The Altai Mountains are the highest mountain range in Siberia. In general, the highest point of Altai and Siberia is mount Belukha (4506 m). The mountains are of mainly volcanic origin. In the Mesozoic era, the Altai Mountains were gradually destroyed by the action of the sun, wind, and other natural forces.
Over millions of years, the former mountain country became a plain with raised areas. In the Altai Mountains, there are many intra-basins of different heights with cold mountain lakes. Altai is often called “Russian Tibet” or “Siberian Alps”. They are an essential part of the culture and traditions of the Siberian People.
Altai is inimitable in its beauty, full of charm and mysteries. It is located on the border of borderlines of four states: Russia, Kazakhstan, China, and Mongolia. It’s home to the largest in the world, the Western-Siberian plain, and the Altai Mountain Range. In the Turkish language, Altai means “golden mountains”. In its name are closely interwoven the legends about countless treasures of nomads’ tribes and mineral generosity with spirituality and primordial beauty of the mountain land.
Altai’s nature is unique, rich in biodiversity of flora and fauna. It is the driest place in Russia, and it’s called Chuya steppe. You can even see camels there! The steppe strikes tourists’ imagination with its severity. Still, it simultaneously attracts people through many archeological monuments – burial mounds, stone statues, and rock paintings.
Moreover, Altai is rich in rivers and lakes. In the plains and the mountains, there are more than 18 000 lakes and 37 000 rivers! Among them is the Katun River, famous for its rapids, and Teletskoye Lake – one of the deepest in the world with a “stone bay” not far from it, which appeared as a falling meteorite. Aya Lake is also widely known in the region, as tourists can swim in summer in this mountain lake.
Altai is also a region of beautiful mountains, glaciers, and waterfalls. You can find there the highest waterfall in Russia called Chulchinsky cascade. Interestingly, the area of Altai is covered with 1400 glaciers. The more significant part is concentrated near Belukha Mountain (4506 m).
The Altai Mountains are one of the very few places on Earth. During the past millennium, many ancient monuments were kept almost in their original look. Naturally combining with the environment, they create a unique historical-cultural landscape. Travel to the Altai Mountains and remember that Altai in substance is an outdoor museum – one of the most ancient districts of human beings’ habitation on the Asian continent.
Here the evidence of the peoples’ activities from previous periods has remained; up till now, one can see numerous monuments of Scythian, Old Turkic, and other cultures. Every year different scientific expeditions happen on the republic’s territory. They aim to study the people history that once lived in these sacred valleys. The Moscow Museum of History and St. Petersburg’s Hermitage display unique burial discoveries that do not have the world’s analogs.
The Altai Mountains is a miraculous and wonderful region about which many lyrical words have been written. These places powerfully attract European tourists who enjoy adventure travel and look for tourism in Russia and always call the Altai Mountains “Siberian Switzerland,” owing to the striking similarity between the Altai Mountains and the Swiss Alps. Wild and primitive nature untouchable by civilization is why people all over the world come here, tired of the obsessive benefits of our time.
The Altai Mountains are often compared with Tibet. According to many legends, somewhere there is an entrance into the mystic Shambhala country – White Water land so called by Altai Old Believers – the country of touching to Enigma, knowledge of truth and heart’s opening.
The Altai Mountains are marvelous in all seasons, striking by the variety of natural contrasts. Suppose in summer they look like a colored carpet abundant with bright tones, in autumn. In that case, the mountains are covered with the yellow-orange fire of leaves above which appear the snow peaks sparkle like diamonds.
Suppose you are tired of standard tourism and seek adventure travel somewhere in wild nature. In that case, you need to visit Russia, to be more exact Altai Mountains – located in the West Siberia region. Be sure that here you will get everything you need:
- Outdoor adventures.
- White water rafting.
- Horseback riding tours.
- Other recreation tours the Altai Mountains can offer.
Altai is an open crossing of civilizations, every of which has left its rich heritage. Here we can speak about different archeological sites (Gorno-Altaysk and Denisov cave), petroglyphs and stone sculptures, Scythian burial mounds, and the most mysterious place in Altai, the Plateau Ukok, which discovered the mummy called “princess of Altai” to the world.
The opportunities for traveling around the Altai mountains are indeed boundless. All possibilities for organized and individual tourism are created in the Republic and the Region.
You can not only ascend the peaks, raft along the river but also meet a shaman, live in a yurt, or get married in a solitary temple on Patmos Island. Moreover, you can find vast territories and untouched civilizations in Altai, just two steps away from the main transport route of Mountain Altai – Chuysky high road.