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Lake Charvak: a water reservoir in the Bostanliq District in the northern part of Tashkent Region in Uzbekistan
Photo by Angela Meier

Chimgan Nature Reserve

The Western Tien-Shan's Chimgan Nature Reserve protects the gateway to Ugam-Chatkal National Park.

Only 80 kilometres from Tashkent, Chimgan Nature Reserve is close enough to visit as a day trip, although a longer stay will give you the opportunity to explore more. Primarily known as a ski region, it is particularly popular in winter, with snow sports, ice-climbing, mountaineering, and heliskiing are calling to all adrenaline seekers. One of the best places to stay is the famous Amirsay Mountain Resort.

At any time of the year, there are things to do here. In spring, avid birdwatchers can hear songs along the flowing rivers, while there are plenty of hikes that will lead you to see the wild flowering of apples, apricots, and plums.

Summer is the best chance to do it all on two legs - or four - with the trails perfect for hiking or for horseback riding amongst the ancient mountains. Water activities are some of the most popular this time of year, with rivers and lakes full of canoeing, rafting, or swimming activities. You can also just work on your tan at Charvak Lake.

In autumn, the colours are a spectacle to behold. With the annual freeze approaching, it's the last chance for many activities, including tasting some of the fresh local crops.