There are 2 official districts in Russia which are linked with the name of Altai Mountains. Barnaul is the capital of the Altaiski krai and Gorno-Altaisk is the capital of the Altai republic.
These two regions are bordered to each other and located at the south part of Western Siberia. Altai Republic borders with Mongolia, China and Kazakhstan. The territory of these both regions cover about 260 000 square kilometers. The population of these both regions are about 2.5 million people, the major part (about 80%) lives in Altaiski krai.
The major part of the classic touristic routes go through the territory of the Altai republic, so below you can see the information regarding this region.
Flora and fauna
Flora and fauna are one of the most diversity and rich in our country. In average there are about 2000 plant species, including 144 species listed in Red Book. There are many types of animals, birds and fish. Ecosystem is the unique one. There are lakes, rivers and mountains covering several natural zones: alpine zone, steppes, tundra, forest, aplestrine zone, semi desert steppe.
The territory of Altai republic is the unique history-landscape reserve. Present moment there are 22%0of the whole territory is under special control. There are 2 nature reserves in the territory of Altai Republic (Altaisky and Katunsky) and 5 wildlife sanctuaries, and 126 nature monuments. Altaisky nature reserve takes almost the whole territory of the region.
The highest mountain is Belukha (4506 metres). Belukha Mountain and Teletskoye lake are included in the list of UNESCO World Heritage.
The climate is strongly continental. Average temperatures from -25C in January in the north part will -18C in the south part; +25C in July accordingly. The annual precipitation is from 100 up to 1000 millimeters per year.
The main confessions are Orthodox and shamanism.
Traditions and cuisine
Archeology and local culture are the main interest those area. There are famous throat-singing bands, artists and writers.
Annually several cultural events take place in the Altai Republic to keep the traditions and popularize it among young population. The archeology sights make the world interest, it includes variety of cave paintings, architecture monuments. The cuisine includes the following local dishes such as aarchi, kurut, byshtak, kaimak, edigei and others.
How to reachThe republic has an unique geography location. There are only two ways of transportation are available.
It’s possible to reach Altai Mountains with arrival in Barnaul or Gorno-Altaisk by plane. There are more flights to Barnaul (Moscow and others) but both of the airports have a flights between other cities of Siberia – Krasnoyarsk, Irkutsk and others.
The schedule is changeable. For detailed information follow the official Barnaul airport website - www.airaltay.ru and official Gorno-Altaisk airport website – www.ga-airport.ru
Automobile transport is a leading one in Altai. The length of roads take more than 3,2 thousand kilometers, including 541 kilometer of the most beautiful roads in the world (according to National Geographic) – Chuysky Trakt.
Top 5 reasons to visit Altai
Translated into Turkish language Altai means Golden Mountains. Nowhere in the world you will find a place with such a contrast in a small area. This place is often called as Siberian Alpes, Russian Tibet for its uniqueness, beauty and pictureless, virgin nature, crystal clear water, endless taiga and peaceful steppes. Altai Mountains will go deep inside your heart once you visit this place. By the way, the way goes through Chuysky Trakt, which is worth visiting as a independent sight.
Local people called this lake as Golden Lake for years. The lake is at the 5th place among the deepest lakes of Russia. The square of lake is 223 square kilometers, the length is 77,7 km, average width is 2-3 kilometers. Having a pleasure voyage along the lake is not the possibility enjoying the beautiful scenery but also a chance to visit natural monument – Korbu waterfall.
The highest mountain of Siberia is one more reason to visit this destination. Climbing to the peak is not a necessary, even at foot of the mountain there are amazing scenery. Silence, clear water, no signs of civilization, bright nature with lakes and river, star sky…
This territory has a historical and cultural value. First of all, it keeps world known archeological monuments, including “Tsar burial mounds” of Scythian epoch. Altai Mountains takes a leading place in the country on the number of petroglyphs. The caves of ancient man are unique and provide us the information about ancient civilizations. Learning the archeological sights on that territory we literally can follow all the ancient stages of evolution from paleontology till present days.
Things to do
Altai Mountains are the perfect choice for active tourists. There are available different activities during summer season: hiking, horse riding, rafting, climbing, pot-holing, fishing. In winter season there are snowmobiles and mountain skiing.