Itinerary Details

Upon your arrival at the Ashgabat International Airport, you will be welcomed by a Rahhalah representative who will transfer you to the hotel.

Note: Only a few carriers fly to Ashgabat. For people traveling from the Gulf, we suggest that you use Emirates Airlines (EK2214), leaving Dubai at 23:55 and arriving in Ashgabat the next day, at 03:25 am. You may also check the options offered by Turkish Airlines, Turkmenistan Airlines, or Lufthansa, if more relevant, though the last two are not convenient when traveling from the Gulf countries.

As most probably you will arrive in Turkmenistan in the early morning hours, you will have a relaxing morning before you embark in an exploration of the capital city.

Ashgabat is a city that reflects the various faces of Turkmenistan. The with wide streets and massive, modern constructions echo the present economic development, while the remains of different eras remind of the country’s rich history.

Your tour will start from the Ertogrul Gazi mosque which follows the designs of the Ottoman architecture (greatly resembling the Blue Mosque in Istanbul) and stands as a symbol of the ties between Turkmenistan and Turkey. You will also visit the Monument of Independence, the National Park, the Arch of Neutrality (a 75m-high monument with a revolving golden statue of the first President Turkmenbashy), the “Alem” Park with the biggest indoor Ferris wheel, the “Bagt Koshgi” (the wedding palace), and the “Yildiz” Hotel (one of the city's most famous, luxurious hotels).

Later, you will head to the historical and archaeological site of Ancient Nisa: the first seat of the Parthians and, today, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Nisa is situated on the crossroads of important commercial and strategic axes, and the archaeological remains vividly illustrate the diverse cultures from Central Asia and the Mediterranean that blended on this land. The Parthian Empire was one of the most powerful and influential civilizations of the ancient world and a brilliant rival to Rome as it prevented the expansion of the Roman Empire to the East. 

Finally, on your way back to the city, you will stop at the Turkmenbashi Ruhy Mosque (also known as the Gypjak Mosque): the largest single-domed mosque in the world, located around 11 km to the west of Ashgabat. Like all other buildings dating to the period of Independence, it stands out with its immensity and grandiosity.

Accommodation: Sport Hotel 4-star (or similar), Ashgabat.

After an early breakfast, you will drive to a private Akhal-Teke stud farm (a 45-km driving distance). The Akhal-Teke is a Turkmen horse breed, famous for its speed, endurance, intelligence, and distinctive metallic sheen which has given it the nickname: the “Golden Horse”.

After an introductory lecture, you will select your horse and ride towards the Karakum desert where you will spend most of the day. The Karakum desert occupies around 70% of Turkmenistan’s territory. Its name means Black Sand in Turkic languages and refers to the dark soil that lies beneath the sandy surface.

Riding distance: approx. 12 km.

Late in the afternoon, you will return to the horse farm and, from there, to Ashgabat, stopping on the way (if time permitting) at the ruins of the Anau Mosque.

Accommodation: Sport Hotel 4-star (or similar), Ashgabat.

The day will start with a visit to the Sunday bazaar that operates just outside Ashgabat, and where you will get an authentic feel of the country, with all its colors and diversity (the bazaar is open on Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sundays).

You will then drive towards the Chuli Valley (approx. a 1-hour driving distance), at the foothills of the Kopetdag Mountains. The area, full of fresh streams and steep mountains, is a popular, refreshing destination for locals and tourists, offering several hiking options, or even climbing opportunities towards the peak of Erikdag mountain (2462 m altitude).

You will hike into the Leopard Gorge, enjoying a picnic lunch on the way and a beautiful camping site at the end, with views of Dushak Erikdag (2482 m. altitude): the third highest mountain of Turkmenistan, famous for its historical monuments and diverse flora and fauna.

Driving distance: 40 km.
Hiking distance: 8km.

Accommodation: Camping tents.

After an early breakfast, the most adventurous among the members of the group can attempt to hike to the top of Dushak Erikdag: a 3-hour intensive hike across boulders and up the steep mountain slopes. The views, though, from the top are stunning, as the desert gets illuminated by the morning sun. The rest of the group can enjoy a relaxing morning, and, by noon, when the hikers are back, you will all ride the cars and drive to the Kov Ata cave, where you can swim in the waters of its lake and have a BBQ lunch.

The Kov Ata cave is known for its steaming lake (80 m long, 30 m wide, and 16 m deep), accessible via 350 long steps. The water of the lake has medicinal qualities as it contains sulfur, iodine, magnesium, potassium, sodium, sulphate, aluminum, bromine, iron, and stibium (in total 38 elements). It is reported that swimming in it improves blood circulation, helps rheumatism or renal and skin diseases, and soothes the nervous system. The temperature of the water is 33-38 degrees all year round. This is one of the largest underground lakes in the world, never touched by the warmth of the sunrays. The bewitching sounds of the water and the mysterious twilight of the cave add to the ambience, creating an otherworldly experience that captivates the imagination of all visitors.

You will finally head to the Moon Mountains (also known as Lunar Lands), which will surprise you with their rounded, melted shapes, and pink-cream hues that change after the rain, shimmering with almost all the colors of the rainbow. Upon arrival there, you will hike to a viewpoint to marvel at the landscape and then rest in the camp, enjoying a well-deserved dinner.

Hiking distance: 15 km.
Driving distance: 250 km.

Accommodation: Camping tents.

After breakfast, you will hike a short distance to the jeeps and head back to Ashgabat (approx. a 4-hour drive). In the city, you will enjoy the rest of the day at leisure, relaxing in the hotel, shopping, or sitting in a café observing life unfolding in front of your eyes.

Hiking distance: 2 km.
Driving distance: 350 km.

Accommodation: Sport Hotel 4-star (or similar), Ashgabat.

Depending on your departure details, you will be transferred to the airport for your flight back home.

Note: there are not many air carriers leaving from the airport of Ashgabat. For people traveling to the Gulf, we recommend the Emirates flight (leaving at 04:20 am, arriving in Dubai at 07:50 am. Alternatively, you may wish to check the itineraries with Turkish Airlines, Turkmenistan Airlines, or Lufthansa.