Enjoy charming landscapes of foothills
Get inside the cave that holds the key to man's origin
Explore unique creations of nature
Visit the origin of world masterpieces
On request (10 days)
from 1.255 EURO (from Barnaul)
min. 2, max. 9 participants
Day 1. Welcome!
In the morning we will meet you at the airport in Barnaul. First we will get acquainted and transfer you to the hotel. You will have time to rest as we do understand that the night flight is quite exhausting.
In the afternoon we will have an excursion around Barnaul, the capital of Altai krai and visit the museum of local history. Barnaul is one of the oldest cities in Siberia, founded in in the 1730s by the wealthy Demidov family. Nowadays Barnaul is a large industrial and agricultural center in Siberia.
Night: hotel | Meal: 3 times | Driving: no Walking: in the city
Highlights: excursion around the city
Day 2. Altai highlands, acquintance with the Old-Believers
Just after breakfast we start our trip to the most interesting attractions of Altai krai. In 3 hours we will find ourselves in the beautiful highlands of the Altai mountains. For lunch we will stop at a small local cheese factory where you can try different kinds of cheese.
We will spend the night in the picturesque village Topolnoye. The people of this village are descendant of the Old-Believers who separated after 1666 from the official Russian Orthodox Church. Most of them moved to the secluded corners of Siberia in the 17th century and have kept living in traditional way for centuries. In the evening we will meet “modern” old-believers who still keep their traditions and will enjoy their concert of singing.
Night: houses | Meal: 3 times | Driving: 337 km | Walking: moderate
Highlights: lunch at local cheese factory, house of the Old-Believers
Day 3. Hiking to the waterfalls
The whole day will be devoted to the River Shinok and its beautiful waterfalls. First we will drive several kilometers to get closer to the waterfalls. But soon the road will end and we will go about 5 km one way on foot. The picturesque path going in the forest and many times crossing the mountainous River Shinok makes the distance unnoticeable.
After 4 km you will see the first big waterfall which is called “Tender illusion”. Its height is about 10 meters. The second one “Yogi” is situated half a kilometer from the first and is truly picturesque: from 28 meter height water rushes down making clouds of mist spray. And, finally, you will see the highest waterfall in Altai is 72 meters. The water falls from the vertical rock in a rather narrow flow. Maybe due to its likeness to a giraf’s neck it was called “Giraf”.
While walking along the canyon you can slake thirst from the river. Its water is clean and close to mineralized waters of springs.
Be ready that we will cross the river many times and your boots will be wet.
You will spend the night in Topolnoye.
Night: houses | Meal: 3 times | Driving: 40 km | Walking: intense
Highlights: 3 waterfalls
Day 4. World-known Denisova cave, driving up and down through the ridges
After breakfast we will drive to the world-known Denisova Cave. The cave is of great scientific interest. It is included in the UNESCO list of World heritage.
This is the only place on Earth where you can witness the traces of all previous epochs. The excavations by experts of the Institute of archaeology have been carrying out since 1982. During this period over 80 thousand items were retrieved from the cave containing 22 cultural layers: various implements, arms, primeval ornaments and remains of animals.
But a real glory came to the monument in 2008 when a fossilized phalanx of a girl’s finger was found in the 11th archaeological layer – the analysis of the DNA showed that this human belongs neither to the extinct Neanderthals nor to Homo Sapiens, but represents a special branch of human evolution which was called Denisovans. In 2008 a bracelet was found in the cave that was made by the Denisovans 40,000 years ago. Scientists found that a hole had been drilled in part of the bracelet with such precision that it could only have been made with a high-rotation drill similar to those used today. In 2016 a bone needle dated to 50,000 years ago was discovered at the site and is described as the most ancient needle known. The bracelet and the needle indicated the Denisovans to be more technologically advanced than Homo sapiens or Neanderthals in the same period.
After an informative excursion in the cave and lunch we will start driving to another wonderful corner of Altai – Charyshskoe region. The road will go through picturesque ridges with a lot of passes.
Night: houses | Meal: 3 times | Driving: 150 km | Walking: moderate
Highlights: Denisova cave, road up and down through the hills and ridges
Day 5. Scythian Tzar kurgan and Charysh River
Today we will drive to the most beautiful places of the region and visit The Tsar Kurgan.
The archeological complex “Tsar Kurgan” is a unique monument of about 2500 years old, located in the Sentelek river valley. It belongs to the Scythian culture, a mysterious lost civilization which existed 2,5 thousands years ago. Only kurgans and the artefacts found in them can give us information about it.
The kurgan in Sentelek has a diameter about 50 m and height up to 2 meters. In barrows of such size either tribal chiefs or priests were buried. The most remarkable part of the funeral commemoration complex is a line of 19 stelae with the height of 2-4,5 meters. The height of stones increased as they moved from the barrow.
In the evening we will enjoy beautiful sceneries of the mointain river Charysh. The night we will spend in Sentelek village .
Night: houses| Meal: 3 times | Driving: 50 km | Walking: moderate
Highlights: scythian kurgan, Charysh river
Day 6. Treasures of Mountain Kolyvan
After breakfast we will drive to another district of Altai which is called Gornaya Colyvan. It is famous for its nature and rich history connected with mining and stone-cutting.
On our way we will visit the Kolyvan stone-cutting factory and its museum. The Kolyvan stone-cutting factory is a functioning enterprise with a legendary history. It is considered to be a monument of architecture and is famous for the production of vases. Kolyvan vases have received a great popularity. In 1851 at the London exhibition of industrial products Kolyvan polishing works were awarded with a bronze medal. One of Altai’s masters’ products – the bowl from Korgon porphyry – was presented by Russian emperor Alexander I to Napoleon. The most famous vase – The Queen (Tsaritsa) of vases – is exhibited in the Hermitage now.
We will spend the night close to Lake Beloye. Lake Beloye is not very big, has almost a round form with a rocky island-rib in the center. The lake is rather deep, with pure water; it is convenient for bathing and fishing. You can see the highest mountain of the region – Mount Sinyukha – from the bank of the lake.
Night: houses| Meal: 3 times | Driving: 253 km | Walking: moderate
Highlights: Kolyvan stone-cutting factory, Beloye Lake
Day 7. Fantastic granite figures of Kolyvan Lake
The first part of the day we will spend in the outskirts of Beloye lake, getting deeper to the mountains. We will visit a small fabulous forest lake, Mokhovoe, surrounded by round rocks and the abandoned village Kolyvanstroy. It was a big and very rich mining village till 1980. A lot of heroic stories and legends are connected with it. Now there are only ruins covered with trees.
The second half of the day we will be exploring the unique Kolyvanskoye Lake. Kolyvanskoye lake is a pearl of Gornaya Kolyvan. It is one of the biggest lakes in the southwestern part of Altai Krai.
The lake is a natural monument of federal value. Being relatively small, it is famous for its pure water and granite rocks of intricate form (arches, columns, palaces, animals, human beings) – it all depends on the imagination of a person. The water is fresh and there are good sandy beaches. It is possible to see an unusual plant in the lake – water chestnut which is in the Red Book. Nuts usually lie on the shore or float on the surface of the lake.
We will spend the night in the village Cherepanovsk.
Night: houses| Meal: 3 times | Driving: 90 km| Walking: moderate
Highlights: abandoned village, Kolyvanskoye lake
Day 8. Exploring underground
Today we will visit Zmeinogorsk city and explore old mines.
Zmeinogorsk is one of the unique historical centers of Siberia, organically combining the unique beauty of landscapes and hydrotechnical and mining objects of the 18 and 19th centuries.
In the 18th century the Zmeinogorsk mines and factories became the major supplier of gold and silver in Russia and one of the largest metallurgical centers in the world. Due to these mines Barnaul appeared and the development of this area began.
The first silver from these mines was given for making the shrine of Alexander Nevskiy in 1750-1752 which is in the Hermitage now. Probably the Big Crown of the Russian Empire was made from Zmeinogorsk silver.
Zmeinogorsk is the symbol of ore riches of Russia and outstanding technical achievements in the field of mining industry and metallurgy. A unique system of hydro-engineering equipment (one of the biggest in the world in those times) was implemented and significantly lightened hand labour. Besides, the first cast-iron rail road of Russia and the first in the world rail viaduct were built here.
We will visit the Museum of history of mining and entrances to the old mines. Then we will drive to the Cherepanovsk silver mines where we can get deeper underground and see how people worked in the 18-19th centuries. We will also enjoy beautiful views of highlands from the top of the hill.
Night: houses| Meal: 3 times | Driving: 30 km | Walking: moderate
Highlights: old mines, museum of history of mining
Day 9. Looking for ornamental stones and back to Barnaul
In the morning we will drive to Lazurskoye deposit of ornamental stones. There is a good chance to find nice stones – armenite and lazuli.
After lunch we will start driving to Barnaul where we will enjoy the last dinner together.
Night: houses| Meal: 3 times | Driving: 339 km |
Highlights: Ornamental stones, dinner in the restaurant
Day 10. Farewell
After breakfast we will transfer you to the airport for your flight home or your next destination.
If you want to join us or have questions, please send us this message, and we will contact you as soon as possible.