Spotlight on Kyrgyzstan

Posted on March 10, 2022


In this ‘Spotlight On’ series, each blog will focus on a single riding destination. We’ll give you the inside scoop on why we think this particular adventure has simply got to be on your riding holiday wish list.

Today’s destination is Kyrgyzstan.

Where is Kyrgyzstan?

Map of Kyrgyzstan. Source: Google maps.

Kyrgyzstan is a land locked country in central Asia.  It is bordered by Kazakhstan, China, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.

The Great Trek follows part of the silk route.  This traverses the Kyrgyz and Tien Shan mountains and valleys of central Kyrgyzstan.

Riding along the Valley of Koumbel

How to get there?

You can fly from London Heathrow, Gatwick or Birmingham to Bishkek (the capital of Kyrgyzstan) via Istanbul with Turkish Airlines.  Transfers are included to and from Bishkek.

The flight route from Birmingham to Bishkek via Istanbul.  Source: Flight connections.

What can I do in Kyrgyzstan?

The Great Trek is a whopping 17 nights long.  If you are short on time you can either join the first half, Secret 1 returning by vehicle from Lake Son Kou.  Or join the second half Secret 2 travelling by vehicle from Bishkek to the lake.

All the groups spend time at Lake Son Koul, the cross-over point, and have the possibility of seeing the horse games which are normally played here.

National Horse Games at the Son Koul lake

Why should I ride in Kyrgyzstan?

These trails are not for the faint hearted.  If you are fit, up for an adventure in a remote location and happy to pitch in with camp chores and looking after your horse, this trip is perfect for you.

This challenging ride will reward you with the following:

Firstly the scenery: The spectacular mountain scenery in this very remote part of the world, as you cross the Kyrgyz and Tien Shan mountains and valleys of central Kyrgyzstan.

Rest stop at the top of Koumbel pass (3586m)

Secondly, the riding: Where the terrain permits there are chances for long canters, although if you are climbing mountains the pace tends to be at a walk.

The amazing open spaces you get to explore on horseback, mostly out of reach of vehicles.

Thirdly, the culture:  You meet local people and experience first hand their hospitality and a full immersion in Kyrgyz traditions.  Try Kymyz or kumis the national drink, made from fermented mare’s milk and is slightly alcoholic.

A feast provided by one of the guesthouses on the trail

When should I visit?

The season is short, beginning in mid June and running through to the start of September due to the climate and altitude.  Summer is a great time to go as there is normally less rainfall during the summer months with only the odd summer shower.

How can I book Kyrgyzstan?

Call us on +44 (0) 1299 272 997 or email rides@inthesaddle.com for more information.

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