ASTANA – For city residents who want to escape the urban setting for a weekend or visit a quiet place with picturesque nature, Zerenda can be a great choice. Located only 300 kilometres from the capital, the village is often called “mini-Borovoye” for its scenic views, or as people say, “more calm.”
The easiest way to travel to Zerenda is by bus, car or train to Kokshetau, followed by taxi to the town. Those with cars can initially drive to Kokshetau or Schuchinsk, then to Zerenda.
Part of the Kokshetau State National Nature Park, Zerenda is one of the most beautiful places in Akmola region. It spans 25-30 by 60 kilometres and has clear blue lakes and springs, pine and birch groves and poplar and willow basins. While walking in the woods, the mountains or the plain, visitors can enjoy crystal waters, golden sands and lakes with wild swans, ducks and geese.
A number of vacation homes line the shores of Lake Zerenda and hundreds of people visit every year. Tourists can enjoy hiking and horseback trails, while boats and equipment are available for fishing fans.
The name is derived from the cloven-hoofed animals that once lived on the territory, according to online sources. The gazelles were usually called zeren and Kazakhs referred to the area as Zerenda, “the place where zerens live.”
One of the popular spots to stay is Zeren Recreation Centre, located on the shores of the lake. It offers rooms, as well as houses equipped with a kitchen, fireplace, lounge and two bedrooms, where visitors can spend time with family and friends. Prices start at 17,600 tenge (US$52.36) per night for a double room, including three meals a day, swimming pool and gym.
Sunkar Recreation Complex also provides a wide range of options. Prices start at 18,400 tenge (US$57.54) per night for a double room with the same services as part of the package.
Visitors may also choose Karagaily Holiday Home. The inn has tennis courts, a playground, Finnish sauna with relaxation room, bar, cafe, fishing, crabbing and boats for rent. Accommodations can be in rooms or houses. Prices start at 9,850 tenge (US$29.30) per night for a double room, excluding meals.
Many Zerenda vacation spots offer health treatments such as mud baths, cedar barrel saunas and baths with herbs and a relaxing massage. It is a great way to not only see the beauty of Kazakhstan, but free the mind and body from everyday stress.