Hardcore travellers are always attracted to outdoor activities, mountain treks, horseback riding and travelling to ancient historical places; but a vacation to a recreational resort will always be one of the most popular choices. Who doesn't like to relax by the shore with a bottle of chilled Corona; then go for a swim in the warm clear waters. To admire the beauty of a sunset, lying on a beach chair next to someone special with a glass of bubbling champagne. To unwind from the bodily stresses with a soothing massage. To have a mud bath or to bathe in refreshing waters of a magnificent spring. Have you already imagined this heavenly image? We've created a list of the top 5 places which will quench your thirst for recreational holidays and SPA vacations.
Burabay Resort Area
The top of our list starts with this true oasis for tired travellers. There are fourteen lakes famous for crystal clear waters infused with natural minerals and its miraculous mud that has certain healing properties.
There are a variety of choices when it comes to choosing your accommodation. From vacation houses to hotels to tourist camps; which are all situated around the banks of two large lakes – Burabay and Schuchye.
Both of the lakes are surrounded by high rocky mountains and coniferous forests filling the air with the scent of pinecones and the soothing smell of herbs and flowers. Swimming is allowed in the lakes starting from the beginning of June, when the temperature reaches a comfortable 29°C and warms the water of the lakes just right. The water is quite refreshing to the body, as the cool clear water from the springs in the mountains feeds into the lakes. So the water isn't relatively as hot as in the lakes of Balkhash and Alakol.
You can try bringing out your inner nomad while you enjoy Kazakhstan's national flavours in some of the few cafes and restaurants nearby that are full of the nomad spirit. These dining places mostly serve the national cuisine such as tender lamb with vegetables, dried horse meat jerky or just freshly cooked horse meat (Qazy). You would also get a chance to try Besbarmak which is horse meat with pastry and also the national dish with a glass of rich cultured yoghurt called Ayran; finishing off with some tasty fried pastries (Shelpeks and Baursaks) alongside a cup of flavoured tea with cream or milk.
This is a blessed place for those who want disconnect from the fast paced city life and enjoy a time of leisure alongside the wild, with a lot of swimming, mouthwatering food and astonishingly beautiful landscapes.
Saryagash, is a balneological resort, that is the right place for travelers to improve their health, while relaxing in a Spa. It is also worth mentioning that in the summer time it can get very hot there being that it is located in the south of Kazakhstan; therefore, the moderate weather usually falls in the months from April to June and from September to November. Considering the heat and dry air as a factor, this may also contribute to part of the healing benefits, especially for those with skin diseases, arthritis, nerve disorders.
However, the true jewels of the Saryagash resort are the mineral springs – this is an outstanding preventive measure against hundreds of various diseases including inflammatory organs in body for example ulcers and so on. You can be assured that you will definitely like this place! The health centers offer accommodation with comfortable rooms and well balanced meals. Dishes in local health centers are usually healthy without fatty or fried food. Just in case, if you want to take a break from your healthy diet, with a little extra money, you can always find the national Kazakh and Uzbek food in local dining places.
In the health centers you will be offered a health improving regime that is designed specifically for your condition: mineral baths, body wraps, therapeutic massage, Charcot’s douche, liver and GIT cleansing etc. Some centers have swimming pools and gyms. In other words, all the necessary facilities are there to send you back home fresh and energized with improved health.
There are a lot of health centers, so you may choose any of these that suits your taste and try to book in advance. Also, it would be in your best interest to discuss your transfers with a travel agency.
Alakol Lake is considered to be an unusual gift of nature that was given to the Kazakh people. You will never find such a beautiful coastal belt with perfectly polished black silicic gravel and black coal-like sand. Moreover, the lake water is constantly changing its colour from a milky white to a rich dark-blue shade. The pictures are much more astonishing than your imagination, and if you happen to see this coast in person you will definitely be amazed.
People come here to take a break from the city life and rest their minds, bodies, and souls, all the while combining the pleasant scenery with facilities for improving your health. Due to the different underground springs that feed the lake, the water is rich with chloride, bromine and radon that has positive effects on health. It is believed that the lake water can heal skin diseases and can hinder the progress of arthritis.
The lake is located in the Almaty and Eastern Kazakhstan regions so it is said to have the southern and the eastern shore. If you come to the lake from the side of Almaty, then you may find hotels or tourist camps either in Akshi village or Koktuma. We must mention that, it is more expensive to stay in Akshi than in Koktuma, but the quality of service in Akshi is better:
- Akshi village has a tourist zone status
- Local beaches are wider and cleaner
- There are many beautiful hotels and recreation zones with all the necessary entertainment facilities
Koktuma is a cheaper option and it offers two lodging types: one in a tourist camping site or a room in a guest house. Some people prefer to stay overnight in a tent or in their own camping car. The eastern shore is almost equal to the southern part – the same perfectly polished hot silicic gravel, bright waters and fresh air with sea salt – apart from the coastal belt. The coastal belt in the eastern part of the lake is much shorter.
Today the tourist infrastructure in Alakol area is improving year by year and that’s why there are so many choices from hotels, to health centres, and guest houses, that are accompanied with various levels of comfort including entertainment in your leisure time. So the choices are yours!
Eastern Kazakhstan SPA: Radon Springs and the Pantotherapy
Let us travel from the mineral waters of the shoreless Alakol and its healing spas, now onto a vibrant different type of SPA recreation. Bathing in Radon Springs while taking part in the health procedures that the health centres of the Rakhmanov Springs has to offer. Just imagine, in the very heart of the Altai Mountains, there is one of the highest peaks of the world - the two-peaks Belukha Mountain rises high into the clouds. The legendary“Rakhmanov Springs Health Resort and other balneological resorts are located all in this one region as well. So for the tired traveler dreaming of relaxing and doing it with the intentions ( or not) of improving their health, this is the place where you need to make a stop along your travels. What is there to do? There is free bathing in the basins that are naturally filled with the water from Radon Springs: you will bath or sit in a tank that constantly changes the Radon water while maintaining its natural temperature helping release its beneficial properties. The water temperature naturally differs from spring to spring so it is possible to choose water temperatures that are suitable for every individual’s needs.
In addition, the resorts also offer the following types of services: hydro massage, hydro and physiotherapy, mud baths, different body wraps, thermotherapy, simple massage and massage shower.
On top of all this, there is a tranquil and natural beauty that surrounds the resort: here the forests are abundant with juicy berries, mushrooms and herbs, not to mention the most obvious, the lakes and waterfalls.
Now for a special and rare treat we have the ‘Panto’ treatment, i.e. treatment with antlers. The most unusual and exclusive offer, which also includes antler baths, is available only in the Eastern Kazakhstan, and is focused on improving health. These procedures are offered starting from the end of May and last all of June, this is the time when young marals’ antlers cutting happens. Special brew is made from the antlers and is then added into the baths. The body receives lots of useful elements through the skin cells and antler baths are believed to accelerate this process of stem cells’ growth, in the form of body regeneration, and body tissues’ rejuvenation. These baths are available only in specialized maral breeding farms in Katon-Karagai area. There are several Panto health centres in this area. With all of the resorts their main purpose is the same, to improve your health but what may differ is the level of comfort and opulence that you will find from place to place. So you may choose any farm that suits your budget.
SPA Recreation in Almaty Region
There are many interesting places in the Almaty region for a day or two at a SPA. This is the perfect choice for those travelers that are trying to stay in warm water under the sun, or maybe have a mud bath or get a massage from a talented certified massage therapist with medical background experience. Many of the health centers offer treatment with mildly sulphidic mud of high quality, bathing in mineral waters, time in cryosauna, professional cosmetological and aesthetic medical services. Not far from Almaty there are recreational centres and natural entertainment parks with a wide array of choice for the many different health procedures: from mud bathing to ionized water treatment. All these resorts are located in the picturesque forest area with a breathtaking view of the mountains and lakes. Your hardest decision will be which resort to choose that will fit into your budget while satisfying your taste! We are sure that this type of vacation will take you into a state of pure peace and bliss while you relax and rest.
We hope that our articles will help you and guide you into finding the right destination for your next vacation. Wherever you choose to go in Kazakhstan just know that you won’t be disappointed.