Private Day Tours in Aktau
| The most of the territory of Mangystau region is a desert, sung in the poems of hundreds of poets. Its sands, whispering under the touch of the wind, remember the far times. No wonder Mangystau has so many natural monuments of former times…
Availability: May-November, daily at 07:00
During this off-road tour you will visit several tourist attractions of Tyub-Karagan Peninsula, the closest ones to Aktau city. The tour route starts from Aktau and lies to Saura canyon.
Saura is a coastal region of the Caspian Sea, where in a small canyon is hidden a kind of "the black pearl" of the Mangyshlak peninsula - a small freshwater lake Karakol. The stony canal, formed by seasonal watercourses, is cut off by a ten-meter step, forming an unusual waterfall in the rainy periods. The depth of the lake is about five meters, which gives dark color to the water. Depth and constant replenishment of groundwater allow relict species of the marshy freshwater turtle live here. In the morning, when the coastal stones are heated in the sun, turtles creep up on them to warm up. The most surprising that these freshwater turtles are repeatedly found in the Caspian coastline, calmly swimming in the marine saltwater.
Then follows a short drive to the opposite bank of Tyub-Karagan Peninsula, Zhygylgan Cape.
Zhygylgan is a huge geological landslide. It arose as a result of the washing of the clay-sand cushion on which the limestone layer rested. Heavy plate with its own weight squeezed out a soft pillow and threw it into the sea, and itself turned into an exciting fantasy failure. Zhygylgan gave people a rare opportunity to contemplate the extraordinary spectacle of slabs of plates with prints on their surface, chains of petrified traces of large and small saber-toothed mahayrod cats and bogged down hooves of small three-toed horses – hipparyons The age of these tracks is about 10-15 million years old. With all his fame, Zhygylgan is still the place which is mysterious and far from being well-known. They say there are spirits in here.
After a walk, a short drive to the historical site, the underground mosque Shakpak-Ata.
According to the legend, in the north of Tyub-Karagan peninsula in the cave of the chalk slope of a huge ravine in ancient times lived an extraordinary healer - the greybeard Shakpak-Ata. Human rumor carried his glory everywhere, and there were no illnesses, that he could not cure. Centuries have passed but people still come here to heal the bodies and the souls - the power of the ancient healer still saves the sick people from various ailments. According to the archaeologists, the mosque was built in the IX-X centuries and named in honor of Sufi Shakpak-Ata, who lived here with his disciples during the enemy raids. In the last years of his life he was a recluse and no longer left his underground abode.
After sightseeing at Shakpak-Ata mosque, you will have a lunch (picnic). Then, transfer to Torysh place and unknown canyon of Akespe (about 50 km).
Torysh or "The Valley of Balls", how this area is also called. According to one of the local legends, the hordes of enemies came to the Mangystau open spaces, covering the land like locusts. The locals turned to the heaven in prayer for the help and they have been heard. The torrential streams, thunder and lightning came down from the heaven. At once all the enemies turned into the stones. This is how endless fields and ridges of unusual stone formations of Mangystau - globular concretions appeared. Their actual size reaches 3-4 meters in diameter, some are larger. Nodules are formed by bizarre piles of balls, eggs, mushrooms, cylinders, matryoshkas, and little animals.
After the Valley of Balls, 10-minute transfer to Akespe canyon. Sightseeing at the canyon and transfer to Sherkala mount.
The legendary Sherkala mount is a natural symbol of Mangystau. The adjacent point of inspection, it looks like a giant yurt, set by mythical nomadic geese in the folds of the Akmysh area. Sherkala mount is a large sediment of unusual shapes that arose during the formation of the mountainous Kara-Tau valleys as the result of raising the land from the sea depths. One of the legends about Sherkala says that once valiant knights defended from hordes of enemies here. They fought like tigers. Latest defenders of the mountains disappeared in the underground passages inside the mountain and remained in them forever. The name of this stronghold of heroism and independence remained as Sherkala or the city of tigers.
After sightseeing in the caves - a short transfer to Airakty mountains.
The system of small remnant mountains well known among the local population under the name of AiractyShomanay. Airakty mountains look like fairytale castles with spiers, towers, colonnademia fortified walls. A winding trail, trodden by semiwild horses, leads to a small viewing platform on one of the gates, which offers a panoramic view of the far-off Aktau mountains and all the Ayraktan castles. In the spring, the valley is covered with small but gently fragrant Sogdian tulips. Along the sides of Mount Airakty on blocks of chalky rock you can see scratched drawings, called by one of the researchers as the "Steppe Symphonies".
After a short walk (without visiting the viewing platform), return to Aktau.
* The route is subject to change due to weather conditions