The Issik Lake. Places of interest around Almaty. Kazakhstan
For those who enjoys mountains and looks for alternative places around Almaty, I suggest visiting Lake Issyk, always on the Trans Ily Alatay mountain range. I tried several times to go there, contacting various tour operators; but no one in that period was planning a trip to the Lake. However, I have friends who have succeeded in the venture and their impression has been positive.
The alpine lake of Issik is located at a height of 1760 km and is about 70 km in the East of Almaty. The basin was created following an avalanche of rock that formed a natural barrier 300 meters high, which allowed the formation of the lake about 8000 years ago. Surrounded by coniferous forests and meadows full of flowers in spring, the lake is therefore one of the favorite places for day trips.
I report the incident that in 1963 caused the death of a hundred people; an ice block detached itself from the top of the surrounding mountains causing a landslide that emptied the waters of the lake and partly broke the natural dam. Now the Lake of Issik, despite the work of recovery of the territory, has a total surface twice lower than the initial one. The cross erected on the adjacent hill recalls the victims of the tragedy.
The coast of the lake is ideal for peaceful picnics in good company; perhaps at the end of a short walk on the nearby “Walls of the Kremlin”, the rock walls so called by the locals.
I am attaching here the directions on how to get there if you are in the car. Otherwise, there are several tour operators organizing day trips to Lake Issik including the waterfall and the Turgen Valley where the tomb of the famous Golden Warrior was found. The visit period starts at the end of March and ends at the beginning of November.
For information on Issik Kul Lake, click here.
Foto by Eva Zalesakova