Sairan Lake/Big Almaty Lake
Address: 28 km south outside Almaty
Situated on the southern suburbs of the city, this large, man-made mountain lake inside the Bolshaya Almatinka river gorge, is a wonder to behold. 2500 meters above sea level, It is surrounded on all sides by towering mountain peaks covered with pine forests, lush green in summer and frozen over in winters. The colors of the lake also change according to the seasons – pure white ice in the winter to emerald green in spring to turquoise in the summer.
The lakeside is shaded by the mountains and trees on its southern and western edges, and makes for a perfect family picnic spot in the great outdoors, close to nature.
Up higher from the Lake is the Tien-Shan Astronomical Observatory, where you can spend a late evening stargazing using powerful telescopes.