Turkmenistan Nowruz Budget Tour

Mar 20, 2025
Mar 24, 2025
5 days


This tour is your chance to see Nowruz, but Turkmen style. And everything is more fun Turkmen style! Although Nowruz is originally a Persian holiday, marking the start of spring and the start of their new year, it has been well and truly commandeered by Central Asia. You'll find Nowruz celebrations all throughout Central Asia, with differening extents of extravagance and authenticity, but Turkmenistan has really taken it to the next level and made it their own.

Of course no trip to Turkmenistan is complete without a trip to the Gates of Hell, so naturally we will head there for a spectacular night of camping. And amongst the Nowruz celebrations we'll also explore Ashgabat and show you all our favourite spots around the city.

View the full itinerary

For those who like the look of Nowruz, but would also like to explore a bit more of Turkmenistan, we also have a slightly longer tour, which you can check out here .

Fruit seller, Koytendag, Turkmenistan
Gates of Hell, Darvaza, Ashgabat

If you like the look of this tour but the dates don't work for you, or you'd like to do part of the tour, please get in touch and let us know. All our tours are able to be split into smaller sections, we're always scheduling new tours and your dates might work for one of them, or we can always organise an independent tour.


Letter of Invitation

Accommodation in twin share at roughly 3 star hotels (breakfast included), camping at Gates of Hell

Transport as per itinerary, beginning and ending in Ashgabat

Entrance fees to all sites mentioned in the itinerary

SAIGA guide and local guides



Visa fee (can be paid on arrival at the airport or land border, or at an embassy beforehand)

Meals other than breakfast at hotels

Transport to and from Ashgabat at the beginning and end of the tour

Accommodation and any other services before or after the tour

Personal expenses such as souvenirs or any optional activities

Any COVID related expenses

Locals at Monument to Independence, Ashgabat, Turkmenistan
Wedding Palace, Palace of Happiness, Ashgabat, Turkmenistan


Join in the vibrant and oh so photogenic Nowruz celebrations

Explore the white marble city of Ashgabat

Spend a night camping next to the absolutely unbelievable Gates of Hell

Day 1Thu Mar 20
Ashgabat, Gates of Hell
  • No trip to Turkmenistan is really complete without a day spent exploring Ashgabat. Arch of Neutrality, Ashgabat, Turkmenistan
  • You’re going to be in awe of everything that the capital has to offer. We’ll spend the day taking in all the main sites of Ashgabat, including all those crazy monuments you’ve probably seen pictures of, as we begin explaining all the weird and wonderful aspects of Turkmenistan that make it such a special place.
  • We’ll start with a driving tour of Ashgabat's main sites, including Independence Park and Independence Monument, the Monument to the Constitution, the Arch of Neutrality, Lenin Park, and a drive-by of the Olympic Complex which was built for the 2017 Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games. Wheel of Enlightenment, Alem Centre, Ashgabat, Turkmenistan The complex is home to the famous Horse Stadium (the largest structure in the shape of a horse in the world – you’ll hear plenty more of these records!), but unfortunately is closed to the public.
  • A highlight of the day will likely be the Alem Centre, which is the complex in which the Wheel of Enlightenment is, the largest indoor ferris wheel (yes, there’s another one). And YES, for just $1, you can even take a ride! Gates of Hell, Darvaza, Turkmenistan
  • Stop for lunch at Berkarar Shopping Centre, where you can go ice-skating, play in the games centre, ride a miniature double-decker bus, and even have a cappuccino in a hipster café – bet you weren’t expecting that!
  • Here we will go to the supermarket to pick up supplies for the rest of the day and dinner that night.
  • After lunch we’ll drive 250km north to Darvaza, The Gates of Hell.
  • One the way we’ll make a few stops – including to see a salt lake, two other craters (one full of mud, one full of water), and of course maybe for a toilet (not a luxurious one!).
  • Crossing the sand dunes to get to Darvaza, we’ll arrive in time to watch the sunset over the fiery crater and experience dusk turn to dark at this breathtaking site.
  • Set up tents near the Gates of Hell and camp near the fiery crater.
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Day 2Fri Mar 21
Gates of Hell, Ashgabat
  • Gates of Hell, Darvaza, Turkmenistan We'll wake up this morning at the Gates of Hell. What a place to wake up!
  • Make sure you get your fill of fiery pits over breakfast, before we drive back to Ashgabat, arriving around lunchtime.
  • We'll check into the hotel and have free time for the rest of the afternoon.
  • Most people will probably want to head to one of our favourite bazaars in Central Asia – the Russian Bazaar. Here you'll have the opportunity to get some super cheap, local food for lunch, do some souvenir shopping, or if you’re in the market for a Turkmen carpet we can show you a good place to get them.
  • This is also where one of the main shops for buying the famous Turkmenistan tracksuits is, so if you've made it to this point in the tour without one, and you're a bit jealous of your tracksuit-adorned fellow travellers, this is your chance to get one.
  • Yyldiz Hotel, Ashgabat You also might like just to go exploring, whether it's a walk to the psychadelic Ashgabat Mall, or to Tashkent Park, or to the alabay (dog) statue, or you could simply walk through one of the areas of new white marble buildings. And of course we'll be there to help you figure out what to do with your time.
  • For dinner this evening we’ll go to the Yyldiz Hotel – the newest and most expensive hotel in Turkmenistan, where you can have a real 5 Star restaurant experience for 1 Star prices, complete with 360 degree views of the city.
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Day 3Sat Mar 22
Nowruz, Ashgabat, Nisa, Turkmenbashy Mosque
  • Today our main focus will be on Nowruz celebrations, interspersed with some more sight-seeing in Ashgabat, and depending on the exact itinerary of Nowruz events, we will visit Nisa and Turkmenbashy Mosque either today or tomorrow.
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Day 4Sun Mar 23
Nowruz, Ashgabat
  • Today we will experience more of the Nowruz celebrations, and also continue exploring Ashgabat.
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Day 5Mon Mar 24
Ashgabat, End of Tour
  • Last day of the tour.
  • Transfers to the airport for your flights, or if you'd like to spend longer in Turkmenistan let us know and we can help you arrange something.
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