Altai Mountains

The vast string of mountains sprawling across southern Siberia, from Kazakhstan to the west and into Mongolia and China in the east and south, is sometimes known as the Golden Altais. Many parts of the Siberian Altais have been recognised by UNESCO as World Heritage Sites including the areas around Lake Teletskoye, Mount Belukha, and the Ukok plateau.

The diverse terrain is home to a huge range of beautiful and fascinating flora and fauna. From the craggy, snowy peaks and plummeting gorges, to the glittering glacier lakes like glinting turquoise gems set into the foothills, to rich green meadows, thickets and taigas and sprawling steppes, it’s as if nature is showing off. A visit to this vast and beautiful untouched land is to truly get away from it all. The only inhabitants are the nomadic, yurt-dwelling tribes that navigate the terrain as they have done for centuries. The key to a fulfilling discovery of this unique destination is full immersion in nature, living and breathing in the gorgeous scenery like those who call it home.


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One of the best ways to experience the Altais properly is to spend your days exploring its beautiful scenery and your night sleeping under the stars. With just a tent between you and the starry sky, it’s like living like a local.


One of the most popular activities in this land of lakes and rivers is rafting. Take the scenic and varied waters of the Biya River from Lake Teletskoye or raft down the Katun, through lonely alpine villages dotted in the hills.


Thanks to their glaciers and cold climate in winter, the Altais are a popular snow sport destination with a number of modern, well equipped pistes. Snezhny kom, Mount Veselaya and Gora Gorynya are popular.


The labyrinthine caves within this seemingly endless mountain range make for great cave expeditions. Wriggle deep into Altayskaya and explore the deep dark depths as the peaks tower up above.


An absolute must for walkers and hikers of all standards, the paths and climbs of the Altais offer something for everyone. Whether it’s the sparkling walk to the Aktru glacier or the three-day hike to the top of sacred Mount Belukha, the scenery won’t disappoint.

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