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Nomad Games. Issyk-Kul and the Heavenly Mountains

Nomad Games. Issyk-Kul and the Heavenly Mountains

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From:  $700
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Nomad Games. Issyk-Kul and the Heavenly Mountains

This is a most interesting ‘velvet season’ tour of Lake Issyk-Kul and sunny Kyrgyzstan. You will enjoy warm weather and the fantastic mountain landscapes of Kyrgyzstan, bathe in the curative waters of Lake Issyk-Kul and visit the hot springs of Altyn Arashan surrounded by majestic mountain summits and century-old spruces. Furthermore, you will see the red rocks of Jety-Oguz and many-coloured Fairy Tale Canyon and visit the museum of great traveller N. Przevalsky. The tour’s highlight is the 3rd World Nomad Games, a grandiose exotic ethnic and sport festival.


Day 1 Bishkek, tour of the city.
Day 2 Bishkek – Konorchek – Cholpon-Ata.
Day 3 Cholpon-Ata.
Day 4 Issyk-Kul – Semenovka (Kyrchyn Camp) – Issyk-Kul.
Day 5 Cholpon-Ata – city of Karakol.
Day 6 Karakol – Altysh Arashan – Karakol.
Day 7 Karakol – Jety-Oguz – Bishkek.
Day 8 Bishkek – airport.
Day 1 Bishkek, tour of the city.
Meeting at the Manas Airport.
Transfer to Bishkek, the capital of Kyrgyzstan.
Excursion to the city: Oak Park, Victory Square, Ala-Too Square, oriental bazaar.
Dinner in the traditional style.
Overnight in hotel.
Day 2 Bishkek – Konorchek – Cholpon Ata (300 km).
Transfer to Cholpon-Ata on the shore of Lake Issyk-Kul.
On our way we shall visit the Burana historical and archaeological complex (ruins of medieval Balasagun). From the top of the minaret we shall enjoy the wonderful view of the snow peaks of the Kyrgyz Ala-Too Range and admire balbals – mysterious stone sculptures erected by Kyrgyz nomads.
We shall further make a stop at the village of Chinese Muslims. There we shall take part in the cooking of the traditional dish lagman.
Our next stop will be at the ‘Konorchek Labyrinths,’ where we shall take a walk along a network of picturesque red canyons (11 km, 3 hours, +200 m, –200 m).
Tired but happy, we shall arrive at a hotel on the shore of famous Lake Issyk-Kul.
Day 3 Cholpon Ata.
From morning until lunch – relaxing and swimming in the lake.
Issyk-Kul (‘hot lake’), the world’s second largest saltwater lake, is situated in a huge intermountain depression at an elevation of 1,608 m above sea level. From the north and south the lake is bordered by chains of high mountains with tops covered with perpetual snow. Issyk-Kul is 180 km long and 60 km wide. The lake is regarded as the ‘pearl’ of Kyrgyzstan and people believe its water possesses healing properties.
After lunch we shall start a trip to the venue of the 3rd World Nomad Games traditional sports festival, where we shall see the spectacular opening ceremony. The festival will feature participants from 80 countries, who will for 5 days be competing in 37 traditional sports popular among nomadic people (games on horseback, various types of wrestle, archery and others).
Overnight in hotel.
Day 4 Issyk-Kul – Semenovka (Kyrchyn Camp) – Issyk-Kul (130 km).
Today we shall have a unique, bright, deep and incredibly interesting experience.
In the morning we shall set off for the Semenovskoye Canyon, the most beautiful canyon in Kyrgyzstan. There, on the Kyrchyn jayloo (summer mountain pasture), we shall find the world’s largest ethnic town, Kyrgyz Ayyly, consisting of 250 Kyrgyz yurts. At the festival we shall watch sports games, competitions and amusements, and acquaint ourselves with the traditional nomadic life, culture, cuisine and customs.
In the evening we shall return to the hotel.
Day 5 Cholpon-Ata – city of Karakol (200 km).
In the morning you will still have a chance to swim in the lake.
Soon we shall set off eastwards for a small town, a former Cossacks’ outpost on a road to China. But before that we shall visit an ancient gallery on rocks – the petroglyphs of Cholpon-Ata with numerous images carved on basalt boulders.
The following portion of our route goes along the northern shore of the lake. From the bus’s windows you can enjoy the picturesque lakeside landscapes and the mountains around the lake.
Our next destination will be the museum of N. V. Przevalsky, a Russian traveller and researcher into Central Asia, China and the Himalayas. In Karakol we shall visit the old Dungan Mosque and Orthodox Christian Church. Both monuments were built in the late 19th century and not a single nail was used in their construction.
In the evening you can walk in the old streets of Karakol and see houses in the Russian style with fretted shutters and frames.
Dinner at restaurant.
Overnight in hotel.
Day 6 Karakol – Altysh Arashan – Karakol (120 km).
After breakfast we shall have a trip to the Altyn Arashan Gorge in an all-terrain GAZ 66/URAL.
The Altyn Arashan Gorge (‘golden resort’) is one of Karakol’s most popular gorges, which is at the same time one of the most difficult-of-access because of century-old spruces covering densely its slopes. A hard path crosses a mountains stream, goes past huge boulders and serpentines up the slopes until it reaches a truly paradisiacal valley with hot radon springs. After bathing in the hot radon springs you will have a picnic and walk in the incredibly beautiful gorge.
Upon return to the city we shall have dinner and stay at a hotel for the night.
Day 7 Karakol – Jety-Oguz – Bishkek (400 km).
Today we are going back to Bishkek, but this does not mean the end of our adventures. We shall now drive along the southern shore of Lake Issyk-Kul with a stop at the famous Jety-Oguz Gorge with weird red rock formations bearing poetical names, such as the Seven Bulls, the Broken Heart and so on.
We shall also visit the incredibly beautiful Fairy Tale (Skazka) Canyon!
In Bishkek we shall have a ceremonial farewell supper.
Overnight at hotel.
Day 8 Bishkek – airport.
Transfer to the airport in the morning.

Arrival datesTour costAvailable places
for FITs
from 2 pax
($ / pax)
for grupps
from 10 pax
($ / pax)
31.08 - 07.09.2018$1240$700Closed

Available: Book this trip now as spaces are available. (However internal flights &/or special permits may still be subject to availability.)
Limited Availability: Limited spaces are available so please click on the Contact Us link to enquire about the departure status.
Closed: This date is unavailable. Please click on the Contact Us link to enquire about other trip departure dates or booking this trip as a private departure.

Cost includes: Cost does not include:
• Transportation;
• Three meals a day;
• Accommodation in hotels (or similar):
- Bishkek – "Golden Tulip" Hotel 4*;
- Issyk Kul- "Simiram" Hotel 4*;
- Karakol – "Karagat" Hotel 4*;
• Guide;
• Entrance tickets for the nomad games;
• Water, 1l/person/day.
Features tour
Duration, days 8
Kyrgyzstan yes
September yes

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