tour to snow-capped mountains and sparkling lakes in siberian wilderness
Great Altai Expedition
Experience the grandeur of the Altai Mountains by land, air and water. Your soul will be awaken by natural beauty of this pristine region. Here you will witness fragility and diversity of our planet through observing jagged peaks crowned by glaciers, listening to cascading rivers, hiking in mountainous forests and breathing fresh invigorating alpine air.

You will be fascinated by the largest unbroken stretches of coniferous forest in the world, UNESCO World Heritage Sites, gripping indigenous folk programs, traditional cuisine. You could fill out your portfolio with spectacular photos of rare animals (most of them are included into the Red List of endangered species) and breathtaking mountain landscapes.

Highlight of the whole trip will be definitely the helicopter flight to
Mt Belukha (4506 m), the highest mountain of Altai and Siberia. This hidden gem is located in a much undiscovered area as it is only accessible via 10-days hike or by helicopter.
Map of the Great Altai
Red lines - state borders of Russia, Mongolia, China and Kazakhstan

Great Altai or Altai Mountains is a mountainous transboundury region at the intersection of four countries - Russia, Mongolia, China and Kazakhstan

Area, outlined by the blue line
- the Altai Republic (venue of current trip)

Altai Mountains
Altai is considered by World Community as one of the last untouched areas of the planet and a rich treasure trove of biodiversity (included into Global-200, the list of ecoregions identified by WWF as priorities for conservation). Translated from Mongolian language as "Golden Mountains", Altai was inscribed into the UNESCO World Heritage List under this title. Golden Mountains of Altai nomination includes Altaisky Nature Reserve and Lake Teletskoye, Katunsky Nature Reserve and Mount Belukha, the Ukok Plateau. Located in four countries - Russia, Mongolia, China and Kazakhstan - the Altai Mountains stretch up two thousand kilometers from Siberian wilderness to Central Asian semi-deserts. The highest peak is Mt Belukha (4506 m).
tour program
Welcome to Altai
Accommodation: Altai Palace Hotel (the only one legal casino in Siberia)
Distance: automobile - depends of the airport location (Novosibirsk - 450 km, Barnaul - 300 km or Gorno-Altaisk - 15 km)

Transfer from the airport to Altai Palace Hotel. Check-in and rest. Upon arrival at the hotel you can enjoy your first breakfast.
Afterwards you will have spare time to have rest, plan the next days of activity, enjoy hiking to the mountain and breath invigorating coniferous air. Dinner and leisure time.

Altai Palace is situated in the gambling zone Sibirskaya Moneta. It is one of the four legal gambling zones in Russia and the only one in Siberia. Here you can enjoy various gambling such as roulette, card games and poker, slot machines. Also guests can visit karaoke-bar, billiard hall, SPA and thermocomplex with hammam, open air basin. In the late evening you can enjoy entertaining musical show
Russian Tsar's dog hunting show and night at the casino
Accommodation: Altai Palace Hotel (casino)

After breakfast we will go to Sokol Lodge (lit. Falcon, an awardee of the Russian Events Award-2017 competition) were you can visit Russian traditional peasant house and taste Russian traditional cuisine. Then you will pass a couple of centuries ago and participate in ancient Russian hunting show with Russian wolfhounds and hunting birds. You will be dressed in costumes of the 18-19th centuries and visit hunting dog's and bird's (hunting falcon) show. Then you will study hunting horn signals and train in archery. At the end of the show you will enjoy hunting picnic.
The following night you can enjoy at the casino Altai Palace.
Excursion to the stud farm and horse back riding in the mountains
Accommodation: Altai Palace Hotel.

After breakfast we'll drive to the stud farm Agro-Standard where you will have an excursion. There you will know the secrets of producing high-breeding horses and famous Oryol trotters for racing and visit horse stables. Afterwards you will enjoy a horse back riding in the foothills of the Altai mountains.
At the late evening and night you can experience your fortune at the casino
Golden Lake
Accommodation: Altay Village Hotel. A timber cottage on the bank of Lake Teletskoye
Distance: jeep - 180 km
Today we will drive towards the deepest lake of the Altai Mountains - Lake Teletskoye. Here you will accommodate in a luxury timber cottage on the bank of the lake with sparkling waving waters surrounded by conifer forest. Fresh invigorating alpine air, clear water and impeccable service of the hotel will become the part of your holiday. At the hotel you can visit SPA and medicine center where you can order special health improving procedures - healing bath based on maral deer antlers drugs. Siberia and Altai Mountains are world leaders in producing this ancient method of healing and health improving, well knowing from ancient Chinese manuscripts. Fresh maral deers antlers contain various vitamins and healing bioactive microelements which are good for rejuvenation, increasing of immunity and providing natural vital forces of the body.

Ot the way to the hotel we will visit National Museum of the Altai Republic where you can watch the world known archaeological artifact. This is the Ice Maiden - a mammy of a notable woman of Scyphian Age with sacred tattoo. The lady lived 2500 thousand years ago and was a priestess. She is considered as a sacred symbol and a
ancestress of Altai people. The mummy and unique artifacts of organic material were well preserved in the burial mound due to ice.
Another priceless and unique artifact discovered in burial mounds of nomad tribe leader's in Altai was the oldest Persian carpet on the world. Nowdays it is exhibited at the State Hermitage museum in St Petersburg.
The deepest lake in the Altai Mountains (325 m) and one of the deepest lakes in Russia. Inscribed into the UNESCO World Heritage List as one of the most pristine places it is commonly known as the Baikal's junior brother. Among the indigenous inhabitants the name of the lake is Altyn-Kyol or Golden Lake. Numerous tributaries (over 80) cascading to the lake with stunning waterfalls. The most picturesque is the Korbu Waterfall (12 meters high). Lake Teletskoye gives the birth to the only river - the Biya River, one of two sourcing rivers of the Ob River. The last one is ranked among the 10 largest rivers of the planet. Lake's right side is conserving as a part of the Altaisky Nature Reserve.
Marvels of Teletskoye Lake
Accommodation: Altay Hotel. A timber cottage on the bank of Lake Teletskoye
Distance: private motor boat - 160 km
This day you you will enjoy the astonishing landscapes of the Lake Teletskoye during the cruise by ship and excursion to the Korbu Waterfall. You will cross the whole water area of Teletskoye Lake (80 km long and only 5 km width). The banks of the lake are precipitous cliffs covered taiga with numerous sparkling waterfalls. On of them - the Korbu Waterfall at the territory of the Altaisky State Pseserve you will visit.
Overnight at the hotel.
Helicopter excursion to
Mt Belukha (4506 m)
Accommodation: Inegen Lodge. A timber cottage for two tourists (TWIN), en suite facilities (WC, shower), veranda.
Distance: helicopter - 250 km, hiking - 6-7 km

Helicopter excursion to the highest mountain of Siberia - Mount Belukha (4506 m).
We'll cross the vast ocean of the Altai Mountains by helicopter towards the highest top - Mt. Belukha. From the bird's view we'll observe crowned by glaciers peaks and land at the bank of Lake Akkemskoye formed by one of the Belukha's glaciers with the same name.
Then we'll hike to the Chapel of Archangel Michail near the Akkemsky Glacier (2,5 hours round trip). Picnic lunch on the bank of Lake Akkemskoye.
Afterwards we can transfer you to luxury tent camp near Mt Belukha foothills or to Inegen Lodge on the bank of the Katun River (100 km far from Mt Belukha).
Dinner, spare time
The summit of the Altai Mountains and UNESCO World Heritage object. Mt Belukha, crowned with two sparkly white peaks and more then 160 glaciers, stands high above the Katunsky Ridge and Altai mountains. Its peaks can be observed far away from many passes and ridges. Symbolizing vast Altai ridges Mt. Belukha is depicted in the Coat of Arms of the Altai Republic. Its name originated from the Russian word belaya or white due to the large snow cover on it's slopes. Indigenous inhabitants of Altai used to name it Kadyn-Bazhi that means the source of the Katun River. One should be very lucky to see this majestic and capricious Tzarina of Altai hidden behind clouds most of the year.
Hiking to the mouth of the Argut River and Altai traditional culture
Accommodation: Inegen Lodge. Timber cottages for two tourists (TWIN), en suite facilities (WC, shower), veranda.
Distance: jeep - 40 km, hiking - 6-7 km

After breakfast we will drive to the mouth of the hard-to-reach Argut River. After 2-hour walking along the old rocky path high above the Katun River we'll finally reach the mouth of the Argut River. This river is famous as one of the last habitats of snow leopard in the Altai. It is a great luck to watch the ibex because there are not more then 20 animals in the Altai Mountains. Afterwards we'll enjoy the picnic lunch and fishing on the bank of the Katun River. The evening will be marked by acquaintance with native culture. A special dinner will be served with traditional Altaic meals based on cereals, milk and meat products. You will taste boorsok - fried pieces of dough, khan - blood sausage, kurut - dried and smoked cheese, buur - barbecue from sheep liver and other meals. Afterwards you will enjoy gripping transcendental throat singing of a kaichi, a skillful performer of native epic songs.
In the evening you will guest in the ail - national dwelling of Altaians. Here you will be engaged into indigenous culture of nomadic people by performers of traditional Altai throat singing. Deep vibrating sounds of various intensity and hues performing by a kaichi - master of throat singing in front of the fire, will evoke transcendental feelings in your soul and make you realize soleness and unlimited eternity of this Universe. Also we can provide competitions in national nomadic sport games and folks - kok-booro game - a kind of horse-riding polo with a goat corpse and others.
Wonders of Chuisky Trakt
Accommodation: Hotel of Sailugemsky National Park in Kosh-Agach Village

Today we'll ride along the Chuisky Trakt, the oldest and most picturesque road in the Altai Mountains, originated long ago as a caravan path between Siberia, Central Asia and Middle East. By exploring petroglyphs of the Kalbak-Tash Site we'll immerse into history and mythology of ancient inhabitants of the Altai Mountains. Next point of the tour will be small Geizernoye Lake inside forested area in the mountains. Brightly turquoise colored it has unusual patterns on surface due to air bubbles on its bottom. In the Kuraiskaya Steppe you'll observe the most astounding scene of Altai - elevated up to the 4 thousand meters above the see level snow capped Severo-Chuisky mountain ridge with winding silver band of the Chuya River.
Mountainous highway through the Altai Mountains to Mongolia. It is considered as the northern branch of the Great Silk Road. The highway was ranked in the list of 10 most beautiful roads of the world by National Geographic of Russia magazine.
Kalbak-Tash Rock Drawings
A kind of an open-air museum and rich treasury of ancient cosmological ideas and beliefs of ancient dwellers of Altai curved on rock surfaces. Various mythological plots and ritual scenes from the end of Stone Age to Medieval battles and runic inscriptions unfold before your eyes through exploring those unique petroglyphs.
Mongolian semi-deserts of Altai
Accommodation: Hotel of Sailugemsky National Park in Kosh-Agach Village or privite yourt camp on the border with Mongolia
Distance: jeep - 120 km, hiking - 10 km

We need to prepare special permit to visit the border zone. Documents should be submitted 60 days before the visit date.

After breakfast we'll ride towards the border with Mongolia. We'll explore the most fascinating locations in the Chuiskaya Steppe - the coldest and most arid region of Altai. Its arid highlands more typical for neighboring Mongolia rather Altai mountain ridges with stretches of coniferous forests and cascading rivers. In the outskirts of the steppe we'll visit the Kyzyl-Chin River valley. Due to its surreal geologic features embracing a various kind of red hues and extremely similar to Mars landscapes, this destination is also called Mars. Sculptured by powers of nature millions of years ago these formations originated long before the Altai Mountains birth.
In the mountains on the border with Mongolia we can provide private hunting with Golden Eagles. Mongloian Altai is the only one place on the planet where such kind of ancient Golden Eagle hunting exists.
Transfer to Gorno-Altaisk
Accommodation: private timber cottages in pine forest on the bank of the Katun River

We'll leave for Gorno-Altaisk airport along the Chuisky Trakt. Excursions by the way: Ilgumensky Rapid on the Katun River, Chike-Taman Pass. Accommodation at the privat luxury timber cottages on the bank of the mountainous Katun River. Dinner and rest.
Transfer to Gorno-Altaisk Airport and flight to Moscow
Early breakfast and transfer to airport. Farewell to Altai
Watch a video of Golden Mountains of Altai provided and kindly shared with us by Pavel Filatov:

Photo credits: Pavel Filatov

All graphic materials belong to their owners and are used for demonstration purposes only. Please do not use them in commercial projects.
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