Day 1: Almaty
Arrival to Almaty, the Southern capital of Kazakhstan. Meeting and greeting at Almaty International airport. Transfer to the hotel. Accommodation.
Day 2: Almaty
Breakfast at the hotel. Almaty Grand Tour* (6 hours).
*) The tour starts with sightseeing in central part of Almaty. You will know more about history and development of the South capital of Kazakhstan and see its major attractions. You will visit a popular place for townpeople - the Green Bazaar, where it is impossible to refrain from shopping. It is the great chance to experience an atmosphere of the real Central Asian market, its colors, smells and crowds. There you can obtain famous Asian sweets, but don't forget to bargain...
Then the tour will continue in one of the oldest Almaty park – Panfilov Park, where you will see one of the unique wooden building in the world – Zenkov Cathedral and also visit the Memorial of Glory and Eternal Flame, dedicated to the memory of the fighters who died for freedom and independence of the country.
After the park you will continue to explore sport, cultural and business areas 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. Next destination is the Kok-Tobe hill where the tallest TV tower in the world is located (if to count from the sea level) and where you will go by the picturesque winding mountain road. In the national restaurant of Kok-Tobe park you will have opportunity to try traditional dishes of Kazakh cuisine sitting inside the 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. The tour ends with the short ride from the top of the hill to the center of the city by the famous Almaty cableway.
Return to the hotel. Dinner.
Day 3: Almaty region, The Big Almaty Lake
Breakfast at the hotel. The Big Almaty Lake Tour* (6 hours).
*) Located just in 25 km from the upper city boundary, the Big Almaty Lake is one of the most beautiful mountain lakes in Trans-Ili Alatau. The lake located in picturesque gorge at an altitude of 2510 m above sea level and from all sides surrounded by mountain peakes covered with the majestic Tien-Shan fir. 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, that is why the access of tourists to the lake is limited. The tour route lies higher the Big Almaty lake to the altitude of 3300 meters above sea level, where scientific premises for astronomical and space researches have settled down. 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.
Return to the hotel. Dinner.
Day 4: Almaty region, the Charyn Canyon
Breakfast at the hotel. The Charyn Canyon Tour* (9 hours).
*) Charyn Canyon is one of the unique natural monuments of Kazakhstan.The canyon is about 12 million years old and surprises with its vertical cliffs, reminding the ancient castles, created by wind, sun and rain. It will take about 3 hours to reach the canyon. Meanwhile, you will hear a lot of interesting about the history and nature of the region and know more about Kazakh people, their life and traditions. And as soon as you see Charyn Canyon you will forget about this long way at once, because you will be impressed with the beauty and splendor of the canyon. While you admire the grand panorama you will be offered a picnic, and then you will have opportunity to walk through the maze of the Castles Valley with its inaccessible walls overhanging you. Anyone who has ever been to the Charyn Canyon, falls in love with it forever! Return to the hotel. Dinner.
Day 5: Almaty region, Tamgaly Tas On Ili River
Breakfast at the hotel. Tamgaly Tas on Ili River Tour* (7 hours).
*) Tamgaly Tas is a place on the right bank of the Ili River, where images of Buddha and other deities look at the sky from a huge stone for many centuries already, and fragments of the rocks keep prayer texts in Tibetan, Kalmyk and other languages. It is still unknown when and under what circumstanses these images have appeared, and who is the author - the scientists have been unraveling a mystery of these enogmatic drawings for more than 150 years already. The tour provides a great opportunity not only see the unique monuments of the past, but also enjoy the beautiful natural landscapes of Zhetisu. You are expected the brief stop at Kapchagai reservoir - the "artificial sea" which is the favorite and the most visited recreation area for Almaty townpeople in the region. During the stop you will have opportunity to take memorable pictures with one of the largest artificial reservoir in Kazakhstan on the background. Upon arrival to Tamgaly Tas Gorge your guide will tell you a lot of interesting things about this amazing place. On the opposite bank of the Ili river you can observe the scenery of medieval Kazakhstan which has been specially constructed for the movie "The Nomad". You also will have a picnic on the bank of the Ili river and free time for recreation at nature. Return to the hotel. Dinner.
Day 6: Almaty region, the Turgen Gorge
Breakfast at the hotel. The Turgen Gorge Tour* (7 hours).
*) Turgen Gorge located in the Ile-Alatau Natural Park, 90 km from Almaty. In ancient times the trade caravans were travelling there eastward to China and India. During the tour you will see the burial mounds of Saka period and visit the archaeological open-air museum, where you will be met by a sculpture of the famous "Golden Man", which has become the state symbol of the Republic of Kazakhstan.
Turgen Gorge is rich in coniferous and mixed forests, alpine and sub-alpine meadows, lakes and springs, as well as picturesque waterfalls. You will have an easy trekking to the beautiful Bear waterfall, surrounded by rocks that are keeping imprints of plants of pre-Ice Age. And, finally, you will visit the Trout farm, where this noble fish is breeding. You will have an opportunity to relax at nature as well as go for fishing. The trout, caught by you, will be cooked for your lunch. Nothing beats the taste of fresh-caught trout right off the barbecue! Return to the hotel. Dinner.
Day 7: Almaty
Breakfast at the hotel. The Chimbulak Ski Resort Tour* (3 hours).
*) Chimbulak Ski Resort located in the upper part of picturesque gorge of Trans-Ili Alatau 2230 meters above sea level. It is popular for its mild climate, large quantity of sunny days and great amount of snow through the winter and remarkable scenery of mountain ranges. The resort is considered to be one of the best in CIS countries. Vertical drop is 943 meters and you will have opportunity to reach the last point of cable car – the Talgar pass, located at an altitude of 3163 meters above sea level. Lunch. Free time. Dinner.
Day 8: Almaty. Departure
Breakfast at the hotel. Transfer to the airport. Departure.
Indicated tour price is for 2 persons traveling together (per person).
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Asia Kazakhstan Local Culture Cultural Journey Sightseeing
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