5 Natural Attractions in Almaty

There is no Almaty without the mountains. For you who love to explore culture and traditions, Almaty boasts of wonderful mix of culture and traditions. And if you still want your travel destination to be of new modern look then Almaty makes you feel that you are in Europe. This leafy city with a backdrop of the snow-capped Zailiysky Alatau (a spur of the Tian Shan) has always been one of the most charming Russian creations in Central Asia. When you are here you can visit Kok Tobe Mountain, Sunkar international ski jumping complex, chimbulak ski resort, Medeu and Big Almaty Lake. Apart from these natural attractions in Almaty you can see Arasan baths, Kolsai lakes, Central state museum, St. Nicholas cathedral, Gorky Park and many other places. If you love shopping then you will be delighted to know that Almaty has perhaps more bazaars than most cities in the country, the most popular being the Green Bazaar, which sells everything under the sun. However, in this article let us see 5 natural attractions of Almaty.

Kok Tobe Mountain

Kok Tobe Mountain

Kok Tobe is the highest mountain in Almaty, 1100 meters above sea level. And for tourist’s delight there is a popular recreation place for tourists on the top of Kok Tobe Mountain. Going up there and having a view from top is quite an adventure. There is lot more for visitors here. A fountain of desire in apple shape, playground for children, a climbing wall, a fast coaster ride, art gallery, tea house, a zoo, concert hall, ponds and many shops and lot more which makes visitor’s time wonderful here. And those who look for simple fun and food sort of things, Kok Tobe offers them allot. How? On top Kok Tobe has recreational area with many amusement parks type attractions and on foot it has a TV tower with height of 372 meters.  Kok Tobe also has lot of restaurants offering variety of food.

Sunkar International Ski Jumping Complex

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Sunkar International Ski jumping complex is a ski jumping venue in the southern part of Almaty, Kazakhstan. This Ski Jumping complex in Almaty sits at an altitude of 900 m above sea level. The complex was built in 2010 replacing an old Goreny Gigant ski jumping complex as Almaty and Astana hosted 2011 Asian Winter Games. The very uniqueness of Sunkar International Ski jumping complex is that it is located in a place where there is almost no wind. By 2013 five competition hills here got ready and all these five hills are equipped with plastic mattings and hosting Grand Prix events in summer. The spectator capacity here is around 9500 and both artificial turf and snow can be used here in all season. As Almaty is expected to host a number of sport events in this coming sport season, so Sunkar international ski jumping complex will be a major attraction for visitors and sports lovers.

Chimbulak Ski Resort

Sunkar international ski jumping complex

If you are sucker of adventure then Chimbulak ski resort in Almaty is a certain joy. Chimbulak is a place brimming of snowpack which is an ecstasy for viewers to see. With consistent snow cover Chimbulak boast a very impressive 943 meters (3094 feet) of vertical descent. The snow is on average 150 cm thick in winter, with consistent snow cover from November to May.The slopes here are served by three chairlifts and two tow ropes. The quad chairlift began operation in 2003, and opened a new region for extreme skiing, and for snowboarders there is a new Park. The chairlifts can take you from a height of 2260 m above sea level to the Talgar pass (3,163 m), for a vertical drop of 903 meters. Chimbulak has been a ski base since 1954. Skiing competition has been held here since 1950 when it was under Soviet rules.  And since 1983 Chimbulak has been operated as an center for downhill ski training.

Chimbulak area offers you the snowy alps, gardens, forests, Tien Shan spruces and crystal clear water of the mountain Malaya Almatinka river to admire. Chymbulak has various routes which has gentle slopes that can be traveled by beginners and intermediate skiers and there is longer trails for expert skier too.

Medeu

Medeu

This world Known ice skating rink Medeu is located at the altitude of 1,691.2 meters above sea level in a mountain valley (Medeu Valley, or the valley of Malaya Alma-Atinka River) on the south-eastern outskirts of Almaty. Skating at Medeu is adventurous in any weather.  The stadium is open to the public all year round, allowing visitors to skate at high altitude day or night. During night hours, skaters can enjoy music and lights in the stadium either from the ice, or from VIP boxes available for rent. High mountain skating being such an adventure you can live your dream here at Medeu. All the facilities and infrastructure today are world class and turnout of tourists to this destination is increasing every year.

Big Almaty Lake

Big Almaty Lake

Big Almaty Lake is located at an altitude of 2511 m, on the upper side of the canyon by the same name, is fed by the Almaty River running through it, and is part of a wonderful national park. Lake is 1.6 km long, little under 1 km wide, and up to 40 m deep. Lake is surrounded by three majestic mountain peaks, Soviet (4317m), Ozerniy (4110m) and Turist (3954m). The Lake changes its color in different times of the day, month and year and reflects the magnum opus of nature that surrounds the lake on its surface. When you are done with your travel in beautiful Almaty city, it is time to head to the Big Almaty Lake which is only 25 km drive from the city. There is a pass above the lake on the way to a most beautiful light-blue lake, Issyk- Kul Lake in Kyrgyzstan. In spite of the steep slopes, many local travelers hike to the lake on foot to breathe the pure mountain air and admire the mountain atmosphere. The Big Almaty Lake is within the Alatau – Eliy National park and both the Gorge and the lake are an attraction for visitors using Almaty as their base.

So,it is evident that when you are in Almaty on your Kazakhstan holiday package or Almaty tour package you must visit these 5 natural attractions of Almaty.

About Sandeep Kumar Gupta

Sandeep Kumar Gupta is the founder and director of DookTravels, a Delhi based leading Destination Management Company for CIS countries. He has 10+ years of experience in travel and hospitality industry, and created many travel apps, platforms and CRM to help out startups. He also runs Dook International Blog, a popular blog on CIS destinations and attractions.

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