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  • Mausoleum of Khoja Ahmed Yasawi

  • Charyn Canyon

    Image by Tim Broadbent via Unsplash

  • Bayterek Tower, Astana

  • View of the Mountains near Almaty

  • Khan Shatyr Entertainment Centre, Astana

    Image by Simon Sun via Unsplash

  • Almaty

    Image by Ilyas Dautov via Unsplash

Overview
Itinerary
Fitness / Practicalities
Tour Director


  • Trace the span of Kazakhstan’s history from Bronze Age carvings to futuristic city landmarks

  • Explore Silk Road connections at the UNESCO site of Turkistan, home to a famous Timurid Imperial mausoleum

  • Discover Kazakhstan’s remarkable landscape and geology, including the awe-inspiring ‘Valley of the Castles’ at Charyn Canyon

     

    Register your interest in 2025 by clicking here

“Steve was an engaging tour guide and great story teller”

- ACE customer on a 2022 tour led by Steve Mastin

A vast country harbouring immense cultural wealth, Kazakhstan is a land of crystal lakes and soaring mountains, ancient Silk Road monuments and 20th century cathedrals. To visit is to experience a staggeringly rich geological landscape, some of the most stunning scenery in the world, and a historical and cultural heritage that stretches from the Bronze Age petroglyphs at Tamgaly, through the Timurid mausoleum at Turkistan, to Sir Norman Foster’s futuristic creations in Astana.

 

We will begin in Kazakhstan’s historical former capital of Almaty, its name famously meaning ‘father of apples’. After familiarising ourselves with aspects of Kazakhstan’s history, geology and religious culture, we will make an excursion to one of its most magnificent and remote sites: Charyn Canyon, where the array of rare and characterful formations is testament to millennia of wind and water erosion. Meanwhile, the archaeological landscape of Tamgaly is home to 5000 ancient rock carvings (or petroglyphs), the majority dating from the Bronze Age.

 

Leaving Almaty behind, we will fly to the southern city of Shymkent, originally founded as a caravanserai connected with a nearby Silk Road settlement. From here we will discover Kazakhstan’s trading heritage with a visit to Turkistan, home to the 14th century mausoleum of Khoja Ahmed Yasawi, one of the best preserved monuments from the Timurid Empire.

 

Our final journey will transport us forward in time to Kazakhstan’s strikingly modern capital of Astana, site of several astonishing buildings by Sir Norman Foster. As in Almaty, we will seek to understand the religious history and culture of Kazakhstan with visits to the city’s cathedral and mosque, while also tracing its extensive history at the new National Museum, which houses exhibits ranging from ancient ornaments (including the armour belonging to Kazakhstan’s mysterious ‘golden man’) to artwork and ethnographic artefacts. The country’s recent history as part of the Soviet Union will also be explored through a visit to ALZHIR Memorial Museum.

 
Tour Director Steve Mastin, MA, PGCE, FHA, studied history and classics before working as a schoolteacher for 17 years. A fellow of the Historical Association, Steve is a regular speaker at history conferences both in the UK and overseas. He has travelled widely, and spent seven years living and working in Kazakhstan.

Days
16
Cost
£TBC
Tour Code
KAZA-25

Full details, including the dates, itinerary and cost, will be released in 2024. Please click here to register your interest.


Included: Full details, including the dates, itinerary and cost, will be released in 2024. Please contact the ACE office now to register your interest.


Not Included:

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