KAZAKHSTAN , LAND OF WONDERS

  
Code KZ13D

visit asia - tours to asia Price £2,995 per person

Best time to go : Apr - Sep

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.

ALMATY - SHYMKENT - TURKESTAN AND THE OTRAR TOWN EXCAVATIONS - ISSYK LAKE - CHARYN CANYON - ASTANA.

Price includes: Private a/c car with driver, Hotels as specified with daily breakfast, lunch during visits/excursions as indicated, English speaking tour guide, entrance fees, overnight trains (sharing a 4 berth compartment).

Price excludes: International flights, dinners, drinks, optional visits, video & camera fees where applicable, tipping and any service not specified.

Day 1 : DEPARTURE (-/-/-)
Fly to Almaty

Day 2 : ALMATY (-/-/-)
On arrival you will be met by your driver and transferred to the hotel. Rest of the day is at leisure to relax and acclimatize. Overnight at Grand Tien Shan hotel.

Day 3 : ALMATY - SHYMKENT (B/L/-) visit asia - tours to asia
Breakfast at hotel. Meeting with your guide at hotel lobby to start a sightseeing tour in Almaty, the Southern capital of Kazakhstan. Visit Panfilov Park – named after the 28 heroes, who died for freedom and independence of the country. Zenkov Cathedral - the oldest building of the city, that is entirely wooden, built without any metal nails and a Memorial complex devoted to World War Two and with eternal flame. Continue with Green bazaar, central Moslem mosque, Independence square with three main symbols of Kazakhstan and Obelis, symbol of the Independence. Lunch at local restaurant.
Afternoon drive to Medeo Gorge. Stop at the huge Medeo dam which protects the city from destructive mudflows formed on the tops of the western Tian Shan mountains. From the top of the dam, at the altitude of 1,733 m above the sea level, enjoy the view of the largest high mountain skating rink in the world – the Medeo, surrounded by marvelous mountains of Trans-Ili Alatau. Next visit the top of Kok-Tube hill for an unforgettable panorama of Almaty from the observation desk. At the foot of the tallest TV tower in Kazakhstan take a walk along the winding paths of the Kok-Tube park, where you will come across "The Beatles" monument devoted to the popular Liverpool band. At the end of the tour take a short cable car ride from the hill to the city centre.
Evening transfer to railway station to board an overnight train to Shymkent. Overnight onboard ( sharing a 4berth compartment ).

Day 4 : SHYMKENT (B/L/-)
Arrive in Shymkent in early morning . Transfer to hotel for a short rest. Shymkent was one of the largest cities in the Middle Ages, an important staging post on the Great Silk Road. Now it's the third largest city of Kazakhstan and a major industrial and cultural centre. Rest of the day is reserved for an exploration of Shymkent city and beauty spots in the surroundings. After lunch continue to Kemekalgan village - so called “forgiving sins “Adam&Eve” cliffs”, stone made statues of animals, water from healing strings.
Overnight at Rixos Khadisha Shymkent hotel (Superior room).

Day 5 : SHYMKENT - TURKESTAN (B/L/-)
visit asia - tours to asia After breakfast car transfer to Turkestan (170 km). Visit to the Azret-Sultan historical - architectural complex - Khoja Ahmed Yasawi mausoleum, Turkestan town necropolis, oriental baths and the underground Mosque. Continue with Arystan-Bab (Khoja Ahmed Yasawi's teacher's mausoleum) and Otrar town excavations. After lunch car transfer back to Shymkent (220km).
Overnight in Shymkent at Rixos Khadisha Shymkent hotel.

Day 6 : SHYMKENT - ALMATY (B/L/-)
Day at leisure in Shymkent for relaxation or strolling bazars. Check-out from hotel before 12:00. In the evening transfer to Shymkent railway station for the overnight train back to Almaty. Overnight onboard.

Day 7 : ALMATY - ISSYK LAKE (-/L/-)
Upon arrival Almaty station car transfer to Issyk lake (64km, 1hour drive approx). En route visit the main symbol of Kazakhstan, the Tomb of the Golden Man. Continue to the lake. The road will go up to 1,756m above sea level. Enjoy the view of the Natural Park and the Tian Shan mountains.
Arrive at Issyk lake. Enjoy some leisure time around the lake. Picnic lunch. Mid afternoon return to Almaty. Rest of the day is at leisure for relaxation. Overnight at Grand Tien Shan hotel.

Day 8 : ALMATY – CHARYN CANYON (B/L/D)visit asia - tours to asia
After breakfast your guide and driver will meet you at hotel lobby. Depart by road to Charyn canyon (220km, 3-4h) located to the east of Kazakhstan, an unforgettable view of a huge gorge with cliffs of various colours and shades. The canyon is a part of the Charyn National Park territory. Visitors have the opportunity to see the old ash-tree grove, the Castle Valley, a part of the 154 m canyon with cliffs resembling towers. The beauty of the Canyon is a reward after the long drive and this natural sight of Kazakhstan will stay long in your memories. Lunch en route at a popular Uygur restaurant in Baiseit. Dinner & overnight in a Kazakh yurt at the Eco Camp.

Day 9 : ALMATY (B/L/-)
Return to Almaty with a stop en route for the famous Isyk Kurgans - places where Golden Warrior was found . Lunch en route. Overnight at Grand Tien Shan hotel.

visit asia - tours to asia Day 10 : ALMATY/ASTANA (B/L/-)
After breakfast car transfer to airport for a short flight to Astana. Pick up at the airport and car transfer to KazZhol Hotel. Later meet your guide at hotel lobby to start sightseeing in the capital of Kazakhstan. Visit “Old centre” – Akmolinsk town of merchants. In the afternoon visit Millennium Axis line named by Kisho Kurokawa, chief architect and creator of Astana general layout. Visit Astana Opera building, numerous fountains on the Round Square. Continue to Nurzhol and Green Water boulevards with skyscrapers of exceptional architectural forms. At the top of Astana - Bayterek monument, enjoy the breathtaking panoramic view over the city. At the end of the tour, stroll in the shopping and entertainment centre Khan-Shatyr. Transfer back to KazZhol hotel for overnight.

Day 11 : ASTANA (B/L/-)
Start the second day with a walk in Akbulak district. Visit to the Museum, then Palace of Peace and Reconciliation, the Aquarium of the Entertainment Centre "Duman" - the first and the only in the CIS and Ethno-memorial complex "Atameken". Lunch during visits.
Late afternoon transfer to railway station. Take the night train back to Almaty. Overnight onboard.

Day 12 : ALMATY (B/-/-)
Arrive in Almaty in early morning. Pick up at station and car transfer to your hotel. Rest of the day is at leisure. Overnight in Almaty. Overnight at Grand Tien Shan hotel.

Day 13 : DEPARTURE (B/-/-)
Breakfast at hotel. Car transfer to airport for flight home.