Duration:

16 days / 15 nights

Itinerary:

Barnaul – Biysk — Srostki — Artybash — Gorno-Altaisk — Lower Katun — Manzherok — Sky-Blue Katun — Chemal — Karakol — Chibit — Chagan-Uzun – Tashanta – Ulgii – Ulaanbaatar  1720 km avto + 1700 km aviа.

The number of people in a group — minimum 6 people. No age limit. Children under 18 years must be accompanied by adults.

Arrival dates:

April — October

Tour schedule:

Day 1

Meeting in Barnaul. Excursion around the city «Barnaul is a mining city» with a visit to the Nagorny Park. Transfer Barnaul — Biysk city (160 km) — a city built by the decree of the emperor of Russia Peter the Great in the 18th century. Biysk now has the status of the City of science and it is the main gateway to the Altai Mountains. Excursion «Old streets of Biysk» starting at the monument of Peter the Great. Lunch. Transfer Biysk — Srostki village (50 km) — the birthplace of the famous actor, writer, film director Vasily Shukshin. Photostop at the top of Picket hill with the beautiful view over the village and the valley of the Katun river. Every year in July “Shukshin’s readings” take place here. In the last years these readings have turned into an all-Russian event, where a lot of famous actors and actresses, artists, musicians, professional and amateur groups, museum employees, Shukshin’s relatives and fellow villagers as well as thousands admirers come to celebrate his Birthday.

Transfer Srostki — Artybash (220 km). Accommodation in a tourist complex. Dinner.

Day 2

Breakfast. A cruise around Lake Teletskoе — the largest lake in the Altai and one of the largest lakes in Russia. The maximum depth of the lake is about 330 meters. The official name of the lake – Teletskoe – came from the name of Altai tribe – Teleuts – who lived here years ago. However local people called the lake Altyn-Kol, which means “Golden lake”. Many rivers and streams flow into the lake, but only one river – Biya — flows out. Visiting the Corbu waterfall, which is located at the foot of the Korbu ridge on the territory of the Altai State Nature Biosphere Reserve. The waterfall falls from a height of 12.5 meters. Lunch. Depending on the weather: visit to ethnopark in Artybash village, traditional cuisine degustation. OR Rafting down the Biya river (appropriate clothes and footwear needed, it can be wet on the boat). Dinner.

Day 3

Breakfast. Transfer Artybash — Gorno-Altaisk city (180 km). Excursion to the National Museum of the Altai Republic named after Anokhin. The museum stores rich ethnographic collections of indigenous peoples of Altai, as well as a unique exhibit — the mummy of Princess Ukok. Lunch. Transfer Gorno-Altaisk city — Sky-Blue Katun (50+50 km). It is a large center of tourism with a warm artificial lake for swimming and fishing, restaurants, tourist complexes, ski slopes, an extreme entertainment park, an art gallery, caves, an apiary. Visit to the Tavdinsky caves. Tavdinsky caves are an array of the large number of karst caves (about 30). The length of rocks with caves is about 5 km. The entrances to the caves are in steep cliffs however they can be easily reached thanks to wooden steps and artificial lighting. Visit to the apiary, tasting Altaian honey, sleeping on hives. Dinner.

Day 4

Breakfast. Excursion to Chemal (70 km): Chemalskaya hydro-electric power station and the Patmos Island. Patmos is one of the most beautiful places in the Altai Mountains. There are a restored church commemorating St. John the Evangelist and the monastic cell of St. Makary Altaisky behind which you can see the rock with the indented image of Holy Mother. There is also a priory located opposite the island. The only way to the island of Patmos is a suspension bridge that connects the rocks of the island with the rocks on the bank of the Katun river.

Another attraction of Chemal is the old Chemal hydroelectric station. Walking there you can also see  the sources of «live» and «dead» water nearby. In the summer time thrill-seekers are attracted by the «bungee jump«. Walking along the «goat» trail. Lunch.

 After lunch the program may depend on the weather: one option is a trip to the mountain area CheChkysh — a rocky canyon with waterfalls in the valley of the Katun river, located in the Gorge of Mountain Spirits, from where a magnificent panorama of the Katun river opens (30 km). As a second option we offer an excursion to the museum-gallery of Choros-Gurkin in Anos village, where you can see the house, the workroom and the yard of the artist and ethnographer, Shishkin’s learner, author of the famous paintings “Khan Altai”, “The Mountain Spirits’ Lake”, “The Crown of the Katun”. The reproductions of some paintings are also represented here. Transfer Chemal — Manzherok (70 km). Manzherok is the name of the village, the ski resort and also the lake with relict nut “chilim”. Dinner.

Day 5

Breakfast. Motorafting (25+25 km) down the Katun river. Visit to Kamyshlinsky waterfall of the Kamyshla river — the left inflow of the Katun; it has two cascades with the height of 12 meters. Lunch. Excursion to the enclosure for marals “Kaimskoye” (35+35 km). Marals are known for the miraculous properties of their horns (also called pants – nonossified antlers). A bath made with the water extracts of boiled antlers is a health-improving procedure. Pants are a complex of substances created by nature that have huge biostimulating power. Taking such bath and consuming other products made of pants’ extract raises body’s energy, improve blood circulation, support anagenesis and accelerate the recovery of muscular tissue after physical exertion as well as slow down aging process. Positive effect comes after 4-6 baths. Excursion to the kasino “Altai Palace” (hotel complex with open air swimming pool, karaoke hall, spa-center). Dinner.

Day 6

Breakfast. Transfer Manzherok — Karakol valley (150 km). Excursion to the botanic garden in the Kamlak village. Over 1000 of rarest plants of alpine, forest-steppe and taiga zones both wild and cultivated are represented at the exposition “Altai flora”. There are also medicine herbs and “ail” — traditional dwelling of Altai indigenous people are represented here. Lunch. Photostop at the famous mountain pass Seminsky. Accommodation in Karakolsky nature park “Uch-Enmek”. Dinner is accompanied by the folk traditional group (unique throat singing and playing national musical instruments).

Day 7

Breakfast. Excursion to Karakolsky nature park «Uch-Enmek» (20+20 km) – specially protected natural area. It includes natural, historical and cultural sacral complexes and objects, located on the total area of  60551 hectares at a height of 890-2900 meters. The natural park is famous for its burials and barrows, rock paintings and a complex of megaliths. Lunch.Visit to the museum of Altai culture and life in Kuluda village. Transfer Karakol — Chibit (170 km). Excursion along the Chuysky tract till Kurayskaya steppe. The history of the tract goes back though centuries, when this road was a pack road, a branch of the Great Silk Road, “Chinese pathway”. It is included in the TOP-10 of the most beautiful roads in the world according to National Geographic. On the way, we overcome one of the most beautiful and highest passes called Chike-Taman which in Altaian language means “Straight foot”. This pass that looks like a steep and meandering road with sightseeing platform on top has been known since X century. And since 1996 it has been declared a natural monument of the Altai Republic. Lunch. Visiting the Kalbak-Tash natural landmark, viewing of rock paintings — petroglyphs. About 500 compositions, more than 5 thousand drawings from the Neolithic period to the Turkic era. Photoshop in the north part of geopark «Altai», natural park «Chuy-Oozy» — the confluence of the biggest rivers of Altai nearby – the Chuya river and the Katun river. Accommodation in a tourist complex. Dinner.

Day 8

Breakfast. Excursion to Kyzyl-Chin that tourists called Mars (80+80 km). Photosession against the North-Chuysky ridge on the way. Walk along the «Martian» mountains and kanyons of the Kyzyl-Chin stream. Exits of multi-colored clays on the surface evoke the sensation of another planet. Photostop against the background of North-Chujski mountain chain. Lunch.  Excursion to the Geyser lake – rare in its beauty and purity. The lake is nonfreezing even in the winter time. It is an “earth eye eternally watching the space” that has amazing turquois сolour. You can see the round or oval blotchiness on the mirror surface of the lake that reflect the processes that happen at the bottom, where geysers come to life and spurt out the mixture of bluish clay and sand to the surface. Dinner.

Day 9

Breakfast. Whole-day long trekking and excursion at the choice: «Stone Mashrooms» (extra fee 120$) or Glacier Aktru (extra fee 60$). «Stone Mashrooms» are a fanciful land forms that appeared as a result of selective elution, erosion and rock weathering. These mysterious statues that are very high (up to 7 meters) but with narrow stipes (about half meter in diameter) are located in the canyon Akkurum, at the right bank of the Chulyshman river. One more interesting fact — these «mashrooms» are slowly moving downhill.

Glaciers of the Aktru valley are like-no-other unique natural phenomenon. Steady but mobile they constantly change mountain outlook, give birth and nourish rivers… Here, at the North-Chuysky ridge, they come really low allowing us to experience this wonder closer. Almost all types of glaciers are represented here: Big and Small Aktru are valley glaicers, Kupol and Vodopadny are plateau-shaped glaciers, Kar in Small Aktru is a corrie glacier. There are also a hanging glacier at the top of Kara-Tash («Tronov’s Pants») and a corrie-hanging glacier «Stagiaire» (co-called «Container»). Most of glaciers are hard-to-reach even for mountain tourists and mountaineers. However it is safe to walk to the galcier Small Aktru and to the Light Blue Lake on the Big Aktru. Return to tourist complex. Dinner.

Day 10

Breakfast. Transfer Chibit — Tashanta (160 km). Crossing the border Russia-Mongolia.

 Arrive in Ulgii, Mongolia. Kazakh nomadic family. 3hr drive+3hr excursion.

Meet your local Mongolian tour guide and a driver. Then transfer to a Kazakh eagle hunter’s Ger camp near Sagsai. Greet with the hosts, have welcome tea and orientation with the Kazakh culture & the area. Meals cooked by a local cook and stay overnight in a private Ger near the Kazakh family.

Overnight in Nomadic Ger (basic washing facilities: outhouse & washing basin only). LD

Day 11

Full day at a Kazakh nomadic family with opportunities to see Eagle training. Today, we will enjoy a full day at the Kazakh nomadic family to experience their culture and see the host train his Golden Eagle for hunting (actual hunting takes place only from late October till late February) with various techniques. You will also learn to cook a Kazakh dish, make dairy and take part in their daily lives. Overnight in Nomadic Ger (basic washing facilities). BLD

Day 12

 Return to Ulgii. 1.5-2hr drive Drive back to Ulgii town this afternoon, and on arrival visit the Ulgii Bazaar and Kazakh women’s embroidery shop if interested. Have dinner at a Turkish restaurant. Overnight at a Kazakh guesthouse in Ulgii town.

Overnight in Guesthouse (en-suite room with shower). BLD

Day 13

Flight to Ulaanbaatar – Terelj National Park. 3hr flight + 2hr drive.

Fight to Ulaanbaatar (09:10-12:10hrs. Flight times TBC in April 2018). Upon arrival in Ulaanbaatar meeting a local guide. Lunch at a restaurant. Transfer to a tourist Ger camp in Terelj National Park. The natural landscapes of Terelj are one of the finest in Mongolia. Park Terelj is the continuation of the Hengai mountain range with unique mountain and steppe landscapes. Rest after a long day.

Overnight in tourist ger camp (en-suite ger). BLD

Day 14

Terelj National Park.

Enjoy a full day in the beautiful Terelj National Park with visits to the Tortoise Rock & the Temple of Meditation, some hiking is involved. Tortoise Rock — Melchiy-hal — looks a giant tortoise and has become the symbol of Terelj. Buddhist meditation center Aryaabal is located on the slope of the mountain, from which a unique and beautiful view of the Park Terelj opens.

Optional horse riding is available (bookable at spot). Have the meals and overnight at the Ger camp.

Overnight in tourist Ger camp (en-suite Ger). BLD

Day 15

Breakfast. Giant Genghis Statue & Ulaanbaatar city tour. 2hr drive + 6hr excursion.

Check out from the ger camp at 8.30 am and drive to Ulaanbaatar with a stop at the Giant Genghis Statue.

Arrive in Ulaanbaatar. Visit to the Gandan Monastery and the National Museum of Mongolia.

Gandan Monastery is the largest Buddhist center of the capital, where the main attraction is the 24 meter high gilded Buddha statue, which always attracts many visitors. The National Museum of Mongolia contains the history of the last two millennia of the country.

Lunch. Visit the Zaisan Memorial & the Buddha Park. The Zaisan Memorial was built in honor of the Red Army’s support of the Mongolian People’s Revolution and the Soviet-Mongolian victory. Tourists wil see a statue whose height is 18 meters, the total height including the pedestal is 23 meters. In the center of the pedestal there is a picture of the blossoming lotus flowers, and in the center of this lotus there is the symbol of the capital of Mongolia — a mythical bird Hanguard with its wings spread.

Free time or optional cashmere factory store until 6pm. Mongolian folklore concert featuring Khoomei – Mongolian throat singing, and contortion performance followed by farewell dinner at Mongolian BBQ.

4* Hotel-9. BLD

Day 16

Departure. 40 min drive to the airport B

Tour price:

3-5 persons — 3944 $

6-9 persons — 2978 $

10-14 persons — 2660 $

 

The package includes:

Transport services from Barnaul (Gorno-Altaisk, Novosibirsk) on a comfortable bus; accommodation — 2-3 persons per room in tourist complexes and hotels, standard rooms with shower and WC; in high mountains hotels — shared facilities are on each floor; food — (breakfast, lunch, dinner); excursions according to the program; entrance tickets; insurance; translations;

Private transfer in Mongolia by a 4×4 Russian minivan(s) in Ulgii area; Private transfers by a comfortable private vehicle with AC in Ulaanbaatar; Ulgii-Ulaanbaatar RT flight + Tax (10+5kg free luggage included; 1.5-2.5 USD per excess kilo); Airport transfers in Ulaanbaatar; Opportunity to see an Eagle hunting training in Ulgii nomadic Kazakh family; Sightseeing admissions as described in the program; Giant Genghis Tickets; Daily supply of bottled water (1.5L per day/pax); Mongolia souvenir; Visa invitation letter if applicable.

Meals shown as B-breakfast, L-lunch, D-dinner

Additional expenses:

Extra food and drinks, extra excursions (from 10$); personal expenses.

International travel fare, insurances, visa fees, gratuities, drinks, personal spending and optional activities such as horse riding etc.