The Caspian Basin is the westernmost region of Kazakhstan. It spreads from the southern tail of the Ural Mountains, across the Caspian lowlands, to the shores of the Caspian Sea. This 436,000 km² area is Kazakhstan's oft-overlooked slice of easternmost Europe and is bigger than Sweden. The country's major port cities and some Soviet-style beach resorts line the sea shore. The region comprises the provinces of Atyrau, Mangystau, and West Kazakhstan. If you find yourself outside of the three provincial capitals, Atyrau, Aktau, and Oral, respectively, you are either an oil man, or you're exploring uncharted territory!