Code : KZ9D

Price £1,795 per person

Modern and medieval cities, historical sites, unique Kazakh culture and nomadic lifestyle, vast steppes & majestic mountains, blue rivers & lakes, precious nature reserves with rich flora and fauna, great food and hearty hospitality, these are what any visitors to Kazakhstan will be able to see and enjoy.

Departure every 1st Thursday of each month from MAY to OCT only.
Minimum required to form a group : 4 persons

Price includes: All land transfers by minibus, hotels as specified with daily breakfast, lunch during visits/excursions and dinners at local restaurants as indicated, English speaking local guides, entrance fees, internal flights.

Price excludes: International flights, drinks, optional visits, video & camera fees where applicable, tipping and any service not specified.
Single Supplement £295 per person.

Day 1 : Fly to Astana

Day 2 : ASTANA (B/L/D)
On arrival meeting with your local guide at the airport and transfer to 4* Hilton Park Inn.
Time to relax and freshen up before embarking on a guided city tour of Astana.
The tour starts from the old part of the capital, where through the streets of this old city, we will learn the history of Astana when it was still a town under the reign of Russian Tsar, many building of local merchants have been preserved in its original state.
Then we switch to the modern city to see the unique buildings of the new capital and visit some of Astana top attractions : Cathedral Mosque Hazrat Sultan – the largest mosque in Central Asia made from white marble and considered as a small version of The Mosque in Medina, National historical museum famous for its Golden room with the gold found during the excavations of tombs of Scythian tribes, Bayterek Monument – symbol of Astana famous with its observation platform, Khan-Shatyr complex, the world largest transparent tent of 140,000 sq.m made from modern innovative materials.
Lunch and dinner at local restaurant
Overnight at Hilton Park Inn Hotel.

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Skyview of Water-GreenBoulevard
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The Cathedral Mosque – Hazrat Sultan

Day 3 : ASTANA (B/L/D)
Breakfast at hotel. This morning we visit EXPO 2017 Museum – one of the world largest sphere and dedicated to the Alternative Energy, each floor of the Museum is about a different type of Energy: cosmic, solar, wind, water, bio-energy, kinteics. The latest findings in production of Green energy are presented in the Sphere museum called “NurAlem”.

Later road transfer to a Kazakh village located 30 km from Astana. Be warmly welcomed by the villagers who will offer their traditional shashu. We will then be invited into their traditional yurt to try their tasty Kazakh traditional dishes. Opportunity to learn how to make Kazakh cheese – the “Irimshik”.
During visit there will be a short show of hunting with berkut (eagle). The Berkutshi (eagle keeper) whose ancestors were hunters as well, will tell us about birdkeeping and different traditional hunting techniques. Afterwards we can learn more of Kazakh traditions, Kazakh archery and enjoy some folk songs and dances performed by the locals. Return to hotel. Dinner at local restaurant
Overnight at Hilton Park Inn.

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Kazakh yurt
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Hunting with eagle

Morning flight to Shymkent. On arrival meeting with local guide for a brief city tour.
Lunch at local restaurant
After lunch, we make our way to the Archeological site of the ancient city Otrar (approx. 151 km). During this amazing excursion we will discover excavations of Otrar ancient settlement that has helped researchers to learn a lot about the infrastructure of the city. We will clearly see that Otrar had a sophisticated layout of streets, quarters, which could be accessed through three fortress gates, equipped with throw-over bridges across the moat. Opportunity to join the team of archeologists in search of remains of pottery jugs for which Otrar was famous.
Next we visit Shaulder Museum where most of Otrar excavated items are displayed. On the way to the Museum we also stop for the Arystan Bab Mausoleum.
Then road transfer to Turkestan city (95 km).
Check in at Khanaka Hotel. Dinner & overnight in Turkestan.

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Excavation work in Otrar
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Arystan Bab mausoleum

After breakfast embark on Turkestan guided tour. We start with the major attraction of the city, the renowned Kazakhstan UNESCO world heritage – The complex of Hodja Ahmed Yassawi (14th century). This complex includes mausoleum, citadel, the ancient bath complex, the fortress wall, Juma mosque http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1103
The mausoleum of Khoja Ahmed Yassaui is an unsurpassed masterpiece of medieval architecture. This is an amazing complex of palaces and temples from 30 different rooms and halls. After lunch, transfer to ancient city-fortress of Sauran (30 km) from Turkestan.
Sauran (12-18.cc) used to be a strategic and trading city and from 12th c.c to 16th c.c. capital of Kazakh-mongol khanate – Ak Horde. In 14th c.c Sauran became a military fortress, its location on the Silk way promoted prosperity; The most interesting part of Sauran – underground channels of water. After visits road transfer to Shymkent (approx. 215 km).
Dinner at local restaurant. Overnight at Megapolis 4* hotel.

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Khoja Ahmed Yassaui Mausoleum
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Sauran fortress (12th century)

Breakfast at hotel. Transfer to airport for a short flight to Almaty.
On arrival transfer to hotel for check-in.

Almaty sightseeing starts with the historical centre of Almaty which includes:

28 Panfilovtzev Park - The Park was founded on May 8, 1975 for the 30th anniversary of the Victory of the Soviet people in the Great Patriotic War.
Vosnesensky Orthodox Cathedral - the second tallest wooden church in the world.
Central Mosque – the second largest mosque in Almaty built right after the collapse of the USSR;
The Green Bazaar - local market where we can feel the energy and vibe of the Eastern Bazaar.
Lunch during visits.
Then we head to the Republic Square to learn about the bloody history behind this Square:
in 1986 students gathered at the Square in order to protest against the appointment of a new Chairman of the Kazakh USSR, in a process of this protests hundreds of students were killed and injured. The monument of Independence was installed on this Square that depicts the Golden Man of the Scythian tribe – symbol of Independent Kazakhstan;
Next we visit the Central Historical Museum and Medeo gorge & dam which protects the city from destructive mudflows formed on the tops of the western Tien Shan mountains. In the evening transfer to Kok-Tobe hill, the highest point of the city ( 1100 m above sea level ) for a panoramic view of the city at sunset.
Dinner at local restaurant. Overnight at The Grand Tien Shan 4* Hotel.

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Voznesensky Cathedral
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Early breakfast
Depart by road to Tamgaly-Tas Petroglyph Park (170 km), enroute we stop for lunch at one of the largest camel farms in Kazakhstan which is well known for its camel milk called 'Shubat'. Lunch is served in a Kazakh nomadic house “yurta”.
Tamgaly-tas is the world's largest rock paintings' park which in 2004 was included in the UNESCO world heritage list. http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1145
More than 4000 paintings and rock carvings of Tamgaly -tas are dated back to the Bronze age. The most famous petroglyph of Tamgaly Tas is an image of Sun head deity with a circular halo made up of rays and dots. Scientists speculate that this Sun god depiction at Tamgaly is one of the most ancient images of a Solar God
Mid afternoon road transfer back to Almaty
Dinner at local restaurant
Overnight at Grand Tien Shan hotel

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Camel farm
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Petroglyphs at Tamgaly tas

After breakfast overland transfer to Charyn Canyons (approx. 230 km from Almaty)

Today we see a natural wonder - Charyn Canyon, which can be described as the little brother of the Grand Canyon. The picturesque canyon with its fantastic forms is one of the must-see attractions of Almaty region. The Canyon itself is approximately 150 km long, and, in places up to 300 m deep. Nature Theatre of Charyn presents valley of Castles with rocky ravines and sandy towers created by water, wind and time. Among this abundance of natural beauty there is a grove of relict species of ash tree, which survived the era of glaciation. Picnic lunch during excursion.
Mid afternoon transfer back to Almaty
Dinner at local restaurant
Overnight at Grand Tien Shan hotel

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Charyn Canyon
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Day 9 : DEPARTURE (B/-/-)
Breakfast at hotel. In due time transfer to airport for flight home. Extension to Uzbekistan or Kyrgyzstan available upon request.