Altai Mountains holiday in Siberia
Description of Altai Mountains holiday in Siberia
This small group Siberia holiday focuses on the Altai Mountains – dramatic peaks that sweep across Central and Eastern Asia for some 2000 km, from the Gobi Desert to the West Siberian Plain, passing through Ruddia, China, Mongolia and Kazakhstan. Along with a band of likeminded travellers you’ll delve into the heart of this incredible region, to discover untouched lands where snow leopards still roam.
Starting your journey in Gorno-Altaysk, the capital of the Altai republic, you’ll then travel past peaks and valleys along the famous Chysky Tract, one of the most beautiful routes in the world. The road will take you to some of the region’s most dramatic and memorable sights, including the Karakol Valley, the Kurai and Chuya Steppes, the deep red cliffs of Kyzyl-Chin and the glistening bulk of the Little Aktru Glacier. You’ll also be given the chance to learn about the region’s shamans and snow leopards. Your final stop on this adventure is little-visited Saylyugem National Park, where some of Russia’s rarest creatures make their home.
PlanetThis tour involves not very glamourous accommodation, but it is locally owned and run. We will be staying in yurt camps and homestays in the Altai mountains. The wonderful thing about this kind of interactive tourism is that everyone gains – the nomads financially and us with the wonderful welcome and experience they give us.
We have a strict environmental policy to make sure that the environments we visit are not damaged in any way. Our “Leave No Trace” ethic is applied to each one of our trips, and as a responsible tour operator, it is something we are careful and steadfast about promoting. Each one of our guides are trained to uphold, promote and put into practice such responsible behaviour, especially in wilderness areas or whilst traveling to UNESCO heritage sites.
By keeping the group size to a maximum of 12 and through walking through many regions during the tour, we minimise the human and environmental impact on the fragile sites and ecosystems we visit. Along with our small group size, we will be staying in local guesthouses and homestays, directly transferring profit into the local economy and creating a smaller carbon footprint than staying at bigger hotel chains.
We attempt to reduce plastic bottle use wherever possible by promoting use of reusable and filtered water bottles. Our partnership with Water-To-Go provides a discount on filtered water bottles to our clients. We do not provide water from plastic bottles to our clients in country but always ensure there is regular access to drinking water on our tours.
We are promoting the natural beauty and ancient heritage of Russia through visiting not only many museums, but also the barely visited Saylyugem National Park, only recently created to ensure the endangered species here survive. Visiting such sites helps sustain the natural ecosystems of Russia, linked to the communities in Siberia through shaminism.
PeopleOn day 2 of this tour we will be meeting with a kaichi – travelling storyteller – to educate us on the myths and legends of the incredible Altai through stories and throat-singing.
On Day 7 of this tour we will be exploring the vast Chuya Steppe, finding petroglyphs, shaman trees and singing stones to uncover the shamanistic relationship of this landscape with its people. Once persecuted by the Soviet’s, shamanism has survived in Russia and it is important we preserve the once stifled culture
Responsible travel and sustainable tourism are fundamental ideas that we have been committed to since our conception. It is part of our core sets of beliefs that these words are not simply scattered nonchalantly into our literature and on our website but moreover that they are central to each and every trip. Our adventures are therefore carefully curated celebrating all that is local from the people, to the culture. We believe that a successful trip delivers a unique and authentic journey for our clients, but furthermore benefits the people whose land we have the privilege of encountering.
On each Group tour we use local ground handlers. This means that all operational costs go directly into the local economy and help improve employment opportunities in remote regions. Such support can also be seen in our incorporation of homestays, locally owned hotels, family run restaurants and the services of local guides and drivers into our itineraries, which ensures that the money you spend with us goes directly into the local economy and local community.
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