On the mountain roads of Kyrgyzstan

Loca­tion: Kyr­gyzs­tan
Sea­son: July — August
Days: 11
Dif­fi­cul­ty: medi­um

Price of the bike tour “In the moun­tains of Kyr­gyzs­tan”:
from $1750 USD per per­son

Kyr­gyzs­tan is a par­adise for cyclists as one can find here routes of any lev­el of dif­fi­cul­ty. Being a moun­tain­ous coun­try Kyr­gyzs­tan offers a wide range of land­scapes and roads that take you from alpine mead­ows to the sandy beach­es, nomadic fam­i­lies who will wel­come you into their yurt for a taste of the kumis (fer­ment­ed mare’s milk) and big role in all of this plays Issyk Kul Lake.

It’s very often you can hear Euro­pean peo­ple call Kyr­gyzs­tan – “Asian Switzer­land”, how­ev­er vir­gin moun­tains and rich nature exceed foot worn Euro­pean Alps with its pure­ness and wilder­ness. His­tor­i­cal and cul­tur­al aspects of Kyr­gyzs­tan are very inter­est­ing as well. We still have all attrib­ut­es of nomadic life.

Only in Kyr­gyzs­tan, in sum­mer time, we can see yurts (portable nomadic hous­es, dec­o­rat­ed with felt car­pets), real nomads (always kind and wel­comed) and their hors­es who always at your ser­vice to ride if only you would like to.


The program “On the mountain roads of Kyrgyzstan”

Day 1
Arrival to Bishkek. Excur­sion to Ala Archa Nat­ur­al park. Upon arrival to the inter­na­tion­al air­port “Man­as” you will be met by the local guide. Trans­fer to the hotel and rest. Break­fast at the hotel. After break­fast we have excur­sion to Ala-Archa gorge (40 km). This road is not so inter­est­ing for bik­ing, because of the con­stant traf­fic and it’s much bet­ter to use a bus to reach Ala Archa (2200 m.). Ala Archa Nation­al Nat­ur­al Park locat­ed in a pic­turesque gorge of Ala Archa 40 km off from Bishkek. It is a pop­u­lar place for hik­ing, ski­ing and moun­taineer­ing includ­ing trips to more than 20 glac­i­ers. It cov­ers an area of 200 km² most­ly forest­ed val­leys, water­falls and rivers rich in trout. The alti­tude of ranges varies from 1500m to the high­est point 4895m. Sev­er­al rare species of fau­na and espe­cial­ly tra­di­tion­al­ly revered juniper trees are under pro­tec­tion in the Nat­ur­al Park. It has very diverse fau­na: moun­tain mead­ows are the habi­tat for wild goats, deer and mar­mots. Ala Archa Nation­al Park is one of the few places of the habi­tat of the rare snow leop­ard. At the ter­ri­to­ry of the park you can trek up the Ala Archa gorge along the moun­tain riv­er to enjoy views of mag­nif­i­cent peaks of Kyr­gyz Alatau Ridge (Tien Shan Moun­tains) Lunch pic­nic in the gorge – 1,5 hours. Meet­ing with anoth­er bus, which packed with bikes. Repack bikes and pre­pare them for bik­ing and ride about 25–35 km (dis­tance depends on your wish­es) by foothills of Kyr­gyz Ala-Too moun­tains (there are few unpaved roads which lead to the city). Cycling back to the Bishkek city. Din­ner in a local restaurant/café. Overnight in the hotel. Bik­ing: up to 60 km, unpaved road and par­tial­ly asphalt.
Day 2
Bishkek – Issyk Kul Lake (280 km). Ear­ly break­fast in the hotel. Depar­ture from the city at 8:00 am direct­ly to Issyk Kul Lake (1600 m). Lunch en route. After lunch con­tin­ue our dri­ve to Bokon­baev vil­lage and accom­mo­da­tion in the yurt camp near­by. Option­al­ly: Upon arrival to Bokon­bae­vo vil­lage you can stay in yurt camp and have a rest or cycle to Kad­ji Sai vil­lage and swim in the lake. 80 km both ways. Issyk Kul Lake is the sec­ond largest alpine lake in the world after Lake Tit­i­ca­ca in South Amer­i­ca. Mea­sur­ing 182 km long by 58 km wide. You can swim in the lake enclosed on all sides by the snowy peaks of the Tien Shan Moun­tains. Extreme­ly deep and nice­ly warm over the cen­turies the lake has been some­thing of an oasis in this inhos­pitable moun­tain envi­ron­ment. With diverse flo­ra and fau­na Issyk-Kul Lake and the sur­round­ing envi­ron­ments are right­ly con­sid­ered to be one of Cen­tral Asia most remark­able loca­tions. Din­ner and overnight in yurts. Bik­ing: 80 km asphalt (old type of road).
Day 3
Over Kor­gom­du Bulak Pass.After break­fast we start ride over Kor­gom­du Bulak Pass (2540 a.s.l.) and sleep in tents at the alti­tude 2900 a.s.l. Our bus will leave us at the camp-site (Tosor Pass some­times is not avail­able even for 4WD truck) and dri­ve around via Kochkor and Sary Bulak vil­lages. We meet our bus at the camp side. One of the great moun­tain sys­tems of Cen­tral Asia, the Tien Shan is the most dis­tant, unknown and cap­ti­vat­ing, a bound­less expanse of peaks, many of which have nev­er been explored. It strad­dles the bor­der between Chi­na and Kyr­gyzs­tan and also extends into Kaza­khstan, Tajik­istan, and Uzbek­istan. The immense fer­tile and vir­tu­al­ly unknown val­leys are pop­u­lat­ed by flocks of sheep, herds of hors­es, yaks, cow and nomadic shep­herds liv­ing in the tra­di­tion­al dwelling – yurt. Most of the val­leys have no tourist facil­i­ties or even vil­lages, and in some cas­es there are no roads. Arrival to the camp and lunch. After that you are free to stay here and relax or con­tin­ue cycling around. It all depends on your phys­i­cal skills. Option­al­ly: we will be able to descend to the Lake and swim. Then vis­it Skaz­ka canyon and get back to tent camp by our bicy­cles along the unpaved road and nar­row moun­tain path (20 km both ways).Dinner and overnight in tent camp at the alti­tude 2900 m asl. Bik­ing: 35 km (20 km option­al­ly).
Day 4
Over Tosor pass. After break­fast ride 23 km up to Tosor Pass (3893 a.s.l.) and then down 35 km until Jely-Suu springs. Night in tents (about 3000 a.s.l.). This night and next two nights are sup­posed to spend in tents because no Yurt Camps are. You must be ready that it will be the most dif­fi­cult day and if you don’t sure in your phys­i­cal pow­er, it will be bet­ter for you to go by bus. Bik­ing: 58 km, unpaved road and moun­tain path.
Day 5
Radi­al ride to Teshik Kul Lake . This day we hike up to the Teshik Kul Lake (3720 m) (10 km both ways). It’s pos­si­ble to try catch some fish. Here we can find very good trout and “Marin­ka”. If you like to fish, please, don’t for­get to take your spin­ners and hooks. There are about two thou­sand moun­tain lakes in Kyr­gyzs­tan, most of which are locat­ed at alti­tudes between 2500 and 4000 meters above sea lev­el. The lakes in their major­i­ty were formed as a result of glacia­tion. In Kyr­gyz the word “kul”, as in Issyk Kul, Son Kul or Chatyr Kul (the three biggest lakes in the coun­try) means “lake”. The word “Teshik” stands in Kyr­gyz for “a hole” or “a pit”. It is a beau­ti­ful place with many dif­fer­ent views depend­ing on the sea­son. The way back to the tent camp. Din­ner and overnight.
Day 6
To Eki Nar­in Gorge.After break­fast we start ride, to Eki Nar­in Gorge 68 km most­ly down as our camp this night will be at the alti­tude 2500 a.s.l. Our way goes through amaz­ing land­scapes with celes­tial moun­tains and vast val­leys, fas­ci­nat­ing views of snow-capped moun­tain rangers and awe­some gorges with fast moun­tain rivers, alpine lakes and nomads liv­ing in yurts, shep­herds dri­ving their flocks of sheep and herds of hors­es and cows up to the moun­tains in spring and bring them down to the val­leys in autumn… The bus will escort all the day long. Din­ner and overnight in tent camp. Bik­ing: 68 km, unpaved road and moun­tain path (the last 30 km will run in for­est).
Day 7
To Son Kul Lake (250 km). After break­fast we start dri­ve to Son Kul Lake (3016 m.) via Mol­do Ashuu Pass (3346 m). All the day in the bus with sev­er­al pho­to and toi­let stops, includ­ing lunch pic­nic. Son Kul is a moun­tain lake locat­ed in the Tien Shan Moun­tain Range at an alti­tude of 3016m. Son Kul is used by the shep­herds from the Kochkor, Naryn and At-Bashi regions as a jailoo – a pas­ture dur­ing the sum­mer months. It is con­sid­ered the pearl of Kyr­gyz djailoos. The route to Son Kul winds through moun­tain­ous ter­rain until it seems to dis­ap­pear into the very sky itself. This is prob­a­bly why Son Kul is trans­lat­ed from Kyr­gyz as “the last lake”. Arrival to Son Kul Lake and accom­mo­da­tion in yurt camp. Din­ner and overnight. Bik­ing: no bik­ing this day.
Day 8
Son Kul Lake – Naryn town (180 km). Ride from the Lake to the main road about 70 km over moun­tain pass (3133m above sea lev­el), ser­pen­tine road till the asphalt part, where we fin­ish our cycling and move fur­ther to Naryn town by bus. Naryn is a town with a long, thin shape which strad­dles the fast flow­ing Naryn Riv­er and is set between high, steep cliffs. The mod­ern town of Naryn was found­ed in 1868 as a Russ­ian gar­ri­son town, and much of the cur­rent town is post-war (Sovi­et archi­tec­ture). Ear­ly set­tle­ments have been found in caves near the town of Naryn, how­ev­er, and there are sto­ries that sug­gest that the name itself is quite old. There are sev­er­al ver­sions explain­ing the mean­ing of the word Naryn”. One says that it is also the name for a sort of soup with fine­ly cut meat. Anoth­er source sug­gests that the name comes from the Mon­go­lian word for “sun­ny”. Arrival to Naryn town and accom­mo­da­tion in a hotel. Din­ner and overnight. Bik­ing: 70 km, unpaved road and moun­tain path (wide unpaved road).
Day 9
Naryn town – Tash Rabat Car­a­vanserai (115 km). After break­fast we start dri­ve to Tash Rabat car­a­vanserai – 100 km.At the end of asphalt road we start cycling until the yurt camp (8 km). Option­al­ly: Upon arrival to the yurt camp you can cycle to Tash Rabat Car­a­vanserai, 3200 m (14 km both ways). In one of the gorges of the At Bashi ridge is hid­den Tash Rabat, a Silk Road times car­a­van serai. Tash Rabat is a care­ful­ly restored stone build­ing that once housed an inn on the Great Silk Road. Its date of ori­gin is a com­plete mys­tery; how­ev­er, there is archae­o­log­i­cal evi­dence to sug­gest that the site was occu­pied in the 10th cen­tu­ry. There is evi­dence that it was a place of both rest and wor­ship and would have served to pro­tect car­a­vans trav­el­ing to and from Chi­na from both the rav­ages of the weath­er and of ban­dits; even before the time of both Tamer­lane and Genghis Khan. Din­ner and overnight in the yurt camp. Bik­ing: 22 km unpaved road.
Day 10
Tash Rabat Car­a­vanserai – Bishkek city (480 km). Today we leave Tash Rabat Car­a­vanserai and dri­ve to Bishkek via Naryn town and Kochkor vil­lage. Lunch in Kochkor vil­lage in local fam­i­ly, where pos­si­ble to vis­it sou­venir shop-muse­um and buy some stuff. Evening arrival to Bishkek city. If it won’t be too late, we will be able to vis­it Osh ori­en­tal mar­ket or cen­tral square Ala Too. Din­ner in a local café. Option­al­ly: Din­ner in a local restau­rant with folk­lore per­for­mance. Dur­ing din­ner we take the unique oppor­tu­ni­ty to lis­ten to the Man­aschi (a singer per­form­ing the nation­al Kyr­gyz epos, Man­as) and see Kyr­gyz folk-show. The musi­cians in tra­di­tion­al Kyr­gyz cos­tumes present you a wide range of nation­al musi­cal instru­ments – start­ing from Komuz (a thre- stringed wood­en musi­cal instru­ment) to Chopo Choi (wind instru­ment made of moun­tain reed ). You hear the fas­ci­nat­ing singing of young Kyr­gyz ladies and men. Overnight in a hotel. Bik­ing: no bik­ing this day.
Day 11
Bishkek – air­port (30 km). In the morn­ing you will be trans­ferred to the inter­na­tion­al air­port “Man­as” to catch your flight back home.

Price “On the mountain roads of Kyrgyzstan” in USD

Accom­mo­da­tion in DBL: $1750 USD per per­son
Accom­mo­da­tion in SGL: $1900 USD per per­son
Min­i­mum 5 par­tic­i­pants nec­es­sary

Price includes:

• Bicy­cle guide + Eng­lish speak­ing guide
• All trans­fers accord­ing to the pro­gram
• Full meals accord­ing to the pro­gram
• Cook for days 3–4 ‑5–6
• Bike mechan­ic
• Entrance fees, tolls and envi­ron­men­tal fees
• Accom­mo­da­tion in hotels in dou­ble rooms and guest hous­es
• Accom­mo­da­tion in yurts
• In camp­ing accom­mo­da­tion in tents

Price doesn’t include:

• Visa
• Insur­ance
• Per­son­al expens­es
• Inter­na­tion­al flights
• Devi­a­tions from the main pro­gram

Par­tic­i­pants must have health insur­ance and an acci­dent insur­er.
Par­tic­i­pants are encour­aged to use their own habit­u­al med­ica­tion.
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