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What to do in Altay Mountains

Tourism in Altay as well as Altay Mountains themselves can be very different. Each year climbers and tourists who are fond of trekking adventure, raftsmen, speleo tourists and just travellers arrive at these unforgettable places to get new impressions, experience and sport achievements.
Nature variety of this place gives rise to positive emotions from every person who appears to be in Altay. Arriving here once you will be coming back to Altay again and again. 
 

Variety of activities in Altay

 

White water rafting on Katun, Chuya and Biya

Altay’s rivers are powerful mountain streams. Altay is considered to be one of the world’s white water rafting centers – it is approved by the fact that in August of 2006 the World Rafting Championship took place at the rapid Ilgumen’ (Katun river). Water rafting in Altay rivers is rafting from the second to the sixth, the most difficult rafting grades. In the Katun river’s basin there is a complete set of difficult grades for rafting tours. During the last years Katun rafting is becoming more and more popular. Annually more than 3000 tourists who love adventure travel participate in white water rafting on the middle and lower Katun. The river Katun does not give way to any other rafting rivers located in Russia.

Climbing and trekking

Long since Altay Mountains attract attention of tourists who are fond of trekking adventures and climbing tours from all over the world. It is of course not Himalaji but climbing adventure on Belukha or Aktra will leave pleasant memories for long years. Even in the far 1904 after climbing the peak Ak-Oyuk in the surroundings of Belukha the alpine traveler Samuel Turner described his impressions this way: “The scenery was that kind not a single Alpine sunset can create. I felt that my trip was not ineffective’.

Also Altay is famous for its honey. Mountain flower honey is considered to be the best one. It possesses health-giving powers, besides it is very tasty and very useful. Beekeeping is one of the most developed branches of the agriculture that is why to buy perfect-quality honey, bee’s cells, mead drink and other useful honey products is very easy.

Horseback riding tours

Horseback riding tours in the Altay Mountains and all parts of combined tours take place in rarely visited places in the mountains along alpine meadows and cedar taiga. Altay horses represent Altay mountain color types which however are all mixed. In Chemal region (Middle mountains) there are not so many historically Altay horses which are not tall, mostly were they kept in Ongudai, Kosh-Agach and Ulagan regions. The peculiarity of these districts is that scrubby but nimble and enduring horses mostly go unshod in the mountains. Saddles are used that of cavalry, the harness is that of Altay. Archemaki (transport paired bags) are mostly produced from modern water-proof materials. Baggage and route’s weight is transported together with the group in archemaks. The tour group is accompanied by a horse-breeder and the instructor-guide. Horse riding holidays in the Altay Mountains take place from the 3 starting points: Chemal, Tungur and from Chuisky trakt that is why all they are grouped according to these directions.

Sightseeing tours at Altay

At Altay there are excellent possibilities for organizing sightseeing tours – historic and ethnographic as well as escorted holiday tours and group tours. Earlier here many nations lived – Scythians, Huns and Turks that left behinds themselves a great variety of the most interesting archeological monuments - burial mounds, stone sculptures, petroglyphic paintings and even castles. A lot of archeological discoveries from Altay burial mounds do not have analogues in the whole world. A large amount of tourists are attracted by Altay nature that managed to keep its original face. For instance, on the major part of Altay reservation people can be met rarer than bears.
 
Unique Altay landscapes are approved at the international level. In 1998 five territories are included into the list of the World Heritage UNESCO. These are Altay reservation, Lake Teletskoye and Priteletskaya taiga, Katunsky biospheric reservation, nature park Belukha and the serenity region Plato Ukok. Altay peoples are the descendants of ancient Bedouins – Altaians and Kazaks. Sometimes Tuvinians and Mongols can be met in Altay Mountains. In Uymon valley there live descendants of Old Believers who fled here in the 18-th century.   All Altay habitants honor ancient traditions; here one can get to know more about every day’s life of nomadic tribes and about old-Russian traditions.

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