Turkmenistan is a country with great tourism potential. The former Soviet republic took a completely authentic path, unlike its less fortunate neighbors. Turkmenistan honors ancient traditions, celebrates joyful national holidays in honor of the birth of a child or harvest, and at the same time builds modern cities and develops industry.
For a tourist who decides to visit Turkmenistan, the country will sparkle with bright colors, show its natural beauties and tell many fascinating stories. It will be interesting for guests to relax in the Avaza tourist zone on the shores of the Caspian Sea, look at the endless Karakum desert, take a walk at the spring holidays of snowdrops (Chuchmoma-Sayili) and tulips (Lola-Sayili) or stroll through the city of blooming gardens of Ashgabat.
On the territory of modern Turkmenistan, ancient civilizations rose to their power and collapsed. There you can see the residence of the kings of Parthia, the city of Nisa and the ruins of ancient Merv, follow in the footsteps of the powerful Achaemenid dynasty and the armies of Alexander the Great. Many tourist routes are laid on famous historical places.
What to see in Turkmenistan?
The most interesting and beautiful places, photos and a brief description.
It covers most of the country and covers an area of more than 3,500 thousand km². This is a real kingdom of sand, dunes and camels. Climatic conditions in the desert are very harsh, in summer the temperature in the sun reaches 63°C, and in winter there are real frosts down to -30°C. Almost 15% of the population of Turkmenistan lives in the Karakum desert.
Gas crater Darvaza
A flaming fiery crater formed as a result of unsuccessful drilling, which has not faded for 40 years. Some tourists compare it to the gates to the Underworld. When in 1971 gas escaped to the surface, they decided to set it on fire for the safety of the inhabitants of the village located nearby. But gas reserves have not burned out so far.
Ancient city of Nisa
The remains of the capital of the once powerful Parthian kingdom, built around the 2nd century BC. BC. The city was built at the behest of King Mithridates. Here were the burial places of members of the ruling Arsacid dynasty, palaces, temples, numerous warehouses and the royal treasury. Nisa is included in the UNESCO heritage list.
Ancient city of Merv
This city is the oldest in all of Central Asia, it was built during the Margian civilization (3-2 thousand years BC). Later it became one of the centers of powerful Parthia. After the Arab conquest of the 7th century, Merv became a stronghold for further expansion to the east and north. The city flourished during the time of the Arab Samanid dynasty in the 12th century; in its beauty it surpassed even Constantinople.
This place is also called the "Martian plain". Once the area was a flourishing oasis surrounded by rivers and gardens, but hundreds of years passed and the waters dried up, and Dehistan turned into a desert. People had to go to other more fertile lands, to abandon their settlements. Through the centuries, the ruins of Akga-kala and Shadur-kala, surrounded by a lifeless plain, have come down to us.
The historical reserve of Turkmenistan, was previously the capital of Northern Khorezm. Mentions of the city are found from the 1st century. In the 10th century, during the reign of the Samanids, Kunya-Ugrech was renamed Gurganj. The city became a cultural and scientific center, the second after the capital of the empire, Bukhara. The famous Ibn Sina (Avicenna in European) lived here.
A modern architectural monument built in 1999 in Ashgabat by order of the first Turkmen president S. Niyazov. It is a complex of white marble topped with turquoise domes. The palace is used for conferences, forums, important state events, as well as concerts and mass celebrations.
Monument of Independence of Turkmenistan
A symbol of the country's independence in the form of a 118-meter column. The building is located in the Ashgabat park, reminding residents and guests of the formation of a separate and independent state of Turkmenistan. The top of the monument is crowned with a crescent moon with five stars symbolizing the unity of the five Turkmen tribes.
Construction of the 90s, one of the most beautiful mosques in Ashgabat. During the construction, elements of the Turkish style were used, the name also has Turkish roots - it is given in honor of the father of the ruler Osman I. The temple can accommodate almost 5 thousand believers and is the largest in the capital. Elements of the old Byzantine style are visible in the courtyard and decoration.
Mosque of Turkmenbashi Rukhy
The main Muslim temple of Turkmenistan, a large and pompous building. It was erected on the initiative of Turkmenbashi (S. Niyazov) and named after him. The mosque is not located in the capital, but in the village of Kipchak, where the president was born. The construction was carried out by a French company, the work cost the country more than 100 million dollars.
Natural landmark in the southwest of the country. The cave has a large underground lake 16 m deep and 70 m long. The Turkmen tribes considered this place sacred, for centuries whole caravans and families came here to make a sacrifice (livestock) and ask for the mercy of the spirits.
A mysterious and unique place where the paw prints of dinosaurs have been preserved. According to local legend, these footprints belonged to the huge elephants of the troops of Alexander the Great (in the local dialect of Iskander Zulkarnein). More than 3,000 traces of ancient reptiles and more than 30 paths along which they went about their business were recorded on the plateau.
Here the sands of the endless Karakum desert begin. This is one of the hottest places in the country, where temperatures reach up to 50°C. Desert fauna and flora are represented in the reserve. Turtles, lizards, monitor lizards live here, desert acacia and peacock poppy grow. Many species are endemic to the area.
Translated from Turkmen, it means "fiery fortresses". This is a picturesque and unusual place - the rocks of purple, yellow, beige, red colors really seem to be castles from some fairy-tale fantasy. During sunset, the stones turn into brighter colors, and an unforgettable sight appears to the tourist's eye. In the canyon, you can arrange a jeep safari or a hike with an overnight stay in tents.
Turkmenistan owns a fairly large piece of the Caspian coastline - about 1200 km. This unique reservoir is located at the very junction of Asia and Europe. Quite recently, at the behest of the Turkmen authorities, the Avaza national resort zone was created on the coast with boarding houses, hotels, sanatoriums and developed infrastructure for tourists.