Issyk-Kul (from the Kyrgyz language “hot lake” “Issyk-Kol”) is the largest lake in Kyrgyzstan, drainless, is included in the 30 largest lakes in the world and is in seventh place in the list of the deepest lakes. Issyk-Kul is located in the northeastern part of the republic, between the ridges of the Northern Tien Shan at an altitude of 1,610 meters above sea level.
Issyk-Kul is a very large lake, the length of the reservoir is 182 kilometers, and its width is 58 kilometers. The maximum depth of the natural reservoir reaches – 702 meters, and the average – 278 meters. The lake is drainless – more than eight dozen small rivers flow into it. Due to this, the lake water has a slightly salty taste – its mineralization is 5.9%. Another feature of the lake is the fluctuation of the water level. Once a few decades, the water in the lake rises and falls. Therefore, the Kirghiz have long believed that the lake is breathing like a huge sleeping hero.
In terms of transparency, Issyk-Kul water is inferior only to Baikal water. Over 20 species of fish are found here, more than half of which were brought to Kyrgyzstan and specially acclimatized for a mountain reservoir. The fishermen are well known chebak and trout gegharkuni, brought from the Armenian Lake Sevan. It is noteworthy that today trout weighing up to 17 kg and more are caught in Issyk-Kul.
The mild mountain-sea climate makes the air in the lake basin very transparent. Near the lake you can breathe well, and the number of sundials exceeds the Black Sea resorts. For the year at Issyk-Kul, there are at least 300 sunny days. The average temperature in the middle of winter is between -2 …- 6 degrees Celsius, and at the height of summer +25. Rainfall is unevenly distributed. More rain falls in the eastern part of the lake basin, and the west coast is considered to be drier.
Excellent climatic conditions turned Issyk-Kul into a demanded health resort and one of the most visited lakes in the world. From year to year many people come here to improve their health from Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Russia, Ukraine, Czech Republic, Poland and other countries. Sanatoriums and recreation centers were built in different places, but most of them on the northern coast of the lake.
The wonderful climate, clean air, mineral waters and healing sulphide silt mud contribute to the treatment and recovery. Those tourists who want to relax cheaper, do not buy vouchers to resorts and motels, but stay in the private sector, low-cost mini-hotels or guest houses.
On the northern coast, between the villages of Tamchi and Kurumba, there are excellent sandy beaches, on which from mid-June to late August there are many tourists. The most popular places for beach holidays, many call the village of Bosteri and the resort town of Cholpon-Ata, and lovers of quiet places prefer to stop on the southern shore of the lake. Rent a car in Almaty and Nur-Sultan (Astana) for a trip to Issyk-Kul, Kyrgyzstan.