Kazakhstan Vast plains, strong cultural traditions and ancient history are the backdrop for a thriving space programme View All Kazakhstan Holidays

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Marianne Grimshaw
Kazakhstan Travel Specialist

In Kazakhstan, nature is king. This vast country, rarely at the top of travellers’ bucket lists, is home to otherworldly landscapes where mighty snow-capped mountains roll into endless steppes and barren deserts. Here travellers enjoy the pristine wilderness where nature reserves abound with indigenous flora and fauna - the elusive snow leopard even offers rare glimpses of itself for truly lucky visitors.

Kazakhstan holidays often begin by taking in Almaty, the former capital and a prosperous city with broad boulevards, chic restaurants, shops and leafy Panfilov Park, home to the wooden Zenkov Cathedral. This is contrasted with the new capital, Astana, which has a proliferation of skyscrapers dominated by the futuristic Baiterek Tower. Travellers with an interest in history will revel in the role that the Kazakh steppe and oasis towns played in the great Silk Road, and should make time to visit Turkestan, home to the magnificent 14th-century mausoleum and desolate Fort Shevchenko by the Caspian Sea.

Also often overlooked, is Kazakhstan’s role in modern history – space exploration, in particular. Head out to tour the Baikonur Cosmodrome, the world’s largest space launch facility and used by the Russians, from where Yuri Gagarin was launched into space.

Holiday Types


Group Tours
Group Tours
Join a small group of like-minded travellers and travel on a fully-guided group tour.
Railway Holidays
Railway Holidays
When it comes to epic trips, sometimes the journey is just as important as the destination.
Tailor-Made
Tailor-Made
Let us know your travel requirements and we will individually design your perfect trip.
Map

Astana
Top Destination
Astana
The capital city of Kazakhstan, Astana, is a remarkable vision – a new city built as a vanity project for the President, some of the modern architecture is astounding. The Opera house has been built of more marble than seems possible, Norman Foster designed a pyramid-shaped shopping centre with an indoor beach and swimming pool whilst the piece-de-la-resistance is the Baytarek Tower – a golden orb perched atop a tower, with views across the city and where at the top you can put your hand in a cast of the President’s hand to hear the Kazakh national anthem play!
Almaty
Top Destination
Almaty
Almaty is the old capital, a more traditional Soviet-style city than Astana. The region is remarkable for many reasons – it is the home of the humble apple, the city contains the second largest wooden structure built without using nails (Ascension Cathedral) and on Kok-Tobe, a hill which stands over the city there is, rather incongruously, a statue of the Beatles.
Turkestan
Top Destination
Turkestan
Turkestan is home to one of Kazakhstan’s most impressive monuments – the Timurid Mausoleum of Khodja Ahmed Yassaui. The entire complex containing the mausoleum can take a day to visit because as well as the Mausoleum itself you can visit the Hilvet Underground mosque as well as Kultobe, an excavation site where Sogdian settlements have been revealed as well as a 16th century bath house.
Baikonur
Michael Voss's Recommendation
Baikonur
Kazakhstan is the home of the Russian space programme and you can visit the Baikonur complex which is rich in the history of the Soviet space programme – this is where Sputnik was launched from as well as both the first dog and man in space. Leased by the Russians you will technically be on Russian soil and will need special permits to visit. If your time is timed correctly you might see a launch but a tour of the complex is a fascinating day where you can visit a launch pad, see a Soyuz rocket and board a used Buran space shuttle.
Kurchatov
Michael Voss's Recommendation
Kurchatov
Once a closed city, Kurchatov was once home to the Soviet nuclear testing programme. The city is now partially abandoned but you can visit the museum to the nuclear tests housed in the former headquarters and head into the test site and see the instrument towers used to measure the effects of the atomic explosions as well as the crater that resulted from the first test.

Popular Destinations in Kazakhstan

1
   Astana
2
   Almaty
3
   Turkestan



Specialist Recommendations

1
   Baikonur
2
   Kurchatov


Regent Kazakhstan Specialist


Marianne Grimshaw
As you might expect from the 9th-largest country in the world, there are numerous reasons to visit Kazakhstan. But, a good place to start is the now-former capital of Almaty, surrounded by mountains and a fascinating city where the ancient Silk Road origins can be seen to mix with more recent Soviet influences. The region is where the apple originated and the city is home to the second tallest wooden building in the world built without the use of nails, Zenkov Cathedral.

Marianne's Tips
1
Home of the Soviet space programme, try and watch the launch of a Soyuz rocket at the Baikonur Cosmodrome.
2
Here it is traditional to hunt with birds of prey, attend a demonstration of working with these magnificent birds.
3
The capital, Astana, is a plaything for modern architects – ascend the Baiterek Tower, a golden orb sitting atop a tower.




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