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Altai Ring, Ethno & Heritage Tour

Altai tour in Russa
"Golden Mountains" – this is how the word "Altai" is translated from the ancient Turkic languages. This is the place where the borders of Russia, Kazakhstan, China, Mongolia meet. Equal to the Himalayas and Tien Shan, Altai is one of the largest mountain systems of the Asian continent. The Russian part of Altai has been a UNESCO site since 1998. At the same time, these places are as friendly as possible for travelers from all over the world.
You travel to:
  See Golden Mountains of Altai: Unesco World Heritage Site.
  Cross Lake Teletskoye by speed-boat and visit Altaic Nature Reserve.
  Listen to the ancient Altaic throat singing.
  Get acquainted with ancient cultures of the Altay, the widely accepted cradle of mankind. See stone sculptures, petroglyphic drawings and scriptures, burial mounds and shamanic sanctuaries.
  Drive along the entire Chuya highway (Chui tract) – one of the world’s most beautiful mountain roads leading from the north to the south of Altai Mountains (and the most beautiful Russian road according to the National Geographic).
  Feel wild and pristine nature! Ukok Plateau, Kindyktykul Lake, Martian Landscapes, Chulyshman River Canyon, Akkem Glacier, Shavlinsky Lakes and many other locations.
  Take a walk along the hiking trails along the blue mountain lakes and glaciers.
  i-want to expedition!

Brief overview:

The organization fee covers: English-speaking guide service, all transfers (vans, speed-boats), all accomodations (hotels/houses/lodges/tent camps), all excursions, meals (cafe, travel meals), Russian sauna (whenever there is a possibility).

The starting and finish points: the city of Barnaul (or Gorno-Altaisk, or Novosibirsk), Russia
Time for the tour: from the end of May to the beginning of October
Duration: 7-21 days
Number of participants:  2-22 people
• Price per person: about $850-1500 (for more details email us)
  Category: comfortable tour. You can add trekking or hiking (option).
  Difficulty: no. In the case of trekking (or hiking): walking along mountain trails during the day (distance 5-15 km, altitude difference 200-300 m), overnight stays in tents.
  Accommodation: hotels (6-10 times), tourist bases (4-13 times), tent campes (0-10 times).
Golden Mountais of Altai, UNESCO
Altai Tour, Karakabak Lale altai tour, stone mushrooms Altai Tour, Blue Geyser Lake
This is a map of various routes and locations in Altai, including the ring route. Explore it carefully, email us your wishes and we will offer you a itinerary.


Altai Ring, Ethno & Heritage Tour

  Your personal travel consultant:
Peoples and culture. Altai is called the crossroads of civilizations and the special, sacred mountains located in the center of the Asian continent, at the intersection of many ancient trade routes and the spread of world religions and cults. Being originally the home and Motherland of many people of the World (for example, modern Turks, Kazakhs and even North American Indians), today’s Altai is also the home of European peoples (mainly Russian). Shamanism, Orthodoxy, Tengrianism, Muslimism, Buddhism, Manichaeism, and many other young and very ancient cults are intertwined here in a bright patchwork pattern, above which are enormous sacred mountains.

Secrets of the Ancients. Lovers of antiquities will also be delighted with Altai. In many valleys, megalithic complexes, tens (!!!) of thousands of petroglyphs (petroglyphs), rock runic inscriptions, stone statues (balbals), shamanistic ritual places and many other religious objects of unknown purpose have survived to this day. All these locations are available freely, without a ticket, without a fence, without security. The original condition is like two thousand years ago. This is unique! In Gorno-Altaysk there is a magnificent Museum of Local Lore, where you can see Scythian mummies (the famous "Altai Princess") and objects of the famous Pazyryk culture. Now archaeological work is prohibited in Altai, and no one knows what new sensations this land keeps. But we can discuss this …

Nature. Pure untouched nature. This is a synonym for all of Siberia, but Altai especially. No comments, just look at the pictures and understand it. Altai will change you forever, this is obvious.

Tourism. Along with Baikal, Altai has the most developed tourist infrastructure in Siberia. This is far from perfect, but hotels, guest houses, good roads, trails – all this allows you to plan excellent and safe routes. For example, like this Altai Ring Tour. If you want to travel in Altai and you need advice or guide support, email us and we will help you with this!

  Rodion, Guiade &
Siberian Expeditions Founder
Experience since 2006
  Rodion Zhitin

Board of regular travel partners and others guides feedback:
Fatih about Siberian Expeditions
1 Fatih, Turkey

Our altai tour was one of the best ever we had We have been
planning to come back


From Altai Ring Tour in Jule 2018

Sitthawat about Siberian Expeditions
1 Sitthawat,Thai

Excellent organization, excellent tour, Altai I am with you always!


From Altai Ring Tour in August 2018 by Travel Life Thailand

1 Josh&Sara, Australia

Our last few days in the Altai we’ve been to fun markets, seen the Katun River, Mars Landscape, Geyser Lake and experienced quirky Russian hospitality. With terrible roads, no signposts and not a foreign tourist in sight, our Altai adventure was possible thanks to our crazy guide and lovey translator from @sibexpeditions


From Altai Tour in August 2018




Natasha From Russia Travel, Russia Sakti Potovanija, Slovenian Travel Agency Russia Discovery, Russian Travel Agency

*  –  This is one of the most popular variants of the Altai Ring Tour. Email us and we will develop a tour that is maximally friendly to you. It’s free.


Day 1 (optional). City day
You can arrive in Siberia from Moscow to three airports: Novosibirsk (450 km from Altai), Barnaul (258 km from Altai) or Gorno-Altaysk. Direct flights are only to Novosibirsk from Thailand and Turkey. What to do in these cities? In our opinion, these are commonplace cities where only museums are interesting. In Novosibirsk there is the best Archaeological Museum in Siberia, in Barnaul there is a good Altai Museum and in Gorno-Altaysk there is a National Museum of Local Lore where you can see the mummy of the Altai Princess. If you land in Novosibirsk or Barnaul, you will spend part of the day (or all day) driving to Altai.
Altai Ring Tour, shamans  
Day 2. Along the Katun River
Ninety percent of Altai tourist infrastructure is located in the lower reaches of the Katun River. Resorts, luxury hotels, aquapark – all this is here. There are several interesting locations – the restoration of a medieval fortress (a fort of Russian Cossacks), the Paleontological Park, the ethnopark "Legends of Altai". You can attend a shamanistic ritual (like a show, real shamans work personally only), you can go in for adventures: rafting, horseback riding or ATV driving.
Driving: 40-150 km by bus. Meals in cafe, accommodation in a hotel or guest houses.

Day 3. Along Chuysky tract
Today we drive all day along the Chuysky tract with many stops. This road is one of the most beautiful mountain roads in the world! Picturesque mountain views, two passes: Seminsky and Chiket-Aman, Center for National and Spiritual Culture of Uch-Enmek, Kalbak Tash petroglyphs (3 thousand years BC), the confluence of the Chuya and Katun rivers and ancient Turkic statues (balbals). Wild nature and open-air museum in one.
Driving: about 300 km by bus. Accommodation in guest houses "Kochevnik". 
Day 4. Chuy Alps, Geyser Lake and Martian landscapes
We continue driving along the Chuysky tract. Today is a day of contrasts: Blue Spring (Geyser) lake in the taiga, lovely views of the North Chuysky ridge (Chuy Alps, more than 4000 m) and Martian landscapes – a colorful desert among snowy mountains. This is the most beautiful part of the Chuysky tract.
Driving: about 180 km by bus. Accommodation in a hotel in the village of Kosh-Agach.
Altai Rinng Tour, Akkem Glasier  
Days 5-6 (optional). Trekking on Akkem Glacier
The most beautiful trekking in the Altai mountains! The trail along the Akkem glacier to the mountain lake, located at an altitude of 2850 m. Trekking begins in the base climbing camp in the taiga zone and has a distance of about 12 km one way. It takes a whole day. Bonus adventure is a «road» to the base camp – bad, but very interesting. Real oof road.
Driving: about 16 km by 4WD bus (4wd minibus UAZ) and 50 km by bus. Accommodation in  climbing guest houses or tents.
Altai Ring Tour, turks menhirs  
Day 7 (optional). Historical heritage. Türks and ancient nomads
Altai has preserved many archaeological sites to this day: ancient Turkic menhirs, runes, temples and mounds. These treasures of world history harmoniously form part of its mountain landscape. Modern civilization has barely touched these places: people still live in yurts, ride horses and worship the spirits of the mountains. Today we will see all this, feel the atmosphere of Time…
Driving: about 40 km by 4WD bus (4wd minibus UAZ). Accommodation in a hotel in the village of Kosh-Agach.
Atai Ring Tour, yurts  
Day 8 (optional). Elangash Valley and Kindyktykul lake
You can continue to explore the historical heritage of the Golden Mountains of Altai in more distant corners – the highland valley of Elangash or Kindyktykul Lake. Elangash is the location of more than 30,000 (!!!) prehistoric petroglyphes of the Scythian and Early Nomadic Era. Kindyktykul Lake is a summer pasture of nomads and an area of promise of manuls, snow leopards and many rare birds (steppe eagle, mountain goose, vulture, swans, loons). The true wildlife.
Driving: about 80 km by 4WD bus (4wd minibus UAZ) or 120 4WD bus. Accommodation in a hotel in the village of Kosh-Agach.
Altai Ring Tour, Katu-Yaryk pass  
Day 9. Katu-Yaryk mountain pass
We turn off the Chuysky tract to the Ulagan Highlands and make a stop at the top of the Katuyaryk pass – one of the most beautiful passes in Russia! At the bottom of the canyon of the Chulyshman River, it is a land of waterfalls and vertical cliffs of kilometer height. We descend into the valley and head to the mouth of the Chulcha River.
Driving: about 180 km by 4WD bus (4wd minibus UAZ or KAMAZ). Accommodation in guest houses.
Altai Bike Tour Expedition, Chulyshman River and Stone Mushrooms  
Day 10. Chulyshman River & Stone Mushrooms
A short trekking (about 3 km) to the unique geological phenomenon – "Stone mushrooms» (sometimes called Russian Cappadocia). There are cones rising above the slope of the valley on tops of which lay huge rocky plates. Some "mushrooms" are 10 or even more meters high. A beautiful view on the Chulyshman valley opens from here. In the evening, we can organize a concert of Altai throat singing. Throat singing has survived to the present day only in Russia (Altai, Tuva) and Mongloia.
Driving: 0 km. Accommodation in guest houses.
Altai Bike Tour Expedition, Uchar Waterfull  
Day 11 (option). Uchar Waterfall Trekking
If the participants desire, we can stay one more day in the Chulyshman valley to do a radial hike to the Uchar waterfall which is the highest one in Altai, its height reaches 160 meters. The waterfall appeared about 100-150 years ago after a landslide that obstructed the Chulcha River. To get to the waterfall we will have to cross the Chulyshman River to its right bank. A hiking trail leads to Uchar along the Chulcha River. The trail crosses brooks, stone slopes and huge boulders. Trekking on the path requires care.
Driving: 0 km. Accommodation in guest houses. Trekking: about 15 km.
Altai Bike Tour Expedition, crossing Teleckoe lake  
Day 12. Crossing Teletskoe Lake
Today we take a motor boat and move towards the village of Artybash – the northern end of the Teletskoe Lake. This lake is like a Norwegian fjord! It belongs to the 25 world’s deepest lakes, its maximum depth is 325 m and the maximum width is up to 5 km. Excellent lake water is saturated with oxygen, and transparent to the depth of 12-15 meters. On the way we will visit Korbu – the most picturesque waterfall in the surroundings of the Teletskoe Lake. It is located on the Big Korbu River flown into the lake in its north-eastern part. The waterfall height is 12 meters. Arrival in Artybash in the evening. On the same day we can move to Gorno-Altaysk (we will arrive almost at night).
Driving: 40 km., by boat – 75 km. Accommodation in a hotel or guest houses.
Day 13. Back home
Moving to civilizition. Novosibirsk (610 km), Barnaul (395 km)  or Gorno-Altaisk (157 km). Or a morning departure to the airport if the overnight was in Gorno-Altaysk.
Accommodation in a hotel.
P.S. You can order an individual tour Golden Mountains of Altai, with regards to your personal itinerary.
Write to us about it, we are pleased to create for you an unforgettable journey!
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    Rodion, Expedition Leader & Travel Consultant

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