Before we go to details concerning hotels, transfer, hikes with tents, journeys with children, renting a car and so on, let's see what Altai prepared exactly for you.
In our opinion, Altai is a better place to go for active people, researchers and travelers. Still, there all the opportunities for beach leisure.
What should we start with? Maybe with bike tour - on Chuysky or Chemal trakt: pleasant load for all your muscles and feelings. It is not a observing excursion during a bus tour — you can always make a stop and admire listening to river's noise or feeling a smell of flowers.
You should try rafting or kayaking down the Katun or the Chuya river. It is a special type of leisure - wet, physically hard, not an excursion, but exciting.
It is a good idea to pick a horse tour. It resembles bike tour, but you don't have to pedal and you are able to ride around an area without road.
Moreover, you will have a full contact with these amazing animals, not like 'have a ride and give it back to horseman'. You'll be able to wash, to brush and to feed your horse. Some say, it is a kind of therapy.
A true adventurer would appreciate a hike — to Belukha Mountain or to the Karakol Lakes: no people, no telephone, no Internet - just you and the nature.
In winter you can master ski slopes.
Check in a hotel and do whatever you want. Try a horse ride, for example.
Or make an ATV ride.
Raft or kayak down a river if it is near to your hotel.
It is going to be really beautiful to make a boat trip on the Teletskoye Lake (if you are not so far). It is wide and long. There are many waterfalls around.
Devote couple days to visiting museums or monuments if there are any in your hotel's neighborhood. It will not be the Hermitage or the Louvre, but it is surely an interesting thing to do for a couple hours.
Or just walk around and admire views.
Do you prefer no activity at all? It is possible too. Join a bus tour.
Some might think, 'Altai is nothing but 'mountains and wild nature'. But it is a stamp. Bus tours are so popular because there are a lot places and things to observe. Altai is a visual wonder.
Moreover, it is the best way to observe nearly whole Altai - nature and sightseeings - for a week or two.
A photographer on the Chike-Taman PassLet's explore the most popular scenario for those coming to Altai for the first and only time, not for a long time.
Rams: basis of Altai farmingIt could be a independent journey or arranged by a tour operators.
The Katun's valley: this sector of the road (on the left) used to be really hard to drive through - only by ferryboat.The best way to open up Altai is travelling: to different areas, heights, climatic zones, landscapes. It is good to spend a week in a hotel but it is pointless to go to Altai for that: too expensive. You need to move somewhere, you need visit some places. The more, the better: by car, on the raft, on the bike, on the horse or on foot.
Present day: Ust-Kan villageWatch and learn how do people live in Altai nowadays. How do they survive. How does living in the mountains influence the mode of live? How do new trends mix with archaic things? How is it like to use an iphone in the 'outside conveniences'? How to graze the cattle on a motorbike? How to steal the girl you like if she added you to the blacklist in a social network? A mixture of old and new, traditional and contemporary. It is not so easy to see all that but it is worth introspecting.
A winter walk at the Teletskoye LakeInitially, Altai has been developing as a place for active tourism, not for beach leisure. There all kinds of activity: hiking in the mountains, rafting down the river, riding bike, horse or ATV and jeep tours. It is worth having such experience. Even if you don't like physical load that much, there is always an activity to your taste.
Kur-Kure waterfallHardest thing is to start, because there are thousands of them. Each place of interest has its history, special symbolism and unique look.
Meat snackFood in Altai? It is represented by national cuisine, Russian cuisine, roadside belyashi (small meat pies) and restaurants of the modern Siberian cuisine. Food is an important part of the travel experience in Altai. It is not always to everyone taste, but even bad gastronomic experience is a part of the whole set of impressions.
Pazyryk mounds, about 2500 years old. Being there leads to a feeling of nothingness, meaninglessness of many problems and futility of being.
Way across the river to Uchar waterfallTo come to Altai for many people is already achievement. But that is only beginning, furthermore: to climb a mountain, to try some rapids on a raft, to cover a big distance on a car, to ride a horse, eat something new. Everyone sets his own level, but there is always a sphere where you can try your hand in - to check your abilities, to get better than you were in the morning. It gives a pleasant satisfying feeling - 'I did it'.
Breakfast in a hike. Yesterday's strangers having a good time togetherEveryone is interesting. The locals in their natural surroundings: guides, drivers and population. Not locals in the unusual surroundings: tourist in a group, occasional travelers, your friends that came with you.
Equesto CEO (FB)
Chapter 5. Activity in Altai
If you are going to visit Altai, you probably started with searching for the information in the internet: how, what, where, how much, what are the routes, reservation, sightseeings and tours. That's a huge work and it is time consuming.
Our mailing is a set of several letters full of concentrated and structured information, links to well-tried sights and sources and answers to questions.