Turkmenistan is situated in the western part of Central Asia between 42° – 48’ to 35° – 08’ north latitudes and 50° –27’ to 66° – 41’ east longitudes. To the north is Kazakhstan, in the east and northeast lies Uzbekistan, in the south are Iran and Afghanistan and in the west are Azerbaijan and Russia via the Caspian Sea. About 80 % of the territory is plain with dominating deserts and 20% is occupied with mountains. The entire central part of the country is occupied by one of the largest sand deserts in the world, the Karakum Desert. About four-fifths of the country is steppe that is part of the southern portion of the vast Turan lowland. The Kopetdag Mountains fringe the Karakum Desert along the country’s southern border with Iran. Turkmenistan is an independent state founded in 1991 after the disintegration of the USSR and five years later it attained a unique political status which was recognized by the United Nations Organization. The founder of the state, the national leader of Turkmenistan, President Saparmurat Turkmen ashy, specified the character of his country and its place in the sophisticated geopolitical space by capacious formulation "permanent neutrality". Turkmenistan is a country of the oldest civilizations having made a significant contribution to the development of the world culture. Modern Turkmenistan borders were first to appear in the world along with India and Middle East. Historical sources prove that in the III-II millennium BC two big states, which consolidated nations living far from each other in the desert and river valleys, were established on the territory of present-day Turkmenistan. Known as Scythians, Massagets, Saks, Dakhs in the whole Asia and Europe, their ancestors had created powerful, mighty states uniting many peoples in different period of time. In all, Turkmens established over seventy big and small states throughout their legendary history in all parts of Asia and Eastern Europe. Turkmens have at all times remained courteous people devoted to the traditions of hospitality. They treat a guest as the messenger of Allah. Hence, there is a proverb: “The guest is higher than father”. Being people of word and honor, Turkmens had always fulfilled the obligations under treaties and agreements concluded with other states.” If any Turkmen gives his word, would break it in no way, even should it threaten his life and freedom”, wrote a traveler in the remote past with amazement and without envy.
Turkmenistan enjoys dry, continental climate, with very hot summer (rarely below 35°C and sometimes up to 50°C in the south east regions of the Karakum Desert). Turkmenistan enjoys annually average 250 days sun. In the south of Turkmenistan the climate is also slightly more continental than in the north andtemperature seldom drops below -5°C. Northern areas on the Uzbek border and Khorezm (Dashhoguz) can become very cold in winter with temperatures dropping below -20°C. There is snow in the north and above 1.000m in the mountains in January and February.
As summers are ferociously hot and winters bitterly cold, spring (April to June) and autumn (September to November) are the best seasons to visit Turkmenistan. In April the desert blooms briefly and the monotonous ochre landscapes explode in reds, oranges and yellows. Autumn is harvest time, when market tables heave with freshly picked fruit. If you do decide to battle the winter, be aware that many domestic flights are grounded and finding food can be a problem since lots of restaurants close for the season.