Multi-Day Tour | Independent, Private

Turkmenistan Road Trip: From the Door to Hell to Ashgabat (9 days)

Remote Lands, Inc

Kunya­ Urgench, Turkmenistan To Ashgabat, Turkmenistan

Valid for Departures Now Through: 18 Mar 2019


Day 1
Kunya­ Urgench, Turkmenistan
Uzboy Hotel (Dashoguz) Dinner

This nine-day adventure commences at the Uzbekistan-Turkmenistan border town of Shavat, where you’ll become acquainted with your group and guide. A short 19-mile drive to Dashoguz awaits, the capital of the northern region of Turkmenistan, and a city at the very heart of a now artificially-irrigated Khorezmian oasis. Private transportation will take you to your hotel in Dashoguz, where you’ll spend your first night.

Day 2
Kunya­ Urgench, Turkmenistan
Uzboy Hotel (Dashoguz) Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

The first of many excursions on this tour of Turkmenistan will be to the ancient Islamic stronghold of Kunya-Urgench, once the capital of the medieval Khorezmshah Empire and now a World Heritage Site recognized by UNESCO. Countless mausoleums and monuments await, many of which date all the way back to the 12th century. After a full tour of all the main sites, it’s time to hit the road again, this time through the desolate Karakum Desert, passing flaming craters and spectacular caves before bedding down for the night under the stars in a tent.

Day 3
Darvaza, Turkmenistan
Camping Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

After breakfast, pack your camp up and head east (three hours) towards the quaint local village of Damla in the very heart of the Karakum Desert, passing the “naked” bed of the prehistoric Tethys sea, the Uzboy River, and over stunning yellow dunes. The destination of Damla is an incredibly isolated settlement, yet the village people here are accommodating and happy to showcase their traditional ways of life still thriving today. No hotels here: you’ll be spending in a homestay for a particularly memorable local experience.

Day 4
Ashgabat, Turkmenistan
Ak Altyn Hotel Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Say goodbye to your friendly hosts in the village of Damla and head south across the desert to the capital of Turkmenistan (a 5-6 hour drive), Ashgabat. On the way, there’s time for a quick stop-off at another isolated settlement, Yerbent, a fascinating desert metropolis with a mixture of traditional households and farms alongside modern technology such as satellite dishes and ATMs. Hit the newly-constructed highway again in the afternoon and arrive in the capital in good time, before checking in to your modern hotel for the night.

Day 5
Mary, Turkmenistan
Dayanch Hotel Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

This fifth day will be dedicated to travelling east, along an ancient Silk Road route to the ancient and beautiful city of Mary, situated around 220 miles/4-5 hours from the capital. There’s a chance to see modern towns as well as ancient mosque ruins, all whilst observing the incredible beauty of the desert along the way. You’ll arrive in Mary, the capital of the present-day Mary region and the center of the Murghab oasis, all in good time for dinner before you check in to your hotel ready to explore this ancient region the following day.

Day 6
Merv and Mary, Turkmenistan
Dayanch Hotel Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

A short morning drive will take you to Gonur Depe, an important archaeological site and the center of a remarkable Bronze Age civilisation, only recently discovered in 1972 by Prof. Victor Sarianidi. This is comprised of a ruined palace complex spread over some 10 hectares, and you’ll have around two hours to explore the area before heading back to Mary. In the afternoon, take a look round Mary’s local museum, housing archaeological finds dating back to 3,000 BC. Spend one last night in the hotel in Mary and prepare for a trip back to the capital the following day.

Day 7
Ashgabat, Turkmenistan
Merv and Mary, Turkmenistan
Ak Altyn Hotel Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

The morning of day seven is dedicated to the must-see site at Merv, an enormous historical park covering some 1200 hectares just outside of Mary. The archaeological site is considered to be one of the most important of its type in Central Asia and has been recognized as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. After exploring the mausoleums, fortress ruins and fascinating monuments, hit the road again and make your way back to the capital Ashgabat, which is located approximately 220 miles away from Mary.

Day 8
Ashgabat, Turkmenistan
Ak Altyn Hotel None

On this final full day of your Turkmenistan adventure, there’s an exciting sightseeing trip to the fortress of Old Nisa (UNESCO World Heritage Site), the earliest of Parthian Empire capitals. The large site is located at the foothills of the atmospheric Kopet-Dag Mountains, and there’ll be plenty of time to explore this historic monument in all its glory. Next, it’s onwards to Kipchak village to visit of the biggest mosque complex in Turkmenistan, which is also the family mausoleum of the first President of the country. A return to Ashgabat will offer the chance to do some final sightseeing, with trips to the Arch of Neutrality, the Earthquake Memorial (a composition of a pre-historic bull carrying the Earth and Monument) and Park of Independence. Head back to your modern hotel for your last night’s sleep in Turkmenistan.

Day 9
Ashgabat, Turkmenistan
None Breakfast

After a buffet breakfast at your hotel, it’s time to check out and bid adieu to wonderful Turkmenistan, after nine days of exploration. You’ll be transferred to the city’s international hotel via private transportation before catching your onwards flight to your next exciting destination.

Exclusively for Virtuoso Guests

VIP Arrival

The following VIP services are complimentary for all Virtuoso guests upon arrival at participating airports.

  • Meet and greet as you disembark the aircraft
  • Luggage assistance
  • Escort through immigration and customs formalities
  • Escort to your private guide

Further services may be available, contingent upon individual airport regulations. Please enquire for further details.

Tour Features


Experiences have not been selected at this time


This nine-day tour takes you on an epic adventure around one of Central Asia’s most mysterious and least-visited of countries: Turkmenistan. Starting off in the tiny border town of Shavat, you’ll make your way across the spectacular Karakum Desert, visiting the stunning UNESCO World Heritage city of Kunya­ Urgench, before heading to one of the region’s architectural jewels of Mary (via the capital), which boasts ruins dating back as far as the 12th century. Along the way, you’ll stay at hotels, as well as sleep under the stars, and even stay at a local’s home in the quaint untouched village of Damla. The trip will wind down in Ashgabat, not before a trip to an atmospheric fortress situated in the foothills of the Kopet-Dag Mountains, as well as several stop-offs in and around the capital.


  • Sleep under the stars in the desolate Karakum Desert

  • See the local ways of life in the untouched Turkmenistan desert village of Damla, before an unforgettable homestay experience

  • Visit Mary and the ancient ruins at Merv, a historical site spread over 1200 hectares dating back to the 12th century

  • Witness the partly-modernized capital, Ashgabat in all its glory, as well as an out-of-town excursion to the atmospheric fortress of Old Nisa

About Us

Remote Lands creates highly personalized itineraries with extraordinary experiences for discerning travelers, based on their own passions, interests and needs. The world’s most elite travel advisors rely on us for our deep knowledge of Asia and entrust us with their highly discerning clients, from celebrities to CEO’s, Wall Street titans to professional athletes. We are available to travel advisors 24/7 from the initial consultation to the day your clients return from Asia.

Insider Tip

Contact your Virtuoso Travel Advisor for insider knowledge to help enhance your experience.

Terms & Conditions

Payment Notes
  • Payment by wire transfer or by cheque; American Express, Visa and MasterCard also accepted.
  • 25%

Refund Policy
  • Fully refundable, less a 15% of total trip price cancellation fee, if cancelled 91 days or more before departure, subject to the refund policies of each hotel, airline and other vendor
  • 50% of total trip price refundable if cancelled 30-90 days before departure, subject to the refund policies of each hotel, airline and other vendor
  • No refund less than 30 days before departure

  • Please note that some vendors have onerous cancellation policies with substantial penalties for changes where funds paid are non-refundable

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By: Squash1

Reviewed on: 30 Jan 2013

excellent at making sure everything is taken care of...personal cell phone contact appreciated and very customized orientation...also very nice
Travel Advisor:  Deborah Bush

Excellent package

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Reviewed on: 27 Nov 2013

Shangri La Rasa Ria Resort in Kota Kinabalu was fantastic as was the Kinabatangan River Resort. Raimie our guide was first-rate!
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Reviewed on: 20 Mar 2018

Remote Lands coordinated our trip and made the experience worry-free. All of our transfers and guides were on time, professional, kind and even went above and beyond when a couple of unexpected needs arose. Thank you!
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Taiwan 2018 trip

By: Cindi

Reviewed on: 29 Mar 2018

Wonderful experience! This was my daughter’s senior trip prior to going away to college and it was everything I’d hoped it would be. Great guide, driver, travel agent, etc. Overall a very positive experience!!
Travel Advisor:  Deanna Byrd

far east

By: Mike

Reviewed on: 18 May 2018

we had to different tour guides, both were just excellent and well worth the money definitely made the trip more memorable
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Reviewed on: 17 Jun 2018

The Remote Lands Guides were excellent. The cars used for transportation were roomy and clean. The hotels were 5 star and their attention to detail was over the top. There was only perfection from the people we met and it was also comforting to know that our trip was being carefully monitored by Remote Lands supervisors every step of the way. We would recommend Remote Lands to anyone needing exceptional service in Asia.
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Reviewed on: 16 Oct 2018

Terrific professionals! Looked out for us the entire time we were on the road!! Many thanks!
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