Far in East, at the foot of regal Altai mountains exists a hidden gem of culture and history. A small village called Poperechnoye froze in time offering an opportunity to steep in old tales and whispers, ancient traditions and life of centuries long gone. A guest house-museum in Izba (traditional Russin house) immerses the travelers into the culture of Old Believers, whose descendants are still present. This is not a museum where you can only look but no touch. Try your hand at using old household items, make a central clay stove work.
This 250 year old taiga village is the place to escape the rush of a city. Surrounded by mountains, with smells of the forest and sounds of the birds, it’s a chance to reflect and shake the tiredness from your bones. Healthy and fresh food from the garden, local culture and arts, natural wonders – all of it and much more is at your disposal.
09:00 – 11:00 – We start our journey in Ust-Kamenogorsk and move to Ridder (130 km). As we drive, colors get brighter and sounds of nature fill the space; mountains tower over the region and forests rustle-whisper some ancient secrets.
11:00 – 12:30 – A picturesque road through taiga leads to Poperechnoye village, which historical roots stretch back to the Old Believers. (30 km from Ridder).
12:30 – 13:00 – After arriving at our destination we settle in the house-museum in Izba, where the tour starts proper with learning the history of the place and life of a peasant at the end of the XIX century. You will get an opportunity to try and use household items of the past and admire the central piece – the clay stove.
13:00 – 14:00 – Learning takes energy, so we proceed with a country lunch, delicious and healthy.
14:00 – 16:30 – Energized after lunch, we start our excursion of the village and its surroundings with a leisurely walk through Poperechnoye to the river Belaya Uba. As we stroll you’ll get acquainted with authentic buildings, rural life, and history. Ascending a mountain (don’t worry, elevation difference is no more than 100 m) rewards us with a view at two mountains, “Nikolaichi” and “Nichiha”. Panoramic views of the village, the Ivanovsky Range, the beauty of the taiga will spread before you. As you enjoy the nature, we will share the legends of the mountains, explain unique landscape and biological diversity of the area, and even harvest items for making bath brooms. If we end up here during blooming season, we will look for herbs that make up Altai tea.
16:30 – 17:30 Returning from a walk, you will continue exploring the house-museum in Izba, where you will be offered ethnic outfits with a subsequent colorful photo shoot. A tea party with fragrant tea from local meadow herbs and homemade pastries puts a perfect finishing touch to this visit.
17:30 – 19:00 – The path that runs past a cozy village chapel will guide you to a traditional banya (sauna), where you can relax and feel better.
19:00 – 20:00 – The day ends with another hearty meal.
You can spend the rest of your time enjoying the village and preparing for next day’s journey.
09:00 – 10:00 – Wake up to a breakfast prepared with homemade dairy products and honey to make the rest of the day exciting.
10:00 – 18:00 – Most of the day will be spent in traveling through taiga. Our choice is the route “Zapovedniye Dali” in the West Altai State Nature Reserve. Along the way we will enjoy amazing views of the reserve and the ranges of the western Altai from a bird’s-eye view, get acquainted with wild nature, and see a 400 year old cedar tree, that makes wishes come true if we are to believe stories. Once we climb the peak Panorama at the rocky ridge “Bastion” a picnic will await us near a historical building of 1942 year (triangulation point) A combination of good food and panoramic view will make this moment special.
This journey will be compromised of 30 km driving in a car and 5.1 km of walking.
18:00 – 19:00 – It’s time to return to the guest hut and visit the village banya once more to wash away the fatigue of an exciting but tiring day.
19:00 – 20:00 – Dinner cooked out of locally grown produce is set up for your enjoyment.
After dinner is a leisure time and preparation for the next day full of adventure.
(B, L, D)
08: 00 – 09: 00 – Once again a country breakfast with dairy products and honey awaits you.
09:00 – 15:00 – The last full day is dedicated to exploring a mysterious mountain lake Rodon, popularly known as Podbelkovoe. With stops for capturing beautiful views and a short taiga picnic rest, we will walk 11 km along the road through mountain passes and bypassing 7 fords of mountain streams. We will find the lake at the foot of the Vysheivanovsky Belok, also known as the Voroshilov peak, the highest point of the Ivanovsky mountain range.
15:00 – 16:00 – Lunch made on fire and tea with fragrant bergenia leaves fill the stomachs and spectacular views on the lake please the eyes.
16:00 – 18:00 – The surroundings of Rodon lake are fascinating and keep the remnants of human touch. Two galleries, like two eyes, watch the tourists from a huge mountain, traces of the kitchen basement and barracks are still visible. The gray stumps of the former power transmission poles line up in in direction to the galleries. But nature takes back what belongs to it – the buildings disappear at the time of blooming under the cover of flowers and plants; and in ten years there will be just a glade of aquilegia and blueberries.
18:00 – 19:00 – A steam bath on the shore of a mountain lake will amaze you and gift you unforgettable memories.
19:00 – Dinner will be waiting for you back at the guest house in the village.
(B, L, D)
10:00 – 11:00 – You will enjoy the last country breakfast of this tour and get ready to part with this picturesque place.
11: 00 – 12:00 – The hostess of the guest house will offer you to make your own charms for good luck and a safe trip home. Apart from that you will have a final chance to experience the village, say your goodbyes, and get prepared to leave.
12:00 – 13:00 – As we drive to Ridder, once again serene nature passing outside the car windows will capture your eyes.
13: 00 – 14:30 – On the way from Ridder to Ust-Kamenogorsk we stop at the village of Cheremshanka and visit the village market. There you can buy natural taiga products: jam, medicinal tinctures and coniferous oils, herbs and roots, salted mushrooms and other goods.
Included in a tour:
- Accommodation – 3 nights in local guesthouse which was opened on a base of Russian Izba
- Meals – Day 1: LD; Day 2: BLD; Day 3: BLD; Day 4: BL
- Russian banya (sauna) fro 3 days from Day 1 to Day 3
- Guide for trekking (2 days)
- English speaking guide (3 days)
- Entrance fees and equipment
- Transfer Ust-Kamenogorsk-Ridder-Poperechnoye-Ridder-Ust-Kamenogorsk
- Excursion as per program
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