A range of high, middle and low mountains, such as Tien Shan, Altay, Ulytau, Kazygurt, etc. have a beautiful nature attracting tourists from all over the world. Tien Shan Mountains is the highest among them (with the highest peak of about 7000 metres), and Almaty, the largest city of Kazakhstan, is located at its bottom. Thus, an easy access to marvelous landscapes for tourists interested in trekking and winter sports is available from Almaty city.
Most popular climbing routes are located in the Small Almaty Valley and Bogdanovich Glacier. Attractions of these places include Pogrebetsky Glacier (4,231 meters), Tuyuc Su (4100 m), Ordzhonikidze (3980 m) peaks, and many others. In addition, high mountains of Kazakhstan are ideal for winter sports. There is no wonder that Kazakhstan hosted Winter Asian Games in 2011: one of the priorities of the country has been propaganda of winter sports.
A unique sport complex Medeu (sometimes spelled as Medew or Medeo), with a skating rink popular among tourists, was built in 1950’s, at 1691 metres above sea level, which makes it the highest skating rink in the world. A sophisticated artificial refrigeration system enables to keep high quality ice coverage over 8-months of the year. Another major winter sport attraction of Kazakhstan is Shymbulak (Chimbulak) ski resort, also located not far from Almaty. Snow lies in these places from November till May; however, sunny weather is usually registered there during more than three hundred days each year. The resort hotel can accept up to 114 tourists.
Kazakhstan is a unique region in the world, because of its history, geographical position and size. Being the world’s 9th largest country and located in the centre of Eurasia, it is also the largest landlocked country in the world. These resulted in a specific climate and a peculiar natural system of the country, which seems to absorb the brightest examples of landscape of both continents. In addition, complicated history of Kazakh people and constant interaction of nomadic lifestyle with settled people in South Kazakhstani ancient cities, have lead to a unique and authentic culture of Kazakhstan.
These peculiarities have created an opportunity to develop various and diverse offers in Kazakhstan travel and tourism industry, which include authentic cultural tourism, nature-based activities, including ecotourism, birdwatching, etc. in national parks and protected areas, skiing or trekking in mountains, water sports, sunbathing and swimming in lakes and rivers of Kazakhstan, and many others.
Kazakhstan (Listeni/ˌkaːzəkˈstaːn/; Kazakh: Қазақстан), officially the Republic of Kazakhstan, is a country in Central Asia, with a minor part west of the Ural River and thus in Europe. Kazakhstan is the world’s largest landlocked country by land area and the ninth largest country in the world; its territory of 2,724,900 square kilometres (1,052,100 sq mi) is larger than Western Europe. It has borders with (clockwise from the north) Russia, China, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, and Turkmenistan, and also adjoins a large part of the Caspian Sea. The terrain of Kazakhstan includes flatlands, steppe, taiga, rock canyons, hills, deltas, snow-capped mountains, and deserts. With an estimated 18 million people as of 2014 Kazakhstan is the 61st most populous country in the world, though its population density is among the lowest, at less than 6 people per square kilometre (15 people per sq. mi.). The capital is Astana, where it was moved from Almaty in 1997.