• Zenkov kathedraal Almaty
  • Charyn vallei Kazachstan
  • Afdaling Shymbulak skigebied Kazachstan
  • Charyn vallei in Kazachstan
  • Cat Ski Kazachstan
  • Kameel in de sneeuw Kazachstan
  • Uitzicht skigebied Kazachstan
  • Universiteit van Almaty Kazachstan

This year we are heading to Kazakhstan for an amazing week of snow festivitities around the Almaty region. Don’t expect massive ski resorts, boring nightlife or Wiener Schnitzels. Get yourself ready for camels, ultra modern gondola’s, bustling nightlife, Pistenbully droppings and a valley of castles. Above all, it’s gonna be a memorable experience: Skiing in the Northern Himalayas of Kazakhstan.

You will encounter a unique atmosphere in this beautiful country. We will show you all the top-spots of the region and you’ll be amazed like we have been amazed so many times. On Sunday the tour will start from the city center of Almaty.


We will drive to the resort of Shymbulak, the biggest ski resort of Central Asia. This was the stage of the 2017 Winter Universiade (the Olympic Winter Games for students). The highest point is at 3200 meters and we have some really challenging runs waiting for us. 

The most famous ski resort of Kazakhstan in Shymbulak. A new gondola leaves from the Medeu skating stadium to the village of Shymbulak. The former Kazakh president (Nazarbaev) did not want everyone to drive by road to this village. So nowadays you are in a gondola from 1600 to 2200 meters for 20 minutes. Many FIS competitions have been held in Shymbulak. The vertical drop is over 1000 meters and the highest point of Shymbulak is 3250 meters. Our favorite spot in ‘Bar 3200’ with fantastic views of the Talgar Glacier (5017 meters). The ski area is ultramodern and has all the latest gadgets. On a clear day you can see the metropolis of Almaty during your descents.

Ak Bulak

The most interesting ski resort is Ak Bulak, which is just an one hour drive from Almaty. It’s definitely worth the commute because a brand new gondola brings us to the mid-station at 2200 meters. Gentle slopes at the lower section are perfectly suited for beginners and intermediates. The chairlift from the mid station to the top (at 2700 meters) is a walhalla for freeriders and experienced skiers. Because the entire area is ungroomed and therefor dedicated to freeriders. 

Lesnaya Skazka (Oi Qaragai)

The newest ski resort of Almaty was opened in 2018. In the national park called ‘fairytale forest’, quiet slopes lie between deciduous trees. The surroundings are beautiful and because Lesnaya Skazka just opened, the crowds haven’t discovered it yet. The lifts go like a rocket so you can make many treeruns in this ski area.

Charyn Canyon

The deepest point of our journey will be the Charyn canyon. A 370-meter gorge looms from ground level. The gorge is called the Grand Canyon of Kazakhstan and during a short hike you will understand why. Many rock formations are shaped like castles. So another name of the canyon is ‘Valley of Castles’

Hot Springs

After the Charyn gorge we continue through the Kazakh steppe to a natural hot spring. We will have a proper pool party with temperatures down to -10 degrees celsius. We sleep in bungalows skattered around the pools. The next day we drive through the National Park of Altyn Emil to Tekeli. In this remote mountain range we have a Pistenbully at our disposal. 

Cat Skiing

After waking up in our mountain lodge we will head to our Pistenbully for the highlight of the tour. We will organize Pistenbully (snow cat) droppings in the remote Dzhungarian mountain range near the Chinese border. In front of the entrance departs the gigantic Pistenbully. The Kazakh driver will drop us off at various peaks in the area. Around 14 people fit in the machine and we will drop till we need to stop.We’ll stay in a recently opened mountain lodge near Tekeli. The local cooks will prepare fresh and local food (and vodka)

Return to Almaty

After burning a tremendous amount of calories we have to return to Almaty. The brand new road takes us 3,5 hours to get back. We will evaluate the adventurous week and for the party people can do a pub crawl in the bustling city of Almaty.

Ski Kazakhstan for you?

  • Adventurers looking for something different than the Alps
  • Easily tackle a ‘red slope’
  • Lovers of other cultures and rituals


  • All transfers
  • 4 nights in a *** guesthouse in Almaty City Center (twin rooms)
  • 1 night in a bungalow in Chundzha (twin rooms)
  • 2 nights in Jetisu Lodge (twin rooms)
  • Half board (breakfast/dinner)
  • City Tour Almaty
  • English speaking guide
  • Cat skiing
  • Entrance fee Charyn Canyon
  • Ski passes Shymbulak, Lesnaya Skazka and Ak Bulak

Not included

  • Flights (Turkish Airlines – €400-€800 from Europe)
  • Lunch
  • Alcoholic drinks
  • Tips & souvenirs
  • Ski or snowboard rental (€ 75 per week)
  • Travel Insurance

Don’t book any flights yet!

As soon as we have reached the minimum amount of reservations (5) we will send you an e-mail. If we don’t have enough participants we will, send you an e-mail 40 days prior to departure the latests. (*) We recommend flying Turkish Airlines as they take ski equipment free of charge (usually) * we didn’t have to cancel any trip due to a lack of reservations so far

18:35 AMS Amsterdam Schiphol  –  23:55 IST Istanbul Airport
01:20(+1) IST Istanbul Airport – 09:45 ALA Almaty

10:45 ALA Almaty – 14:05 IST Istanbul Airport
15:15 IST Istanbul Airport – 16:55 AMS Amsterdam Schiphol

* we have always reached the minimum amount of reservations over the last couple of years


Check availability here.

Travel as a group?

If you want to travel as a group of at least 5 people, you can request a tailor-made trip. Other departure dates are always possible in consultation. Please contact us via mail@rycetravel.com or via WhatsApp +31648729047



Klik op één van onze medewerkers hieronder of stuur een e-mail naar mail@rycetravel.com.

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