6 Wonderful Places To Visit In Turkmenistan

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Do you want to get away from the tourist trail and truly get off the beaten track? Known for its archaeological ruins including those at Nisa and Merv, major stops along the ancient trade route the Silk Road, Turkmenistan is a country in Central Asia bordered by the Caspian Sea and largely covered by the Karakum Desert. In this majestic country, the ancient meets the modern and the result is guaranteed to take your breath away. It’s capital Ashgabat was rebuilt in Soviet-style in the mid-20th century and is filled with grand monuments honouring former president Saparmurat Niyazov. Are you craving one of a kind adventure? If yes, Turkmenistan is the destination for you which has a dynamic mix of culture, nature and history. So, if you want to truly get off the beaten track and explore a fascinating land, begin planning your travel to Turkmenistan today by checking out some of the cool places to visit in Turkmenistan.

Here are the 6 Wonderful Places To Visit In Turkmenistan.

1. Darvaza

Darvaza is a village in Turkmenistan of about 350 inhabitants that is located in the middle of the Karakum Desert, about 260 km north from Ashgabat. Darvaza inhabitants are mostly Turkmen of the Teke tribe, preserving a semi-nomadic lifestyle. It is also known as also known as the “Gate to Hell”. Here, you can watch fire erupting in the middle of the desert where the view of the flame burning in the desert is bewitching and intriguing. Located in the Karakum Desert of central Turkmenistan,  the pit attracts hundreds of tourists each year. The Darvaza gas crater is actually quite a sight to behold whose contrast between the serene, clear desert skies and the fiery depths below it is surreal, making for breathtaking photos and a worthy day trip.

2. Nokhur

Known for sacred places connected to the Persian legend of the Peri, most notably the Gyz-bibi cave, Nokhur is a settlement located in Turkmenistan which is a heavenly spot at the height of a thousand meters.  Picturesque villages Old and New Nokhur on the mountain plateau are the beauty of two-store houses of unique architecture that are on the mountain cliffs among vines, almond and pomegranate trees. Nokhur is unlike any other site found in Turkmenistan that is rich in history, nature and tribal custom. Nokhur’s setting gives off a timeless sentiment, tucked deep into the mountains, its dusty roads and the clay walls of its houses covered in grapevines remind of Afghanistan’s shades of brown, rather than the harsh desert of Turkmenistan that makes is the must-visit spot when you’re in Turkmenistan.

3. Dekhistan 

One of the most famous ancient towns in Turkmenistan is located near the Caspian Sea, in the Balkan Region, Dekhistan consists of a large graveyard, a mausoleum, minarets, remnants of fortified walls and caravanserais which stands in Misrian Valley – one of the most unusual places on the territory of Turkmenistan. It is considered as the most important medieval oasis in the south-west part of Turkmenistan that boasts its picturesque towers of ancient settlements and 10th – 12th-century monuments as well as the most ancient mosque up the early Islamic period which stands on ancient entombment Mashat. The city has survived in a very poor condition and the majority of its structures are covered with the desert sands. But due to the fact that there Firdausi wrote his well-known poem “Shakhname” the city has a great historical and cultural value which you shouldn’t miss it.

Check out Top 5 Best Places to Explore in Kazakhstan.

4.  Nisa

Nisa was an ancient settlement of the Iranian peoples, located near Bagir village, 18 km southwest of Ashgabat, Turkmenistan. The Parthian Fortresses of Nisa consist of two tells of Old and New Nisa, indicating the site of one of the earliest and most important cities of the Parthian Empire, a major power from the mid 3rd century BC to the 3rd century AD. History of the Nisa is connected by the closest image history of Parthian power. They conserve the unexcavated remains of an ancient civilization which skilfully combined its own traditional cultural elements with those of the Hellenistic and Roman west. he invaluable collection of rhyton, marble sculptures, silver and stone products from imperial treasury Nisa decorates nowadays halls of the National Museum of History and Ethnography of Turkmenistan. Nisa is situated at the crossroads of important commercial and strategic axes where the archaeological remains vividly illustrate the significant interaction of cultural influences from central Asia and from the Mediterranean world.

5. Gonur Tepe

Gonur Tepe is an archaeological site located about 60 km north of Mary, Turkmenistan consisting of a large early Bronze Age settlement which is the “capital” or major settlement of the Bactria–Margiana Archaeological Complex dated from 2200-1700 BCE. Gonur Tepe is a capital temple city of the country Margush where archaeologists managed to discover convincing facts of spiritual rituals and traditions proving that Gonurians believed in Zoroastrianism which was a truly remarkable discovery; fantastic city, unknown kingdom, treasury of unique culture. Gonur-Tepe was surrounded by 200 little settlements and fields for agriculture, while the capital was inhabited by the ruling family. This archaeological park will expose you to one of the greatest civilizations in history. Despite its remote location, you won’t be disappointed by the magnificence of the ancient city.

6. Yangykala Canyon

With bands of pink, red and yellow rock searing across the sides of steep canyon walls, Yangykala Canyon is a breathtaking sight and one of the most spectacular natural attractions in Turkmenistan. The cliffs of the canyon are between 60-100 m high and stretch over more than 25 km all the way to the Karabogas Gulf of the Caspian Sea where impressive limestone formations rise up from the desert sands with views of the Karabogaz Gulf in the distance. These limestone cliffs are the remains of massive coral reefs from the pre-historical Parathetys Sea.  It’s possible to camp on the plateau above the canyon, although it can get windy here and the view from here is one of the best in Turkmenistan. The colours of the canyons change from bright white over yellow/orange to rust-red in rain. So, don’t miss to visit the Yangykala Canyons on a desert adventure to north-west Turkmenistan.