May turns Altai into blooming pink and violet marvel. It is "maralnik", flower known as Siberian Sakura, and it is everywhere south from Chemal. This toute takes you to the most picturesque wonders of nature: turquiose Katun river, tranquil Chulyshman valley, the Karakol nature park, the endless Kurai steppe, stunning mountains passes. You will travel Chuysky tract, one of the world's top 10 most beautiful roads, to reach the red Mars terrain, expreience a stay in "ail" , and cross Lake Teletskoye, the largest in Altai, by a ferry. Be careful, those who come here once, always return.
May: blooming pink mountains. Summer: best locations in Russia for outdoors adventures.
Exciting ATV safari in Altai Mountains
Hardly accessible Chulyshman Valley, UNESCO World Heritage Site
Easy rafting on Katun River
Experience overnight stay in a traditional house, "ail"
Culture, history, cuisine, people and nature - this is all-in-one adventure
Siberian Stonehedge: megaliths of Karakol Valley
Endless Kurai steppe near Mongolian border
Altai aboriginal cultures and throat singing
Crossing the largest of Altai's lake by ferry
Teleskoe Lake boat cruise
SIBERIA - VILLIS FAMILY, AUSTRALIA
Thank you for organising the amazing Siberia experience and Russian city leg. We had a great time and particularly enjoyed Altai and its cultural experience. All the guides really love the Siberian region and are enthusiastic in sharing the history, lifestyle and local beauty. The fact that there were few locals the spoke English was not an issue – we all managed to make ourselves understood. Lots of locals wondered why we would come to Siberia for a holiday – when we booked I would have said for the nature but now I think I particularly for the Altai – it would be to experience the way of life of the different peoples. The support David received from Discovery Russia after losing his immigration card was wonderful. It is a bit scary facing policemen with machine guns. There were a few hiccups but everything was reorganised without much fuss.
Irkutsk and Lake Baikal – Tatiana the guide was absolutely wonderful and we really enjoyed her company. We had a slight hiccup with the accommodation in Listvyanka but Tatiana sorted this and the alternative arrangements were extremely comfortable. The wooden architecture village was very interesting as was the Buryat museum. We really enjoyed the lunch complete with mock Buryat wedding ceremony. Irkutsk itself was interesting and a bit more free time just to explore here might work better. The boat trip on Lake Baikal along the old trans Siberian railway was very enjoyable. This probably works better than the planned historic train journey with the need to go to and from Irkutsk. Would love to experience Lake Baikal in spring when there is still some ice and snow but not extreme sub zero temperatures.
Altai – Konstantine is a wonderful host and his knowledge and love of Altai really made this part of journey extra special. Anya was a great as the bridge for communication and was always an advocate for our best interests. The bonus for us in having the two of these lovely people was that my son who has much more energy and agility than us was on occasion able to do more energetic activities with someone and not stuck with us old folk. Konstantine was also very accommodating in changing the itinerary and accommodation to better suit our limitations and interests. The highlights here are many and varied. The ability to interact with ordinary everyday people was a real bonus – we played games and music on the lawn with local families at Konstantine’s hotel and were taught a new card games by schoolgirls at Uchen mek.