Golden ring map en

TYPE OF ROUTE: automobile, educational.

LENGTH: 1 600 km.

DURATION: 8 days/7 nights.

SEASONALITY: June – August.

TRAVELERS CATEGORY: adults, teenagers.

THE NAME OF THE MAIN GEOGRAPHICAL POINTS: Ust-Kamenogorsk city – temple complex Akbaur – Shybyndykol Lake – petroglyphs Moinak – Kiin-Kerish Tract – Shekelmes Cape – Ashutas Canyon – Zaisan city – Small Jemeney Tract – petroglyphs Okay –Shilikty Valley – natural object “Burning Adyrs” – Ust-Kamenogorsk city.

RECOMMENDED EQUIPMENT: clothes for hot and cool weather, swimming gear, backpack, walking shoes, sunglasses, repellents, photo and video equipment, fish-tackle.

TOUR PRICE: from € 2 000.



The trip starts with Ust-Kamenogorsk city. We go on the Samarskaya road to village which was called Leninka (today Sagyr). In outskirts of the villages, auto tourists have an opportunity to lose themselves in the ancient world of the Kazakhstan Stone Age. Sacral complex Akbaur is the place with astronomical platform, rock paintings and petroglyphs. Various researchers propose many theories about the purpose of the temple complex. Someone considers that our primogenitors performed obsequies. Other people argue that the temple Akbaur is the offspring of the mountain cult. The third called Akbaur astronomical complex, and hence they consider ancient people searched the starry heavens.

Next, it is way to the Sibinsky Lake. Besides the amazing scenery, surrounding the complex of five natural reservoirs, tour participants can walk around the ruins of the medieval (XVII century) lamasery Ablaynkit. There is an urban legend that says somewhere in this area, before leaving the sanctuary, monastery ministers hid all their treasures beneath the walls. It has still not been found.

After a walk around the monastery Ablai, the car takes travelers to the shore of scenic the Shybyndykol Lake located near the village of Upper Tainty. There is revealed in all its glory the amazing nature of East Kazakhstan: crystal-clear cool lake, banks covered with mixed forest, peace and quiet. You will not want to leave this place! It is necessary to examine everything closely, have a swim, sit down by the bank, enjoying the sunset. We spend the night in the houses located in the tourist camp.



The trip on the Samarskaya road continues. The road runs through the hills, where immense stretches of East Kazakhstan is visible, and the road passes through gorges covered by dense flora. This part of way is finished at the ferry service near the village of Kaznakovka. We need to get to the other side of the Bukhtarma Reservoir. Until the ferry rafts our car and passengers, we can have lunch in a cozy café or to take some memorable photos in front of the capacious artificial lake formed by the construction of Hydroelectric Power Plant on the Irtysh River.

After successful ferrying, the road leads us to the village of Kurchum. Near the village, there is the biggest gallery of petroglyphs in East Kazakhstan. Set of images with people, animals, hunting images and battles await us in the open air. Ancient artists tell us about their culture, customs, way of life. It represented for visitors more than four stones, contain more than three thousand cave paintings.

Next, we go on the guided tour in the surrounding area of the administrative center of Kurchum district of East Kazakhstan region. We get acquainted with the life of the Kazakh people and stop at a comfortable hostel for the night.

Kiin Kirish


The purpose of our trip is away from asphalt roads. At this section of road, the travelers see panorama of the Zaisan prairie. Soon, however, the ordered prairie world is broken by chaos of earthen hills of the Kiin-Kerish Tract. The whirlpool of red and white shades capture the imagination. Let no one have never been on Mars, in this place you can easily imagine yourself as an astronaut, walking on the surface of the “red planet”. Among the bizarre formations you can find hills like a yurt or Egyptian sphinx. You can climb to the top of the hill and explore all this splendor from there. You can wander in the red earthen labyrinths.

Then we have to go to the nearby village of Amanat for dinner where people are waiting for us. Villagers undertake fishing. This is a great opportunity to get acquainted with the famous Kazakh hospitality and hear a lot of interesting stories from life of simple fishermen.

The next point of our trip – Shekelmes. This is another natural wonder on the Zaisan riverbank called “Castle mountain spirits”. It is clay and sandy mountains winded and washed by rain and frozen in various forms. In the sections of the Sheklmes canyons, with any luck, you can find fossilized bones of crocodiles, salamanders, dinosaur egg shells, ancient plant remains and much more. Here many tourists collect fragments of transparent gypsum polished by lake waves to remember. Sunset is unforgettably beautiful. The nights are filled with bold tart aroma of desert herbs, a warm breeze and the sound of waves. To see all this and feel, we stop at a tent camp on the lake. In the event of bad weather, we pitch our tents in caves.



The day begins with substantial breakfast. We drive along a country road some kilometers to the west along the coast of Zaisan. At the end of the way, we look at the natural attraction situated near the Black Irtysh River. Ashutas is extensive, so study and admiration may take all day. The tract derives its name from its a peculiar smell, which is evolved by charred plant remains. “Ashutas” means “Acid stone” in translation from Kazakh to English. However, the air is clean and fresh.

Ashutas – valuable paleobotanical and geological monument of nature with the area of approximately one hundred and fifty hectares. While it is visible from a distance, it occurs suddenly. Scenery is breathtaking. It feels like a time takes you back millions of years into the past. Before you are growing colorful castles that consists of sand and clay rocks of Paleogene age. All of it is eroded by rain. There are green, gray, red, brown and yellow clays.

On Ashutas, travelers find ferruginate pieces of wood, plant remains. It is contained among the rocks prints sycamore leaves, bamboo, hazel, walnut, growing here thirty million years ago.

After a day, full of new impressions, we stop for the night in the village of Buran.



We leave the hospitable village of Buran and head to the shore of the Black Irtysh. “Irtysh” in translation from Turkic language means – burrowing animal. It was named from its wild spirit in springhead. Taking the start on the ice slopes of Mongolian Altai, it is rapidly coming down from the mountains, and with the power erodes the shore. On the territory of Kazakhstan, Black Irtysh gradually brings its waters to the Zaisan Lake. Here he is fueled by the variety of mountain rivers, flowing into the same lake. Leaving the large natural reservoir and at least the large artificial reservoir Bukhtarma, river loses its name in the definition of “black” and remains “Irtysh” until the junction with the Ob Russian River.

There, on the Black Irtysh river, is an opportunity to go for a swim and soak up the sun. There is also available for fishing fans a pike with creek, and of course, roach and perch.

We go towards the Zaisan city after lunch. It is administrative center of Zaisan district of East Kazakhstan region. We admire a quiet secluded life, clean streets and squares, and continue our trip. This time our goal is a base camp in the Small Jemeney Tract that is located on the slopes of the Saur Ridge. In the gorge, we can rest after so long trip, have dinner and spend the night in wooden houses.

Maliy Jemeney


From early morning, we enjoy the fresh mountain air. The Saur mountains – a wonderful place, where we could see mountain prairie, bushes and larch light coniferous forests for a few hours. With trying too hard, we can get to subalpine mountain, alpine short grass meadows and even mountain tundra. Also, for the desires of the group, you could take walking around the base camp either on foot or on horseback.

During the trip, you can see such inhabitants of the Saur as the red deer, roe deer, bear, wild boar or goat. And if you are lucky, in the distance, we could admire the special representatives of the Saur subspecies of argali. In addition, it is necessary to mention that in these mountains people saw a snow leopard.

Next, we are for the duration of the trip at farm where the pheasants are grown. This is very beautiful birds, especially males. Bright black and white and red plumage and long tail make an impression not only on females, but also attracted the attention of observers. In nature, pheasant is rather shy bird. They prefer to settle near waterbodies in bushes or in woods. At the slightest sign of danger, they hide in thickets. On the farm, you can see it in all its glory. After reaching a certain age at home, they will be released out in the world. In this way, the population of this beautiful bird in the Saur is maintained and increased.

After a long walk, we go back to the base camp and stay there for the night.



After breakfast before a long move, the group of tourists go from Small Jemeney to a complex of petroglyphs located in the Okay Tract. This is the second largest in the region complex of petroglyphs. The coincidence of the name of the tract with a well-established in many English-speaking countries abbreviation “OK” is random. It is situated near the village of Taldy on the hill, which is on the western and eastern side bounded by deep gorges, and from the south – narrow intermountain depression.

There are mostly represented group hunting scenes. Ancient artists tell us that the Saur mountains have always been reached in game, and fed more than one generation of people. There is a carved inscription Junggar transmitting Lamaist prayer "om mani pad me hum" on one of the stones.

Then we have another historical place. This time we go to the tomb of Saka king in the Shilikty Valley. Third in Kazakhstan armor Golden Man (Altyn Adam) was found in these barrows. However, if the first two people, found in Issyk barrows and Araltobe, were in clothes created only for funeral rites, the Shilikty armor was designed for everyday use. Moreover, the armor was made of gold rather than gold plated parts. It had a plastic structure rather than mailed. All this indicated that he was buried not as a famous warrior, namely, Saka great grandee. Doctor of Historical Sciences Abdesh Toleukenov believes that under the Tarbagatay Ridge, there was born a great culture of Saks, here, in the Shilikty Valley, was produced by the so-called animal style.

Historical tour comes to an end. For the desires of travelers, at night we can stay in Zaisan or go back to the freshness of the Small Jemeney Tract.

Pylayushie Adyry


It is time to go back. On the way, we have an opportunity to visit another monument of nature – hills of loose rocks, escaping from the general prairie landscape. There are traces of the printed unseen animals and plants that lived and grew millions of years ago. The hills are bright red and mottled pinkish-brown color. That's why this natural feature called “Burning Adyrs”. They actually “glow” in the evening sunshine. It is believed that such coloring clay rocks was formed in a hot and humid tropical climate of the Mesozoic. Which suggests, that once there was the territory of East Kazakhstan with noise rainforests. In the middle of the last century on the Burning Adyrs there were found shell eggs of dinosaurs and later repeatedly found the fossil remains of small ancient dinosaurs.

We also stop at the monument at the border Kabanbay Batyr on Tarbagatai and Kokpektinsky areas. We take some memorable pictures, and go to the final point of our trip – Ust-Kamenogorsk.

For tour booking, you can use one of the most convenient modes of communication:

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