Where to rest in Russia: a trip to the Altai
If there is a place on Earth where man approaches the solution of the mysteries of the universe, then this is Gorny Altai. In the land of mirror lakes, century-old Siberian cedars and mighty mountains, at night propping up the starry sky, there comes some kind of enlightenment. Among such natural beauties and vast expanses you can truly feel happy and free. It is not surprising that people who have already traveled to Altai, tend to return here again, fleeing the burden of everyday worries and civilization.
Interesting natural places
The Altai Mountains, representing a complex system of high ranges, are located on the border of Russia with other countries. Thus, there is a Altai in Kazakhstan, China and Mongolia. In Russia, on the territory of the mountain system there are two subjects of the Siberian Federal District. It is the Republic of Altai with the center in Gorno-Altaisk and the Altai Territory. The capital of the latter is Barnaul.
The landmark of these mountains is Belukha — the highest point crowning the Katunsky ridge. The massif owes its name to abundant snow cover. The peak is located in the Ust-Koksinsky district, near the Russian-Kazakhstan border. Through the territory of the natural park «Belukha» run horse and hiking tourist routes. You can explore the surroundings by climbing a helicopter. The peak is of great interest for climbers. The conquerors of the mountains rise not through the Delone or through the Akkem wall. You can stop in these parts for rest or overnight stay at the Belukha or Vysotnik camp site.
The Teletskoye Lake is one of the most visited places in the Republic of Altai. The fourth in depth in Russia reservoir is located in the Ulagansky and Turochaksky districts. The lake is named after the tribes that inhabited the coast until the middle of the 17th century — tolёsov. The ancient name of the reservoir — Altynkol.
In the vicinity of the lake there are two dozen campgrounds and tourist bases. To enjoy its scenic views allows a cruise on the ship «Pioneer Altai.» In addition to water and hiking trips, there are car, helicopter, bicycle tours. In the warm season, motor boats and boats ply from Iogacha and Artybash, settlements on the northern shore.
The main attractions of Lake Teletskoye:
- Corbu Falls;
- Stone Bay;
- worship pine Yaylu;
- Chulyshmanskaya Valley with «stone mushrooms»;
- Kist waterfall;
- Yailinsky gardens;
- Spine of the Sleeping Dragon;
- the gorge of the Third River;
- observation platforms of Mount Kibitek and Tylan-tu;
- curative blue clay deposit;
- Vanishing source;
- Uchar waterfall;
- Belinskaya terrace.
Where to relax in Altai with comfort? Modern infrastructure boasts a health resort «Aya», located on the shores of the same name reservoir. The picturesque Aya lake is located in a mountain hollow. Its zest is an island with a gazebo of Love. In summer, the water body warms up to 20 degrees, which, along with clean water, makes it a popular bathing place for adults and children.
Cultural and historical sights
Familiarity with the rest of those beauties that opens the Altai Territory, begins with the Chui tract — the legendary federal route. The 963 km long road starts in Novosibirsk and leads to Mongolia. Most of the route runs through Gorny Altai, dividing it in half. The Chuysky tract is notable for the fact that the main historical monuments are located along it. You can learn more about the construction and importance of the route in the museum of the city of Biysk.
Another city that is desirable for lovers of sightseeing holidays to visit is Gorno-Altaisk. The attraction of tourists coming here is the Anokhin Local Lore Museum. In the building, resembling a mound, collected unique archaeological artifacts, household items of Russian Old Believers and Altaians, paintings by the artist Gregory Choros-Gurkin. The Altai princess, the mummy of a young priestess, found in 1993 in a burial ground on the Ukok Plateau, is considered the pearl of the museum. A distinguished woman lived in an era of iron and died, most likely, from breast cancer. Since the burial was in the thickness of the ice, the body itself and the accompanying burial objects were well preserved.
Another place in Gorno-Altaisk where you should go is the Museum of Primitive Man. It is located within the precincts of the settlement, near the Ululushka River. At the beginning of the 60s of the last century, the well-known archeologist Alexey Okladnikov excavated the Paleolithic site in these places.
At the same time, Tavda caves are of both natural and historical value. The karst massif is located on the border of the Maiminsky district. It impresses with its spacious and fanciful interconnected galleries. Since ancient times, these caves served as a haven for people. The archaeological artifacts found here date back to the Bronze Age.
All the attractions of the Altai Territory is not countless. Here are some of them worthy of special attention:
- House-Museum of Nicholas Roerich in the Upper Uimon;
- Kalgutino drawings on the Ukok Plateau;
- the complex of Russian culture «Ten-handle», the village of Cheposh;
- Museum of Natural History «Paleopark», Chemal;
- Stone Museum in the village of Mayma;
- Museum-Estate of Gregory Choros-Gurkin, Anos settlement;
- Church of St. John the Divine on the island of Patmos.
Resorts Manzherok and Belokurikha
The resort of Manzherok, which had been built back in the Soviet times, became famous in the 60s by the merry song of Edita Piekha about friendship. Now the tourist site is experiencing a second youth, since since 2010 a large modern ski resort has been operating here. The resort is located in a picturesque location on the banks of the Katun River, near the village of Manzherok.
Where is the best place to stay with children? There are a dozen chalets along the river, among them Golden Sands, Strawberry Glade, Lyubava, Chechek. On the territory of the complex «Manzherok» there are several modern hotels of the «economy» level. When they built parking, as well as a pier on the lake, operating in the warm season. The hotels are equipped with kitchens, there is a picnic area, a cafe, a sauna, and Internet access.
The picturesque nature of these places gives the mountain Malaya Sinyuha. You can look at the surroundings from a bird’s-eye view by climbing onto the observation deck on foot along a path or on a chair lift. For a comfortable rest there are special places equipped with a cafe. Another local attraction is Manzherok Lake. The shores of a pure reservoir surrounded by forest are suitable for families with children. In the summer you can live in a tent, swim, ride a water bike. In July, the Manzherok Lake, on which white lilies bloom, becomes one of the most beautiful places in the Altai Territory.
«Russian Switzerland» is called Belokurikha — a ski and spa resort located in the valley of the river of the same name. The town received the status of a health resort due to nitrogen-radon sources. In addition to the healing waters and mild climate, tourists are attracted here by vegetation — Manchurian nuts and oaks, covering the slopes of the Cherginsky ridge. The resort area Belokurikha equipped in European style. You can stay in the city in a hotel, boarding house or sanatorium. Along with large residential complexes in the resort there are small cozy chalets.
From December to March families go to Belokurikha to go skiing. On the slopes of the mountain Church runs five trails. Exercising in descents with a child is best on Altai-West. This route is considered the most convenient for beginners. In addition to skiing, there are other attractions in the resort. On the tubing track, you can ride on the «cheesecakes» with children. On the territory of the sanatorium «Russia» operates a park of extreme entertainment.
Connoisseurs of «wild» tourism note
Where to go savages? Every year places for a secluded, relaxing holiday in the region are becoming less and less. Those who prefer to explore new routes with a backpack and live in a tent should pay a visit to Kosh-Agachsky district. The remotest settlement of the Altai Republic is the village of Belyashi (or Jazzator).
1.5 thousand people live in the village. In the center of the village there is a snack bar and several shops. Not so long ago, hydropower plants were built here to provide the village with electricity. Mobile communication is there, but it works intermittently. Once in the vicinity of Beljashi, you realize how beautiful it is in the Altai in the summer. The village stands at the confluence of the rivers Ak-Alaha and Jazzator. Mountains rise around it: Iktu peak is visible, spurs of the South Chuy ridge. Not far from the settlement is the Ukok Plateau.
Possible option for travelers to Lake Teletskoye — Chulyshmanskaya Valley. Fans of «wild» tourism, vacationers with children, if desired, can stay in the campsite. In the equipped summer camps there is a minimal set of amenities: sauna, cafe, lodging for the night. For life in a tent, the area of the Ulagansky pass, the neighborhood of the village Yaylu, is quite suitable. The favorite resting place of the savages is the bank of the Swan River (Turochaksky district). Going on an independent journey, it is worth knowing that the movement in the Altai Nature Reserve by car is limited. For example, you can not drive a car directly to the river Katun.
Where can I stay with children? When planning a trip to Altai, pay attention to this type of accommodation, as a caravan park. In fact, it is organized parking for tourists, savages. On the territory of the caravan park you can rent a tent, spend the night in a summer house. There are places for cooking, a campfire site, gazebos, and showers.
We hope now you want to visit the Altai. After all, it’s not for nothing that every traveler who was resting here aspires to return to the lakes and mountains again and again!