In the rugged and beautiful countryside, between the ridges of Kygyz and Talas Ala-Too, lies the beautiful and picturesque Suusamyr Valley. With the Kazakhstan border to the north and with all of the natural wonder of Kyrgyzstan to the south, the scenery here is unique and spectacular.
During Soviet times, the valley served as a grazing site for the locals' sheep and every year, great flocks were brought over the mountainous terrain to graze. Now, the use of the valley is much more diverse with various crops farmed but there is still rich, pasteurised land where sheep and horses still graze.
Exploration of the valley and surrounding area will suit travelers in search of fresh air and activity as well as history and culture. Hiking and horseback riding along the valley and nearby mountain trails are popular pursuits and in the foothills are lush and verdant meadows and plains - perfect for strolling and picnicking. The crystal-clear Song-Kul lake lies like a peaceful oasis with a dramatic background of rugged mountains and from east to west, all the towns of Northwestern Kyrgyzstan are dotted along the ridge’s gentle slopes, not least Bishkek, the Kyrgyz capital.
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The villages and towns nestled in the foothills of the Kyrgyz Ala-Too ridge are hotspots for authentic national culture and traditional arts and crafts. Visitors can access ateliers and workshops to see the processes used in making felt, silk and woven goods and snap up unique souvenirs to take home.
The valley provides an excellent route for overland cyclists that connects Kochkor and southern Kyrgyzstan. This scenic route through the valley offers a picturesque journey past quaint, rural villages, rushing rivers and panoramic scenes over the lush countryside.
The Kyrgyz Ala-Too ridge is riven with twisting and meandering mountain passes leading to unique vantage points for wonderful scenic sights. Hiking and horseback riding are great ways to explore the landscape, from rocky roads to stunning green plains, valleys and meadows.
Via scenic roads along the Kara-Balta gorge and through a tunnel nearly two miles long, the sweeping panoramas of the endless Suusamyr valley can be experienced while enjoying a delightful picnic. Here the indigenous nomadic tribes herd their flocks across the plains, a perfect backdrop for hiking, picnicking and photography.
The deep snow, calm weather conditions and gentle slopes that surround the Suusamyr Valley make perfect skiing conditions. The highest peaks reach up to 4000 meters high and with a length of 100 km it is a unique and exciting activity with diverse exposures and lengths to choose from.
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One of the main reasons for the timing of my trip to Kyrgyzstan was to have the chance to check out the country’s National Horse Games Festival, which takes place in August.
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