Turkmenistan Tours & Holidays
Small Group Tours & Tailor-Made Holidays
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Enjoying a somewhat unique reputation as, not only the least explored country along the old Silk Road, but also probably the most eccentric of the Central Asian republics, modern Turkmenistan is very much the product of its ex president, Saparmurat Niyazov, otherwise known as Turkmenbashi. Sporting a gold statue of its former ruler on practically every corner, the country is awash with towns and ...
Enjoying a somewhat unique reputation as, not only the least explored country along the old Silk Road, but also probably the most eccentric of the Central Asian republics, modern Turkmenistan is very much the product of its ex president, Saparmurat Niyazov, otherwise known as Turkmenbashi. Sporting a gold statue of its former ruler on practically every corner, the country is awash with towns and portraits dedicated to one of the world’s most flamboyant and repressive dictators.
Much of the country is covered by the large, empty and very hot Kara Kum or Black Sands Desert, which for centuries was Turkmenistan's best defence against a long list of outsiders, adventurers and encroaching armies. It is its people though who are its great draw. Descended from the nomadic tribes that once occupied the Altai Mountains to the north of Mongolia, the Turkmen of today are amongst some of the most engaging people in Central Asia. Dressed in traditional clothes of huge sheepskin hats, long coats and boots, these people have remained in large part true to their nomadic roots. Excellent horsemen, they are well matched by their wonderful Akhal Teke horses, distant ancestors of the famed Arabians.
A visit to Turkmenistan holds the promise of a journey into a rich and colourful land still totally untouched by tourism, where strangers are merely friends that haven’t been introduced yet.
Start your journey
Travel to Turkmenistan with like-minded people on one of our small group tours (usually max size 12), featuring knowledgeable local guides and an expert tour leader.
Whether you want to travel on one of our award-winning itineraries or build your own journey from scratch, our expert consultants will help create the perfect tour for your tastes and budget. Below are a few suggestions of the kind of trips we can offer, all of which can be tailored to you.
HIGHLIGHTS OF TURKMENISTAN
TOP PLACES TO VISIT
OUR FAVOURITE PLACES TO STAY
WHEN TO GO
Health and Vaccinations
There are no mandatory immunisations for travellers to Turkmenistan though you should be up-to-date with Typhoid, Tetanus, Polio and Hepatitis A. We recommend you seek advice from your local GP or travel centre as to the correct immunisations and preventative treatments.
In Turkmenistan the official unit of currency is the Manat.
To check out the latest exchange rate for the places that you are visiting you can go to www.oanda.com.
On our tours you will frequently interact with local people, each with their own distinct customs and traditions. We therefore ask you to be considerate and to treat them with respect. Your tour-leaders and guides will always be able to advise you accordingly.
The first thing to say about travelling in Central Asia is that most areas, particularly the cities and towns, have a much more laid-back approach to Islam than their neighbours to the south in Afghanistan and Pakistan. However, it should also be remembered that Turkmenistan is technically a Muslim country and therefore a little bit of caution should be applied in certain areas. Outside of the cities, people are quite conservative and so you should dress modestly. When visiting active mosques women should wear a head scarf, and both sexes should ensure their shoulders and legs (to below the knees) are covered.
Language & Religion
Following the ’92 constitution, Turkmen is the official language of Turkmenistan. Russian is still widely used within the cities and acts as the main means of inter-ethnic communication. Uzbek is also spoken by roughly 9% of the population.
90% of the country’s population follow Islam, with about 9% following the Eastern Orthodox Church. Islam originally came to Turkmenistan through holy men acting as missionaries during the Muslim conquests in the 7-8th Century AD.
Turkmenistan is 4 hours ahead of GMT
A useful website to check the time zone differences is www.worldtimezone.com.
Food and drink
The food in Turkmenistan is based around meat and rice, although the salads on offer are very varied. Shashlik and plov are very popular dishes.
With regard to alcohol, the choice tends to be limited to vodka or beer so anyone wanting something different - Scotch or Gin for example - should buy it duty free and bring it out. However, be advised that mixers, like tonic water, are extremely difficult to find in Central Asia!