Alakol translated from Kazakh means motley lake. It received this name for a reason: the fact is that the reservoir can change color depending on conditions – from dark brown to light blue. Once upon a time, a vacation on the lake was considered a great success: there was a closed border zone due to its proximity to China, but the year 2000 became the starting point for the active development of tourism infrastructure. Holiday centers and hotels began to appear near Alakol; it is still far from ideal, but people have the desire, and this in itself is important.
There is no shortage of lakes in Kazakhstan: there are about 50 thousand of them in total. It’s just the big ones that are a problem. Our hero is one of the top five largest reservoirs in the country. In addition, Alakol has earned the title of a popular lake resort. About two million tourists come to the lake every year to relax. To get to Alakol from Almaty, you will have to travel by car for about eight hours, and the road promises to be difficult in some places. There are also trains and buses, but those who want to use them should understand that private transport is faster than public transport.
Why do people rush here, even though the path is not close? In the time of Tamerlane they said that even a dog would not drink water from Alakol. The fact is that one liter of local water contains more than eight grams of salt. In general, here you can find almost the entire periodic table, including the lake, which has a high radon content, due to which it is considered a balneological lake. They say that the wars of Genghis Khan were treated in its waters. Already in our time, astronauts liked to come here to maintain their health.
If you don’t want to catch a cold during the seasons when the risk of this is especially high, then the sea air of Alakol, filled with the aromas of steppe herbs, is just what you need. Local beaches are also covered with shungite pebbles and black sand. Firstly, it looks beautiful and unusual. Secondly, after swimming it is especially pleasant to lie on the hot stones, having first covered them with a towel. Such a pastime relaxes, gives peace and tranquility. Alakol is also known for its hydrogen sulfide mud. They attract a significant part of tourists. Let’s make a reservation right away: nothing can be cured with their help alone. In addition, before using mud, be sure to consult a doctor: only he can tell for sure whether such procedures are suitable for you. There is an opinion that the healing properties of Alakol are largely a story about men. But women shouldn’t despair either. For them, there is another lake nearby – Zhalanashkol.
The coastal zone of Alakol has a sharply continental climate. It is recommended to come to the lake primarily in the summer or at the very beginning of September. Yes, there is salt water here, but this does not prevent it from freezing in winter. Often the swimming season opens in June, when the average air temperature is +28°C and the water temperature is +22°C. Holidays here are suitable for the whole family: there is an opportunity not only for treatment and swimming, but also for fishing, water skiing and other activities.