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Alternative rounds / Mangystau oblast / Following the Tracks Expedition Route

There some location in Mangystau related to Taras Shevchenko, a poet, artist, internationalist, prose writer, philosopher and Mangystau explorer. As member of a research expedition, Shevchenko made more than 80 drawings about the unique nature. We offer a 7-day program for those who want to visit the places of the exile of the great Ukrainian poet and artist. The exile was a severe test and inspiration for him to create his invaluable painting and literature works and see amazing landscapes to impress in his canvasses.

1 day. Airport-hotel transfer (by Ikarus bus). Hotel accommodation. Koktem restaurant lunch. The restaurant has a cozy setting and European and ethnic cuisines. An overview White-Stone Aktau excursion. Visit a modern art gallery, see folk artists’ works and buy souvenirs. Koktem hotel restaurant lunch. Free time.
2 day. Breakfast. A city by Tub Karagan bus tour. The duration is 8 hours, The length is 130 km by a Hungarian Ikarus bus. The route will be on an asphalt highway. The excursion has some information on the construction of forts in the Tub Karagan Gulf on the instruction of the Peter the Great and the construction of the New Petrov Fort and its relation with the Ukrainian poet and artist Shevchenko. Visit ethnographic and regional museums. Lunch in the Shagala Hotel restaurant in Bautino town. See the town and walk in the New Petrov Fort. Return to the city. Hotel dinner. Free time.
Day 3, 4 and 5: Travel by the route of the Antipov’s expedition (1851), the member of which was Shevchenko.
Duration: 3 days
Length: 560 km
Accommodation: 1 night in a motel, 1 night in tents.
Day 6. Travel from Aktau to Hanga Baba location. See sites (ruined Middle Age mosque, clan nomad cemetery and wild mulberry trees). Travel from Hanga Baba to the Karagashty Auliye Cemetery. See monuments. Travel from Karagashty Auliye to the Sultan Epe Canyon (the underground mosque and grave of St. Sultan Epe, a small hospitable house, fresh water well, oasis; steppe road – 15 km). A field lunch. Travel from Sultan Epe (visiting a panoramic site opening on the Shakpakatsai Canyon) to Tauchik Town to Zhynkyldy Town to Amanbulak Motel. Dinner. Night stay.
Day 7. Breakfast. Travel from Amanbulak to Tushybek town to Shetpe town to a small mountain system Akmyshtau. Akmyshtau is a valley of natural castles. Travel from Akmyshtau to the Akmysh spring (lunch) to the Sherkala Mountain. Car travel and walk to natural and historical sites. Travel from Sherkala to a location and mountain gorge with the Kokala spring. Dinner. Overnight stop in tents.
Day 8. Breakfast. See a coal outcrop. Travel from Kokala to Akkonyr locality. Akkonyr is a location where you can see a bizarre outcrop – globular concretions. You can also see here a small abandoned underground mosque. Travel from Akkonyr to the Kochak Gulf. A field lunch. Travel from Kochak to the Kumakape Gorge (see Bronze Age megalith structures) to Tauchik to Aktau.
Day 9. Hotel breakfast. Meet the representatives of the Ukrainian community. Reading Shevchenko and souvenir exchange. Lunch, the traditional Kazakh cuisine. Visit Shevchenko’s monument. Dinner in a café, the traditional Ukrainian cuisine.
Day 10. Breakfast. Hotel – Airport transfer.

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