It will soon be time to hit the slopes and among Russian tourists, Shymbulak Ski Resort tops the list of most popular destinations in the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) and neighbouring countries, reported Tengrinews.kz.
Russians traveling in CIS countries view the Kazakh resort near Almaty as the perfect destination for winter holidays, according to the online hotel booking service Oktogo.ru. The rating is based on data collected and the early reservations for the upcoming New Years’ holidays from Jan. 1-10.
Altai Alpes, located in East Kazakhstan, is also included on the list of the one-time Soviet Union’s most popular ski resorts. Former professional sports complexes included in the rating in Armenia, Belarus, Georgia, Kyrgyzstan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan now serve as public resorts for the winter recreational activities of Russian tourists.
Free communications, the absence of visa requirements, sufficient service, beautiful nature and affordable prices make Kazakh resorts attractive places for the average Russian tourist.
In addition to Shymbulak, the complete list of such resorts in the CIS countries includes Cahkadzor (Armenia), Logoysk (Belarus), Karakol (Kyrgyzstan), Gudauri (Georgia), Bukovel (Ukraine), Bakuriani (Georgia), Altai Alpes (Kazakhstan), Chimgan (Uzbekistan) and Silichi (Belarus).
Shymbulak, which according to Oktogo.ru has the best transport communication, is also recognised as the most expensive ski resort on the list. A one-day visit, with a modest hotel room, dinner and ski pass, will cost a visitor about $95. By contrast, the most affordable appeared to be Logoysk and Silichi, where a guest will spend only $47 dollars for a similar stay.
Shymbulak is located in the picturesque Medeo Valley, which is also known as the home of the highest outdoor skating rink in the world. The beautiful resort is surrounded by woods and is just a few kilometres outside the city. The area offers a wide variety of slopes, from simple, gentle hills suitable for beginners to those with a 45-degree angle for professionals and daredevils.
The ski lifts are unavailable until Oct. 30 because of the preparation work and technical inspection to be executed before the new season. This year will present two tracks: the blue one for beginners and black one for professionals. The measure is designed to ease the orientation and make skiing more enjoyable for all guests.