Kazakhstan Attractions

The spas

Kazakhstan has a variety of spas offering water and mud treatments, among others. There are 98 resort hotels with various treatment facilities and 115 sanatoriums for medical prevention. Among the internationally most famous resorts are Sari Agach (in the south), Mujaldi (Pavlodar region), Arasan-Kapal (Taldikorgan region), Jani-Kurgan (Kzil-Ordat region), Kokshetau and Zerenda (Kokshetau region) and the Zaili-Alatau Area.

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The center of the country

The unique Balkhash Lake is half salt water and the other half fresh water. The Karkarala Oasis is home to Neolithic and Bronze Age settlements, as well as Bronze Age and early Iron Age sites. Stone carvings and stone sculptures await visitors in Bayan Aul National Park . Baikonur Cosmodrome is the Central Asian Cape Canaveral and is located 5 km from Leninsk and 230 km from Kzyl-Orda. It was from here that Yuri Gagarin, the first man in space, started the first orbit around the world on April 12, 1961. Rocket launches can still be seen today.

Western Altai: Located in the Altai Mountains. Here you can find 16 different types of forest, 30 different species of mammals and 120 species of birds.

The East

East Kazakhstan offers a colorful landscape of snow-capped mountain peaks, steep, forested gorges and scenic cedar forests. Lake Marakol rivals Lake Baikal in beauty. The city of Semipalatinsk is located only 30 km from Siberia. Dostoyevsky lived here in exile from 1857-1859. His house is now a museum. Other museums in the city include the Abai Kununbaeov Museum, commemorating the Kazakh poet of the same name, and the History Museum. By 1990, nuclear tests were being conducted southwest of Semipalatinsk. Today, however, the radioactive radiation lies within the internationally approved limits. The mining and ironworks town of Ust – Kamenogorsk is the gateway to the Altai Mountains, covered with meadows and forests, stretching thousands of kilometers into Mongolia. Rakmanovsky in the Altai Mountains is known for its cross-country skiing areas, overnight stays are in a turbasa (see accommodation ).

Almaty: Located in the Tien Shan Mountains, it is home to snow leopards, gazelles and other exotic animal and plant species.

Bayan Aul National Park: Located in central Kazakhstan, it is known as the »Museum of Nature«.

The North

The Kurgaljino Nature Reserve, in northern Kazakhstan, is home to the northernmost habitat of pink flamingos on earth. The charming nature reserve Naurzum offers salt lakes surrounded by forests, ancient spruce trunks scattered between sand dunes, spruce forests growing up from salt marshes, wide meadows and rare species of swans and eagles.

Also in the north of Kazakhstan is the capital Nursultan.

Ustiurt: Located in western Kazakhstan in the Karagie Plains, 132 m above sea level. This nature reserve with limestone cliffs is the largest in the country.

The West

The Caspian Sea Basin in western Kazakhstan is the world’s largest drainless lake. East of the Caspian Sea is the Aral Sea. The Karagie Plain is 132 m above sea level and is the second lowest point on earth after the Dead Sea. There are numerous sights, including the underground cross-shaped Shakpak Ata Mosque (12th-14th centuries) carved out of stone.

Chimkent is an industrial city, best known for lead mining. Further north is Turkestan, once a major trading center on the famous Silk Road that runs through much of the region, and religious hub of Islam with magnificent mosques. The 14th -century Hodsha Ahmed Yasawi mausoleum is located here. Dzambul is also an industrial city. Reproductions of ancient relics can be seen in the Aulije Ata Karanhan and Daudbek Shahmansur mausoleums. In the nearby village of Golovackovka (18 km to the west) remains of the old town still stand, including theBabadshi Khatun mausoleum (11th century) and the Aisha Bibi mausoleum ( 12th century). Another historic center is Taldikorgan.

Kurgaldjino: This nature reserve in central Kazakhstan is of international importance; its feather grass steppe is home to 300 species of plants and the northernmost colony of flamingos in the world.

Almaty lies between mountains and plains at the foot of the high Tienshan mountain range. The young city (founded in 1854) offers modern architecture, wide streets, parks and squares. From the top of Kok-Tjube (Green Mountain), which can be easily reached by cable car, there is a wonderful panoramic view of the city. The Panfilov Park with the Zenkov Cathedral, which is one of the tallest wooden structures in the world, is particularly worth seeing. Christians celebrate their Mass in St. Nicholas Cathedral. The Kazakhstan Museum of Folk Musical Instruments, the Archeology Museum and the State Art Museum are particularly worth visiting. In the Arasan Baths in the western part of the Panfilov parks you can relax in Turkish, Finnish and Russian saunas. The enchanting surroundings invite you to hikes and excursions.

The almost 5000 m high Alatau Mountains near Almaty offer numerous opportunities for sports and recreation all year round. In winter, it is mainly skiers who come to this region. Visitors can stay in tourist centers with various facilities. The Tien Shan Mountains in southeastern Kazakhstan stretch for more than 1500 km. The highest peaks are Pobeda (7439 m) and Khan-Tengri (7010 m). The Inylchek Glacier, which is almost 60 km long, separates the two peaks; at its center is Lake Mertzbakher. The International Mountaineering Camp Khan-Tengri has experienced mountain guides who accompany visitors on organized mountaineering and trekking tours. More information from Kazakhstan International Mountaineering Camp Khan-Tengri in Almaty: 89 Dosmukhamedov Street, 480012 Almaty. Tel: (03272) 92 78 66, 92 70 24. Fax: (03272) 50 93 23. (Email: kazbek@kantengri.almaty.kz ; Internet: www.kantengri.almaty.kz ).

Barsa Kelmes: The inhabitants of the island on the northwestern Aral Sea coast include the world’s rarest hoofed animals – the kulans.

The South

The landscape is so varied that all four seasons can be seen in a day, traveling from the snow-capped peaks, lakes and glaciers of Tien Shan to the steppe and desert landscape. The mountains are a meeting point for mountaineers and skiers, and there are numerous winter sports resorts. A curiosity is the Singing Barkhan – an 80 m high and 3 km long sand dune in the desert, which moves and gradually crumbles. The movement triggers a strange sound reminiscent of loud singing.

Nature reserves

Aksu-Jabagli: Located in southern Kazakhstan 1000-4000 m above sea level. i.e. M. It is home to 238 species of birds, 42 other species of animals and 1300 species of plants.

Naurzum: Located in northern Kazakhstan. Here you can find numerous rare animal species.

Marakol: Located on the southern foothills of the Altai Mountains, it is home to 232 species of birds, 50 other species of animals and 1000 species of plants.