The resort zone of Burabay (Borovoe settlement) with its transparent lakes and coniferous forests seems to cut like a bright wedge into the boundless steppes of Northern Kazakhstan. In summer, people come here to breathe in the aromas of steppe herbs and pine needles, heal with healing mud and mineral waters, walk along mountain paths and swim in the refreshing waters of the Blue Bay. In winter, go skiing along the slopes of Ak-Jelken.
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Burabay, as a climatic resort, is quite popular with residents of Kazakhstan and neighboring countries. Local sanatoriums, hotels and recreation centers accept tourists at a decent level, surprising them with an impressive range of services. The infrastructure is also on top: restaurants, beaches, shops, a casino and the entertainment center “Kazakh Lapland” – you won’t get bored during your vacation for a minute.
How to get to Burabay
There is no air service between the nearest air hub to Burabay, Kokeshtau, and Moscow. You will have to fly to Astana, from where it is another 250 km to the place. From the railway station of the capital of Kazakhstan on the street. Wolfgang Goethe, 1 trains run to Borovoye (3-4 hours on the way). A bus or fixed-route taxi takes about 4-6 hours to reach the city of Schuchinsk, located just 20 km from Burabay. Also at Astana airport you can take a taxi for 38,000 KZT. As an alternative, a train from Kazansky railway station to Karaganda stops at the Shchuchinsk station “Borovoye Resort”. The train departs every 2-3 days and spends about 50 hours on the road.
Autotourists leaving Moscow should follow the route Yaroslavl – Kirov – Perm – Yekaterinburg – Kokeshtau – Borovoye. This road is the fastest in time.
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The only city bus runs along the route Schuchinsk – Burabay – Zeleny Bor village every 40 minutes. In Shchuchinsk there are several taxi services operating at a fixed rate (the price of one trip is 500-600 KZT). Some tourists catch rides at their own risk, but locals do not recommend doing this. The main mode of transportation is on foot or by transport ordered specifically for excursions.
Active travelers rent bicycles for 800 KZT /hour and ATVs for 6,000-10,000 KZT /hour. Basically, rental stations are located at hotels and recreation centers.
The choice of housing in Burabay will please: luxurious 5 * complexes, worthy of “four” and “three”, health centers, sanatoriums, guesthouses. Large companies rent a cottage or apartment. The camp sites in Borovoe offer different types of accommodation – from summer houses without amenities to fully equipped rooms. Well, the most economical locals rent rooms. The option, of course, is not for everyone, but the plus is significant savings and a story from the owners about useful life hacks.
The price of a standard double room in a hotel with an average service starts from 6000 KZT (the amount often includes breakfast). A cozy wooden house for 4 with a bathroom, shower and a private terrace costs approximately 76,000 KZT. At the recreation centers they settle for 3200 KZT per person without meals.
Cuisine and restaurants
The restaurants, cafes and canteens of Burabay serve national Kazakh cuisine and do not forget about European cuisine to satisfy the tastes of foreign guests. Many establishments offer set meals and takeaways. You can spend a pleasant evening on the summer veranda to the accompaniment of live music in “Asia”, where visitors will find a nice interior, friendly service and a varied menu. For a quick bite to eat, go to the bistro at the Zhumbaktas hotel, the Kokeshtau burger restaurant or the Mix Pizza pizzeria.
A standard check for two in a restaurant is 8,000-10,000 KZT. This price includes a 2-3 course meal, drinks and anything alcoholic within reason. In a simpler cafe you can eat for 2000-5000 KZT. In establishments at hotels, set meals cost from 2000-2500 KZT.
For lunch – a traditional Kazakh pilaf with dried apricots, for dinner – a plate of rich “kuyrdak” from offal, for dessert – “baursak” donuts sprinkled with powdered sugar. A few days of such a feast and farewell figure. But if you do not forget to drink all this with koumiss, then there will be only good for health.
Sights of Burabay
Burabai has always been known among the Kazakhs as a land of mysterious shamans and a place of power. There are no architectural monuments to be found there, but the mighty nature has forever imprinted its beauty on this land. The serene appearance of the lakes of Borovoye, Shchuchye and Swan is worthy of the artist’s brush. The local mountains are not high, but picturesque and covered with interesting legends.
At the top of Kokshe (by the way, the highest in Northern Kazakhstan) there is a sacred glade of Abylai Khan (GPS coordinates: 53.083847, 70.235000), on which a granite stele is installed. It is believed that after a walk in this place, well-being improves. In the depths of the Blue Bay on the lake. The mysterious rock Zhumbaktas rises in the forest forest. Depending on which side you look at her from, she changes forms – she will pretend to be a frozen sphinx, then she will turn into an unprecedented beast or turn into a girl with long hair.
Beginners and experienced climbers storm the slopes of Mount Okzhetpes, located on the shore of the lake. Borovoye, and for hikers and cyclists around the reservoir there is a trail. On it you can get to the “dancing grove”, where birches grow with intricately curved trunks.
The local Museum of Nature (Kennessary St., 38) has a collection of representatives of the flora and fauna of the Burabay National Park. There is also a small zoo with a lake. Also an interesting exposition is offered by the local history museum on the central square of Shchuchinsk.
Theme park “Kazakhstan Lapland” on the lake. Shchuchye (near the Rixos Borovoe hotel) is a winter fairy tale for adults and children. There they ride reindeer and dog sleds, visit a shaman’s village and go on excursions to the residence of Santa Claus.