Special tour "Hiking"
Accommodation in Ashgabat is in 3* hotel, one night is in the sleeper train to Turkmenbashi, and the remaining 8 nights are in a tent. Meals are included on the entire tour, in order to facilitate timely product supplies. Transport is by 4-wheel drive vehicles, while minibus transport is used only in Ashgabat. The hikes are doable for anyone in good physical condition and none requires technical climbing skills or rope experience. The two most strenuous hikes are across the Balkan Mountains; we can replace these with a lighter 2-day hike with less altitude difference on request. During all hikes, you carry only your personal daypack.
If you are willing to sacrifice the comfort of a bed, and keen to actively experience unique landscapes, this tour is our recommendation for you.
Turkmenistan Hiking Special (12 days) departure 1
Standard tour dates 11-22 May 2022
Standard tour dates 10-21 May 2023
Turkmenistan Hiking Special (12 days) departure 2
Standard tour dates 05-16 October 2022
Standard tour dates 04-15 October 2023
Day 1: Arrival Ashgabat
Arrival in Ashgabat by air (evening D1 or early morning D2, depending on airline used) or overland from Iran at Bajgiran-Gaudan land border. Transfer to hotel. Overnight.
Day 2: Ashgabat-Turkmenbashi
09:00h Departure from hotel lobby for city tour, including visits of Independence Park, Neutrality Arch, Ferris Wheel, Wedding Palace Viewpoint. In the afternoon we make a first hike across the stairs of Health, before we make our way to the train station for the overnight train to Turkmenbashi.
Day 3: Turkmenbashi-Garabogaz
Our jeeps are waiting for us at the train station and take us out in several hours across the highlands to the coastline of the Garabogaz. We hike for several kilometers along the coastline cliffs and observe the Garabogaz below us. Picnic lunch on the way. Camp dinner and overnight in tents in the Garabogaz cliff area.
Day 4: Garabogaz-Yangikala
Today we drive short distances and make two hikes of 5 kilometers, in order to appreciate the beauty of the Yangisuw and Yangikala canyons. Picnic lunch on the way. Camp dinner and overnight in tents in the Yangikala cliff area.
Day 5: Yangikala-Chilmametkum
From Yangikala we make our way to the north edges of the Chilmametkum desert area, and pass several locations with unique rock concretions on the way, where we can stretch our legs. We make the last 10 kms to today’s camp site on foot through the dunes of this clean, peaceful and uninhabited desert area. Picnic lunch on the way. Camp dinner and overnight in tents in the Chilmametkum area.
Day 6: Chilmametkum-Balkuyi
Another good hiking stretch of 14 kms through the desert brings us to a strip of villages at the southern edges of Chilmametkum. From here we drive the short distance to the foot of the Balkan Mountains. Picnic lunch on the way. Camp dinner and overnight in tents at the start of the northern slope that leads us tomorrow up the Balkan Mountains.
17 May, 2022
Day 7: Balkuyi-Balkandag
The Balkan Mountains stretches from north to south over just 15 kms (as the crow flies) and allows us to ascent today and decent tomorrow. Today we climb 1200 meters up over 8 kilometers, which rewards us with spectacular views down to the desert lands all around us. Picnic lunch on the way. Camp dinner and overnight in tents on top of the mountains.
17 May, 2022
Day 8: Balkandag-Aydin
Today we cross the high plateau until we find the gorge that will lead us down the southern slopes of the mountains. Picnic lunch on the way. Camp dinner and overnight in tents at the bottom end of the gorge.
Day 9: Aydin-Melegoch
We drive several hours along the banks of the dried-up Uzboy River, pass several villages and aim for Melegoch. We can stretch our legs several times, but today we don’t hike over a significant distance. Picnic lunch on the way. Camp dinner and overnight in tents in the dunes near Melegoch.
Day 10: Melegoch-Darwaza
We drive through the desert eastwards, passing several villages, until we suddenly cross the main road Ashgabat-Dashoguz. Of course we hike the last 12 kms through the desert to Darwaza. Picnic lunch on the way. Camp dinner and overnight in tents near Darwaza crater.
Day 11: Darwaza-Ashgabat
Today we travel over tarmac in 4 hours back to Ashgabat. Lunch free. This afternoon is free to do some souvenir shopping or visit any further city sights. After our traditionally Turkmen farewell dinner we make a city-by-night tour through the post-independence district and the main avenues of downtown Ashgabat, with stops at the Neutrality Arch, Ferris Wheel and the Wedding Palace Viewpoint.
Day 12 : Departure Ashgabat
Transfer to airport or overland border with Iran at Gaudan-Bajgiran land border post.
4 pax and more
- Visa support (Letter of Invitation, State Registration, Travel Pass)
- Airport and train station transfers as mentioned in the table under “program”
- Overland transport as per program per AC vehicles as in the table under “itinerary”; 1-3 passengers per regular sedan car; 4-7 passengers per regular minibus; 1-4 passengers per jeep
- Accommodation based on twin-shared hotel room, including breakfast as in the table under “accommodation”
- Accommodation based on private trekking tent, including sleeping mat, sleeping bag and pillow, including breakfast as in the table under “itinerary”
- Fixed meals (lunch and/or dinner) where such meals are otherwise unavailable, indicated in table under “meals”
- English-speaking local guide-interpreter services as mentioned in the table under “guide”
- Non-English-speaking local trekking guide with route-related knowledge and first aid skills
- Entrance fees to sites mentioned in the table under “program” (museum visits are excluding guided museum tour)
- Bottled drinking water en route 1,5l pppd
- Bottled drinking water en route 1,5 l pppd extra on hiking and safari tours
- Early check-in (before 13:00 on first day of tour) and/or late checkout (after 12:00 on last day of tour) of hotel accommodation in Ashgabat. Price on request.
- Turkmenistan tourist visa up to 10 days, from 85+4 USD per person, when obtained at Ashgabat Airport (subject to change and nationality-dependent)
- Turkmenistan tourist visa with validity of 11-20 days, from 105+4 USD per person, when obtained at Ashgabat Airport (subject to change and nationality-dependent)
- Turkmenistan migration tax 10+4 USD per person, to be paid at Ashgabat Airport or any other point of entering Turkmenistan territory (subject to change)
- Meals not indicated in itinerary-program table
- Soft drinks and alcoholic drinks
- Camera usage fees in historical parks and museums
- Tips for local guides and drivers
- Souvenirs and other personal items
- All other charges and services not mentioned under “Services included in tour and extension tour prices”
Deadline for sign-up 10 April 2022
Deadline for sign-up 04 September 2022
Deadline for sign-up 09 April 2023
Deadline for sign-up 03 September 2023