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Almaty-Turkestan-Aksu Dzhabagly-Astana (Kazakhstan)


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1 Day Almaty

Arrival in Almaty. Transfer to the hotel. Free time.

In the afternoon a city tour of the previous capital of the country, city surrounded by mountains. You will see many places, among them Saint-Voznesenskiy cathedral, the Panfilovs park, the central museum and afterwards drive in the mountains to the ice stadium Medeo at 1691-m height.

2 Day Almaty – Charyn canyon

09:00 Today you spend your time in the Charyn canyon which is compared by the locals with pleasure to the Grand canyon. In the deep and long canyon scenery you find picturesque sandstone sculptures, e.g., the «valley of the castles». You cross numerous Kazakh villages with inviting market streets and stands where the locals sell their fruit and vegetables directly from their gardens. Lunch is in a café on a route. About 16:00 depart to Almaty.

3 Day Almaty – Turgen valley —Yesik lake

10:00 Today is a day trip to Lake Jesik on the program. In 1963, a huge mudslide came from the upper reaches of the river, which destroyed old natural obstacles and thus covered the lake. It is currently partially restored. On the way back you can see archaeological finds from the 4th century B.C.E. and the copy of the «Golden Man» in the ethnographic museum near the village of Issyk. Continuation to the village of Turgen. Overnight at the hotel. (B,L,D)

4 Day Almaty — Shymkent

After breakfast there is an excursion to the "Turgenskije Wodopadie” waterfall. Return to Almaty. Night train to Shymkent. (approx. 11 hours). (B,L)

5 Day Shymkent – Turkestan

Arrival in Shymkent and depart to one of the oldest towns — Turkestan (approx. three hours by the car by the steppe). On the way you look at the ruins of the formerly well-to-do and important city of Otrar which was destroyed in the 13th century by the hordes Chingiz Khan. In the museum of Shaulder we find out some more about Great Silk Road and the Mongolian conquest.

Overnight stay at Hotel. (B,L)

6 Day Turkestan — Aksu-Zhabagly national park

Main attraction in Turkestan is the grave mosque of Khoja Akhmed Yassawi, one of the best known Islamic pilgrim’s sites. The complex of buildings was established to honour of the prophet Khoja Yassawi and today is one of the most beautiful and important buildings of the Timur epoch. In 35 rooms and chambers you discover historical items and antiquities. There is also a Friday mosque and a medieval bath house on the area. In the afternoon the train journey goes to the national park Aksu-Zhabagly. Arrival in Tulkubas (railway station). Transfer and accommodation in Aksu-Zhabagly in the guest house (B,D)

7 Day Aksu-Zhabagly –Aksu Canyon

In western Tien Shan where the meadows and steppes go to mountains through the narrow gulches and overhanging rocks. Wild brooks have dug deep canyons and thundering waterfalls make the landscape. The mostly deep blue sky is reflected again in the ice-blue mountain lakes. The Aksu-Zhabagly national park lies with the spurs of the Talasski Alatau on a height of 1,100m. Alpine meadows, vast juniper woods, rivers, lakes and a majestic mountain world as well as the immense rich animal and plant life, put out the charm of this biosphere reserve of UNESCO. There are rare botanical species and animal species like black storks, brown bears, lynxes and the snowy leopard. Among other places of the national part is Aksu canyon which you can visit, as well as you go the Burguluk gulch, lakes with subterranean springs, limestone caves and much more.

Overnight in the guest house. (B, L-lunchbox, D)

8 Day Aksu-Zhabagly

One more day in Aksu – Zhabagly to discover another place to admire. It is the first and eldest nature reserve in Central Asia. It has a unique flora and fauna. More than 1400 there are 27 of them are under the threat of the extinction. Numerous prototypes of known cultivated plants come from here. Nine of 238 bird’s kinds living in the reserve in the red lists as are under the threat of extinction. The protective area is limited in the east and in the west by the rivers Zhabagly and Aksu, in the south by the high mountain ridge of Turkistan Alatau. You will take the lunch today in the form of a lunch box. (B,L,D)

9 Day Aksu-Zhabagly – Taraz — Astana

After the breakfast, depart to Taraz, one of the towns of Great Silk Road in past. You will visit and see the most important places of interest. Transfer to the airport and evening flight to Astana. Arrival in Astana, transfer to the hotel. (B, L)

10 Day Astana

Astana is a capital of the country from 1998. Many well-known architects of the world have taken part in building and continue to change and create a modern and unique view and place in the endless steppe. After the breakfast a city tour with many architectural masterpieces, including the observation tower Bayterek with the golden egg of the miracle bird Samruk in the «tree of the life», Norman Foster’s pyramid «Palace of the Peace and the Reconciliation» and Khazret Sultan, the biggest mosque in Kazakhstan. In the open-air museum of «Atameken» the miniatures of many architectural and other

11 Astana. Flight home

Transfer to the airport. Flight home.

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