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Ethnographic tour «Golden Ring of Altai»

General information

Category: info Excursion and ethnographic tours

The tour takes place in these regions: Altai

You'll visit the following locations: Barnaul, Biysk, Gorno-Altaisk, , Katun (river), Teletskoye Lake

Entry dates

31.08.2014 - 11.09.2014,

Tour program

A great circular tour represents the majority of important historical places and natural diversity of Altai.  You will have an opportunity to feel the mystery of Denis Cave, where signs of prehistoric human who  lived there more than 300 thousand years ago were found; to visit Karakol Valley, the bunch of numerous archeological monuments, to enjoy beautiful view of mountains from the 2000m height; to see one of the most wonderful rivers of the world – Katun River, Pazyrykskie burial mounds (6 th century BC); to take trekking to the highest Altai waterfalls, to be imbued with ancient culture of Altai population, to hear traditional Altai throat singing and to meet a real shaman.

During the tour you ride on a comfortable bus with an experienced guide.

Route in brief

Duration: 12 days/11 nights
Period: June – August
Minimal group: 4
Maximal group : 8
Distance: 1650 km by bus, 80 km by motorboat, 35 km by foot

 

Day 1

Barnaul

Morning arrival in Barnaul. Meeting at the airport. Transfer to the center of the city, breakfast at hotel. Accommodation at hotel Barnaul (twin rooms), rest. Lunch** in a restaurant. Excursion around the central and historical parts of Barnaul. Visit the Altai State Local History Museum. Nowadays museum collection contains more than 150 thousand exhibits; among them is the only model of steam engine in the world, which was constructed by I.I.Polzunov in 1763 in Barnaul. Archeological finds are of a special interest, they tell about history of ancient Altai; home appliances, embodying ethnical and social features of local people, as well as historical and technical (including military remnants), numismatic and mineralogical collections, natural-science collecting, representing biodiversity and natural resources of Altai. Then visit the museum of pharmacy of the Altai mountains. The exhibition includes medical items, glassware, tools for the preparation of medicinal tinctures and pills. Here everyone has the opportunity to use the shredder of plant materials for the processing of medicinal herbs. In the museum yuo can find also production of various biopharmaceutical Altai companies, medicine consists of the Altai honey, local herbs, sea buckthorn and products of reindeer antlers, which can be purchased.

*accommodation in hotel “Barnaul” 3*. Breakfast

* * Extra fee

Day 2

The foothills of the Altai. The city-resort Belokurikha (410 km by bus)

Breakfast at the hotel. Going by bus to Altai foothills. On the way you’ll see the oldest city in Altai Region – Biysk. Then visit the city-resort Belokurikha , well known to all Russia for ionized air and radon water and its medical properties. Belokurikha is located in the south-eastern part of the Altai region, surrounded by Cherginsky ridge, which gives the incredibly beauty of all area. Lunch in a café. Excursion to the mountain Tserkovvka by a ropeway. Extent of lifting is 2050 m. Height above sea level – 801 m. The ropeway to Tserkovka confirms to all modern European standards of safety and tourist comfort. After that moving along the river Anuy to the tourist complex “Iskra”. Accommodation in twin rooms at hotel with facilities on the floor. Dinner at the café of the touristic complex.

*accommodation at pension “Iskra” (facilities on the flloor). Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 3

Waterfalls of Shinok River (40 km by bus, 12 km - off-road, 14km on foot)

After breakfast we are going to see waterfalls of Shinok River. The word Shinok in Turkic language means inaccessible and precipitous. The river mainly flows through a picturesque ravine, which is surrounded by the rich cedar forest, covering mountain slopes and creating an amazing view of Shinok River Valley. The cascade of waterfalls begins about 13km away from the mouth of the river. Tourists go by an off-road bus for 6 km, the rest 7km they go on foot. On the way to the waterfalls you will have to overcome 14 fords and a few ferries on logs, therefore it is necessary to take care of the corresponding equipment. It is enough to have high rubber boots, or any footwear on a rubber sole. The first waterfall is a steep water drain with a drop of 8m high. The second waterfall is situated 0.5km away from the previous one and is about 28m high. And finally, 1km away from the second one the highest waterfall is situated, its height of fall is about 72m. The water in Shinok River is quite identical to mineralized springs. About 259 species of plants grow in the area of Shinok River. Shinok is the highest waterfall of Shinok River and of Altai Region. In comparison to others Shinok River is unmatched by the number of waterfalls on the whole territory of Altai. After the excursion we come back to the hotel “Iskra”. Dinner. 

In case of bad weather conditions we will provide an alternative program to maral farm, you will learn more about these amazing animals, learn the basics of doing antler economy, a lot of fun to hear about the internationally recognized beneficial properties of antlers, as you can see deers living in a natural environment.

* accommodation at pension “Iskra” (facilities on the flloor), Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 4

A unique cave – Chuysky Trakt (180 km by bus)

Breakfast. Excursion to a unique archeological monument of world importance – Denis Cave. Nowhere else you can see in one place and on one monument different stages of mankind development from the very beginning till the modern times, all in all more than 20 cultural layers. The monument is dated to 300 thousand years BC. After excursion moving to the Chuysky trakt through the Ust-Kan village. In the village you can visit the Local History Museum where written materials in Altai language are located (documents, letters, manuscripts and etc.). In halls you will see the exhibits devoted to white belief of Altai people, also many ancient households and labor instruments are represented there.

Lunch in the village. After lunch, you will move to the valley Karakol.

Accommodation in wooden ails and four-bed wooden jurts with facilities on the territory. These are up-to-date Mongolian jurts, with colorfully decorated wooden walls and doors. Inside you feel as if they are going to celebrate a holyday. Dinner in ail.

Late in the evening at the light of a fire and bright stars you will enjoy a folk program with throat singing and playing national musical instruments. This performance awakes deep personal background, helps to feel the spirit of Altai people, natural devotion, allows enjoy unsurpassed skills of musicians, many of which are international festivals winners. And later, coming back to the ail, you will feel like traveling in a time machine back to ancient times. Before going to sleep, they make a fire in the center of ail and the smoke will go out through a hole on the roof. Ancient Altai household facilities, which decorate the house, create a special flavor and a spirit of the time.

* accomodation in tourist complex Karakol in yurts and ails (facilities outside). Breakfast, lunch, dinner.

Day 5

Karakol Valley - Kalbak-Tash Hole (235 km by bus, 1 km by foot)

Since ancient times Karakol Valley is a sacred place for Altai people. Here a large number of rock paintings and big groups of ancient barrows are located. The population of this valley has a different kind of mentality and considers itself being in spiritual kinship with the nature of this valley. Excursion along Karakol Valley of the ethnonatural park Uch-Enmek and visit sacral places. Temple and funerary complexes Tuekty, Bashadara, Boochi, Karakol – where Afanasyev and Karakol people, royal Scythians and warrior Turkic people built their temples and altars, buried their chiefs and priests.

Return to the camp. At lunch you will be able to taste traditional cuisine. Archi is a dairy product made from milk, which tastes like yogurt; Altai cheese Kurot; Talhan – specially processed wheat mixed with butter and honey in shape of balls.

Departure to the head water of the Katun and Chyia river. On the way we pass Chike-Taman mountain pass (1295 masl). Then visit Kalbak-Tash Hole and sightsee rock paintings – petroglyphs. More than 500 formations with more than 5 thousand pictures are drawn on the rocky flattened elevation, situated across the valley of Chuya River. They all are carved with stone or metal tools mainly in a dotty way. The most ancient pictures are dated to the 8th century BC. Arrival to the tourrist complex “Nomad”. Accomodation in the four-person Mongolian yurts. Facilities on the territory. Dinner in tourist complex. Russian banya (bath-house).

* accommodation in tourist complex "Nomad" (facilities outside). Breakfast, lunch, dinner.

Day 6

North Chuyia ridge - Geyser lake (100 km by bus, 4 km on foot)

Excursion on the Chuysky Trakt towards the Mongolian border. From a vast intermountain basin a magnificent view is opened on the top of the North-Chuisky ridge, on the highest peaks: Actry-Bash (4075 m) and Karatash (3534 m).

On the way back short hiking to the picturesque Geyser lake. The lake is the only one of its kind in the Altai - a rare beauty, clean, non-freezing even in winter, amazing turquoise color. On the mirror of the lake can be seen divorces rounds or ovals in shape, which is essentially a reflection of the processes taking place at the bottom of the lake. There, in the mysterious depths, from time to time come to life "geysers", throwing on the surface of a mixture of bluish clay and sand that form visible concentric circles at the bottom. 

Return to the tourist camp. Lunch. A foot walking in camp vicinities. Dinner. Russian banya (bath-house).

* accommodation in tourist complex "Nomad" (facilities outside). Breakfast, lunch, dinner.

Day 7

Katu-Yaryk pass - Chulyshman River (120 km by bus, 3.5 km on foot)

After breakfast you'll make an excursion to Ulagansky District. You’ll pass natural monument Red Gates, where the road goes through a narrow passageway between two rocks of reddish color, then reach Chjejbekkol (Dead) Lake and Uzunkol (Live) Lake, filled with plenty of fish. Descent from the Katu-Yaryk pass to the Chulyshman River. You will go down to a serpentine road, carved directly on the hillside. On the one hand – a slope, on the other – a break of several hundred meters height. Descent extent — 3,5 km on foot, luggage by car, altitude 1200 m. The magnificent view on the valley of Chulyshman and on a hundred meter waterfalls on the other side has been opened from the pass. The Chulyshman valley is one of the most beautiful places in Altai and also it is entered in the list of Objects of the World Natural Heritage. Accommodation in unequipped camp in the Chulyshman Valley. Dinner.

* accommodation in twin rooms in a wooden camp (facilites outside). Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 8

Waterfall Kurkure (8 km on foot)

Breakfast. Hiking to the waterfall Kurkureis located on a River , a tributary of the Chulyshman river, on the opposite side of the camp. Kurkure is translated from the Altai means " violent" and this is consistent with the nature of the waterfall. It has an incredible power, strength, and at the same time defenseless natural beauty. The height of the falls more than 30 meters. People living in the surrounding worship this marvel of nature and consider it to be sacred. Therefore, a few kilometers around not cattle! The hiking to the waterfall crossing the river takes about 3 - 4 hours. After the tour, return to the camp. Lunch. In the afternoon walking around, active outdoor games. Dinner. Russian banya. 

* accommodation in twin rooms in a wooden camp (facilites outside). Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 9

Stone mushrooms (5 km on foot, 90 km by bus)

Early breakfast. You will make a radial hike to the Karasu river, there you will see an amazing natural phenomenon - "stone mushrooms." Stone mushrooms are very rare natural construction, over a slope of a valley cones rise on the top of which, as if by magic, a huge rocky plates are held. Very soft sandstone is the basis of the cone, some "mushrooms" rise on more than 10 meters. For this excursion you will need comfortable trekking shoes.

Lunch-picnic. Moving to the South of the Teletskoe lake. Accommodation in wooden houses. Dinner. Russian banya (bath-house).

* accommodation in twin rooms in a wooden camp (facilites outside). Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 10

Pearl of the Altai Mountains (80 km by motorboat, 2 km on foot)

Excursion to the northern part of Teletskoye Lake. It is situated at a height of 434 m above the sea level, the lake is 78 km long and 5 km wide and lies between the mountain ridges Korbu and Al-tyntu, on the junction of the Sailughem Mountains and the Western Sayans. Its surface area is 233 km2; however, due to its considerable depth (325 m), the lake contains no less than 40 km³ of fresh water. Annual water level fluctuations are estimated at some 348 sm. The lake transparency is high, with the visibility of the lake water ranging from six to fourteen meters. About 70 rivers and 150 temporary streams flow into the lake, the largest of them is Chulyshman River, supplying more than half of the lake's water. The lake is drained through a single outlet, the Biya River, which, after its confluence with the Katun River, forms one of Siberia's largest rivers, the Ob River.

On the way visit the waterfall Korba - the most beautiful waterfall in the vicinity of the Teletskoye Lake. It is located on the on the territory of the Altai National Park, 100 meters from the mouth of Great Korby river, which flows to Teletskoye Lake on its east part. Falling height is 12.5 meters. Opposite to the waterfall in the middle of the Teletskoye Lake the largest of its depth about 325 meters is situated! The old Altaic legend says the golden sword Khan has fallen in this place, from which falling the lake was formed.

Accommodation in “Arthibash” hotel on the northern coast of Teletskoe lake. Lunch in a cafe. Walking around the village Artybash to the bridge over the river Biya to continue to souvenir shops. There will be an opportunity to purchase honey, local herbs, art, items made of cedar. Dinner in hotel.

* accommodation in hotel “Arthabash” 3*. Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 11

(430 km by bus)

Breakfast. Departure to Gorno-Altaisk, where you will visit National Enthographic Museum of Andrey Ahonin, with one of the main exhibits, a mummy of “Altai Princess”. Lunch in a cafe. Departure to Barnaul, arrival by 19.00. Accommodation at hotel “Barnaul” (twin rooms). Dinner in a restaurant**

  * accommodation in hotel “Barnaul” 3*. Breakfast, lunch

** Extra fee

Day 12

Breakfast at hotel “Barnaul”. Transfer to the airport.


Tour price 1800 Euro

Price includes:

Transfer from and to Barnaul airport, comfortable minibus cross-county type, a minibus for luggage (at group over 6 people), full board (except dinners on day 1 and 11), all excursions, English, German or French-speaking guide service, twin accommodation according to the program, motorboat rent on Teletskoye Lake, folklore program with throat singing, entrance tickets to museums, recreational fees, all the permits and authorizations, medical insurance, visit Russian banya according to the program (4 times)


Price does not include:

lunch and dinner on day 1, dinner on day 11, souvenirs, alcoholic beverages, personal expenses, air tickets

Extra supplement for single accommodation 150 euro/person

Extra supplement for double accommodation (big-size bed) 150 euro/person

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