What is the best time to visit Kyrgyzstan? It's the winter season from December to March, and the short summer during July and August.
In July and August, you can explore Kyrgyzstan’s mountains on foot or on horseback, and stay with traditional families in yurts. It’s also when local CBT groups hold their annual festivals to showcase Kyrgyz traditions.
It’s the most popular time to visit: Kyrgyzstan has attained some fame in trekking circles (for very good reasons) and popular treks are busy (but it’s still easy to escape the crowd).
If you don’t like to be tied down, though, there is no need to book accommodation in advance. There is always some space available, even in peak season.
However, if you are planning to rent a car or a motorbike: definitely pre-book your car rental or motorbike rental – that always sells out.
Summer can be stretched a bit: the last 2 weeks in June and the first 2 weeks of September are usually also fine for trekking, but many of the shepherds’s yurts will not be around, and if the weather is not cooperating, you risk finding many trekking passes still snowed under.
Winter is totally overlooked. It’s sad really, because we rate it as the best season to visit Kyrgyzstan.
You can do all the things you do in summer (except rafting): explore the mountains on foot, on horseback, or on skis, and stay in a yurt.
Yurts are more exciting when hungry wolves howl nearby.
Need more upside? You have the place completely to yourself since 90% of tourists come in summer (meaning prices go down as well), and Kyrgyzstan looks amazing covered in a blanket of snow.
And while you may find that the cold stings, it is weather you can dress for. When the quicksilver hits 40+ Celsius in the lowlands of Osh and Bishkek in high summer, there is no escape.
But we would not be honest if we left out the drawbacks: sudden heating or electricity black-outs are not unheard of, and roads can get blocked by avalanches or heavy snowfall. You do need extra flexibility and a bit more of an adventurous spirit in winter.
Summer is for the trekkers. Winter is for the outlaws.
The shoulder season is not the best time to be in Kyrgyzstan.
In spring (April-June) the snow has disappeared from the ski slopes, but the high passes are still covered, severely limiting your trekking options. The winter ski yurts are gone but the shepherd yurts of summer only set up in July and August.
Autumn (September-November) is the same. The yurts have gone, and the snow has started covering the passes, but not the slopes.
This is the time to visit Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan – the perfect weather to explore their deserts, steppes and cities.