Central Asia is steeped in history and the vestiges of ancient civilizations are scattered across wide desert plains. Persians, Parthians, Sasanians and Seljuks have all left their mark and more recently it formed the playing fields of the Great Game. The area we know as Turkmenistan played a pivotal role in all these, making any visit a journey through time. It combines particularly well with Uzbekistan, or why not consider crossing the Caspian Sea?
With the discovery of vast reserves of natural gas, Turkmenistan has transformed itself from a forgotten Russian satellite state to a major player on the world stage. The wealth is obvious and the contrast between life in the cities and life in the remote villages is striking. Much of Turkmenistan is desert, but you will find lush green mountains, natural gorges and a diverse range of fauna and flora ranging from the bustard to the Central Asian gazelle. Ashgabat is a relatively new city, but Kunya Urgench was one of the greatest cities on the Silk Road, and along with Merv and Nisa, provides some insight into the vast wealth that once defined the region. Hotels in the main cities afford every luxury although once out into the desert accommodation can vary.
Paul has been with Steppes Travel for 19 years now and he is never happier than when trekking through remote landscapes, exploring hidden backstreets and generally travelling off the beaten track and setting foot where few foreigners have gone before. His knowledge of border crossings would be hard to beat and many of the wonderful trips he prepares can combine 4 or 5 countries over several months.
+44(0) 1285 651 010
WHEN TO GO
9 hours from UK(via Istanbul)
Golden Eagle Silk Route by Train
21 days from £17,495pp
View Holiday Idea
Journey through Central Asia
22 days from £5,795pp
expert led group tour
Uzbekistan & Turkmenistan - Fabled Silk Road Cities
15 days from £3,475pp
View Group Tour
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Steppes Travel, 51 Castle St, Cirencester, GL7 1QD, United Kingdom