Turkmenistan

Discover a world of luxury off the beaten track in Turkmenistan

View the Gourmet Traveller article on Jennifer Byrne's journey along the silk road through Uzbekistan & Turkmenistan.

One of the five ‘stans of Central Asia and bordered by Iran and the inland Caspian Sea, Turkmenistan has been at the centre of civilisation for centuries. This mysterious country offers bountiful cultural experiences and exotic encounters for those adventurous enough to explore. 

Abercrombie & Kent luxury travel specialists have designed impressive Central Asia itineraries that explore the hidden wonders of Turkmenistan. We’ve been crafting adventures for over 50 years, whether you seek an intimate group tour or a private journey, our expert guides can show you beyond the tourist trail for a real taste of Turkmenistan.

From desert plains to mountain peaks, Turkmenistan has an abundance of natural beauty and rich biodiversity. Once a key trading post along the Silk Road, Turkmenistan boasts significant archaeological and UNESCO World Heritage sites. Dash back in time as you explore relics from the country’s Silk Road heyday and forwards again as you meet friendly locals in between mosques, mausoleums and markets.

Best time to visit Turkmenistan

Nearly 80% of Turkmenistan’s landmass is considered part of the Karakum Desert, therefore, hot, dry summers experience soaring temperatures over 40 degrees and winters drop to below freezing. A&K recommends planning your adventure in Turkmenistan during spring (March - May) or autumn (September - November) when temperatures hover between 25-35 degrees celsius. The weather is typically dry but you might catch a shower in May or November. Due to the desert climate, nights can be cold, so pack layers to beat the evening chill.

Experience ancient history in Turkmenistan

If you have a passion for Silk Road history, ancient empires and intriguing cultures then a Turkmenistan trip is for you. The destination is full of intrigue and will suit those with a strong sense of adventure.

Archaeological treasures are plentiful but found amid arid environments. Natural beauty abounds but often requires long road journeys to appreciate it. The more you push yourself beyond the gleaming white marble of Ashgabat, the more Turkmenistan has to offer. Families with young children or those with mobility issues may find travelling off the beaten path in Turkmenistan more challenging.

Ashgabat is a shimmering metropolis

Mimicking the opulence of Dubai, Ashgabat’s architecture is adorned in marble and gold. The country’s natural gas reserves are as plentiful as the monuments are grandiose. The secretive capital has many quirks but the real culture unfolds in the old quarter, where you can experience warm hospitality among its cafés and bazaars. 

Museums, mausoleums and monuments

Experience Silk Road relics on a trip though Turkmenistan. In Mary and Merv, unearth settlements from the Bronze and Iron Age. Visit World Heritage sites like Old Nisa, Sultan Sanjar Mausoleum and Kyz Kala. Witness city walls, moats and fortresses and enjoy beautiful mosques glowing in the evening light.

Deserts and dinosaurs

Experience the wild side of Turkmenistan with a customised tour across the desert and mountain regions. Travel with our experienced and knowledgeable guides to places that set your imagination on fire.

Witness the flickering dance of the Darvaza gas crater. The natural gas pocket was discovered by oil-exploring engineers in 1971, when the ground beneath their drilling rig collapsed. Hoping to burn off the seeping gas, the engineers set it alight. Four decades later, the crater continues to burn.

Driving north from the desert’s flaming centre, experience a trekking adventure in the Kugitang Mountains. It’s here you’ll find Turkmenistan’s highest mountain, deep canyons, mountain goats, wild cats and the elusive Persian leopard.

And if that’s not exciting enough, the Kugitang nature reserve is home to the Dinosaur Plateau. Wander among 400 dinosaur footprints left by the Megalosaurus that roamed these parts during the Jurassic period, 150 million years ago.

Destination highlights

A&K travel specialists want your Turkmenistan holiday to leave a lasting impression for all the right reasons. Our travel experts will take time to get to know what you want from an adventure in Central Asia. Whether you are looking to join an intimate group tour that hops across borders or a bespoke itinerary that focuses solely on Turkmenistan, these are some of the highlights to consider:

  • Tour the UNESCO World Heritage fortress of Old Nisa with experienced guides.

  • Visit the weird and wonderful Tolkuchka Bazaar where you can barter for anything from cantaloupes to carpets to camels.

  • Explore the country’s rich carpet heritage at the National Carpet Museum.

  • Experience the Darvaza crater, a glowing oddity in the middle of the desert.

  • and more...

Featured Turkmenistan Journeys

Private16 days, from AU$40,705
Golden Eagle: Caspian Odyssey (2019)

A breathtaking rail journey across six countries located close to the shores of the Caspian Sea - Armenia, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan.

Private16 days, from AU$40,705
Group of 1815 days, Call for a quote
Ancient Trade Routes of Central Asia- An A&K Hosted Journey (2018)

2018 Departures: May & Sep

Group15 days, Call for a quote
Private13 days, from AU$30,850
Golden Eagle: A Taste of the Silk Road (Moscow - Almaty) (2019)

Discover a land of fable and legend. Ancient Silk Road cities, bustling markets and stunning desert scenery await as we ply the Silk Road trading routes by private train on a 13 day adventure between Moscow and Almaty.

Private13 days, from AU$30,850
Private21 days, from AU$46,135
Golden Eagle: Silk Road (Westbound) (2019)

An iconic 21 day rail adventure between Beijing and Moscow through Central Asia. Join us in April 2019 as we retrace the most important trading routes of ancient civilisation.

Private21 days, from AU$46,135

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