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WELCOME TO ALMATY
Bridge between Europe and Asia, Kazakhstan is a fascinatingly multicultural country in Central Asia. This big country, which stretches from the Caspian Sea to China, is one of Asia’s most diverse, where ethnic Kazakhs and Russians rub shoulders with Uzbeks, Tatars, Ukrainians, Germans and many more in a desirably pleasant mix.
Almaty is the biggest city, may have yielded capital status to its showy young rival, Astana, but it remains the country’s cultural and financial center, and guardian of the Kazakh soul. Almaty tour remains full of surprises for tourists looking for trips closer to nature. Amazingly set beneath the snow-capped peaks of the commanding Zailysky-Alatau Mountains, it’s a tranquil, amusingly green city filled with fancy malls and fountains, black-windowed SUVs and broad, busy roads. It’s the classy, modern center of a wealthy petro-economy for sure, but one with enough wonders to make Almaty package a highlight of any visit to Kazakhstan.
There’s no better summary to Kazakhstan’s multilayered ethnic patchwork than the lively Green Bazaar market hall, where sellers from across Central Asia and as far afield as Korea gather to sell their goods.
Just half an hour drive away, the ski resort of Shymbulak smashes the headlines in 2014 when Prince Harry took, Cressida Bonas for a spin on the slopes. The resort is surprisingly ritzy, and the skiing among the best in Central Asia. Almaty’s chilly, sunny winters assuring cold, crusty snow well into April and invariably good conditions.
Compressed by earthquakes more than once, Almaty is not a city crammed with historic buildings. Standing proudly rebellious in leafy Panfilov Park, one alluring exception is the Cathedral of the Holy Ascension – a confection of pastel-hued gables, lustrously painted tiles and gold domes – that rises almost 60 m and was built without a single nail. In short Almaty is a place full of wonders, so book your Almaty tour package now and be ready for a wonderful trip.