In the summer of 2016, we drove to East Kazakhstan to experience the Kazakh Altai with its stunning nature and local legends. Despite its hard-to-get reputation, we found it quite accessible, developed and easy to travel if you have enough information about border permits, roads, and sights. But what about travelers who don’t have their own car and time for preparation? Who can organize logistics and tours?
We were lucky to meet Valeriya, the director of a well-known outbound tourist agency in Oskemen, who until then was mostly selling package tours to Turkey and Maldives.
With the increase in tourism from Expo 2017, she suddenly found herself arranging tours around her home region for local and foreign tourists.
She discovered a new passion in ethnography and history, collecting tales and legends from Old Believer villages, visiting the atomic testing grounds at Kurchatov, and spending a lot of time in the forests and hills she had failed to notice until foreign tourists pointed them out to her.
Valeriya is also a foodie who founded a local wine club and organises food tours around France.
What Valeriya says:
Our tours can be captivating for both nature and history lovers. We are happy to design your unique Altai holiday!
- Our guides are experienced professionals with passion and love to their region who are happy to show the best of Ust-Kamenogorsk and East Kazakhstan.
- Our transport is modern and reliable cars, minivans and buses with polite drivers.
- Food – we only work with proven cafes and restaurants in the city. We take into account your preferences before preparing food in guest houses and during treks. Guest houses serve ecologically clean home made products, fresh bread, dairy and precious Altai honey.
- Hotels and guest houses – you will always have a choice where to stay. But we prefer to work with village guest houses and purchase products from kind-hearted inhabitants to support local communities.
- We also organise Altai border permit for independent travellers. Click here to apply.