Ahal Region

Ashgabat is located in Ahal region, as well as the Kopetdag Mountains and the southern parts of the Karakum Desert. Traveling west takes you to mountain villages, a network of underground lakes and moon-like landscapes, where four-wheel drives are the mode of long-distance transportation, accommodation is in basic homestays or camp style, where (multiple-)day walking tours and birdwatchers visit. Traveling east takes you to sites that reflect the region’s importance during the medieval Silk Road period and human presence as early as the Bronze Age, where archeological teams are active in excavations. Serakhs provides another entry point into Iran. Traveling north takes you straight into the Karakum Desert, which makes it excellent terrain for jeep safaris, but also horse riding treks. The Tejen River and The Karakum Canal traverse the region and have provided the necessary irrigation for agricultural activity: driving along the foothills of the Kopetdag you will see fields of grain and cotton, vineyards, and fruit and vegetable plantations, as well as processing plants.  

Darwaza Akchagsyan Ibragim Edhem Kunya Urgench Dashoguz Yzmukshir Islamut Ata Shahsenem Turkmenbashi Astana Baba Atamyrat Dinosaur Plateau Umbar Dere Koyten Kyrk Gyz Kainar Baba Gonur Depe Merw Mary Talkhatan Baba Soltanbent Yekedeshik Serhabat Serakhs Meane Baba Ulug Depe Kaahka Abiverd Anau Ashgabat Nissa Geok Depe Kowata Nohur Bokurdok Yerbent Magtymguly Serdar Parau Bibi Dehistan Balkanabad Ygdykala Gozli Ata Yangikala Yangisuw Turkmenbashi Awaza

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Just outside Ashgabat to the east, Anau is the site of an urban settlement that existed since the Bronze Ages, but flourished particularly under Parthian and Timurid rule.


Abiverd is an archeological site showing settlements that existed since II c. BC, but particularly thriving as one of the principal Silk Road cities of Northern Khorasan.

Meane Baba Mausoleum

Mehne was a medieval urban Silk Road town that connected Merw with Serakhs. At the outskirts of the town the mausoleum of Abu Said (locally referred to as Meane Baba) is located.

Ulug Depe

The archeological site of Ulug Depe is unique in that it represents proof of the longest chronological sequence of human habitation ever found on the territory of Central Asia.

Altyn Depe

Today at Altyn Depe archeological site a 22m meter high mount, covering a 46ha territory, indicates the presence of a settlement from the Bronze Age (3000-1600 BCE).

Namazga Depe

In the same area lies Namazga Depe, where excavations  from various time periods functions as reference for the chronology of other Bronze Age sites in Turkmenistan.

Nodir Shah Fortress

The remains of a large fortress, built on orders of the 18th century Persian governor Nadir Shah, is located against the backdrop of the Kopetdag Mountains.

Nissa Historical Park

Located on a natural high platform at the foothills of the Kopetdag mountains, Nissa owes its importance to the early Parthian rulers who took over control of the area in III c. BC.


The Ruhy Mosque (literally: spiritual mosque) at Kipchak was built between 2002 and 2004, and is one of the five largest mosques in the world (capacity of 20,000 people). 

Geok Depe Mosque and Fortress

Geok Depe (‘Green Hill’) hosts the remains of a 19th-century fortified settlement, where in 1881 a decisive battle between the forces of the Russian tsar and Turkmens of the Teke tribe took place.

Kowata underground lake in Baharden

Kowata (literally: Father of Caves) is one out of a dozen karst caves in Turkmenistan, created as a result of carbonate accumulation millions of years ago.

Kopetdag Mountains and the lunar landscapes

The mountains form a natural border with Iran, hosts some unique protected flora, birds and mammals, and some bizarre lunar-like landscapes. The Sumbar river area runs through the range.


Nohur is home to a small community that lives in the high valleys of the Kopetdag Mountains. Nohur local culture has been preserved due to its isolation from mainland Turkmenistan.


Karakala is a small and pleasantly tree-lined mountain town in the heart of the Kopetdag Mountains, from where both the fertile river valleys as well as the lunar-like landscapes can be visited.

Karakum Desert

The Karakum covers nearly 80% of Turkmenistan’s territory and is bordered by the Ustyurt Plateau, the Amu Darya and Murghab rivers, and the old Uzboy River and salt lakes near the Caspian Sea.


Erbent and Bokurdok

Erbent and Bokurdok, both surrounded by the sands of the Karakum, are villages inhabited by people of the Teke tribe. Various nomadic household and lifestyle aspects remain intact here.

Murzachirla and Akmolla

A cluster of authentic desert settlements, located in low basins in the heart of the central Karakum, accessible only by four-wheel drive, and requiring camp style overnight.


The center of a gas-rich area in the heart of the Karakum desert attracts travelers from all over the world because of its unique burning crater, that offers a particularly spectacular view in the dark.