Of all the undiscovered gems in the world, Kyrgyzstan is one of the most brilliant. Hidden away in the heights of Central Asia’s Tien Shan “Celestial” Mountains, Kyrgyzstan transports travelers to a different world full of adventure, history, and supreme beauty. Covered in layers of snowcapped mountains, thousands of alpine lakes and rivers, blooming meadows, soothing hot springs, and rugged gorges, taking a holiday in Kyrgyzstan will give travelers the experience of a lifetime. There are hundreds of interesting destinations for a Kyrgyzstan holiday, but here are some recommended places for travelers interested in different activities during their travels.
KYRGYZ HOLIDAYS FOR ATHLETES
For those interested in Kyrgyzstan holidays that revolve around sports and physical activity, there are a plethora of options. Horseback riding, cycling, hiking, skiing and snowboarding, diving and mountain climbing are all popular in Kyrgyzstan. Here are a few recommendations: 1) DIVING IN LAKE ISSYK KUL: Lake Issyk Kul is the second largest alpine lake in the world, has crystal clear waters, and is a perfect place to go diving. At the bottom of the lake are several sunken settlements travelers can explore. 2) AK SAI GLACIER: The Ak Sai Glacier (3500 m) is located near Bishkek in the Ala Archa Gorge and is one of the most popular destinations for a climbing holiday in Kyrgyzstan. It’s stark, majestic beauty has a commanding presence within the gorge that can’t be missed.
HOLIDAYS IN KYRYZSTAN FOR HISTORY BUFFS
If you’re a fan of history, you’re in luck because not only does Kyrgyzstan contain several Silk Road buildings and monuments, but it also contains lots of local museums and petroglyphs as well.
1) PETROGLYPH MUSEUM IN CHOLPON ATA: Cholpon Ata is a small resort town located on the edge of Lake Issyk Kul that is home to an open air petroglyph museum that lies on the edge of the city. Surrounded with just a metal fence are over 5000 boulders that depict drawings over 4000 years old!
2) BURANA TOWER: Burana tower is an ancient Silk Road monument located 80 km east of Bishkek. Around the tower is a field of carved stone warriors, remains of burial mounds, and a small museum. It’s possible to walk up the 25 meter tower for a spectacular view of the surrounding area.
A KYRGYZSTAN HOLIDAY FOR NATURE LOVERS
If you’re taking a Kyrgyz holiday to just get away from everything, relax, and enjoy some gorgeous scenery, here are some places to visit.
1) LAKE SON KUL: Lake Son Kul is a high elevation lake located in the province of Naryn amongst green, rolling pastureland sandwiched in between mountain peaks inhabited just by a few nomadic families and their herds. No buildings. No crowds. No cell signal. Just the tranquility of the lake and wandering herds of horses and sheep.
2) BARSKOON GORGE: Travelers often go on Kyrgyz holidays in one of Kyrgyzstan’s many beautiful gorges. Barskoon Gorge extends for 30 km next to Lake Issyk Kul. It’s filled with mighty Tien Shan spruces, juniper trees, snow-covered peaks, and cascading waterfalls. The waterfalls in Barskoon Gorge are one of its main attractions, especially in the winter when they freeze in place like brilliant glass sculptures. Just go wandering through the gorge, find a waterfall, and enjoy a picnic lunch, a good book, or some photography. When it comes down to it, there’s no wrong way to go in Kyrgyzstan. Every you turn there’s another spectacular view, landform, piece of history, or adventure to take. Leave work back home, throw caution to the wind, and take a holiday in Kyrgyzstan that will leave you rejuvenated and refreshed.
Photo by Riley Jordan, photo from source: www.mountpix.livejournal.com, photo by Ula Usmanov