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Question: Which shore of Issyk-kul?

Where would you go for the best experience of the Issyk Kul? Which shore? Where to stay? What to do?

Thank you

Replies (14)


Ryan 4 years ago

I usually recommend the southern shore. Generally look at staying in Karakol, Tamga, Kyzyl Tuu, and Bokonbaev. Things to see include: Jeti Oguz, Karakol, Altyn Arashan, Barskoon Gorge, Tamga Tash, Skazka Canyon, and the yurt makers in Kyzyl Tuu.


Alex 4 years ago

I recommend the north shore just to be different than the rest!

Day 1: Start out in Balykchy, Kyrgyzstan at a small family run guesthouse and eat your way though the small bazaar, next walk though the soviet ship building factory (yes it does exist in land lacked Kyrgyzstan). Spending the night in Tamchy in a small family run guesthouse where you will feel like a family member.

Day 2: Next day spend the whole day working with a mother and son’s handicraft business creating your own slippers to take home with you.  Spending another night in Tamchy close to the beach.

Day 3: Next day experience the nomadic culture of Kyrygzstan by seeing the petroglyphs in Cholpon-Ata. Spending the night in Korumdu where you will spend a night in a soviet resort on the beach.

Day 4: To the mountains to see Grigorievka Gorge where it’s possible to do day treks into the near by mountains.  It’s possible to camp in the wild nature or to sleep in Yurts.  

Day 5: To Karkyra valley to see the stones of Temirlan and spend a lunch with the beekeepers and enjoy some amazing honey from Karkyra Valley.  Spending a night in the village of Jergalan.

Day 6: Next day heading to Karkyra board crossing and off to Almaty.

*Also its nice to go from Almaty to Bishkek and then though Karaka back to Almaty. Never see the same road twice! 


Anna 4 years ago

If you wanna to see beautiful gorges on the route,transfer via northern shore!Grigoriev and Semenov Gorges are amazing,

Also it will be possible to have a hot spring bathes at the shore of Issyk-Kul Lake in Oryuktu Village.

If you will continue transferring you will reach Karakol Town,in this case you have to visit Altin Arashan Gorge,this place amazing not only by it's view,but also with anventures road in a special car up to the Gorge;)


Marsbek 4 years ago

In Ak-Suu vallay I will reccomend Altyn Arashan (hot spring and and very beautiful gorge) and Ak shyrak (wild animals and nomad place), Enilchek, Ala Kol


Sergey 4 years ago

Good afternoon! 

The best way is to make a round trip. The distance from Bishkek to Karakol via southern shore and northern shore is almost the same. In this case you will see the Lake from ALL sides! 

We recommend to visit:

Northern shore – felt masters in Tamchi, petroglyphs in Cholpon Ata, Ruh Ordo Museum in Cholpon Ata, Grigorievskoe gorge, Semenovskoe gorge.

Southern shore – Jeti Oguz gorge, Kyzyl Tuu gorge, Barskaun gorge, Eagle hunter houses, Fairy Tale Canyon.

If you need a car with / without driver – I will be glad to help you! Just write me you dates and number of days and I will prepare an excellent program! 


Marsbek 4 years ago

on the north shore of Lake petrogalifi in Cholpon-Ata, cultural and ethnographic center Ruh Ordo, on the eastern part of the stones in Temirlan and very beatiful valley Karkyra , on the southern coast of the red rocks and waterfall in Jeti Oguz, Canyon fairy tale and Salt lake

Igor & Anna

Igor & Anna 4 years ago

southern coast more beautiful and wild. North Shore more populated. best stop chelponata, Karakol, and Tamga



Marsbek 4 years ago

Altyn Arashan and Ala Kol lake very beautifule place 


Akai 4 years ago

If you want to stay at modern hotels you have to go Cholpon Ata area, north part. For the wilde nature and adventure activities you can do on south part of Issykkul lake.


Tahir 4 years ago

By the way I forgot to mention important thing - the road Balykchy - Karakol North shore is under reconstruction right now. It is extremely uncomfortable to travel.


Tahir 4 years ago

South shore is less developed but more beautifull and wild. Many places are unknown and need a good guide. The best time for the beaches is august. This time is also good for fruits. In summer you can travel far deep into the border with China.  


Mirlan 4 years ago

i recommend the southern shore of Issyk-Kul lake. There very clean and untouched nature.



Zhumakadyr 4 years ago

In addition to the recommendations written above, I recommend to visit Karkyra canyon which situated in Tup rayon in north east of the lake. 


Alban 3 years ago

I do reccomend the south shore and see all the valleys!hot spring valley, waterlfall valley and othe cool stuff! Tosor pass and Altyn -Arashan are the best to see beautiful landscapes and offroading!

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