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Golden Ring of Altai: First-hand Experience

Date: 13.04.2021

In early September our marketing specialist Alyona Chudanova went to see the most beautiful sights of the Altai region. Find out if it’s the right destination for you, so you can plan your next summer trip. In this article Alyona describes her experience visiting Altai.

I have my top three must-visit destinations in Russia; among them are lake Baikal, Altai and Kamchatka. RussiaDiscovery made it possible for me to gradually visit these places.

My expectations were simple: I wanted to go on a trip without tents and backpacks, but at the same time get to see the most picturesque places. “Golden Ring of Altai” tour had all the needed criteria. My first thought was that this tour must be mostly popular with seniors, but my colleagues reassured me, that this tour is usually chosen by young people who care about comfortable accommodations and the vibrant and interesting itinerary. After all, if you’ve decided to travel to Altai, why not to see all its beauty in one go? 

Is the 12 days trip worth paying 1 000 euro? I believe it definitely is and here are several reasons for that.

First of all, this tour does cover the most beautiful places in the region. If you have never been to Altai before, it will be perfect for the first acquaintance. In 12 days you will see all kinds of landscapes - turquoise rivers, emerald lakes, blooming tundra, snowy mountains, endless steppe and even the Mars!

My top 10 favorite places in Altai are:


1. Geyser Lake
Water flows bring  blue clay to the surface of the lake forming huge patterns on the water. Those drawings change their shapes and sizes, so you could even do the Rorschach test on the shore. At the moment we were there, we saw a shape of a huge heart.


2.The Mars
It seems that only tourists call this place “Kyzyl Chin Colored Mountains”. For locals, it is just Mars. The hills have this unusual color due to emersion of polymetallic ores.


3. Turquoise Katun river
There are no filters or Photoshop on this photo. In early September we saw Katun river in this very color. Myth busters explain, that the river at its headstream runs through a green-colored sandstones, that is why it has such an intense color.


4. The Chui road
According to National Geographic, the Chui road is among top 10 most beautiful roads in the world. However, do not rush with your judgment straight away from Biysk, just wait till you pass Altai Mountains! That’s where the most picturesque bends and passes start.


5. The Che-Chkish boundary
The view from this point has not yet appeared that much on Instagram, which means that you will make some truly unique shots. Panoramic shots appear especially spectacular here. Take a look at some on our Facebook page.


6. Katu-Yarik Pass
View of the Chulyshman river valley is one of the carte-de-visite of the Altai. This is a must see. As I said the "Golden Ring of Altai" tour will reveal the most unique places to you! 


7. Seminsky pass
The highest pass in Altai is located at an altitude of 1717 m. (5633 ft.). The vegetation here is completely different, and in early September we found an incredibly beautiful autumn tundra .


8. Stone mushrooms
The rain, the wind and the time are able to create a real piece of art out of  an ordinary stone. The ascent to this place will not be an easy one, but the view is really worth it. 


9. Patmos Island
The temple of John the Apostle in the Altai was built by analogy by with the Greek island with the same name. If you could only see what a beautiful suspension bridge leads to it... But I won’t spoil it, come and see for yourself!

10. Kurkure Waterfall
The powerful mountain river comes off a 30-meter high cliff. It is even more spectacular and impressive than the more famous Korbu waterfall on Lake Teletskoye.

You will also have a tour around ail (a nomadic village of yurts where Altai families live) and the Altai cuisine tasting will be arranged for you. What is more on the schedule is an acquaintance with ancient mounds and petroglyphs, a masterclass of throat singing and learning how to play traditional musical instruments. The tour program is well balanced in excursions, activities and personal time.


Secondly, you will enjoy an information detox.
What was the last time you laid in the steppe grass or sat on the bank of a mountain river? Can you remember looking at the snowy peaks or gazing at the Milky Way in the night sky?

I travel a lot, but this was a very special trip that helped me to get rid of all the unnecessary thoughts in my head. My mind was crystal clear and ready to absorb the nature beauty of nature around me. 

Three days with no internet connection were the most precious. No phone calls, no messengers, no social networks. Nothing that could remind of urban distractions. There is only this moment that exists. Only here and now. Energy in its’ purest form. I wish everyone to experience this!


Thirdly, you will actually rest. 
If you’re used to organizing your own trips then you do know how many  issues are there to be solved before you even start your journey. Where to rent a car? Which hotel to choose? Which cafe is good for lunch? How to get to the most fascinating places?

Now imagine, that all of these have already been solved for you. The only job left for you is to jump into the minibus and enjoy the view while listening to entertaining stories as someone has already organized a picnic and even booked a cozy hotel with all the facilities.

You are free from worries and the only thing that you have to do is to…relax! And absorb the beauty around you. Tempting? Plan your trip for summer. You’ll enjoy it!   

If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact us via phone: +7 (495) 800-8-800 or email We will answer all your questions about the tour.