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#WT-CODE 147204

Ski Safari Kazakhstan

Going on a Ski Safari in the south of Kazakhstan? That means that you will spend a week in the metropolis of Almaty and that you will experience the largest ski areas of the country. Of course it’s gonna be a mix of culture and local experiences. For example, we are going to visit the Charyn Canyon, the vast steppes and bustling local markets.

#WT-CODE 144899

Ski Adventure Kazakhstan

This coming winter we are offering several ski adventure trips to Kazakhstan. Skiing in the northern Himalayas overlooking the metropolis of Almaty! Don’t expect boring nightlife, Wiener Schnitzels or German Schlagers. So what can you expect? Well, for example, brand new ski resorts, vibrant nightlife and a visit to the Charyn Valley.



Practical information:

Visa For most countries, you do not need a visa if you have a EU passport. Check your government’s website for more exact information.
Passport Valid for at least 6 months after departure from Kazakhstan
Currency Kazakh Tenge (Avarage of 500 KZT is €1
Time difference GMT+6 (4 hours later in summer, 5 hours later in winter, Dutch Time)
Language Official languages ​​are Russian and Kazakh
Cash Paying by card is in Almaty everywhere possible, bringing euros or dollars could be practical
Vaccinations DTP and Hepatitus A are recommended
Electricity 220V-50Hz
Internet connection In most guesthouses and hotels is great internet connection
Safety There are safety risks in connection with the Covid-19 virus, look here for current info (Dutch Government) Click here for (covid-19) information from the Kazakh airlines.
Food and Drinks A mix of Turkish, Russian and Chinese (Uyghur) cuisine
Popular dishes PilavBeshparmak LagmanManti, Kurdak, ShashlikKoemis

Kazakhstan, a vast country that rivals many

With its vast steppes, Kazakhstan is the largest landlocked country in the world, sandwiched between the superpowers of Russia and China. After centuries of foreign domination, the Kazakhs have finally gained independence. This newfound autonomy has not been without challenges (recent changes include changing the nation’s capital from Almaty to Astana, renaming it to Nursultan and back to Astana. Readopting the Latin alphabet) and starting a life with a new president.

A hub between two continents

Kazakhstan lies on the geographical border of Europe and Asia, the two continents meeting near the city of Atyrau (although this border is not officially defined). The fact is that Kazakhstan is increasingly defining itself as a hub between the two continents, and new transhipment points as we find in the city of Khorgos are characteristic of the country’s boom in infrastructure development. 

Vast steppes cover most of Kazakhstan, where one can find little more than grass, pipelines, rough roads and stray camels. Here, agriculture still remains a firmly ingrained part of society, and it is not uncommon to find Kazakh people living in yurts upon these grassy plains. As you venture to the east and the south, you will encounter more mountainous terrain, where most of the natural highlights are found. The highest point in Kazakhstan is the tip of the Khan Tengri, which is a whopping 7010 metres high. Almaty, the nation’s largest city and former capital, is nestled in a beautiful location between the Ala Tau Mountains to the south (toward Kyrgyzstan) and the Altai Mountains to the east, bordering Russia and China. Interestingly, Kazakhstan almost (but not quite) shares a border with Mongolia.

A land of extreme temperatures

Because Kazakhstan has no access to ocean or sea, the entire country has a distinct,  continental climate. In winter it can get bitterly cold, especially on the northern steppes. Conversely, the summers can become blazingly hot. The exception is on the southern frontier where Lakew Kapchangai and Lake Issyk Kul (in Kyrgyzstan) provide a milder, moisture-influenced climate, and in winter, significantly more precipitation falls here in the form of snow. In the west, the coast of the Caspian Sea is enormously wide and barren (unfortunately due to the extraction of oil and gas).

The people of Kazakhstan

Originally a Turkic nomadic people from the Altai region, Kazakhs fled Mongolian invasions. The Turkic tribes experienced such cruelty at the hands of the Mongol invaders that many migrated as far west as the Balkans, though Kazakhs remain in this region. Ethnically, Kazakhs are closely related to Kyrgyz and for a long time were considered one group, and this relationship is seen in the close ties between the countries today. Due to Russian (imperial, then Soviet) rule, Kazakhstan has a large Russian-speaking minority and the dominant language, especially in the major cities of Almaty and Noersultan, is still Russian. Nursultan Nazarbayev, the president between 1991 and 2019, has taken a number of measures to reduce Russian influence, such as changing the capital and the official alphabet from Cyrillic to Latin, though many of these efforts have been futile.

The black gold of Kazakhstan

Kazakhstan’s economy is based mainly on the extraction of oil and gas, and under the Caspian Sea lies vast deposits of this black gold. In 2018, nearly 80% of Kazakh exports were related to oil or gas and with this money, the futuristic capital Noersultan was built (though large investments were also made to modernise the country. Kazakhstan has made many multi-year plans to ensure that the country is connected to the Western world, with current policy focussing on becoming an important link for overland transport from Asia to Europe. With the construction of roads and rail lines, travel time between China and Europe can be greatly reduced compared to sea transport.

Agriculture, livestock and trade are becoming increasingly important links and with the abolition of visas (for many European and American countries) in 2015, Kazakhstan has also taken a good step to develop tourism. Here, of course, we hope to do our part.


For a long time, tourism played a limited role in the life of Kazakhs, and tourists who did come were mainly from former Soviet countries, as they did not require a visa. From 2015 on, however, visa requirements were abolished for many nations and figures regarding tourism show strong growth. Most tourists visit the attractive south, for the mountains, the more pleasant climate and places with greater economic development. Especially in the field of winter sports, Kazakhstan has made many strides: transport infrastructure has been refurbished and, for example, the organisation of the Winter Universiade in 2017 helped make Almaty more accessible.