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Holidays

Cycling in Kazakhstan

Kazakhstan
Available Departures: Jun, Aug, Sep

11 days from

US$2,725

without flights
Cycle
Guided Group
MODERATE MODERATE

A mountain and desert cycling holiday in the Central Asian state of Kazakhstan

Trip Code: KNMB
Holiday Grades

Our Holiday Grades Explained

To show the relative difficulty of our holidays, each trip is graded on a scale of 1 to 12, with 12 being the most challenging. Although we have tried to make our grading system as clear as possible, it cannot take into account your personal interests, abilities or experience. If you have any questions about the nature of a particular trip or its suitability for you, please read the 'Is this holiday for you?' section or contact us.

 1 - 3 LEISURELY
1 - 3 LEISURELY

Suitable for most people in good health, holidays at this grade include only limited amounts of activity.

View leisurely holidays
4 - 6 MODERATE
4 - 6 MODERATE

Suitable for reasonably fit individuals, such as weekend walkers and cyclists. There can be the occasional more difficult day.

View moderate holidays
7 - 9 CHALLENGING
7 - 9 CHALLENGING

Physically challenging holidays, where you need to be prepared before you go.

View challenging holidays
10 - 12 TOUGH
10 - 12 TOUGH

Our toughest holidays, involving many long days, often in isolated areas. A high level of fitness and previous wilderness and mountain experience is essential.

View Tough holidays

Cycling in Kazakhstan

Highlights
  • Views of Khan Tengri (7010m) and the central Tien Shan peaks from Lake Tuzkol
  • Meet and take tea with nomadic Kazakh shepherds at their yurt encampments
  • Visit the Golden Man Museum, dedicated to a Scythian warrior from the 4th century BC
  • Hike to the top of the ‘Singing Sand-Dune’ for far-reaching views

At a Glance
  • Group Size 5 to 16
  • 9 days cycling
  • 570 kilometres
  • 65% off-road and dirt road
  • 100% vehicle supported
  • Max altitude - 3000 metres
  • Join in Almaty

Accommodation & Meals
  • All meals included
  • 2 nights Hotel
  • 6 nights Camping
  • 2 nights Guesthouse
Overview

This varied and exciting Central Asian mountain biking holiday is focused on the south-eastern corner of Kazakhstan, close to the borders with both China and Kirghizstan and overlooked by the 7000 metre-high snow peaks of the Tien Shan. Access to this fascinating region is through the city of Almaty, founded on the site of an old Silk Road oasis in 1854 and now a prosperous and sophisticated place with leafy parks, cosmopolitan cafes, excellent museums, shops and restaurants.


KE has a long history of running mountain biking holidays in Kazakhstan (first trip in 2004), but this latest version is a little bit different. We have reduced the difficulty a little whilst expanding the range of the territory that we cover. We start out with a week in the northern foothills of the Tien Shan, cycling on a mix of surfaced and grassy dirt roads that cut through the open grassland or ‘steppe’ of several picturesque valleys. There are isolated farming villages in this area and also scattered camps of nomadic Kazakh shepherds who come to these upland valleys in summer with their flocks of sheep and herds of horses. Riding cross-country between riverside camps, we’ll have the chance to take tea at the yurt encampments of these charming people. An early highlight of the holiday is our night at a yurt camp in the spectacular Charyn Canyon where we can do some exploring and experience the magic of sunrise on the canyon’s striking rock formations. Then, following a route that dates back to the Silk Road, we cycle up onto the Kegen Plateau and spend a night beside Lake Tuzkol where the views extend to Khan Tengri (7010m) and the other central Tien Shan summits. Transferring into the Altyn-Emel National Park, we then have 2 days of exploration in a beautiful desert world, cycling between outrageously colourful sandstone formations and hiking to the top of the 120 metre high ‘Singing Sand Dune’. This is an outstanding Central Asian cycling holiday and a real adventure travel experience in a remote, seldom visited and culturally intriguing area.

Is this holiday for you?

MOUNTAIN BIKING. This tremendous holiday covers around 570 kilometres in 9 days of cycling. Approximately one third of this is on surfaced roads and two thirds on unsurfaced tracks. The conditions that you need to be prepared for include hardpack gravel tracks that are very straightforward to ride on, loose and sometimes rocky tracks with short sections that can be quite challenging and tracks whi …

MOUNTAIN BIKING. This tremendous holiday covers around 570 kilometres in 9 days of cycling. Approximately one third of this is on surfaced roads and two thirds on unsurfaced tracks. The conditions that you need to be prepared for include hardpack gravel tracks that are very straightforward to ride on, loose and sometimes rocky tracks with short sections that can be quite challenging and tracks which are little-used and grass-covered. These unsurfaced tracks were originally used for forest access and to connect some of the more remote settlement in the area. None of the cycling is technical, but there are some long and quite tough climbs and some descents on loose terrain where care is needed. You can expect to encounter sections where you will have to step off the bike. Our rugged off-road support vehicle will follow the group throughout the whole trip and we must stress that aside from the usual kit and food that you would carry on any day ride at home, you will not be required to carry any additional equipment - this is adventure mountain biking at its purest. This holiday will provide a fun challenge for regular weekend bikers with reasonable off-road skills. BIKE HIRE AVAILABLE LOCALLY.

Why KE?

Experience Counts!
The south-eastern corner of Kazakhstan is a wild and wonderful part of the world and this exciting holiday (set up using our more than 15 years experience of running bike trips in the Tien Shan) shows it off perfectly.

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Itinerary

Your holiday starts at the hotel in Almaty. A single group transfer is provided from Almaty Airport in the early morning. We then have some time to rest before lunch and in the afternoon there's a 3-hour sightseeing tour of Almaty with our tour guide. Almaty is a lively, colourful and clean Soviet-built city with wide tree-lined streets and a quite cosmopolitan atmosphere. There will also be time today to pick up your hire bike or reassemble your own bike. Dinner and overnight at the group hotel.

Accommodation

Hotel

Meals

B L D

After breakfast at the hotel, we transfer eastwards out of the city for an hour to the Museum of the Golden Man where we can see some of the artefacts excavated in 1969 from a burial mound near the town of Issyk. The person buried in this tomb is believed to have been a young Scythian (4th century BC) prince (or princess) dressed in a warrior's costume fashioned from 4000 pieces of gold. The Golden Man is a symbol of independent Kazakhstan. After our visit to the museum, we have a short transfer before setting off on our bikes near a bridge over the Turgen River. This is one of 7 rivers which flow out of the beautiful, mountainous and surprisingly wild Alatau National Park which lies immediately to the south and east of Almaty. Our ride begins along an avenue shaded by cottonwood trees, then follows a quiet, well-surfaced road which takes us beside a large water channel (with waterfalls) which supplies the city of Almaty. Gaining a little height, we have panoramic views on our left side which encompass the city suburbs and a picturesque patchwork of agricultural land; orchards, fields and villages. To the south, we can catch a glimpse of the highest peak in the Zailiysky Alatau range, Pik Talgar (4978m). Still heading east through the foothills of the Tien Shan with a few short hills to negotiate, we reach our camp on a grassy site beside the Chilik River at around 900 metres elevation.

Accommodation

Camping

Meals

B L D

Time

5 - 6 hrs cycling

Distance

70 KM

We have an initial transfer of about half an hour on the road which links Almaty with Urumqi in the neighbouring Xinjiang province of China. Then, turning off onto a dirt road, we saddle up and set off on a ride into the Bogutti Mountains, home to elusive Caucasian wild goats. Our ride takes us beside dry rivers and through groves of sand-bar willows to a low pass at around 1520 metres, with views northwards to the Ile River which flows into Kapchagai Lake. Heading south now, we have a long and steady descent through the rocky Sogetty Valley, before crossing the main road (to China) again and turning off on a small spur road (dirt at first and then paved) that takes us into the Charyn Canyon National Park. We can see the impressive rock formations ahead of us as we make a final steep 3 kilometre descent to the 'Valley of Castles'. The rock pillars that frame the canyon are particularly impressive at sunset. We will set up our camp for the night close to the canyon.

Accommodation

Camping

Meals

B L D

Time

6 hrs cycling

Distance

70 KM

We'll have an early wake-up call this morning for those who want to see (and photograph) the Charyn Canyon at its best. The morning sun brilliantly illuminates and highlights the red sandstone rock formations. Then, after breakfast at camp, we will transfer in the support vehicle for 25 kilometres, crossing the eastern end of the long spur of the Toraygir Mountains. On the south side of this range, we'll get back on our bikes and ride on a level tarmac road which meanders above the upper Charyn Canyon which at this point is around 100 metres deep. We will have the chance to check out one of a number of roadside gun emplacements, built by the Russians in the late 1960's during an escalation of hostilities with the Chinese. Then, as we leave the Charyn River (and its canyon) behind, we find ourselves in a more open valley with distant views of the snow-capped Tien Shan peaks. The good, paved road ends near the village of Algabas, a place which has a long history of breeding horses. We cross the Chilik River again at a bridge and turn off into the tributary Zhenishke Valley, following a gravel road gradually uphill for 12 kilometres to reach our idyllic camp place amongst willow trees and beside the river at an elevation of 1300 metres.

Accommodation

Camping

Meals

B L D

Time

5 - 6 hrs cycling

Distance

60 KM

It's an easy start to the day as we retrace our route, this time downhill, to Algabas. We then ride off-road towards the high range of the Kungey Alatau which forms the border between Kazakhstan and Kirghizstan to the south. About 40 kilometres into the day's ride we reach the village of Zhalanash which was at the epicentre of catastrophic earthquake in 1973. High up on the peaks to the south, you can still see the rock-fall scars caused by this earthquake. We are back on a surfaced road as we ride through the village and then down into the valley formed by several streams which flow down from the Kungey Alatau and into the Kegen River. An undulating paved road then takes us to our green meadow camping place at an elevation of 1600 metres. This place has a part in the history of exploration of this region. In 1856 the Russian explorer Piotr Semenov, who was looking for a route through to unknown Lake Issyk-Kul (just across the border in Kirghizstan), camped here with his escort of 50 Cossack horsemen. Approximately half of today's ride is on a gravel and dirt road.

Accommodation

Camping

Meals

B L D

Time

5 hrs cycling

Distance

60 KM

Heading east, we cycle up onto a region of high steppes known as the Kegen Plateau. We pass a water supply channel and hydro-electric installation at Moynakskaya and enjoy a morning of easy cycling through a mix of grassland and small communities set amongst farmland. Until the beginning of the 20th century, it was traditional for Uighur (Chinese), Kirghiz and Kazakh people to come together each year at a 'Silk Road' trade fair on this high plain. This took place near the settlement of Karkara on the Kazakh-Kirghiz border, which we will visit during today's ride. Continuing to head east beside the upper Kegen River, we will reach a low pass (2100m) followed by a 6 kilometre descent to our camp near the village of Aktasty (1840m). Approximately 20 kilometres of today's ride is on dirt roads.

Accommodation

Camping

Meals

B L D

Time

6 hrs cycling

Distance

62 KM

We ride a mix of surfaced and off-road route today, as we cross the high plain of the Kegen Plateau towards Kazakhstan's eastern border with China. The plain is so level here that the streams that cross it have cut complicated meanders into the grassland. There are also some areas dedicated to crops and we pass a number of farms and at least one Kazakh village, Karasaz. By early afternoon we reach our camping place beside the salty lake of Tuzkol (1950m) whose name means salt lake. This is an amazing place and an unusual lake. The level of saltiness depends on the amount of water influx and outflow and all kinds of odd vegetation grows here. Expect weird and wonderful colours and some great photo opportunities. If the conditions are clear, the views extend southwards to the central peaks of the Tien Shan, including the striking marble pyramid of Khan Tengri (7010m). Around 60 kilometres of today's ride is on gravel and dirt roads.

Accommodation

Camping

Meals

B L D

Time

6 hrs cycling

Distance

72 KM

Another early wake up and the chance to see the lake at its best. Conditions can be particularly clear in the early morning and this might be the best chance to get a good view of Kan Tengri. We will be leaving the mountains today, but first we have another great ride. From Lake Tuzkol we ride steadily up the Shalkude Valley which is rich in alpine flowers and often home to the yurt camps of local herdsmen. Crossing the crystal clear Shalkude River, we begin a 15 kilometre climb through a narrow, steep-sided valley to the Ketmen Pass (3000m). There are great views from here, south to the Central Tien Shan and eastwards to peaks in China. From this remote pass, we have a super 12 kilometre descent on a quite smooth and twisting dirt road to Ketmen Village at just 1500 metres. In the late afternoon, we board our transport for the transfer northwards, leaving the mountains and entering a hot desert area at around 1000 metres elevation. Our overnight accommodation is at a basic guesthouse in Basshiy in the Altyn Emel National Park. Sandwiched between the Ili River and the Ak-Tau Mountains, this 4600 square kilometre rock and desert reserve is home to many hundreds of rare plant and animal species. There is a nearby visitor centre and museum where we can get an insight into this UNESCO-listed park. This evening, it will be good to take a hot shower and go out to a cafe for dinner.

Accommodation

Guesthouse

Meals

B L D

Time

6 hrs cycling

Distance

55 KM

We aim to make the most of our first desert ride and make a reasonably early start. Cycling straight from our accommodation, we ride a fairly level, tarmac and gravel road into the Ak-Tau Mountains. Formed of blue-grey sandstone and reddish clays, layered with paler bands, these mountains are simply spectacular. There are all kinds of spiky plants on the roadside and we might catch a distant glimpse of some of the region's wildlife, including the argali (a large and big-horned wild sheep) and the shy Persian gazelle. At the end of a fascinating ride, reaching an area of steep-sided valleys which split the multi-coloured landscape, we'll find a high viewpoint and look out across the Ili River to the south as the sun starts to drop towards the horizon. Transferring back to our guesthouse accommodation in Basshiy, we'll have a late dinner. Almost all of today's ride is on gravel roads.

Accommodation

Guesthouse

Meals

B L D

Time

6 hrs cycling

Distance

70 KM

On this final day of gravel road cycling we will ride easily down towards the southern edge of the park with great views across the rocky desert landscape throughout. At the oasis of Minbulak we can take a break beneath shading willow trees and look down into an underground irrigation channel home to shoals of small fish. The road climbs very gradually for the final approach to one of the Altyn-Emel's greatest attractions, the Singing Sand Dune. Otherwise known as the Poyushchiy Barchan, this is a big dune; 3 kilometres long and 120 metres high. Wind blowing across the dune can cause the grains of sand to rub together and vibrate, producing a range of sounds. We will have plenty of time to leave the bikes and hike to the top of the dune for panoramic photos. After an easy ride back to Minbulak, we'll have lunch, load our bikes on the support vehicle and set off on the scenic 4-hour drive across the Altyn-Emel Pass (1430m) and back to Almaty. After freshening up at the group hotel, we'll go out on the town for a farewell dinner.

Accommodation

Hotel

Meals

B L D

Time

5 - 6 hrs cycling

Distance

54 KM

Your holiday ends after an early breakfast. A single early morning transfer to Almaty Airport is provided.

Meals

B
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The Route
Airport Airport
Point Point
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Essential Information

We've compiled some of our Frequently Asked Questions to help you learn more about this amazing trip.

  • An experienced English-speaking local cycling guide
  • Single timed Almaty Airport transfers on Day 1 and Day 11 of the Land Only itinerary
  • Vehicle support and driver(s) and any other land transport involved in the itinerary
  • All accommodation as detailed in the trip dossier
  • All meals throughout the trip
  • Full camping service including all equipment (excluding personal equipment)

  • Travel insurance
  • Almaty Airport transfers (other than timed group transfers)
  • Tips for drivers and other staff
  • Kazakh Visa fees (if needed)
  • Miscellaneous expenses - drinks and souvenirs etc
  • Bike Carriage on the flights - please check with your carrier for charges
  • Bike hire

The group will meet at the hotel in Almaty.

A single group transfer from Almaty Airport is provided in the early morning of Day 1 of the Land Only itinerary. A single group transfer back to Almaty Airport is also provided in the early morning of the final day of the itinerary.

Anyone may join the group transfers by prior arrangement. Travelling as a group or on public transport saves energy. If this is not practical, we can provide private transfers at an additional cost. Taxis are also available.

Hotel contact details and an emergency number will be provided with your booking confirmation.
Clients booking a Land Only Package MUST provide the KE office with full details of their flights.

All meals are included, from breakfast on Day 1 of the Land Only itinerary to breakfast on Day 11.

It is not recommended to drink untreated water from the taps. If you are on a trekking or cycling holiday, water is supplied to fill up your individual bottles. This will be boiled, filtered or provided in large jerry cans or 5 litre bottles. Additionally you should take purification tablets or a filter bottle (such as a Water-To-Go bottle) to treat your water when in towns or where water is not supplied. We do not encourage the purchasing of single use plastic bottles.

The food served during the camping section is a mixture of local and Western, purchased locally and cooked for us by well-trained camp cooks. Please note that vegetarianism is a concept not widely understood in Central Asia. Whilst we can cater for vegetarians on this trip, choices will be limited and a degree of flexibility is required. You may wish to bring along some energy bars from home to use during the course of the cycling day, as these are not readily available in Kazakhstan.

During this holiday, the group will spend 2 nights (Day 1 and Day 10) at a comfortable, centrally located hotel in Almaty. There will also be 2 nights in very basic guesthouse accommodation in Basshiy and 6 nights wild camping. Whilst wild camping we use roomy 2-person tents and there is also a dining tent, a toilet tent and a camp shower. All accommodation is allocated on a twin-sharing basis except for the night at the yurt camp in the Charyn Canyon, where up to 8 persons will sleep in each roomy yurt. If you are travelling by yourself you will be paired up with another single client of the same sex. It is possible to pre-book single room occupancy for the 2 nights in Almaty and the 2 nights in Basshiy at additional cost. Single tent occupancy can also be pre-arranged at additional cost.

An experienced, English-speaking local cycling guide will accompany the group throughout the holiday. One or more support vehicles and driver(s), an interpreter and a camp support and cook team will also travel with the group.

This holiday does not involve any significant ascent to altitude and we would not expect any altitude issues with this trip.

Approximately $150 should be allowed for miscellaneous expenses and you should take this money in the form of US dollars currency. You should allow $80 for trek staff tips. Outside of Almaty, there is little opportunity to spend anything. If you are intending to buy expensive souvenirs, you should budget accordingly (credit cards can be useful in this respect).

Tipping is expected in this part of the world, although you should only tip for services which are well done. The total amount that you can expect to pay in tips for your local guide, trek crew and drivers is approximately $80. The local guide will help to coordinate these payments and decide on an appropriate level of tipping for each crew member.

If you are taking your own mountain bike, it should be either a ‘hardtail’ with front suspension or a lightweight full suspension bike. It should have a good range of gears and should be fitted with moderately knobbly cross-country tyres which work well on the range of surfaces typically found on our Mountain Biking holidays.

Since you are depending on your bike to transport you throughout your holiday, across at times demanding terrain, it’s important to ensure it is in good working order. If you are not mechanically minded, get your local bicycle dealer to service it for you.

Please contact us if you are unsure about the suitability of your bike.

Bike hire is available locally for this holiday. Our local agent has 2015 model BIWEC hardtail mountain bikes. These are alloy framed bikes made by Merida (one of the biggest international bicycle manufacturers) and rebranded in Kazakhstan as BIWEC. These bikes have Shimano components, triple chainsets (21 gears), Suntour 100 milimetre suspension forks, and cable-operated disc brakes. The bikes have 26-inch wheels and come in 16, 18 and 20 inch frame sizes. There is limited availability and the bikes will be allocated on a first-come-first-served basis. The cost of hiring a bike for the duration of the trip is $200. This must be paid directly to the ground agent on arrival in Almaty in US$ cash. We must stress that your hire contract is with our local agent and KE cannot be held responsible for any issues arising from your bike hire. Please note that the hire bikes have flat pedals. If you usually ride clipped-in, you will need to take your own SPD (or similar) shoes and pedals. You might also want to take your own saddle, which will go a long way towards making the hire bike feel like your own bike. You will also need to take your own helmet, which must be worn at all times when riding. PLEASE NOTE THAT THE HIRE BIKES ARE SET UP IN THE CONTINENTAL WAY WITH THE LEFT-HAND BRAKE LEVER OPERATING THE FRONT BRAKE.

Airlines require that you pack your bike properly for travel and for this holiday we recommend that you use either soft bike bag or a purpose-made bike box or case. Whether you are using a bag or a case, you will need to partially dismantle your bike to pack it. Please note that bike bags or boxes will be placed in secure storage and will not travel with us during the course of the trip.

Please contact us if you have any questions about travelling with your bike. 

We have one or more support vehicles which accompanies the group throughout the tour. The principal support is usually provided by a rugged 6-wheel off-road vehicle which has no difficulty on the rolling gravel roads, nor crossing the several streams which have to be forded. Group members will naturally have differing levels of fitness and it’s normal for the group to become strung out, with a fair distance between the front and rear cyclists. The support vehicle will bring up the rear and the tour leader will arrange regular stops to allow the group to reform. The support vehicle can pick up cyclists wishing to take a break at any time.

Apart from your bike in its bag or box (if you are taking your own bike), you should travel with one main item of luggage, such as a KE Trek Bag or similar holdall, as well as a small day pack or mountain bike-specific hydration pack. The day pack can be used to carry valuable items such as cameras and GPS devices whilst travelling and will also carry your day-ride essentials during the rides. Your baggage allowance on the flights will depend on your airline.

When choosing your flights, whether booking them directly or through KE, you will need to consider the cost of carrying your bike. These costs are your responsibility.

For each holiday there is a minimum number of participants required to enable it to go ahead. Once the minimum number is reached, the trip status will change from 'Available' to 'Guaranteed to run'. You can check the trip status for each departure in ‘Dates and Prices’ table. Other than in exceptional circumstances, we will not cancel a trip once it has achieved this guaranteed to run status and so you are free to proceed with your international flight booking and other travel arrangements.

The information that we provide is for UK passport holders. A passport with 6 months remaining validity at the end of your stay is generally required, and you should have at least 2 blank pages for each country that you visit.

It is your responsibility to ensure that you have the correct travel documents and visas for your holiday. Please ensure that you check for the latest advice before travel. For the most up to date information on entry requirements, please visit the UK Government website.

Effective from 1 January 2022, citizens of the UK, the USA and EU countries do not require a visa to visit Kazakhstan as a tourist for a period of up to 30 days. Other nationalities should check the requirements directly with their own government travel advice, or with the Kazakhstan embassy in their own country.

If you have a severe allergy please inform the KE office before you travel. We will do all we can to help, but we cannot guarantee an allergy free environment on KE trips. You will need to carry your own treatment for the allergy with you, as 'adrenaline auto-injectors' are not carried as standard by KE leaders and staff. You should inform your leader on arrival of your allergy, and let them know where you keep your adrenaline pen.

VACCINATIONS

You should contact your doctor or travel clinic to check whether you require any specific vaccinations or other preventive measures. You should be up to date with routine courses and boosters as recommended in the UK e.g. diphtheria-tetanus-polio and measles-mumps-rubella, along with hepatitis A and typhoid. A good online resource is Travel Health Pro.

The unit of currency in Kazakhstan is the Kazakhstani Tenge.

The better conditioned you are the more you will enjoy your trip. We suggest that you adopt a sensible weekly exercise regime and fit in a number of long cycle rides in hilly country to ensure you are physically capable of taking part in this trip - this will also provide you with an opportunity to make sure all your riding kit is tried and tested before you travel. Cycling is obviously the best activity to prepare for this trip, however, running and swimming are also good for developing aerobic fitness and stamina.

Daytime maximum temperatures will generally be between 20ºC and 25ºC, falling to between 10ºC and 15ºC at night. We may have a couple of early starts to take advantage of relatively cool morning conditions. On the highest parts of our route, we can expect to encounter cool and windy conditions and some additional clothing layers are needed. In the foothills of the Tien Shan and in the Altyn Emel National Park in the early autumn season we can expect warm days with clear skies and little rain or snow. However, weather in mountainous areas is notoriously difficult to predict and short-lived storms can occur at any time of the year. In short, you need to be prepared for everything!

As a reputable tour operator, KE supports the British Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office's ‘Travel Aware campaign to enable British citizens to prepare for their journeys overseas. The 'Travel Aware' website provides a single, authoritative source of advice for all kinds of travellers and we recommend that prior to travel, all KE clients visit the official UK Government website at travelaware.campaign.gov.uk and read the FCDO Travel Advice for their chosen destination. North Americans can also check out the U.S. Department of State website: www.travel.state.gov for essential travel advice and tips.

KE treat the safety and security of all clients as the most important aspect of any trip we organise. We would not run any trip that we did not consider reasonably safe.  Should the FCDO advise against travel for any reason, we will contact everyone booked to travel to discuss the situation.  We receive regular updates direct from the FCDO and are in constant touch with our contacts on the ground.  If you have any questions about government travel advice, please call our office.

KE do not encourage the use of single use plastic items. We are ensuring that our agents all over the world are working together to reduce the problem and educate those around them. We are leading by example in our KE office by reducing our plastic use.

  • Kazakhstan. Bradt Travel Guide.
  • Central Asia. Lonely Planet.
  • Foreign Devils on the Silk Road. Peter Hopkirk.
  • Mountains of the Middle Kingdom. Galen Rowell.

  • EWP. Central Asian Series at 1:500,000 scale. Almaty and Karakol sheets.
  • Kazakhstan. Reise Know-How. 1:2,000,000 scale.

It is an essential condition of joining a holiday with KE Adventure Travel that you have a valid travel insurance policy to cover the cost of medical treatment and to protect the value of your holiday in the event of cancellation.  When taking out insurance please ensure the policy you choose covers you for the activities and altitude included in your itinerary.

For appropriate insurance cover we recommend Campbell Irvine Direct.  Please go to our Travel Insurance page for further information and to get a quote.

Please note that a paper copy of your travel insurance is required if you are travelling to Huaraz and the Huayhuash region.

For this holiday you will need your usual cycling clothing, including shoes, cycling gloves and helmet (which must be worn at all times when cycling). Whether you are hiring a bike or taking your own, we recommend that you take the usual day-ride essentials of: mobile phone, multi-tool, mini-pump, tyre levers, spare tubes and puncture repair kit.

Bike Wear

  • Cycling helmet
  • Cycling shoes
  • Daypack or mountain bike-specific hydration pack (e.g. Camelbak)
  • Water bladder - min. 2 litres water capacity (we encourage re-filling water bottles rather than single use plastic)
  • Water purification tablets
  • Padded (baggy) cycling shorts
  • Long leg cycling trousers or leg warmers
  • Base-layer – short sleeve cycling tops
  • Mid-layer - long sleeved cycling tops
  • Fleece jacket or jumper
  • Lightweight windproof top
  • Lightweight waterproof jacket
  • Regular biking gloves
  • Long-fingered biking gloved
  • Warm hat that fits under your helmet
  • Buff
  • Sunglasses
  • Sun cream (inc. total bloc for lips/nose)
  • Camera

Other Stuff

  • Travel and off-the-bike clothing and footwear
  • Sandals or old trainers for stream crossings
  • Sleeping bag (comfort rated –10ºC)
  • Thermarest or similar camping mattress
  • Wash bag, towel, toiletries, including anti-bacterial handwash
  • Headtorch and spare batteries
  • Basic First Aid kit and personal medication
  • Chamois cream (e.g. Assos/Ozone)
  • Reusable cloth bag for shopping (to avoid plastic bags)

Spares

If you are hiring a bike you do not need to bring any spares. The hire bikes are provided in good condition and a supply of spares is carried. You may be asked to pay directly for any spares used, especially in the case of crash damage or damage by mis-use. If you are taking your own bike, you should consider taking a minimum of spares, including a couple of spare spokes (for each wheel if they are different), spare brake blocks (or brake disc pads), chain links/chain connector, rear derailleur hanger and any non-standard parts specific to your bike.

Repairs

Whilst not essential, it is a good idea that you familiarise yourself with how to carry out at least some basic repairs to your bike e.g. changing an inner tube and fixing a puncture. Your bike guide will be happy to help with repairs and general maintenance, but being able to carry out a simple repair yourself could save the inconvenience of having to wait for assistance.

Hydration and Energy Snacks

You should take suitable water bottle(s) or a hydration pack and you should also consider taking a small supply of the gels, power bars or sports drink mix that you would normally use on a ride at home.

Please contact us if you have any questions about your equipment.

Cotswold Outdoor Red PantonMany of the Equipment items listed above are available from Cotswold Outdoor - our 'Official Recommended Outdoor Retailer'. When you book a holiday with KE you will receive 12.5% discount voucher from Cotswold Outdoor and other retailers.
>> Find out more

DATES & PRICES

Private Departure?

Gather a few friends, family or club and take over your own departure.

2024

Dates

Adults from

Deposit

Status

More Information

  • Cycling in Kazakhstan
    Without Flights
  • Departure Reference: KNMB/02/24/
  • This trip begins on Sun 25 Aug and ends on Wed 4 Sep
  • This departure is available and departs within 34 days. Secure your place today with full payment
  • Single Supplement Price: US$340 - Includes 2 group hotel nights in Almaty only and 2 nights at the guesthouse in Basshiy (single tent not included).
  • Single Tent Upgrade: US$135
  • Download Trip Notes

2025

Dates

Adults from

Deposit

Status

More Information

  • Cycling in Kazakhstan
    Without Flights
  • Departure Reference: KNMB/01/25/
  • This trip begins on Sun 15 Jun and ends on Wed 25 Jun
  • This departure is available to book. Secure your place today with a deposit of US$425
  • Single Supplement Price: US$340 - Includes 2 group hotel nights in Almaty only and 2 nights at the guesthouse in Basshiy (single tent not included).
  • Single Tent Upgrade: US$135
  • Download Trip Notes

More Information

  • Cycling in Kazakhstan
    Without Flights
  • Departure Reference: KNMB/02/25/
  • This trip begins on Sun 24 Aug and ends on Wed 3 Sep
  • This departure is available to book. Secure your place today with a deposit of US$425
  • Single Supplement Price: US$340 - Includes 2 group hotel nights in Almaty only and 2 nights at the guesthouse in Basshiy (single tent not included).
  • Single Tent Upgrade: US$135
  • Download Trip Notes

Land Only Information

The LAND ONLY dates and prices are for the itinerary starting at the hotel in Almaty. A single group transfer is included from/to Almaty Airport.

ZEN_HOLIDAY_DATES_PRICES_LAND_ONLY_USD_NOTICE


Changes to flights

Please be aware that the flight industry is experiencing a high level of service fluctuation and changes to your flights may occur. This may also require amends to the transfers and joining arrangements. Thank you all for continuing your patience and understanding.

BOOK WITH KE CONFIDENCE - No surcharge guarantee

The price of our holidays can change depending on a variety of factors but unlike some other tour operators, KE have undertaken to guarantee the Land Only price of your holiday will not change after you have booked. The price when you book is the price you will pay, whether you are booking for this year or the next. Book early to avoid any tour price increases, get the best flight prices and take advantage of our 'No Surcharge Guarantee'.

KE Adventure is a fully bonded tour operator. We hold an ATOL license (No: 2808) and are bonded with ABTA (Membership No: W4341)


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