Weekend Getaways Near Astana

ASTANALooking for weekend trip ideas near Astana? Summer is the perfect time to explore the natural beauty and cultural wonders. The Astana Times highlights the top three places to stay outside the capital. 

Burabay National Park. Photo credit: Borovoe.kz.

Burabay National Park 

Located 258 kilometers north of Astana, Burabay National Park is among the most attractive tourist destinations in Kazakhstan. With abundant lakes, forests and beautiful mountains, it is famous for hiking, boating and swimming. Burabay is also a great destination to see cultural and historical sites and discover the rich history of the Akmola Region.

One of the area’s landmarks is Lake Shchuchye, famous for its clear waters and beautiful scenery. The lake is surrounded by cliffs and green forests, which makes it a perfect spot for hiking and picnicking.

Visitors can experience nomadic culture by riding horses, tasting national cuisine, and visiting yurts. Activities also include hiking in the mountains, rafting, climbing and paragliding.

Burabay is also the right place for those who prefer to relax and enjoy a peaceful atmosphere. The local resorts offer a range of spas, saunas, and hot springs.

Buyratau National Park

Buyratau National Park is located 310 kilometers from Astana. It is a protected place covering an area of approximately 84,000 hectares. It is included in the UNESCO World Network of Biosphere Reserves. The place is located in the zone of dry steppes and forests. It is known for its diverse flora and fauna. One of the exciting places in the park is the animal enclosure. Another stunning place is the Buyratau mountains, consisting of volcanic rock formations dating back millions of years.

Buyratau National Park. Photo credit: gnpp-buirtau.kz.

The park is home to rare and endangered species such as snow leopards, lynxes and argalis. The park is also home to some birds, thus becoming a popular destination for birdwatchers.

The park is home to several archaeological sites, including the ruins of ancient settlements dating back to the Bronze Age.

Tourists can enjoy various outdoor activities, including hiking, camping and wildlife viewing. There are several hiking trails, camping places, and picnic areas.

Karkaraly National Park

Karkaraly National Park is located 390 kilometers from Astana and 220 kilometers from Karagandy. It is an area covering approximately 100,000 hectares. 

A small lake in mountains of Karkaraly National Park in Central Kazakhstan. Photo credit Shutterstock.

The destination has a unique landscape, including mountains, canyons, forest and steppe.

People can enjoy several outdoor activities, such as hiking, horse riding, and camping. The most favorite places for visitors are lakes Baceen and Shaitankol (Devil’s Lake). 

Those who prefer to learn the region’s history and heritage need to visit the park, which has several historical and cultural sites, including ancient petroglyphs and the ruins of a medieval fortress.

Get The Astana Times stories sent directly to you! Sign up via the website or subscribe to our Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Telegram, YouTube and Tiktok!