Discover the mountains, lakes, nomadic peoples, caravan cities and ancient trading routes of Kazakhstan & Kyrgyzstan
Flight - 1 night
Almaty - 2 nights
Bishkek - 2 nights
Chon-Kemin - 1 night
Lake Issyk-Kul - 1 night
Karakol - 1 night
Almaty - 2 nights
Kyrgyzstan, part of the former Soviet Union lies in the heart of the Eurasian continent and once straddled the Great Silk Road. This mountainous country offers spectacular scenery, wildlife, traditional nomadic culture, unique crafts and archaeological sites connected with the silk route.
Bishkek, the greenest city in central Asia was founded on the site of the ancient Silk Road settlement and originally a caravan stop, where peaks and valleys divide the scenery into different landscapes, micro climates and habitats. Lake Issyk-Kul is the second largest alpine lake in the world after Lake Titicaca and is dominated by ruggedly beautiful mountains.
South east Kazakhstan is home to forests and high mountains and was an important trading route during the days of the Silk Road. The former capital, Almaty became a Russian outpost in 1854, and still reflects some typical Soviet style but retains some old fashioned charm and sophisticated ambience.
Cultural & Countryside Tour
Jules Verne Sightseeing
UNESCO Site: Tamgaly
Local Expert Guides
Group Size: 5 – 25
Day 1 Fly from your chosen airport via Istanbul to Almaty in Kazakhstan.
Day 2 Early morning arrival and transfer to the 4-star Hotel Kazzhol Almaty for two nights. Afternoon tour including Panfilov Park, Zenkov Cathedral and the Museum of Kazakh Musical Instruments. (B, L)
Day 3 A dramatic drive up to the Medeo skating rink, the highest in the world. Afternoon visit to the Historical Museum of Almaty. (B, L)
Day 4 Visit the Tamgaly Petroglyphs (3 hrs). Cross the border and continue to Bishkek (3 hrs). Special Event. Two nights at the 4-star Ambassador Hotel or similar. (B, L, D)
Day 5 Visit the picturesque Ala-Archa National Park. Afternoon city tour. (B, L)
Day 6 Visit the Burana Tower, part of the ancient city of Balasagun and continue to Chon-Kemin. Overnight at the special category Ashu Guesthouse. (B, L, D)
Day 7 Travel to Cholpon-Ata at Lake Issyk-Kul. Visit the Saka-Usun petroglyphs. Optional cruise on Lake Issyk-Kul (bookable locally). Overnight at the 4-star Caprice Hotel or similar. (B, L, D)
Day 8 Karakol city tour including the Przhevalsky Museum, Dungan Mosque, Orthodox Church and Djety-Oguz gorge. Overnight at the 4-star Green Yard Hotel or Karagat Hotel. (B, L, D)
Day 9 Pass through the picturesque Karkara-Kegen valleys. Cross the border to Kazakhstan (10 hrs). Two nights at the 4-star Hotel Kazzhol Almaty. (B, L, D)
Day 10 Visit Big Almaty Lake in the Tien Shan mountains. (B, L, D)
Day 11 Return flight. (B)
Hotels in Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan are simple and unpretentious but well-located with a restaurant, bar and air-conditioned rooms with private facilities and satellite TV. There may be water and electricity shortages and, on occasion, alternative hotels may be used. WiFi (free) is available at all tour hotels although it can be intermittent. Food is nutritious, based on fresh local produce but can be repetitive and the provision of special dietary requirements may be limited.
Travel between the cities by road, whilst being the classic way to experience the country, involves some long journeys, some on uneven roads with only limited opportunities for comfort breaks.
Porters are unavailable at some hotels and during border crossings.
The order of sightseeing may vary in accordance with local conditions.
A 4-star hotel in Almaty, a few minutes walk from the Zhibek Zholy Metro Station. Restaurant, bar, pool, spa and WiFi (free). 175 air-conditioned rooms with private facillities, hairdryer, safe, mini-bar and satellite TV.
A 4-star hotel located in the heart of Bishkek and a short walk from "Ala-Too" Square, National History Museum, State History Museum, Oak Park and Panfilov Park. Restaurant, bar, gym, sauna and WiFi (free) with 32 air-conditioned rooms with hairdryer, safe, mini-bar and satellite TV.
A special category guesthouse located in Bystrovka village in the scenic Chon Kemin valley. Bar, breakfast room and WiFi (free). 40 rooms with private facilities and hairdryer.
A 3-star hotel on the north shore of Lake Issyk Kul in the village of Baktuu Dolonotu. Restaurant, bar, pools, spa and WiFi (free). 66 rooms with private facilities, mini-fridge and satellite TV.
Located in the centre of Karakol with restaurant and WiFi (free). 16 rooms with private facilities, hairdryer and satellite TV.
A 4-star hotel, a short walk from the centre of Karakol. Restaurant, bar, pool and WiFi (free). 49 rooms with hairdryer, mini-bar and satellite TV.
per person in a twin/double room
Turkish Airlines from Heathrow
Supplements per person
Single supplement £325
Turkish Airlines from Manchester - nil
Turkish Airlines Business Class from £1645
Extra Nights - Almaty
Hotel Kazzhol (per night) £55
Single supplement £30
Arrival or departure transfer add £15
Air travel and taxes, transfers, 9 nights' accommodation, breakfast daily, 9 lunches (packed lunch on Day 4 & 9) and 6 dinners, itinerary as described, services of guides and local representatives. If our specially negotiated airfares are unavailable at the time of booking, a supplement may apply.
Travel insurance, optional excursions, tipping, any government taxes or compulsory charges introduced after publication.
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