Golden ring of Altai region
First of all, Altai region is the only place in Kazakhstan that conjures up a similar amount of heart-felt emotion and undisguised romanticism.
In terms of landscape, Altai covers the whole breadth of scenery represented in Kazakhstan. It transitions from baking-hot steppe and desert plains to undulating hills planted with near-endless sunflower fields.
Today in the Altai region the traveler receives the best mix that a tourist can only want. They are unique local specificity including the usual home conveniences. Most noteworthy there is clear sky above and a lot of sunny days. Clean ionized air added up to clear mountain rivers, healing springs and mud and a huge number of caves for exploration. And finally an incredible number of lakes not only for swimming, but also for fishing.
Furthermore the Altai mountains are home to a diverse fauna, because of its different habitats. Namely they are steppes, northern taigas and alpine vegetation. Steep slopes are home to the Siberian ibex, whereas the rare argali is found on more gentle slopes. Also there are five types of deer are represented by five species, namely Altai wapiti, moose, forest reindeer, Siberian musk deer and Siberian roe deer.
The Altai mountains have retained a remarkably stable climate changing little since the last ice age. In addition the mix of mammals has remained largely the same – with a few exceptions such as extinct Mammoths – making it one of the few places on earth to retain an ice age fauna.
- Kiin-Kerish canyons;
- Cape Shekelmes;
- Lake Markakol;
- Old Austrian road;
- Valley of Kings;
- Belukha mountain
|Duration||8 days/ 8 nights.|
|Season||June – early September|
|Level of difficulty of the tour||Middle level, possible long drive, accommodation in hotels and guest houses, light hiking in the Nature Reserve|
Tour “Golden Ring of Altai region” will begin with the arrival in the city of Ust-Kamenogorsk. Further you will go to one of the largest reservoirs – Bukhtarma. From the port of Kaznakovo on the ferry you will cross the reservoir and find yourself in the village of Kurchum. And from there the route goes to the tract Kiin-Kerish.
The rocks formed from sandy-clay deposits of red shades create bizarre shapes. And although there are no waterfalls or rivers, the rocks formed resemble flames that swish in the wind.
Another amazing place that you will have time to visit on this day is Cape Shekelmes. Here live families of pelicans and cormorants. In addition, there are stunning sunsets when the sun’s rays reflect off the water surface and make the colors of the desert territories even brighter.
In the second day the tour will continue along the Kazakhstan-Chinese border to the village of Urunhayk. The route runs along the old Austrian road, built in 1915-1916. The village itself is located on the shore of Lake Markokol.
This is one of the places in Kazakhstan that have preserved their original charm. The lake itself is often referred to as the “great miracle”, “the pearl of nature”, the “earthly paradise”. Although none of these names reflects the full essence of the beauty of the place.
The village of Urunhayka itself will surprise you with its way of life. Here, cultures of different peoples living in this village from generation to generation have seamlessly interwoven.
On the fourth day of the excursion you will have a boat excursion to the island of Askarovsky. Then after lunch you will go to the confluence of three rivers. During the walk you can make a lot of memorable pictures.
The third day of the tour begins with a breakfast of fresh natural products. Then you will find a long way along the old Austrian road connecting Kurchum and Katon-Karagai districts. Despite the rather difficult road, during the trip you will hear a huge number of legends and you will see stunningly beautiful places, lost away from civilization
Upon arrival in Uryl you will immediately go to the Berel Museum Reserve, located not far from the village of the same name. Along the bank of the Bukhtarma river there are burial mounds – the Valley of the Kings. Unparalleled in Kazakhstan, it is well preserved in permafrost conditions.
The amazingly picturesque Yazevoe lake is located on the way to Belukha. Despite its relatively small size, it is famous for its fishing. And in clear weather in the reflection of the lake you can see a mirror image of the Belukha mountain.
And the river flowing out of the lake forms a whole cascade of 10 waterfalls 200 meters long. The highest waterfall is about 10 meters. Although the height of the waterfall is not so high, but powerful streams of water fall from the granite rocks with such force that everything around is filled with noise and thunder.
Further you will go to the sanatorium Rakhmanovskie keys.
On the way to the sanatorium “Rakhmanovskie Klyuchi”, the serpentine road leads to the pass along the mixed cedar forest.
4 km to the sanatorium, there is an observation deck, from where the top of the Belukha mountain can be seen.
The sanatorium itself is located on thermal spring sources, where you can feel their healing properties. At what you will have an opportunity to swim in cold springs, whose temperature is about +6 degrees Celsius, and in hot rhodium with a temperature above +36 degrees.
Further on the boat you will go along the lake to the mouth of the river Arasanka. Having made a halt on the shore, then your path will continue to the waterfall “Veranica Spit”.
Then after dinner you will set off on the Joyful Pass, from where you will see a beautiful view of the majestic Belukha Mountain.
On the way to the village of Korobiha, you will stop in a small market where you can buy honey, nuts and a national drink koumiss.
Founded in 1792, the village will immerse you in the era of old rites, and local residents will tell you about their traditions and way of life. During the excursion you will visit the local museum of local lore, the church of Peter and Paul, the museum of honey.
Next, you go to the maral farm, where you can see the marals that are bred here. Red-booked deer, very valuable. In its horns accumulate biologically active substances that have medicinal properties. And in the period from June 5 to July 31, you will be able to see the procedure for cutting off the horns.
A trip to Ust-Kamenogorsk will take place along the picturesque serpentine – Osinovsky Pass. And although the climb to it is quite complicated, the view opening from it will amaze and stun you.