From picturesque valley's and beautiful alpine scenery to small towns and bright bazaars discover the stunning mountainous country of Kyrgyzstan on this tailor-made individual itinerary. Visit Tash-Rabat caravanserai - Kyrgyzstan’s most remarkable monument constructed as a stopping off point for merchants on the Great Silk Road from Central Asia to China, pass by Lake Issyk Kul and explore the leafy capital of Bishkek.
This itinerary is generally available from June to August.
Fly to Bishkek via Istanbul.
Arrive in Bishkek and transfer to the hotel for an overnight stay. Meet your guide for lunch and a city tour visiting Ala-Too Square, Manas Monument, Panfilov Park and Victory Square. End the day with a wander through the extensive Osh Bazaar.(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
Continue to Cholpon Ata, a popular beach resort in the Soviet period and currently enjoying a renaissance with neighbouring Kazakhs choosing to holiday in the newly built hotel resorts. One of the highlights of the day is clambering over rocks at the Regional and Open Air Petroglyphs Museum to spot ancient drawings of ibex, deer and sun symbols. Free afternoon to relax or walk along the lake shore. Overnight in a hotel near the lake. (B)
From the pretty village of Grigorievka take an easy walk in the narrow, picturesque valley and admire stunning alpine scenery and rushing mountain streams of Grigorievka National Park. In the afternoon continue to Karakol and check in to a guesthouse for two nights. (B)
Enjoy a morning sightseeing tour of Karakol and discover its wooden chocolate-box cottages and shady poplar-lined avenues. Explore Dungan Mosque, the attractive Russian Orthodox Museum and the interesting Karakol Regional Museum - which a former Regent Holidays staff member helped with Russian-English translations. In the afternoon travel to Jety-Oguz Gorge, famous for its red sandstone bluffs (Seven Bulls). Just south of the rocks Jeti-Oguz sanatorium, which was built in 1932, can be found. This is the place where Yeltsin met Askar Akaev in 1991 and is an interesting place to stop for tea. (B) Regent Recommends visiting Karakol for the Sunday Animal Market, where herders and nomads come from all over to buy new livestock such as horses, cows, sheep and pigs. Be sure to rise early as the best action is from 0600 to 0800!
Travel along the southern shore of Issyk-Kul Lake to the small market town of Kochkor stopping at Fairytale Canyon en route. This surreal canyon is filled with shapes carved from red clay and sandstone. In Kochkor visit Altyn Kol Women’s Co-operative, where local women produce high quality shyrdaks (colourful felt floor- or wall-coverings). This is the best place to buy typical Kyrgyz souvenirs as the money goes directly to the producers. Check in to a home-stay for an overnight stay. (B)
Depart on the 300km journey to Tash-Rabat caravanserai. Stop in Naryn en route for lunch and take a stroll around this former Russian garrison before continuing to Kyrgyzstan’s most remarkable monument. 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. With its massive stonewalls and two towers it may also have been used as a monastery for Nestorian Christians (or Buddhists) before the Mongol invasion and the spread of Islam. Spend the night in a yurt camp (please note that there are shared facilities at yurt camps). (B)
Free morning to relax at the yurt camp or take a walk in the local area before departing to Kochkor, which takes around 5 hours. Overnight back at the home-stay. (B)
Transfer from Kochkor to Son-Kul Lake, a journey of around two hours, for an overnight stay in a yurt camp. Son-Kul Lake 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. (B)
Transfer from Son-Kul Lake back to the capital and check in to the hotel for two nights. (B)
Enjoy a morning city tour of Bishkek including the National Historical Museum, Victory Square and Osh Bazaar -the biggest, brightest and busiest of the city’s markets. The rest of day is free to explore at leisure. (B)
Transfer to the airport for the flight back to the UK. (B)
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