Mangistau is called a treasure peninsula first of all due to the deposits of oil. But it appears that its main treasure is a unique nature and fantastic landscapes which are together with the sea coast make this peninsula the most mysterious and unpredictable part of Kazakhstan.
Mangistau differs by challenging environment. However, the oblast center Aktau could overcome arid climate, drinking water deficit and turned into a modern city, the main sea gate of Kazakhstan in the Caspian Sea, and a sailing center. It also became an important transit point for international airlines.
The Caspian Sea, chalk and shell mountains to a certain extent challenge a stereotype of Kazakhstan as a country of Great Steppe. The vast sea, a habitat of seals and great sturgeon and mysterious set of the mountains expose quite another Kazakhstan.
Landscapes of Mangistau are unique. The deepest depression in Kazakhstan and CIS – 132 meters below sea level – is located here. In the southern part of Mangistau there is located Plateau Ustyurt, which as though carries you over to another planet. If you like to see unique Kazakhstan and feel its spiritual power, the treasure peninsula is the right place for it. Fantastic landscapes alternate with wilderness, which from ancient times attracted wise men, who secluded themselves in the search of truth. Cavated underground mosques Sopan-Ata, Sultan Epe, Shakpak-Ata, Beket-Ata, Masat-Ata make us turn in upon ourselves and contemplate eternal things.
Here are some of the unique places in Mangistau. Torysh Valley of Balls, the origin of which is a continuous subject of the disputes of scientists. Bozjira tract with cusped peaks. The single mountain Sherkala which resembles a big yurta and a sleeping lion. The extended saline land Tuzbair with the arced rocks challenging the American Valley of Monuments. Weird shapes of the Cretaceous canyon Kalamsai remind of the time when a narrow and deep river was flowing at the bottom. The travel in Mangistau is like submerging into the stream of time.