Issyk-Kul lake: The Pearl of Sky Mountains

When prospective travelers to Kyrgyzstan ask us for advice, we often hear: “…and I also want to visit Issyk-Kul.” That, however, is a very vague statement. A mountainous area the size of Denmark, dominated by the second-largest salt lake in the world and inhabited since the Bronze Age, the Issyk-Kul basin has got something for everyone.

The pearl of the Tien Shan — Issyk-Kul is the largest lake in Kyrgyzstan. Issyk-Kul translates as «hot lake». The water temperature here does not drop to minus even in winter, so the lake never freezes. It is located at an altitude of 1,608 meters above sea level and ranks seventh in the list of the deepest lakes in the world.

Issyk-Kul is a favorite holiday destination for Kyrgyzstanis. Also, the coast is visited annually by thousands of tourists from the CIS and other countries of the world. The hottest tourist season in Issyk-Kul lasts from mid-June to the end of August. In summer, the northern shore of the lake is the most attractive for tourists.

The main feature of Issyk-Kul is its mountainous and maritime climate. There are many sanatoriums and wellness centers where you can take treatment courses.

It should also be borne in mind that even in summer the weather on Issyk-Kul is quite capricious. During the day, it can change several times: sun, rain, sun again and rain again. Therefore, it is necessary to take warmer clothes with you.

Lovers of active recreation prefer traveling through the gorges Grigoryevskoye, Semenovskoye, Jety-Oguz and Barskoon. The Issyk-Kul coast holds many secrets and legends. There is also a lot of entertainment and delicious food.

Since 2014, the World Nomad Games have been held in Issyk-Kul. This includes various competitions in ethnic sports. For example, kok-boru (goat-picking), alysh (belt wrestling) and chuko (a game using cattle bones). Nomad games attract players and tourists from all over the world.