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Astana, Kazakhstan • 27 November 2023

Your Ultimate Guide to 48 Hours in Winter Burabay

Discover Burabay with this curated trip itinerary

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Collage by QazMonitor
Collage by QazMonitor

Planning a trip to Burabay this weekend? Let QazMonitor be your guide! Just 250 kilometers from Astana, this destination promises a blend of cultural richness, natural wonders, and thrilling adventures. Discover local cuisines, find comfort in cozy accommodations, and immerse yourself in the breathtaking landscapes that define Burabay.

Adelina Kulyashkina for QazMonitor
Adelina Kulyashkina for QazMonitor

Day 1

Start with the Abylai Khan Glade

Kickstart your day with a hearty breakfast at a cafe nestled right across from the glade of Abylai Khan. Enjoy a sandwich with coffee or opt for a breakfast deal, guaranteeing a perfect start to your morning. As of November 2023, this will cost you around $4-7.

Directly opposite, discover the Abylai Khan Glade, a place of sacred significance for locals. In 1991, a monument was created there in honor of Abylai Khan's 280th anniversary. The historical stone, Abylai Khan's granite throne, stands behind the monument. Legend has it that representatives of the Middle Juz proclaimed him their Khan and carried him on a white horse to this throne. The glade's unique feature is its higher temperature, believed to contribute to rejuvenation during a stroll.

At the glade, immerse yourself in the local culture with a sip of kymyz (traditional horse milk drink), try on traditional clothing for memorable photos, and strike a pose with majestic golden eagles. As you explore, do not forget to browse through an array of unique souvenirs that will serve as a lasting keepsake of this experience.

Explore the Kenesary Cave

Kazakhstan Travel
Kazakhstan Travel

Next, head to the Kenesary Cave, located on the southern shore of Burabay Lake, 5.5 km from the Abylai Khan Glade. Follow the bike path, guided by special signs and markings, and relish the picturesque views of the lake and nearby mountains like "Okzhetpes" and "Hedgehog."

Kenesary's Cave, shaped like a yurt, features a round opening at the top resembling a shanyrak (the main backbone part of the yurt), which served as a chimney. The cave is famous for the legend of Kenesary, who, as a young warrior, sought shelter there during hunting trips to Borovoye forests.

Horseback Ride Near the City

Feeling a bit tired after hiking? Opt for a 40-minute horseback ride through the scenic forests near the city. The ride, priced at 2,500 tenge per person, offers a delightful experience. You will find this service in Shchuchinsk (a city 20 minutes away from Burabay), near the Kazakh Scientific Research Institute of Forestry and Agroforestry.

Dinner and Crimean Baths

As the sun sets, head for dinner at a local cafe. In Burabay and Shchuchinsk, you can find cuisines of different price ranges, depending on your choice.

Cap off your evening with a visit to the Crimean Baths – a beloved form of relaxation in Burabay. Located at the Rixos Borovoe Hotel, this bath resort offers traditional saunas, a seaweed grotto, hay room, special procedures, swings, and even a bonfire, creating a cozy atmosphere. Feel free to secure your spot in advance, as this experience is available to both hotel guests and non-residents.

Facebook/RixosBorovoeHotel
Facebook/RixosBorovoeHotel

Day 2

Visit a cafe or stroll through local markets

Start your second day with a delightful breakfast at a local cafe or explore nearby markets for fresh produce, including vegetables, honey, mushrooms, fruits, and baked goods. You can also find unique souvenirs there, so don't forget to grab a few for your friends!

Explore the Borovoye Lake

gov.kz
gov.kz

Venture to the Borovoye Lake, the heart of the resort, offering various activities, from fishing and water excursions to winter adventures like skiing and snowboarding.

On the lake's eastern shore, discover natural wonders like the Blue Bay and Jumbaktas Rock (translating to "Mystery Stone" in Kazakh). Reach Jumbaktas by catamaran or kayak, and marvel at its ever-changing contours, resembling either the enigmatic Sphinx or a woman with wind-blown hair, depending on your imagination. According to legend, a tragic love story unfolds as a young couple flees their village, facing disapproval and ending in the lover's demise in the water. Overwhelmed with grief, the girl prayed to God to transform her and the boat into stone. Moved by her profound sorrow, God granted her request, shaping the rock's unique form.

Hike the Okzhetpes Mountain

For panoramic views, hike the Okzhetpes Mountain, which is located near the Borovoye Lake. For the adventurous, reaching the top of the 300-meter mountain is an option but you would need to have the necessary equipment and observe all safety measures.

Post-hike thrills – karting and winter activities

After your hike, unwind with karting at the Rixos Hotel—enjoy a five-minute ride for around $2. Extend the adventure with winter activities such as snowmobiling, snowboarding, quad biking, and tubing on the lake surface.

Conclude with a walk around the birch grove

Wrap up your trip with a leisurely stroll through the birch grove on the northern shore of Borovoye. The uniquely shaped trees, appearing as if caught in a captivating dance, are sculpted by strong winds and snowdrifts. This tranquil walk is the perfect way to conclude your 48 hours of exploration in Burabay!

Bonus tips: Accommodation Insights

Instagram/orbita_glamping
Instagram/orbita_glamping

In Burabay, accommodation choices are as diverse as your tastes and budget. From hotels with varying costs to fully furnished apartments in the central square, locally known as "pyatachok," as well as nature-oriented tourist cabins or cottages, there is something for everyone. For budget-conscious travelers with a car, Shchuchinsk offers cheaper apartments, allowing you to relax at Shchuchye Lake or commute easily to Burabay, just 18 kilometers away.

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