Turkmenistan is a country located in Central Asia, bordered by Kazakhstan to the northwest, Uzbekistan to the northeast, Afghanistan to the southeast, Iran to the south, and the Caspian Sea to the west. The country has a total land area of 488,100 square kilometers.
As of 2021, the population of Turkmenistan is approximately 6 million people, making it the least populous country in Central Asia. The majority of the population lives in urban areas, with Ashgabat being the largest city and the capital of the country. Other major cities include Mary, Turkmenabat, and Dashoguz.
Turkmenistan has a desert climate, with hot summers and cold winters. The country is mostly covered by the Karakum Desert, which has extremely hot summers and mild winters. The average temperature in summer is around 40°C and in winter it ranges from -5°C to 10°C. The coastal regions of the Caspian Sea have a milder climate, with temperatures ranging from 20-30°C in the summer and 0-10°C in the winter.
Economically, Turkmenistan is considered as a country with a highly centralized government and a planned economy. The country’s economy is mostly based on its abundant natural gas reserves, which are the fourth-largest in the world. The country also has significant reserves of oil, coal, and salt. Agriculture is also important, with cotton and wheat being the main crops.
Culturally, Turkmenistan is known for its rich history, traditional music, and architecture. The country is home to many ancient cities and monuments such as Konye-Urgench, Gonur-Depe, and Merv, which are now UNESCO World Heritage sites. Turkmenistan is also known for its traditional carpet-making and horse breeding. The country’s traditional music is heavily influenced by the nomadic lifestyle of the Turkmen people, and features the use of the dutar, a traditional stringed instrument.
7 days Turkmenistan itinerary informations
Day 1: Ashgabat
- Arrive in Ashgabat, the capital of Turkmenistan and begin your trip by visiting the city’s main attraction, the Independence Monument, a gold-plated statue of the first president of Turkmenistan.
- Visit the National Museum of Turkmenistan, which showcases the country’s history, culture, and heritage.
- Take a stroll through the city center, which is known for its white marble buildings and monuments.
Day 2: Ashgabat (Continued)
- Visit the Ruhyyet Palace, the former residence of the President of Turkmenistan which is now open to visitors.
- Visit the Türkmenbaşy Ruhy Mosque, one of the largest mosques in Central Asia.
- Visit the Ashgabat National Museum of History, which has a collection of artifacts from the ancient Merv city.
Day 3: Mary
- Take a train to Mary, a city located in the southeast of Turkmenistan.
- Visit the Mary Museum of Local Lore, which has a collection of artifacts from the ancient city of Merv.
- Visit the Kow Ata Underground Lake, a natural underground lake that is famous for its therapeutic properties.
Day 4: Darwaza
- Take a tour to the Darwaza Gas Crater, also known as “The Door to Hell”, a natural gas field that has been burning for over 40 years.
- Visit the ancient city of Gonur, which is one of the most important archaeological sites in Central Asia.
Day 5: Konye-Urgench
- Take a train to Konye-Urgench, an ancient city located in the northwest of Turkmenistan.
- Visit the Konye-Urgench State Historical and Cultural Reserve, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and contains the ruins of the ancient city of Gurganj.
- Visit the mausoleum of Turabek Khanum, the wife of the Mongol ruler Timur.
Day 6: Nokhur
- Take a tour to the Nokhur village, located in the western part of Turkmenistan.
- Visit the Nokhur village, known for its traditional architecture and beautiful landscapes.
- Visit the Nokhur mosque, which is famous for its intricate tilework and carvings.
Day 7: Ashgabat
- Return to Ashgabat and visit the Altyn Asyr Bazaar, a large market where you can buy traditional Turkmen crafts and souvenirs.
- Visit the Ashgabat Central Park, a large park located in the city center.
- Take a flight back home.
Note: This itinerary can be adjusted as per your interest and time frame. Also, it’s a good idea to check the opening days and timings of each site before planning your visit. Turkmenistan is a closed country and a visa is required to enter, also it’s essential to have a guide to explore the country, as it’s mandatory.