Altai is one of the most beautiful and attractive regions of Russia for tourists. Every year thousands of guests come here, and everyone has his own goal. After all, in Altai you can rest in many different ways: to improve health in numerous sanatoriums, go hiking to see the cleanest rivers, lakes and waterfalls, go skiing at local resorts, fishing and hunting – this is not a complete list of activities available in a unique Russian region. Or rather, two of them at once: Altai Krai and the Republic of Altai.
Here is a list of the places you must see and what you can do in Altai. Make your own itinerary for your trip altaitour.org.
How to save the Altai Mountains: Expedition to the land of golden root and snow leopards.
We went to the Sailyugem reserve in the Altai Mountains. Scientists have been fighting for many years to preserve this area, its endangered animal and plant species, and its unique nature. See the report and photos from our journalists: this beauty is worth saving
What to see first
Turin Mountain: the history of the Altai Mountains in faience
Not far from Barnaul there is a place with an unusual name – Turina Mountain. Found here the remains of animals, stone tools and fragments of pottery showed that in the early Iron Age there was a settlement of ancient man. The historical place gave its name to a major center of artistic ceramics production in Barnaul. The pride of folk craft “Turin Mountain” are faience products, unique in its kind thanks to the techniques of a special local artistic painting.
One can say that these mountains are a huge natural reserve. Lack of industrial enterprises and lack of active life activity leaves the nature of Altai mountains pure and untouched by civilization. One can reach the slopes of the main peaks only on foot. In 1998, the Altai Mountains were added to the UNESCO list. The total area of the protected area was 1.64 million hectares. It included Mount Belukha, the Teletskoe Lake and the Ukok Plateau.
The natural riches of Altai are such that you can take from it to the endlessless list of tour destinations and topics. Today tourists are offered a variety of options to explore the region. You can, for example, go to the Kyzyl-Chin Valley and imagine yourself on Mars among its amazing landscapes. Or you can explore Tavda caves and see the parking lot of primitive man recreated by scientists. You can visit Swan Lake in Sovetsky District of Altai Krai (not far from Belokurikha resort town) – the only place in Russia, where swans, which are included in the Red Book, come for wintering in mass.
Fishing in Altai
Not without reason they say that a real fisherman at least once in his life should visit Altai and try to catch such a fish, which is found nowhere else in the world, only in these places, thanks to the purest water. You can go fishing in Altai in the mountain and plain rivers, as well as in lakes, such as the famous Terletskoye. Unforgettable vacation is guaranteed. And they say that even ear, cooked from local fish and the local water has medicinal properties, improving the human blood.
Altai mountains are not high, but this does not mean that there are no ski slopes. There are some very famous ones. Two the most popular Altai ski resorts are Belokurikha and Manzherok, which receive tourists from December to early April. There are ski elevators, equipped slopes for beginners and pros, classes with instructors, and plenty of other activities.
This unique natural monument is not called Altyn-Kol (the Golden Lake) for nothing. And it is not even because of an ancient legend: the lake, which is located in the northeast of the Altai Mountains, is not just a beautiful natural site. Teletskoye is a “younger brother” of Lake Baikal, and the water in it is just as crystal clear. Today there is an opportunity for a variety of recreation: from campsites to modern hotels and tourist complexes.
Multinskie Lakes in Altai are in the ten most beautiful places of Russia. They are a cascade of picturesque mountain reservoirs, located over each other in the headwaters of the Multa River. All the lakes, and there are four of them, are of glacial origin. The most popular and the largest is Nishimultinskoye. Tourists come here to go boating, horseback riding or hiking, fishing or swimming. On the shores of the lakes there are recreation centers.
The Multinskie Lakes in Altai are four large lakes. The largest, most visited and accessible is Nizhny Multinskoye. Its length is more than 2,300 meters and width is less than a kilometer. There are also Srednemultinskoye, Verhnemultinskoye and Perechnoye. All of them are of glacial origin. Glaciers that once melted down from the mountains formed a basin, and huge rocks formed barriers for the river. Thus a cascade of lakes was formed.
By the way, the great traveler and artist Nicholas Roerich was in Altai and painted, looking for the fantastic Belovodie and Shambhala in the mountains. Roerich led an expedition whose goal was to explore the inaccessible regions of Central Asia. By the way, today tour operators offer tours “in the footsteps of Roerich” and Multinskiye lakes are obligatory to visit.
And the Altai land is full of legends. There is a legend about Multinskie Lakes. It tells about the mountain top “Sleeping Beauty”. The daughter of a noble khan fell in love with a simple guy, but the young man was killed in battle, and the girl was so grieved that she turned into stone. Her “profile” on the mountain is now seen by tourists.