Medeo and Shymbulak

Medeo and Shymbulak are the most famous sight in a stone’s thrown from Almaty

Location description:

Medeo skating ring and dam and Shymbulak Ski resort are located in small Almaty valley 10 km to the south-east of Almaty city center. In less than an hour you can go up from the city to Medeo and find yourself among the beauty of mountains. Medeo skating ring was one of the highest skating rings in the world. The use of clean mountain water and special engineering system allowed to prepare perfect ice helping to establish many world speed records in the history of Medeo. Medeo dam is one of the biggest city protection structures from mudslides enforced in 1973. Try to walk up on the top through 800 steps. Shymbulak is the biggest ski resort in Central Asia. The highest point you can reach with cable car is Talgar ridge (3200m). It opens a great view on the city and valley and serves good start point for many trails. Although Medeo and Shymbulak are more related to winter time spending, there are a lot of local citizens and guest coming to visit these places all year round.

Trip description:

Preferable season for Medeo-Shymbulak visit: ALL YEAR ROUND. Trip time: 3-5 hours.

See the interactive map of the tour and most interesing places in Small Almatinka Valley below. The basic program description of the tour is provided below, but is fully customed based your preferences. Most coming guest are free to go there on their own using the guides on this site.

  1. Pickup in the morning in agreed location
  2. Medeo area. Visit and skate on Medeo skating ring (October – March). Information on tickets and timetable is available on website. Try to take good exercise and go up on the dam or have small hike into Kim Asar valley to the east from Medeo. From Medeo there are several options to go higher to Shymbulak. From here private cars pass is prohibited.
    • Cable car is the most convenient way for many people. Here you can buy tickets to use combo-1,2 cable ways on Shymbulak slope to go up to Talgar ridge.
    • Bus is the most cheap way. The bus station is near skating ring. You will be driven up through many serpentines and on the top of dam.
    • Taxi is the most flexible way for reasonable price. Taxi stop is located 100m North from Bus stop across fountain. It’s possible to negotiate to driven even further along the road to TuikSu.
  3. Shymbulak base. Shymbulak hotel, many cafes and most of infrastructure is located here. You can find more information on official website. From here you can start your hike further to Small Almaty Valley or use cable car to go up onto Talgar ridge.
  4. Talgar ridge – the final point of cable way. The height of 3200m gives a perfect view on surrounding mountains and the city. You can take small hike and go to nearby peaks.

Interactive map tips:  Use button on the up-left corner to customize visible layers. Click on any icon on the map to get more information about the place – linked to google maps.  

Prepare yourself:


Weather in mountains can change rapidly, so check weather conditions in advance to take appropriate clothes and shoes. Temperature is usually 5-10°C lower than in the city. General recommendations for comfortable and safe journey:

  • Passports – in case of document check
  • Hat or cap – to protect yourself from sunstroke in summer / cool wind in autumn and spring
  • Sun glasses –  to keep your eyes safe from bright sunlight
  • Sun protection cream – more exposure to ultraviolet higher in the mountains
  • Light windproof jacket – for sudden cool wind
  • Sport shoes – good sports boots are recommended for better traction
  • Water/snacks – to be energized
  • Photo camera – to get  memorable pictures

Service cost:

For a company of less than 4 adult people (+2 kids) the tour guidance will cost 10000 tenge. For larger group you need to contact in advance for price information.

Service cost include:

  • Transportation to Medeo – 4×4 SUV with possibility of utilizing 3rd raw seats for kids.
  • Guidance – provided on English language

Costs not included:

  • Food, water
  • Fees and tickets

General Information:

Please, for booking a tour try to contact in advance (at least 1 week before) especially if you are planning your trip on holidays. Trip description is given for general information and can be altered based on your preferences and desire. In case you have used our services, you are kindly asked to leave your feedback on a trip in comments.