Our services

Fixed departure tours

Owadan Tourism is the first agency in Turkmenistan to offer fixed departure tours. In 2014 these include one Navruz Special tour, 2 Ahalteke horse riding specials, and 3 jeep tours with 6 departures each. These tours have been composed upon repeated requests by individual travelers  in the past years. The jeep tours in particular are aimed to make unique areas in Turkmenistan accessible to travelers on various budgets, and allow for flexibility before and after the tour program, to reach Ashgabat from various directions and visit the city at your own pace. Jeep tours “west” (6-day tour) and “central” (4-day tour) can be combined with each other, and all three tours can be combined with travel through neighboring countries, such as Uzbekistan and/or Iran. Basically: tailor-made travel components can be added to the beginning or the end of these fixed departure tours. Please find detailed information on the fixed departure tours, dates and prices, in the section Fixed Departure Tours.

Tailor-made programs and special interest programs

Tailor-made programs are fully personalized to your specific interests and travel wishes: services are privately arranged for you or your group. While visa support, accommodation and transportation are compulsory components of such programs, they allow for flexibility in tour duration (from 3 to 20 days), in accommodation comfort levels (from camp arrangements to 5-star hotel room reservations), in means of transport (from off-road jeep safari transport, to road travel, and train and air travel), in meal arrangements (bed and breakfast, half board or full board meal services), and in guide and interpretation services (fully guided tours, local excursions or non-guided stay). You can find a selection of program ideas in the section Sample Programs. Programs can be completely adjusted to your wishes with the help of the advice of our sales team. Tailor-made programs are also available from our sales team for groups with special interests, such as:

Please note that no specialized guides are available for the first 5 above-mentioned programs, and therefore you will need to bring your own expertise on such tours, in the form of specialized or trained staff or literature. Of course, horse riding and hiking and trekking tours will be accompanied by appropriately trained staff.

Last but not least, Owadan Tourism is also able to arrange services for your onward travel through Uzbekistan, and able to advice on service support for travel through Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan.

Visa support

Owadan Tourism is licensed to apply at the state visa authority for Letters of Invitation (LOI) for travelers requiring a Tourist Visa (for several border areas, additional border zone permission is required; these permissions are automatically applied for in conjunction with the general visa application). We process requests for applications as early as 8 weeks prior to your intended arrival in Turkmenistan, and up to as late as 4 weeks prior to your intended arrival. In order to process such applications, we will need to formally agree with you on your day-to-day travel plan, including your chosen modes of transport and type of accommodation. We will also need to receive the following information: 

Once we obtain the above information in the correct formats, our team will prepare and submit the LOI application. The duration of processing is variable and the result cannot be predicted by Owadan Tourism. Once the result of the application is issued, we will immediately notify you. We are able to scan and send the LOI to you by email. You will need to print it, and bring it with you to the place where you intend to pick up your Turkmenistan Tourist Visa: at a Turkmenistan Embassy abroad, on arrival at one of the land borders that offers visa services, or at Ashgabat International Airport.

Please note that Owadan Tourism does not offer visa support for people on a personal or medical trip, business or conference trip, media trip or official visit to Turkmenistan. People traveling to Turkmenistan with these purposes will need to contact a Turkmen Embassy abroad for advice on obtaining the appropriate Letter of Invitation. However, on receiving proof of having received the appropriate LOI, Owadan Tourism does offer other travel services, such as accommodation and transportation services.

Transportation and ticketing

Owadan Tourism owns a wide variety of vehicles, and employs its own drivers, in order to offer safe, clean and comfortable overland travel. Our car park in Ashgabat consists of city cars, minivans, SUV’s, jeeps, minibuses and touring cars. At our car parks in Mary and Dashoguz towns several more vehicles are located. 

We also arrange for your domestic train or air tickets. Even though our agency is based in Ashgabat, ticketing services are offered on all routes in Turkmenistan, irrespective of the departure point of such train journeys or flights.

Accommodation and board

Owadan Tourism has contracts with a large number of hotels and motels in Turkmenistan. In Ashgabat and Awaza/Turkmenbashi we offer room reservations in hotels of various categories. In Mary, Dashoguz, Turkmenabad and Balkanabad hotel options do not yet offer diverse categories, and we make reservations in those hotels available. In Koyten (Kugitang) reservations can be made for stay in the local base lodge. Outside these locations, accommodation is restricted to camp arrangements or the occasional stay at a local pilgrim site.

We have our own camp accommodation gear, that includes a large number of trekking tents for single or double share use, sleeping mats, sleeping bags, pillows and tent lights. We also bring camp dining gear, such as floor carpet, plates, cups and cutlery and camp lighting. On request, camp tables and chairs can be provided, as well as camp latrine tents and camp shower tents.

In terms of meals, Owadan offers as a minimum Bed & Breakfast services, plus dinner services at those locations where no other form of dining is available. In practice, this means dinners are automatically served for overnight location where accommodation is either in tents, at a pilgrim site or in the base lodge in Kugitang. Picnic lunches are recommended on those route sections where no alternative dining services are available. Restaurant-based lunch and dinner services are optional.

Guided tours and local excursions

Due to the limited volume and detail of foreign-language information available about places to visit in Turkmenistan, both locally as well as abroad, Owadan Tourism employs its own guides. Various guides have been trained in various languages:

Guides have been trained in particular on providing excursions in Ashgabat, Merw (UNESCO), Kunya Urgench (UNESCO) and Nissa (UNESCO), and the various cultural characteristics that are reflected in Turkmenistan today.

Owadan Tourism offers fully guided tours, which means that a guide can accompany travelers on an entire route, both on transfers from one location to another, as well as during site visits, where excursions are taking place. Alternatively, local guides can be requested selectively, for excursions in Ashgabat (for city tours and day trips from Ashgabat), Mary (for trips to Merw, Gonur Depe or Talkhatan Baba) or Dashoguz (for trips to Kunya Urgench and Yzmukshir) only. 

Support to travelers on Turkmenistan transit visa

Although travelers arriving in Turkmenistan on a Transit Visa do not require visa support, they may wish to contact us for transport or accommodation services, or local excursions at sites located on their way from one land border to the next. Please contact us directly for more information, and terms and conditions of service agreements and payment.

Please note that Owadan Tourism is unable to facilitate Transit Visa support: transit visas must be applied for directly by travelers at a Turkmen Embassy abroad. For more information about the pros and cons of a Transit Visa versus a Tourist Visa, contact us directly.

Support to overland expeditions and rallies

An increasing number of people choose to experience the Silk Road by traveling in their own mode of transport, between Europe and Asia. In recent years, we have welcomed and supported a steady and growing number of travelers arriving in buses, trucks, jeeps, and cars, and on motorbikes and bicycles. Although such travelers do not require transport services on their journey through Turkmenistan, they may wish to contact us for visa support, accommodation and overland travel escorting.

For more information about temporary motorized vehicle import/export procedures, please contact us directly.

Support to travelers arriving by ferry from Baku

Another growing group of travelers arrive in Turkmenistan from Baku in Azerbaijan, using the services of the cargo ferry that connects Baku and Turkmenbashi. Although there are no timetables for these cargo ferries, and arrival in Turkmenbashi cannot be predicted, Owadan Tourism can support such adventurous travelers with flexible visa support, accommodation and transport arrangements. Please contact us directly for more information.

Expatriates’ travel support: day trips and short breaks

Although expatriates based in Turkmenistan for work purposes do not require visa support, Owadan Tourism offers accommodation, transport and guide services to expatriates and their visiting friends or family, and can compose various day trip or short breaks to various destinations inside Turkmenistan, as well as to neighboring Uzbekistan. Programs included, but are not limited to, the following suggestions:

Please note that several trips, such as those to Kunya Urgench and/or Kugitang Mountains are subject to availability of relevant border zone permissions. Such permissions have to be arranged for by the inviting party (employer) and cannot be facilitated by Owadan Tourism. For detailed information on the trip suggestions mentioned above, as well as additional possibilities, please contact us directly.