Traveling by car is the best way to get acquainted with Gorny Altai and have a great savage rest in nature. Check out my itinerary and read some tips. Find out where to go by car and where to go by SUV. I am telling you how to organize a safe and interesting vacation.
I love road travel! They give immeasurable freedom and many experiences that you will not get on excursions or travel by public transport. Traveling by car in Altai, you can get to the coolest places in a short time and, at the same time, quite inexpensively. In general, a car trip is the best way to get acquainted with Altai, to have an inexpensive and interesting rest.
I gathered a team of friends, and we drove along the Altai roads for a whole month and a half. During this time we have seen almost all the most important sights of the Altai Mountains. Of course, you can do it in less time. Our trip turned out to be so long, because in some places we rested for a long time as a savage. For a week we lived in the Uch-Enmek park and on the Ulagan lakes in the middle of the charming taiga practically alone, without tourists in the neighborhood. We spent several days in a tent on the banks of the Katun near Manzherok and several times came to the most beloved places (for example, to Mars).
If you have only a week or two at your disposal, then even this time will be enough for you to get acquainted with the main attractions. Below I have sketched a route for a short but intense car trip in Altai.
The main road of Gorny Altai is the famous Chuysky tract. We drove it to the very end, to the border with Mongolia. I advise you to do the same. This is an amazing road: for several hundred kilometers, landscapes will constantly change - one is better than the other. The track is in excellent condition, there is good asphalt everywhere, the traffic is low even at the height of the summer season. Along the way, there are many recreation centers, guest houses, gas stations, canteens, so it will be comfortable to travel by car.
Secondary roads in the Altai Republic are already worse: somewhere broken asphalt, somewhere a rolled primer, somewhere a furious grater, and somewhere fierce off-road, accessible only to an SUV.
We traveled in the UAZ "Patriot", so we were able to get to several of the most remote and inaccessible places that only a few people know about: the Dzhumalinsky keys, as well as the Achik pass with a stunning view of all the main ranges of Altai and Belukha. However, even if you have an ordinary car, you can still visit almost all the sights on your own. Only a few places will have to be abandoned or a jeep excursion ordered.
As I said above, the Chuysky tract has all the infrastructure needed by auto travelers. The situation is worse on secondary roads, but there are gas stations and cafes in large villages and away from the road. Try to fill the tank full at every opportunity if you are turning off the track. Check where your next gas station, canteen or store will be in the Maps app. e or navigator.
After reading, you will have no questions left! They talked not just about car rental, but also about Altai roads, gas stations and services. All sights are marked on the map. They also gave personal advice and recommendations.
The panoramic views of the snow-capped mountains of Altai are not inferior to the Nepalese ones, and the "Martian landscapes" will compete in beauty with the "rainbow mountains" in Peru. There are so many beauties that you can often be alone with nature. The region is considered a place of power and a source of inspiration, they say, it is here that you can get to know Shambhala. This is another Russia! Cultures, religions and customs of different peoples were mixed: Altaians, Russians, Tuvans, Mongols, Kazakhs, Chinese - all added something of their own.
Where is Altai? Where is the best place to fly and how much are the tickets
The Altai Republic borders on the Altai Territory, Kemerovo Region, Khakassia, Tyva, Mongolia, China and Kazakhstan.
The city of Gorno-Altaysk is considered to be the starting point. The most budgetary option is a flight with Pobeda Airlines. True, the low-cost airline has this seasonal destination, flights on Tuesdays and Saturdays until the end of October. Cost - from 7 thousand rubles round trip. The alternative is only S7.
If you want to see not only the nature of Altai, but also the capitals of the regions, pay attention to other options. We have long wanted to visit the capital of Siberia, so we started our journey with a flight from Moscow to Novosibirsk.
Car rental companies in the region, which car to choose, how much does it cost to rent
The main advice is to drive an SUV or crossover. Ideally, four-wheel drive. The car is only suitable for major attractions and roads. And although locals drive everywhere even in Zhiguli, it is better for a tourist not to risk it.
The car rental market in the region is developed, but more represented by local companies. The only international service - Avis - works only in Novosibirsk. Renting a crossover at Avis will cost from 4,300 rubles per day, and cars from 4,000 rubles. The mileage is not limited.
We filmed Hyundai Creta at Novosibirsk airport via Avis. The car turned out to be almost new, with a range of 9000 kilometers, and became a faithful friend for two weeks. The small engine volume (1.6 liters) and front-wheel drive were felt on gravel areas, and we drove up to Katu-Yaryk on our last breath (there won't be any problems with 4x4). For rent, in addition to a passport and driving license, we needed a credit card for the deposit (12,000 rubles).
Local rental "Avangard" in Novosibirsk offers crossovers from 2,800 rubles per day, and cars - from 1,700 rubles.
There are three companies in Gorno-Altaysk:
To get into another world, plunge headlong into the past, feel complete harmony with nature - these are the main reasons that invite any, even the most sophisticated, traveler to Altai.
This region of Russia is famous for its places of power, clean air, amazing landscapes untouched by man. Several peoples with their own culture and traditions coexist here.
Biosphere reserves of Gorny Altai are protected by UNESCO and have several thousand species of fauna and flora, many of which are listed in the Red Book.
Sights and recreation in Gorny Altai allow you to feel all the greatness and mystery of antiquity, to walk along the Great Silk Road, once the only thread connecting East and West.
Here is the world's longest runic inscription, which researchers are still racking their brains to decipher. And it was in one of the local caves that the skeleton of a primitive man was found, which does not look like a Neanderthal or Cro-Magnon man.
What to see in the first place, where to visit during the tour, as well as the top attractions of Gorny Altai, we will consider below.
The lake, glorified by Edita Piekha more than half a century ago, welcomes guests at any time of the year. This is an amazing body of water with crystal clear water, an abundance of fish, intoxicating mountain air, fragrant herbs and a rare water walnut.
Climbers and skiers, beach lovers, fishermen come here. You can enjoy the view of Lake Manzherok and other sights of Gorny Altai from a height by climbing to the top of Mount Malaya Sinyukha.
The winding forest trails of the Turquoise Katun lead to the Valley of the Grottoes - the remains of ancient caves and arches, each of which has its own name. The centuries-old tree roots fancifully twine around the stone vaults and it seems that tourists are falling into a fairy tale.
During a two-hour walk, you can explore shallow caves and enjoy extraordinary views.
Hiking in the mountains is a great option for a weekend, vacation or holiday. The mountains are open to everyone, from inexperienced beginners to advanced climbers and climbers. When going on a backpacking trip, especially the first one, you should understand the difference between hiking, trekking and hiking. At first glance, it may seem that they are all the same, just borrowed names from different languages. In fact, this is so, but there are still small differences that will be useful for you to know.