One of the world’s largest countries, Kazakhstan stretches from the Caspian Sea in Eastern Europe to the Altai Mountains on the border with China, a vast and mysterious territory to explore by the intrepid traveller.
Historical Almaty is the country’s biggest and most European city while the capital Astana is a fascinating futuristic creation in the middle of the empty steppe. But the greatest travel adventures are to be found in its snowy mountains, lush valleys and wild steppe.
No less than 131 ethnicities make up the country’s small population of 18 million of which Kazakhs form the dominant group, followed by Russians and others. Nowruz or Persian New Year, held in March and a national holida, is a good moment to enjoy the rich Persian cultural heritage of some of Kazakhstan’s population.
Warm summers and very cold winters make for an extreme continental climate – come prepared and wrap up well in winter.
A recently established visa-free regime for 45 nationalities including the EU, US, Australia and New Zealand make it easy to go and discover this huge, little known country.