Kazakhstan is a unique region in the world because of its history, geographical position, and size. Being the world’s 9th largest country and located in the centre of Eurasia, it is also the largest landlocked country in the world.
It is a country of amazing steppe people. Nomads have inhabited a huge country since ancient times and created their own unique culture here. The originality of Kazakhstan is also determined by the fact that over the centuries, local nomads came into contact with settled neighbors in the south, Siberians in the North and Russians in the West. The amazing contrast of developed megalopolises and wild steppes makes Kazakhstan attractive even for the most sophisticated traveler. Ancient settlements of Otrar and historical monuments of Turkestan; pristine mountain lakes, snow-capped peaks, virgin forests and deep canyons; real yurts, kumis, nourishing meat “beshbarmak”; modern futuristic architecture of Nur-Sultan and Soviet buildings in Shymkent and Almaty; the Baikonur cosmodrome and national parks the size of a small European country – all this awaits guests who want to understand what tourism is in Kazakhstan.
The landscape diversity of Kazakhstan delights and amazes at the same time. If you want to touch the nomadic culture and at the same time enjoy the incredible beauty of nature, then Kazakhstan should definitely be on your list of countries.
Where to go?
Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan’s capital (from 1998 to 2019 the city was called Astana), is located in the heart of the Eurasian continent, equally accessible and open to all directions of the world. The city attracts guests from all over the world with its unusual appearance and unique architectural design, as well as with its cultural and business events on a global level. It was here that the exhibition EXPO-2017 was a success and, coming soon in September 2019, the International Exhibition of Tourism Trade PATA Travel Mart 2019 in the Asia-Pacific region will also take place in Nur-Sultan. Such events bring Kazakhstan even greater international fame and recognition.
Almaty is a city is surprising with its scale – huge majestic modern buildings, endless green alleys and avenues, and all of this is surrounded by snow-white mountain peaks. Travel agencies in the city will offer you guided tours around historical and cultural monuments, various museums and exhibitions.
One of the most notable places in Almaty, of course, is Kok Tobe Park located at the peak of Kok Tobe Mountain at an altitude of 1100 meters above sea level. It has a lot to offer as an amusement park: from cable cars, ferris wheel, petting zoo, to the variety of attractions and restaurants. And it is only a five minute drive from the city center.
First go to the mountains! Mountain resorts near Almaty. Thousands of travellers from around the world come to Almaty every year to ski or snowboard on steep snow-covered slopes. And we can see why: apart from magic beauty, these ski resorts are globally recognized with their modern facilities that meet international standards and with prices that you will find very reasonable for such type of services.
Shymkent is at the heart of the Silk Road, it is here, in this city, as well as in the entire Turkistan Province, that the cultural, religious, and historical sights of the Turkic peoples are most densely concentrated. Modern Shymkent will impress you, today this city is developing as an international transit center.
Of course, first of all, we recommend heading to the city of Turkistan (about 170 km from Shymkent) where you will find a regional historical and cultural museum-reserve. The central object of the museum-reserve is the mausoleum of Khoja Ahmed Yasawi (famous theologian and philosopher). Also here it is worth making note of visiting the Mausoleum of Arystan Bab, a teacher and mentor of Ahmed Yasawi, which is a very popular place among pilgrims.
Kazakhstan with its vast territory and scattered scarcely populated countries as well as abundance of national parks, is a unique destination where social distancing is something unforced and natural – Natural Social Distancing.
In recent years, Kazakhstan has been recognized as an eco-friendly destination and was ranked among the best countries for ecotourism. For example, in 2020 the British Backpacker Society placed Kazakhstan in the TOP-5 must-visit destinations for adventure travel.
Ecological and natural tourism in Kazakhstan is most represented by tours to the Turgen gorge, Charyn canyon, to the large Almaatinsky lake and mountain Medeo.
Natural parks, the size of a small state, offer endless options for trekking, swimming in lakes, sleeping in tents and contemplating the greatness of nature around them.
A series of mountain ranges of various sizes – such as the Tien Shan, Altay, Ulytau, and Kazygurt – are naturally beautiful and attract tourists from all over the world. The Tien Shan Mountains are the highest among them (with the highest peak being about 7,500 metres ), and Almaty, the largest city of Kazakhstan, is located at its base. Thus, tourists interested in trekking and winter sports can easily access marvellous landscapes directly from the city of Almaty.
Space tourism in Kazakhstan is inextricably linked with the first and largest cosmodrome in the world – Baikonur. The first space flight of Gagarin, the launch of the first orbital-controlled station into orbit, the launch of the base module of the Mir station into orbit, all these events are inextricably linked with the Baikonur cosmodrome.
The cosmodrome is operational and organize annual group tours for the launch of spaceships. Today, you can come to the cosmodrome to see a modular space station, a real shuttle, a local museum and much more.