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ABTA and ATOL Protected

Escorted Tours

Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan Explorer including

Shymkent Otrar and Turkistan Mini Tour


Route:
  • UK
  • Nur-Sultan
  • Almaty
  • Karakol
  • Chon Kemin
  • Bishkek
  • Ala Archa National Park
  • Bishkek
  • Shymkent
  • Otrar and Turkistan
  • Shymkent
  • UK

5 NIGHTS from £799pp

Tour Highlights
  • Discover Shymkent in the south of Kazakhstan
  • Explore Kazakhstan's Capital Nur-Sultan
  • Marvel at Medeo's skating rink & venture to the alpine resort of Shymbulak
  • Journey through the Tien Shan mountains to Almaty Lake
  • Experience a Spectacular Falcon show
  • Discover Charyn Canyon and the Eco village
  • Wander the city of Karakol
  • Visit the Ancient Petroglyphs of Cholpon-Ata
  • Unwind at a guest house nestled in the lush mountains of Chon Kemin
  • Enjoy a tour of Kyrgyzstan's capital Bishkek, the gateway to Ala Archa National park

Extension from £799pp

Tour + Extension from £2698pp

or call us on 0800 781 4893

Shymkent Otrar and Turkistan Mini Tour

On this 5-night extension, immerse yourself in Central Asia's finest exhibition of vibrant Islamic architecture. Discover a rich culture laying in the heart of the ancient Silk Road.

Tour Itinerary

1
UK to Nur-Sultan

Depart London on your scheduled overnight flight to Kazakhstan's capital city, Nur-Sultan via Istanbul.

2
Nur-Sultan

Upon arrival at the airport early this morning, you will be met by your local guide and transferred to your hotel. Enjoy a relaxing breakfast and morning before being taken on a walking tour of the city after lunch. As well as taking in the architectural wonders that crown this sprawling metropolis, a trip to the National Museum of the Republic of Kazakhstan, famed for its blue-glass-and-white-marble facade, will allow for a full historical and cultural immersion from ancient to modern times. Replete with an incredible collection of artefacts across several themed halls and numerous interactive displays, there is much to discover at this magnificent museum. Be sure to check out the Golden Hall which houses thousands of Bronze Age ornaments, including the famed 'Golden Man' - a 3rd or 4th century warrior whose gold clad remains were uncovered in 1969 and remain the prevailing national symbol of Kazakhstan. After this, observe the awe-inspiring Nur Alem monument; an utterly breath-taking example of human ingenuity, this legacy of the 'Future Energy' Expo 2017 stands at an astonishing height of 80 meters and is the world's largest spherical building. Tonight, enjoy a welcome dinner.

  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
3
Nur-Sultan

Set off on a tour offering a new perspective on the city, including a visit to the majestic Palace of Peace and Accord - a 77 metre high pyramid and one of Kazakhstan's most striking cultural landmarks. An imposing symbol of unity, it hosts delegates from all of the world's major religions in its circular chamber and houses a 1,300 seat opera house. From here, go on to the architectural brilliance that is the Baiterek Tower and ascend this iconic landmark for breath-taking panoramic views of the city, 90 meters up. Next, make your way to the mesmerising Khan Shatyr Entertainment Centre; with its fabulous neofuturist design and huge variety of things to do under its tent, it is an urban paradise. Return to the hotel for a leisurely afternoon.

  • Breakfast & Lunch
4
Nur-Sultan to Almaty

Take a flight to Almaty, the former capital and Kazakhstan's largest city. Once settled, the full splendour of the city will be revealed on an afternoon tour, including visits to the iconic Independence Square - the Soviet influenced old quarter, featuring the bright and quirky Ascension Cathedral, comprised entirely of wood without a single nail; Panfilov Park, named after the General who orchestrated the famous defence against the advancing German army during World War 2, and the enchanting Museum of Kazakh Musical Instruments.

  • Breakfast & Lunch
5
Almaty

After breakfast, venture to the national park, Ile Alatau and set off on a scenic drive to the Medeo skating rink - nicknamed the 'Factory of Records' due to 138 world records having been set here. Continue your journey up the mountainside to the alpine resort of Shymbulak; at 2,260 meters above sea level, delight in a visual feast of incredible views. Today's last stop is Kok Tobe, enjoy a cable car ride and admire magnificent panoramic view of the city.

  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
6
Almaty

The final day in Almaty ends in spectacular fashion. After a morning at leisure, a drive to the Tien Before returning to your hotel you will visit the only falcon farm in Kazakhstan ,where you will enjoy a spectacular show with specially trained hawks. Hunting with hawks is one of the unique features of the Kazakh way of life.

  • Breakfast & Lunch
7
Almaty to Karakol, Kyrgyzstan

Today travel from Almaty to Karakol on the eastern tip of Kyrgyzstan with a stopover at the Charyn Canyon; dubbed the mini Grand Canyon, it is a fascinating contrast to the snow-peaked mountains of Almaty. Venture into 'Valley of Castles' to see the canyon from the inside, before reaching the Charyn river and the eco-village with a complex of yurts and an open air cafes. Continue onward to Karakol, where you will have an evening at leisure.

  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
8
Karakol

Begin your Karakol city tour at the Dungan Mosque - a colourful century old wooden edifice in the Chinese Buddhist architectural style, yet built in the Kyrgyz traditional wood feathering style, instead of metal nail construction. Later, visit the striking Holy Trinity Orthodox Cathedral, before driving to Jety-Oguz canyon where you can enjoy a light hike through the magnificent canyon of red sandstone. Return to the hotel for dinner and an evening of leisure.

  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
9
Karakol to Chon Kemin

After breakfast, take a scenic drive to Chon Kemin valley along the North Shore of Issyk Kul Lake. En route, familiarize yourself with tremendous geographical feats at the Museum of Nikolai Przhevalsky, where you can see 19th century artefacts from this famous Russian explorer's great expeditions in Central Asia and West China. Next, visit Cholpon-Ata - an impressive site of ancient rock carvings, followed by a trip to the temple of the Scythian civilizations which existed from 900 BC until 400 AD. Continue your journey to the lush mountains of Chon Kemin before arriving at your Guest House accommodation.

  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
10
Chon Kemin to Bishkek

On the way to Bishkek, make a stop near Tokmak city to visit the striking ruins of the medieval city Balasagun and marvel at its famous Burana tower; formerly one of three capitals of the Karakhanid Empire, Balasogun was one of the most developed cities during the peak of the Great Silk Road era. After this, take a look at a collection of Balbals, Turkic ancient tombs before arriving at Bishkek to tonight's hotel.

  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
11
Bishkek to Ala Archa National Park

After breakfast, get to know the capital city on an exciting sightseeing tour. Visit Manas Monument - the main national hero of the Kyrgyz people. Next, sample the State History Museum and take a walking tour around main Ala Too Square to watch the ceremony of the changing of the Guard of Honor. Finish at the Old Square, containing the sole remaining Parliament House in Central Asia. After lunch, drive to the captivating Ala Archa National Park situated in the Tien Shan mountains. You will be in the alpine gorge through which the fast-flowing Ala Archa River runs. The gorge is flanked by tall, snow-covered, peaks with steep-sided, forested, mountain slopes. In the National Park you can easily hike along the main gorge of Ala Archa and back to enjoy views of magnificent peaks of the Tien Shan. Finish with dinner at a local restaurant and enjoy a traditional folklore show, before returning back to your hotel.

  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
12
Bishkek to UK

After breakfast transfer to the airport for your return flight home via Istanbul, or onto your chosen extension.

  • Breakfast
13
Bishkek to Shymkent

After breakfast, transfer to Korday border and drive to Shymkent city via the Korday border and Taraz. Along the way, stop off at Shymkent and visit the UNESCO listed Aisha-bibi and Bibi- Khanym mausoleums.

  • Breakfast
14
Shymkent

Tour Kazakhstan's third city - Shymkent and witness the magnificent Archaeological Museum, Green Market and Flower market, before heading to Central Square, Memory Alley and the Museum of Political Repression.

  • Breakfast
15
Shymkent to Otrar & Turkistan

Journey to Turkistan, stopping off en-route at the Asian ghost town, Otrar, formerly an important trading centre of the Great Silk Road. Next, drive to the Mausoleum Arystan Bab followed by a trip to the mosque, with an afternoon visit to the Mausoleum of Khoja Ahmed Yasawi, discovering medieval bathhouses and the underground mosque.

  • Breakfast
16
Shymkent to Almaty

Enjoy some free time, before transferring to the railway station and taking the overnight train toAlmaty.

  • Breakfast
17
Shymkent to Almaty

Upon arriving in Almaty in the morning, transfer to your hotel and spend the day as you wish or take the optional excursion to Kazakh ethno village.

  • Breakfast
18
Almaty to UK

Enjoy some free time, before transferring to the airport for your flight back to the UK.

  • Breakfast

Important Information

Visas

A visa is not required for your trip to Kazakhstan or Kyrgyzstan (Passport Validity can be no less than 6 months). Further advice should be sought from the applicable tourist authority for other nationalities and for general queries. We strongly advise you check your destinations- Tourist Board or Embassy for the most up-to-date guidelines regarding passport validity.

Insurance

We strongly recommend that you and all members of your party are suitably insured as soon as you book your holiday. It is a condition of booking that you must have suitable travel insurance. It is important that you purchase travel insurance that suitably covers your participation in whatever activities you may undertake at the time that you make your booking. To assist you with this, we have arranged travel insurance in partnership with Holiday Extras. To arrange your travel insurance with Holiday Extras, please call 0800 781 4237 and quote 'WK830' for preferential rates. Please ensure you provide us with the name of your insurer, policy number and their 24-hour emergency contact number as soon as possible. Mercury Holidays will not be liable for any costs incurred by you due to your failure to take out suitable travel insurance from the date of booking.

Payment

If booking more than 10 weeks before departure a deposit of £49pp will need to be paid at the time of booking with the full amount payable at 10 weeks prior to departure. The deposit applies to adults and children. If you are within 10 weeks of travel then the full balance of the holiday will be payable.

Flight Information

Your initial flight is to Nursultan Nazarbayev International Airport via Istanbul with Turkish airlines departing from London Heathrow Terminal 2.
IMPORTANT: Please note that final flight details will be confirmed on your e-ticket and final doc-umentation which will be sent to you approximately 10 days before departure.
Each passenger is entitled to 20KG of hold luggage plus 1 item of hand luggage not exceeding (Max 7kg - 55cm/40cm/ 23cm) in size Weight restrictions will be finalized on E-ticket receipt. Should you wish to take additional luggage you will need to pay extra at check - in. Check-In should be at least 3 hours before departure.
If you wish to arrange Airport car parking or accommodation at preferential rates, we recommend you book this in advance with Holiday Extras on 0871 360 2000, quoting HX313.

Health and Vaccinations

It is your responsibility to check any health and vaccination requirements applicable to your booked arrangements. We can only provide general information about this. Health and hygiene facilities and disease risks vary from country to country. You should take health advice about your own needs as early as possible and in good time before your departure. Sources of information include; www.fco.gov.uk, www.travelhealthpro.org.uk, www.hpa.org.uk, your General Practitioner or a specialist clinic.

Physical Accessibility

This tour is accessible to most people with a good level of fitness and normal mobility. It involves climbing of steep stairs and getting on and off coaches and boats. This tour is not suitable for anyone with walking difficulties.

Group Size

The minimum number of travellers in your group will be 10 and the maximum will be 30. In the unlikely event there are fewer than 10 passengers booked on your tour date, you may be asked to change to a different date. A full refund will be made available to you should this alternative not be suitable.

Tour Guide

This is a fully escorted tour meaning that you will be met by a local guide in each of the cities that you visit, ensuring that you have first-hand knowledge at all times.

Currency Information

Kazakhstan
The currency in Kazakhstan is the Kazakhstani tenge, we recommend that you exchange your cur-rency before you leave the UK. Cash machines are available in all the major cities to withdraw money in the local currency.
Kyrgyzstan
The currency in Kyrgyzstan is the Kyrgyzstani som, we recommend that you exchange your curren-cy before you leave the UK. Cash machines are available in all the major cities to withdraw money in the local currency.

Personal Expenses

Tipping is not compulsory and is at your discretion. We would recommend $2-3 pp per day for the guide and $1-2 pp per day for driver. Should you wish to tip, this will be collected by your guide at the end of your stay in each destination for your convenience.
You will need to take some extra money with you to cover any meals that are not mentioned on your itinerary and personal purchases, such as souvenirs, extra drinks and snacks. Approximately £400-£500 per person should be sufficient for the duration of your tour.

Tour Dates & Prices

Depart UKArrive UKExtension PriceTour PriceTotal PriceBook Now
2020 DATES
05 May 202021 May 2020£799£1899£2698Book Now
26 May 202011 Jun 2020£799£1999£2798Book Now
09 Jun 202025 Jun 2020£799£2049£2848Book Now
07 Jul 202023 Jul 2020£799£2099£2898Book Now
25 Aug 202010 Sep 2020£799£2099£2898Book Now
15 Sep 202001 Oct 2020£799£1999£2798Book Now
2021 DATES
04 May 202120 May 2021£829£1949£2778Book Now
11 May 202127 May 2021£829£2049£2878Book Now
25 May 202110 Jun 2021£829£2149£2978Book Now
08 Jun 202124 Jun 2021£829£2199£3028Book Now
06 Jul 202122 Jul 2021£829£2199£3028Book Now
24 Aug 202109 Sep 2021£829£2199£3028Book Now
07 Sep 202123 Sep 2021£829£2099£2928Book Now
14 Sep 202130 Sep 2021£829£2079£2908Book Now

Included in the Price

  • Fully Escorted Tour with local English Speaking Guides throughout
  • Scheduled Flights from the UK.
  • All internal travel including air-conditioned/heated transportation.
  • Accommodation, meals as specified and entry fees to all sights.
  • All airport taxes and security charges.

Additional Expenses

  • Visas
  • Insurance
  • Tips
  • Any meals not specified in your itinerary
Note for Tashkent Exnteions

Please note due to flight schedules the first night of the Tashkent extension will be spent in Bishkek.

What to expect

Fact File
Currency

Kyrgyzstani som

Average Flying time

10.5

Min/Max temperature

-15 °C / 20 °C

Spoken languages

Kyrgyz

When to go

Weather can vary throughout the year, please see details below

Nur-Sultan

What to pack
  • Comfortable walking shoes
  • Camera and charger
  • A plug adaptor - the electricity in Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan is 220 V. You will need plug adapter
  • Sunscreen, insect repellent and hat
  • Waterproof lightweight jacket
  • Antibacterial hand gel
  • Binoculars
  • Personal first aid kit
  • Small day pack for excursions
  • Waterproof, lightweight jacket
  • Lightweight clothing
  • Sweater and jacket for the cooler months
Tour Dossiers
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Here to help
  • Call our experts 0800 781 4893

Other Extensions

Istanbul City Stay
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  • UK
  • Nur-Sultan
  • Almaty
  • Karakol
  • Chon Kemin
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Tashkent City Stay
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