Balkan Region

Where the Kopetdag Mountains end, they flow into the lowlands, where medieval caravans traversed on their way from the Khorezmian cities in the north to Persian lands further south. The far south offers also today another entry point into Iran, whereas in the far north it allows access into Kazakhstan. In the end, the lowlands reach the Caspian Sea, where Turkmenbashi town is located, Turkmenistan’s port that offers connection to Baku in Azerbaijan. The nearby Awaza seaside area is the country’s biggest national tourist attraction and offers dozens of resorts to host both local and foreign travelers, looking for a moment of rest and a breath of fresh air. Balkanabad, the region’s capital, is located more inland, and equally often used as hub for trips into the spectacular volcanic landscapes and pre-historical coast formations, which are also dotted with local pilgrim sites, centered around graves of prominent local personalities. To fully appreciate this region, most travelers opt for using jeep travel and camp style accommodation.  

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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Ferava and Parau Bibi Mausoleum and pilgrim site

Ferava Rabat (IX-XIVth cc AD) was a Silk Road hub, located in the Kopetdag foothills, on the route from Khorasan to Dehistan, known for its intricate system of  karyz (underground water pipelines).


Balkanabad is the regional capital of Balkan Region. The booming oil and gas industry in Balkan Region has also caused this city to develop, with various foreign companies’ subsidiary offices.


Dehistan  - historically also known as Misrian - was a town located at the banks of the Etrek River, that thrived in the Silk Road period and rivaling Kunya Urgench and Merw in importance.

Mashhat Ata Mausoleums and the Shir Kabir Mosque

On the territory of the cemetery located some 7 kilometers from Dehistan town itself, five mausoleums (XI-XII cc.) partly survived, as well as the pristine Shir Kabir mosque.

Caspian Sea

Like the Black Sea, it is a remnant of the Parathetys Sea, being landlocked about 5.5 million years ago due to a tectonic uplift and a fall in sea levels. It is the largest enclosed body of water on Earth.

Turkmenbashi Port

Turkmenbashi, former Krasnovodsk, is the port of Turkmenistan. It has a remarkable geographical location with a range of low grounds and cliffs, which encircle the city.


Awaza ist der Sammelname einer Kette von hochmodernen Hotel- und Erholungsanlagen entlang der Küste des Kaspischen Meers, die durch eine Promenade und einen künstlichen Kanal verbunden sind.

Gozli Ata Mausoleum and pilgrim site

The mausoleum of Gozli Ata, located on a low platform against the backdrop of stunning pink and red limestone rock formations, is one of the holiest pilgrim sites in Turkmenistan.

Kemal Ata Mausoleum and Kaitarmysh volcanic rock formations

The mausoleum is located some 25 km from the mausoleum of Gozli Ata, at the spot where a freshwater source carves out a small valley through various ancient volcanic rock formations.

Yangikala and Yangisuw

Impressive white, green and red limestone formations rise up from the desert sands. These cliffs are the remains of massive coastline and seabed of the pre-historical Parathetys Sea.

Uzboy River

The Uzboy was a tributary of the Amu Darya, and flowed 750 kms into the Caspian Sea, until XVII AD, when it abruptly dried up, destroying the Khorezm-Dehistan culture which thrived along its banks.

Melegoch and Balishem

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

Ygdykala Fortress

Ygdykala shows the remains of a Parthian frontier fortress  (I c. BC - IV c. AD), located  on the high rocky bank of the Uzboy River. It is situated deep in the desert, at 150 km north of Serdar town.