Tashkent to Ashgabat

Tashkent to Ashgabat

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10 Days
From

$2780

$2163

Tashkent to Ashgabat

10 Days Starting in Tashkent and ending in Ashgabat

Visiting: Tashkent, Tashkent/Overnight Train, Khiva, Darvaza, Yerbent – Ashgabat, Ashgabat, Mary, Merv – Mary

Tour operator:

Intrepid Travel

Tour code:

KFSM

Guide Type:

Fully Guided

Group size:

1 - 12

Physical rating:

Medium, Medium

Age range:

15-99 years

Special diets catered:

Vegetarians

Tour operated in:
English
Trip Styles:

Small Group

From:
$2780
$2163 (USD) Operator discount: $556 The Big ADVENTURE Sale: $61 -22%
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Tour Overview

Travel into desert landscapes heavy with romance and mysticism on this 10-day journey through Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan. Watch the sun set over Technicolour minarets in Khiva, learn about life in a desert settlement in Yerbent and revel in the eastern-futurism of Ashgabat. Step off the beaten track and onto the ancient Silk Road in this revelatory tour through ancient lands.

Highlights

  • This incredible journey takes you through parts of Central Asia that few people can find on a map, let alone have considered travelling to.

  • Steeped in Silk Road history and immortalised in many great tales, the UNESCO-protected town of Khiva is as photogenic as it is legendary.

  • Explore the sprawling ruins of Mary, Merv and other ancient kingdoms and contemplate the remnants of empires that once ruled these vast lands.

  • Witness the eternal flames of the Darvaza Crater, aka the 'Door to Hell' as you camp nearby – one of the strangest, most mesmerising geological oddities on earth.

  • Ashgabat rose from the devastation of an earthquake in 1948 and has enjoyed a surreal and futuristic makeover - witness its often bizarre, but certainly memorable architecture on a city tour.

Itinerary

Expand All
Day 1: Tashkent
Location: Tashkent

Xush kelibsiz! Welcome to the largest city in Central Asia. Tashkent blends Russian and Uzbek style, with extravagant mosques that sit alongside modern highways and Soviet monuments. Your adventure begins with an important welcome meeting at 6 pm today. If you arrive in Tashkent with time to spare, maybe take a walk to see some of the contemporary architecture that sets this city apart from other Silk Road destinations.

Optional Activities:
-Tashkent - State Museum of History of Uzbekistan
-Tashkent - Art Gallery of Uzbekistan
-Tashkent - Museum of Applied Arts

Day 2: Tashkent/Overnight Train
Location: Tashkent/Overnight Train
Accommodation: Overnight Train
Meals Included: breaksfast

This morning, embark on a city tour to explore the city of Tashkent. Visit the Amir Timur Square in the center of the city, spend time wandering Chorsu Bazaar. The main building is topped by an impressive dome, and the market sells pretty much everything you could imagine, and plenty of things you couldn't. Explore the fantastically decorated metro stations which were only allowed to be photographed from 2018 and visit Khast Imom Complex which houses one of the oldest copy of Qur'an, a UNESCO heritage itself. Have some free time in the afternoon and maybe stock some snacks for your overnight train, departing around 4:30pm. Pick up a good book, put on some music, and watch the world goes by and the scenery changes.

Included Activities:
-Tashkent - Chorsu Bazaar
-Tashkent - Khast Imom Complex & Moyie Mubarek Library Museum
-Tashkent - Amir Timur Square
-Tashkent - City tour
-Tashkent - Metro tour

Day 3: Khiva
Location: Khiva
Accommodation: Hotel
Meals Included: breaksfast

Arrive at Urgench around 7:30am and transfer to colourful Khiva (45 minutes). Many global powers have laid claim to this city over the centuries, from khans to Silk Road traders and the Soviet Union. Get acquainted with Khiva on a tour of this walled-city after breakfast. See the incredible blue-tiled Kalta Minor Minaret and the Mohammed Amin Khan Madressa. Explore the Kuhna Ark, the 'citadel within a citadel' which once housed the Khan and his family in the 17th century, then get a good look at this attractive city from the Ak-sheikh Baba Observatory. Finally, visit the Pahlavon Mahmud Mausoleum, a complex constructed in honour of the famous 13th-century poet, craftsman and fighter. A popular pilgrimage site, the mint-coloured dome that tops the main mausoleum is stunning. Visit the towering Islom Hoja Minaret, the tallest building in Khiva. Explore Juma Mosque, the roof of which is propped up by 212 wooden columns and designed to let in sunlight. If you want a peek at Uzbek luxury, look no further than the Tosh-Hovli Palace, which was built in the first half of the 19th century. Wander through elaborately decorated courtyards connected by labyrinthian corridors. Don't miss out on the magic hour when the sun's setting and find a good spot for the sunset over this ancient city. The evening is yours to spend.

Included Activities:
-Khiva - Islom Hoja Minaret & Medressa
-Khiva - Juma Mosque
-Khiva - Tosh-Hovli Palace
-Khiva - Pahlavon Mahmud Mausoleum
-Khiva - Kuhna Ark

Day 4: Darvaza
Location: Darvaza
Accommodation: Camping
Meals Included: breaksfast, dinner

Say goodbye to Uzbekistan and cross the border into Turkmenistan at Khodjeyli (Xo‘jayli). Meet the new leader who will be your key to local secrets, food and highlights for the rest of your journey. Continue your journey to Darvaza Crater with a change to 4WD for the rough road conditions. This astounding 70-metre-wide hole in the Karakum Desert is permanently aflame. Soviet oil prospectors started drilling in 1971 expecting to find oil, and the ground collapsed to form the crater. Worried about the gas released into the air, they deliberately set the crater on fire to burn off the excess, expecting it to last a few weeks. As you’ll see today, they were wrong, and the crater has been burning ever since. Watch the sunset over the 'Door to Hell' from your nearby camp, and enjoy a Turkmenistan-style barbecue for dinner. 

Included Activities:
-Darvaza - "Door to Hell" Crater

Day 5: Yerbent – Ashgabat
Location: Yerbent – Ashgabat
Accommodation: Hotel
Meals Included: breaksfast

Hit the sand again in the 4WD, making the 4-hour drive to Ashgabat with a stop along the way at the tiny settlement of Yerbent. The community here live primarily in yurts that are tucked between the sand dunes. Check out the local monument that pays tribute to the group of socialists that died in the Basmachi Revolt in 1931, then continue to Ashgabat. Little is left of the original Russian Imperial city as most of it was destroyed in a massive earthquake in 1948, and today the city centre is a bizarre mix of futuristic and outrageous public buildings. Get a sense of Ashgabat old and new with a tour that takes in both the ancient settlement of Nisa and the National Museum of Turkmenistan. Enjoy a free afternoon in this mind-bending city. Look out for the ornate, golden telephone booths, screens broadcasting official ceremonies on a loop and imposing statues of the president.

Included Activities:
-Yerbent - Village visit
-Ashgabat - National Museum of Turkmenistan
-Ashgabat - Nisa ruins

Day 6: Ashgabat
Location: Ashgabat
Accommodation: Hotel
Meals Included: breaksfast

Take a full day to wrap your head around this desert city on an immersive guided tour taking in the four pointed minarets atop the Ertugrul Gazi Mosque and the the extravagant Independence Monument. This sculpted park is filled with statues of Turkmen heroes (and controversial politicians) that line paths that lead to a golden dome and a (surprise!) massive minaret. From this lavish ode to Turkmen identity, continue to the Neutrality Arch, which despite its name has a provocative history. Then travel outside of the city to the Turkmenbashy Ruhi Mosque, the mausoleum of former Turkmen leader Saparmurat Niyazov. Next stops is to the the Horse Breeding Complex and Hippodrome of Ashgabat for the world famous Akhal-Teke horses. You'll visit the horse concur here where you'll see this precious species of horse and learn fro a local staff member of the work they do to breed and train the horses here. Then heading further out of town to the ruins of Anau. The crumbling remains of the medieval mosque still attract the devout, who come to pray and make offerings. After a day full of sightseeing, maybe spend the evening relaxing at your hotel.

Included Activities:
-Ashgabat - Anau ruins
-Ashgabat - Independence Monument
-Ashgabat - Neutrality Arch
-Ashgabat - Turkmenbashy Ruhi Mosque & Family Mausoleum of the First President of Turkmenistan
-Ashgabat - Ertugrul Gazi Mosque
-Ashgabat - Akhal-Teke horse Hippodrome

Day 7: Mary
Location: Mary
Accommodation: Hotel
Meals Included: breaksfast, lunch

Rise and shine for the 5-hour drive to Mary (pronounced ‘Mah-rih’). The somewhat ostentatious displays of wealth in the city can be traced to the long-running gas and cotton industries. Stop en route for lunch and to roam through the ruins of Abiverd. This fascinating archaeological site was an important trading town from 652 AD until the 12th century, and you can still see ancient shards of pottery scattered on the ground. Arrive in Mary in the afternoon and settle into your hotel.

Included Activities:
-Mary - Abiverd ruins

Day 8: Merv – Mary
Location: Merv – Mary
Accommodation: Hotel
Meals Included: breaksfast

Take a 40-minute drive to Merv, also known as Margiana or Margush, and enjoy some time to explore Turkmenistan's most recognised site. This sprawling World Heritage site is home to numerous walled structures from various periods spread across a 1200-hectare area. See impressive columns smoothed by wind and time at the Greater Kizkala and walk hills that were once the fortress walls of Erk Kala. While not the most impressive visually, Gyaur Kala dates to 400 BC and has a fascinating history. Spend some time exploring these relics of grand empires and then return to Mary for a free afternoon. Maybe visit the Mary Regional Museum. Housed in a palace of white marble, the museum features archaeological displays and exhibitions on traditional Turkmen life and culture.

Included Activities:
-Merv - Big & Small Kizkala
-Merv - Erk Kala & Gayur Kala
-Merv - Sultan Sanjar Mausoleum

Day 9: Ashgabat
Location: Ashgabat
Accommodation: Hotel
Meals Included: breaksfast

Glittering Ashgabat awaits your return today, so make the 5-hour return drive to the City of White Marble. Enjoy a free afternoon to spend as you wish before an optional dinner with your travel group.

Optional Activities:
-Carpet Museum

Day 10: Ashgabat
Location: Ashgabat
Meals Included: breaksfast

There are no activities planned for the final day and you are able to depart the hotel at any time.

What's Included

  • Merv - Sultan Sanjar Mausoleum

  • Khiva - Pahlavon Mahmud Mausoleum

  • Khiva - Kuhna Ark

  • Khiva - Islom Hoja Minaret & Medressa

  • Khiva - Juma Mosque

  • Khiva - Tosh-Hovli Palace

  • Darvaza - "Door to Hell" Crater

  • Ashgabat - National Museum of Turkmenistan

  • Yerbent - Village visit

  • Konye-Urgench - City tour

show more

What's Not Included

  • Tipping and Gratuities

  • International Travel

Transport

  • Private vehicle , 4x4 vehicle , Metro , Taxi , Overnight Train

Included Activities

  • Khiva - Pahlavon Mahmud Mausoleum
  • Khiva - Kuhna Ark
  • Khiva - Islom Hoja Minaret & Medressa
  • Khiva - Juma Mosque
  • Khiva - Tosh-Hovli Palace
  • Darvaza - "Door to Hell" Crater
  • Konye-Urgench - City tour
  • Yerbent - Village visit
  • Ashgabat - National Museum of Turkmenistan
  • Ashgabat - Nisa ruins
  • Ashgabat - Anau ruins
  • Ashgabat - Independence Monument
  • Ashgabat - Neutrality Arch
  • Ashgabat - Turkmenbashy Ruhi Mosque & Family Mausoleum of the First President of Turkmenistan
  • Ashgabat - Ertugrul Gazi Mosque
  • Merv - Big & Small Kizkala
  • Merv - Erk Kala & Gayur Kala
  • Merv - Sultan Sanjar Mausoleum

Accommodation

  • OCCASIONAL ALTERNATIVE ACCOMMODATION
  • The style of accommodation indicated in the day-to-day itinerary is a guideline. On rare occasions, alternative arrangements may need to be made due to the lack of availability of rooms in our usual accommodation. A similar standard of accommodation will be used in these instances.
  • TWIN SHARE / MULTI SHARE BASIS
  • Accommodation on this trip is on a twin/multishare basis. Please note there may be times where facilities will be shared rather than ensuite and rare occasions when you share a room with passengers travelling on a different Intrepid trip than your own.
  • CHECK-IN TIME
  • Throughout the trip we request that our hotels prepare rooms in time for our arrival, especially if we're arriving prior to normal check-in time. However this isn't always possible which means we won't be able to check-in immediately on arrival at some hotels. Instead, we can store our luggage and explore our new destination.
  • PRE/POST TRIP ACCOMMODATION
  • If you've purchased pre-trip or post-trip accommodation (subject to availability), you may be required to change rooms from your trip accommodation for these extra nights.

Important Information

  • 1. A single supplement is bookable on this trip, excluding Day 2 &4. The single supplement is subject to availability. Please speak to your booking agent for further information.
  • 2. Please note your leader will change at the Uzbekistan/Turkmenistan border
  • 3. Please provide your full name exactly as per passport at the time of booking (including any middle names listed on your passport). Fees may apply for amendments to details within 45 days of departure.
  • 4. Travel to Turkmenistan requires a Letter of Invitation for visa application. Please see Visa section in the Essential Trip Information for instructions.

Check out our Q&As

  • Is this trip right for you

    There are few places like Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan on earth - isolated geographically and long secluded politically. It's probably unlike anywhere you have ever been, so be prepared to be surprised and for things to run a little differently to home. Here's some of what to expect: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/adventures/what-to-expect-on-a-trip-to-turkmenistan/

    Tourism is strictly controlled in Turkmenistan, with Letters of Invitation needed in advance in order to apply for your visa (which you can then get on arrival) and guides tending to be protective of what tourists see and fiercely proud of their nation and its leaders. Those used to more freedom of exploration and tour guides with a more global perspective may find their experience here different from in other destinations.

    As there are a number of long travel days, plenty of time spent on your feet and days can be hot and dusty you'll need excellent general health and fitness to get the most out if this trip.

    There is one night of basic camping included on this trip in the Karakum Desert. Sleeping bags, mattresses and tents are all provided, but there are no bathing or permanent toilet facilities at the campsite.

  • Are children permitted to take part in the tour?

    Yes if aged 15+ and accompanied by an adult

  • Are airport transfers included in this tour?

    No

  • Are all entrance fees included in the price?

    Yes, except optional activities

  • Are internal flights included in this tour?

    Yes

  • Are the local guides on the tour English speaking?

    Yes

  • What policies are in place for Covid-19?

    Please contact us for latest COVID-19 policies

  • How long has the tour company been trading?

    Intrepid Travel has been taking travellers around the world for over 30 years

  • Will the accommodation included meet local health and safety regulations?

    Yes

  • What Ethical Travel credentials does the tour company have?

    Since 2002, The Intrepid Foundation has supported over 130 organisations across the world. We’re creating positive impact through the joy of travel, community and connection.

  • Do you operate a “single share” option and how does it work?

    Over 50% of traveller travel solo with Intrepid. You can choose to share a room with another solo travelle of the same sex for no additional charge, or choose to pay a single supplement if you’d like your own room. Please request this when booking, and we will secure you a single supplement wherever possible. Please note, if you are booking a last-minute trip, it may be harder for us to secure a single room

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Dates & Availability

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Sunday - Tuesday

Apr 14, 2024 - Apr 23, 2024
$2890 $2248 (USD)

Operator discount: $578 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: $64 (USD)

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Sunday - Tuesday

May 05, 2024 - May 14, 2024
$2890 $2248 (USD)

Operator discount: $578 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: $64 (USD)

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Sunday - Tuesday

May 12, 2024 - May 21, 2024
$2975 $2315 (USD)

Operator discount: $595 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: $65 (USD)

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Thursday - Saturday

May 23, 2024 - Jun 01, 2024
$3150 $2451 (USD)

Operator discount: $630 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: $69 (USD)

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Thursday - Saturday

May 30, 2024 - Jun 08, 2024
$2975 $2315 (USD)

Operator discount: $595 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: $65 (USD)

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Sunday - Tuesday

Jun 09, 2024 - Jun 18, 2024
$3000 $2334 (USD)

Operator discount: $600 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: $66 (USD)

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Monday - Wednesday

Jun 17, 2024 - Jun 26, 2024
$3000 $2334 (USD)

Operator discount: $600 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: $66 (USD)

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Thursday - Saturday

Jun 27, 2024 - Jul 06, 2024
$3000 $2334 (USD)

Operator discount: $600 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: $66 (USD)

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Sunday - Tuesday

Jul 14, 2024 - Jul 23, 2024
$2780 $2163 (USD)

Operator discount: $556 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: $61 (USD)

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Thursday - Saturday

Aug 15, 2024 - Aug 24, 2024
$2860 $2225 (USD)

Operator discount: $572 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: $63 (USD)

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Thursday - Saturday

Aug 29, 2024 - Sep 07, 2024
$3055 $2377 (USD)

Operator discount: $611 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: $67 (USD)

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Tuesday - Thursday

Sep 03, 2024 - Sep 12, 2024
$3000 $2334 (USD)

Operator discount: $600 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: $66 (USD)

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Sunday - Tuesday

Sep 08, 2024 - Sep 17, 2024
$3150 $2451 (USD)

Operator discount: $630 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: $69 (USD)

Instant Booking Available

Sunday - Tuesday

Sep 15, 2024 - Sep 24, 2024
$3150 $2451 (USD)

Operator discount: $630 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: $69 (USD)

Instant Booking Available

Sunday - Tuesday

Sep 22, 2024 - Oct 01, 2024
$3090 $2404 (USD)

Operator discount: $618 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: $68 (USD)

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Thursday - Saturday

Sep 26, 2024 - Oct 05, 2024
$3000 $2334 (USD)

Operator discount: $600 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: $66 (USD)

Instant Booking Available

Sunday - Tuesday

Sep 29, 2024 - Oct 08, 2024
$3000 $2334 (USD)

Operator discount: $600 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: $66 (USD)

Instant Booking Available

Thursday - Saturday

Oct 03, 2024 - Oct 12, 2024
$2890 $2248 (USD)

Operator discount: $578 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: $64 (USD)

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Thursday - Saturday

Oct 10, 2024 - Oct 19, 2024
$2890 $2248 (USD)

Operator discount: $578 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: $64 (USD)

Instant Booking Available

Thursday - Saturday

Oct 17, 2024 - Oct 26, 2024
$2920 $2272 (USD)

Operator discount: $584 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: $64 (USD)

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Monday - Wednesday

Oct 21, 2024 - Oct 30, 2024
$2780 $2163 (USD)

Operator discount: $556 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: $61 (USD)

Instant Booking Available

Sunday - Tuesday

Oct 27, 2024 - Nov 05, 2024
$2780 $2163 (USD)

Operator discount: $556 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: $61 (USD)

Book with Confidence

  • Free Date Changes

    Intrepid Travel allows you to make 10 free date changes, as long as the change is made at least 56 days before the start of the tour.

  • Transfer as credit to Future Tours

    Intrepid Travel allows you to transfer existing payments to a future tour to avoid cancellation fees if you can't travel and inform intrepid travel, 56 days before departure.

  • Low Deposit

    Intrepid Travel requires a minimum deposit of 400 USD per person or the full booking value, whichever is less, with the final balance not due until 56 days before departure.

  • Cancellation Policy

    We don't charge a cancellation fee, here is a summary of intrepid travel charges.

    Up to 56 days before tour starts: Forfeit 100% of deposit.

    At 55 days before tour starts: Forfeit 30% of booking price.

    At 30 days before tour starts: Forfeit 60% of booking price.

    At 14 days before tour starts: Forfeit 100% of booking price.

  • COVID Protection

    Trips from 1 January 2023 onwards
    From 1 January 2023, Intrepid will no longer require travellers to provide proof of vaccination against COVID-19.

    However, we continue to strongly recommend that all travellers and leaders get vaccinated to protect themselves and other Specific proof of testing or vaccination may still be required by your destination or airline. Please ensure you check travel and entry requirements carefully.

    This policy excludes all Polar trips and select adventure cruises, where testing and vaccination remains a requirement. Please refer to the Essential Trip Information of your chosen tour for more details.

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