ASTANA – Kazakhstan offers a myriad of unique places to enjoy breath-taking scenery and nature and the Zerenda resort area is one of them.
Zerenda is located 300 kilometres from Astana and is part of the Kokshetau National Park along with Shalkar, Imantau and Saumalkol lakes. It offers blue lakes and crystal-clear springs, pine forests, rocky hills and birch groves.
The area often called mini-Borovoe referring to the country’s popular resort area in the same region is gaining ground among locals for its beautiful nature, pine forests surrounding the lake and fewer crowds.
Located 50 kilometres southwest from Kokshetau, the administrative centre of the Akmola region, getting to Zerenda is not difficult, as one could use a taxi or bus from Kokshetau to Zerenda or, in case of travelling from Astana, one could first get to Kokshetau by bus, train or taxi or drive from Astana straight to Zerenda.
The resort offers year-round activities with beaches and boat trips welcoming tourists in summer and numerous activities, including sledging and skiing in the forest, when winter hits the countryside.
Hiking and horse routes are also popular.
Accommodation options vary in style and price. Visitors can choose from hotels, guest houses and separate houses available for rent.
Zeren Nur Resort, for example, offers a standard room at 27,500 (US$80) tenge per night, Zerenda Park Hotel at 13,400 tenge (US$35) per night and one-bedroom houses for a maximum of five people at 15,000 tenge (US$44) per night.
Some visitors opt for staying overnight in tents closer to nature.
Visiting Zerenda can be a great authentic experience to enjoy a calm countryside away from busy cities and stress.
The area brims with legends often narrated by locals and one of them tells a story of a tragic love between a young Kazakh man and young Kazakh lady that fell in love against the will of the girl’s parents.
When the two decided to escape, they were chased by villagers. In desperation, the girl threw her bracelet behind her and a big lake, in what is now known as Zerenda Lake, emerged on that spot.