Navruz (in Farsi “New day”) is celebrated on 21 March, on the day of vernal equinox. One of the oldest holidays in Central Asia symbolizes the beginning of the New Year, rebirth of nature, start of a planting season. During Navruz tour you will dive into festive mood, enjoy folk shows, national songs and dances, see Palvans (strong men) wrestle and cheerful national games.
Guests can also enjoy a magical performance of dashing Turkmen horsemen who demonstrate inimitable, perfect riding skills on the magnificent horses in a special arena to the accompaniment of a rousing tune. Join us to spend festive days of Navruz and visit ancient cities of our hospitable country.
Day 1, Mar 19: Arrival in Ashgabat.
Arrival in Ashgabat by morning flight. Ashgabat is the capital and largest city of Turkmenistan even though it is relatively young city. In 2013 the Guinness Book of Records named Ashgabat “white marbled city” – here you can see the biggest number of structures in the world made out of the white marble.
Transfer to the Grand Turkmen hotel 4*. Early check-in and free time. You can walk around the hotel; near the hotel, you can visit beautiful monument of Akhalteke horses, park of “Ylham” (Inspiration), “Altyn Asyr” trade market and “Gulistan” market (so called Russian bazaar). Overnight at “Grand Turkmen” 4* Hotel.
Day 2, Mar 20: Ashgabat – Nissa – Ruhy Mosque – Ashgabat
Today we will have a sightseeing tour of Ashgabat including visits to Park and Monument of Independence, Arch of Neutrality, a 75m- high monument with a revolving golden statue of the first President Turkmenbashy. Hit the viewing platform of the Arch of Neutrality to see the beautiful panorama of Ashgabat. Panoramic tour to “Alem” the largest Indoor Ferris wheel. Visiting of the Memorial Complex. Continue tour to the historical and archaeological site “Ancient Nisa – the Residence of Parthian Kingdom” UNESCO site from 2007. The Parthian Empire was one of the most powerful and influential civilizations of the ancient world, and a brilliant rival of Rome which prevented the expansion of the Roman Empire to the east. Visiting of Turkmenbashi Mosque and Mausoleum, one of the biggest mosques in Central Asia.
Day 3, Mar 21: Ashgabat – Anau – Ashgabat
Breakfast in the hotel. Drive to Turkmen Yayla – participation in Novruz Bayram Celebration. Navruz (also called Nouruz, Nowruz, Nowrooz, and Nawruz), the spring "New Year" holiday, has been celebrated for at least 3000 years, and perhaps for as long as 5,000 years. Originating in Persia and long associated with the ancient Zoroastrian religion, its name means "new day" in Farsi because for ancient Persians it marked the first day of the New Year. On this day, Persian kings would have worn a crown with images of the annual solar cycle on their heads, participated in the divine mass in the Temple of Fire, and distributed generous gifts to citizens. Today, by the scale of festivities organised on governement level Turkmenistan has become the center of celebrations of the International Day of Nowruz. The main festivities in honor of this holiday take place in the sub-mountain valley of Akhal, in the historic land storing the layers of ancient civilizations. According to the centuries-old tradition, a picturesque place in the open air, where the spring expanse best suits the spirit and scale of the long-awaited event, is chosen for the large-scale celebration. They set up a Turkmen village from the oriental tale, hospitable and welcoming, open to friends and neighbors. Yurts with well-attended courtyards, a high swing and big white yurt stand behind the symbolic gates.
Visit folk show, of five regions: Balkan, Ahal, Mary, Lebap and Dashoguz. The first thing the guests will see is a colorful bazaar that spread out just behind the main entrance, where street trading is in full swing. The bazaar offeres the entire range of handicrafts - colorful souvenirs, hats, skullcaps, musical instruments, household items, painted pots, carpets and jewelry, national embroidery. This action is accompanied by ancient melodies and songs performed by Bakhshi (singer-narrator), who attracts emotional listeners. At some distance, Palvans (strong men) wrestle and cheerful national games go on. In the old days, there was a special place for such games in a crowded area. Erected in the festively decorated square, the mock-ups of famous historical monuments of Turkmenistan - Kunyaurgench, Ancient Merv, Dehistan, Anau etc. – strengthened the feeling of an exciting journey into the ancient times.
Drive back to Ashgabat. Overnight at “Grand Turkmen” 4* Hotel.
Day 4, Mar 22: Ashgabat - Anau – Mary – Merv (385 km.)
Morning drive to Mary. Visit on the route Anau pilgrimage place (remains of Seyitjemaletdin mosque XV c). Arrive in Mary & check in hotel. After lunch sightseeing to Ancient Merv known as Mary ShahuJahan-King of the World for about 300 years became the biggest city in Asia, inscribed into the monuments list of World Heritage Book, protected by the UNESCO. Visiting of Gyz Gala &Oglan Gala (6-7th cc.), Complex of Askhabs (8-14th cc.), Giaur Gala (4th c. BC), Buddist Complex (4-6th cc.), Erk Gala (6th c. BC), Soltan Gala (11th c.), Soltan Sanjar Mausoleum (12th c.), IbnZeid Mausoleum (12th c.). After tour of Ancient Merv drive back to Mary (35 km). Arrival & rest. Overnight at Mary 4* hotel.
Day 5, Mar 23: Mary – Ashgabat (by flt) – Darvaza (260 km.)
Transfer to the airport for a flight to Ashgabat (flight No: T5 172 at 12:00). Arrival in Ashgabat at 12:50. In the afternoon drive to Darvaza by 4WD car. En route stopover to visit Yerbent Nomadic village where you can enjoy seeing the local life in the desert - Turkmen yurts, dromedaries, tamdyr (mud oven) and many others. Arrive at Darvaza, explore the gas craters, first full of water, and second the sulfur - muddy. Leave the road and venture in the desert to see the flaming gas crater. Arrive at site of flaming gas crater. Having dinner (barbecue). Explore the flaming gas crater at sunset. Overnight in tents.
Day 6, Mar 24: Darvaza – Kunya-Urgench – Dashoguz (360 km) – Ashgabat (by flt.)
In the morning depart Darvaza and drive to Kunya-Urgench. Visit mausoleums of Turabek-Khanym, Sultan Tekesh, Sultan Il Arslan, Najmuddin-Kubra, Sultan Ali. Discover the Kutlug Timur Minaret and Kyrk Molla Hill. After lunch drive to Dashoguz airport, take an evening flight to Ashgabat. Upon arrival transfer to the Grand Turkmen 4* hotel for overnight.
Day 7, Mar 25: Ashgabat – departure
Breakfast at the hotel. Check-out from the hotel till noon. Transfer to the International airport of Ashgabat for a flight to home.
Duration: 7 Days, 7 Nights
Tour dates: March 19 – 25, 2019
Places to visit: Ashgabat, Anau, Mary, Ancient Merv, Karakum Desert, Darvaza, Dashoguz, Koneurgench
No of travelers
10 pax up
Price in USD/per person
Tour price includes:
Accommodation (local star & standard): double or twin shared rooms in hotels
Ashgabat: Grand Turkmen 4* hotel (breakfast is included), 5 nights
Mary: Mary 4* hotel (breakfast is included), 1 night
Darvaza: Tents and sleeping bags (barbeque for dinner and camp style breakfast is included), 1 night
Tour price excludes: International flights, consular fees for Turkmenistan tourist visa (40$ at Turkmenistan Embassy abroad, 90 $ on arrival at Ashgabat airport for most nationalities), migration card paid upon arrival - 14 USD, photo/video fees at sites, meals (lunch and dinner - allow up to 15 $ per person per meal) not listed above & other services not mentioned above.
Terms of the tour:
1. Minimum number of persons - 2 people, maximum - 12;
2. Deadline for receipt of applications 45 days before the tour start date.
For more information, please e-mail us at: firstname.lastname@example.org