LAND OF ANCIENT CIVILIZATION

Iran - Turkmenistan

Duration
12 days
Group size
2-10
Age range
0+
Meals
Breakfast
Style
Historical
Hygiene
Included
Code
POA1
From
1340

Highlights

Uncover the secrets of the Silk Road on this immersive journey through Turkmenistan and Iran. From Ashgabat all the way to Tehran, this epic 12-day trip will lead to the sprawling ruins of Mary and Kunyaurgench, one of the most important paths in the Middle Ages. The 14th-century traveler Ibn Battuta described it as The largest, greatest, most beautiful and most important cities of the Turks.
You camp and witness eternal flames of the Darvaza Crater, aka the Door to Hell. Riding on a famous Ahal Teke horse, commonly known as Golden Horse.
Continue to Iran to explore beautiful landscapes and some of the world's oldest archaeological sites, arid mountains and rural villages. You will learn about the traditions and culture of the land that has been affected for thousands of years. In this trip, we will explore the beautiful cities of Mashhad, Shiraz, Yazd, Isfahan, Tehran, and discover the history of Persia in the impressive Persepolis; however, the real highlight of this trip is meeting the locals, arguably the friendliest and most hospitable people on the planet, who are always ready to welcome tourists with a smile.

Itinerary

Day 1 - Ashgabat

Arrival in Ashgabat International airport. You will be met by our representatives and transfer to hotel (early check-in). Free time.
BF at Hotel. You will have Ashgabat city tour . 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. You will see Presidential Palace, Ruhyyet Palace, Wedding Palace, modern “Yildyz” Hotel, Ferries Wheel, Constitution Monument, Arch of Neutrality, Monument and park of Independence, Ertogrul Gazy Mosque, Ashgabat Sports and Housing facilities, the Earthquake and victims of WWII Monuments.
Drive to visit Nissa fortress -the Sanctuary of Parthian Kings. UNESCO declared fortress a World Heritage Site in 2007. Nissa described as one of the first capitals of the Parthians. It was founded by Arsaces I (reigned c. 250 BC – 211BC), and reputedly the royal necropolis of the Parthian Kings, although it has neither been established that the fortress at Nissa was a royal residence or a mausoleum.
Overnight in Ashgabat.

Day 2 - Ashgabat – Merv – Ashgabat

BF at hotel. Morning drive to Mary. You also see ruins of Seyitjemalledin mosque in Anau. The mosque was built in 1456, when Abu-ibn-Kasim Baber Bahadurkhan ruled in Khorasan (1446-1457). By the nineteenth century, the subsidence of land had already damaged the building heavily, and during the 1948 Ashgabat earthquake it was destroyed completely. Now, only lower parts of the portal and some fragments of the walls are extant.
On the way visit Abiwerd that was once an important trading town of North Khorasan. It was a key link on the Great Silk Road between Nisa and Merv, and also enjoyed ties in Nishapur, across Kopetdag Mountains to the south.
Drive Merv to explore ancient Merv – “Queen of the world”, was one of the most important capitals of Islam along with Baghdad, Cairo and Damascus. Sightseeing of ancient Merv includes Greater Kyz Gala & Lesser Kyz Gala (VI-VII), Complex of Askhabs (VIII-XIV), Erk Gala (VI BC), Gyaur Gala (IV BC), Hoja Yusup Hamadani complex, Sultan Sanjar mausoleum, Muhamed Ibn Zeid mausoleum. After sightseeing, drive to Mary city. Transfer airport for flight to Ashgabat. Overnight at hotel.

Day 3 - Ashgabat – Darvaza

BF at hotel. Free time. Afternoon drive to Darwaza burning Gas Crater (3.5 h) dubbed by locals as "The Door to Hell". The Darwaza area is rich in natural gas. While drilling in 1971, Soviet geologists tapped into a cavern filled with natural gas. The ground beneath the drilling rig collapsed, leaving a large hole with a diameter of 70 meters. To avoid poisonous gas discharge, it was decided the best solution was to burn it off. Geologists had hoped the fire would use all the fuel in a matter of days, but the gas is still burning today. En-route we cross Karakum desert, will make a stop in small desert village Erbent . In the evening watch the spectacular and fascinating view of the gas crater. BBQ dinner at Gas Crater. Overnight in camp.

Day 4 - Darwaza – Koneurgench

Picnic style breakfast. Morning drive to Kunya Urgench . Sightseeing tour in Kunya Urgench: visit Portal of Caravansaray, Mamun Minaret, II Arslan Mausoleum, Sultan Tekesh Mausoleum, Academy of Horezm, Kutlug Timur Minaret, Turabek Hanum Mausoleum.
After sightseeing, drive to Dashoguz. Overnight at hotel.

Day 5 - Dashoguz – Ashgabat

BF at the Hotel. Flight to Ashgabat. Arrival in and drive to Kowata underground lake which is located 107 km fr om Ashgabat. The Tur kmen name Kow-Ata means "father of caves". This underground area seems like a magnificent auditorium: the overall length of the cave is 230 m, its height reaches 20 m, and its width is at some points 57 m. The bottom of the cave is covered with lumps of dissolved limestone (stalagmites), and its warm and gushing water is clear and emerald colored. The water has a constant temperature of 33 -37°C. (You should swim in the lake).
After drive to Gokdepe fortress that was attacked in December 1880 by Russian Empire Army. The siege of Gokdepe lasted 23 days, after which the city was taken by storm. Visit Geokdepe Mosque (Saparmyrat Hajy) that was built in 1995 to commemorate the defeat and is noted for its mint-turquoise blue colored roof and white marble structure.
Then visit Gokdepe museum about the battle between Russians and local tribe “Akhalteke” in 1881.
Later drive to visit Horse Farm to see a national proud of Turkmen people - Akhalteke horses, the nicest horses in the world. 5000 years ago, Turkmens begin breed Akhalteke horses. The World’s unique breed was never mixed with other breeds. Such illustrious Emperors like Alexander the Great, Darius I desired to own Ahalteke horses. There are over 35 beautiful horses in the farm. Per superstition, every sick person who touches an Ahalteke horse will get well soon.
Drive to visit Turkmenbashy Ruhy Mosque in Kipchak (the largest mosque in Central Asia).
Overnight at Hotel.

Day 6 - Ashgabat – Mashhad

BF at the Hotel. Transfer to Turkmen – Iranian border “Bajigiran”. Arrival to Mashhad from Bajigiran border visiting Imam Reza shrine - holy shr ine is the biggest, most important and prominent religious center of Iran that consists of the most features of Persian-Islamic architecture that many pilgrims from Iran and all around the world go to this place every year. Overnight in Mashhad.

Day 7 - Mashhad – Shiraz

Visiting Nader shah tomb in Mashhad and Flight to shiraz and visiting Hafiz mausoleum - The Tomb of Hafez is in a peaceful, gar den setting that dr ips with an ambience of poetry and romance. The 14th-century writer is considered the Shakespeare of Iran, one of the greatest Persian poets of all time, and a source of national pride and Shah Cheragh shrine - Ir an can be a somber and, for lack of a better word, religious experience, yet the interior of the central temple looks as though a disco ball exploded, covering nearly every surface with glittering shards of glass and mirror. Overnight in Shiraz.

Day 8 - Shiraz

Visiting city of Shiraz, starting with Nasir ol olk mosque - A spectacular rainbow of stained glass makes the "Pink Mosque" one of the most beautiful in Iran. Narenjestan garden or Qavam House in Shiraz is one of the most beautiful and praised gardens one will love to visit. Qavam House was built during Qajar period in late 19th century. Also visit vakil complex and Bazaar. Overnight in Shiraz.

Day 9 - Shiraz - Yazd

Drive to Yazd, visiting Persepolis visit the most important historical sites of Iranian civilization on the road, dating back to 2500 years ago, including Magnificent Persepolis (Takht -e Jamshid), the ceremonial capital of the Achaemenes Empire that tells you the story of one of the world’s most sophisticated civilizations, dating back to 2500 years ago. Naghse rostam with a gr oup of ancient Iranian rock reliefs cut into the cliff, from both the Achaemenes and Sassanid periods and four large tombs of ancient kings cut high into the cliff face. Pasargadae is a tangible cultural heritage of Iran listed by UNESCO as World Heritage Site and it is a series of massive structures from the first capital of the Achaemenid era (the 6th century BC) in Ancient Persia. Continue to Yazd. Overnight in Yazd.

Day 10 - Yazd - Isfahan

Visiting Amirchakhmaq complex , one of the most significant historical places in Yazd, is located in the historical part of the city. Fahadan quarter and Dowlat abad garden - Long befor e electr icity and air conditioning wer e invented, back when Iran was called Persia, staying cool in these conditions required ingenuity; that’s how windcatchers were born. and drive to Isfahan. visiting old bridges of Sio-se-pol and Khajoo , this 17th-century structure is a beautiful testimony to traditional Persian architecture. Overnight in Isfahan.

Day 11 - Isfahan

Visiting Naghshe jahan square , and Imam and Sheikh mosque was completed in 1619 after nearly 20 years of work. Today, the mosque stands as a magnificent and detailed public work. However, when it was originally built it was a private and luxurious place of worship for Shah Abbas I and the women of his court. Aliqapo palace and Chehel soton palace is one of the most famous Persian gardens. Chehel Sotoun was constructed to receive the royal guests and high ranking authorities. Overnight in Isfahan.

Day 12 - Isfahan - Kashan - Tehran

Drive to Kashan, visiting Abyaneh village is famous for the unique architecture and building materials of its houses. An image of Abyaneh consists of steep, narrow and twisting lanes through mud clay houses with balconies. The houses have been built side by side on the foothills facing the south. Fin garden is a magnificent histor ical Per sian gar den located in the city of Kashan. Boroujerdiha house , a histor ic house in Kashan The house was built by architect Ostad Ali Maryam for the wife of Seyyed Mehdi Borujerdi, a wealthy merchant. Drive to IKA for departure flight.

What's included / excluded

The tour price includes

  • Letter of Invitation in Turkmenistan
  • Visa processing in Iran
  • Registration in Ashgabat city
  • Escort English speaking guide service
  • Transportation throughout the tour
  • Flight ticket: Dashoguz – Ashgabat, Mary – Ashgabat, Mashhad - Shiraz
  • Entrance fee: per program
  • Meals: BF at hotels and BBQ Dinner at Darwaza
  • 1.5 L water per person per day

The tour price doesn't include

  • International flights
  • Cost of Turkmen visa w/border fees
  • Visa stamp Fee, In Iran’s abroad embassy or consuls
  • Payment for photo and video
  • Tips for guide and driver
  • Medical insurance
  • Meals: L,D
  • Single supplement 225 USD
  • 4* supplement 135 USD

GUARANTEED TOUR DATES

Start End Price Space left
Any Day

Any date

from Ashgabat
8
days
Individual

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to Tehran

1969 USD

2+

Space left
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Wednesday

May 19, 2021

from Ashgabat
8
days
Sunday

May 30, 2021

to Tehran

1969 USD

8

Space left
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Wednesday

Sept 15, 2021

from Ashgabat
8
days
Sunday

Sept 26, 2021

to Tehran

1969 USD

8

Space left
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Wednesday

Oct 12, 2021

from Ashgabat
8
days
Sunday

Oct 24, 2021

to Tehran

1969 USD

8

Space left
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Any Day

Any Day

from Ashgabat
8
days
Individual

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to Shavat
Space left

2+

963 USD

Tuesday

Apr 13, 2021

from Ashgabat
8
days
Wednesday

Apr 20, 2021

to Shavat
Space left

8

963 USD

Trip reviews

Alegra Jenkins

I had a wonderful time in Turkmenistan. The country is beautiful and everyone I met was very friendly and helpful. My Guide was excellent and all the details of my trip were well considered.

11.10.2019

Deborah Kahkejian

I cannot say enough good things about Pearl of Asia. My daughter and I went on the Uncover Armenia tour and it exceeded expectations. Our tour guide, Avet, was knowledgeable and very accommodating. He was the best. Rima, the tour manager always answered my questions timely and fully. The accommodations, the food, and the tour itself was wonderful. Drivers to and from the airport were courteous and timely.

13.09.2019

Julia Donigian

I will request both of them when I return to Armenia next, and will recomend them to anyone thinking about traveling to Armenia.Hasmik was very knowledgable and passionate about giving us an authentic experience we'd remember forever. She was flexible with my group and always had a positive attitude. She was incredible and such a joy to be around.

10.09.2018

Trip map

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Trip accommodation

Oguzkent (Ashgabat)

Mary

Dashoguz

PACKING CHECKLIST

Documents:

Passport, flight ticket (printed or electronic), insurance, visa (if required).

First aid kit:

bandaids / plasters, special medicine or drugs in permanent use, antibacterial gel/wipes, antiseptic cream, lip balm.

Essentials:

Credit/debit cards, cash (cards can be used in city, cash in regions), moneybelt, laptop/tablet/phone, chargers, camera with extra memory cards and batteries, outlet adapter.

Dressing:

There are no restrictions regarding clothes; scarf or shawl is advisable for churches.

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