LAND OF ANCIENT CIVILIZATION
Tour: Turkmenistan – Iran Destinations: Ashgabat – Mary – Darvaza – Dashoguz – Mashhad – Shiraz – Yazd – Isfahan – Tehran Transport: Private air conditioned transport, economy class domestic flights Accommodations: All comfortable class accommodation with private facilities Guides: Fully escorted by our English speaking guide Tour starting point: Ashgabat Ends: Tehran
- Trip Outline
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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.
Ashgabat – Merv – Mary – 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). Construction of the mosque was financed by Bahadurkhan’s vizier, Muhammed Hudaidot, who also selected a site of construction–near the grave of his father, sheikh Jemaleddin, a native of Anau. The square central hall (with the sides of 10.5 meters) was crowned with a dome. In later periods, the Seyit-Jemaleddin mosque was partially reconstructed. 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.
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.
Darwaza – Koneurgench – Dashoguz
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.
Dashoguz – Ashgabat
BF at the Hotel. Flight to Ashgabat. Arrival in and drive to Kowata underground lake which is located 107 km from Ashgabat. The Turkmen 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.
Ashgabat – Mashhad
BF at the Hotel. Transfer to Turkmen – Iranian border “Bajigiran”. Arrival to Mashhad from Bajigiran border visiting Imam Reza shrine - holy shrine 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.
Mashhad – Shiraz
Visiting Nader shah tomb in Mashhad and Flight to shiraz and visiting Hafiz mausoleum - The Tomb of Hafez is in a peaceful, garden setting that drips 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 - Iran 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.
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 vist vakil complex and Bazaar. Overnight in Shiraz.
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 group 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.
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 before electricity and air conditioning were 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.
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.
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 historical Persian garden located in the city of Kashan. Boroujerdiha house, a historic 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.
- 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
- International flights
- Cost of Turkmen visa w/border fees
- Visa stamp Fee, In Iran’s abroad embassy or consuls
- Payment for photo and video
- Meals: L,D
- Tips for guide and driver
- Medical insurance
- Services not shown in the program
- Travel tax: 2 usd per person per night in Turkmenistan
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