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Your next exciting adventure awaits in Kazakhstan! A fantastic week of snow festivities around the Almaty region awaits. Massive ski resorts, boring nightlife or Wiener Schnitzels, are that of the past. Get yourself ready for camels, ultra-modern gondolas, bustling nightlife, Pistenbully droppings and a valley of castles. Above all, it will be a memorable experience: Skiing in the Northern Himalayas of Kazakhstan.

You will encounter a unique atmosphere in this beautiful country. We will show you all the region's top spots, and you’ll be amazed like we have been so many times. Our tour will start from the city centre of Almaty.


A short drive from the city centre, we will arrive at the resort of Shymbulak, the biggest ski resort in Central Asia. The stage of the 2017 Winter Universiade (the Olympic Winter Games for students). The highest point is at 3200 meters, and some challenging runs await us. 

The most famous ski resort in Kazakhstan, Shymbulak, includes a new gondola from the Medeu skating stadium to the village of Shymbulak. The former Kazakh president (Nazarbaev) did not want everyone to drive by road to this village. So nowadays, the gondola takes you from 1600 to 2200 meters with a trip time of 20 minutes. Many FIS competitions have taken place in Shymbulak. The vertical drop is over 1000 meters, and the highest point of Shymbulak is 3250 meters. Our favourite spot, ‘Bar 3200’, gives fantastic Talgar Glacier views (5017 meters) for you to enjoy. The ski area is ultramodern and has all the latest gadgets. On a clear day, you can enjoy the view of the metropolis of Almaty during your descent.

Ak Bulak

The most exciting ski resort is Ak Bulak, just one hour from Almaty. It’s worth the commute because a brand new gondola brings us to the mid-station at 2200 meters. Gentle slopes at the lower section are ideally suited for beginners and intermediates. The chairlift from the mid station to the top (at 2700 meters) is a Walhalla for free-riders and experienced skiers because the entire area is ungroomed and therefore dedicated to free-riders. 

Lesnaya Skazka (Oi Qaragai)

Lesnaya Skazka or Oi Qaragai is the most recent ski resort to open in Almaty.  The resort is nicknamed the ‘fairytale forest’ national park, because of its quiet slopes nestled between deciduous trees. The surroundings are beautiful, but Lesnaya Skazka is still waiting for discovery. The lifts go like a rocket allowing ample time for many tree runs and more in this ski area.

Charyn Canyon

The deepest point of our journey will be the Charyn canyon. A 370-meter gorge looms from ground level. The gorge is called the Grand Canyon of Kazakhstan, and during a short hike, you will understand why. Many rock formations shaped like castles give the nickname ‘Valley of Castles’.

Hot Springs

After the Charyn gorge, we continue through the Kazakh steppe to a natural hot spring. We will have a proper pool party with temperatures down to -10 degrees celsius. We sleep in bungalows scattered around the pools. The next day we drive through the National Park of Altyn Emil to Tekeli. In this isolated mountain range, we have a Pistenbully at our disposal. 

Cat Skiing

After waking up in our mountain lodge, we will head to our Pistenbully for the tour's highlight. We will organise Pistenbully (snow cat) droppings in the remote Dzhungarian mountain range near the Chinese border. In front of the entrance departs the gigantic Pistenbully. The Kazakh driver will drop us off at various peaks in the area. Around 14 people fit in the machine, and we will drop till we need to stop. We’ll stay in a recently opened mountain lodge near Tekeli. The local cooks will prepare fresh and local food (and vodka).

Return to Almaty

After a wonderful week; we return to Almaty. The brand new road takes us 3,5 hours to get back. We will evaluate the adventurous week and, for the party people, a pub crawl in the bustling city of Almaty to conclude.

Ski Kazakhstan for you?

  • Adventurers looking for something different than the Alps
  • Easily tackle a ‘red slope’
  • Lovers of other cultures and rituals


  • All transfers
  • 4 nights in a *** guesthouse in Almaty City Center (twin rooms)
  • 1 night in a bungalow in Chundzha (twin rooms)
  • 2 nights in Jetisu Lodge (twin rooms)
  • Half board (breakfast/dinner)
  • City Tour Almaty
  • English speaking guide
  • Cat skiing
  • Entrance fee Charyn Canyon
  • Ski passes Shymbulak, Lesnaya Skazka and Ak Bulak

Not included

  • Flights (Turkish Airlines – €400-€800 from Europe)
  • Lunch
  • Alcoholic drinks
  • Tips & souvenirs
  • Ski or snowboard rental (€ 75 per week)
  • Travel Insurance

Don’t book any flights yet!

As soon as we have reached the minimum amount of reservations (5), we will send you an e-mail. If we don’t have enough participants, we will send you an e-mail 40 days before departure. 

*We recommend flying Turkish Airlines as they take ski equipment free of charge (usually) 

18:35 AMS Amsterdam Schiphol  –  23:55 IST Istanbul Airport
01:20(+1) IST Istanbul Airport – 09:45 ALA Almaty

10:45 ALA Almaty – 14:05 IST Istanbul Airport
15:15 IST Istanbul Airport – 16:55 AMS Amsterdam Schiphol

*We have not had to cancel any trip due to a lack of reservations so far.

Travel as a group?

If you want to travel as a group of at least five people, you can request a tailor-made trip. Other departure dates are always possible in consultation. Please contact us via mail@rycetravel.com or WhatsApp at +31 6 48 72 90 47. 

Ski adventure Kazakhstan

  • 8 days Kazakhstan
  • Half board, flights excluded
  • Metropolis of Almaty
  • Ski resorts of Shymbulak and Ak Bulak
  • Pistenbully droppings
  • Poolparty, rocky castles & steppes

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