Spend two unforgettable days, while travelling along the Trans-Siberian, in one of the most beautiful corners of Russia - the Republic of Altai. This amazing place attracts tourists from all over the world, many of whom then come back again and again. After all, you could easily spend an age here and still not see everything the republic has to offer.
We have put together this tour so that you can get a brief introduction to see some of the most beautiful places and make unforgettable memories in Altai in a short period, as part of a trip on the Trans-Siberian. On the tour you will see two picturesque mountain passes - Seminsky (1717m) and Chike-Taman (1460m), the amazingly-turquoise River Katun and the holy Karakol Valley and get to travel along one of the most scenic roads in the world - the Chuisky Highway.
The Republic of Altai is located off the Trans-Siberian. so on this tour you will also travel on the Turkestan-Siberian Railway, which was constructed during the first five-year plan of the USSR, connecting Siberia with Central Asia.
Novosibirsk → Biysk → Gorno-Altask ⇔ Chuisky Highway
Total distance of the tour: 1471km - 776km | 695km
DAY 1 | NOVOSIBIRSK - BIYSK
22:12 | Departure on the overnight train to Biysk. The railway line from Novosibirsk, which you travelled on en route to Biysk, is part of one of the main projects of the first five-year plan - the Turkestan-Siberian Railway, which connected the Trans-Siberian with Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. A large part of the railroad was built by prisoners of the Gulag.
DAY 2 | ALONG THE ALTAI MOUNTAINS
07:41 | Arrival in Biysk. Transfer to Gorno-Altaisk.
09:30 | Breakfast at a cafe, before you start your trip along one of the most beautiful roads in the world.
Excursion along Chuisky Highway.
- Seminsky Mountain Pass - at 1,717 metres above sea level, this is one of the highest points on the Chuisky Highway. The ascend is nine kilometres long, while the descent is 11, so you won’t feel a drastic increase in height, although the climate does change. In summer hail and wet snow is possible at the summit.
- Chike-Taman Mountain Pass - this pass is more spectacular than the Seminsky pass as you get better views from here of the mountain range. You can also see from here the old, pre-revolutionary era road.
- Ilgumen Rapids - here you can see the wild nature of the Katun. With breakneck speed and force, the beautiful turquoise river ditches its tranquil image as it rushes past. No surprises that this is a favourite place for rafters, although only rafters holding grade 4 qualifications and above should attempt this stretch of the river.
- Old Ininsky Bridge - this bridge was closed in 1970 but when it was completed in 1936 it became the world’s first double-chain suspension bridge of its type. Today it is a protected as a monument of engineering from the Stalin era. It was built by 3,000 prisoners from the Siblag series of prison camps. Once the bridge was finished, the prisoners were promised an amnesty and some of them were actually released; this has led to the bridge also being called the “demobilisation” bridge.
- Katun Cliffs - in places the Chuisky Highway is surrounded by sheer cliffs on one side and the River Katun on the other, offering up wonderful views.
- Confluence of the rivers Chui and Katun - the place where the Chui flows into the Katun is considered a holy place by the Altai, and nobody fails to appreciate its beauty. From special viewing platforms you will enjoy breathtaking views of the murkier water of the Chui merging with the turquoise Katun.
Check-in at the base.
DAY 3 | TOUR OF KARAKOL VALLEY
Breakfast at the base.
Excursion to the Karakol Valley and the Uch-Enmek nature park - a holy place for Altais. Found here are many Scythian kurgan burial mounds and stones marked with engravings. Some of the monuments date from the end of the fourth millennium BC, when the Stone End was coming to an end in Altai and a new period was beginning - the Copper Age.
Duration: 3h | Transportation: by private car
Transfer to Gorno-Altaisk
Upon arrival in Gorno-Altaisk - Excursion around the National Museum of the Republic of Altai - at this museum you will not only learn about and see historical artefacts uncovered from ancient kurgans, but also visit the department dedicated to the famous ‘Siberian Ice Maiden’ - the body of a fifth-century Scytho-Siberian woman who was unearthed in 1993. When she was discovered, the tomb was filled with ice, which preserved her body. She was found along with six saddled and bridled horses; and due to the richness of her burial goods it is proposed that she must have been a noblewoman; she is also often referred to as the Princess of Ukok. She is displayed in her sarcophagus, which is only opened up for a couple of hours on days of the waxing moon. The display is somewhat controversial, with many Altais demanding that she be reburied - some even believe that her disinterment has led to an increase in earthquakes and floods in the region. CLOSED ON MONDAYS AND TUESDAYS.
17:00 | Transfer to Biysk.
20:13 | Departure of overnight train to Novosibirsk.
DAY 4 | NOVOSIBIRSK
05:30 | Arrival in Novosibirsk
- Optional excursions should be booked before the start of the tour to schedule the itinerary.
- During the high season (from May to September) and on public holidays we recommend you book in advance as Altai Mountains a popular tourist destinations.
- All excursions/guided tours included in the itinerary are private which means private guides and private transport along the programme - unless otherwise stated.
- The tour is suitable for travellers with children.
- Best time to travel on this route: from the mid-May to mid-September and from the end of End November to end of February.
- The prices given below are for guidance only. The actual final cost of the tour will depend on availability. Hotel prices and train tickets may increase or decrease in cost depending on how much in advance you book them.
• CANCELLATION POLICY •
DATE OF CANCELLATION
|FROM 60 TO 45 DAYS BEFORE THE DEPARTURE||10%|
|FROM 44 TO 15 DAYS BEFORE THE DEPARTURE||30%|
|FROM 14 TO 7 DAYS BEFORE THE DEPARTURE||50%|
|LESS THAN 7 DAYS BEFORE THE DEPARTURE||100%|