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Cycling Kyrgyzstan


Down a rough trackKyrgyzstan is a cyclist’s paradise: roads that take you from high mountains to lakeside beaches, nomads who will welcome you into their yurt for a taste of the local cuisine and a growing tourism industry ready to organise trekking and accommodation in local homes across the country.

With more and more flights going to the capital Bishkek from Europe and visas easy to get (on arrival if you come by plane), this gem of Central Asia has never been so accessible.

The best time to visit is from late spring to early autumn, with peak tourist season in July and August. Temperatures are comfortable from mid-May onwards but some high passes may not be clear from snow until June. By summer the lower areas of Kyrgyzstan including Bishkek and Osh are swelteringly hot.

Remember to pack a high-SPF sunscreen (you can burn quickly at high altitudes, and good sunscreen isn’t easy to find in Kyrgyzstan) and clothing for all kinds of weather. Even in summer you find yourself pelted by driving rain, hail and snow from passing storms. These are usually short lived but you don’t want to be caught unprepared in the mountains.

Read This…

Cycle This…

See Also…

  • An excellent outline for cycling in Kyrgyzstan with specific road information, written by Jan de Groot.
  • Toko op Fietsvakantie: GPS tracks, elevation profiles and tips for travelling in northern Kyrgyzstan, including Song-Kol and Issyk-Kol.
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8 Responses to “Cycling Kyrgyzstan”

  1. Hi!

    Karla and I already bought our tickets to Amsterdam where we’ll pick up our bikes and gear and start our journey in March.
    Now we’re researching about visas and some info on the Middle East.
    Just to let you know that Kyrgyzstan’s Budget and Shopping link after “Read this” is leading to Food and Water page.

    Regards,

    André.

  2. bob powers says:

    Two 100% Kyrgyz companies organise bike trips:

    Kyrgyz Muras (a new young company) have three trips of varying difficulty basically around lake Issyk-Kul.
    http://www.kyrgyzmuras.com

    Ecotour (Larger, with 14 years experience) have two tours around the Lake plus a three week Mountain Bike
    tour. They also have a Guest House in Bishkek that could be useful for individual travellers.
    http://www.ecotour.kg

    Both are flexible and will where possible adjust trips to suit your needs.Both will help you arrange your own tour

    In both cases they use only local people and products.
    In both cases some of the profits go to help local projects.

    • bob powers says:

      Since this comment I have experienced the Ecotour three week mountain bike tour… unforgettable. The tour is , averaged out, not exceptionally tough BUT there are a few very tough days. The stages vary in length and difficulty leaving enough time over to enjoy the nature, nomadic culture and the friendy, hospitable people. Accomodation is in nomad yurts, B&Bs and 3 or 4 nights camping. There is also a new tour (“Mountain bike expedition”) similar in character but with more nights spent in small tents.

  3. bob powers says:

    20 June 2012. Last week the Kyrgyz Parliament passed a
    a new law.Soon people from 44 countires including the EU & USA
    will be able to enter Kygyzstan without needing a visa.

    When this will become effective is not yet known.

  4. bob powers says:

    Kyrgyzstan is now Visa Free for all Western and many other countries.

  5. Nina says:

    Does anybody know if you can purchase some decent touring bikes in Kyrgyzstan? We’re coming from the US and airline fees to transport two bikes amount to $600 US$!!

  6. bob powers says:

    I know that you can hire good middle range mountainbikes
    in Bishkek. These bike are also suitable for touring in Kg. on the many (mostly) unsurfaced roads! I have seen and tested the bikes they are of good quality and well maintained. However I have no idea how much they cost to hire. I’m sure the people at Ecotour will gladly tell you: info@ecotour.kg. In the mean time I will also inquire further as, to avoid cost and bother, I was also considering hiring on my next trip to Kg. Buying a touring bike is, almost certainly not an option, a mountain bike would be possible.

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