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Kazakhstan

Introduction

Vast and varied, Kazakhstan is little known and little visited despite being the most prosperous and established of the ‘stans'.

Travel to Kazakhstan starts in the commercial centre Almaty; set between mountains and plains it's a modern metropolis with boutique hotels and numerous cafés. The Almaty Nature Reserve is home to snow leopards and big-horned wild sheep; it's also popular with climbers who want to tackle the mighty peaks here.

Northerly Astana is emerging as a contemporary capital, filled with Soviet, Western, Islamic and surreal futuristic architecture. Aktau on the Caspian Sea lies close to ancient sites and is a good base for exploring underground mosques, rock carvings, mausoleums and a necropolis.

Outside the urban centres, the country is renowned for the steppes, where Kazakhstan's legendary horsemen still roam. Take up the challenge of a riding holiday here or visit the steppe lakes to see vast flocks of flamingos. Those looking for activity and adventure holidays in Kazakhstan can walk, climb or even ski in the Tien Shan and Altay Mountains. There's also desert, where the Singing Barkhan, a 2-mile long sand dune crumbles to produce a strange singing sound.

At a glance

Flying time from UK
6 hours

Time zone
GMT +5 and +6

Currency
Tenge (T) = 100 tiyin

Language
Kazakh

Travel advice
Check the FCO for latest visa & travel advice

Top itineraries in Kazakhstan

The Golden Eagle Caspian Odyssey

16-day luxury rail journey from £14,795 pp

Discover the ancient cities of the Silk Road on this 16-day luxury rail journey, taking in six remarkable countries on the eastern and western shores of the Caspian Sea.

Golden Eagle A Taste of the Silk Road

13-day itinerary from £11,695 pp incl. flights

A once-in-a-lifetime chance to retrace the ancient Silk Road trading route from Almaty in Kazakhstan, through Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and Russia to finish in Moscow.

Golden Eagle Luxury Trains

Luxury rail journey

Golden Eagle Luxury Trains are the world's leading operator of exclusive, long-distance rail tours, offering fully-escorted, private and adventurous rail tours to discerning guests looking to visit off-the-beaten-track destinations without compromising on comfort.

The Silk Road – Moscow to Beijing

21-day luxury rail journey from £15,395 pp

This epic three-week journey takes you from Moscow, through Russia, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan to China and the city of Beijing on board the spectacular Golden Eagle Trans-Siberian Express and Urumqi Private train.

See all itinerary ideas

Kazakhstan articles

Just back from: Golden Eagle Silk Road

On 26 April 2007 HRH Prince Michael of Kent, GCVO unveiled the Golden Eagle Trans-Siberian Express, our private train that brings unprecedented luxury to the world's greatest railway journey.

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Meet our Kazakhstan experts

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