Turkmenistan Combi with Kazakhstan tour 1
Day 1: Nur-Sultan arrival
Arrival in Nur-Sultan. Transfer to the hotel, check-in not earlier than 2 p.m. Start of Ethno-cultural program. By the will of fate Kazakh people were spaced at the crossroad of Eastern and Western cultures, and that is why Kazakhstan is country of rich cultural heritage.
There is no better way of understanding the Kazakh traditional culture, than a gastronomic experience, consisting of cooking traditional dishes yourself and get acquainted with the secrets of traditional culinary arts, that you will acquire during this program.
You will also have unique opportunity to participate in the process of manufacturing of a very ancient Kazakh musical instrument, an authentic value and heritage of the Great Steppe – ‘sazsyrnay’.
Finally, at the end of the program you will be offered to try on the Kazakh national clothes and dance the national dance “Kara zhorga”. Program duration from 1,5 to 2 hours. Overnight in the hotel.
Day 2: Nur-Sultan – Almaty
Breakfast in the hotel. At 10:00 start of Nur-Sultan Grand Tour (7 Hours)
During the tour you will visit historical center of the city as well as its modern part.
In order to better understand today’s life of the city, you will enter the largest and unique shopping center Khan Shatyr. Then you take the elevator to the top of the “Astana-Baiterek” monument, where you can admire the magnificent panorama of the city. After lunch you will cross Ishym river and get to the Kazakh Eli Square. There you will visit another unique project – the Palace of Peace and Accord, and also see the extraordinary beauty of Khazret Sultan Mosque.
Important point of the excursion will be National Museum of History of Kazakhstan*, where you can look at the far-reaching plans of the development of Nur-Sultan together with its historical background.
Evening departure to Almaty by highspeed train. Overnight in the train.
Day 3: Almaty
Early morning arrival to Almaty. Breakfast in the hotel. Check in after 2 pm.
After breakfast start of the best of Almaty tour: city (4 hours). Visiting of Almaty Museum. After the museum, you will continue the tour and will have a short stop for the detailed acquaintance with architecture and history of Abai Opera and Ballet Theatre. Then you will visit one of the oldest of Almaty parks – Park of 28 Panfilov Guardsmen, where one of the most beautiful wooden building in the world – Zenkov Cathedral is located. In the park you will also see the Memorial of Glory and Eternal Flame, listen to the stories of the guide and admire the beauty of the Museum of Musical Instruments. Next point of interest is a popular place for townspeople – the Green Bazaar, where it is impossible to refrain from shopping. It is the great chance to experience an atmosphere of the real eastern market, its colours, smells and crowds. There you can obtain famous oriental sweets, dried fruits, buy local products and souvenirs, but don’t forget to bargain. In the market they accept cash in tenge (local currency), so it would be good to have some with you or there is an exchange point just nearby to the market area. Overnight in the hotel.
Day 4: Almaty – Kolsai Lakes
Breakfast in the hotel. Departure from Almaty at 08:00. Upon arrival to Saty, you will check-in at the guest house, where you will spend next two nights. After lunch transfer to Kaindy Lake.
After walking around the lake, you will return to Saty settlement to take a shower, have dinner and rest. Overnight in the guest house.
Day 5: Kolsai Lakes
Wake up at 07:00, breakfast. Trekking from the lake Kolsai-1 to the lake Kolsai-2. Lunch on the way.
Having arrived to Kolsay-1 Lake and got a brief instruction, you will start the trekking. The route lies on the bank of the lake and continues with the path through the pine forest, alpine meadows along pure mountain river flowing all the way down from Kolsai-2 Lake. The total walking distance between two lakes is about 7 km and usually takes 3-3,5 hours one way. An altitude rises up more than 400 m, from 1818 m above sea level at the first lake to 2250 m at the second lake. There is no category of difficulty and route is accessible for healthy, average-trained people.
Enjoying your lunch in front of the cold and pure-clean lake in surroundings of magnificent mountain peaks is priceless after active trekking. Afternoon walk back to Kolsai-1 Lake and driving back to Saty settlement. Arrival to the settlement. Dinner and overnight in the guest house.
Day 6: Kolsai Lakes – Charyn Canyon -Almaty
After breakfast you will leave a hospitable family and depart to Charyn Canyon at 08:00. It will take about 2 hours to reach the canyon. Upon arrival, you will admire the grand panorama and go down to the bottom of the canyon to walk around 2 km through the maze of the Castles Valley.
The bottom of the Canyon has slight descend to the end of the walk, where you will get to the fresh oasis on the bank of icy cold Charyn River, where also located eco-park with several yurts (traditional dwellings) and a small open-air café, working in the summer time. After some rest walking back and driving to one of the observation points for another breathtaking panoramic view. After 3-4 hours spent in the canyon you will depart to Almaty. The lunch will be served in a local café in a village in 1-hour driving distance after the canyon. Arrival to the original meeting point in Almaty is approx. at 19:00. Overnight in the hotel.
Day 7: Almaty – Big Almaty Lake – Falcon farm
Breakfast in the hotel. Check-out. At 10:00 start of the best of Almaty tour: mountains (9 hours)
After meeting of the guide at your hotel, your will start the tour with a ride to the Medeo Gorge (1690 meters above sea level). Brief walk around with a chance to take your mountain-view pictures and breath the fresh pine-tree air, then you will take a cable car to Shymbulak ski resort area.
Further your mountain adventure continues at the top of Kok-Tobe hill, where the tallest TV tower in the world is located (if to count from the sea level) and where you will get by the picturesque winding mountain road on the park eco-cars.
After the short ride from the top of the hill to the center of the city by the famous Almaty cableway* and lunch you will drive to the Big Almaty gorge, where at an altitude of 2,510 m above sea level located the Big Almaty Lake – one of the most picturesque lakes in Trans-Ili Alatau.
On the way back to the town you will visit the Falcon Farm, where you will enjoy a spectacular show with specially trained hawks – hunting with them is one of the most unique features of the Kazakh way of life.
Overnight in the hotel.
Day 8: Almaty – Ashgabat
Breakfast in the hotel. Check-out not later than 12 p.m. Transfer to airport. Departure to Ashgabat by Turkmenistan Airlines flight. Arrival in Ashgabat in the afternoon. Transfer to the hotel, free time, Overnight.
Day 9: Ashgabat
Start with a city tour, including visits of Independence Park, Neutrality Arch, Ferris Wheel, Wedding Palace Viewpoint. In the afternoon visit the National Museum and Turkmenbashi Mosque and Mausoleum. While visiting the sites in and around Ashgabat, the architecture of the new city with its abundance of white marble, fountains and green areas are astonishing and in stark contrast with the neighborhoods built during Soviet and pre-Soviet (tsarist) times. A simple observation of the trees lining the streets and parks, can tell you whether the area is a recent addition to the city, or an original district, from the time when the first tsarist armies set up post in Ashgabat on their quest to conquer Central Asia (then referred to as Turkestan) and the construction of the Trans-Caspian Railway.
Transfer to hotel. Overnight in hotel.
Day 10: Ashgabat - Darwaza
After breakfast visit Sunday Market, private Akhalteke horse farm. Return to Ashgabat.
In the afternoon we drive northwards and enter the central Karakum Desert for a 4-hour drive to the famous gas crater at Darwaza. While the drive is mainly on a good tarmac road and the majority of villages in this region are along the roadside and easily reachable without 4-wheel drive vehicles as well, we turn off the main road and follow the sand tracks across a large sand dune, to reach the gas crater. The sight of the flaming crater remains one of the most spectacular sights you have ever seen. We accommodate in yurt camp and while the sun goes down, the light and noise of the hundreds of flames becomes even more surreal.
Day 11: Darwaza - Kunya Urgench - Dashoguz - Ashgabat
In the morning we drive to the north for the visit to Kunya Urgench historical park. Kunya Urgench owes its UNESCO World Heritage status to the fact that it was an important Silk Road hub on the Oxus River, and capital of the Khorezm Empire (12th c AD), until its destruction by the armies of Dzhengis Khan. Several mausoleums, town wall remains, the tallest minaret in Central Asia, and the Kyrk Molla pilgrim mount reflect the various roles of this historical city, which was praised by historical figures such as Biruni and Avicenna, Al-Farabi, and Al-Khorezmi. In the afternoon we continue to Dashoguz and a short 40-minute flight brings us back to Ashgabat. Overnight at hotel.
Day 12: Departure
Transfer to airport for international flight to next destination.