Aktau (Kazakh: Ақтау, Aqtaw; Russian: Актау), until 1992 Shevchenko (Шевченко) is a city in Kazakhstan's Mangyshlak Peninsula and country's only seaport on the Caspian Sea. It is the capital of Mangystau Province in the western Kazakhstan. Aktau literally means "white mountain" in Kazakh, so named after the cliffs overlooking the sea.
Aktau has an international airport, a railway station, and a developed seaport. Buses and taxis are the principal means of public transport within the city.
Climate is continental, with dry summers and mild winters. Mean January temperature: -4'C, mean July temperature: +27'C and the beach season lasts from May to September with average sea temperature: +21'. Aktau has rocky hills and sandy beaches at the seashore.
There are several modern resorts on the coast to the south of the city. The beaches of Caspian shore are full of people in the summer, due to the hot climate in the season. It attracts many people mainly from another parts of Kazakhstan visiting Aktau.
Aktau Kazakhstan is only a little more than 40 years old, but it already has everything necessary for a normal life. Thus Aktau city has several cultural centers, a concert hall, cinemas and dozens of libraries, gyms and sports grounds. One may stroll Aqtau city streets for hours on end, admiring the architectural ensembles, green alleys lined with poplars and acacias, emerald-green lawns and a park.
The city has several Western hotels.