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Essence of Kyrgyzstan

8 days from £1980 per person

An opportunity, in just over one week, to discover the beauty, history and culture of this little-visited country. Visit the capital, Bishkek, with it's backdrop of snow-capped mountains before driving to Issy-Kul Lake to relax and take in the scenery. We can include tasting of local drinks, honey and fruits and show you how to cook national dishes such as lagman, manty and lepyoshka. Visits to local families, markets or falconry exhibitions are also possible highlights.

Route: Bishkek – Cholpon-Ata – Karakol – Bishkek

Itinerary Highlights

A city of monumental buildings and squares, Bishkek is the capital of Kyrgyzstan and the gateway to the Ala-Too Mountains. Irrigation channels water the many trees that provide shade in summer.

Cholpon-Ata is a resort town on the northern shore of Lake Issy-Kul in Krygyzstan. This attractive location offers impressive views of the Tian Shan Mountains across the lake.

Originally a Russian military outpost, the city of Karakol still has lovely examples of ornate Russian architecture. Several strange geological formations are close by.

Itinerary: The Essence of Kyrgyzstan

Fly with Turkish Airlines to Bishkek via Istanbul. (N)
The capital and industrial centre of Kyrgyzstan, Bishkek is a city of wide avenues, handsome buildings and Soviet heritage. The gesturing statue of Lenin can still be seen in the city's vast central square, yet it is the permanently snow-capped Kyrgyz Alatau mountain range which towers over Bishkek providing a quite stunning backdrop. Today enjoy a full day sightseeing in and around the city. Places of particular interest include the blue-steepled Orthodox Church on Jibek Jolu, a well preserved Russian wooden house and the Frunze House-Museum—the place of birth of the Russian revolutionary who was a major player in the October revolution. (B/L/D)
Accommodation in Bishkek: Silk Road Lodge Hotel (or similar)
In the morning drive to Ala–Archa National Natural Park located in a picturesque gorge of Ala Archa 40 km from Bishkek. On the way stop at a traditional Kyrgyz cemetery and visit the Gumbez (mausoleum) of Baitik Baatyr, the local respected tribal leader. At the National Park you can easily hike along the main gorge of Ala Archa and back to enjoy views of the magnificent peaks of Kyrgyz Alatau Ridge (Tien Shan Mountains). Drive back to Bishkek for lunch or enjoy a picnic lunch in mountains. In the afternoon visit Osh Bazaar, the largest and busiest market in the city. (B/L/D)
Accommodation in Bishkek: Silk Road Lodge Hotel (or similar)
In the morning drive for one hour to Burana Tower (an old minaret) near Tokmok city. The minaret was constructed in Balasagun town; one of the capitals of the Karakhanid State in the 11th Century. Explore the ruins of this important trading point on the Great Silk Road and visit a local museum explaining more about the civilization. Also view a collection of Balbals, Turkic ancient tombs. Lunch will be served in a family house in Tokmok, where you can learn about the lives of the local people. In the afternoon drive to Issyk–Kul Lake. Extremely deep and warmed by thermal activity, over the centuries the lake has been something of an oasis in this inhospitable mountain environment. With diverse flora and fauna Issyk–Kul Lake and the surrounding environments are rightly considered to be one of Central Asia most remarkable locations. (B/L/D)
Accommodation in Cholpon-Ata: Karven Four Seasons Hotel (or similar)
In the morning visit Cholpon-Ata Petroglyphs, the open air temple of the Scythian and Hungsun civilizations. Continue to Karakol town situated in the east of the lake area, visiting the museum of N. M. Przhevalski on the way. Lunch in a local restaurant serving Dungan cuisine. After lunch visit the Dungan mosque, a unique Chinese style construction serving as a mosque. Also see the old Russian Orthodox Cathedral. (B/L/D)
Accommodation in Karakol: Green Yard Guesthouse (or similar)
Upgrade option: Caprice Hotel (or similar)
In the morning hike along the gorge. Stop for a picnic lunch before returning to your hotel. (B/L/D)
Accommodation in Karakol: Green Yard Guesthouse (or similar)
Upgrade option: Caprice Hotel (or similar)
This morning return by car to Bishkek along the southern shore of the Issyk Kul Lake. Along the way visit the Djety Oguz gorge, meaning ‘Seven Bulls’ in Kyrgyz. This picturesque gorge is so named because of its red sandstone formations. (B/L/D)
Accommodation in Bishkek: Silk Road Lodge Hotel (or similar)
Early morning fly with Turkish Airlines back to the UK via Istanbul. (B)
**KEY: N = No meals, B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner

What To Do Next?

We design unique, tailor-made holiday itineraries to suit you, by combining your ideas with our knowledge and experience. Once you have an idea of what you’re looking for, or if you require some advice, please call us or complete the enquiry form online for a quotation.

What's included

  • International flights from the UK
  • Private car and driver
  • Sightseeing with local English speaking guides
  • Hotel accommodation and taxes

What's not included

  • Cost of visas
  • Travel Insurance
  • Expenses of a personal nature

Guide to Price

The above price is based on two people travelling together and sharing accommodation in low season. The price is only a guide and can vary according to selected airlines, hotels and date of travel. If you wish to travel with your family, friends or on your own we will be very happy to assist you with your arrangements.

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For over 30 years, Pettitts Travel have led the way in creating authentic, tailor-made holidays. Our knowledgeable team have first-hand knowledge of our destinations and no two itineraries we prepare are the same.

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