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Marvel at the Darvaza Gas Crater

Sometimes referred to as ‘The Door to Hell’, the Darvaza Gas Crater is a 60m x 20m chasm, which has burned in the heart of the Karakum desert for the past four decades. It is the result of a gas exploration accident that occurred in 1971. To prevent the resultant escape of poisonous gas from the underground cavern, geologists decided to light it, hoping that the fire would consume all the gas within a few days – but it has been burning ever since.

See the canyons of Yangikala

Discover the dramatic red rock formations of the Canyons of Yangikala, which means ‘fiery fortresses’ in Turkmen.

Visit Merv

The ancient oasis-city of Merv is one of the oldest and most important stops along Central Asia’s Silk Road. From its early beginnings as a trade centre more than 4,000 years ago, Merv flourished to reputedly become the third largest city in the world. Fantastically well preserved, today the city is a Unesco world heritage site where visitors can explore the gigantic ramparts and ruined buildings of this once-great city.

Discover Kunya Urgench

Kunya Urgench lies near the Uzbekistan border and was once considered one of the Islamic world’s most important cities before it was destroyed by Mongol warrior Genghis Khan and later by Turkish-Mongol leader Tamerlane. Nevertheless, there remain many sites of historic interest, including the 12th-century mausoleum of Arslan II and the audience chamber of the royal palace. At 60 meters high, the Kutlug-Timur minaret, dating back to the 11th century, is the tallest in Central Asia.

Wander Tolkuchka Bazaar

Browse the famous Sunday market – Tolkuchka Bazaar – in Ashgabat’s desert, one of Turkmenistan's most popular visitor attractions selling everything from red Turkmen rugs, silks, jewellery and handicrafts to camels and foodstuffs.

Genuinely small groups

Small groups promise a more personal touring experience. That’s why Cox & Kings maintains a maximum group size of 18 guests on most tours, and an average of just 14.

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