Tbilisi to Ashgabat

Trip Validity

  • 2013-01-01 - 2013-12-31

Uncover the bizarre and the beautiful on this Tbilisi to Ashgabat adventure tour.

From the tradition and friendliness of Georgia, to the contradictions and mystery of Azerbaijan, and the deserts unique culture of Turkmenistan, this Tbilisi to Ashgabat adventure will intrigue, surprise and delight. Wander the streets of Georgia’s capital, Tbilisi, visit the picturesque wine region of Telavi, experience local hospitality in a traditional Georgian homestay before travelling to Azerbaijan. Explore the atmospheric regional town of Sheki, delve into the cosmopolitan offerings of the Azeri capital Baku, and cross the Caspian Sea to reach Turkmenistan. Spend time in quirky Turkmenbashi, head underground to spectacular Kow-Ata Lake before concluding the trip in surreal Ashgabat.

  • Cross the Caspian Sea aboard a ferry
  • Descend underground to marvel at the clear, warm waters of Kow-Ata Lake
  • Haggle at the sprawling Tolkuchka Sunday Market
  • Journey overland through eastern Georgia
  • Marvel at mud volcanoes and petroglyphs in Gobustan
  • Stock up on vino in the grape-growing region of Telavi
  • Tour Tbilisi’s Old Town with a knowledgeable guide
  • Visit historic Shuamta Monastery

Tbilisi to Ashgabat Summary

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Days 1-2 Tbilisi

Kick off the adventure in Georgia’s capital, Tbilisi. Be dazzled by the mixture of European, Byzantine and Middle Eastern architecture that lines the streets of Georgia’s largest city. On a guided tour of the Old Town, explore the National Museum, Metekhi Temple and the Sioni Cathedral.

Days 3-4 Telavi

Admire the picturesque Alazani Valley en route to Telavi, the centre of Georgia’s wine-growing region Kakheti. With each village producing a different variety of grape, there are wines to suit all tastes. Visit local wineries and witness time-old traditions such as grape harvest, wine-making and the keipi – a banquet feast held in the spring.

Day 5 Lagodekhi

Camp overnight in Lagodekhi, huddled at the base of the breathtaking Greater Caucasus Mountains.

Day 6 Sheki

Cross the border into Azerbaijan and travel to Sheki. Behold the richly decorated Khan's Palace and wander through the Museum of History, located in an architectural masterpiece. Spend the night in a converted caravanserai.

Day 7 Gobustan

After a long drive to Gobustan, check out the incredible rock art and mud volcanoes scattered throughout this ancient region.

Days 8-10 Baku

Sail by ferry across the Caspian Sea and enjoy two days to explore the rapidly changing Azeri capital Baku. Both chaotic and cosmospolitan, the city brims with elegant tree-fringed streets, leafy parks, lovely teahouses, buzzing pubs and World Heritage-listed medieval architecture – all of which make it ideal for exploration on foot.

Day 11 Overnight Ferry

Board an overnight ferry and travel across the Caspian Sea again to reach Turkmenistan.

Day 12 Turkmenbashi

Disembark in Turkmenbashi, named after the infamous dictator Turkmenbashi who renamed the international airport and several streets, schools and hotels in his honour.

Day 13 Geok Tepe

Explore Turkmenbashi before driving to the remarkable Kow Ata – a crystal-clear underground lake with a natural water temperature of 36°C.

Days 14-16 Ashgabat

Discover Turkmenistan’s bizarre modern capital – a strange mix of futuristic and outlandish buildings. Experience an explosion of colour and noise at the famous Ashgabat Sunday markets where merchants sell everything from camels and pigs to cars and ex-Soviet military paraphernalia. Perhaps visit the Earthquake Monument and Museum during free time, before farewelling this Tbilisi to Ashgabat adventure.