Sport and Activities

Hiking and trekking : Due to the country’s rugged landscape and incredible mountain ranges, mountain climbing and trekking are becoming increasingly popular with visitors. The best season for trekking is between June and September. Horseriding is also popular in Kazakhstan. Visitors may either take part in or view competitions of the many Kazakh equestrian sports, such as baiga, kiz-kuu and kokpar.

Wintersports : Near Almaty, 12km (7 miles) from the city centre surrounded by mountains, the Medeu ice-skating rink is the largest speed-skating rink in the world and is very popular with all the inhabitants of the capital. Over 120 world records in ice-skating and ice hockey have been set at Medeu. A comfortable hotel, restaurant and cafe are located nearby. Ice hockey games can be viewed at the rink in Ust-Kamenogorsk. On a spur of Zaili Alatau, 7km (4 miles) to the south, the wintersports complex of Chimbulak offers some of the finest skiing in the CIS and many ski competitions take place here. Skis and boots can be hired, but they are not up to Western European or US standards. Costs are minimal. Shymbulak is a popular ski resort, located near Medeu ice rink, with a 1.6km (1-mile) chair lift.

Watersports : All the regional centres boast sport complexes, swimming pools and training halls. Rafting and canoeing can be easily arranged through local travel agents. The Ili river between Lake Qapshaghay and Lake Balhash is a good place for this.

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Information provided by Kazakstan Tourism Board.

 

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