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  The main attraction of the Almaty area is the picturesque mountains, with forests, lakes and alpine meadows in abundance. They offer excellent opportunities for leisurely walks as well as the most demanding treks.

  There are several beautiful areas around Almay within easy reach. One of the most popular weekend spots for the residents of Almaty is Medeo, a holiday complex 16km from the capital and on 1700 m high. It is located in a very picturesque gorge of the Small Almatinka River. The outdoor speed skating rink is made of the purest glacier water is one of the world’s top ice rinks which gave many champion Soviet skaters, open from November to April. The point was to train sportsmen at the lack of oxygen so they gain more blood cells that help them to score on lower altitudes.

  A few kilometres north from Medeo there is ski resort of Chimbulak at an altitude of 2300 metres above sea level. The skiing season here runs from November to April. The one can hire the ski equipment, stay overnight at the Chimbulak hotel or walk around. Also it is a good point to start countinous trekking with final destination in other gorges or Kyrgyzstan's Issyk-Kul lake.

Excursion to Medeo from Almaty

Aliases: Shymbulak, Chymbulak, Shimbulak, Medeu, Shymbulaq.

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