On offer

Kazakhstan & Kyrgyzstan Adventures

City landscape on a background of snow-capped mountains
Duration: 12 nights
Type: Worldwide walking holidays
Walking Grade: 4
from £2,599pp £2,499pp

The Central Asian countries of Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan offer spectacular walking opportunities for those seeking adventure. Their landscapes surprise with an extraordinary mix of alpine lakes, desert sand dunes, frosted peaks, steppe grassland plains, and dizzying gorges. This holiday not only takes you to a host of see-it-to-believe-it places, but also immerses you in local culture with an eagle hunting demonstration, yurt making, dinners with local families, and a couple of nights at a traditional yurt camp on the shores of Lake Issyk-Kul.

What you’ll love

  • Uncovering the history behind Panfilov Park in Almaty 
  • Walking to the Singing Dunes in Altyn-Emel National Park 
  • Soaking up the beauty of Charyn Canyon 
  • Trekking to the Kolsai Lakes through alpine scenery 
  • Taking in the views as you walk the Kara-Beltek Pass in Ak-Suu Nature Park 
  • Discovering Skazka Canyon, known as the fairytale canyon 

What’s included

  • Full programme of guided walks led by local guides 
  • HF Holidays Tour Manager  
  • Full board 
  • All sightseeing and entrance fees (as per itinerary)
  • Eagle hunting demonstration
  • Yurt building in Kyzyl Tuu  
  • Air-conditioned transport 
  • Return flights from the UK including hold baggage and airport transfers

    Please note: On days 10 & 11 we stay in a traditional yurt campYurts will be on a shared basis, with 3 to 4 people of the same gender per yurt. Single & twin rooms are not possible here

Trip Notes

Easy to download as a PDF, our trip notes provide detailed information for every holiday. Please click below to find the trip notes for your departure date.

All our carefully-curated itineraries are designed by our experts. While we make every effort to adhere to the described itinerary, we may take alternative routes or adapt the running order for weather and/or operational reasons.

Depart from the UK on an overnight flight to Almaty, Kazakhstan.


You’ll arrive at Almaty International Airport in the early morning, where your HF Holidays Tour Manager will meet you and take you to the hotel. Enjoy breakfast and time to rest.

Later, we’ll set off on a city tour to get acquainted with Almaty and its history, visiting the Republic Square and Monument of Independence. We’ll walk through the old city centre to the Park of 28 Panfilov Guardsmen, which honours the fighters who defended Moscow against German invasion during WWII. We’ll also visit the Russian Orthodox Zenkov Cathedral (also known as Ascension Cathedral), Museum of Musical Instruments, Abai Theatre, and Green Market.


After breakfast, we’ll leave Almaty and travel to Basshi in Altyn-Emel National Park via Kapchagay for a picnic on the reservoir shore and a dip if you fancy. This national park has plenty to please from its grassland plains and desert dunes to rare wildlife and surrounding mountains. We’ll walk to the famous Singing Dunes, named after the deep humming noise you’ll hear as you slide down from the top.

Distance: 2.5 miles (4 km)

Ascent/Descent: 330 feet (100m)


Today we’ll travel to Charyn Canyon, one of Kazakhstan’s most standout sights. The canyon’s about 150km long and up to 300m deep in places, and we’ll head to one of the most jaw-dropping parts, the Valley of Castles where you’ll gaze up at imposing pillars and rock formations that almost look manmade. We’ll walk to Charyn Lake for a picnic lunch before travelling to the village of Shatty where we’ll stay for the next two nights.

Distance: 2.5 miles (4 km)

Ascent/Descent: 850 feet (260m)


The three alpine lakes in Kolsai Lakes National Park will be the setting for today’s walk. They sit at an altitude between 1,700m and 2,650m with exceptionally clear water and an idyllic location surrounded by snow-capped peaks and wooded hillsides.

We’ll walk from the first to the second lake, where we’ll stop for a picnic before making our way back amongst this dream-like landscape.

Distance: 7.5 miles (12 km)

Ascent/Descent: 2130 feet (650m)


It’ll take us about an hour to get through the border to Kyrgyzstan and once we’re through we’ll visit San-Tash barrow (meaning counting stones) - a burial mound dating back from the time of Timur. We’ll then arrive at the village of Jyrgalan for dinner and an overnight stay. On day 6, our stay at Alakol-Jyrgalan Guesthouse will involve twin rooms shared by same-gender pairings with shared bathrooms.


From our guesthouse, we’ll set off on a hike to the remote mountain lake of Turnaly-Kol, taking in the wow-worthy panorama of Jyrgalan valley where wildflower-filled fields and wooded slopes will capture your attention. Once we arrive back, we’ll transfer to Karakol for dinner with a local family. This will be our base for the next three nights.

Distance: 8 miles (13 km)

Ascent/Descent: 1840 feet (560m)


We’ll travel to our starting point for today’s walk, which will begin at Svetlaya Polyana Gorge. Crossing the impressive Kok-Jaiyk Pass, we'll head to Jeti Oguz - the dramatic red sandstone rocks known as the Seven Bulls. Once we’re back in Karakol, we’ll have dinner with a local Uigur family.

Distance: 6 miles (10 km)

Ascent: 1970 feet (600m)

Descent: 1810 feet (550m)


A 1.5-hour transfer will take us to the starting point for our hike in Ak-Suu Nature Park, where we’ll spend five to six hours crossing the Kara-Beltek Pass (2,606m) before descending to Karakol. We’ll then have a half-hour transfer back to the hotel in time to have dinner with a Tatar family tonight.

Distance: 7.5 miles (12 km)

Ascent: 2330 feet (710m)

Descent: 2660 feet (810m)


We’ll have a change of scenery today as we embark on a city tour of Karakol which begins in Przhevalskiy Museum, dedicated to the Russian explorer. We’ll also visit a Russian Orthodox Church and Dungan Mosque. Then we’ll journey to Issyk-Kul Lake, the world’s second-largest mountain lake, which sits pretty in the Tian Shan Mountains. We’ll spend the night in a yurt camp. On days 10 & 11 we’ll stay in a traditional yurt camp. Yurts will be on a shared basis, with 3 to 4 people of the same gender per yurt. Single & twin rooms are not possible here.


After breakfast at the camp, we’ll spend the morning discovering Issyk-Kul, with time to relax and swim at the beach before joining our host family for lunch. They’ll teach us how to make a typical Kyrgyz dish – feel free to join in with cooking if you like.

In the afternoon, we’ll drive to Skazka Canyon, known as the fairy tale canyon thanks to its bewitching wind-shaped rock formations and ‘sculptures’. On our way back to camp, we’ll stop to meet an eagle breeder who will introduce us to his eagles and demonstrate how he hunts with them.


We’ll start the day with an early breakfast before making our way to Bishkek. On the way, we’ll stop to visit a local family in the village of Kyzyl-Tuu where they make traditional yurts by hand. We’ll build our own yurt with them and have tea, then set off to our picnic spot in Boom gorge on the shores of the Chu Lake.

We’ll visit the 11th century Burana Tower with links to the Silk Road, as well as the ruins of the ancient walled city of Balasagun. Once we reach Bishkek, we’ll check in to our hotel and have dinner at a local café.


A look around Osh Market will start our day, where you’ll see a whole array of spices, fresh fruit, vegetables and more. Enjoy lunch at a restaurant, then the afternoon is yours to spend however you wish. We’ll round off our trip with a final dinner together, during which we’ll be treated to local performances.


Transfer to the airport for your flight back home.


Kazzhol Park Hotel, Almaty - Kazakhstan & Kyrgyzstan

This 4-star modern hotel will be our base while in Almaty. Its central location puts you within easy reach of the top sights, while rooms provide a comfortable place to sleep. They come equipped with air conditioning, kettle, TV, and Wi-Fi. There’s also an on-site restaurant, gym, and garden. 

Aigai Kum Guesthouse, Altyn Emel National Park - Kazakhstan & Kyrgyzstan

The Aigai Kum guesthouse’s location is its main draw, perched on the edge of this spellbinding national park. Rooms are basic, but clean and comfortable. It features 11 private rooms with shared bathrooms, a garden, and dining room. There’s no Wi-Fi here due to its remote location.

Grand Kolsay Hotel, Shatty - Kazakhstan & Kyrgyzstan

Situated within the Kolsai Lakes National Park, Gran Kolsay Hotel is a modern hotel with mountain views. There’s a wood-burning sauna (extra charge) and rooms come with en-suite bathrooms and minibar. 

Alakol-Jyrgalan Guesthouse, Jyrgalan - Kazakhstan & Kyrgyzstan

This traditional guesthouse in the heart of Jyrgalan Valley provides simple yet comfortable accommodation. Rooms have shared bathrooms, and there’s a lounge to rest up in with your fellow guests as well as a Finnish sauna for an additional charge.

Amir Hotel, Karakol - Kazakhstan & Kyrgyzstan

Rooms at the Amir Hotel are clean and modern while the hotel itself is just a few minutes’ walk from the town centre. There’s free Wi-Fi, a terrace to sit out on, and rooms come with a TV and tea and coffee maker. 

Nomad Lodge Yurt Camp, Issyk-Kul - Kazakhstan & Kyrgyzstan

Located on the southern shore of Issyk-Kul lake, you’ll be immersed in nature at the Nomad Lodge Yurt Camp. Sharing with three to four members of your group, you’ll stay in traditional, handcrafted yurts, with beds and bedding provided. Villagers have made everything in the yurts, from the carpets to the decorations. Not only will you get a glimpse of local traditions and customs but wake up to birdsong – a far cry from towns and cities.

Ambassador Hotel, Bishkek - Kazakhstan & Kyrgyzstan

This 4-star hotel is in the centre of Bishkek. Rooms are spacious, light, and modern, each with a TV, en-suite bathroom, and free Wi-Fi. There’s a rooftop terrace and an on-site spa to help you fully relax before your journey home. 

Essential information

It's best to be prepared for all weather conditions. To make it easier, here is a list of items you should consider packing.   

Essentials  

  • Walking boots 
  • Waterproof jacket 
  • Waterproof trousers 
  • Insulated jacket/top 
  • Walking clothing  
  • Walking socks (plus spares)  
  • Sunhat 
  • Gloves/mitts and warm hat
  • Water bottle (minimum 2 litre capacity)  
  • Headtorch 
  • High-factor sunscreen (minimum SPF 30)  
  • Sunglasses with a dark lens 
  • Rucksack (15-30 litres)  
  • Mobile phone 
  • Personal first aid kit (containing your medication, blister plasters, etc.) 
  • Passport 
  • Visa (if applicable) 
  • Copy of your travel insurance policy 
  • UK Global Health Insurance Card (formerly known as EHIC

Recommended

  • Collapsible walking poles 
  • Swimwear and travel towel
  • Snacks
  • Dry bags
  • Rubbish bags
  • Insect repellent

Optional extras

  • Camera 
  • Sit mat
  • Flask for hot drinks 
  • Durable lunch box
  • Gaiters 
  • GPS device 

Guest reviews

All holidays are subject to availability. Supplements may apply.

Non-member fee: £30 per person.

All packages that include flights are ATOL protected. Advertised prices listed below show the lowest economy flight price option for that departure. On holidays where we offer local UK airports, details will appear in the “Important Information” section below and available alternative flight options will be offered when you book. Seating upgrades may be available on request and at an additional charge, please call 020 3974 8865 for a quote.

Date (Start - End) Itinerary Double / Twin Room Single Room Notes / Offers Trip Notes Book
2024

07 Sep - 20 Sep 2024

12 nights

Itinerary
Flight from London Heathrow Airport

Single from

£3,669

Double from

£3,399 pp

from

£3,399 pp

from

£3,669

Call us to book
Trip Notes
Enquire
2025

07 Jun - 20 Jun 2025

12 nights

Itinerary
Flight from London Heathrow Airport

Single from

£3,609 £3,409

Double from

£3,299 £3,099 pp

from

£3,299 £3,099 pp

from

£3,609 £3,409

Save £200 Per Person Trip Notes
Book Now

06 Sep - 19 Sep 2025

12 nights

Itinerary
Flight from London Heathrow Airport

Single from

£3,609 £3,409

Double from

£3,299 £3,099 pp

from

£3,299 £3,099 pp

from

£3,609 £3,409

Save £200 Per Person Trip Notes
Book Now
Date (Start - End) Itinerary Double / Twin Room Single Room Notes / Offers Trip Notes Book
2024

07 Sep - 20 Sep 2024

12 nights

Itinerary

Single from

£2,869

Double from

£2,599 pp

from

£2,599 pp

from

£2,869

Trip Notes
Book Now
2025

07 Jun - 20 Jun 2025

12 nights

Itinerary

Single from

£3,009 £2,809

Double from

£2,699 £2,499 pp

from

£2,699 £2,499 pp

from

£3,009 £2,809

Save £200 Per Person Trip Notes
Book Now

06 Sep - 19 Sep 2025

12 nights

Itinerary

Single from

£3,009 £2,809

Double from

£2,699 £2,499 pp

from

£2,699 £2,499 pp

from

£3,009 £2,809

Save £200 Per Person Trip Notes
Book Now

Important information

  • With flight holidays: Price includes flights to Almaty, returning from Bishkek, hold baggage and airport transfers
  • Regional flights: Please click BOOK NOW to view Manchester and other UK airport options

Please note that the single room supplement does not include the nights at the yurt camp or at Jyrgalan Guesthouse (3 nights in total). Single rooms cannot be guaranteed here and you may be required to share with someone of the same gender.

Duration:
12 nights
Type:
Worldwide walking holidays
Walking Grade:
4

12 nights from £2,599pp £2,499pp

On offer

or call 020 3974 8865

For group bookings of 10+ guests click here

Add to wishlist Added to wishlist