Almaty 5 Day Tour
Almaty Region 5 days/4 nights
Price per person
$405 – 505 pp
Add $35 for 4-star hotels
This is an easy paced tour in and around Almaty. Most people love being able to spend all four nights in the same central Almaty hotel without needing to pack/unpack and change hotels.
The tour gives you an opportunity to know the historic capital and largest city in Kazakhstan, and also has you venturing out into some of the areas of outstanding natural beauty nearby.
If time and budget allows, we’d recommend adding at least one more day and including a day tour to Charyn Canyon.
If you want to add a second country, Bishkek, the largest and capital city of Kyrgyzstan is only about four hours drive away.
This 5 day/4 night tour, including accommodation and the guided sightseeing, meals, admissions and other items as detailed in the itinerary below, ranges in price depending on the time of year, how many people are traveling together, and the standard of hotel requested.
For two people traveling together, pricing is approximately US$540 per person with four star hotel accommodation. Pricing generally goes down as group size goes up.
Day 1 : Arrive Almaty, Regional Touring
We’ll meet you upon arrival at the airport or train station today and transfer you to your hotel.
Most trains and international flights arrive into Almaty in the morning, and so we’ll have your hotel room confirmed for early arrival so you have a chance to freshen up after your journey from wherever.
Assuming a morning arrival, then after lunch we’ll travel south of the city to the Tian-Shan region and the Trans-Ili Alatau mountains.
The road is very scenic and beautiful as is goes through valleys and gorges, and takes us to our two main destinations this afternoon – the Medeo ice skating rink and sports complex, and the Shymbulak ski resort.
The Medeo (sometimes spelled Medeu) complex is world famous, and during 33 years there have been a total of 126 world records set here. It also has two world records just by being there – it is the world’s highest and largest skating rink, at 1691m or 5548 ft asl. During the summer months it is an entertainment and wellness center, and offers roller skating instead of ice skating. Of course, in winter, sports such as ice skating and hockey are featured.
A bit further on, and a bit higher, brings us to the Shymbulak ski resort (also spelled Chimbulak). As well as the road, the world’s third largest gondola run travels between the two locations. The ski season is typically from November to April, and the highest ski lift goes up to 3200m or 10,500 ft asl. During the other months, hiking opportunities on beautiful mountain trails can be enjoyed.
You’ll be returned back to your hotel in the early evening.
Day 2 : Almaty City Touring
Thanks to its location in the necklace of emerald-blue mountains with majestic snow-covered peaks, Almaty is righteously considered to be the pearl of Kazakhstan. Your tour today will give you a chance to get acquainted with the history of the origin and development of the previous, and still southern, capital of Kazakhstan – Almaty.
Your guide will meet you after breakfast at the hotel and start a city tour in the central part of Almaty with a short stop near the Golden Warrior Monument. This represents the independence of Kazakhstan and its citizens.
After passing by the Central Library and the Abai State Academic Opera and Ballet Theater, and having a look at the new pedestrian precint of Panfilov’s Street, you will learn more about the history and development of the southern capital of Kazakhstan from ancient times to the present day.
As your tour continues, you’ll increasingly understand why Almaty is considered to be the most elegant city in all of Central Asia.
You will walk through the Park of 28 Panfilovtsy Heroes, a group of soldiers who gave their lives during the struggle against the Germans in WW2. Thieir battle has subsequently been deemed to be the turning point in the war where the Germans were turned around and their advance became a retreat.
You visit the Russian Orthodox Ascension Cathedral, located in the Park. It is the oldest major building in the city, dating to 1903, and the second tallest wooden building in the world. The cathedral was built of wood without a single nail, and has withstood several earthquakes, one of which had a force of 10 on the Richter scale.
We will honor the memory of the soldiers with a minute of silence near the Eternal Flame.
The next attraction and an incredibly popular place for the townspeople is the Green Bazaar, where one simply cannot help shopping. This is a great chance to plunge into the atmosphere of an authentic oriental market with its colors, scents and crowds. You can buy famous oriental sweets, dried fruits, local products, and souvenirs. Just do not forget to bargain! (Note that most merchants accept only cash in the market.)
After lunch, your next stop will be the Kok-Tobe mountain with the highest TV tower in the world. We will get there going up the picturesque, winding mountain road.
In the Kok-Tobe Park you may stroll along the winding paths, admire the magnificent panorama of the city from a special viewing platform, throw a coin in the “Apple” fountain, and – of course – visit the gift shop with a selection of national souvenirs.
This completes your day of touring and you’ll be returned back to your hotel for the second evening in Almaty.
Day 3 : Flexible Day in Almaty
Enjoy breakfast at the hotel this morning, and then you’ll meet with your guide at a convenient time for you this morning.
Today’s all about you, so you can decide how early (or how late) you’d like your day to start.
We’ve found most people enjoy a free day in Almaty, and visiting one or two of our international standard shopping malls, and perhaps adding some local shopping experiences too.
Your guide will help you as you wish, and suggest places to go/see/do during the day. If the weather is nice, maybe a park to visit and stroll around would be enjoyable too.
At your choice of time in the afternoon or early evening, you can return back to the hotel again.
Note : If you prefer, you can of course travel out of Almaty entirely during the day today. An extra cost would apply, due to the extra transportation costs involved, but it wouldn’t be too ridiculous. It is helpful if you tell us or your guide in advance so a more extensive excursion could be arranged and confirmed.
Day 4 : Regional Touring
You will meet your guide after breakfast this morning, and then travel out of the city, to experience two major attractions today.
First you will travel to the Big Almaty Lake, sometimes abbreviated BAO (Bolshoye Almatinskoye Ozero in Russian). This is about an hour’s drive from the city center.
The lake is way up in the Trans-Ili Alatau mountains, 2510 meters/8235 feet above sea level. On a calm day, its icy blue/green surface acts as a perfect mirror for the mountains and sky that surround it. We’ll continue a bit further above the lack so you have beautiful vistas from above looking down to the lake surface, and across to the mountains, richly clad in spruce, aspen and juniper trees.
Although by no means the largest lake in Kazakhstan, some people suggest it to be the most famous, due to its beauty. A natural reservoir, it provides drinking water to Almaty, and so no swimming is allowed.
You’ll have plenty of time to explore some of the trails in the area and to enjoy the unspoiled natural beauty of the lake.
In the afternoon, you’ll then travel to the Falcon Nursery, and be treated to a demonstration/show with traditional falcon hunters on horseback and their highly trained falcons.
The nursery typically has over 370 birds in it at any one time, and usually from about 15 different species, some common, and some relatively rare and considered endangered. Among the birds you’re likely to see are Golden Eagles, the national animal of Kazakhstan and featured on the Kazakh flag.
Historically, the greatest falconer is considered to have been Genghis Khan. He created a “Table of Ranks” that defined who had the right to hunt with which type of bird. He reserved the gyrfalcon exclusively to himself – if anyone else even touched one, they would be put to death.
During the presentation, you’ll see how a golden eagle can catch a wolf, how a white-tailed eagle catches fish, and how a saker falcon can fly at 200 mph/320 km/hr.
After time at the Sunkar Falcon Center and Nursery, you’ll return back to your Almaty city hotel.
Day 5 : Tour Ends, Extensions Possible
One final breakfast, and then – unless you have extended your time in Almaty – it is time to check out and to continue your travels.
We’ll be there to take you to the airport or train station in plenty of time for your travels on from Almaty.
Thank you for visiting our wonderful city of Almaty, and our country of Kazakhstan.
We hope your travels and experiences were wonderful, and we hope we did everything you needed to ensure a safe and enjoyable time.
This is a great way to experience some of Almaty and the adjoining region and can be a great building block on a broader experience in Kazakhstan and possibly extending to some of our neighboring ‘stan countries too.
Why not has us work up a detailed itinerary and quote for you. We’re here to help.