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About Everything Wiki » Travel » How to plan a vacation in Altai to remember it for a lifetime

How to plan a vacation in Altai to remember it for a lifetime

13 Jun 2023, 00:02, parser
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When to go to Altai

It is best to plan a trip from May to September. It is warm at this time, which allows you to see the maximum number of attractions and arrange a full summer vacation.

In autumn it is cooler in Altai, but there are fewer tourists. And the golden landscapes are truly fascinating. Winter in these parts lasts from November to mid-April and is characterized by strong frosts and an abundance of snow. Due to the weather, most activities will be unavailable, but there is a ski resort.

How to get to Altai

Destination — Gorno‑Altaysk. In 4.5 hours you can fly to it by plane from Moscow. Ticket prices start from 10,198 rubles.

You can also get to Biysk by train. The travel time is about 2.5 days, and the price of the trip starts from 8,228 rubles. From there by bus to Gorno‑Altaysk needs to be driven about 100 km.

Where to stay in Altai

You can rent a house in Gorno‑Altaisk. However, if you like hotels, there are not so many options, and their prices start from 2,600 rubles. The most budget accommodation will be in a hostel — an overnight stay will cost about 600-700 rubles.

To better feel the energy of these amazing places, choose accommodation at numerous recreation centers. They are located as in the very Mountain‑Altaisk, and on the shores of lakes and rivers. There are offers for every taste and purse: for one person per day you will have to pay from 2,600 to 54,000 rubles.

What sights of Altai are worth seeing

Mountains, waterfalls, picturesque lakes, caves, glaciers — it seems that you can spend more than one vacation in Altai.

1. Teletskoye Lake

Photo: Alexandra Kolmakova / Shutterstock

This point on the map attracts many tourists from all over the world. They say that in terms of picturesqueness, the reservoir is not inferior to Baikal . The lake is surrounded by steep banks, which sometimes turn into a kind of fjords. There is a fairly developed infrastructure here: there are hotels, places to relax, beaches and much more.

To see all the beauty, take a boat at one of the rental points. Or go for a 5‑hour boat ride, at the same time you will be shown the Korbu and Chador waterfalls. You can also ride horses or bicycles along the lake. And if you are a fan of fishing, do not miss the opportunity to hunt 18 species of fish, including pike, burbot, whitefish and perch.

2. Chemal Valley

Photo: diy13 / Shutterstock

Here you can not only soak up impressions of the incredible nature, but also improve your health in one of the sanatoriums or reboot at the recreation center. Even before the revolution, people began to come here for treatment, because the place is famous for its special healing climate.

The island of Patmos is hidden in the valley, where one of the most important Orthodox shrines is located — the Church of St. John the Theologian, preserved since the XIX century. History lovers should also visit the Chemalskaya HPP. It no longer works, but serves as a tourist attraction. The hydroelectric dam has an extreme amusement park: children and adults can bungee jump, ride a Ferris wheel or take a ride on the Katun River in a motor boat. Next to the power plant, you can quench your thirst at a spring with living water and see how the dead water covers the stones with rust in the neighboring krinitsa.

3. Karakol Valley

Photo: YRABOTA / Shutterstock

Petroglyphs painted with mineral paints of white, black and red colors were once found here. The fact that people lived in this place in ancient times is also indicated by numerous burial mounds, sacrificial altars and stone slabs with rock paintings.

The territory of the valley and its surroundings are united in the nature park "Uch‑Enmek" with an area of 60.5 thousand hectares. It has a visit center , where you can not only book a tour of sacred and mysterious places, but also get to know the life of the Altaians, taste national cuisine and stay in a hotel complex that works all year round.

4. Katun

Photo: Andrey Shevchenko / Shutterstock

The source of the main Altai river is located on the slope of Mount Belukha, which rises 4,506 m above sea level and is considered the highest point of the region. On the left bank of the Katun River are Tavdinsky caves. For about 5 km, a whole complex of 30 interconnected caves has been formed in the rocks, each of which has several entrances and exits.

Along the river you can see the so—called maralniki ‑ farms where rare deer-marals are bred. On the right bank there is a tourist zone "Turquoise Katun", where you can relax with the whole family: live in a cozy house, sunbathe on the beach, go rafting on the river — in general, arrange a full vacation in the mountains.

5. Altai Mars

Photo: Olga Gavrilova / Shutterstock

How's that for you, Elon Musk? In the valley of the Kyzyl‑Chin River, in the immediate vicinity of the village of Chagan‑Uzun, you can enjoy truly Martian landscapes. The mountains in this place are painted in different shades of red due to the high content of polymetallic ores in the soil. Probably, this was the reason for the almost complete absence of any vegetation. So choose a good angle for the photo to simulate an interplanetary journey.

6. Aktru Valley

Photo: Stanislav71 / Shutterstock

On the territory of about 16 square kilometers, five glaciers are resting quietly. The thickness of the largest is as much as 360 m . The Aktru River flows between them with fascinating milky‑icy water. A popular place for tourists is the alpine Blue Lake. You can get to it on your own, but it's still better to take an excursion, since walking through mountainous and glacial terrain is not always safe.

In addition, there is a mountaineering camp in Aktru. The slopes of glaciers and surrounding mountains are suitable for descents. However, travelers with special training should go for extreme sports and thrills.

7. Cuffs

Photo: Evgeniy Medvedev / Shutterstock

There is a large ski complex , and you can relax in it all year round. In summer, outdoor enthusiasts are attracted by the largest bike park in Russia with the most difficult trails with a total length of 13 km. You can see Altai from a bird's-eye view by taking a ride on a gondola cable car.

In winter comes the expanse for skiers and skateboarders . By the way, it is not necessary to take equipment with you: the complex has a rental of everything you need. And in between entertainments, do not forget to go on an excursion to the Malaya Sinyukha Mountain. At its top there is an observation deck, which offers stunning views of the neighboring hills, Manzherok Lake and the Katun River.

8. Uchar Waterfall

Photo: YevgeniyDr / Shutterstock

The second name is the Big Chulchinskaya Waterfall. The height of the cascades reaches 160 m, which makes it the largest in Altai. An ecological trail leads to the attraction. You will have to walk 8.5 km, the route will require good physical fitness. So wear comfortable clothes and shoes. The opportunity to breathe clean mountain air and be impressed by the unique nature is really worth it.

The waterfall is located on the territory of the Altai Biosphere Reserve. Therefore, you need to plan a hike to the waterfall in advance and leave a request on the website at least 30 days in advance.

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