Touring around Lake Issyk Kul
Highlights of this nine-day tour in Kyrgyzstan around the Issyk Kul Lake:
– introduction to Kyrgyzstan; the mountains, the largest mountain lake, the capital Bishkek
– the Jety Oguz gorge on the south side of Lake Issyk Kul with opportunities for walking and horse riding
– relax and swim in Lake Issyk Kul
– stay in yurts and attractive homestays
This program is also suitable for families with small children. You will experience the real Kyrgyzstan without having to travel on difficult roads. And without to stay in places without any facilities. Having said so, the trip remains adventurous because this is Kyrgyzstan…
You can read more about travelling in Kyrgyzstan and in Central Asia here. Including much practical advise.
Flight to Bishkek, capital of Kyrgyzstan
day distance: 20 kms
You will arrive in the capital Bishkek during the day, be picked up from the airport and accommodated in your hotel. Start of your tour around the Issyk Kul Lake!
After checking in, and depending on the time remaining, you will receive a city tour and visit the Historical Museum and the Art Gallery. This is followed by excursions to the National Bazaar and a short walk through some of the many parks in the green city of Bishkek.
day distance: 250 kms
You travel to Lake Issyk Kul, located at an altitude of 1,600 meters. Along the way you will visit the historic Burana complex. Kyrgyzstan is known as ‘natural land’, less well known for having some very interesting historical attractions, including this Burana complex. The focal point is the Burana tower, but also the small museum and the entire site are interesting. And in addition there are splendid views across the valley from the top of the tower!
Dinner and overnight stay take place in the village of Tamchi in a private home (homestay). These homestays are very well organized in Kyrgyzstan and often an excellent alternative to a hotel, both in terms of facilities and price.
Luxury alternative: a stay at the spa hotel ‘Karven Hotel Issyk Kul’ on the lake.
day distance: 10 kms
Today you have the entire day to explore the north side of Lake Issyk Kul. This is the busy side of the lake and you drive past several towns with hotels and sanatoriums. In summer these are populated with groups of holidaymakers from Bishkek and also from Kazakhstan.
You will visit the rock paintings near Cholpon Ata, a huge field of rocks and stones. Assistance from a guide to find the rocks with paintings is not an exaggerated luxury. Then onwards to the canyon of Grigorievka with beautiful, high views of Lake Issyk Kul.
Optionally you can have a two-hour boat trip on Issyk Kul. And of course, there’s the possibility of swimming in the lake. Expect a water temperature of around 20 degrees in summer.
Overnight stay again at the homestay in Tamchi (or a hotel nearby).
day distance: 200 kms
After breakfast transfer to the town of Karakol at the eastern side of Lake Issyk Kul. Today you will stay in and around Karakol, a quiet provincial town with various sights.
During the city excursion you will visit the Przhevalsky Memorial Complex with museum, dedicated to the explorations of the Russian researcher Michael Przhevalsky. This is the man after whom a horse was named on one of his journeys in Mongolia. He perished in Karakol.
You will also visit a remarkable Dungan mosque, with many Chinese influences, and a 19th-century Russian Orthodox church.
Karakol is also used by hikers, climbers and cyclists as a base for their trip to the nearby Tien Shan Mountains. (We can also offer these packages!)
Accommodation in a homestay or hotel.
day distance: 45 kms
Today you will continue to Jety Oguz (translated as “Seven Bulls”), the famous valleys with their red sandstone formations, forests and flowers. With many opportunities for walking (with or without supervision) and horse riding.
Meals and overnight stay in a professional yurt camp (incl. showers).
day distance: 250 kms
Along the south side of Lake Issyk Kul you continue today to the village of Bokonbaevo. If possible, we will visit the local falconer (“Berkutchi”, a Kyrgyz and also Kazakh traditional hunt with eagles), and have lunch in the village.
Along the way you have excellent opportunities for a swim in the lake. The south side is considerably quieter than the north side, and there are countless beautiful and peaceful places to cool down in the clear water.
After lunch we continue to the village of Kochkor, west of Issyk Kul in a mountain valley. Here you can opt to visit a local workshop for Kyrgyz national rugs. We spend the night in this village in a homestay.
day distance: 260 kms
We return to Bishkek and have lunch on the way at a scenic spot.
Upon arrival in the city you have leisure time.
Accommodation in a hotel.
Note: a one-day or two-day extension is possible to Lake Son Kul, back via the Suusamyr Valley to Bishkek. A wonderful route and fully recommended although the roads get a little rougher. Accommodation at Lake Son Kul in a yurt.
Transfer to the airport and flight back home.
The cost of this tour around the Issyk Kul Lake is €590 per person at a group of four people and €715 per person for two people. You can write to us for other group sizes. Prices are indications.
Included in the offer are:
– eight overnight stays based on double rooms incl. breakfast, in hotels, yurts and in homestays
– all transfers in Kyrgyzstan by car (two people) or minibus (from four people)
– entrance tickets for museums and monuments according to the program
– all lunches & dinners (full board) on days 3-7
– optional: services from an English-speaking guide during the entire trip, cost €440 in total
Not included are international flights, meals in Bishkek and all other services not mentioned. Finally, we withhold € 15 per booking for the GGTO Guarantee Fund.
|Bishkek, around Lake Issyk Kul|
|indications €590-715 p.p. at 4-2 persons|