Minor golden ring of Altai
Unforgettable experience of a great vacation awaits the travelers who take
up this route. During the trip you'll be able to discover the natural beauty
and diversity of Altai, its historical and cultural heritage, and its wonderful
Daily de luxe trains Kalina Krasnaya and Vostok are always ready to transport
you from the capital city of the Altai Territory, Barnaul, to the city of
Biysk, the starting point of the route.
Thecity of Byisk is the oldest of Altai cities, founded under the decree
of Peter the Great more than 300 years ago. Three centuries were enough for
a fortress protecting the southern borders of Russia from Dzungar people to
evolve into the Science City, one of the leading centers of nanotechnology
It is amusing to walk along the old streets that remind us of the merchant
past of the city, or visit museums and have a look at numerous unique exhibits
devoted to the nature and history of Altai, and also have a look at the place
where one of the greatest rivers of the world, the Ob, forms. In the Byisk
Local History Museum named after Vitaly Bianki you can see the exposition
devoted to the history of the legendary Chuysky Trakt.
It is this famous Altai highway that brings us to the next unique spot —
the village of Srostki, the birthplace of Vasily Shukshin, a well-known Russian
writer, director and actor. Virtually everyone who travels along the Chuysky
Trakt visits the V.M. Shukshin State Memorial Museum.
From 1976 onwards, annual Shukshin Meetings take place in Srostki. Thousands
of people from Russia and many other countries follow the dictates of their
hearts to see the places where the talented man, utterly devoted to his motherland,
spent his youth.
The next stop on the route is the Sky Blue Katun, a special economic zone
of tourist-recreational type. Today it is a rapidly developing complex of
both family and extreme recreation. Here you can make short walking or riding
tours, drive an all-terrain vehicle or use a bike to get to remote corners
of the Sky Blue Katun: fishing lakes, apiary, maral breeding farm. Whitewater
rafting on the Katun River including the visit to the water grotto along with
hang gliding and paragliding make an incomparable extreme experience.
The artificial lake complex is open to visitors of SEZ, offering a wide range
of services for a more traditional family recreation. Inquisitive ones should
visit the Taldinskiye caves with an open-air archaeological ground named the
Crossroads of the Worlds. It is also recommended to plan a visit to the maral
farm Kaimsky, a perfect pi ace for recreation: cedarwood bungalows, original
Siberian cuisine, classical hot Russian baths and vivifying pantocrine baths.
Another place on the route is Lake Aya, known as The Pearl of Siberia for
its beauty. A great number of visitors are annually attracted by diverse landscapes,
unique nature, and rapidly developing infrastructure.
One of the biggest villages of Altai and the center of Altaisky District,
the Altaiskoye village, is situated 45 km from Lake Aya. Nearby you may find
the plantations of the scientific production association Biolit. The local
Blooming Valley botanical garden with its exotic plants and medicinal herbs
is open to visitors in summer. The local history museum, devoted to Nicholas
Roerich's Altai period and Old Believers' search of Belovodye [note: a land
similar to Buddhist Shambhala) is also a place of great interest.
Next stop on the route is the town of Belokurikha, Russia's one-of-a-kind
health resort. Belokurikha is well-known for its radon water springs and,
certainly, for its pure and ionized mountain air. Along with sufficient health
improvement procedures you may take various excursions, walking tours etc.
Moreover, this place is also a great facility for holding world-class conferences
and symposia at the international level.
Now it is a 70 km drive to the initial point of the route — the city of
The Minor Golden Ring of Altai makes up a route of 280 km and might take
from two to five days depending on the excursion programme.
Today, the Minor Golden Ring tours are provided by tourist companies in
Biysk, Barnaul and Belokurikha.