You can truly enjoy the best of both worlds in Kazakhstan. Experience the buzz of city life one moment and then total tranquillity with a trek up its majestic mountains and green valleys.
It’s biggest city, Almaty, is reminiscent of Europe with its leafy avenues, chic cafes, glossy shopping centres and hedonistic nightlife. The capital Astana, on the windswept northern steppe, has been transformed into a 21st-century showpiece with bold futuristic architecture. It is the place to see and be seen, so be sure to bring your selfie stick to snap photos of yourself with stunning landmarks. But you have to venture beyond the cities to find the greatest travel adventures. Be in sync with mother nature with a hike in the high mountains and green valleys of Tian Shan. Maybe you will want to search for wildlife on the lake-dotted steppe, or enjoy home-spun hospitality in village guesthouses. If you are after a truly unique experience, then you can even jolt across the western deserts to remote underground mosques. Kazakhstan is the world’s ninth-biggest country thanks to its abundant reserves of oil and valuable minerals. This means generally better standards of accommodation, restaurants and transport than elsewhere in Central Asia.