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Secrets of Tian Shan

  • Dates

    1st & 2nd week of September

  • Bike Stages

    8

  • Duration

    11 Days & 10 Nights

  • Parcour Distance

    300 km and 4100 m (elevation climb)

  • Level

    Medium

  • Support

    Vehicle support and luggage transport

  • Group size

    5 to 12

  • Guide

    Local MTB-Guide (Yarik) French, Spanish, German and English speaking guide/coordinator (Manon and/or Pablo)

  • Meals

    Full board during bike tour

  • Duration – 11 Days / 10 Nights
  • Tour 1 – 23.08 to 02.09 (2018)
  • Tour 2 – 06.09 to 16.09 (2018)
  • Meeting – Almaty (KAZ)
  • Group Size – 5 to 12 People
  • Stage – 8
  • Parcour Distance – 300 km and 4,250 m (elevation climb)
  • Level – Medium
  • Support – Vehicle support and luggage transport
  • Guide – Local MTB-Guide (Yarik) French, Spanish, German and English speaking guide/coordinator (Manon and/or Pablo)
  • Meals – Full board during bike tour

Tour Program

15_CyclEpic_TianShan_Tour_72

Kazakhstan may suggest you infinite semi-desertic steppes that get lost in the horizon. Well, it’s time to visit Sout-East Kazakhstan and blow your mind with the diversity of landscapes!
Our trip starts in Almaty, the former capital of the old soviet republic. The city benefits from an exceptional environment located at the foot of the Tian Shan mountain range with its monumental summits beyond 6000 meters of altitude. The view of the mountains from the lively streets of the city looks like surreal paintings. Our tour will bring us towards Ili-Alatau mountain range, the most northern part of Tian Shan. We will ride through the untouched and mighty nature so extraordinary of Central Asia and discover the most picturesque lakes of the area like the incomparable Kaindy lake. The trip will also allow us to get to know the Kazakh traditions and observe their daily lives. On our way, we will find seasonal nomads and we will be able to contemplate their unique and practical yurts. The trail will also guide us to one of the most amazing natural secrets in the country, the Charyn Canyon which has nothing to envy to its Colorado counterpart. On the way to the idyllic Tekes Valley, we will have the opportunity to approach Tuzkol lake, which is about the same salt quantity as the Dead Sea. It’s in the dawn that we’ll contemplate the summit of the Khantengri in all its splendour. It is the highest mountain in the country with 7010 meters and serves as a border with the neighbouring countries of China and Kyrgyzstan.
An adventure with a variety of incomparable landscapes, combined with the authenticity and hospitality that will immerse you in Central Asia as few experiences can do!

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 Flight to Almaty

Long day of travelling to fly to Almaty. We’ll waiting for you at the airport and we’ll pick you (and your bike!) up. We will spend the night in a comfortable Hotel or Guehsthouse. Take it easy and relax when you arrive. If you have time enough, you can go exploring or we can start assembling the bikes. We’ll gather in the evening to meet each other as we’re going to be a small family for the next few days.

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Day in Almaty

In the morning it’s organized a sightseeing tour through the most representative places of the old capital of the country. Among the attractions we’ll stop at the famous green bazaar so that you can contemplate one of the most lively and traditional market places in Central Asia. In the end you’ll be free to go for lunch and explore the town on your own. We’ll be happy to help you with any wishes or ideas you might have.
Depending on the group wishes we could consider organizing a city-bike-tour instead. You’ll be surprised of how bike-friendly Almaty can be!
In the evening we’ll have dinner all together in a traditional Kazakh “Café”. We’ll do a small briefing about some basics for the bike trip.

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Turgen Gorge. Assy Plateau. Observatory of Assy

Bicycle distance: 40 
Vertical climb: 500 m
Vertical downhill: 1400 m
Summary: Plateau with 1 pass 
We leave Almaty in the early morning with all necessary belongings. Departure with support cars.
We will drive through magnificent Turgen gorge already on the Assy plateau. A few kilometres later we’ll find the observatory named after the plateau. 
We’ll take the time to charge batteries” having lunch! There we go! We start with the cycling. After an astonishing crash of how it feels to ride in Altay region, we’ll make it to the red mountains”. Time to relax surrounded by an incomparable scenario and spend the night contemplating stars in the unique way Central Asia can offer. Camp-site near the mountain stream. 

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Assy Lake. Bartogay, Canyon Charyn. 

Bicycle Distance 30 km 
Vertical climb: 700 m
Vertical downhill: 1300 m
Relief Plateau, 1 pass, descent to Charyn canyon and back.
Good morning Altyn! Time for nice nutritious breakfast. We start the day riding. Here it comes a tougher pass. Nothing to worry about if it gets to hard to climb as you can always decide to get a lift and enjoy the 15km of thrilling descend to one of most famous lakes in Kazakhstan, the Bartogai lake (shhh… it’s a dam actually). Time for lunch contemplating crystal clear blue water of the lake. Back on the cars we head to one the treasures from Kazakhstan. In the Uygur District of Raiymbek we find the Charyn Canyon which, even if smaller, it has nothing to envy to it brother” from Colorado. We will have the opportunity to ride between the impressive walls. After some necessary snacks we’ll go for a short hike to learn from this unique geological formation. Then back to the machines to continue with the loop in direction to Saty village, a rural town surrounded of the Trans-Ili-Alatau mountain range next to tremendous Chilik river that where we’ll spend the night in a local guest-house. A good opportunity to have a costumbrist postcard of Kazakhstan far from big towns. 
Nice local dinner and a hot shower is waiting for us. 

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The Kolsai Lakes

Bike distance: 30km 
Vertical climb: 500 m
Vertical downhill: 500 m.
Relief: smooth ascent to the lake followed by a progressive descend to our next guest-house.
Cycling is for early-rising kids. Today we head to the first of the Kolsai lakes by bike. Always with the concern of who’s behind any activity not strictly offered by us, here we encourage the horse ride to the second Kolsai lake, an 8 km ride. The second lake it’s totally worth a visit. We’ll have lunch there. Then go back to first lake and with the bicycles back down to Saty village which is 15km away. 
Dinner, bath and overnight at the guest-house. 

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Lake Kaindy 

Bike distance: 30km 
Vertical Climb: 750 m
Vertical Downhill: 750 meters.
Relief: similar to yesterday with a smooth ascent to the lake and a descent to our guest-house.
We start early with the breakfast. Today we cycle to incomparable Kandy lake. 
This place well deserves to explore and hike around. 
  
Time enough to contemplate and dip into the pristine waters (we warn you, you’ll have to be brave enough). 
Descending back to Saty. Lunch time and
then we travel by car towards Tuzkol lake the saltiest mountain lake (as much as the dead sea at times). 
We spend the night autonomously on our comfortable camp-site. 
Keep this in mind because the views are breathless. From here you can see the highest mountain of Kazakhstan, the peak of Khantengri (7.010 m) being this also the political border between China, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan countries.
Dawn is the perfect time for staring. Good weather conditions will be wished! 

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The Tekes river valley

Bike distance: 70 km 
Vertical Climb: 1100 m
Vertical Downhill: 1100 m
Relief: small pass. Cycling along the valley of the Tekes river.
Yes, we need to get up early, breakfast is ready! It’s a long day of riding. Depending on the performance of the group we’ll adapt the departure and drive to the valley (30-40km by car). 
We’ll feed ourselves along this day of riding. 
Camp-site near a small river in a picturesque place we love. Time for chilling, talk about old war stories” and deep in the vibes of Kazakh atmosphere. Kazakh are well known for their endless hospitality and we might have the possibility to approach some of the last seasonal nomads grazing livestock before the end of the summer. We are curious but not invasive, we can learn and interact with locals but stay respectful. 

4_CyclEpic_TianShan_Tour_81

Ride and Walk to the Tekes waterfall

Bicycle Distance: 30km .
Vertical climb: 300 m
Vertical downhill: 900 m
Relief: easy ride along Tekes river valley.
After breakfast (what else?), we go on foot to Tekes waterfall. Likely to find shepherds and yurts on our way. We might be able to try Kumis or Kurut. Brave ones have the opportunity to dive into the waters of the waterfall. 
The biking day will bring us through the valley and down to the village of Saryzhas. Bikes will up on the cars and we’ll drive to the river Temerlik. Overnight there.

7_CyclEpic_TianShan_Tour_95

Temerlik Canyon 

Bike distance: 30 km
Vertical climb: 400 m
Vertical downhill: 300 m.
Relief: smooth set-up with the confluence of the Temerlik and Charyn canyons.
Breakfast time. 
Bike ride of 15 km to the Temerlik Canyon. A short walk around. Be attentive, fauna can be surprising here! We’ll pedal a bit more towards natural hot-springs. At some point we’ll need a lift to reach to our well deserved bath. 
Time to relax on this healing springs. Then dinner time. 
At this point, we should be indeed a family”. Time for throwing back, discussing about the anecdotes and digesting the trip.

4_CyclEpic_TianShan_Tour_90

Back to Almaty

Bicycle distance: 15 km 
Breakfast. Departure towards the red mountains. A small bike along the red mountains. Light farewell riding through the mountain range. On the way after the descent we stop for lunch. We take the support cars back to Almaty. In the evening we reach Almaty, and accompanied to our accommodation place. 

Farewell

Time to say goodbye. The day is for you and we encourage the people to stay at least one more day in Almaty if possible. The city and the surrounding area has plenty to offer. If you would like to visit a particular attraction let us know in advance and local partners could arrange it for you:
  • You can arrange a paragliding flight.
  • Climb with the cable car to the ski resort of Shimbulak.
  • You can arrange a walk on the mountains near Almaty;
  • Visit to local museums.

Unfortunately, this is the end. Flying back home. Spend some more time in Kazakhstan if you have the opportunity.Unfortunately, this is the end. Flying back home. Spend some more time in Kazakhstan if you have the opportunity.

More details

Dates :

Tour 1: 23.08 a 02.09.2018
Tour 2: 06.09 a 16.09.2018

Price:

1730 € per person

1683 € for reservations before end of April

Single room supply : 200 €

Flights are not included in this tour. If you need, will be happy to assist you in finding a suitable flight. Return flights start from 350 €

INCLUDED:

Transport

  • Transfer from the airport to Almaty and vice versa
  • Support vehicle with bicycle transport and luggage

Meals

  • Full board during the bike tour
  • Picnic for each day as well as water, coffee and tea during the course of the route

Accommodation

  • 11 days / 10 nights accommodation in guest houses or camping in double tent with technical comfort mattress included

Included Activities

  • 1 day guided cultural tour in Almaty
  • 8 days guided tour by local team (Yarik and Madi) and escort guide (Pablo and /or Manon in Spanish, French, German or English)

Additional  support : 

  • Cook and medical assistance
  • T-shirt or some similar souvenir
  • Pictures and videos (we value taking a drone to record the tour depending on the number of people) that will be sent to the participants after the tour

NOT INCLUDED:

Transport 

  • International flights are not included in this tour.

Meals 

  • Alcoholic beverages in hotels and guest houses

Equipment

  • 8 days of mountain bike rental
  • Rental: model Basic mountain bike 150€/Pro 250€
  • Sleeping bag
  • Single room supply/one-man tent   Additional price of 200€

KAZAKHSTAN TRAVEL INFORMATION

Money & costs:

The Tenge is the national currency, and it is the only method of cash payment in Kazakhstan. It is strongly recommended to have small notes while travelling in cities because change is not readily available from taxi drivers or merchants in small shops. In big cities, you can withdraw the national currency from the ATMs. However, it is recommended to carry a little amount of USD(in small notes) that you can exchange in the bazar for a fair rate when ATMs are missing.

Safety

Kazakhstan enjoys a relatively low crime rate. For peace of mind, keep the normal and common-sense precautions in mind. Behave as you would anywhere else in the world: Don’t wander down any dark alleys alone, keep your valuables out of sight and don’t show off cash. Follow these simple rules:

1. Always carry your passport, you can show it but never give it to anyone. You can always provide a copy of the passport that you carry with you.

2. Although local drivers are respectful towards pedestrians, always be careful crossing streets, cycling on main roads

3. Bazaars and train stations are the places where robberies may take place. As tourists to all countries of the world are aware, it would be prudent to carry with you at all times the telephone numbers ( the police : 102, Rescue Service : 112

Entry & exit

Citizens of the european countries and territories can visit Kazakhstan without a visa for up to 30 days. When entering Kazakhstan, travelers receive a white registration card. You must fill in and retain this card throughout your stay in Kazakhstan.

Best Time to Go

The climate of Central Asia is one of extremes. The region is also the furthest place on Earth from the ocean. The softening influence of the sea has no effect here, meaning summers are hot (up to 40°C), winters are cold, and spring and autumn are transitions that take up only a few weeks in the year. Kazakhstan have agreeable springlike weather from March to May and from September to November. If you are planning to visit the mountains the best season is summer. Be aware, however, at high altitudes of 3000 metres or more it may even snow overnight during the summer.

Health

The most common illness for travelers in Central Asia is diarrhea or constipation. A simple rule: cook it, peel it, boil it or forget it !  Make sure to always wash your hands before eating. To drink avoid tap water. In the restaurant you will always be served a cup of tea(green or black) We recommend to bring a thermos and ask a refill for the rest of the day.

Kazakhstan has no vaccination requirements. However, it is highly recommended that you get vaccinated against tick borne encephalitis before visiting mountains during the Spring period. Typhoid, DTP (Diphtheria, Tetanus and Polio) and MMR (Measles,Mumps and Rubella), Hepatitis A and B are standard travel vaccinations and you should double-check you are up to date. Vaccinations for rabies are expensive and the chance of obtaining the virus is very small if you do not stay in the countryside for an extended time, so you should weigh up the risks for yourself. There are a fair number of clinics and hospitals with medical specialists in Kazakhstan. Foreigners can get free medical assistance in case of an emergency, but non-emergencies require a fee.

Travel insurance is required for this tour. Make sure you have a travel insurance that covers also repatriation.Upon arrival, please provide your insurance details to the tour guide. Which insurance you choose is up to you. We recommend for example this one: https://www.worldnomads.com

Endurance: easy/medium

For this tour a basic endurance is required. We ride around 40km per day with an exceptional stage which could go up to 70km depending on groups’ wishes and level. Maximum altitude on bicycle will be around 2000m. This tour is not a sport competition. There is enough time to take pictures and push, if it becomes too steep.

Riding technique/skills: easy

Technically, the tour is easy to handle. Only on stage 1 are some harder spots, but they can be easily pushed. In most groups there is a different level of endurance/technique among the participants. That’s not a problem, we have many guides and we can adapt to that. The tours are designed in such a way that every stage is made punctually for meal time, even when cycling slowly. Ambitious cyclers can drive ahead on many sections.


Secrets of Tian ShanWild Altai

Dates & Prices

Dates :

Tour 1: 23.08 a 02.09.2018
Tour 2: 06.09 a 16.09.2018

Price:

1730 € per person

1683 € for reservations before end of April

Single room supply : 200 €

Flights are not included in this tour. If you need, will be happy to assist you in finding a suitable flight. Return flights start from 350 €

We take care...

INCLUDED:

Transport

  • Transfer from the airport to Almaty and vice versa
  • Support vehicle with bicycle transport and luggage

Meals

  • Full board during the bike tour
  • Picnic for each day as well as water, coffee and tea during the course of the route

Accommodation

  • 11 days / 10 nights accommodation in guest houses or camping in double tent with technical comfort mattress included

Included Activities

  • 1 day guided cultural tour in Almaty
  • 8 days guided tour by local team (Yarik and Madi) and escort guide (Pablo and /or Manon in Spanish, French, German or English)

Additional  support : 

  • Cook and medical assistance
  • T-shirt or some similar souvenir
  • Pictures and videos (we value taking a drone to record the tour depending on the number of people) that will be sent to the participants after the tour

NOT INCLUDED:

Transport 

  • International flights are not included in this tour.

Meals 

  • Alcoholic beverages in hotels and guest houses

Equipment

  • 8 days of mountain bike rental
  • Rental: model Basic mountain bike 150€/Pro 250€
  • Sleeping bag
  • Single room supply/one-man tent   Additional price of 200€
Travel Information

KAZAKHSTAN TRAVEL INFORMATION

Money & costs:

The Tenge is the national currency, and it is the only method of cash payment in Kazakhstan. It is strongly recommended to have small notes while travelling in cities because change is not readily available from taxi drivers or merchants in small shops. In big cities, you can withdraw the national currency from the ATMs. However, it is recommended to carry a little amount of USD(in small notes) that you can exchange in the bazar for a fair rate when ATMs are missing.

Safety

Kazakhstan enjoys a relatively low crime rate. For peace of mind, keep the normal and common-sense precautions in mind. Behave as you would anywhere else in the world: Don’t wander down any dark alleys alone, keep your valuables out of sight and don’t show off cash. Follow these simple rules:

1. Always carry your passport, you can show it but never give it to anyone. You can always provide a copy of the passport that you carry with you.

2. Although local drivers are respectful towards pedestrians, always be careful crossing streets, cycling on main roads

3. Bazaars and train stations are the places where robberies may take place. As tourists to all countries of the world are aware, it would be prudent to carry with you at all times the telephone numbers ( the police : 102, Rescue Service : 112

Entry & exit

Citizens of the european countries and territories can visit Kazakhstan without a visa for up to 30 days. When entering Kazakhstan, travelers receive a white registration card. You must fill in and retain this card throughout your stay in Kazakhstan.

Best Time to Go

The climate of Central Asia is one of extremes. The region is also the furthest place on Earth from the ocean. The softening influence of the sea has no effect here, meaning summers are hot (up to 40°C), winters are cold, and spring and autumn are transitions that take up only a few weeks in the year. Kazakhstan have agreeable springlike weather from March to May and from September to November. If you are planning to visit the mountains the best season is summer. Be aware, however, at high altitudes of 3000 metres or more it may even snow overnight during the summer.

Health

The most common illness for travelers in Central Asia is diarrhea or constipation. A simple rule: cook it, peel it, boil it or forget it !  Make sure to always wash your hands before eating. To drink avoid tap water. In the restaurant you will always be served a cup of tea(green or black) We recommend to bring a thermos and ask a refill for the rest of the day.

Kazakhstan has no vaccination requirements. However, it is highly recommended that you get vaccinated against tick borne encephalitis before visiting mountains during the Spring period. Typhoid, DTP (Diphtheria, Tetanus and Polio) and MMR (Measles,Mumps and Rubella), Hepatitis A and B are standard travel vaccinations and you should double-check you are up to date. Vaccinations for rabies are expensive and the chance of obtaining the virus is very small if you do not stay in the countryside for an extended time, so you should weigh up the risks for yourself. There are a fair number of clinics and hospitals with medical specialists in Kazakhstan. Foreigners can get free medical assistance in case of an emergency, but non-emergencies require a fee.

Travel insurance is required for this tour. Make sure you have a travel insurance that covers also repatriation.Upon arrival, please provide your insurance details to the tour guide. Which insurance you choose is up to you. We recommend for example this one: https://www.worldnomads.com

How fit?

Endurance: easy/medium

For this tour a basic endurance is required. We ride around 40km per day with an exceptional stage which could go up to 70km depending on groups’ wishes and level. Maximum altitude on bicycle will be around 2000m. This tour is not a sport competition. There is enough time to take pictures and push, if it becomes too steep.

Riding technique/skills: easy

Technically, the tour is easy to handle. Only on stage 1 are some harder spots, but they can be easily pushed. In most groups there is a different level of endurance/technique among the participants. That’s not a problem, we have many guides and we can adapt to that. The tours are designed in such a way that every stage is made punctually for meal time, even when cycling slowly. Ambitious cyclers can drive ahead on many sections.

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Secrets of Tian ShanWild Altai

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