Spirit of the Altai Nomads Tour

Duration12days

Price fromAUD $3,041 ?Currency ConversionConverted from USD based on the latest exchange rate. Final amount and payment will be in USD. Final conversion rate is determined by your bank.

Trip StyleEthnographic, Adventure

Time of yearMay - Sep

Feel the energy of Altai’s sacred natural wonders on a culturally immersive tour, tracing ancient nomadic routes to some of Altai’s most stunning natural and historical sights.

A comprehensive tour of the Altai Mountains in Siberia, Russia. The Altai Nomads Tour offers a combination of incredible sightseeing, undemanding adventure activities and culturally immersive experiences. You’ll be one of a few privileged outsiders to visit some of the most spiritually powerful places in Altai, according to the legends of the indigenous Altayan people.

You’ll visit traditional villages inhabited by ethnic Altayan tribes as well as remote settlements that are still home to some of the last of the Russian Old Believers. You’ll also follow the part of the route traversed by Nicholas Roerich’s 1920s expedition in search of the mysterious Shambhala. A great trip for those seeking a vivid cultural experience, this itinerary also mixes in light hiking, whitewater rafting and horse riding (or an optional helicopter flight) in the beautiful Belukha Mountain region.

SPIRIT OF THE ALTAI NOMADS TOUR - HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Explore the mystical Karakol Valley, where for centuries the nomadic Altayans performed shamanic rituals. Search for evidence of these ancient practices within the protected Uch-Enmek Nature Park
  • Experience whitewater rafting on the mighty Katun River. Things start off calmly, exploring a wide, gentle section of the river before working our way up to the Katun’s world-famous rapids
  • Travel as the Altayan nomads did on a horse riding tour to the top of Mount Tungur (altitude 2,100m), from where you’ll be rewarded with glorious vistas of the Katunsky Range and the highest peak in Altai, Mount Belukha (4,506m)
  • Traverse along rugged mountain trails on a military-style, 6WD all-terrain vehicle to the majestic Multinskoye Lakes and their scenic alpine surrounds
  • Visit Denisova Cave, where a world-famous archaeological find of a new species of archaic human was uncovered in 2008. Archaeological excavations are still ongoing. On any given day, some astonishing news from our planet’s past may come to light!

Arrival

Gorno-Altaysk

Departure

Gorno-Altaysk

Accomodation

Lodge

Trip style

Ethnographic, Adventure

Duration

12 Days / 11 Nights

Action rating?

     

Group size

6-16 people

Type of tour

Guaranteed departures

Itinerary View map

Day 1 Welcome to Altai

The tour into the heart of the World Heritage-listed Golden Mountains of Altai begins in the capital of the Altai Republic, Gorno-Altaysk. The group will meet at the airport and in the afternoon, begin travelling deeper into the wilds of Altai along the famous Chusky Trakt (Chuya Highway), listed by National Geographic Russia as one of the most beautiful roads in the world.

We’ll cross one of the most epic sections of the Chuysky Trakt, the Seminsky Pass (altitude 1,717m), which commands a heart-stopping panorama across the valleys at the confluence of the Chuya and Katun rivers. By the end of our first day, you’ll find yourself in one of the most revered places in Altai, the mysterious Karakol Valley.

 

Day 2 Uch-Enmek Nature Park

Today is devoted to exploring the mystical Karakol Valley in the Uch-Enmek Natural Park, a place of great importance to the indigenous Altai tribes.

Over the centuries, the Altayans performed shamanistic rituals here. Evidence of these rites can be found at archaeological sites scattered throughout the valley, including ancient burial mounds and petroglyphs. Within the park is one of the most revered mountains in Altai, Mount Uch-Enmek. The locals believe anyone who makes the pilgrimage here with pure thoughts, leaves with their sense of love and kindness tripled in strength. We’ll also walk to holy Lake Aru-Kem, wherein warm weather it’s possible to go for a refreshing swim.

In the evening, we’ll have the privilege of hearing a performance of traditional Altai throat singing.

 

Day 3 Ethnography of Altai

Get ready for a long but interesting journey, taking in three significant and beautiful mountain passes, as well as bright green meadows and lush valleys abundant with multi-coloured wildflowers.

The Russian writer and archaeologist Nicholas Roerichs and his family travelled this route on their 1920s expedition in search of the mystical country of Shambhala. About 200 years before them, the first of the Old Believers to migrate to Altai trekked across a similar route. The Old Believers were expelled from most of Russia for their refusal to accept reforms to the Russian Orthodox Church. The path led them to the Uimon Valley. Here, the Old Believers founded their first settlements in the Altai steppe along the banks of the Katun River. In Uimon, we’ll visit a village still inhabited by the Old Believers, where a local resident and renowned storyteller will relate mesmerising tales from the past.

We’ll also visit the Roerich Museum and the Ethnographic Museum, set up in a 150-year-old house inhabited by generations of Russian Old Believers.

 

Day 4 Horse riding to Tungur Mount or helicopter flight to Belukha

The nomadic people of Altai used to patrol their territory on specially bred Altai horses. Today we’ll do as they did - explore the majestic scenery of the mountains on horseback. Our Altai horse riding tour will climb to the highest mountain of the village, Mount Tungur (2,100m). Approaching the summit, you’ll be rewarded with glorious views of the Katunsky Range and the tallest peak in Altai, Mount Belukha (4,506m). Led by an experienced instructor, our equestrian route is not difficult and accessible even for first-time riders. If horse riding isn’t your thing, you can opt-in* for a scenic helicopter flight to the foot of Belukha Mountain.

 

Day 5-6 Off-road into Altai Taiga to Multinskiye Lakes

The next two days are dedicated to discovering the picturesque Multinskiye Lakes, which are surrounded by magical scenery akin to the Swiss Alps. To reach the lakes, we’ll have to tackle rugged mountain track, which means bringing in some hardcore machinery - a military-style 6WD all-terrain vehicle!  Our truck will forge through numerous river crossings in the beautiful Altai taiga.

Arriving at the first of the three lakes, Lower Multinskoye, we’ll relax over lunch before exploring the area on foot. In the afternoon, we’ll cross the lake by boat to admire a picturesque waterfall and make our way to Middle Multinskoye Lake, where we’ll enjoy a peaceful walk along the lakeshore.  

The next day is free to spend at your own pace. Options for the day include fishing, an easy hike to a local waterfall, or on an off-road excursion to Upper Multinskoye Lake. Both nights we’ll stay in wooden cabins in a comfortable tourist camp complete with its own banya (Russian sauna).

 

Day 7 Village of Ust-Koksa

The first half of today will be spent enjoying free time around Lower Multinskoye. Take an unhurried stroll along the banks, a gentle hike through the enchanting Altai forest, or enjoy a swim or sunbathe in a secluded spot along the shore. Late in the afternoon, our truck will take us to the village of Ust-Koksa, meaning “blue water”. Ust-Koksa is one of the main population centres in the region, located at the confluence of the Katun and Koksa rivers.

 

Day 8 Krasnogorsk Lakes

Today we’ll drive out to another fantastic natural wonder, the magnificent Krasnogorsk Lakes, also known as the Lakes of the Red Mountain. These crystal clear lakes, with their entrancing bright blue waters, are located in the subalpine zone, surrounded by fragrant flowers and melting summer snow.

 

Day 9 Chemal and Askat

Today we hit the road early and head to the most developed tourist region in the Altai - Chemal. On the way, we’ll stop at Denisova Cave, where a world-famous archaeological find was made in 2008. The partial finger of a human female uncovered here carried DNA which did not belong to any previously known species of prehistoric human. This newly discovered representative of human evolution, nicknamed “Woman X” belonged to Denisovan hominids, and dates back to an estimated 76,000 to 51,000 years ago. Excavations are still ongoing, and we often get to see archaeological teams hard at work

Next, we’ll visit Askat, a gorgeous riverside village renowned for its master craftsmen. A third of Askat’s 120 residents are artist and painters. Admire their handicrafts and ethnic instruments and try soothing sound therapy using Tibetan style singing bowls.

 

Day 10 Rafting on Katun River

Today we’ll get acquainted with the mightiest river in Altai, the Katun. Don’t worry if you’re a novice - we’ll begin by gently exploring a calm stretch of turquoise water with a certified instructor. We’ll then progress to narrower passages where the rushing rapids are sure to get the adrenaline going.

In the afternoon, walk to an observation deck, which offers a magnificent view of the fast-flowing waters in the steep Katun River Valley. As it’s our last night in the mountains, tonight we’ll gather for a farewell dinner around an open fire.

 

Day 11 Journey back to Gorno-Altaysk

In the morning, you’ll have the opportunity to stroll along the banks of the Katun River and visit the local souvenir markets. Then, it’s a several-hour journey back to Gorno-Altaysk. In the city, we’ll visit the Altai National Museum. Also known as the Anokhin Museum, it features a unique collection of regional artefacts, including the mummy of the famous Altai Ice Maiden who was discovered in a 2,400 year-old burial chamber in near the Mongolian border.

 

Day 12 Goodby hugs

Our pilgrimage to the holy land of Altai has come to an end. After breakfast, you’ll be transferred to Gorno-Altaysk Airport for your onward journey.

 

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Inclusions

Group airport arrival and departure transfers (from/to Gorno-Altaysk)

All transportation on tour (comfortable bus/mini-bus, off-road truck)

Local English-speaking guides

All meals

Accommodation at basic wooden lodges and campsites

Naturel Park fees 

Russian visa support document

Exclusions

Flights

Travel insurance

Russian visa and visa fees. *Russian visa can be arranged by 56th Parallel for an additional cost (for Australian citizens only). Apply for concierge visa service here.

Optional excursions

Individual transfers

Alcohol

Dates & Prices

Dates Availability Price Single sup.  
18 Jun - 29 Jun, 2020
Guaranteed Departures
Available AU $3,041 AU $836 Reserve
24 Jun - 05 Jul, 2020
Guaranteed Departures
Available AU $3,041 AU $836 Reserve
01 Jul - 11 Jul, 2020
Guaranteed Departures
Available AU $3,041 AU $836 Reserve
08 Jul - 19 Jul, 2020
Guaranteed Departures
Available AU $3,041 AU $836 Reserve
27 Jul - 07 Aug, 2020
Guaranteed Departures
Available AU $3,041 AU $836 Reserve
03 Aug - 14 Aug, 2020
Guaranteed Departures
Available AU $3,041 AU $836 Reserve
10 Aug - 21 Aug, 2020
Guaranteed Departures
Available AU $3,041 AU $836 Reserve
17 Aug- 28 Aug, 2020
Guaranteed Departures
Available AU $3,041 AU $836 Reserve
24 Aug - 04 Sep, 2020
Guaranteed Departures
Available AU $3,041 AU $836 Reserve
9 Sep - 20 Sep, 2020
Guaranteed Departures
Available AU $3,041 AU $836 Reserve

Spirit of the Altai Nomads Tour

12 Days / 11 Nights

From
$3,041
AUD

*Price per person, based on a min 2 people in the group

Make an enquiry
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Spirit of the Altai Nomads Tour

12 Days / 11 Nights

From
$3,041
AUD

*Price per person, based on a min 2 people in the group

Make an enquiry
Click here to subscribe

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Spirit of the Altai Nomads Tour

Days 12

From AUD $3,041

Trip Style Ethnographic, Adventure

Time of year May - Sep

Day 1: Welcome to Altai

The tour into the heart of the World Heritage-listed Golden Mountains of Altai begins in the capital of the Altai Republic, Gorno-Altaysk. The group will meet at the airport and in the afternoon, begin travelling deeper into the wilds of Altai along the famous Chusky Trakt (Chuya Highway), listed by National Geographic Russia as one of the most beautiful roads in the world.

We’ll cross one of the most epic sections of the Chuysky Trakt, the Seminsky Pass (altitude 1,717m), which commands a heart-stopping panorama across the valleys at the confluence of the Chuya and Katun rivers. By the end of our first day, you’ll find yourself in one of the most revered places in Altai, the mysterious Karakol Valley.

 

Day 2: Uch-Enmek Nature Park

Today is devoted to exploring the mystical Karakol Valley in the Uch-Enmek Natural Park, a place of great importance to the indigenous Altai tribes.

Over the centuries, the Altayans performed shamanistic rituals here. Evidence of these rites can be found at archaeological sites scattered throughout the valley, including ancient burial mounds and petroglyphs. Within the park is one of the most revered mountains in Altai, Mount Uch-Enmek. The locals believe anyone who makes the pilgrimage here with pure thoughts, leaves with their sense of love and kindness tripled in strength. We’ll also walk to holy Lake Aru-Kem, wherein warm weather it’s possible to go for a refreshing swim.

In the evening, we’ll have the privilege of hearing a performance of traditional Altai throat singing.

 

Day 3: Ethnography of Altai

Get ready for a long but interesting journey, taking in three significant and beautiful mountain passes, as well as bright green meadows and lush valleys abundant with multi-coloured wildflowers.

The Russian writer and archaeologist Nicholas Roerichs and his family travelled this route on their 1920s expedition in search of the mystical country of Shambhala. About 200 years before them, the first of the Old Believers to migrate to Altai trekked across a similar route. The Old Believers were expelled from most of Russia for their refusal to accept reforms to the Russian Orthodox Church. The path led them to the Uimon Valley. Here, the Old Believers founded their first settlements in the Altai steppe along the banks of the Katun River. In Uimon, we’ll visit a village still inhabited by the Old Believers, where a local resident and renowned storyteller will relate mesmerising tales from the past.

We’ll also visit the Roerich Museum and the Ethnographic Museum, set up in a 150-year-old house inhabited by generations of Russian Old Believers.

 

Day 4: Horse riding to Tungur Mount or helicopter flight to Belukha

The nomadic people of Altai used to patrol their territory on specially bred Altai horses. Today we’ll do as they did - explore the majestic scenery of the mountains on horseback. Our Altai horse riding tour will climb to the highest mountain of the village, Mount Tungur (2,100m). Approaching the summit, you’ll be rewarded with glorious views of the Katunsky Range and the tallest peak in Altai, Mount Belukha (4,506m). Led by an experienced instructor, our equestrian route is not difficult and accessible even for first-time riders. If horse riding isn’t your thing, you can opt-in* for a scenic helicopter flight to the foot of Belukha Mountain.

 

Day 5-6: Off-road into Altai Taiga to Multinskiye Lakes

The next two days are dedicated to discovering the picturesque Multinskiye Lakes, which are surrounded by magical scenery akin to the Swiss Alps. To reach the lakes, we’ll have to tackle rugged mountain track, which means bringing in some hardcore machinery - a military-style 6WD all-terrain vehicle!  Our truck will forge through numerous river crossings in the beautiful Altai taiga.

Arriving at the first of the three lakes, Lower Multinskoye, we’ll relax over lunch before exploring the area on foot. In the afternoon, we’ll cross the lake by boat to admire a picturesque waterfall and make our way to Middle Multinskoye Lake, where we’ll enjoy a peaceful walk along the lakeshore.  

The next day is free to spend at your own pace. Options for the day include fishing, an easy hike to a local waterfall, or on an off-road excursion to Upper Multinskoye Lake. Both nights we’ll stay in wooden cabins in a comfortable tourist camp complete with its own banya (Russian sauna).

 

Day 7: Village of Ust-Koksa

The first half of today will be spent enjoying free time around Lower Multinskoye. Take an unhurried stroll along the banks, a gentle hike through the enchanting Altai forest, or enjoy a swim or sunbathe in a secluded spot along the shore. Late in the afternoon, our truck will take us to the village of Ust-Koksa, meaning “blue water”. Ust-Koksa is one of the main population centres in the region, located at the confluence of the Katun and Koksa rivers.

 

Day 8: Krasnogorsk Lakes

Today we’ll drive out to another fantastic natural wonder, the magnificent Krasnogorsk Lakes, also known as the Lakes of the Red Mountain. These crystal clear lakes, with their entrancing bright blue waters, are located in the subalpine zone, surrounded by fragrant flowers and melting summer snow.

 

Day 9: Chemal and Askat

Today we hit the road early and head to the most developed tourist region in the Altai - Chemal. On the way, we’ll stop at Denisova Cave, where a world-famous archaeological find was made in 2008. The partial finger of a human female uncovered here carried DNA which did not belong to any previously known species of prehistoric human. This newly discovered representative of human evolution, nicknamed “Woman X” belonged to Denisovan hominids, and dates back to an estimated 76,000 to 51,000 years ago. Excavations are still ongoing, and we often get to see archaeological teams hard at work

Next, we’ll visit Askat, a gorgeous riverside village renowned for its master craftsmen. A third of Askat’s 120 residents are artist and painters. Admire their handicrafts and ethnic instruments and try soothing sound therapy using Tibetan style singing bowls.

 

Day 10: Rafting on Katun River

Today we’ll get acquainted with the mightiest river in Altai, the Katun. Don’t worry if you’re a novice - we’ll begin by gently exploring a calm stretch of turquoise water with a certified instructor. We’ll then progress to narrower passages where the rushing rapids are sure to get the adrenaline going.

In the afternoon, walk to an observation deck, which offers a magnificent view of the fast-flowing waters in the steep Katun River Valley. As it’s our last night in the mountains, tonight we’ll gather for a farewell dinner around an open fire.

 

Day 11: Journey back to Gorno-Altaysk

In the morning, you’ll have the opportunity to stroll along the banks of the Katun River and visit the local souvenir markets. Then, it’s a several-hour journey back to Gorno-Altaysk. In the city, we’ll visit the Altai National Museum. Also known as the Anokhin Museum, it features a unique collection of regional artefacts, including the mummy of the famous Altai Ice Maiden who was discovered in a 2,400 year-old burial chamber in near the Mongolian border.

 

Day 12: Goodby hugs

Our pilgrimage to the holy land of Altai has come to an end. After breakfast, you’ll be transferred to Gorno-Altaysk Airport for your onward journey.

 

Included

Group airport arrival and departure transfers (from/to Gorno-Altaysk)

All transportation on tour (comfortable bus/mini-bus, off-road truck)

Local English-speaking guides

All meals

Accommodation at basic wooden lodges and campsites

Naturel Park fees 

Russian visa support document

Not included

Flights

Travel insurance

Russian visa and visa fees. *Russian visa can be arranged by 56th Parallel for an additional cost (for Australian citizens only). Apply for concierge visa service here.

Optional excursions

Individual transfers

Alcohol

Dates & Prices

DatesAvailabilityPriceSingle sup.
18 Jun - 29 Jun, 2020
Guaranteed Departures
Available AU $3,041 AU $836
24 Jun - 05 Jul, 2020
Guaranteed Departures
Available AU $3,041 AU $836
01 Jul - 11 Jul, 2020
Guaranteed Departures
Available AU $3,041 AU $836
08 Jul - 19 Jul, 2020
Guaranteed Departures
Available AU $3,041 AU $836
27 Jul - 07 Aug, 2020
Guaranteed Departures
Available AU $3,041 AU $836
03 Aug - 14 Aug, 2020
Guaranteed Departures
Available AU $3,041 AU $836
10 Aug - 21 Aug, 2020
Guaranteed Departures
Available AU $3,041 AU $836
17 Aug- 28 Aug, 2020
Guaranteed Departures
Available AU $3,041 AU $836
24 Aug - 04 Sep, 2020
Guaranteed Departures
Available AU $3,041 AU $836
9 Sep - 20 Sep, 2020
Guaranteed Departures
Available AU $3,041 AU $836

Start planning your tour

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Spirit of the Altai Nomads Tour

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