OverviewThe Altay Mountains or "Golden mountains" (from Mongolian word "altan") - is one of the meanings of the word "Altai". Really there is gold here, although Altai was never included to the number of popular gold-fields, such as for example Eldorado or Kolyma. There exists one more interpretation of this word - "motley mountains". It reflects the general picture of the region more precisely.
Altai stretches from North-West to South-East for more than 2 thousand km. When it is midsummer at the bottom of the valley where the white waters of the Tchui flow, at the crests of high ridges an early spring begins. Then one may actually agree that Altai is motley mountains.
Altai is so diverse, that it may satisfy the taste of any traveller.
European travellers, who happened to be here last century, found striking resemblance between Altai and the Switzerland Alps.
That's why no wonder that such names as Siberian Switzerland, North-Tchuya Alps, the Katun Alps appeared. The Swisses, who recently visited Altai, prove this resemblance and say with unconcealed envy, that only here ne may imagine the Alps as they were before tourist inroad. Today not large hotels and roads to them are being built in Altai. The majority of geographical discoveries in Altai were made last century. However, nowadays lots of new is found here.The majority of geographical discoveries in Altai were made last century.
However, nowadays lots of new is found here. So, only in the end of the 70-s the deepest caves were discovered and explored in the river-head of the Ustyuba and in Seminsky Ridge. Scientists think, that explorations of the Altaian karst will give not a single discovery. In the mid 70-s the waterfall on the Chulcha River gained great popularity. This biggest waterfall has the total fall height of 160 m and is a marvelous view.
Getting ThereHow to get to the Altai Republic?
You may travel from Moscow to Barnaul by airplane.
Motor transport is the most popular way of conveyance through the Altai Republic. Motor service stations are situated in every regional center as well as along motorways.
Red TapeIf you have come to the Altai Republic from a foreign country, you should keep to some formalities. In order to enter the Republic you should have Russian visa and a document proving your identity. If you intend to stay in a hotel, tourist base, recreational center - it is necessary to register in Passport-Visa Service of the local Department of Home Affairs independently from the period of stay. If you've stayed at your friends' place or just at somebody's private house - registration is necessary if the stay term exceeds 3 days.
Mountain center "Altay-Aktru"
Trips, family holidays and holidays with friends at the highland campsite "Altay-Aktru", active tours on horses to the most picturesque areas of the Altai Mountains rarely visited by tourists (mountain ranges: Katunskiy, Severo-Chuyskiy, Southern Altai). Ascents on the highest peaks of Siberia (mountain groups of Belukha, Aktru, Karagem, Maashey) ranked from 2A to 5A category of difficulty. Training courses in mountaineering and rock climbing are available. Airlift by Mi-8 helicopter
CampingThere is a highland campsite in Altai Mountains in the valley of Aktru, at the height of 2150 m, nearly at the foot of the glacier. This is the place which you can get to by an off-road vehicle and therefore there is no need to transport travelling cargo by yourself.
You won't find luxury hotels in Aktru valley, there are no comfortable rooms with a shower and a toilet. However, there is a plenty of hotels, wonderful campsites and tourists' centers for those who are only interested in the "civilized" holidays in the Altay Mountains