When our guests decide to take a route without a driver and rent a car, they usually follow self-drive routes. Kyrgyzstan is the country in the heart of Central Asia, showing breath-taking nature. Every guest must visit nature of Kyrgyzstan in the face of various mountain ranges, small villages and mountain lakes, pure lakes at high altitudes. Along the mountains and impassable paths nomads used to wander and still wander with herds of wandering horses. These are main reasons to visit the picturesque country.
For you to travel in Kyrgyzstan with convenience, the 4 WD off-road tours should be taken into consideration. The roads of the country are quite poor and unfortunately 70% of them are covered with dirt and gravel, but despite that Kyrgyzstan is a place that must be visited. Self-drive routes are created for those guests of the country who eager to investigate and explore the whole country from north to south.
As the place of interest, travelling in Kyrgyzstan, we can visit the National Park Ala Archa, situated in 45 km from Bishkek, should be visited. Travellers usually begin their tour in this Park as it is a place of overwhelming nature and views. The Gorge Ala Archa is located at the foot of the Tien Shan Mountain Range that introduces the panoramic view of the gorge and of the park itself. The tour in Kyrgyzstan starting from the park Ala Archa is suitable not only for experienced hiking, but for amateurs as well. And with this program you can just have a walk along the path and enjoy the beauties of nature.
The tour in Kyrgyzstan can be the fascinating and overwhelming one thanks to the horse riding up to the other destination Chon Kemin Gorge. This is the horse-riding trip along high mountains and picturesque forests. Such a tour in Kyrgyzstan resembles the way of life of real nomads.
Lake Issyk Kul is the one that is surrounded by mountains. The lake is well known as the "Pearl of Kyrgyzstan", in Kyrgyzstan and the translation of it is "Hot Lake", as it never freezes, even in the winters. Lake Issyk Kul is the second largest high altitude lake, after Lake Titicaca in South America. The Issyk Kul region is known for treks, shores and spa resorts. It is advisable to visit Grigoryevskoe and Semenovskoe gorges, Jeti Oguz gorge, Barskoon waterfalls and Skazka (Fairy Tale) Canyon as places that must be seen by everyone who comes to Kyrgyzstan.
Karakol is the town on the eastern edge of the Issyk Kul Lake that is rather small, but with emerald greenish pastures, paths and timber cottages for guests. Being in this town the following sites are recommended for visiting setting off for a tour in Kyrgyzstan: the Russian Orthodox Church, Dungan Mosque and Memorial Museum named in honor to N. M. Przhevalsky. Very often residents and guests being in Kyrgzystan are glad to feel the culture of Kyrgyz people, for that it is great to visit the town Karakol on Sunday for getting these feelings and as well visit the animal market.
The History of Kyrgyzstan is full of different events, but the eye-catching is that in the small village Kochkor it is possible to feel nomadic life from inside, as it is in the very heart of the whole history of Kyrgyz people. In here there is an opportunity to get to know how to make national carpets with demonstrations from masters, and you can taste the traditional Kyrgyz cuisine, experiencing all these events you hear the Kyrgyz traditional music during your tour in Kyrgyzstan.
Lake Son Kul and Tash Rabat are necessary sites for visiting in Kochkor, as the ancient caravanserai Tash Rabat used to be the shelter for merchants going along the Great Silk Road. For all travelers who have already passed the tour in Kyrgyzstan, this place is surely the one to like. The other lake in Kyrgyzstan, in Kochkor is the lake Son Kul, 3016 m (9895feet) height above the sea level. This lake is known to be the high altitude one, in the north of the Naryn Region. The lake is also very picturesque and viewing, as it is surrounded by wide and greenish pastures. But during travelling in Kyrgyzstan it is necessary to pay attention to the fact that to visit the lake is possible only in the summer time in Kyrgyzstan, from June to September, as roads in other seasons are closed and can't be passed due to precipitations. For tourists there is an offer to live in nomadic houses - yurts, when even in the summer the temperature is not higher than 11 ˚ C (52˚ F) at night.
The Kazarman village is the next destination of all tourists in Kyrgyzstan, as it is the most ancient city in Central Asia. Right near Uzbekistan there is situated the city Osh, in the head of the Fergana valley that used to be the nearby city for travellers along the Great Silk Road, where the cross border Dostuk is situated.
Jalal Abad is the city that embraces the mausoleums and the minaret Uzgen, full of rich greenish plants and vegetation. Jalal Abad is the city largest walnut forests and lakes with waterfalls that are so attractive, that it is difficult not to pay attention to it starting a tour in Kyrgyzstan. Being in the forest you can easily identify that not only walnut grows here but apple, pear, cherry plum, cherry grow, as well as tasty fruits as well.
The Toktogul water reservoir is based on the river Naryn in Kyrgyzstan that is oriented to be the other second pearl of the country, as this reservoir is the largest in the whole Central Asia and embraces about 284 km2. Then travelling in Kyrgyzstan, you can visit the greatest and most eye-cathing valleys of the northern Tien Shan - the valley Suusamyr. The valley Suusamyr is situated right near the Talas Alatau and the Kyrgyz Range, so that it is full of thick emerald greenish grasses of picturesque mountain meadows that stay in the hearts of travellers and residents forever.
This route can be used and walked through in different regions of Kyrgyzstan.
Most picturesque self-drive routes in Kyrgyzstan
Day 1: Bishkek - Ala Archa - Bishkek
Day 2: Bishkek - Chon Kemin
Day 3: Chon Kemin - Issyk Kul lake northern shore
Day 4: Issyk Kul northern shore - Grigorievskoye - Karakol
Day 5: Karakol - Jeti Oguz (can sleep here) - Issyk Kul southern shore - Kochkor
Day 6: Kochkor - Kichi Naryn - Naryn (or drive directly to Tash Rabat via Dolon pass)
Day 7: Naryn - Tash Rabat
Day 8: Tash Rabat - Son Kul
Day 9: Son Kul - Kyzyl Oi
Day 10: Kyzyl Oi - Bishkek
If you can spend more days, additional routes are:
Day 09: Son Kul - Kazarman
Day 10: Kazarman - Osh
Day 11: Osh - Arslanbob
Day 12: Arslanbob - Toktogul
Day 13: Toktogul - Bishkek
Day 14: Flight