The city is located on the shores of the Caspian Sea. In 1961-1963 there was a village called Aktauski. The village started to develop since 1964 when uranium deposits were found nearby. In 1963-1991 the city was called Shevchenko, in honor of the Ukrainian poet Taras Shevchenko who was in exile in Kazakhstan at the beginning of the 19th century. Because of the Caspian Sea city also developed as a closed resort for the "Soviet elite". 

The climate of Aktau is sharply continental and extremely arid. In a summer time the average temperature is +27 °C and often rises to +47 °C. Soil in summer can heat up to + 70 °C, and the sea heats up to + 22 °C. Due to the extremely low rainfall during the year, Aktau has to be artificially watered, especially in summer time. Trees, shrubs, bushes and grasses are planted by people and live only thanks to their cares. What places you can visit while traveling to Aktau?

If you like nature and have enoght time, you can visit Beket Ata mosque. It was builted in the mountain. Also, there is Sherkala mountain. It is located 170 km from the city, between two mountain ranges of the Karatau mountains.

 

In ancient times, the Great Silk Road passed by that mountain. People calls this mountain – mount piala or mount yurt, because of its shape. There is also beautiful Ustyurt Plateau. It is the former bottom of the ancient Tethys Ocean. Canyons and cliffs of Ustyurt represent a picturesque landscape. The plateau is a home for a lot of different wild animals and birds, therefore in 1984 the Ustyurt State Nature Reserve was created there.

You can also visit a mysterious place called «The Valley of balls». For many years scientists tried to explain how these stones were created, but there is no explanation. One of the version is that these rocks were created by electric discharges in the earth's crust that occurred in zones of active tectonic faults.