Old and New Kazakhstan

Old and New Kazakhstan

Kazakh history, natural beauty and cities

You start in the new capital Astana, situated in the middle of vast steppes and fields of grain. Here there’s plenty of new and spectacular architecture to admire, while also the not-so-pleasant memories of the Soviet past won’t be forgotten.
After Astana you fly to the old city of Taraz in the south, an old center of the Silk Road, of which you’ll be reminded during several excursions.
For a change the next two days will be spend in nature, namely the Aksu Jabagly natural reserve, with excellent opportunities for hiking or horse riding. You’ll be accommodated in a comfortable guesthouse in the village of Jabagly.
The next destination lies further west, namely the Mausoleum of Turkestan. After visiting this holiest of places in Kazakhstan you’ll board a night train back to the former capital of Almaty. Here you’ll visit the city and its sights, not omitting the splendid mountains just south of Almaty.

Day 1

Day travel distance: 60 kms
Arrival in Astana, transfer to the hotel and breakfast.
City excursion in Astana, focusing on its history, architecture and (impressive) new buildings. Lunch.
After lunch to ‘Alzhir’, the former camp for wives of ‘traitors’ (at the time of Stalin).

Day 2

Day travel distance: 1.000 kms
After breakfast we continue exploring Astana, visiting several new buildings and centers, like: Cultural Center of the Republic of Kazakhstan; the Palace for Peace and Reconciliation (designed by the famous architect Norman Foster); the Astana-Baiterek Tower. Lunchtime.
After lunch we fly to the city of Taraz in the south of Kazakhstan and will be transfered to our hotel.

Day 3

Day travel distance: 280 kms
We explore the historical city of Taraz, which celebrated in the year 2002 its 2,000 year of existance. In the city we visit the Karakhan- and Aishi Bibi Mausuleums and the history museum. And we have lunch.
After lunch we drive to the village of Jabagly (258 km), entrance to the Aksu Jabagly nature reserve at the foot of the Talasky Mountains. In Jabagly we’ll be accommodated in a comfortable guesthouse where we’ll enjoy dinner.

Day 4

Day travel distance: 20 kms
Today we hike in the natural reserve with her rich variety of flora and fauna. Depending on the season we can enjoy blooming trees, flowers and wild tulips.
In this reserve even snowleopards live (we won’t meet them!), eagles, brown bears and many more interesting mammals.
Dinner and accommodation in he Jabagly guesthouse.
Guests can choose to hike or ride a horse in the reserve. (Cost of renting a horse not included).

Day 5

Day travel distance: 400 kms
We start with an excursion in the Aksu-Jabagly natural reserve, hiking or riding a horse. One of the natural highlights is the Aksu canyon that we’ll visit.
After lunch in the guesthouse we continue by car to Turkestan (6 hours) where we’ll be accommodated in a hotel. On the way we enjoy excursions to the ruines of Otrar and the Aristan Bab Mausoleum.

Day 6

Day travel distance: 1.000 kms
After breakfast we visit the Mausuleum of Khodja Ahmed Yassawi, the largest building constructed under the reign of Timur, built between 1389 and 1405 in honor of the prophet Khodja Ahmed Yassawi.
After lunch we have time for ourselves, followed by a train ride to Almaty (18 hours, including a night).

Day 7

Day travel distance: 30 kms
Arrival in Almaty in the early morning, and transfer to our hotel and breakfast.
We’ll enjoy a city excursion and visit the Panfilov Park, Zenkov Cathedrale, Independence Square and ascend (by car) the panomaric hill Kok-Tube. Here we’ll have a lunch.
After lunch we continue our excursion, visiting the National Museum, Green Bazar and other places.

Day 8

Day travel distance: 60 kms
The snowcapped mountains south of Almaty have been looking inviting – today we enter them. Firstly, some 20 kms from the city center, the famous skating rink Medeo (at almost 1,700 meter), where until the mid-eighties the majority or world-records were established and broken.
Moving further up we reach the ski-resort of Shymbulaq (2,300 meter). The lifts are working all year round and we can go up to 3,200 meter and hike from there!
After returning to Almaty late afternoon you are free.

Day 9

The program has ended. You will be transfered to Almaty Airport at night to cath your flight back home.

The cost of this program at four persons is €895 per person and at two persons €1,150. For other group sizes please write to us.
Included in the offer are:
– 2.5 nights of accommodation in a middle class hotel in Astana, 2.5 nights in a middle class hotel in Almaty, 2 nights in a guesthouse in Jabagly and 1 night in a hotel in Turkestan, all on the basis of bed & breakfast and double rooms
– all transfers in by car/minibus
– services of English speaking guides during all excursions
– entrance tickets for all nature parks, museums and sites according to the program
– two lunches and three dinners
– transfers airport-hotel-airport at the start and finish of the program
– mineral water during the transfers

Not included in the offer are the international flight tickets, the remaining lunches and dinners, the domestic flight Astana-Taraz (prices from USD 68 p.p. indication) and all not mentioned services.
Finally we withhold €15 per booking for the Dutch GGTO Travel Guarantee Fund.

Information


PLACE

Astana, the South and Almaty

DATES

best season April-November

PRICE

€895-€1,150 p.p. at 4-2 persons

LENGTH

8 days

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