Kazakhstan is full of barren beauty. With countryside as far as the eye can see, it’s somewhere those seeking isolation can feel in their element. Situated at the foothills of the Trans-Ili Alatau mountains, Almaty is the largest city and home to chic shopping centres, vibrant nightlife and innovative architecture. There’s also a healthy dose of museums and parks, with scenic hikes and skiing available in the adjacent mountains. The capital city of Astana has been transformed by a surge in modern design, such as the futuristic structure of Baiterek Tower (nicknamed ‘Chupa Chups’ due to its likeness to a lollipop). Other notable monuments include the eye-opening Khan Shatyr, Palace of Peace & Reconciliation, and the National Museum. Across the vast landscapes, you’ll also discover Caspian beaches, awe-inspiring alpine scenery in Altai and the ancient cities of the Kazakh Desert. The bulk of accommodation is found in the two largest cities of Astana and Almaty, with choices ranging from hotels, hostels, apartments and guest houses. A variety of campsites and holiday parks can be found in the more rural areas, such as Aqtöbe and Borovoye.