Trans Eurasia travel

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Transport in Aktau


Aktau airport sits northeast of town. Taking the Fort Shevchenko road, turn to the right, signposted for the airport, 12km north of the city. The airport is 13km further on. The airport has an always-open airticket office (24hr). Air Astana flies daily to Almaty and Atyrau, with connections for Astana at Atyrau. SCAT goes to Atyrau and Uralsk daily, to Aktobe five times weekly, to Astana four times weekly, and to Almaty, Kyzylorda and Shymkent twice a week. SCAT also operates trans-Caspian flights to Baku four times weekly, to Astrakhan and Tbilisi three times a week, and to Yerevan once a week, as well as flying to Istanbul and southern Russian cities a few times weekly. Azerbaijan Airlines, represented by Alban Avia (Dom 59, Mikrorayon 14), flies to Baku six days a week. There are three weekly flights to Moscow by Transaero.

Aktau’s train station, called Mangyshlak, is 12km east of the centre. It lies near the end of a branch line off the Atyrau–Uzbekistan line, so journeys to anywhere are l-o-n-g. Trains leave daily for Aktobe (26 hours) and Atyrau (20 hours); every two days for Almaty (68 hours, via Aralsk and Shymkent) and Astana (47 hours); and on Sunday and Thursday for Kungrad (Uzbekistan; 22 hours). Change trains at Beyneu for connections to Uzbek destinations on other days.

The bus station, which serves destinations within Mangistau Region, is a couple of kilometres east of the centre, in Microdistrict 28. Minibuses leave when full, until about 7pm, to Shetpe (two hours) and Zhanaozen (two hours), and several times daily to Fort Shevchenko. Shared taxis to these destinations, go from the street just south of here. 

A ferry to Baku (Azerbaijan) does not operate to any set timetable and leaves irregularly from the seaport in the southeast of town. It’s a cargo ship that carries some passengers and a small number of vehicles, and there can be anything from two days to two weeks between sailings. Cabin fares for the scheduled 18-hour crossing run around 100-150$ per person. Take food for the voyage.