Issyk Lake

The Issyk Lake takes place in Issyk gorge of Trans-Ili Alatau mountain range in 70 km east of Almaty. It is at the altitude of 1, 760 meters above sea level and considered to be one of the most picturesque mountain lakes in Kazakhstan with magnificent flora and fauna. You can use car rent services and Almaty and visit during as a day tour in Kazakhstan. 

The lake was formed 8, 000 years ago as a result of strong earthquake which created rock avalanche and dam of 300 meters high. The lake was described in most of early travellers and explorers diaries of the region. In 1939 there quickly started the development of a road, tourist base and the bus stop near the lake and became popular tourist destination. However, in 1963 a big disaster happened to this place. A mudflow from the headwaters of the Issyk River destroyed a natural dam in the western part of the lake, devastating the reservoir within four hours. Over thousands of people became victims of this tragedy. It was one of the largest and most destructive mudflows in the USSR. 

On the way to the lake it is possible to visit the State Historical and Cultural Museum-Reserve “ISSYK”, where you can see the expositions dedicated to the history and culture of the Saka period. The exhibits include a copy of Golden Man and golden items, ancient ceramics, weapon, elements of horse equipment, as well as the model of Saka burial mound. 

Issyk Lake is currently a famous place for tourists who want to stay out of hectic city and enjoy the nature. You can get there within an hour or so with a rent car or ask your providers to include this lake into your tour in Kazakhstan.

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