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We can give our warm recommendations to anyone considering going to Kyrgyzstan in general, and with Ecotour in particular! We spent two weeks in some of Ecotour's yurt camps, and it was a highly memorable experience. Ecotour was very flexible and had arranged a programme that suited our wishes perfectly.

Tom & Karin Airaksinen
Stockholm, Sweden

46-A, Donskoy Pereulok
720040 Bishkek
Kyrgyz Republic

+996 312 460803
+996 772 802805 (English)
+996 555 913245 (German)

Wild Tulip Expedition

Legend has it that a long time ago a Seljuk nomad discovered the tulip whilst he was searching for a lost goat somewhere in the Tien-Shan Mountains close to the Chinese border in an area that is now known as Kyrgyzstan. From these nomads the tulip reached Turkey. Tulips became highly cultivated flowers, developed for the pleasure of Sultan Suleiman I (1494-1566) and his entourage. Sultans used to wear the flower on their turban and that is the origin of the name tulip. During the second half of the 16th century news of this extraordinary flower reached Europe and bulbs were sent to the Prefect of the Royal Medicinal Gardens in Prague. This event marked the arrival of the tulip in Europe. But still today there are still many different kinds of wild tulips growing in the mountains of Kyrgyzstan. In early spring they can be found on many mountain slopes.

In 2016 Ecotour will host its 5th annual TULIP EXPEDITION designed specifically to search out this beautiful flower in its original habitat. The nature of the tour means that we will have to travel to, visit and stay in remote areas of the mountains. Accommodation will be in small hotels, guesthouses or with local families. Transportation will be by minibus but hiking will also be part of the programme. Luxury should not be expected. Tourism in Kyrgyzstan is still developing, and in the places we need to visit there are no four star hotels. Usually the food will be cooked according to nomadic traditions, using seasonal vegetables and fruit, and not much meat. On day trips a packed lunch or a picnic will be provided unless otherwise stated. Accommodation in Bishkek is in the small cozy Umai Hotel about a 15 minute walk from the civic centre. Here you will have a room with a/c, satellite T.V., free wifi and a private toilet and shower.

On your first day in Bishkek we will visit the city and the following day go to the Alamedin Gorge which include some hiking. As most tulips are to be found in the valleys and canyons on the north side of Lake Issyk-Kul we will stay in this area most of the time.

Next day we will drive to Chon-Kemin, a valley close to Lake Issyk-Kul. On the way we will stop at the Burana Tower. This site is all that remains of the ancient City of Balasagun that was built in the 10th century. Only the minaret of a mosque has survived. The tower, constructed of honey-colored bricks, is a circular structure on an octagonal base.

Soon after entering the Kemin Valley we can start looking for tulips on the mountain slopes. In the valley we will stay in a B&B in a small village where we will stay for 2 nights.

The trip will continue to Lake Issyk-Kul (1,600m). We will be staying in a pleasant coastline guesthouse Bel-Zhan in Grigorievka Village and from here we make day trips to different valleys. In these valleys, not only tulips but, a wide variety of spring flowers can be found. The almond trees should be in blossom. On the way back to Bishkek we will visit Kegeti Valley and/ or Shamshi Valley. On the last day we will visit the Ala Archa National Park just south of Bishkek.

On the web-site of Harry Jans you can read about the 2012 expedition and find many photos..

An experienced English speaking guide/interpreter and a Kyrgyz botanist will accompany you during the whole of the trip.


Day 1 Departure from local airport.

Day 2 Arrival at Manas Airport where you will be met and taken to the Umai Hotel. After a light lunch we will do some sightseeing in Bishkek. Stay in the Umai Hotel.

Day 3 In the morning we will study flora in the Alamedin Gorge (2300m) and after a picnic lunch visit the Ata Beit memorial complex and botanise around there. We should see the endemic tulips of Kyrgyzstan: T.Zenaedae and T. Dasystemon. Stay in the Umai Hotel.

Day 4 By minibus to the Chon-Kemin Valley, a National Park along the border with Kazakhstan. En route we will visit the Burana Tower. Overnight in B&B.

Day 5 Day in the Chon-Kemin Valley to botanise in the mountains to see T. Heterophylla and other specific spring flowers. Overnight in B&B.
Day 6 From Kemin to Bel-Zhan guesthouse in Grigorievka Village on the north side of Lake Issyk-Kul. There will be stops on the way, including a semi-desert where we can botanise. Stay in Bel-Zhan.
Day 7 Day trip to Grigorievka Gorge, where Hepatica Falconeri and T. Tetraphylla grow. Packed lunch. Back to Bel-Zhan.

Day 8 From Bel-Zhan a day trip to the Semenovka Valley to botanise.

Day 9 From Bel-Zhan to Kegeti and/or Shamshi Valleys to enjoy the beautiful T.Ostrowskiana and then on to Bishkek. Stay in the Umai Hotel.

Day 10 Day trip to Ala Archa National Park, 40km south of Bishkek Stay in the Umai Hotel.

Day 11 Transfer to Manas Airport and departure.

The price includes, from arrival at until departure from Manas Airport, everything except flight, visa (if required), insurance, alcoholic and bottled beverages.

For bookings of 4, or more, persons we offer a 5% discount.

If there are less than the required number of participants for any programme (tour) a small additional fee will be payable for the programme to go ahead as planned.


Kyrgyzstan is a land full of beautiful experiences and wonders unique... click the link below

plants in Kyrgyzstan

Kyrgyzstan has a very rich flora,
here you can find a great variety of plants.
Several specimens can only be found in this country.

Down Home Mail


Date   April 26
May 6
Price € 1450
Group 4-8


wild tulips in Kyrgyzstan


Wild tulips in Kyrgyzstan


Wild tulips in Kyrgyzstan


Wild tulips in Kyrgyzstan



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