Classic Uzbekistan Group Tour in 2024 and 2025 with Guaranteed Dates

Classic Uzbekistan Group Tour 2024-2025

Our most popular escorted tour of Uzbekistan in a small group will acquaint you with the most famous ancient cities in Uzbekistan: Khiva, Bukhara and Samarkand, as well as the modern capital, Tashkent.

Tashkent, Khiva, Bukhara, Samarkand

8 Days | Spring, summer, autumn | from US$ 1,160 per person

Torysh - Valley of Balls, Mangystau

Torysh - Valley of Balls, Mangystau

Torysh is an absolutely incredible spot and a major highlight of Mangystau. It’s home to thousands of stone spheres, ranging in size from 1 to 3 meters in diameter, scattered far and wide across the area. That’s why people also refer to it as the “Valley of Balls.” It almost looks like giants left their toys behind, with the stones serving as remnants of a game of bowling, billiards, or golf. Thankfully, scientists have done the work to let us know that these fascinating geological features came about naturally.

Torysh - Valley of Balls, Mangystau

In scientific terms, these round rocks are called “nodules.” They formed through a process where minerals or mineral substances built up around certain objects, layer by layer. These objects could have been anything from shark teeth and shells to rocks and plants, anything that attracted minerals in the water of the Tethys Ocean. Over time, these deposits built up and fossilized. Because the environment they formed in was uniform, they took on this spherical shape. If conditions had been different, less even, the nodules would have grown into flatter shapes.

Torysh - Valley of Balls, Mangystau

Fast forward millions of years, and the bottom of the Tethys Ocean lifted up. Over more millions of years, softer rocks eroded away, leaving the giant stone balls exposed on the surface. Scientists estimate that the stones in the Torysh valley are between 40 to 60 million years old.

Torysh - Valley of Balls, Mangystau

While the Valley of Balls at Torysh is extraordinary, it’s not one of a kind. Similar nodules can be found all over the globe. Some of the most notable ones are the Moeraki Boulders in New Zealand, Champ Island in Russia’s Franz Josef Land archipelago, and Bowling Ball Beach in California. But Mangystau stands out because it has the biggest collection of these huge stones, scattered across several kilometers, numbering in the thousands.

Torysh - Valley of Balls, Mangystau

Getting to the Torysh valley is pretty straightforward. Drive 105 km north from Aktau on a paved road towards the village of Tauchik, take a right, and then it’s just another 7-8 km on a dirt road to reach one of the stone clusters. You’re going to need a 4x4 vehicle to make this trip, though.

Torysh - Valley of Balls, Mangystau

Torysh is an essential stop for any tour in Mangystau, and it’s a perfect addition to a larger trip. Just 50 km to the west, you’ll find the underground mosque Shakpak-ata, and 60 km to the east, there are the Kok-kala rocks and Sherkala mountain. A visit here is bound to be memorable, and it’s the perfect opportunity to snap a beautiful photo, perhaps recreating the myth of Sisyphus pushing his stone.

Torysh - Valley of Balls, Mangystau