10 reasons to spend a weekend in Almaty

What do you know about Kazakhstan's largest metropolis? 2 million people lives in it and it is located right in the heart of the mountains. Why do you have to go there to spend the weekend?

1. The Nature

The nature of the Almaty region is an amazing and unique range of natural landscapes: picturesque mountains, foothills and gorges of Dzungarian and Zailiysky Alatau, cool coniferous and deciduous forests, desert and semi-desert zones of the Altyn-Emel and Charyn national parks, steppes, river network and their swamped deltas comparable with the Balkhash Sea and the secluded mountain lakes. Each of these locations is unique and attracts ecotourists and backpackers. And most importantly, it's easy and quick to get there - maximum three hours by car from Almaty. If you are a lover of nature without separation from city comfort, then Almaty is the ideal city for you

2. The climate

From the middle of spring (+ 18-23ºC) until late autumn (+ 8-16ºC) it is warm in Almaty. In summer, the temperature is usually kept around + 24-30ºC. At the same time, the city is smothered in greenery and is full of cafes and restaurants with summer terraces where you can drink refreshing drinks and eat delicious food

3. Prices

Almaty is famous for its vast "flea markets" - shoes from five bucks. And also there is abundance of malls and international brand boutiques. Quality-to-price ratio in restaurants and cafes is very democratic, you can eat delicious and inexpensive. The city is full of hotels and hostels. And of course there's always airbnb and couchsufring. The night in the hostel will cost you an average of three thousand tenge. Sphere of public catering offers a full price range, so you can easily find a place where you can eat deliciously and heartily for a thousand tenge.

4. Hospitality

The care of the wayfarer is a tradition, a sacred duty and pleasure for any Kazakh. Therefore, everyone will be glad to see you in any party - people are very friendly here to tourists. In Almaty you will find how to keep busy yourself for every day: festivals, concerts, parties - the cultural program never stops.

5. Gastronomy

Long time dreamed of trying a real pilaf? An authentic lagman? Incredible manty with chives or epic beshbarmak? Have you heard a lot about koumiss or shubat? Eastern cuisine has been waiting for you. Almaty is the epicenter of Oriental cuisine: Uzbek, Chinese, Dungan, Uighur and Kazakh cuisine in all its multicolored variety. Flavor blast and a hurricane of spices. Come and taste authentic oriental cuisine. It is tasty and inexpensive only in Almaty.

6. Charyn Canyon

Ancient Sogdian ash has extinct everywhere, but not here. Mysterious Valley of Castles. Red Book Persian gazelles lives in "Small Buguti" reserve zone. Charyn canyon exists for millions of years and stores in itself the memory of long-past eras. For thousands of years time was layered on its red, weather-beaten surface. Who knows what you'll be interesting at, walking between the jaws of the ancient canyon. Charyn National Park is a picturesque Time Machine that will take you to prehistoric times, because almost nothing has changed here in 12 million years ...

7. Buddha in the Tamgaly gorge

According to legend in the tenth century when Buddhist missionaries stopped near the Ili River, an earthquake occurred and a large piece of rock fell to the ground. The missionaries took this as a sign of their return to India. Before leaving, they carved three images of Buddha on this piece of rock. It is said that if you touch the image of the Buddha in the Tamgaly Gorge, your most cherished dream will come true.

8. The city of apples

So the historical name of Almaty is translated. The old people remember that once upon a time, numerous apple trees grew along the canals, which were full of greenery, and the aports simply fell right under their feet. People still remember the delicate aroma and taste of these fruits, and their weight sometimes reached half a kilogram. Every year in the autumn, Apple's fest - a great holiday of apples is held here. At this festival you can try dozens of varieties of apples, participate in harvesting and get an unforgettable experience.

9. Singing barkhan

A trip to the singing barkhan in Altyn-Emel National Park will be one of the most memorable events in your life. According to the legend, Genghis Khan and his combat companions are buried under the sands of the barkhan. The barkhan itself makes a mysterious rumble. The park is two hours drive from Almaty.

10. Kaindy Lake

Kaindy Lake emerged in 1911 because of an earthquake. On its surface you can see the bare trunks of ancient spruces standing like the forest of masts. The water flooded the gorge and spruces in it. If you are a diver, then beneath the surface you will see that the dead spruces have found a new life. The spruce branches, conserved by water, are whimsically overgrown with algae, whose dense green cascades go down to the very bottom. Sometimes it resembles mysterious sunken ships, sometimes - green underwater canyons. And most importantly – there is nothing alive in it. There are no fish, no insects, no amphibians in the lake. What kind of secrets keeps the silent underwater forest?

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