Kazakhstan - 10 days
From Steppe to the Silk Road
Prices from £1,699

One of the world’s largest countries, Kazakhstan is also one of its least known, most visitors to the region preferring to stick to the better known Silk Road sites of Uzbekistan. But for those in the know this giant of a nation also has much to offer and this trip aims to show you some of the hidden highlights of an unexplored land. We start in Almaty, Kazakhstan’s cosmopolitan capital and with a feel that is perhaps more Russian than Central Asian, then head off into the spectacular countryside to Altyn-Emel National Park, with mountains, ‘singing’ dunes and ancient burial mounds, then the extraordinary rock formations of the Charyn Canyon. At Tamgaly we see prehistoric rock carvings, then take the overnight train to the beautiful – and near unpronounceable – reserve of Aksu-Dzhabagly. Here we travel through hills, mountains and meadows that are home to some of the region’s most impressive wildlife, from bear to lynx to the ever elusive snow leopard, then visit the town of Turkestan, with its centuries old mausoleums that give a hint of the importance of part of Asia in times gone by. The beauty of travelling in Kazakhstan is that tourism is virtually unknown here – there is no set trail to follow or sites to tick off, and each place you visit feels like a new discovery. This trip is a great introduction to a mysterious and almost forgotten country – break new ground and discover it with us.