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TYPE OF ROUTE: automobile, educational.

LENGTH: 620 km.

DURATION: 8 days/7 nights.

SEASONALITY: June – early September.

TRAVELERS CATEGORY: for schoolchildren and adults.

THE NAME OF THE MAIN GEOGRAPHICAL POINTS: Ust-Kamenogorsk city – Ak-Baur  Sibinskiye lakes  petroglyphs Moinak – Kiin-Kerish – Shekelmes – Aksuat village – 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 € 2 500.

Ablainkit

FIRST DAY

The tour starts with the Ust-Kamenogorsk city – the administrative center of East Kazakhstan region. We leave by a car for Samara highway and within a few tens of kilometers on asphalt road we reach the village of Sagyr. There are preserved petroglyphs and carvings from the Stone Age period. According to historians, the grot Akbaur played the role of the temple complex which performs various kinds of rituals. Some researchers have linked Akbaur with astrology. It is believed that this ancient place is to observe the heavenly bodies. We have an opportunity to dip into the human world of beliefs who lived long before us.

We go further. There is a magnificent view of the five Sibinsky lakes to go. We stop on one of them to walk around among the ruins of the medieval lamasery, which was called Ablaynkit. However, besides the ruins we can enjoy the clean lake air and beautiful views of the surrounding nature. Unusual rocky shores covered with islands of shrubs and conifers are wonderful backdrop for memorable photos.

Once again we get on the route Samarskaya and move into the direction of the village of Upper Tainty. Already upon arrival we can see a thicket of pine forest. Before the population center, we turn to the side a dirt road and head to the lake, hidden in the mountains and forests. A quiet rustle of the forest, surrounding Shybyndykol, welcomes us. We stop in the coastal camp, where we spend the rest of the day and the coming night.

Kiin Kirish2

SECOND DAY

We continue our trip. In front of us we can see a huge water element called the Bukhtarma Reservoir. Since the purpose of our trip is on the other side, we raft by ferry across the ferry service Kaznakovka. During rafting, you can take photos of the large artificial reservoir formed in the construction of hydroelectric power plants on the river Irtysh.

After rafting, we move to the village of Kurchum. In the surrounding area, there is the biggest in the region an open-air gallery of petroglyphs – Moinak. It consists of more than three hundred stones containing about three thousand images of animals, people, everyday objects. It has come to us from the times of stone artifacts and talk about the customs, beliefs and way of life of the primitive inhabitants in East Kazakhstan. Ancient artists have tried to capture the scenes that excided them and describe colorfully the reality: hunting, rituals, joys and sorrows.

Walking around the gallery, we hit the road, which at this time is on the dirt road to the northern shore of Zaisan Lake. In the driveway of the village of Amanat, there is the mountain landscape of the Zaisan prairie, which is dramatically changing the riot of colors and shapes. Is is Kiin-Kerish – clay city. Rains and winds are natural architects created an exhibition of wanders. There you can find white hills in the form of yurts, red labyrinths, resembling the surface of Mars, clay sculpture, which looks like the Egyptian Sphinx, and more.

We head from Kiin-Kerish to the village of Amanat where is very hospitality local residents may feed us, tell a lot of stories from the life of fishing and shelter for the night.

Akkum

THIRD DAY

Today you are to travel along the northern shore of the Zaisan Lake and rise to the southern Altai. After the exit of the paved road we make a short stop in the village of Buran. There we can get some food and communicate with the villagers. Next stop is on the Marble pass. From here, you can see and capture on one side the great mounds of the Akkum Desert, located abroad in China, on the other side the whirlpool of colors of green forests and meadows of Altai.

The trip continues. Now we move not only along a dirt road. This is old Austrian road. The road was built by the Austrian prisoners of war at the beginning of the last century. The purpose of the road was the connection between Kurchum and Katon-Karagai districts and facilitation the delivery of goods from China. At present, it is famous among tourists because of the landscape of great beauty that accompany it along the full length.

But this way is not easy, and it is just necessary to make a stop to admire the treasure of Kazakhstan Altai – the Markakol Lake. The lake and its shores are beautiful. Color palette of Markakol water is changed by a dark blue or light blue on a clear sunny day, to gray-black, silver with a change of weather. Condition of the water table transformed many times within 24 hours. Lake’s name is associated with many legends that villagers in the nearby village of Urunkhayka can tell you with pleasure. The official version is: “Markakol” is derivative of two Kazakh words “marka” – young, six-month lamb and “kol” – lake. But the information is divergent. Someone says that it is because of white waves lapping on the shore and resembling lambswool. Others argue that it is because of flocks which the shepherds brought to the fertile pastures Markakol for a long time.

The village Urunkhayka also has its histories. And we have the whole night for the legends, stories and rest.

Markakol

FOURTH DAY

The Markakol National Park – the finest place. This day we spend in trips around the lake. Someone may want to be explore the breathtaking Markakol neighborhood. Depending on the weather conditions, some tourists prefer to spend the day swimming and sun bath.

The lake is located in mountains. In some places the shores of the Markakol form the steep slopes, and part of the shore is covered by meadows. It flows into a lot of small mountain rivers and flows out only one – Kaldzhir. The water in the waterbody is pure and transparent.

The Markakol and the surrounding areas are the part of the National Park with a total area of 102 979 thousand hectares. The purpose of protected area is to preserve nature, meadows, taiga and mountain forests on the slopes of the Altai Mountains in the Markakol area. The flora of the lake consists of more than seven hundred species of plants. There are about fifty-five species of animals, including elk, deer, brown bear, wild boar, wolf, wolverine, sable, mink and snow leopard. There is also rich and varied water world of the National Park. The lake is inhabited by subspecies of lenok, grayling, weatherfish. The shore is home to many rare birds such as black stork, hazel grouse, partridge, kestrel and others.

A day spent on Markakol produce an unforgettable effect on you for a long time. In the evening we go back to Urunkhayka and spend one more night.

Old austrian road

FIFTH DAY

It is time to continue our trip along the old Austrian road. Travel on the valley of the Kara-Koba river that crosses our path with all its tributaries as much as 16 times is ahead. Also we need to overcome two passes: Altai and Burkhat. The top of the old Australian road has been issued in the prairie landscapes, but now the landscape is changing in meadows and coniferous forests. We are taken by car to the destroyed river knocked down by spring floods in 2014. Next, we take a short hike along the banks of the river. After crossing the second bridge destroyed by the raging river for transport, we stop to take a short break. There are expecting machine for cross-country. We take this car to get to the Burkhat pass, where in good weather you can see the white top of Belukha Mountain and the green valley of the Bukhtarma River.

We are on the territory of the Katon-Karagai National Park. It is the biggest natural park in Kazakhstan and Altai-Sayan ecological district. The park is famous for its rich forests, where is growing Siberian cedar. In the whole of the Republic, only on the territory of the Katon-Karagai National Park, there are growing a huge variety of plants: From Vereshchagin iris and Ludwig to small-fruited cranberry.

We still have time to evaluate the wealth that surrounds us. But we need to get to the Yazevoe Lake, where we rest and spend the night.

Jazevoye

SIXTH DAY

In the morning we go to explore the area. We can see a magnificent panorama of the lakeside landscape. The Yazevoe Lake is located in the northern part of the Katon-Karagai National Park at an altitude of 1 686 meters above sea level. On a clear day, the lake reflects Belukha with its stone surroundings. The color of water in the lake is yellow-green, as the bottom is covered with algae and mud. The shores of the Yazevoe Lake are covered with sand pebble and boulders. Two small unnamed tributaries and many keys flow into this lake and the Yazevaya river flows out. Approximately two kilometers lower stream, it forms a small cascade of waterfalls for you to look at.

In spite of the alpine location, the temperature in the lake is warm enough, due to the overlying peat beds on the bottom. The warm waters are perfect condition for breeding ide. The largest population of this fish became the reason for the name of the Yazevoe Lake. There is something to do: from swimming and just enjoying to walks in search of a popularity of scenic spots and sport fishing.

Berel

SEVENTH DAY

If the last road on our way to the Yazevoe Lake heights laid in the rays of an evening sunset, but now we have an opportunity to enjoy the scenery along the road in broad daylight. Reaching the main road, we make a stop at the museum complex which is located at the archeological sites of the mounds near the village of Berel.

Here excavations have been started more than one hundred and fifty years ago. But the most high-profile discoveries were made as a result of an international expedition of Kazakh, French and Italian archaeologists in the late XX century. The head of the expedition was our compatriot Zeynolla Samashev.

This group of researchers has discovered the rich burials. Now the famous mound number eleven is a special structure, erected to bury the person. This person occupied the highest position in the social ladder of nomadic Scythian-Saka tribes of Altai region. A king with a queen and thirteen red horses in the lush decoration slept in the mound more than two thousand years. The tomb indicates a high building culture, architecture and complex religious beliefs of the population in the southern Altai in IV – III centuries BC.

The Berel Mound was a kind of sanctuary, the burial place of nobles and leaders of peoples of Central Asia. It has created an original and vibrant culture known in science as the Pazyryk.

Next, we travel again and see the pictures of mountains and forest, sailing the car’s windows. Finally, the road leads us to the village of Katon-Karagai. We can communicate with the villagers, buy souvenirs and stay for the night.

Bukhtarma

EIGHTH DAY

We have a way back to Ust-Kamenogorsk. On the road from Katon-Karagai we have time to visit the village of Ulken Naryn which is the administrative center of Katon-Karagai district. Then our way is to the North from the Bukhtarma Reservoir on the Zyryanovsk road. Prairies and hills, passing by, grab its vastness. Horizon is periodically overlaid by the mountains. Here we go around the city of Zyryanovsk, surrounded by forests. A little more we move on the asphalt road and we move in the village of New Bukhtarma. Here, we turn towards the favorite holiday destination for Ust-Kamenogorsk people. The shore of the Bukhtarma reservoir is covered by coniferous forests. There are beaches, both sandy and pebbly along the shore. There are also the most popular sanatoriums and rest homes in the northern part of East Kazakhstan region. In one of the many bases we make a stop for rest, getting some food and then we continue our trip. We pass a small streamer, popularly known as “Snake tongue” and get to the lift on the Osynovsky Pass. We rise to the top covered by forests gorge and down the serpentine. Along the road, we can see periodically local beekeepers who offer various products of beekeeping. Just a moment longer and we reach Ust-Kamenogorsk which is the final point of our trip.

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

Tel.: +7-7232-25-19-38, +7-7232-25-00-64, +7-707-225-00-64

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