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Around Altai Bike Expedition Tour

The Altai mountains, bike tour expeditions
Why bike expedition tour? Aura and the nature of the Altai Mountains unrepeatable! High snowy mountains, deep lakes, canyons. History dating far into the origins of the Stone Age. Ancient culture and traditions of indigenous peoples and roads, roads that connect this unique puzzle together. A lot of the Altai roads inaccessible even for 4wd vehicles. Bike removes all limitations, it allows you to build one of the most interesting routes in the Altai region, which called «Around Altai».
You travel to:
  Try ourselves in a mountain bike expedition and taste the spirit of adventure and real journey!
  See Golden Mountains of Altai: Unesco World Heritage Site.
  Cross Lake Teletskoye by speed-boat and visit Altaisky Zapovednik.
  Drive the bike through the most interesting and wild places of the Altai, which are inaccessible for cars.
  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 – one of the world’s most beautiful mountain roads leading from the north to the south. (and the most beautiful Russian road according to the National Geographic).
  Return home feeling rested and happy
  i-want to expedition!

Brief overview:

The organization fee covers: mountain bike rental
(if it you need), expedition support vehicle, 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 point: city of Novosibirsk, Russia
Time for the tour: from the end of May to the beginning of September
Duration: 11-12 days
Number of participants:  4-10 people
• Price per person: about 1500-3500$ (for more details email us)
  Category: active recreation, mountain biking (all our luggage is carried by the special expedition car).
  Difficulty: no more than 25-70 km of biking a day. Physical training is obligatory.
  Accommodation: hotels (2 times), tourist bases (7 times), tent campes (3 times).
  Impressions: free wind of the Altai Mountains, the magic fire in the open starry sky and a true feeling road, which is possible only in the saddle mountain bike.
Unesco site, Russia, Golden Moutains of Altai
The Altai Mountains, Kurai steppe, from bike expedition The Altai Mountains, Stone Mushroom site, from bike expeditions The Altai Mountains, Kyzyl-Chin, Martian landscape, from bike expedition
Altai bike expedition, map


Around Altai, bike expedition tour


Siberian Expeditions Team

The name «Altay» (or «Altai») comes from Turkic «Altyn», which means «golden». Altay mountains are truly one of the nature’s most marvelous gems, amazing by its diversity and beauty. It is the center of the Asian continent, the motherland of many peoples of the World, including the North American Indians. For innumerable centuries being the cross-roads of human migration, the Altai has a long and rich history. A lot of archaeological finds prove that.

Altay is one of the best destinations in Siberia if you’re into biking! Our team is headed by Igor Thomas will travel by bicycle in the Altai region the most interesting route from north to south! It will be a real adventure, to participate in which only a few people are lucky. Besides our team no one else is organizing such tour.

Igor Thomas, Russia   Igor Thomas, the head of the tour
One of the well-known bike travelers in Siberia and the whole Russia with more than 13 years of travel experience.



Why you should take this journey with us:
You will be taking part not in a tour or a trip, but in a real expedition,with its objectives, uncertainties, research and its unique atmosphere.
You will feel like a hero of the childhood books, Indiana Jones — this is the very authentic adventure tourism, which almost no one can offer in Russia.
You will discover a surprising unknown Russia.. We will not only show you beautiful scenery, but also give an extensive amount of knowledge and a possibility to meet most interesting and striking people
You will get a unique life experience. No one returns the same person from this expedition: there is a reassessment of values in life; there are interesting and reliable new friends, even the eyes of the travelers become wiser and happier, and more different. You are not a customer, you are a part of the team. We will explore and change the world together. As a rule, the expedition is just the beginning — we can work together on the received materials or carry out further joint projects.

Altai bike tour expedition, Novosibirsk


Day 1. Walk around Novosibirsk
Meeting in Novosibirsk airport or railway station. Accommodation in a hotel. Walking around the downtown, sightseeing, visiting local history museum as desired. Relaxation.
Meals in cafes, accommodation in the hotel.
Altai Bike Tour Expedition, Turochak  
Day 2. Transfer to the Republic of Altai
Early in the morning we will drive the Chuisky Highway southward towards the Republic of Altai. It will take the whole day to get there. On the way we will have lunch in a café and will arrive to the Turochak village in Altai by the evening.
Rally: 590 km by car. Meals in cafe, accommodation in a tourist camp in Turochak.

Altai bike tour expedition, first bike day  
Day 3. Along the Biya River
This is your first day in a saddle. We will ride along the Biya River which is a headstream of the Ob’ great Siberian River. This leg is quite simple, and this will allow you to adapt to your bike and make some adjustment if necessary. The road is asphalt with some local uphills. The picturesque views of surrounding pine forest, high mountain walls above and clear Biya water below will not leave you untouched. In the afternoon we will arrive to Artybash village which is located in the beginning of the Teletskoe Lake.
Accommodation in a tourist camp in Artybash.
Distance: 70 km total, but you can use the escort car at any time you want.
Altai Bike Tour Expedition, crossing Teleckoe lake  
Day 4. Crossing Teletskoe Lake
Today we take a motor boat and move towards the Kyrsai cape – the southern end of the Teletskoe Lake. This lake 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. In the afternoon we will arrive to the Kyrsai cape where the Chulyshman River meets the Teletskoe Lake.
Accommodation in a tent camp on the Kyrsai cape.
Distance: about 75 km by motor boat.
Altai Bike Tour Expedition, Chulyshman River and Stone Mushrooms  
Day 5. Chulyshman River & Stone Mushrooms
In the morning we will get on our bikes and start our trip along the Chulyshman valley which is one of the most beautiful places in Altai. Huge mountains rise 2000 meters above the valley level. The road is gravel here, so it will be the first trial for the bikes and bikers. We will use the escort car to pass some distance as well. By the midday we will arrive to a campsite near the junction of Chulcha and Chulyshman rivers.
After lunch we will do a radial hike to see a unique natural object – “Stone Mushrooms”. 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.
Accommodation in a tourist base on the Chulyshman riverside.
Distance: 50 km by bike & car, 4 km walk.
Altai Bike Tour Expedition, Uchar Waterfull  
Day 6 (option). Uchar Waterfall
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. Accommodation in a tourist base on the Chulyshman riverside.
Distance: 14 km walk.
Altai Bike Tour Expedition, Katu-Yaryk mountain pass  
Day 6. Katu-Yaryk mountain pass
Today we complete travelling the Chulyshman valley and leave it via Katu-Yaryk mountain pass which is very impressive and difficult. We will climb it inside the escort car. A serpentine road carved on the hillside rises 500 meters above the river. On the one hand – a slope, on the other – a break of hundreds of meters height. The magnificent view on the Chulyshman valley and on the hundred meters high waterfall on the opposite side is opened from the pass.
Then we can ride down the pass on our bikes along the very pleasant unpaved road. On the way we will visit a place named Pazyryk with ancient Scythian burial mounds which were the graves of tribal leaders. They are dated 5th century BC.
Accommodation in a tourist camp near Ulagan village.
Distance: 75 km by car & bike.
Altai Bike Tour Expedition, Kyzyl-Chin landscape  
Day 7. Through the Red Gates to Kyzyl-Chin
After breakfast we will climb the Ulagansky mountain pass inside the escort car. This is the highest point of the whole trip and the beautiful view on surrounding mountain ridges opens from here. Then we will have a 25-km long breathtaking downhill on our bikes. We will pass several lakes such as Uzunkel and Cheybekkel (“Dead Lake”), and then we’ll go through the Red Gates – a narrow passageway between two rocks of reddish color due to the presence of cinnabar. The downhill ends in Aktash, a village located on Chuisky Highway.
In the afternoon we will drive the Chuisky Highway southward towards the Mongolian border. Our destination will be the Kyzyl-Chin, a unique place with striped mountains of different colors of reddish, yellow and green reminiscent of Martian landscapes. A great place for taking pictures at sunset.
Accommodation in a yurt camp or tourist base near Kyzyl-Chin.
Distance: 112 km by car, 25 km on bike.
Altai Bike Tour Expedition, Kurai steppe, Eshtykel plateu  
Day 8. Kurai Steppe & Eshtykol
After taking pictures of majestic Kyzyl-Chin in morning sunlight we will drive the Chuisky Highway back to the Kurai Steppe. This is wide plateau surrounded by North-Chuisky and Kurai mountain ridges. We will cross the Kurai Steppe on our bikes from its eastern to the western part, then cross the powerful Chuya River, and begin climbing up to the Eshtykol highland.
Eshtykol is reminiscent of well-known Ukok plateau in miniature. This is highland tundra with the Dzhangyskol and Karakol Lakes in the middle. Powerful North-Chuisky ridge with its snow peaks of Aktru (4044 m) and Kurkurek (3988 m) rises right from the south. The road is not easy and is suitable for off-road vehicles only.
Accommodation in a tent camp on Dzhangyskol lakeside.
Distance: 33 km by car, 30 km on bike.
Altai Bike Tour Expedition, Kalbak-Tash petroglifes  
Day 9. Mazhoy Cascade & Kalbak-Tash
After climbing the pass we will go down from Eshtykol plateau to the Mazhoy (Maashey) river, and further to the Chuya River. The road is still difficult, but very interesting and picturesque. It goes above the Mazhoy Cascade, a series of heavy rapids on the Chuya River which is a great place for rafting and kayaking. Following the Chuya we will arrive to Chibit, a village located on Chuisky Highway.
Driving the Chuisky Highway westward we will visit Kalbak-Tash, the archaeological complex containing more than 5,000 rock paintings – petroglyphs drawn on the rocks across the Chuya valley. These ancient pictures are dated 4,000 BC to 10th century AD.
By the evening we will reach the Katun’, the biggest river in Altai.
Accommodation in a tent camp on the Katun’ riverside.
Distance: 30 km on bike, 92 km by car.
Altai Bike Tour Expedition, Tyungur  
Day 10. Akkem Breakthrough
This is the most interesting day of the whole trip. You have been pedaling for a week and now you are ready for a real trial. We will overcome the mountain trail from Inegen’ to Tyungur. It is a narrow trail carved on the hillside hundreds meters above the Katun’ River. During the 1920s there was a sheep path from Mongolia to Russia. After the World War II the building of a road began, but it was not completed. Katun’ River passes through a series of heavy rapids here, called Akkem Breakthrough which is great for rafting. The escort car will not be able to follow us and will meet us on the opposite side of the trail. You will have to do your best in driving your bike to ride this trail, but you will get a great pleasure instead!
Accommodation in a tent camp on the Katun’ riverside.
Distance: 25 km on bike.

Altai Bike Tour Expedition, real trip!  
Day 11. Final to Tyungur
Today is the last active day of our trip and it is quite simple. We will ride along the Katun’ River on very pleasant forest road. On the way we will see a mouth of the Akkem River which is flowing down from the Belukha (4506 m), the highest mountain in Altai and all of Western Siberia. Our destination is the Tyungur village, a starting point for mountain climbers going to Belukha and Katunsky ridge.
Accommodation in a tourist camp in Tyungur, relaxation.
Distance: 20 km on bike.
Day 12. Transfer back to Novosibirsk
Our trip is completed. In the morning we will drive back to Novosibirsk. The first half of our trip will pass through Altai Mountains, hopefully you will enjoy the views on both sides of the road. The trip will take the whole day, and we will arrive to Novosibirsk late in the evening.
Accommodation in a hotel in Novosibirsk. Rally: about 800 km by car.


P.S. You can order an individual expedition to the Siberian taiga, with regards to your personal itinerary. Write to us about it, we are pleased to create for you an unforgettable journey!



Organization information:

The starting and finish point: city of Novosibirsk, Russia
Time for the tour: from the end of May to the beginning of September
Duration: 11-12 days
Number of participants:  4-10 people
• Price per person: about 1500-3500$ (for more details email us)


Do I need to bring my own bicycle?
No, you don’t. We provide you with a rental bicycle (model GT Expert) that is included in the fee (if it need). Along with it’s maintenance during the whole time of the expedition.
Expedition support vehicle:
One or two trailer vans Toyota Hiace, 5 or 6 passengers accommodated.
Expeditions partners:
For mass media. For mass media: For mass media: if you want to publish a well-written story and beautiful pictures about the journey, just contact us.

The organization fee includes:

Mountain bike rental (if it need),
Expedition support vehicle,
Guide service,
All transfers according to the itinerary (by minivans, speed-boats),
Accommodation (hotels/lodges/tents) ,
All tours according to the itinerary,
All meals during the trip,
Traditional Russian steam sauna (banya) experience,
Russian tourist visa invitation.


The organization fee does not include:

Travel insurance,
Russian tourist visa,
Alcoholic drinks.


Wishes to participants

Biking experience on a beginner level required. 

I want to go to this bike tour!

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    Rodion, Expedition Leader & Travel Consultant
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