Hi Salva

2 options exist for Turkmenistan;

FIRST : ‘official tour’ which requires ‘loi’ and requires participation of the tour. This is the option we chose, tour & loi came via David at StanTours (who is excellent). Using this option meant we had an emailed copy of our loi and then when we arrived at Turkmenistan port of entry we were there issued with our standard tourist visa (the visa matched in length the number of days the tour lasts, which in our case was 5 days).

SECOND OPTION : ‘Transit Visa’ Using this option avoids the ‘loi’ and the ‘official tour’ thus saving some money. But you have to specify date of entry and date of departure. I would guess you could get away with requesting 7 days for transit (doubt you’d get longer). Transit visa can be obtained in Istanbul or Ankara (Turkey).

Even though you have a specified date of entry, IF you have a problem with the Caspian ferry and consequently arrive in Turkmen late (or early) it is possible to amend your transit visa at point of entry to match the dates you’ve actually entered. Though I did not have this issue, MOTOEDDE did and he got his visa amended to suit.

Turkmenistan have a few strict rules to follow (and lots of paperwork) but it’s great country, people are fabulous and the officials are more than happy to help you and assist if they can to solve any issues.


Transit visas have fixed dates…so they can be problematic if the ferry is delayed…BUT you can extend your transit visa in Ashgabat…what you’re doing is essentially purchasing a second visa that’s granted to you on the spot…I did that…

The key to doing this is to make sure the insurance you purchase at the border covers the initial visa period and the potential extension…as you can’t buy the insurance extension in Ashgabat.

You will be asked to present your papers at various checkpoints and they do check.