Darvaza Derweze gas crater called also The Door to Hell in Turkmenistan
Turkmenistan Little and Great Kyz Qala Fortress at Sunset
Karakum desert between Ashgabat and Konye Urgench Turkmenistan

The Karakum Desert covers a huge portion of Turkmenistan, bar the lizards, camels and other hardy wildlife, it is sparsely populated, with little rain falling across the area.

Few visitors travel into the country, which makes exploring the ruins an extraordinary experience. Although the destruction of cities such as Konye-Urgench and Merv, two of the largest and most influential, was thorough, you can visit the monuments which were either too beautiful or too strong for the Mongols to destroy and are now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

You can also visit the Yangikala Canyon, a layered rock formations in various shades of oranges and reds.

An incredible spectacle, at the heart of the desert lies the Darwaza crater, also known as the Door to Hell, which is a large gas crater intentionally set on fire in the 70s to prevent methane escaping and it has continued to burn ever since.

The Karakum Desert

Ancient ruins and the door to hell

The black sands of the Karakum Desert were once the domain of roving bands of Turkmen slave raiders that terrorised the Caspian basin. Thankfully, the slave raids are consigned to the history books, but the swashbuckling romance lives on. Watching the sun set over the endless dunes while lizards scurry for cover, camels munching on barbed Sahara shrub: that’s more

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