From picturesque valleys and beautiful alpine scenery to small towns and bright bazaars discover the stunning mountainous country of Kyrgyzstan on this tailor-made itinerary. Stay in village guesthouses, small hotels and yurt camps as you visit beautiful lakes, rocky gorges, ancient caravanserais and traverse mountain pass after mountain pass.
Spend today in Bishkek with your guide, visit some of the city’s monuments including the statue of Manas, the Philharmonic building and Parliament and Ala-Too Main Square. Take a walk through the Oak Park and Panfilov Park as well as the Open Air Gallery to see local artworks. Also visit the Osh Bazaar, a huge area of stalls with a colourful food market (B).
Travel by car from Bishkek to the Chon-Kemin Valley - stopping en route to visit Burana Tower, a minaret from the 10th century and examine archaeological findings in the local museum, there is also the option to raft on the Chu River. Arrive at the guesthouse for lunch and spend the afternoon walking in the surrounding countryside. BLD
Travel this morning along the north shore of Lake Issy-Kul to the town of Karakol which lies to the east of the lake's shore. En route stop to view the rocks at the Regional and Open Air Petroglyphs Museum to spot ancient drawings of ibex, deer and sun symbols. Stop for lunch at Agro Farm Kyzyl-Tash where you can also take a walk to see the traditional farm and see the animals (BL).
Take a brief sightseeing tour visiting the Russian church and the Dungan mosque. Then transfer to the Jyrgalan valley - hidden away in the far-eastern part of the country, close to the border of Kazakhstan. You will pass through several tiny authentic villages surrounded by sharply inclined peaks where snowmelt rivers carve their way between jagged peaks and alpine lakes sit calmly amongst undulating pastures. After lunch at a guesthouse hike to Tulpar-Tash stone (2-3hrs), a huge 8-meter high boulder painted with ancient drawings. In the early evening return back to Karakol and have dinner at the home of a local Chinese Dungan family.
This morning head to the Jety Oguz Canyon, situated south west of Karakol and take in the valley and waterfalls set on the northern slopes of the Teskey Ala-too mountain range. From here drive to Barskoon Gorge, where both sides of the canyon are covered in Tien-Shan spruce trees. The gorge is known for its waterfalls and views to the snowy mountain peaks. After your visit continue your drive along the south shore of Lake Issyk Kul to the village of Tosor and the yurt camp. The afternoon is at leisure to enjoy the beach and the lake (BLD).
Continue west along the lake shore today, stopping at the village of Kyzyl-Tuu, known for its yurt making, here you can learn about the process. Then head in to the mountains to the small town of Khochkor. Here you will have lunch and also learn about the felt making process. Khochkor is well known as a felt making centre and there will be the opportunity to visit a women’s co-operative. After your visit head south to the town of Naryn to stay overnight (BLD).
Today you will see some of the wonderful Kyrgyz scenery as you head south to Tash Rabat. Tash Rabat caravanserai is a stone fortress, located 80km from Torugart, the China-Kyrgyz border post. This stone-built caravanserai was built in the 15th century and offered rest and refuge for travellers on the Great Silk Road from Central Asia to China. Visit the monument and have lunch at a nearby yurt camp as well as stretching your legs with a stroll in the valley before returning to Naryn (BLD).
Transfer from Naryn to Son-Kul Lake, a journey of around two hours. Son-Kul Lake is the second largest mountain lake in Kyrgyzstan and at an altitude of 3,016 metres above sea level. It is one of the most stunning locations in Kyrgyzstan—a wild, pristine alpine lake surrounded by lush meadows, dotted with cattle, sheep and horses in the summer time. This afternoon take a walk in to the nearby hills to see some of the rock art that has been etched on to the rocks over the centuries and enjoy the views over the lake (BLD).