Hidden away in Kyrgyzstan’s Tien-Shan mountain range is the enchanting Ala Archa valley. Part of the Himalayan orogenic mountain belt, Tien-Shan translates from Chinese as the ‘Mountains of Heaven’.
Only a 50-minute drive from Kyrgyzstan’s capital, Bishkek, Ala Archa is quite literally the perfect heavenly weekend get away! Surrounded by 20 glaciers and 50 snow-capped mountains that tower more than 4,000 meters above sea level, the Ala Archa National Park valley owes its name to the juniper trees native to this region, lining the banks of the rivers running through it. A protected home to several unique animals, these Himalayan meadows are inhabited by wild goats, deer, marmots and the elusive snow leopard.
So, if a biking weekend through a landscape painting sounds like a cool reprieve from the scorching UAE summers, then this little gem of a trip, is one not to be missed.
Meeting at Terminal 3 for a direct flight to Bishkek.
After an early morning arrival in Bishkek, we will head to our hotel for a short rest, some breakfast and bicycle and helmet rentals. Once we’re ready we will be transported by bus, with our bikes, to the Arashan village (about a 30-minute ride). In the village we will hop on our bikes to begin a 37km ride along the riverbeds of the Alamedin and Alaarcha rivers. Passing by the Chunkurchak Ski base, we will feast our eyes on one of the most beautiful gorges of the Tien-Shan region. And as we make our way through the national reserve, we will glimpse rare species of tulips amidst vast landscapes framed by snow-capped mountains, dotted with yurts and herds of grazing cattle and sheep. We will end today’s ride with a descent to the Oruu-Sai gorge to reach the village of Kashka-Suu, before being driven back to Bishkek for the night.
Today we hop back on our bikes for a 35km paved ride, in the direction of Bishkek, through the foothills of the Kyrgyz Ala-Too range. Later tonight, we have a local dinner and an overnight stay in the Kyrgyz capital.
Early in the morning drive to airport, back home at 8.20am
Level: Moderate, elevation gain[masked] meters
Activity: Cycling and sightseeing
Duration: Weekend only
Accommodation: hotel, double sharing. Meals included.
Cost: AED 2,900 incl flight.
Visas are not included in this trip budget. Most nationalities can obtain an e-visa: http://www.evisa.e-gov.kg
. Please note that it is the sole responsibility of travellers to secure admission to the destination country.
All passengers are required to present a printed copy of a negative PCR test result issued no more than 72 hours prior to arrival to Kyrgyzstan.
PCR testing for a return to Dubai has been incorporated in this trip program, the cost however is not included in the budget.
Kyrgyzstan has also recently been removed from on-arrival testing at Dubai airport.
See yah in Ala Archa!