Tag Archives: ice skating

Free Skating in Almaty, Rok

18 Nov

OK, so we take it all back – there is some good value to be had In Kazakhstan after all. Halyk Arena opened its doors this week, offering free ice skating to Almatinians until the end of the year.

Back in 2011 this very blog berated Kazakhstan for being a rip-off, but now we’ve been forced to reassess that opinion as free skating arrives in its commercial capital, Almaty.

Skating fans should head for the 3,000 capacity Halyk Arena, one of the main venues for next January’s Winter Student Games, or Universiade (The Olympics for university students) in Almaty, to take advantage of a freebie spin on the ice.

thumb_sam_2295_1024

Sunkar, the games’ mascot, gets ready to take to the ice at the Halyk Arena 

 

The newly-built facility was launched this week and is Kazakhstan’s first sports facility to have struck a naming rights deal. The nation’s biggest bank, Halyk Bank, has paid an undisclosed fee for the right to have its name attached to the stadium for three years.

One of the aims of holding the games is to promote winter sports among the population, so it was good to see loads of kids joining Sunkar, the mascot of the Almaty games, on the ice at the arena opened its doors earlier this week.

thumb_sam_2311_1024

Sunkar and his young friends on the ice

The free skating offer is on Friday evenings (20.00-22.00), and all day on Saturday and Sunday and runs until 31 December. Skates can be hired, for a fee, at the rink.

The Universiade starts on 28 January and runs until 8 February. Halyk Arena will host the Men’s Ice Hockey tournament.

Kazakhstan: Almaty Winter Escapes (3)

13 Dec

Winter is really on its way now in Almaty, with snow making on and off appearances and New Year decorations springing up. Kazaxia wants to share some of its favourite things to do in and around Almaty to help pass those frosty days and long nights.

Our third tip is the Tabagan leisure complex.

If you’re in need of a longer break from the fumes and noise of Almaty life, then why not consider a visit to this leisure complex located near the village of Gorny Sadovod some 17km from Almaty’s city limits on the road to Talgar. Click here for detailed directions.

A cottage at Tabagan, near Almaty

The complex features a hotel and cottages – accommodation prices vary according to the time of the week and the time of year when you visit.

There’s plenty to keep you occupied with a downhill ski run, complete with a chair lift, a small skating rink, an indoor swimming pool, sledging and horse riding on offer. Look out for the resident reindeer roaming the grounds. Après-ski is provided in the on-site restaurants and bars.

Kazakhstan: Almaty Winter Escapes (1)

1 Dec

Winter is really on its way now in Almaty, with snow making on and off appearances and New Year decorations springing up. Kazaxia wants to share some of its favourite things to do in and around Almaty to help pass those frosty days and long nights.

Our first tip is the outdoor skating rink at Medeu.

Medeu, home to one of the best winter activities in Almaty – ice skating – is an immense skating rink located at an elevation of 1,691 metres and boasts a huge space for ice aficionados.

Since it opened in 1972 more than a hundred speed skating world records have been set in the ideal conditions found at Medeu. The setting is outstanding with snowy peaks and fir tree clad hillsides visible from the ice.

It’s easy to get to Medeu from the city with the number 6 bus running regularly from the bus stop opposite the Hotel Kazakhstan on the corner of Dostyk and Kurmangazy streets.

Lord Venal and friends take to the ice at Medeu


Some seasoned Medeu skaters think that it’s not so much fun since they cracked down on drinking on the ice, although this has made the experience somewhat safer as you’re less likely to crash into other drunks on the ice!

It costs 1,600 tenge ($11.00) for a session (half price for kids and students) and if you don’t have your own skates then you can hire them for 1,000 tenge ($6.75) for two hours.

Usually there’s two sessions a day from Thursday to Sunday with a morning session from 10.00 – 16.00 (09.00 at weekends) and an evening session from 18.00 – 23.00. You can check the opening times on this site or call 3869533 in Almaty.