- Paragliging and motor hang gliding
- Whitewater rafting
- Trekking and hiking
- Helicopter excursion
- Horse riding
- Off-road driving
You will not miss a single sunrise or sunset and can capture your best shoots of rhododendron blossom in the Altai Mountains
Driving distance - 140 km, walking - 5 km
Accommodation - Echo Eco-Hotel, Belokurikha resort
Full board meal - breakfast, lunch and dinner at the restaurant of the hotel
Arrive in Gorno-Altaisk, where you will be met at the airport and transferred to Echo Hotel. Breakfast upon the arrival at the restaurant of Gorno-Altaisk or at the restaurant of the Echo Hotel after 2-hour transfer. Spare time and leisurely walking in the forest near the hotel.
After lunch we'll reach the top of Mt Tserkovka (815 m above the sea level) via chairlift. You will observe the vast mountainous country from the top of the mountain. Don't forget to bring sunflower seeds to feed chipmunks which are in great number here.
Afterwards we will walk along the bank of Belokurikha River to the Old Mill or Shishi spot.
In the evening we will watch the stars through telescope. An austronomer from the University of Gorno-Altaisk will tell us about mysteries of the Universe (this activity could be carried out in another day according to the weather conditions).
Belokurikha is a small resort city situated at the foothills (250 m above the sea level) on the border of the Altai Mountains and Predaltaiskaya Plain. Scenic landscapes of Belokurikha are similar to Switzerland. Climate of the resort is good for health due to high air ionization and termal radon springs. The concentration of light air ions in Belokurikha is twice more then in famous Davos in Switzerland. Belokurikha is comparable with resorts of Black Sea shore in number of sunny days.
Altai from the bird's eye view
Driving distance - 100 km
Accommodation - Echo Eco-Hotel, Belokurikha resort
Full board meal - breakfast and dinner at the restaurant of the hotel, lunch - at the cafe of Yurt Camp
Today we'll have an exiting flight over the Altai mountains by paraglider and motor hang-glider in the Bobrovaya Zaimka Camp, the only camping for paragliders in Siberia. You will have a short training and then jump from the top of Mt Tolstukha accompanied by experienced instructor. For 10 minutes you will enjoy the soaring flight over the Altai foothills at the altitude of 300-600 m. The flight time can be increased for additional payment according to weather conditions.
After tasty lunch at the Yurt Camp we will have an excursion to Belokurikha-2 resort. You can capture the picturesque landscapes of mountain pass and visit historical complex Andreevskaya Sloboda. Here you will immerse at the atmosphere of a Siberian village of the 19th century. Merchant's mansion, bread house, forge, peasant house, house of sorceress, distillery are decorated with real utensil and gear collected during ethnographic expeditions to hard-to-reach villages in the Altai Mountains.
Afterwards we'll visit a very tasty Museum of a Chocolate with skillful art-works and chocolate statues. Overnight at Echo Hotel.
Rafting on the Katun River
Driving distance - 230 km
Accommodation - TurSib Hotel
Full board meal - breakfast - Echo Hotel Restaurant, lunch and dinner at the restaurant of the TurSib hotel
After breakfast we will go by car to the Katun River valley. This river is the largest in the Altai Mountains. It's source is on the slope of Mt Belukha (the highest summit of Altai) at the altitude of 2000 m. Most likely we will admire the blooming rhododendron shrubs on rocky banks of the river which are flowering in the beginning of May.
We will accommodate in the TurSib Hotel on the bank of the Katun River in pine-tree forest. Upon arrival to the hotel you will enjoy Russian cuisine in cozy restaurant of the hotel.
Afterwards we'll have a 3-hour whitewater rafting and excursion to the Kamyshlinsky Waterfall.
Russian bath-house or banya with small basin will help you to relax after whitewater adventures. Hot steam with aroma of a birch broom, cold invigorating water in a small basin and herbal tea with honey will be the successful final of this day full of extreme emotions.
Towards the highest mountain of Altai
Distance - 360 km by helicopter, hiking - 3-5 km
Accommodation - Inegen Lodge, cozy cabin with en-suite WC&shower
Full board meal - breakfast at the restaurant of TurSib Hotel, packed lunch at the Akkemskoye Lake near Mt Belukha, dinner at the cafe of Inegen Lodge (indigenous cuisine of Altai people)
Please, notice that Mt. Belukha is located on the Russian-Kazakhstan border. We need to prepare special permit to visit the border zone. Documents should be submitted not less then 60 days before the visit date.
Helicopter excursion to the highest mountain of Siberia, Mount Belukha (4506 meters, or 14783 ft), would be the highlight of the whole trip without any doubt. We'll cross the vast ocean of the Altai Mountains by helicopter towards the summit of the Altai - Mt. Belukha. It is included into UNESCO World Heritage List as a part of Golden Mountains of Altai nomination. We will observe crowned by glaciers peaks from the bird's eye view and finally land at the bank of Lake Akkemskoye. This lake was formed by one of the glaciers descending from the slope of Mt Belukha. The two glittering peaks of Mt Belukha reflect in the lake surface like in a mirror.
We'll explore the picturesque banks of Lake Akkemskoye and hike towards the Chapel of Archangel Michail near the Akkemsky Glacier (2,5 hours round trip). Please note that Mt Belukha is situated in the alpine zone (more then 2000 m). There is high probability of low temperatures and even sudden snow storm. It is highly recommended to take warm and waterproof clothes, warm hat and gloves. Also you will need sunglasses and sunscreen. On way back to the lake we will have a packed lunch or picnic.
Afterwards we'll be transferred to Inegen Lodge, located on the bank of the Katun River. Your late afternoon could be devoted to various optional activities such as leisurely walking along the river bank or horse riding.
The evening will be marked by acquaintance with native culture. A special dinner will be served with traditional Altaic meals based on cereals, milk and meat products. You will taste boorsok - fried dough pieces, kurut smoked and dried cheese, archi - soft cheese, buur - skewers of lamp liver, kan - blood sausage and other traditional meals. Afterwards you will enjoy gripping transcendental throat singing of a kaichi, a skillful performer of native epic songs.
Towards the Snowcapped Peaks of the Altai
Driving distance - 260 km
Accommodation - Inegen Lodge, a cozy cabin with en-suite WC&shower
Full board meal - breakfast and dinner - at the cafe of Inegen Lodge, lunch - cafe of Kochivnik (the nomad) Lodge
This morning we'll drive towards the Severo-Chuisky Ridge crowned by glaciers and snowcaps. Make sure your camera is charged up! After one-hour trekking to the top of windswept mountain we'll capture one of the most significant panoramas of the Altai - glittering 4000-meter (13,000-ft) Aktru and Kurkurek summits and winding silver band of the Chuya River. You will enjoy the first signs of spring - demoiselle cranes and fluffy pasque flowers.
On the way back to the Lodge we'll explore small scenic turquoise lake in coniferous forest. The lake was named Geizernoye (lit. geyser) due to gurgling caused by air bubble on its bottom. Then we will visit KalbakTash sanctuary. We will explore several thousands of rock drawings and get to know with history of nomads of Southern Siberia. Overnight at Inegen Lodge.
Secrets of an ancient road Coming back to the vicinity of Gorno-Altaisk by Chuisky Highway
Driving distance - 290 km by car
Accommodation - TurSib Hotel, cabin with en-suite WC&shower
Full board meal - breakfast at the Inegen Lodge, lunch at the cafe of Uch-Enmek Lodge, dinner at the restaurant of TurSib Hotel
Today we'll follow the spring along the most beautiful highway of Russia. We'll visit the place of power on the confluence of the Katun and Chuya rivers.
Afterwards we'll plunge into the blooming Rhododendron shrubs on the rocks near the village of Kupchegen and capture the stunning Ilgemensky Rapid on the Katun River. We'll observe the Altai Mountains from the bird's eye view on the top of the rocky Chike-Taman Pass and pass through the Siberian pine-tree forest on the Seminsky Pass. Probably, there will be snow on the top of the pass at the altitude of 1717 meters.
Upon the arrival to the hotel you will enjoy the Russian folk rites accompanied by Albina Bogochanova from Altai State Museum of Arts, an awardee of Russia Event Award - 2017. Overnight at TurSib Hotel.
Departure to the airport
Driving distance - 75 km
Meal - packed breakfast Packed breakfast is provided, but there are no group activities today.
Transfer to the airport of Gorno-Altaisk for returning flight to home. Farewell!
May weather is extremely contrast in the Altai Mountains. You can enjoy a really hot summer one day, and suddenly experience the snowstorm and low temperatures next day. Having warm, windproof and waterproof clothes is a matter of safety and getting satisfaction of the tour. You should pack into your travel bag some T-shirts, fleece jacket, membrane jacket/windbreaker, trekking boots, comfortable shoes for hiking, warm hat and gloves, fleece trousers, windproof trousers, sport socks, cap or kerchief, sunglasses, swim suite for bath house, rubber slippers.
The more lenses you take, the more opportunities to capture WOW-shoots you will have. You will need a longfocus lens or telephoto lens (for example, 150-600 or 200500), wide-angle lens (fisheye, 14-24 or 17-35 etc), standard lens or zoom, for example 24-70, 24-120, speed light. Recharger, additional memory cards and set of filters (graduated and polar). Don't forget to take a tripod for morning, evening and night shoots.
Backpack or bag for photography gear, rain cover for backpack, waterproof bag for documents, backpack for clothes, headlamp with additional batteries.
Documents, passport, visa, money and card, mobile phone and recharging, medical insurance.
Preparations for motion sickness in transport, individual medicine. May is the high-risk season of tick-borne encephalitis transmitted by the bite of several species of infected ticks. It is highly recommended to vaccinate in advance to prevent tick-borne encephalitis.
Sunscreen, hygienic and sunscreen lipstick, toothbrush and toothpaste, shampoo, soap and bast.