This tour is an unforgettable journey to the center of Eurasia, highlighting fascinating traditions, beautiful and pristine nature, as well as a delicate mixture of old and modern aesthetics. This is the most comprehensive tour for those traveling to Kazakhstan for the first time.
Route: Almaty – Astana (Kazakhstan)
Season: March – November 2016
DAY BY DAY ITINERARY
DAY 1. ALMATY, ARRIVAL
We will arrive to Almaty, which is the Southern capital of Kazakhstan. We will have a meet and greet at the Almaty International Aiport. After, we wil transfer to the hotel and spend the night there.
DAY 2. ALMATY
We will have breakfast at the hotel, the embark on the Almaty Grand Tour (6 hours):
The tour starts with sightseeing in the central part of Almaty. You will learn more about the history and development of the South capital of Kazakhstan and see its major attractions. You will visit a popular place for townspeople – the Green Bazaar, where it is impossible to refrain from shopping. This is a great opportunity to experience an atmosphere of the real Central Asian market, its colors, smells and crowds. There you can buy famous Asian sweets; but don’t forget to bargain. After, the tour will continue to one of the oldest attractions, Almaty park – Panfilov Park, where you will see one of the most unique wooden buildings in the world. the Zenkov Cathedral. We will also visit the Memorial of Glory and Eternal Flame, which is dedicated to the memory of the fighters who died for freedom and independence of Kazakhstan. After the park, you will continue to explore sporting, cultural and business centers of the city. You will go to the Medeo Gorge, where the highest mountain skating rink in the world is located, as well as the dam, protecting the city from dangerous mudflow. The next destination is the Kok-Tobe Hill, where the tallest TV tower above sea level in the world is located. In the national restaurant of Kok-Tobe park, you will have the opportunity to try traditional Kazakh cuisine and sit inside a real Kazakh yurt. After the lunch you can stroll along the winding paths of the Kok-Tobe park, admire the magnificient panorama of the city from the special observation deck and visit the shop of national souvenirs.
Return to the hotel and spend the night there.
DAY 3. ALMATY REGION
We will have breakfast at the hotel. The Big Almaty Lake Tour (7 hours, at 12:00) or The Issyk Lake Tour (7 hours, at 11:00) depending on season:
The Big Almaty Lake Tour (7 hours):
The tour starts with driving to the Big Almaty gorge, where at an altitude of 2,510 m above sea level is the Big Almaty lake – one of the most picturesque lakes in Trans-Ili Alatau. The lake is very beautiful, especially when its blue surface is absolutely calm, and it reflects the sky and surrounding mountains. The Big Almaty lake was formed as a result of movement of an ancient glacier. Thanks to high-mountain location the water in the lake is always cool – even in July the water temperature does not exceed 10 degrees. The lake is a source of potable water for Almaty city, which is why the access of tourists to the lake is limited. T. Here, at the basis of the Big Almaty peak, you can enjoy a fascinating panorama of mountains and the Big Almaty Lake, surrounded by the picturesque mountain peaks covered with Tian-Shan fir-tree, aspen and juniper. On the way back to the town you will visit the Falcon Farm, where you will enjoy a spectacular show with specially trained hawks; hunting with them is one of the most unique features of the Kazakh way of life.
The Issyk Lake Tour (7 hours):
The tour route to one of the most beautiful gorges of Trans-Ili Alatau – Issyk Gorge lies along the Kuldja tract, where hundreds of years ago the trade caravans travelled. On the way you will learn a lot about nature and history of this region and see the burial mounds of Saka period, where the famous “Golden Man” was found, which has become the state symbol of the Republic of Kazakhstan. Also you will visit the State Historical and Cultural Museum-Reserve “ISSYK”, where you will see the expositions dedicated to the history and culture of the Saka period, including a copy of Golden Man and golden items, ancient ceramics, weapon, elements of horse equipment, as well as the model of Saka burial mound. Then the tour route will take you to an altitude of 1756 meters above sea level, to the beautiful mountain lake Issyk, located in the valley with the same name. The lake was formed about 10,000 years ago due to colossal landslide, resulted in formation of the natural dam of 300 meters in height. On the lake you will enjoy the majestic beauty of its turquoise water surface and the Issyk Gorge, as well as listen to the details of the natural disaster of 1963. Also at the lake you will have a picnic and free time for recreation at nature.
We will return to the hotel and spend the night there.
DAY 4. ALMATY – ASTANA
We will have breakfast in the hotel. Free day in Almaty.
During this day you can visit shopping malls of the city, as – Zangar (Central Department Store), Mega Center Mall, Esentai Moll and etc.
Check-out from the hotel (before 12:00 AM) and transfer to the railway station for evening train to Astana. We will spend the night on the train.
DAY 5. ASTANA
Arrival to Astana, the capital of Kazakhstan, by morning train from Almaty. Transfer to the city.
Sightseeing Tour “Steppe flower Astana “(5 hours):
Steppe flower Astana was founded on the right side of Ishim river, where the tour begins. Constitution Square, Museum of the First President, Congress Hall will be starting points of excursion. You will walk along the riverside of Ishim with its specific romantic atmosphere and see the city in dynamics, and how it is developing.
After lunch in one of the numerous restaurants of the capital, you will visit “Millennium Axis” on the left side of the river, where you will see significant architectural constructions: Round Square, shopping and entertainment center “Khan Shatyr”, Main Square. And afterwards you will go up to the observation deck of “Astana-Baiterek” monument to admire the magnificent panorama of the Kazakhstan capital.
We will transfer to the hotel, check-in, and spend the night there.
DAY 6. ASTANA
We will have breakfast at the hotel. Free day in Astana. Overnight in the hotel.
DAY 7. ASTANA, DEPARTURE
We will have breakfast at the hotel. Check-out before 12:00 noon. Transfer to the airport for the departure flight.
Tour Price for 2016: $740 USD Per Person, provided 2 persons are traveling together.
Group discounts are available.
Tour Price INCLUSIONS:
- Double accommodation in Almaty and Astana in the hotel of tourist class
2. Transfers to/from airport/railway station and transportation as per program
3. Railway ticket Almaty-Astana (shared sleeping cabin for 4 passengers)
4. Meals: Standard Hotel Breakfasts, Lunch/Picnic in Days 2,3,5
5. Group sightseeing tours according to the program in Days 2,3,5 with English-speaking guide
6. Environmental and admission fees and tickets
Tour Price EXCLUSIONS:
- Meals not indicated in the program and/or not included into the tour price
2. Visa support and registration on the territory of Kazakhstan, if required
3. Personal expenses and other expenses not indicated in the program