The city of Almaty, which name can be translated as "the apple land" or "the father of apples". Throughout the XX century, Almaty was the capital of Kazakhstan. Here were all the administrative and cultural institutions of the country, but in 1997, the capital was moved to Astana. However, the city has not lost its status, and is now often called the Southern capital of the country.
For 150 years of the city's history, dozens of iconic monuments, architectural sights, museums, parks and much more have been erected here. Even today, guests of Almaty can learn first-hand about the history and culture of the city, which never stops to grow. Besides, there are various natural sites and the famous high-mountain skating rink Medeo near Almaty.
The Chimbulak ski resort is located in the picturesque gorge of the Ile Alatau mountain at an altitude of 2260 m above sea level in 25 km from Almaty downtown. The average air temperature in summer is +20C and in winter is -7C. The average thickness of the snow cover is up to 150 cm, the number of sunny days per year is up to 90%. The snow cover lasts from November to May. The ski slopes are served by two pair-chair, single-chair and drag ropeway as well as free towing lift. Since 2003, the 4-seater road has entered service, which has opened a new region for fans of extreme skiing. The lifts take you from 2260 m above sea level to the Talgar Pass (3163 m) with the height difference of 903 m. Three snow-sealing machines (Ratrak) prepare the trails.
Big Almaty Lake was formed as a result of an earthquake. From all sides the lake is surrounded by mountains, among them the Soviets Peak of 4317 meters above sea level, the Ozerny Peak of 4110 meters above sea level and the Tourist Peak that is 3954 meters high. The shores of the lake are cliffy and steep. The water in the lake is quite cold even in summer. Depending on the season, the water acquires various shades from a dull yellow in summer to a turquoise-blue in autumn. The lake is very beautiful, especially in the morning, when the majestic mountains are reflected in the water. In winter, the lake freezes.