Max travel Kazakhstan Agency

Max travel Kazakhstan Agency


Issyk Lake

This is one of the most interesting tours in Zailisky Alatau. It used to be the pearl of the northern Tian Shan until it was destroyed by a big mudslide in 1963 and it restored itself only to 60 % of its original size. Despite this it still attracts a lot of tourists every year.
The road to the lake goes through the town Issyk (the former village Nadezhdinskaya). We get here after crossing an area of steppe with numerous barrows. These are graves of the Scythians who lived between the 7th and 1st centuries BC. Here you can see the excavated barrow with utensils and arms that belonged to the Scythians. The famous Golden Man was buried in a similar barrow.

Then we cross the town of Issyk and move along the picturesque gorge of which the slopes are covered by different kinds of vegetation. The mountains are especially beautiful in spring when wild apple and apricot trees are blossoming and in autumn when every bush and every tree has unbelievable colors. Suddenly a green surface appears after a turn. The lake is 1760m above sea level. Before the mudslide its surface area was 1 square km. Now it’s a bit more than half of that. The mountains around it are covered by Tian Shan furs, birches and pines. The road that goes round the lake brings us to the reserve where among the wild growths of trees there is an abundance of flowers and herbs, mushrooms and wild strawberries. The walk here leads us to the “Kremlin gates” – two vertical walls 30-40m high with a dam between them that was built by Georgian engineers to stop further mudslides.


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