Ranked as the ninth largest country in the world as well as the world's largest landlocked country, Kazakhstan stretches from Siberia to the deserts of Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, and from China to the Caspian Sea. Bordered by Russia, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and China, Kazakhstan covers two time zones and five climatic zones.
The country offers everything in a great scale.....mountain tops, sparkling shine of glaciers, soft twilling of coniferous woods, huge rocky canyons with colored rainbows, emerald mountain lakes, noisy rivers, poetry of sunrises, uniqueness of flora and fauna etc. In Kazakhstan, tourists can find recreation opportunities all round the year. Eco-tours are very famous that make your vacations active. With a large number of pleasant surprises, a trip to Kazakhstan will remain an unforgettable trip for the rest of your life.
Kazakhstan is divided into 14 provinces. The cities of Almaty and Astana cities have the status of State importance and do not relate to any province.
A tour to Kazakhstan can be divided in major 7 parts namely Almaty city, Astana city, Central Kazakhstan, Eastern Kazakhstan, Northern Kazakhstan, Southern Kazakhstan and Western Kazakhstan.
The city is situated in southeast Kazakhstan in a beautiful setting between mountains and plains. This largest city of the country boasts modern architecture, wide streets, cool fountains, parks and squares, spectacular mountain views particularly in spring and autumn. The city has plenty of business centers, theaters, museums, art galleries, exhibition halls and a wide selection of modern entertainment complexes that include movie theaters, casinos, nightclubs, parks, restaurants, cafes etc.
Drive just 15km above Almaty, you will find a picturesque valley, called Medea. It has one of the largest and unique speed skating rinks in the world, situated at 1,700m above sea level. The Olympic sized ice stadium of Medeo is the biggest ice stadium which can accommodate 32,000 spectators at a time. World’s top skaters come here to test their skills. The venue also has a mountain-water swimming pool located just below the ice rink.
Chimbulak is skiing resort in Almaty situated 2,230m above sea level. Skiers can reach the Talgar Pass (3,163m above sea level) and a 3,000m-long downhill piste by a cable car. Further, you can go for mountain climbing and hiking which offers some breathtaking views of Alpine routes
An 80 km Canyon located on the Charyn River, Charyn Canyon is also popular as the “little brother of the Grand Canyon”. It is the second largest canyon in the world. One part of the Canyon is covered with unusual rock formations and is known as the Valley of Castles. The Canyon is engraved by the Charyn River into a flat barren steppe that stretches itself 175 km East of Almaty.
Svyato-Voznesensky Cathedral (Zenkov Cathedral of Holy Ascension):
Made of wood and constructed without nails, the Zenkov Cathedral is one of the bare Tzarist-era buildings to endure the 1911 earthquake. A unique wooden building of cathedral is a beautiful example of Orthodox Church architecture. The walls of this multi-domed church have been painted with sharp colours and the main chapel walls are covered with murals and gilt-edged icons.
Central Mosque is the biggest mosque in Kazakhstan. This blue turquoise dome mosque has become the central building of Islam in Almaty. It is built with the style of Central Asian Mosques and has 5 graceful minarets, all with blue domes. The famous Green Bazaar and Almaty's Arbat are located near it.
Address: 12' Pushkin str., Almaty, Kazakstan |
Astana is the capital and second largest city (behind Almaty) of Republic of Kazakhstan. Located in the north-central portion of Kazakhstan, the city is experiencing an economical boom with some of the greatest building projects. Once a tiny mining town, today the city of Astana is lined with many stores, coffee houses, restaurants, discotheques and even some casinos. Some modern places and the buildings have become the attractions for the visitors.
The Korgalzhin National Park:
Located to the south-west side of Astana, the Korgalzhin National Park is the biggest reserve zone in Kazakhstan. Covered by feather grass steppe, the preserve has got two big lakes, Tengiz and Korgalzhin. There are about 350 kinds of plants and around 82 kinds of birds inside the park.
Duman is the first and only aquarium located around 3000km away from the ocean. There are more than 2000 marine animals living inside. The Aquarium has got around 3 million litres of water and requires around 120 tons of special sea salt.
This 105m-high monument and the observation tower has become the symbol of the capital of Kazakhstan. It has an observation desk at 97m height which symbolizes the year when the capital of the country was moved from Almaty to Astana. This popular venue hosts an art gallery, a large aquarium and a restaurant too.
President's Culture Centre:
The luminous, blue-domed building of President's Culture Centre is one of the most beautiful buildings in Kazakhstan. It hosts a high-quality national museum inside. Traditional Kazakh items are exhibited on the ground floor while the archaeological section is situated on upper floor. Kazakhstan's history from the 14th century is covered on the 3rd floor of the centre.
Address: Baraeva 1, Old Town, Astana, Kazakhstan
Palace of Peace & Harmony:
The Palace of Peace and Harmony is a 77 m high pyramid type building in Astana. This beautifully structured building is visible from the both coasts of Ishim. It is constructed to host the Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions. Also, it hosts a 1,500-seat opera house built at the lower levels.
The 4 provinces namely Almaty, Zhambyl, Kyzylorda and South Kazakhstan are situated in the southern area of the country. Almaty is centre for all type of activities in this area. Some of the main cities in southern part include Almaty, Taldy-Kurgan city, Taraz, Shymkent, Baikonur, Kyzylorda, Kzyl-Orda city, Kokshetau etc.
Baikonur Cosmodrome is a centre of space exploration. It is the world’s oldest and largest operational space launch facility centre located in the desert steppes of Kazakhstan. Most of the Russian’s exploration of space is launched from here. One needs to give a 45 days prior notice before visiting the Cosmodrome. Some special tourist agencies also arrange the visits.
The city of Taraz is wellknown as the ancient city which is more than 2000 years old. Once it was famous as capital of Karakhan State. Now a days it has become one of the fast growing cities of Kazakhstan. Located in Zhambyl Province near the border with Kyrgyzstan, the city celebrated its official 2000 anniversary (recognized by UNESCO) in 2001. The Babaji-Khatun Mausoleum (10-11th centuries) and Aisha-Bibi Mausoleum (11-12th centuries) located just outside the town are masterpieces of ancient architecture. UNESCO has listed those ancient venues as the world architectural rarities.
Aksu-Zhabagly state natural reserve:
The fantastic Aksu-Zhabagly state natural reserve is situated 1000 to 4000m (3280 to 3120ft) above sea level. This scenic 750 sq. km area of hills is listed in UNESCO biosphere. It is home for 1679 species of vascular and primitive plants and around 1274 species of 470 kinds and 70 families are registered under the Vascular plants group. The place is full of juniper woods and different types of tree species. These mountain woods have not been cut since a period of about 70 years. It also offers shelter for 238 species of birds, 42 species of animals.
The regions of Mangystau, Atyrau, West Kazakhstan and Mangystau are the part of Western Kazakhstan. The province West Kazakhstan is located at the northwest region of country which lies pertly in both, Europe and Asia. The main cities on western Kazakhstan include Oral (Uralsk), Aktyubinsk, Atyrau, Aktau etc. This part of the country has developed economic links with many Russian cities and other countries. Blessed with huge natural resources, the western part has many architectural heritage sites and several eco-tourism spots.
The chalk-cliffed preserve of Ustiurt is one of the largest preserves in Kazakhstan. It is situated in the Karagie Depression, 132m (433ft) below sea level
The Mangystau province is wellknown as one of the finest areas of Kazakhstan rich in oil, gas, construction materials, various ores and minerals. The people of the country call it as the land of tourism which has several recreation resources and rich cultural heritage.
The capital of Atyrau region, Atyrau city is a port on the Caspian Sea and the pier on the Ural River. The city on the right bank of the river is in Europe and the city on the left bank of the river is in Asia. Today, this beautiful town developed on seashore has become the centre of oil industry of Ural- Embensky region.
Some ancient burial sites that date back to 4th-5th centuries B.C. can be watched on the bank of the Dead Kultuk to the north of Kizan. Historical sites of ancient Kizil-Kala, the picturesque canyons Samal and Sazanbay, Hanga-Baba Tract attract large number tourists every year.
The capital of Kazakhstan, Astana is situated in northern region Kazakhstan which is less earthquake-prone than the former capital, Almaty city.
Burabay (Borovoe) National Nature Park:
Famous as the pearl of Kazakhstan, Burabay (Borovoe) National Nature Park is situated in the north of Akmola region. The park has 14 big lakes each of which has an area of more than 1 km and several small lakes. The largest lakes include olshoye Chebachye and Maloye Chebachye, Shchuchye and Borovoye. It is a home for 800 flora species and about 305 vertebrate animal species. The park offers picturesque beauty and a rare harmonic combination of mountains, forests, lakes, flora and fauna.
It is one of the largest lakes in Burabay (Borovoe) National Nature Park. The Borovoye Lake and the surrounding are popular for a variety of sanitariums, camping sites and resorts. The shores of this lake always gets crowded with tourists as it comprises lots of restaurants, beaches, stores and dance halls to entertain the visitors. The Borovoye Lake area is a perfect place for wild recreation and camping.
Located in northern Kazakhstan, the fantastic natural preserve Naurzum has a rich landscape of geographical contrasts - salt lakes ringed by forests. Also, the rare animals like white herons, jack-bustards, hisser swans and grave eagles are found in this preserve.
This superb nature reserve has an international importance. Kurgaldjino is home for 300 types of plant and most of the northerly settlement of pink flamingoes in the world can be found in this natural reserve.
This part of the Kazakhstan is famous for its colorful landscape of snow-capped mountain peaks, plunging forested canyons and picturesque cedar forests. The 35km long and 19km wide lake of Marakol offers scenic beauty.
The city of Semipalatinsk is situated at just 30km from Siberia. Once a Russian place of exile, this city was home to the famous novelist and writer Dostoyevsky during the period 1857-1859. The house of Dostoyevsky has been preserved as a museum that displays notes for Crime, Punishment and The Idiot. The city of Semipalatinsk hosts other museums which include Abai Kununbaev Museum which commemorates the Kazakh poet and the History Museum.
East Kazakhstan Province:
Located in the easternmost part of country, along both sides of the Irtysh River and Lake Zaysan, East Kazakhstan Province offers plenty of tourism opportunities. Oskemen (Ust-Kamenogorsk) is the capital and largest city in Province. The geographical position of this province is very interesting. It borders Russia in the north and northeast and China in the south and southeast. Also, its easternmost point is just 50km away from the westernmost tip of Mongolia. However they do not share a common border.
The unique lake of Balkhash (half saline and half fresh water) is situated in the central Kazakhstan which is one the largest lakes in the world. The central Kazakhstan region hosts some archaeological and ethnographic sites that date back to Bronze Age, Early Iron Age and New Stone Age. The national park of Bayan-Aul is popular for rock drawings, stone sculptures, clean, sparkling lakes and pines clinging to the rocks.
Karaganda is the largest province in Kazakhstan. The capital and administrative centre of this Province is Karaganda city which is situated at the centre of the important Karaganda coal basin. The Karaganda city is divided in two parts, old city and new city. The city has wide streets, parks and some monumental buildings like the Miners' Palace of Culture. Also, the city is home for several institutions of higher education, research and design institutes, a museum, theatres, a television centre and a botanical garden.
Bayanaul national park:
This park is located in southeastern Pavlodar Province of Kazakhstan. Founded in 1985, it comprises an area of 50000 hectars. It is very popular as a vacation destination for residents of Pavlodar. Three freshwater lakes namely Toraygir, Sabyndykol, and Jasybay are situated in the park. The first one, Toraygir was named after a Kazakh poet, Sultanmahmut Toraygirov who spent his childhood there.