Between the mountain ranges in the deep basins shimmer azure
lakes. The most beautifull of them is Issyk-Kul which does not
freeze even in winter.
Issyk-Kul is the rare case where in order to swim in the sea, it is necessary to climb the mountain.
Lake Issyk-Kul, formed about 800 thousand years ago. Located at an altitude of 1609 meters above sea level, it extends for 177 km. The area of the Kyrgyz "sea" is 6000 square meters. Maximum depth of the lake is 668m. From the high mountain ranges of the Tien Shan mountains surrounding the lake, the picturesque gorges run in the Issyk-Kul 80 rivers, saturating its pure water and mineral salts which give it a salty-bitter taste and medicinal qualities. The largest flowing into the lake by rivers are Tup (103 km) and Jergalan (81 km), as well as: Karakol, Dzhuuka, Tong, Jets-Oguz, Chon-Ak-Suu, Chong-Kyzyl-Suu, Ak-Terek Barskoon, Tuura Suu length does not exceed 50 km.
Depth and volume of water it has no equal in the world of alpine lakes. Issyk-Kul on the right is the second largest alpine lake, located in Chile, after Lake Titicaca.
Average water temperature in the summer - plus 21 - plus 23 in the winter - minus 3 - minus 4. The western part of arid and rain are rare, the snow almost falls out. In the western mountains bordering the lake, receives only 115 mm of precipitation on the eastern bank of the same - about 600 mm. However, in recent years, rainfall has increased. The first explored the lake a great Russian explorer Pyotr Semyonov-Tyan-Shansky.
He wrote: "It's hard to imagine anything grandiose landscape that represents a traveler from across the lake to Kungei Heavenly Mountains. The dark blue surface of Lake Issyk-Kul his sapphire color can easily compete with equally blue surface of Lake Geneva, seemed to me from the west of almost unlimited Kungei in the East, and in no way comparable to the greatness of the last plan of the landscape gives it a grandeur that is Lake Geneva does not have. " The famous Russian explorer and scientist, explorer of Central Asia, NM Przewalski, was in love with this area and asked to bury him on the shore of the lake. Having seen the beauty of Kyrgyzstan, he said: "This is the same in Switzerland, only better."
After the death of the Przewalski in his honor was named the city, located near the grave of the traveler. Then, after the Soviet collapse, Prezhevalsk was renamed in Karakol. Issyk-Kul, attracts a huge number of tourists from Kazakhstan, Russia and other parts of the CIS, as well as foreign tourists. On the shore of the lake are the resorts that work year-round, where you can not just great to relax, but also improve their health. Lake Issyk-Kul is the main source of income from tourism in Kyrgyzstan.
In Turkic Issyk-Kul means "hot lake". This is most likely due to the fact that even in the coldest winter the lake does not freeze. Perhaps influenced by this title and the presence of hot springs in the surrounding mountains.
If you arrived at the Issyk-Kul for a long time, we will advise you to make a trip to the mountains. The most interesting is the gorge Arashan, Caracal and Jeti-Oguz, located in the Terek-Ala-Too far from the town of Karakol on the eastern edge of the lake. In these canyons, you can not only be seen near the majestic peaks over 5,000 meters, but also to bathe in the healing mineral baths. Some, such as a bath "Swallow's nest" in the gorge Arashan, located directly in natural rock cavities.
Numerous motels and resorts are concentrated mainly on the north shore. The services sector is highly developed. Here you can offer a yacht, paroplany, jet skis, water skiing, as well as trips to the mountains. The largest spa resort on the northern coast is Cholpon-Ata, where you can get, and bus and plane.