ARCHEOLOGICAL TOUR (Turkmenistan - Uzbekistan - Turkmenistan)
Home - Ashgabat - Mary - Turkmenabat - Farap - Bukhara - Shakhrisabz - Samarkand - Tashkent - Urgench - Khiva - Dashoguz - Kuneurgench - Kalali-gir - Darvaza - Ashgabat - Home
17 days / 16 nights
Day 1 / Arrival Ashgabat
Flight to Ashgabat
Arrival in Ashgabat / Met by our guide and transfer Hotel
Day 2 / Ashgabat
Breakfast at Hotel's restaurant. Depart for full day city tour of Ashgabat including: Arch of Neutrality, Lenin Square, Ertogrulgazi Mosque, Local Russian Bazaar and etc. Visit to Museum of History, has a rich collection of ancient artifacts from Turkmenistan. More than 500,000 exhibits are displayed here in 9 halls. The highlight of the museum is a collection of ivory, discovered during the excavations at the Old Nissa, residence of Parthian kings from the Arshakid Dynasty. Lunch independent. Visiting to Ancient Nisa, the capital of the Parthian Empire (25 km from Ashgabat), mentioned in the Zend-Avesta - holy book of Zoroastrianism. In the 4th century B.C., Parthia was a part of Alexander the Great's Empire. Then it became an independent state. It was a large city and the family residence of kings. The peak of Parthia's military success and political might was achieved in the second and first centuries B.C. Its territory stretched from Syria to India. The Parthian army defeated the army led by the Roman commander Crassus, famous for his defeat of a slaves' revolt headed by Spartacus. Now you can see the remains of the royal fortress. Dinner at local restaurant. Overnight
Day 3 / Ashgabat
Breakfast at Hotel's restaurant. Drive to the ancient city of Anau (20 km from Ashgabat) existed here during the Parthian period (around 500B.C.). The fortress was founded by the Sasanian King Khosrov Anushirvan (6th century A.D.). A remarkable architectural ensemble was built here, one which continued to attract visitors up to 1948 when it was destroyed by an earthquake. Even today, we can still admire the ruins of a magnificent mosque and imagine what it was like five centuries ago. Lunch independent. Drive to Geok Depe - Mosque, Fortress Ruins and Cemetery 40 minutes by car from Ashgabat. This site includes the remains of the ancient fortress Geok-Depe (Green Hill) and modern Mosque Geok-Depe. Geok-Depe is a fortress of the 19th century where a particular bloody battle (1881) was fought between the Turkmen and the Russians who were attempting to take over Turkmenistan. In January 1881 the Russians had surrounded the Geok Depe fortress and begun to bombard it. Return to Ashgabat. Dinner at local restaurant and overnight
Day 4 / Ashgabat - Mary
Breakfast at Hotel's restaurant. Drive to Mary. Stop and visit Meane-Baba: The mausoleum is situated in a small village in Kahka. It was built during the reign of Turkmen-Seljuks in the 11-th century. This mausoleum was constructed over the grave of famous followers of sufizm and the great philosophers in Eastern literature Abu Said Makneyi who lived during the period of 968- 1049. The approximate time of the construction is estimated to be the middle of 11-th century. It has the double dome that is the main characteristic features of time. In the 15-th century the building was partly renovated, but its constructive bases were not damaged. The inner part of the mausoleum is decorated with inscriptions and the portal is laced with mosaics. The mosaics differ in motley colors like puce, white, green and others. One part of the building reaches to 10,3 meters and doubled domes up to 21-22-23 centimeters. The mausoleum is all over decorated with Arabic inscriptions in outer and design patterns in inner parts. According to scientists Abu Said was born in 968 and died in 1049 at the age of 83. His fathers name was Ibrahim who owned a perfume shop at that time. Lunch independent. Arrival in Mary. Excursion to Ancient Merv is by far Turkmenistan's most recognized heritage site. It impresses in its vastness of 2,000 ha including five different city-sites from three millennia and with numerous monuments and shrines remaining from the Muslim period. Merv has recently been included into the UN List of World Heritage Monuments. The important architectural monuments include Sultan Sanjar Mausoleum and Gyz Gala Fortress. Dinner at local restaurant.
Day 5 / Mary
Breakfast at Hotel's restaurant
Drive to Margush: The smooth, mirror - like surfaces of split takyrs (clay soil empty of plants) with light sand waves drifting from the great northern desert of Karakum, stretch to the horizon. It seems that lifeless silence has always reigned here. But this is only an illusion. Driving off-road for what seems several hours and leaving clouds of dust behind, your car climbs a hill from where you can see excavations into the ancient country Margush. In the shimmering heat of the desert you see many sand Hills, the remains of ancient settlements. Lunch en route.
Drive back to Mary. Dinner at local restaurant. Overnight.
Day 6 / Mary - Turkmenabat - Farap - Bukhara
Breakfast. Drive to Farap checkpoint via Turkmenabat. Crossing Farap border (toward to Bukhara)
Meet the guests with guide on the Turkmenistan-Uzbekistan border and transfer to the hotel for
Dinner at local or hotel restaurant.
Overnight at the hotel
Day 7 / Bukhara
After breakfast a full day city sightseeing tour of Saint Bukhara (2500 year old): Miri Arab Madrassah, Kalon Mosque and Minaret, Trading Domes Toki-Zargaron, Madrassah of Ulugbek, Tim Abdullakhan, Trading Domes Tok-i-Tilpak Furushon, Magoki Attori Mosque, Trading Domes Tok-i- arrafon, Lyabi-Haus including Madrassah Nadir Devon Begi and Khanaka (by walking), Mausoleum of Ismail Samani, Ark Fortress Dinner with Folk Show at Nadir Divan Begi Madrassah.
Overnight in the hotel.
Day 8 / Bukhara-Shakhrisabz-Samarkand (430km)
After breakfast drive to Samarkand via Shakhrisabz (native city of Tamerlan.) In Shakhrisabz visit Ak-Sarai Palace ("White Palace" is the greatest Palace of Tamerlan), Kuk-Gumbaz Mosque & Gumbazi Sayidan, the most magnificent Mausoleum of Jakhangir (Tamerlan's son), and Hazrati Imam Mosque. Arrive to Samarkand. Transfer to the hotel. Dinner at hotel or local restaurant. Overnight in the hotel
Day 9 / Samarkand
After breakfast city tour of Samarkand. Visit Registan Square including Madrassah Ulugbek , Madrassah Sher Dor , Madrassah Tillya Kari, Mosque Bibi Khanym and Siab bazaar, Mausoleums of Shakhi Zinda Necropolis & Guri Emir Mausoleum, the Observatory of Ulugbek (built by the great astronomer Mirzo Ulugbek, the grandson of Temur), Afrosiab Museum & hills. Dinner at hotel or local restaurant. Overnight at the hotel
Day 10 / Samarkand-Tashkent (320 km)
After breakfast departure to Tashkent. Arrive to Tashkent. Accommodation at the hotel. Dinner at hotel or local restaurant. Overnight at the hotel
Day 11 / Tashkent
After breakfast city tour of Tashkent: Visit the Kukeldash Madrassah - at present it is regularly acting mosque, Khasti- Imam Complex (Barakhan Madrassah, the Mausoleum of Muslim Saint Abu Ibn Ismail Kaffal, Tilla Sheykh Mosques with visiting the Islamic Library, where you can see one of the major book in the Islamic world - the Usman Koran which was written at 6th - 7th centuries).Then visit the Madrassah of Sheikh Abul-Kasim (inside of Madrassah there are some shops of national craftsmen), the museum of Applied Art and bazaar. Dinner at local or hotel restaurant. Overnight at hotel.
Day 12 / Tashkent-Urgench (Khiva)
After early breakfast at hotel transfer to airport for flight to Urgench by HY-1051 at (07:00-08:40). Upon arrival transfer to Khiva (30 km from Urgench). Enjoy city tour of Medieval Khiva (called as an open -air museum city & guarded by UNESCO). The tour includes visits to: the Ichan Kala- the heart of the city where the most architectural & historical monuments are located. Visit Madrassah Allakuli Khan , Karvonsaroy, Madrassah Mohammed Amin Khan & Minaret Kalta , Kuhna Ark (Ark is a fortress of Khiva), Pakhlavan Mahmud Mausoleum (Pakhlavan Makhmud was a poet, philosopher and legendary fighter who became the protector and saint of Khiva, Islam Khodja Madrassah & Minaret (it is the highest minaret with 118 footsteps opening up to wonderful scenery of desert Karakum), Djuma-mosque, Mohammed Rakhim Khan Madrassah, Tosh Khauli Palace. Dinner at a local or hotel restaurant. Overnight at hotel.
Day 13 / Urgench (Khiva) - Shavat-Dashoguz
After breakfast departure to Uzbekistan - Turkmenistan border.
PM: Crossing Shavat border from Khiva. After custom formalities met by our guide and drive to Dashoguz city. Accommodation at Hotel. Dinner at local
Day 14 / Dashoguz - Kuneurgench Kalali-gir
Breakfast. Drive to Kuneurgench for excursions. Kunya-Urgench, once the capital of the Khorezm Empire, is a center of World Heritage including Gutluk Timur, the tallest minaret of Central Asia and the Turabek Khanum Mausoleum. Its twelfth century dome is probably the most spherical and perfect of the Turan, and is one of very few tiled domes of that age worldwide. Kunya Urgench strikes with its characteristic conical domes later to be copied in Bukhara. Drive to Kalaligir: The township of the V-IV BC which is situated 40 km south-west of Dashoguz. The biggest historical site with its territory of 700x1000 meters. The fortress appeared in the time of Ackemenids who ruled in Khorezm. Camping. Overnight in tent. Dinner will be prepared by our stuff.
Day 15 / Kalaligir - Darvaza
Breakfast (will be prepared by LATIF's stuff). Excursion to Kalali-gir I and II fortress. Drive to Darvaza Gas Crater. At the heart of the desert lie the Darvaza Gas Craters, one of Turkmenistan's most unusual sights. Remnants of the Soviet-era, one of the craters has been set alight and blazes with an incredible strength that's visible from miles away. There are acres of free camping sites nearby and the fire crater is best seen at night, when it also becomes an attraction for huge and largely harmless spiders that run into the fire for reasons best known to themselves. Dinner will be prepared by LATIF's stuff. Overnight in tents near Gas Crater.
Day 16 / Darvaza - Ashgabat
Breakfast. Drive to Ashgabat. Arrival and accommodation at Nissa Hotel. Dinner at hotel's restaurant.
Day 17 / Depart Ashgabat
Departure transfer to Ashgabat airport