SELF-DRIVE BY ALTAI MOUNTAINS AND GOBI DESERT, 12 days, from 3315 USD, Russia and Mongolia LET'S PLAN YOUR TRIP
Altai Mountains is the snowcapped high mountain, straddling the Russian and Mongolian frontiers in the Far West. Mountains of eternal snowcapped mountains and glaciers. In these remote regions live many nomads of ethnic minorities. The Kazakhs are Muslims, and speak an ancient Kazakh language, as well as Tuvans, who are Buddhist and shamanistic. This dramatic journey will bring us to Russian and Mongolia’s Altai mountain region. Local Kazakh herdsmen will keep their priced Golden Eagles next to their yurts.
Brief Outline Itinerary
On this dramatic journey you will drive comfortable and safety 4wd Japanese vehicles and reach most spectacular and picturesque diverse places. Our crew is trilingual at least: English, Mongol and Russian. Possibly also Kazakh and Russian.
Gorno-Altaisk- Teletskoe Lake (168 km, 3 hrs).Arrival to Gorno-Altaysk, meeting at the airport. Drive to the Artyubash village that is located on the Shore of Teletskoe Lake. The steep rocky shores of the lake, covered with larch and birch trees, are impassable. Teletskoye Lake impresses the travelers with the touch of majestic beauty. After lunch we do a boat trip to the station of Altayisky nature reserve and the travelers make a quick excursion to the famous Korbu waterfall. Overnight at wooden hotel. (BLD)
Katun River (215kms, 4 hrs) .We travel up the Katun River to Chemal village to visit the small and spectacularly located nunnery of Patmos monastery, situated on a rocky island in the river and accessible by a hanging bridge. Overnight at wooden hotel. (BLD)
Chemal - Sarlyk Mountain – Boochi (350kms, 5hrs.)Drive to the top of Semeinskii pass, where we hike to Sarlyk Mountain, the highest point of the Seminsky Mountain, Central Altai. The name means " wild yak" in Altaian and on the slopes one can usually find herds of yaks. The mountain is on the border of Shebalinskiy and Ongudai regions of the Altai Republic and from the top there are stunning views of the whole area. After lunch we continue to the village of Boochi where we spend time meeting local Altaian families and discovering local archaeological sites like graves and petroglyphs. We hope also to meet a local shaman if possible. Overnight at wooden hotel. (BLD)
Pazyryk burialz and Chulishman valley. (240kms, 5-6hrs.)Today we drive about 120 kms to explore most interesting Pazyryk burials in Altai. Mounds is located in the tract Pazyryk on the right bank of the River Bolshoi Ulagan, on the road from Ulagan (16 km) to the village Balyktuyul. The name "Pazyryk" comes from the Tuvan "bazyryk" - "Mound." Burial mounds are the graves of tribal or tribal chiefs, built mostly in the VI-III centuries. BC A chain of five mounds stretching from north to south along the great valley a few kilometers from Balyktuyul. Then we drive to Chulishman valley. The Valley of Chulyushman River from bird's-eye view looks like a famous Grand Canyon in Colorado. It is an awesome picture of vertical gigantic walls, cut with the dry beds of waterfalls and the blue line of a river, pressed between the rocks deep underneath. This area is considered to be the remotest and the most untouched in the Altai region. Nature of the area, staggers by its wildness and primordial beauty. Canyons, cascade, the Red Gate Rocks, the Tcheikkel (Dead Lake) cluster around the road from Aktash to Ulagan. Overnight at wooden hotel. (BLD)
Excursion to Aktru Glacier (167 km, 8-10 hours)We are away into the Aktru mountains today by our 4WD vehicle and then on foot for an hour or two to the terminal of the Aktru glacier. The vehicle takes us the first 30km; across the steppe and up the 4x4 truck through the fir forest to the Aktru mountaineering base from where we set out on foot to climb the moraine for views and a picnic lunch. The 4x4 truck climbs steeply until it reaches the hanging valley of the upper Aktru River and there are fords to cross the braided river bed. Overnight at wooden hotel. (BLD)
To the Eshtykkel plateau. (240 km, 4-5 hours)Today we drive to the beautiful Eshtykel plateau called the "Ukok in miniature". We stop near Dzhangyskol Lake that is often called Eshtykel Lake. The lake is located on a 1,750 meters altitude plateau in the valley of the Chuya River between North Chuya and Kurai ranges. Small pass separates Eshtykel plateau from Kurai steppe. The Eshtykel plateau called the "Ukok in miniature". It is better to climb to the top of hill in order to see the plateau in all its glory. The mountains are reflected in the mirrored surface of the lake Eshtykel that creates a feeling of a holiday in the heart of the tourist. Overnight at wooden hotel. (BLD)
Come to MongoliaDrive towards the Mongolian highlands, crossing several mountain passes. We leave Russia behind and head into Mongolia. The tarmac roads disappear as we drive into Bayan Ulgii province, a stunning drive across the mountain steppes. The people here are Kazakh and Muslim, unlike most other Mongolians who are Buddhist. With luck we will be able to meet a local family who train and domesticate Golden Eagles for hunting. The people here are largely nomadic, often on horseback and herding their livestock. Overnight at ger camp. (BLD)
Drive to Hovd TownDrive to South and reach Hovd town. The Hovd town was a trade center, located on the northern Silk Road with connections to Russia and China. In 1763 the Manchu administration built the fortress Sagijn Cherem (Castle). An area of about 4 ha was fenced with 3m high and 2m wide walls. Now all 18 Mongolian ethic groups live in this province. Have a lunch.
To Delger ValleyDrive about 380km by desert open area between two big mountain ranges and reach the Delger valley-big open steppe area. Overnight near village Unen Us (true water), which only water-well around and why many nomads with their animals live here. You have a chance to visit one of nomadic families. Overnight at local hotel. (BLD)
To Gobi lakesToday is a long drive to east, through big open steppe area. We will move from Altai Mountains to steppe areas. We will reach the remote Lake Orog and camp. The nomads live from livestock herding. However, by international standards, it is not densely populated. Near the sands they keep Bactrian Camels. Orog Lake and its immediate surroundings. The lake sits next to Ikh Bogd (Big Holy) Mountain (3957m) at 1200m above sea level. There are also some nearby sand dunes. Tuin River empties into the lake from its journey from Hangai Mountains. The abundance of food attracts plenty of birds. There is a small island with some 60 pairs of Grey Herons nesting on the ground! The world's longest fault line is visible through the terrain. It came about in 1957 and extends for some 270km westwards from Orog Lake. Overnight at local hotel. (BLD)
To Hongoryn ElsFull day driving to south-east, we come out from mountain area into gobi area with small hills. Reach Khongorin Dunes, the biggest sand dunes in all Asia. The 800-meter high sand dunes in Sevrei soum, South aimag, are called Khongoryn Els. These dunes are 20 km wide and 100 km long. The Khongoryn River flows along the sand dunes and gives birth to oases. Visit the dunes with camel riding. Visit a local camel breeding family and learn about their breeding programs. Overnight at ger camp. (BLD)
Drive to UB (650km)Full day drive to north and reach UB. Overnight in 4* Kempinskii hotel. (BL)
|Some recommendations||Spring, Summer and Autumn in Russian Altai and Mongolia is hot and dry with occasional rain, the
temperature can fluctuate as much 20 degrees centigrade between day and night. So
be prepared for all weather conditions.
|What to bring||
Warm hat and gloves,
Long underwear for travel in the high mountains, comfortable footwear,
Prescription medications (if needed),
belt and small padlocks
|Staff||A local guide who speaks English, Kazakh and Mongolian will accompany the group at all times. A cook will follow with an assistant.|
cook will prepare the meals. We pride ourselves in having cooks adapt to both
western and Mongolian cooking on our trips. There are always vegetables
available, and we have no problem accommodating vegetarians on our trips. For
breakfast we can buy fresh yogurt from the herdsmen in the local area
|Price||3315 USD per person, if your group size is 4 people|
|Group size||2-20 (Discounts available for groups)|
|Includes||English speaking guide, 4x4 Japanese land
cruisers and nissan patrols,support 4x4 car/truck mechanic and auto-services, 3
meals per day, accommodations at wooden house/ger camp/local hotel, all border
and national park permits.
laundry and alcohol drinks. Single occupancy is 720$.
|Date||from March untill late October, 2017|
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