Admire blossoming mountains
Enjoy stunning sceneries
Feel spring in the air
Nature & Wildlife
7-14 May 2023
Start & Finish
min. 4, max. 12 participants
In early May, Altai is just waking up from winter hibernation. Yellow and brown colors predominate, last year’s grass is still brown, there are no leaves on the trees. And suddenly a miracle happens – seemingly ordinary bushes turn into huge “bouquets” with hundreds of small pink flowers, and somewhere all the slopes of the mountains are covered with a delicate lilac-purple carpet — Ledebour’s Rhododendron, also called Maralnik, — blooms.
In this tour, the Rhododendron will be our main hero. We will spend the maximum amount of time in places of its mass blossoming, we will stop at the most picturesque places from where you can take spectacular photos. But of course, in addition to the maralnik, we will see many beautiful places and sights, because we will follow almost the entire Chuisky tract, get acquainted with the history, culture and traditions of Altai and the people of Altai.
In order to fully experience the atmosphere of awakening nature, we will spend a lot of time walking and observing wildlife. In the Karakol Valley we have a chance to see Demoiselle Cranes and maybe even watch their amazing mating dance. In Inegen we will spend almost the whole day walking along the picturesque Tungur trail. In addition, May is a wonderful time for pets, lambs, calves, foals with their caring mothers graze everywhere.
Altai in May is special, and you will remember this trip for a long time.
It is worth remembering that the flowering of the Rhododendron is a natural phenomenon, and sometimes it can begin earlier or, on the contrary, be delayed. Therefore, in some cold years, the slopes are not very bright. But in any case, we will see separate and very beautiful flowering bushes.
Day 1. Welcome to Altai!
We will meet you at the Gorno-Altaisk airport, accommodate in the hotel. After that we have city tour.
Day 2. Museum and Karakol valley
IN the morning we will visit the National Museum of the Altai Republuc and then start our journey along Chuyskiy tract to the Karakol valley.
Day 3. Hello, Rhododendron!
We continue our journey along the Chuyskiy tract, we make a lot of stops to enjoy nature and take pictures of it. And of course pictures of Rhododendron.
Day 4. Tungur trail
Today we have an active day in nature. We will have a short drive by car to the observation deck, and from there we will go on foot along the famous Tungur trail to the confluence of the Argut with the Katun.
Day 5. And again blooming mountains!
We return to the Chuyskiy tract and continue our journey along the Chuya River, the banks of which are also decorated with blooming Maralnik. For the night we will stay in guest houses in the Kurai steppe, from where you can see the stunning North Chuisky ridge, covered with eternal ice and snow.
Day 6. Sunrise and colored mountains of Kyzyl-Chin
Today we get up early, because we want to see how the first rays of the sun paint the North Chuya Range in pink tones. We spend this day at an altitude of about 1400-1600 meters, it is much colder here and steppe and semi-desert flora prevail.
Day 7. Way to Gorno-Altaisk
Sad as it may seem, today our return home begins. In the evening – a sightseeing tour of Gorno-Altaisk and a farewell dinner.
Day 8. Farewell!
After breakfast we will take you to the airport.
The last night of our nature tour we will stay in a hotel in Gorno-Altaisk. During the trip we will stay in guesthouses and national ayils (wooden round houses). Rooms are for 2 or 3 people. In every room – WC and shower. In remote and wild areas, it can be possible that there are only not comfortable guest houses. For washing you will be able to use a Russian banya (sauna) every evening. The toilet in some places is a type of pit latrine.
Level of fitness
3 meals a day, in the cafes and guesthouses or prepared by our team. Some days we will visit local cafes. Usually for breakfast we have milk porridge /scrambled eggs/ cottage cheese/ pancakes and other snacks, for lunch – sandwiches (bread, cheese, sausages, jams, butter, vegetables and so on), for dinner – a salad and a hot meat dish. Drinks – black and green tea, instant coffee.
May temperature can range very widely: from 0 °C to +25 °C.
Rainy days are possible. Even it is possible to have a snowfall.
4WD mini vans or 4WD off-road cars
Fee: 949 EURO from Gorno-Altaisk, Republic of Altai.
Deposit: 300 EURO per person
- Accommodations (hotel, guesthouses, ayils)
- All meals (3 meals a day)
- Non-alcoholic drinks
- Transport (by car)
- English-speaking guide
- Entrance fees for places to visit, excursions
- Invitation letter for visa
- All flights
- Insurance (travel, cancellation, health)
- Personal items (souvenirs and other personal things you want to buy)
- Visa for Russia (passport should be valid 6 months after the end of your trip)
- Alcoholic drinks
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If you want to join us or have questions, please send us this message, and we will contact you as soon as possible.