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Two regions – one Altai
Ethno & Traditions
Start & Finish
from 4 to 12 participants
Altai is a large mountainous land situated on the territory of Russia, China, Kazakhstan and Mongolia. And in Russia there are two regions with the name Altai – the Altai Territory and the Republic of Altai.
In The Altai Territory there are fields, meadows with dense herbs, cozy green foothills and mountain ranges with forests. In the Republic of Altai one can find impregnable rocks, peaks with eternal snow and glaciers, and semi-desert intermountain steppes. Mostly Russians live in the Altai Territory, the titular nation of the Republic of Altai is the Altaians.
During our tour we will see both regions. We will get acquainted with the Russian culture and traditions carefully preserved by the Old Believers, and we will reveal the secrets of the rituals and customs of the Altaians. We will listen to the folklore songs of the Old Believers and Altai throat singing and try the best national dishes. In 2023, you will be able to join a small ethnographic study – we will compare part of the wedding ceremony of the Old Believers and Altaians, we will see common features and differences.
And we will discover one Altai, not dividing it into parts.
Day 1. Welcome to Altai! Let’s go to the Altai Territory
We will meet you at the airport in Gorno-Altaisk and leave for to the Altai Territory – the city of Biysk, from where the settling of Russians in the Altai region began.
Day 2. Back to the 19th century
Today we will go back to the 19th century and see how Russians lived in Altai. In Biysk we will visit the bishop’s house, and in Gornaya Belokurikha we will find out how the life of peasants was. In the evening we will arrive at guest houses in the Soloneshensky district.
Day 3. Visiting the Old Believers. Traditional wedding
We will visit the Old Believers, who have preserved through the centuries household items, clothes, folklore and traditions. We will take part in a traditional feast and in the reconstruction of a wedding.
Day 4. Day in nature. Shinok Waterfalls
We will spend the whole day hiking along the Shinok River with three beautiful and very different waterfalls.
Day 5. Denisova cave. Entering the Republic of Altai
In the morning we will visit the world-famous Denisova Cave, due to the excavations in which another, extinct, branch of humanity was discovered. After the tour, our acquaintance with the Republic of Altai begins. In the evening we will have a national dinner and a kaichi performance in the Altai Republic.
Day 6. Heritage of the Karakol valley. Altai-kizhi traditions
We will spend the first half of the day in the Karakol valley – exploring the burial mounds, petroglyphs, stone stelae. After lunch we will walk to the forest lake Aru-Kem.
Day 7. Along the Chuysky tract
Today we return to the Chuysky tract and drive to Kosh-Agach. The transfer will take a whole day, as we have many interesting stops.
Day 8. On a visit to the Telengits. Traditional wedding
We will spend the morning on Mars. And after lunch we are welcomed in the ethno-ail, where we will get acquainted with the traditions of the Telengits of the Chuya steppe and see a fragment of the Altai wedding, and we will compare it with the wedding of the Russian Old Believers.
Day 9. Secrets of the Chuya steppe
Today we will explore the Chuya steppe, admire its beauty, see ancient kereksurs, stone engravings, stelae and petroglyphs.
Day 10. Tarkhatinsky megalithic complex
Unfortunately, we are starting the journey home. But we still have interesting places to stop. First, we will visit the “Altai Stonehenge” – the Tarkhatinsky megalithic complex.
Day 11. Capital of the Republic
In the morning we will walk in the Botanical Garden, and then we will go to Gorno-Altaisk and the National Museum.
Day 12. Farewell
After a good breakfast, we will bring you to the airport.
The first and the last night of our nature tour we will stay in hotels. During the trip we will stay in guesthouses and national ayils (wooden round houses). Along the route we will accommodate in the guesthouses for 2-3 persons with WC and shower or shared WC and shower for several rooms.
Level of fitness
Your level of fitness has to be moderate, most places are easy to reach, but some of the fantastic viewings points are only reachable after hiking up a mountain. We have a few walks, the longest is 7 km.
3 meals a day in the guesthouses or cafes or prepared by our team in the remote areas. 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.
Temperature range: +10 °C to +30 °C.
Keep in mind that the temperature during the night can occasionally drop below zero. Rainy days are possible.
4WD mini-van Mercedes Vito or similar. Drive to the waterfalls – UAZ Bukhanka
Fee: 1.375 EURO from Gorno-Altaisk, Republic of Altai.
Deposit: 350 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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Two regions - one Altai
If you want to join us or have questions, please send us this message, and we will contact you as soon as possible.
Adventure travel, nature tours to Altai - one of the most beautiful places in Siberia.
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