Example Itinerary

Classic Kazakhstan

Duration
8 days / 7 nights
Price Per Person
From $7,500
Destinations
Kazakhstan

This 8-day journey through Kazakhstan tells a tale of two cities, Almaty and Astana (renamed Nur-Sultan in 2019). One was the capital during Soviet times, the other became the capital post-Independence. Almaty is a cosmopolitan city with wide tree-lined boulevards and towering mountain backdrop. Astana is a newly constructed glass and steel mass of futuristic structures arising from the empty flat steppes, a symbolic distancing from its Soviet past. Together these two cities showcase the history and culture of of the country. Combined with day-trips to some of the country’s most beautiful natural sights, private touring, and stays at luxurious hotels, this classic journey will leave you with lasting memories of Kazakstan.

This itinerary is an example. It’s designed to inspire you and provide you with thoughtfully curated ideas. You can choose to do this exact itinerary or completely personalize it. All trips are 100% bespoke.

Highlights

  • Flashiest Capital City: Nur-Sultan, formerly Astana until 2019, shoots up from the plain, almost barren, landscape with shiny futuristic structures. A shopping mall that looks like the world’s largest tent, a glowing blue pyramid opera house, and a giant gilded lollipop-esque tower are just a few landmarks of this quirky capital.
  • Tamgaly Tas: Explore Kazakhstan’s mysterious rock carvings at UNESCO-designated Tamgaly Tas, a series of canyons featuring around 5,000 petrogylphs from the Bronze Age.
  • Turgen Gorge: Though Turgen Gorge is famous for its waterfalls, its lush and diverse terrains also makes it an outdoor haven for hiking, skiing, mountain-biking, and exploring.

Day-by-Day

Day 1

Map

Almaty »

Arrive in Almaty, Kazakhstan's main transport hub in the south. Almaty was formerly the capital when Kazakhstan was a part of the USSR up until independence in 1997. Today it is still the country's major commercial and cultural center, as well as its most populous and most cosmopolitan city. Over the next few days, Almaty will be your base as you explore the stunning surrounding countryside. Upon arrival, you will be met at the airport and privately transferred to your hotel. After freshening up, step out to get familiar with this historic city. The ancient settlement of Almaty was destroyed by the Mongols in the 13th century and a modern city was raised in its place by the Russians in 1854. Learn the details about the country's beginnings leading up to its independence with visits to the Central Historical Museum, Republic Square, and Monument of Independence.

Hotel Options

Day 2

Map

Almaty »

This morning, visit Big Almaty Lake, one of the country's most beautifully surreal sites. The lake is only an hour's drive outside of the city and is its main water source. Walk up to view points and admire the alpine scene of the lake's brilliant teal hue and surrounding forested, snow-capped mountains. Return to Almaty for lunch and more city touring. Its wide tree-lined streets are filled with green parks, museums, shops, markets, and Central Asia's best selection of restaurants and cafes. Stop by the popular Green Bazaar, Panfilovtzev, Zenkob Cathedral, and Central Mosque. Discover the local products at Green Bazaar which includes breads, cheese, and horse meat. Sample local favorites such as aromatic pilaf and kebabs. Head out to the towering mountainscape surrounding the city, home to the world's highest altitude ice rink. Boasting pure glacial water, mild valley climate and natural beauty, Medeo Ice Rink is popular amongst locals and international sportsmen who come to enjoy ice skating, ice hockey, and figure skating.

Almaty

Day 3

Map

Almaty »

Rise early today for a long day out at Charyn Canyon, one of the country's crown-jewel natural attractions. Stretching 95-miles along the Charyn River, red sandstone was sculpted by wind, water, and sand to form Charyn Canyon. Hike along the various trails in and around the canyon and observe its fantastical shapes and varying in shades from deep orange to light brown. Return to your hotel in the evening.

Day 4

Map

Almaty »

Today's adventure takes you to Turgen Gorge, a densely forested alpine valley about 45 miles east of the city. The valley offers a variety of landscapes including alpine meadows, old-growth forest, glaciers, and high peaks - an outdoor enthusiast's wonderland. Mountain and forest trails of varying difficulty and terrain lend themselves to hiking, biking, and horse riding. Along the way, discover ancient drawings along Asy River and the many waterfalls throughout the park. White water rafting, skiing, and multi-day trekking is also available for the more adventurous. Also in the area is a trout farm, ostrich farm, and historical ande thnographic open-air museum.

Almaty

Day 5

Map

Nur-sultan (astana) »

Travel onward by flight to the capital, Astana, (renamed to Nur-Sultan in 2019). A gleaming city of metal and glass that rises up from the semi-arid Kazakh steppes, vast sums of the country's oil profits went into the drastic expansion and reconstruction of Astana after it was made the capital following the country's independence. This afternoon, discover some of the city's interesting architecture designed by top international architects. Begin at the National Museum of Kazakhstan, a blue glass and white marble behemoth that covers the country's history and culture from ancient to modern times, followed by the white marbled Hazrat Sultan Mosque. Finally gaze upon the Sir Norman Foster designed glass pyramid-shapped Palace of Peace and Reconciliation.

Hotel Options

Day 6

Map

Nur-sultan (astana) »

Take in more of Astana's remarkable furutistic architecture today. The Bayterek Tower stands prominently in the middle of the city, symbolizing the legend of a golden egg on top of a tree of life with artistic flourish. The unmissable huge transparent tent is Khan Shatyr, an entertainment complex and another work of Norman Foster's. The huge structure houses a park, a boating river, a minigolf course, shopping center, and an indoor beach resort, and uses sophisticated heating and cooling systems to shield against extreme temperatures. The Astana Opera house, made modest by comparison, is constructed of white marble with gold trimming and Corinthean pillars.

Nur-sultan (astana)

Day 7

Map

Nur-sultan (astana) »

Spend today at Lake Borovoe and Burabay National Park, located north of Astana. Enjoy the endless pastoral views of the steppes and blue skies during the drive. Lake Borovoe is a large deep blue lake surrounded by thick pine forest. Take a walk or bike ride around the lake and explore the park. The lake has several small bays and a few easily scalable peaks which offer vantage points to view the lake and plains, a remarkable panorama of flat surface stretching in all directions.

Day 8

Map

Departure

Enjoy breakfast and spend the morning at leisure until your private transfer to the airport for your flight onward.

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With Remote Lands you'll travel with people who have made Asia the solitary focus of their own lifelong adventure. As our guest, you'll discover Asia on a journey that is completely, authentically your own, adapted from our own remarkable experiences and adventures over the years.

With Remote Lands you'll travel with people who have made Asia the solitary focus of their own lifelong adventure. As our guest, in the continent that our north American founders Catherine and Jay have adored and explored for decades, you'll discover Asia on a journey that is completely, authentically your own, adapted from our own remarkable experiences and adventures over the years.

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