Countries: Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, and Turkmenistan
Duration: 16 days
Arrival in Bishkek.
At 9 AM meeting at the hotel with a guide and driver. Transfer to the border Ak-Jol. Changing cars at the border and transfer to Almaty with a driver. Overnight at the hotel. Free time.
Departure from Almaty at 08:00. Transfer to the Tamgaly Tas, located on the Ili River.
Tamgaly Tas – the unique monument of the distant past, where you will see images of Buddha’s and texts in Tibetan, Kalmyk, and other languages which have basically a prayer meaning that is carved on the old rocks. It is unknown – when and how these drawings appeared and who was the author: scientists trying to unravel this mystery for over 150 years. Upon arrival in Tamgaly Tas, your guide will tell you a lot of interesting things about this amazing place, then you will be able to walk around and enjoy the beautiful views. Also on the opposite side of the river, you will see the set in the style of medieval Kazakhstan that was built for the filming “The Nomad” film.
After the end of the excursion, transfer to the village of Baschi, lunch at the hotel. After lunch, excursion in Altyn Emel National Park to the Singing Dune.
Singing Dune, reaching a height of 120 meters and a length of about 3 km, located in one of the corners of the Altyn-Emel National Park, a few kilometers from the Ili river between the mountains of Big and Small Kalkan. This sandy hill consists of very fine pure sand, which starts to “sing” in windy weather and its sound reminds the organ music. Before a sandy storm, the dune sounds like a drum. From the top of the Dune you can observe the grand panorama of the surroundings. In the south – a thin strip of the Ili River is visible as well as purple mountains of Sogety and Boguty, looking out from the white peaks of the Ketmen ridge. On the west, the horizon is obstructed by the steep slope of the Big Kalkan, and the Small Kalkan – from the east. In the north – the violet-blue ridge of Djungarian Alatau mountains, Chulak mountain, Matai, and Altyn-Emel are visible. If the weather is dry and windy, the sand-dune will “sing” you its song, which could be heard as far as several kilometers…
Transfer to the hotel. Dinner and overnight at the hotel.
Breakfast at 07:30. Sightseeing tour to the mountains of Aktau and Katutau. Lunch (picnic) during the excursion.
Katutau Mountains (Harsh Mountains) are very ancient ruined mountains with preserved volcanic outputs. The breed is very fragile and breaks down under the physical impact. Water, time, and wind-carved intricate shapes in the rock. Sedimentary rock of the bottom of the ancient Tethys Ocean is preserved there. From the effects of environmental factors, it took the form of intricate figures and landscapes. Aktau Mountains (White Mountains) are world-renowned paleontological fields. In the layers of Paleogene lacustrine deposits, well-preserved remains of ancient animals whose age is estimated at 25-30 million years have been found. Among the finds, there are the remains of giant rhinos, crocodiles, turtles. Huge conical mountains remind the Egyptian pyramids and are a magical scene of a variety of shapes and colors.
Departure to Almaty at 18:00. Arrival to Almaty approx. at 22:00. Transfer to the hotel. Overnight.
Arrival in Ashgabat. Transfer to hotel. Free time. Overnight at the hotel.
After breakfast visit Sunday market (a.k.a Tolkuchka), followed by a city tour in Ashgabat, the capital of Turkmenistan that has recently been noted by the Guinness Book of World Records as having more white marble on its buildings than any other city in the world. You will visit Spiritual Mosque, one of the biggest mosques in Central Asia, the National Museum of History, Monument of Neutrality, Presidential Square, Ertugrul Gazi Mosque, and newly built Independence Park. Rich and interesting excursions also include a stopover at the Akhalteke horses’ stables and Lenin Monument. Free time in the late afternoon. Overnight at the hotel.
Duration of sightseeing tour: 5 hours
Take a morning flight to Mary (370 km, 40 min.). Upon arrival drive to Merv (UNESCO) (40 km, 30 min.), an ancient city that was a major center of international trade and crafts located on the Silk Road. Afternoon visits the History museum of the region. Discover historical park with Sultan Sanjar Mausoleum, Large and Small Gyz Gala, Erk Gala, Gyaur Gala, Keshk Fortresses, and others. Return to Mary, take an evening flight to Ashgabat (370 km, 40 min). Upon arrival transfer to the hotel. Overnight at the hotel.
Duration of sightseeing tour: 4-5 hours
In the morning transfer to the airport for flight to Dashoguz (580 km, 50 min.). Upon arrival drive to Kunya Urgench – the ancient capital of Khorezm Empire (120 km, 1 h. 30 min.). Start sightseeing Kunya Urgench historical site: mausoleums of Turebek-Khanym, Sultan Tekesh, Sultan Il Arslan, Najmad-din-Kubra, Sultan Ali. Discover the Kutlug Timur Minaret and Kyrk Molla Hill. In the afternoon drive to Darvaza gas crater located in the middle of Karakym desert Empire (8 km, across sand dunes). Arrive at the crater, set up the camp. Enjoy a delicious fire-cooked meal for dinner near the burning gas crater. Overnight in tents.
Duration of sightseeing tour: 6-7 hours
After camp-style breakfast depart to Ashgabat. If it is Sunday, visit Sunday Bazaar outside of Ashgabat. Upon arrival transfer to the hotel. In the afternoon explore the archeological site of Old Nissa (included in the UNESCO World Heritage list) and visit Anau Mosque’s remains. Free time. Overnight at the hotel.
Duration of sightseeing tour: 4-5 hours
Transfer to the Airport. End of the tour.