Bike tour in the Tien Shan

Bike tour along the Tien-Shan is an interesting program which covers a huge part of Kyrgyzstan. The start point is Bishkek, capital of Kyrgyzstan, where we will get acquainted a bit with city sights. We will prepare our “iron horses” to go further to conquer wide spaces and passes of the Tien-Shan Mountains. First we need to ride over the Chon-Kemin Valley and to cross a pass of 3869 m above sea level named Kok-Airyk which provides a fantastic view of the Issyk-Kul Hollow. Issyk-Kul Lake is like a pearl in a precious setting of the Tien-Shan Mountains – the ridges of Kyngei and Terskey Ala-Too. In several days we will cycle around Issyk-Kul Lake.  We will peep into the most amazing corners of mountain gorges. We will reach mountain lakes of the Grigoriev Gorge and red canyons of the Djety-Oguz Valley. We will travel across the inner Tien-Shan starting first with unforgettable descent along the picturesque Kichi-Naryn River.  You will be surprised by diversity of colors and landscapes from thick fur forests of the Terskey Mountains to rich alpine meadows of the Suusamyr Valley and Song-Kul Lake. The picturesque Kokomeren River and the At-Bashy Ridge are wonderfully combined for you in this tour.
Cultural part of our program plays an important role as well. In Karakol town we will observe a heritage of the Russian Empire and the Soviet Union. Afterwards we will visit more ancient historical monument  - the Tash-Rabat Caravanserai. It is located in a remote area not far from the Chinese border. In the past that was a refuge on the Great Silk Road. For sure to have full impression of Kyrgyzstan you need to meet culture and traditions of modern nomads. Song-Kul Lake is one of the cites of our tour.  Since the dawn of time that was a cradle of Kyrgyz nomadic people. The lake is located at an altitude of 3016 m and surrounded by the mountains. There are four roads leading to the lake from four corners of the world. It attracts lots of touring cyclists as all these roads are not traffic busy and very different one from another.  That is for sure interesting for any spoiled bike gourmet.  We will spend night here in a real Kyrgyz yurt prepared for the best guests in the best traditions of nomadic hospitality. We will taste the national Kyrgyz drink Kumys made of mare milk. We will also enjoy culture and traditions of the Kyrgyz people in Kochkor village while having dinner. We will try the most delicious beshbarmak (national dish) and see the traditional folklore show. If you like you can even take part in it. Afterwards we will visit a private ethnographical museum with interesting handicrafts.
Such a mix of traditions, culture, history and nature will become an incredible journey! Your favorite bike will give you lots of positive emotions and unforgettable impressions!

Best time: June-September
Activity: Bike tour with vehicle support, ethnography
Duration: 21 days

Days  Program  Accommodation Meals 
Day 1 Bishkek. Manas International Airport. Hotel B/L/D
Day 2 Transfer to the Chon-Kemin Valley. Start point of the bike tour. Camping B/L/D
Day 3 Cycling to the Kok-Airyk Pass of 3869m. Camping B/L/D
Day 4 Cycling over the Kok-Airyk Pass to Issyk-Kul Lake. Hotel B/L/D
Day 5 Transfer by vehicle to the Grigoriev Gorge. Cycling to the mountain lakes.  Camping B/L/D 
Day 6 Cycling to the Semenov Gorge. Descent to Issyk-Kul Lake and transfer to Karakol town. Hotel B/L/D
Day 7 Excursion in Karakol. Transfer to the Dzhety-Oguz Gorge. Cycling to yurts.  Yurts B/L/D
Day 8 Descent to the road. Transfer to Tosor village. Yurts B/L/D
Day 9 Cycling along the Tosor Gorge. Camping   B/L/D 
Day 10 Cycling over the Ak-Terek Pass. Descent to Bokonbaevo village. Transfer to Kochkor village. Guest house B/L/D
Day 11 Cycling to valley of the Kara-Kydjyr River. Camping  B/L/D 
Day 12 Cycling over the Jalpak-Bel Pass. Descent to the Kichi-Naryn River. Camping B/L/D 
Day 13 Descent along the Kichi-Naryn River to the Sary-Kyngei Gorge. Camping B/L/D 
Day 14 Descent to the road. Transfer to Naryn city. Guest house B/L/D 
Day 15 Transfer to the Tash-Rabat. Yurts B/L/D 
Day 16 Cycling to the Kashka-Suu and Berulu Passes. Camping B/L/D
Day 17 Cycling to Song-Kul Lake.  Yurts B/L/D
Day 18 Descent from Song-Kul Lake to Chaek village.   Guest house B/L/D
Day 19  Cycling along the Kekemeren River to the Suusamyr Valley. Skiing base B/L/D
Day 20 Transfer to Bishkek. Hotel B/L/D
Day 21 Departure.   -/-/- 


Quotation for group: 

2 persons in the group   –  USD 3312 per person

4 persons in the group   –   USD 2448 per person

6 persons in the group   –   USD 1933 per person

8 persons in the group    –   USD 1675 per person

10 persons in the group  -    USD 1521 per person 

12 persons and more      -     USD 1418 per person

Single Supplement – USD 187 per person

The price includes:                                                         

1) Transport according to the program
2) English speaking guide
3) Cook
4) Trekking tents for accommodation
5) Accommodation according to the program
6) Three meals a day during the program

The price does not include:

1) Equipment rental
2) Personal expenditures
3) Insurance
4) Changes in the program
5) Bicycle  rental


Best time: June-September
Activity: Bike tour with vehicle support, ethnography
Duration: 21 day

Day 1. Arrive in Bishkek. Meeting at Manas International Airport of Bishkek city. Transfer to the hotel. After having rest you may enjoy city tour of Bishkek, a capital of Kyrgyzstan. You may enjoy simple soviet architecture of the city. You will visit enormous Ala-Too square which affords fantastic view of snow peaks of the Kyrgyz Ridge, green parks, Oriental bazaar and many other sights. During the dinner you will get acquainted with a group of support.

Day 2. Transfer to the Chon-Kemin Valley by vehicle (190 km). First 130 km drive along  Bishkek - Lake Issyk-Kul road and the Chue River. Upon arriving to the Chon-Kemin Valley we will drive further 60 km along the Chon-Kemin River deep into the gorge. Afterwards we start biking to upper reaches of the Chon-Kemin River (about 15 km). Tonight's camping will be at an altitude of 1905 m above the sea level.

Day 3. We continue our way along the Chon-Kemin River to foot of the Kok-Airyk Pass (about 35 km). It is a good condition road without steep slopes. Altitude of tonight’s camping is 2800 m above the sea level.

Day 4. Today we have a hard ascent to the Kok-Airyk Pass. We need to ascent a bit more than 1000 meters. Altitude of the pass is 3869 m. En-route we will cross over several landslips and stone blockages and perhaps snow avalanches which don’t melt even in summer time and stay on the road in the hottest months. Hope it will be a sunny day and we will have a possibility to see wonderful Lake Issyk-Kul. From this point it will look like a huge mirror decorated with snow tops of the Terskey and Kungey Ala-Too. You will really enjoy descent from the Kok-Airyk Pass. It is a good grounded serpentine road winding in a simple manner. A stunning view of the lake and Issyk-Kul hollow will give you unforgettable impressions. After descent we will join the main road and go further 7 km along the shore of Lake Issyk-Kul.  Accommodation in a guest house. The rest of the day we will stay on the lake’s shore enjoying warm sand and healthy waters of Lake Issyk-Kul.

Day 5. We start today quite late. We have enough time to enjoy swimming early in the morning and delicious breakfast.  We continue then our travel to an amazing place to see stunning mountain lakes located in the Grigoriev Gorge. We will drive by vehicle to the gorge and there we will straddle our iron horses to ascent up to the gorge. The Grigoriev Gorge is picturesque. The road goes along the mountain river with crystal-clear water and the slopes are covered with fur trees. In the upper gorge it turns into alpine pastures where unbelievably beautiful lakes are hidden.  Tonight’s camp will be shores of Lake Chon-Aksu.

Day 6. We start this morning with bike excursion to the second lake which locates a bit higher than the first one. Those who wish may swim in its crystal clean water. We descent after to the road which goes to the neighboring gorge called Semenov.  We will cross the Kok-Bel Pass (2360 m) by a sloping serpentine road and ride down to Lake Issyk-Kul along the Semenov Gorge. Later we will be transferred by vehicle to Karakol town where we spend this night in a hotel. This evening we will have a possibility to share our emotions and to see the photos. But it is just a beginning of our travel!

Day 7. After short city tour in Karakol we will have 30 km long ride by vehicle to the road bend to the Djety-Oguz Gorge. Afterwards we bike up to the yurt camp located in the valley of Djety-Oguz. In Kyrgyz language Djety-Oguz means "seven bulls".  At the beginning of the valley there is a natural complex of red rocks. These rocks have the name of Seven bulls. The Djety-Oguz Gorge is unique in its beauty and natural sources. You may see here an amazing mix of deciduous and coniferous forest covering the slopes. There are mineral sources in the gorge what roused to building of sanatorium in the Soviet times. It is located at the beginning of the gorge at the foothills of Seven bulls. The valley is summated with beautiful snow peak – Oguz-Bashi what means “bull’s head”. We will stay here all day long and night. This is our first acquaintance with nomadic lifestyle.

Day 8. We start today with descent to the main road which runs along Lake Issyk-Kul. Then we have transfer by vehicle to a picturesque place on the shores of the lake. We will spend this night again in a yurt camp.  

Day 9. We will leave today beautiful Lake Issyk-Kul to the Tosor Valley. We will ride there for 20 km by mountain road. Our tonight’s camping will be at the confluence of the Tosor and Ak-Terek rivers.

Day 10. Today we have to bike over the Ak-Terek Pass (2540 m). It is an easy pass, so at lunch time we’ll be already in Bokonbaevo village. After we ride by vehicle to Kochkor village (95 km) where we’ll be accommodated in a private house. We will enjoy Kochkor cultural side of our program. We will have a dinner in yurts decorated in the national style. We’ll be served with delicious Kyrgyz dishes and presented a folklore show. As well you may visit here the ethnographical museum and get acquainted with traditions and culture of the Kyrgyz people.

Day 11.  Today we will be back again to the Kyrgyz mountains. We will bike to Sary-Bulak village along the main road (about 35 km).  Then we will take a grounded road to the bank of the Kara-Kydjyr River (20 km). We will stay tonight at an altitude of 2600 m.

Day 12. New day and we’re again far from civilization. We will see today new valleys and passes and will drive along new mountain roads and paths. We will cross today the Jalpak-Bel Pass (3336 m) and will descent to the confluence of the Kara-Saz and Kichi-Naryn rivers, where our staff will be already waiting for us in a camp and with delicious field cuisine. Total distance for today is 65 km along good grounded road.

Day 13. Our today’s road lies along the Kichi-Naryn River, a tributary of one of the largest rivers of Central Asia – the Naryn River. We will bike first along the old road which was used for building transmission facilities and then will bike down to the new road. It will be a place of our camping tonight – a beautiful gorge of Sary-Kungey (2500 m).

Day 14. After having breakfast we will continue our trip. We will start with descent along the road. En-route we will have a small rise of 400 m and later the road will lead us down to the Naryn River. We will meet there our vehicle of support and drive to Naryn town to spend this evening in civilization to enjoy bath and clean and comfortable beds.

Day 15. We will be driving by vehicle to the Kyzyl-Beles Pass (2600 m) and then those who wish can have 15 km long descent by bike to the place where our vehicle will be waiting for us. We will continue our drive by vehicle to Tash-Rabat (90 km).  Tash-Rabat is an amazing place. It is a caravanserai of the11th century located in the Tash-Rabat Gorge. It is not known what was first – name of the gorge or of the caravanserai. It is just a beautiful small valley at an altitude of 3000 m. It is beautiful in its soft landscapes and fanciful shapes of rocks. We will spend here this night in a yurt camping. And we will definitely visit ancient fortress.

Day 16. We have unfortunately leave this amazing place and the ancient Tash-Rabat fortress. We have to see lots of other wonderful places. We will bike today along beautiful and picturesque sights. We will ride first over two mountain passes: the Kylak-Ashuu Pass (3400 m) and the Berulu Pass (3268 m). We will descent to the point of 2800 m above sea level between these two passes. The Berulu Pass affords fantastic view of the Naryn river’s valley. After having descent from the pass our vehicle will take us to the confluence of the Kurtka and Kel-Kayin rivers (80 km). Today’s total distance by bikes is 60 km. We will sleep tonight at an altitude of 2100 m in the valley of the Kurtka River.

Day 17. We will drive today to Lake Song-Kul along the picturesque Kurtka Gorge (about 35 km). There are 6 roads leading to Lake Song-Kul.  Four of them are motor roads. The road running in the Kurtka Gorge is perhaps one of the most beautiful. We will have to cross a difficult pass with lots of serpentines.  It is called the Moldo-Ashuu Pass (3200 m). We will drive afterwards to the yurt camp on the shores of Lake Song-Kul. It is the second largest lake in Kyrgyzstan. It is located at an altitude of 3016 m.  The lake is surrounded with wonderful snow tops and hidden in a dish-shaped valley. You have an image as you’re just under the sky and you can touch the clouds. Watching stars in the night you will be shocked by their closeness. This lake is a summer pasture for local shepherds and refuge for modern nomads. 

Day 18. We will spend this morning on the shores of Lake Song-Kul. As only here we can get acquainted with a life of real nomads and to observe their everyday life. At lunch time we will start our cycling to the Kara-Keche Pass (3384 m). After breathtaking descent from the pass you will see open mines of the Kara-Keche lignite deposit. We will ride later along the area called Chaek. You will definitely remember this last descent. Its 15 km long distance runs down for 600 m. We will spend this night in a guest house in Chaek village.

Day 19. We will continue our bike journey along the valley of the Kekemeren River. It is one of the most beautiful rivers of Kyrgyzstan. Its banks have a great diversity of colors and landscapes. Somewhere it runs in a narrow rock canyon, somewhere it washes red clay slopes and somewhere it slips in a picturesque gentle valley. We will drive by vehicle from the Kekemeren to the mountainous Suusamyr Valley. Tonight’s in tents. 

Day 20.  Return to Bishkek (about 250 km) along the tunnel of the Tue-Ashuu Pass (3586 m). Accommodation in a hotel. We will fix our bikes in the evening and enjoy last evening having a good lunch in a company of friends.

Day 21. Departure.



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