Rest in the Altai Mountains – 2022. Tips, prices, reviews.

How to plan a holiday in Altai

Practical information for those who are going on a trip to Altai in 2022: how to get there, what are the prices of accommodation and food, a list of the best holiday bases, as well as tips and reviews of tourists.

Our Trip . We traveled for a month and a half by car through the Altai Mountains. The MAKE-TRIP.RU team has visited all the most interesting places from Manzherok to the border with Mongolia. We share our experience with you in a series of articles about rest in the Altai Mountains.

Useful Links:

    – hotel reservations with good cashback. – a large selection of resorts in the countryside. – tours in Altai.

Gorny Altai is a very cool place! I recommend to go at least once and drive the entire Chuysky tract. It is amazingly beautiful, authentic and interesting. I hope my guide will help you make the idea come true.

Content:

How to get to Altai

By plane . You need to fly to Novosibirsk, Barnaul or Gorno-Altaisk (Pobeda flies there from 2019). Tickets from Moscow and back cost 9000-12000 rubles, in summer it is more expensive by 3000-4000. Then you need to go by bus or car to the recreation center. Regular bus service is established from Biysk, Gorno-Altaisk, Barnaul, Novosibirsk. In the summer season, local firms organize transfers and sightseeing buses. Look for tickets at the best price on Aviasales. See also my tips on how to look for cheap airline tickets.

By Train . There are trains to Biysk, Novosibirsk and Barnaul. Tickets from Moscow to Biysk cost from 12300 rubles (compartment), they are quickly dispersed, and the train runs only on even numbers. The tickets to Novosibirsk from the capital are cheaper (from 5500 rubles in the coach), and the train much more. I advise to look for train tickets on Yandex.Travel or Tutu.ru.

By car . It’s better to go by car, because it’s much more interesting, more pleasant and cheaper to travel in the Altai Mountains. My team and I were driving to Altai from Perm for three days and back. The road is fine, the main problem on the route is the repair work, they are very delayed. Read more about travelling to Altai by car.

The quality of roads in Altai . Chuysky tract – perfect asphalt, and everything aside from it – broken roads, dirt roads or off-roading of varying degrees of complexity. In principle, you can go to Altai by any car, you can still see a lot. But an off-road vehicle is better – there are some places where you just can’t go without all-wheel drive in a low car. If you don’t have an SUV, you can take a tour or a ride to the desired point from local firms – they are easy to find.

I took my UAZ “Patriot” to Gorny Altai, and it was able to reach the most remote spots. I did not go only to the Ukok Plateau – it requires a well-prepared off-road vehicle and other crews for backup.

I am driving along the Chuisky tract in Altai. Yustyd river valley is the easternmost point of our auto-expedition to the Altai Mountains.

Where to rest in Altai

The most popular . According to most tourists, rest in Altai is best in the settlements of Aya and Chemal, as well as in the north of Lake Teletskoye. It’s easiest to get there, it has the most developed infrastructure and a large selection of bases. But I think that in these places there are too many tourists and too little interesting. The real Altai is not there, it’s further along the Chuisky tract, beyond the Semin Pass.

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Fear and Loathing in the Altai Mountains: Safety Tips

The real Altai . If you like adventure, secluded places and majestic mountain scenery, go beyond these tourist spots. I especially liked these places: Uch-Enmek Park, Ilgumensky rapids, petroglyphs, Ulagan lakes, Katu-Yaryk Pass, Chulyshman river valley, Kurai and Chui steppes, Mars. All these places have infrastructure: camping sites, cafes, gas stations. You can get by any car.

The wildest areas . And the best places in Altai are the ones that are hard and far to get to. My favorites: Dzhumalin keys, Yustyd river valley, Achik pass. There is also the most remote place, the Ukok Plateau, which I have not been able to get to yet, but I really want to.

So, where is the best place to have a rest in Altai? If you don’t have time and desire to travel far into the middle of the republic, and you just want to relax in nature, barbecue, fish, then you should choose the settlements of Chemal, Aya, Manzherok – in general, the Lower Katun. If this is not enough for you, if you want to see real mountains, Altai steppes, and get acquainted with local culture, then I recommend to drive along the Chuisky Route all the way to the Mongolian border.

    You have to see it! Plague, ticks, wild animals, crime

I’m standing and admiring the view of the Chulyshman river valley. Igistu-kol Lake in Ulagan district.

How to look for accommodation

Gorny Altai is quite a wild place, there are not so many hotels and camping sites here as in the South of Russia or in Karelia. But tourists come here less, so there is usually enough lodging for everyone.

Attention! In the high summer season, especially on weekends, lots of people come to Altai to have a rest. That is why you need to book accommodation in advance. During the first month and a half of my traveling even in the most remote parts of the country I saw many cases when tourists arrive to the base and there is no room. Book accommodation in advance on the Internet or come and check in in the morning, before the other tourists. Hotels are easy to find on Yandex.Travel (plus good cashback), and holiday camps – on the World of Hostels.

Lodging is different: from the budget segment to the VIP segment. Almost every recreation center has a bathhouse, a kitchen, a barbecue and Internet. Campsites are very popular among holidaymakers in the Altai Mountains in summer because they are the cheapest option. Families with children usually choose comfortable cottages near the Katun river. Take a look at our selection of hotels and camping sites for families with children.

People often write in their reviews about recreation in Altai about the shortcomings of some tourist facilities: dirt, poor or monotonous food, spoiled plumbing and worn-out furniture. We tried to pay no attention to these things, after a week of staying in a tent in the taiga, any economy room with a bed and shower was like a royal mansion for us. Service at the camping sites often lags behind – you can be even insulted for your money.

READ
Leisure on the Teletskoye Lake in the summer of 2022. Prices, bases and reviews

Prices for two persons per night in Altai Mountains:

Accommodation Price, rubles. Example:
A place for a tent 150-300
A room in a guest house from 1000 Cedar bank
Hut or cottage from 1200 Thurman
Room in a 3 star resort complex from 2200 Hotel Manzherok
Semi Suite with excellent reviews from 4000 Ark
4 star hotel with a pool from 4,500 Lesotel
Comfortable tent in the glamping from 6700 Saikol Kamain
Chalet near Teletskoye lake from 7000 O&K chalet

Where to relax in the summer inexpensive in the AltaiAil at the camping base “Tau-Dastarkhan”.

How to have a rest in Altai

What to do on holiday in the Altai Mountains:

  • excursions,
  • mountain excursions or days-long walking tours,
  • rafting,
  • horse riding,
  • rest on the banks of rivers or lakes (you can swim, but the water is invigorating),
  • fishing,
  • berry picking.

Our vacation in Altai . We drove a lot by car, went all over the Chuysky tract and not only. We spent a long time in tents on the shore of the Katun river, in a camping in Aktash and on the Ulagan lakes. We also lived in traditional villages, hotels, and camping sites. We got acquainted and communicated with locals, studied Altai culture, took a lot of pictures and videos. We often went on small hikes in the forest, picked berries, bathed in the Katun River. Most of all we liked the area to the south of Aktash: steppes and snow-covered mountains. And we went to the famous Mars as many as three times.

Reviews of tourists about recreation in Altai. People really like the nature and majesty of the mountains, but many were disappointed by the cold waters of the rivers and lakes, and heated pools are not yet widespread. Summers are short and it gets dark early. There are mosquitoes and midges, but not too many.

Recreation in the Altai reviews

The Martian landscapes of the Altai Mountains.

Prices for recreation in Altai in 2022.

Many recreation centers in the Altai Mountains offer a leisure program for their holidaymakers, have cafes and restaurants, organize entertainment and excursions. You can safely put yourself in their hands and do not worry about anything, but the cost of such a holiday will be expensive.

Meals in the cafe depends on the level of the institution, along the route and in large settlements enough cafes and canteens. The average bill will be 300-500 rubles per person. A complex meal at a rest area in the Altai mountains starts at 1000 rubles.

There are different excursions, the prices are high and depend on the richness of the program and the distance traveled. Trips to the Chemalskaya Hydroelectric Power Station, to the lakes Manzherok and Sinukha Mountain, Tavda Caves, visits to the Botanical Garden, the flowering nursery “Biolit” and Maralnik (rhododendron) – from 500 to 1000 rubles. Full-day excursions to the mound, Kalbak-Tash tract, Lake Teletskoye and Korbu waterfall cost about 2,000 rubles. All places are cheaper and more interesting to visit on your own.

Where to relax in the Altai Mountains in the summer

We came to see the steles in the Uch-Enmek Park.

Our expenses in Altai

We spent a month and a half in Altai: July-August. We took our own car from Perm in the company of five friends. We bought most of the groceries in advance and often cooked by ourselves. We lived in tents, hotels, on camping sites.

READ
How to get to Altai: all ways

Here were our expenses per two people (except for gasoline, which was the total amount):

Gasoline for the trip there and back 23 000
Gasoline in Altai 10 000
Car repair 1 000
Travel lodging 5 600
Lodging in Altai 19 500
Groceries 21 500
Cafe 10 700
Coffee reserve 3 400
Internet and communication 1 700
Sightseeing 1 300
Life 5 000
Tick vaccinations 3 500
Medications 2 900
Total for two 109 000 ₽

Additional expenses: tourist outfit – 48,000 rubles. Many things had to buy, but they are things not for one trip.

If you do not count gasoline and lodging en route, repairs, vaccinations, first aid kit and coffee beans (which we personally can not live without), it turns out 70000 rubles for two or 35000 rubles per person. This is pure spending on a vacation in the Altai Mountains. Not much at all! After all, we spent there a month and a half and visited everywhere.

Achik, Altai Mountains

We came to Achik Pass, from here you can see all the main ranges of the Altai Mountains.

The Best Recreation Bases in the Altai Mountains

Recreation center “Altai-Rai”.

Lovers of outdoor activities and unity with nature can stop in the summer at the “Altai-Rai” recreation base in the village of Elekmonar. You can have meals three times a day in the canteen, bar and cafe. Bathhouse, free parking, private beach, water park, bike rental, horseback riding, tourist bureau. Accommodation in a standard double room from 3500 rubles per day.

Park-hotel “Manzherok”.

Year-round recreation center is located in a pine forest on the shore of the Katun River. Nearby there is a village, a ski trail and a ropeway. Large wood and stone buildings, beautiful and well-groomed territory, barbecue area, outdoor swimming pool, sauna and terrace. It is very convenient to relax with children. Accommodation from 1500 to 3600 rubles per day, meals in the dining room for a fee, breakfast is included in the price. Of the drawbacks: no daily change of towels and linen in the rooms, not always have the Internet.

Leisure Center “Zaimka Kamza”.

In no less picturesque place is located and recreation center “Zaimka Kamza” in the village of Tyuguryuke. The area is very large and beautiful, there is street lighting and wooden decking, the neat wooden houses are made in the same style. There is an outdoor pool and playground, gazebo, the territory is kept deer. The cost of living from 2000 rubles per room for two. Of the drawbacks: paid parking.

Eco-hotel “Lesotel”.

According to the reviews of tourists, “Lesotel” in Souzga – a great place to rest in the Altai. The hotel is located on the shore of the Katun River in a picturesque place, not far from Gorno-Altaisk. The territory is well-groomed, with wooden country houses. The restaurant has Russian and European cuisine, sauna, spa center, swimming pool, cafe, Wi-Fi, a variety of entertainment. Well suited for holidays with children. Cost from 3000 to 9000 rubles per night for a double room.

Yurt Camping Gold Camel.

You can have a wonderful summer recreation in Altai in a campsite in Kosh-Agach. Authentic heated yurts and cabins are very picturesque. You can ride camels, rent a bicycle or book a jeep tour. There is a sauna, restaurant and shared kitchen. Accommodation from 3000 rubles per day – the yurt is designed for five.

READ
Trip to the Altai Mountains by car. Recreation savage. Where to go

Summer recreation in the Altai

Kurai Steppe.

Tips

Mountain Altai is not a place for “mattress-riders”: people come here to do sports, walk a lot and enjoy nature. Those who are used to spend their vacations on the beach in the pose of a starfish, this holiday is unlikely to like.

To save money, do not latch on to the elite tourist complexes – it is very expensive. Choose recreation centers, inexpensive hotels and live in a tent. The prices in cafes and canteens are not high, but it’s cheaper to cook on your own. So buy your groceries ahead of time in the big city.

If you want to go to Altai Mountains in summer 2022, buy medicines (not all drugstores are equipped) and repellents.

If you want to have a rest by your car, you must bring your own car. You have to travel in Altai, not to stay in one place!

Is it worth to have a rest in Altai? Our opinion

Tourist reviews about rest in Altai, based on personal experience: is it worth to go on vacation, where to go and where to go to have a better rest in Altai, the pros and cons and much more.

The pros and cons of vacationing in the Altai Mountains.

Mountain Altai – this is a wonderful place! Almost everyone who has been here will confirm it. As with every direction in Altai are also positive and negative aspects, let’s break it down in order!

Stunning nature. Everyone in Altai can find his dream come true about the perfect natural beauty.

Altai Mountains are a land of mountains, many of them rise to a height of more than 3000-4000 meters above sea level, and their tops are covered with snow all year round. The highest peak in the Altai Region, the two-headed Belukha (4,506 meters), is unparalleled in its beauty.

Chemal is good for its microclimate and picturesque nature (Photo flickr © _ghosty_ )

Altai is also a land of blue lakes – there are thousands of them! The largest of them is the Teletskoe Lake, which is located among the high mountain ranges and is surrounded on all sides by taiga.

One of the attractions of Altai is a freshwater lake Aya (Photo: 4seasons-hotel.ru)

Altai is a territory of wild untouched nature! Here you will find vast areas, still untouched by civilization. So, just a stone’s throw away from the Chuisky Tract you will experience the pristine nature, among which you can spend several days in the deserted wilderness.

From Achik Pass you can admire Belukha, the queen of the Altai Mountains (Photo: Flickr.com © Serge Bystro)

Accommodation for every taste and wallet. Very different people come to Altai to have a rest.

Someone needs a comfortable hotel or camping site with all conveniences, excellent food and a lot of entertainment. No problem!

Popular hotel Maryin Ostrov in Chemal (Photo by hotelss.net)

In the Altai Mountains there are many excellent places, recreation centers and hotels, where you can spend your holidays for two or with children. In this case, such resorts are usually at the beginning of Chui Tract and get to them is not too long (meaning from the airport).

There is another group of tourists who crave solitude and go, as a rule, by own car in more remote places. Here you can rent quite inexpensive cottages or yurts/villas to stay. Some people even stay overnight in tents – there are specially equipped camping sites for them.

Yurt, chadyr, ail - traditional Altai housing (Photo: lolorun / pixabay.com)

Variety of entertainments. Not everyone likes to limit themselves to contemplation of nature, many need an active holiday.

READ
Rest with children in Altai 2022: the best bases + tips

Altai has a lot to offer for those fidgeters!

Whatever you are old and whatever you like, if you decide to take a trip to Altai you will get sure that there is no place for boredom in the land of turkic peoples.

Do you dream to drive on mountain roads on quad bikes? Or see the beauty of Belukha mountain from the bird`s eye view? Do you want to go rafting on Altai rivers which are famous for their complexity and scenic beauty? You may find all of them here!

And this is not the whole list. Most likely you will be interested in at least one of the many hiking, biking, water, car, horseback riding, skiing or snowmobile tours in Altai!

Video: the main attraction of Altai is the amazing nature!

It is a long way to travel/flight. Mountain Altai is not so close to the European part of Russia: 3850 kilometers from Moscow and 4270 kilometers from St. Petersburg.

Everyone travels differently. Someone takes three days, someone takes four. If you try very hard, you can go faster, but rushing on the road is not a good idea.

By plane is much faster – you can get there in 5 hours. But… hence the next minus: the cost of travel!

Expensive vacation. Since the Altai Mountains are far from the European part of Russia, the lion’s share of the budget goes on the road.

In an article about traveling in Altai by car, we told in detail how much it would cost to go on vacation by your car, or by plane with a rental car on the spot.

On average, in both cases it will cost about 60,000 rubles for four people. A little more by plane + rental car, and a little less if you go on your own car.

And so in each case is very individual, because it all depends on the number of travelers and the duration of the trip. If you go for a long time and you have a large group, then, of course, the trip by car will be cheaper.

Will not be suitable for everyone. Most of the reviews of the trip to Altai are enthusiastic, but there are those who describe their trip with the following words: “Scary. No boons of civilization. There is no guarantee of safety. It is dirty and expensive”.

In fact, this is true, and not so. If you thoughtlessly take a tour to an unknown hotel with an unpredictable route, you can really spoil your vacation.

On the other hand Altai is really beautiful, and recreation centers here can compete in service with the European. Treat your choice and planning your vacation with attention, and it will be on the excellent!

Tourist reviews about rest in Altai

What are the prices for vacations?

You can find out the current prices on vacations on the leading sites for the selection of favorable tours, excursions and airline tickets.

Remember that you can buy tours cheaper on Travelata.ru – search tours of hundreds of tour operators! Use our promotional codes AF2000turcalendar for extra 2000 rubles discount (tours from 100 rub), AF1500turcalendar 1500 rubles (from 80 rub), and AF1000turcalendar 1000 rubles (from 60 rub)!

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