Kyrgyzstan: mountains, lakes and friendly people
Kyrgyzstan is for lovers of the outdoors. As 90% of the country is higher than 1500 meters, it is especially attractive for people who love mountains. The Kyrgyz mountains are pure, unspoilt, offering fresh air and stunning views. They are peopled by nomads who welcome you to their yurts. Old traditions have been preserved. Different religious and political influences over the centuries have resulted in a culture and atmosphere that can only be described as mystical. Read in-depth in Bradt’s travel guide on Kyrgyzstan.
On this 13-day long journey, you will discover it all.
From Bishkek into the mountains
You land in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan’s capital, a textbook example of Soviet urban planning, where you will stay in a comfortable 4-star hotel. On the day of your arrival we will do a brief tour of the city to give you your first taste of Kyrgyzstan.
The next day, after a good night’s sleep and an excellent breakfast, you will get the keys for your 4×4. You’re here for Kyrgyzstan’s nature, so we leave soon heading West to the Toktogul water reservoir on an amazing road over the Tue Ashuu pass at an altitude of 3000 meters. We literally start on a high.
Over the following days you will have the chance to dip your toe in lake Son Kul, altitude 3013 meters, drive along the Silk Road, altitude 3200 meters, and, to top it all, drive over the Tosor pass at 3950 meters.
Where there are mountains, there are gorges. You will see them from above and drive through them, at one time seemingly even through two simultaneously. This is where Semenovskoye and Grigorievskoye gorges meet: you drive into the one and out of the other.
Tash Rabat Caravanserai
In the heart of the Tian Shan mountains the Tash Rabat Caravanserai has been built into a mountainside, one of the most interesting sites in Central Asia. It contradicts the idea that Kyrgyzstan has only mountains and lakes to offer. It’s a 15th century stone building with 31 rooms where travellers and merchants could shelter on one of the roughest sections of the Silk Road. Its location is far away from anything resembling civilisation, both then and now. It’s probably the most authentic feeling you can get of the Silk Road.
Horse riding and eagle hunting
Kyrgyzstan has a great horse riding tradition. To see the country from the back of a horse is a special experience. We offer you the opportunity to do it yourself for a whole morning, feel like a nomad, meet the locals and be one with your surroundings.
The tradition of hunting with eagles goes back to the 12th century when the Mongols invaded the area. The art is slowly becoming extinct as fewer young people are willing to be trained, traditionally by their father, to become a skilled hunter. The need to hunt with an eagle to feed a community is not so great anymore either.
Tourism is an important factor to maintain the tradition. Your interest makes the art of hunting with an eagle viable again. We have arranged a display for you where the eagle hunter will show the amazing skills of his bird, only possible because of the intimate relationship they have with one another. We support responsible tourism. The eagle you will see here can hunt, will survive in the wild when it is released at the age of 15 and will breed. This is unlike the eagles you sometimes see displayed by the side of the road, which are held illegally, cannot hunt and will die if released.
From the Tash Rabat we drive to Naryn. We are deep into rural Kyrgyzstan now and are likely to encounter horse riders with their herds and the present day way of transporting a yurt.
But we will also sleep in a refined hotel on the shore of Lake Issyk Kul.
We round off our tour with some history. We visit Burana Tower, an 11th century minaret surrounded by stone warriors, called Balbans. A guided tour of Bishkek will give you a taste of this pleasant city. Just like the travellers of old along the Silk Road, you can have a rest and let your mid go back to what you’ve experienced in this fascinating country.
We end the journey in a outdoor restaurant with a delicious meal.
Overview of the tour:
One of the best ways to discover Kyrgyzstan, get to know its people and their way of life is by spending the evening and nights in homestays, guesthouses and yurts. We will be in a homestay once, twice in a yurt and three times in a guest house, which leaves two times in a hotel (four-star).
Interior of a yurt:
Prices are per person on the basis of two people sharing a room and one comfortable 4×4 car. Included in the price are:
- Transfers to and from airport
- Minibus in Bishkek
- All accommodations
- Breakfast, lunch and dinner
- Fine dining in Bishkek on last night
- Rent of your 4×4 car
- Entrances to all museums
- Eagle show
- Mineral water during the journey
- English speaking local guide
- English speaking tour leader
- Support car with driver
- Your flight to and from Kyrgyzstan
- Horse riding
- Any other shows you may wish to attend
- Personal expenses
- Alcoholic drinks
Your car is a Toyota 4Runner or similar. Upgrade to a luxury car, Lexus 470 or similar, is possible at an additional cost.
You must arrange for your own travel and cancellation insurance. No visa are required for visitors from the EU.
You will get a comprehensive information package well in advance of your departure.
Click on the link below for a detailed description of the journey:
The minimum number of cars for this journey is three, based on two persons per car. A maximum of four people per car is possible. We will charge €1450 for each additional person.
The maximum number of cars is seven.
The itinerary may be subject to change.