If you’re brave enough to go against the flow, some stunning cycling awaits set against mountain vistas along Kazakhstan’s southern and eastern fringe.
Cruise through canyons, camp by alpine lakes and then turn to the cities where you can rest up over a pint of the local beer in bustling cafes and explore pleasant markets and parks.
The one thing you’ll want to reckon with when planning your trip to Kazakhstan is its size. It’s the ninth largest country in the world and you’ll be hard pressed to cycle all of it during the typical 30-day visa allowance. In any case, much of the country is made up of steppe or desert land so it’s better to pick and choose the best bits, throwing your bike on a bus or train between highlights.
Kazakhstan’s top sights are predominantely in rural areas and the population of only about 15 million people is spread thinly over the huge surface area so camping is likely to form the bulk of your cycling trip here. The more self-sufficient you can be in Kazakhstan the better your chances to enjoy its nature and keep your budget under control at the same time.
More about cycling in Kazakhstan…
- Almaty map for cyclists: See where the bike shops and hotels are
- Budget and Shopping: How much it’ll cost and what you can buy.
- Eating and drinking: Can you say vodka and noodle soups?
- Getting a Kazakh Visa: It’s normally easy.
- Money Matters: ATMs and exchanging money.
- Roads and Maps: Some of the best asphalt anywhere in Central Asia.
- Safety: Lock your bike!
Routes to cycle…
- Toko op Fietsvakantie: GPS tracks for southern Kazakhstan and Kyrgyztan, plus photos and tips (in Dutch)