.

12 Day Trip

  • Private Journey
    Minimum of 2 Travelers
  • Travels to:
    Central Asia, Turkmenistan
  • Flexible Essential:
    Forays from the hub of Ashgabat

Overview Itinerary

MIR Signature Experiences on this Tour
  • Pay a visit to a family of weavers in Nohur Village
    Explore the mountain village of Nohur and pay a visit to the home of a family that has been weaving the special patterns of the Nohur people for generations...
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  • Explore Turkmenistan’s only seaport on the Caspian
    Explore Turkmenistan’s only seaport, which Saparmurat Niyazov, Turkmenistan’s first president, renamed in honor of his self-declared title, Turkmenbashi...
    Read More
  • Overnight at the burning Darvaza Gas Crater
    Overnight in tents on the glowing rim of the eerie Darvaza Gas Crater, with an al fresco barbecue-style dinner....
    Read More
  • Appreciate the heirloom Akhal-Tekke horse
    Venture outside Ashgabat to visit a horse-breeding farm devoted to the renowned Akhal-Tekke horse, arguably the oldest cultured breed of horse in the world....
    Read More
Why Travel with MIR on this Tour
  • Over 30 years of Central Asia travel experience
  • The first American travel company to open an accredited office in Central Asia
  • Travel programs such as Vassar, Dartmouth and the Harvard Museum of Natural History have chosen MIR to guide them to Central Asia
  • Twice named one of National Geographic Adventure’s “Best Adventure Travel Companies on Earth”
  • On-the-ground support and quality you can trust
  • Personalized travel planning from start to finish
  • Guides and tour managers that clients rave about
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Itinerary & Highlights at a Glance

Days 1-3: Ashgabat, Nisa, Nohur, Serdar

Explore the marble and gold monuments of Ashgabat and the UNESCO-listed ruins of Parthian Nisa. Head into the mountains to visit a silk-weaver in a tribal village home in Nohur, and overnight in the small city of Serdar.


  • Capital of Turkmenistan, Ashgabat, with marble and gold monuments
  • Museum of History and Ethnography, telling the story of Turkmenistan
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Days 4-6: Turkmenbashi, Yangykala, Gozli Ata

Admire the beautiful Sumbar River Valley dotted with traditional tribal villages on the way to the country’s only seaport, Turkmenbashi. Drive through glorious striated Yangykala Canyon and visit the shrine of Sufi holy man Gozli Ata before heading back to Turkmenbashi and flying back to Ashgabat.


  • Rich Sumbar River Valley with pomegranate orchards and small farms
  • Drive through the bizarre and beautiful moonscape of Yangykala Canyon
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Days 7-8: Mary, Merv

Explore UNESCO-listed Merv’s five ancient cities and the ethnological and archaeological exhibits at the excellent Mary Museum.


  • Ruins of Marghiana and Archaeological Museum in UNESCO-listed ancient Merv

Days 9-12: Darvaza, Kunya Urgench, Ashgabat

Camp at the “Door to Hell,” the burning Darvaza gas crater, and survey Turkmenistan’s third UNESCO Site, Kunya Urgench, ancient capital of Khorezm. Back in the capital, take a private tour of a farm where Akhal-Teke horses, the pride of Turkmenistan, are raised.


  • Tent camping on the lip of the flaming gas crater of Darvaza
  • UNESCO-listed Kunya Urgench, with 11th century Kutlug-Timur Minaret
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See Dates & Prices for more details or to see suggested extensions.

Download Detailed Itinerary
Tour Dates & Prices
Trip Length: 12 Days

Land Tour Price, Per Person
based on double occupancy

  • 2 Traveler Minimum $3,595
  • Plus Internal Air $280
  • Single Supplement $575

2020 Dates

Your Choice of Dates

Recommended months of travel:

  • June,  
  • July,  
  • August,  
  • September,  
  • October,  
  • November,  
  • FROM
  • $3,595
  • Min 2 Travelers

Group Size

Pricing is based on a minimum of 2 travelers on this trip. Call for solo trip pricing.

Private trip prices vary by season and are subject to hotel availability for your travel dates. Hotel upgrades, additional nights and solo traveler prices are available on request.

What’s Included

On Your Tour

  • Shared accommodations in hotels as listed in the itinerary. Accommodations are rustic, and WC facilities are outhouse-style. Note that the accommodations in Gozli Ata are very basic, and private rooms will not be available. In addition, one night near the Darvaza gas crater is spent in tented camps with outhouse-style facilities and no showers.
  • 11 breakfasts, 6 lunches, and 5 dinners per the itinerary. Some lunches and dinners are left free so you may enjoy dining on your own.
  • One arrival and one departure transfer. (Additional arrival and departure transfers available at additional cost.) MIR will arrange for travelers to be met on arrival and seen off on departure, whether we make your air arrangements or not.
  • Ground transportation throughout itinerary by private vehicle.
  • Guided sightseeing tours and entrance fees as outlined in itinerary.
  • Services of experienced, English-speaking local guides, drivers and other staff.

Before Your Tour

  • Personalized pre-departure support from one of our knowledgeable Tour Specialists.
  • Complete pre-departure information including detailed packing list and reading list.
  • Touring with MIR handbook with country-specific information, maps, and travel tips.
  • Customized visa application instruction kit (please note, visa fees are not included in the tour price).
  • Final document packet including luggage tags, final updates, and more.
  • Assistance booking your custom flight arrangements (on request; please note that international and internal airfares are not included in the land tour cost).
Download Detailed Itinerary
Prepare for Your Trip

International Airfare

MIR's in-house, full-service air department will gladly assist with your air travel needs.

More Info

Reading List

MIR recommends reading up before you leave home. So settle back in your armchair with some of our favorite books about our favorite places.

More Info


Most MIR programs require one or more visas, and each visa requires a completely blank page in your passport. Visa information for this particular tour is listed in the Detailed Descriptive Itinerary.

More Info

Travel Insurance

Stay a Little Longer…

MIR can arrange for an extended program in the South Caucasus countries, Iran, Western Russia, or Eastern Europe. All of MIR’s destinations are open to you, and all can be attached to this program. Please contact MIR for more details about exciting options for extended travel.

Or, choose from one of these suggested itineraries:

Is this Trip Right for You?

The accommodations vary from superior tourist class to more basic hotels. It is important to keep in mind that the country of Turkmenistan may not be up to the standards North American travelers expect.

A full list of details about the rigors of this tour are explained in the Detailed Descriptive Itinerary.

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