ASTANA – The capital residents appreciate winter for many reasons and the opportunity to experience a wide range of outdoor fun is one of them.
Even though the city is full of spots for skiing, ice skating and ice slides, going beyond the city can offer residents a change in scenery and a chance to reconnect with nature. The Astana Times shares some of its exciting destinations from the Tengritravel list.
For skiing lovers
The BalQaragai recreation area, located in the Akkayn village, provides people with steep slopes, which are perfect for skiing, snowboarding, sledding and snow tubing. You can also ride a snowmobile or try sledding with horses and husky dogs and night skiing on a 20 meters high slope.
For hunting and shooting lovers
Besides the ordinary snow entertainment, the Golden pheasant recreation area offers shooting ranges with crossbows and guns. There is also hunting for pheasant, hare, wild boar, and goose. Visitors can ride ponies, horses, and camels.
Video credit: BalQaragai recreation area
For fishing enthusiasts
Stolichnie Raki (city’s crayfish) recreation center is only a 30-minute drive from the capital. For good fishing, you must take fishing gear and come in high spirits to the bank of the river early in the morning.
For hiking lovers
Imantau Lake is a perfect spot for those who love to climb peaks but do not want to travel to Almaty to do that. Located 400 kilometers away from the capital, it impresses visitors with its scenic views all year round.
Pine and birch trees, mountains and rocks surround the frozen lake. The maximum height of the rocks is 660 meters above sea level.
Remember to take warm clothes and comfortable shoes to enjoy the picturesque places that can be reached only on foot – Kotelok hill, Uglovay hill, Rakelsky cave, Buyan gorge and Kazachiy island.
Another fascinating spot is Lake Zerenda, surrounded by rocky massifs and coniferous forests. This place is in demand even in winter, but experts recommend climbing the rocks only with special equipment and preparation beforehand.
Amateurs can enjoy sightseeing tours, skiing, snow tubing, and walking through the winter forest. The program of some tours includes a visit to the only museum of butterflies in Kazakhstan.
The nearest recreation areas, Zerenda Park and Aurora Garden, provide accommodation, food, and a sauna, while Zeren recreation center may delight you with its wellness procedures.