There are certain stereotypes about Siberia and most of them are true. It is a cold place, indeed, with the lowest temperature recorded at −68° Celsius (-90° Fahrenheit). But it is also a very special place that is full of magic and natural beauty.
The Altay mountains have become a milestone of attraction for those who have a craving for nature. Bright Side invites you on a breathtaking journey. Are you ready for a trip to Shambhala?
1. Meet the locals
The most widespread stereotypes about Siberia are severe cold, never-smiling people, and gloomy weather. But in fact, tourism is a big part of the locals’ income, so you can be sure that they will do their best to help you and make you happy. Authentic impressions are guaranteed!
2. Dare to take a leap of faith.
There are plenty of activities you can entertain yourself with. Challenge yourself and start with bungee jumping!
3. Befriend shamans and artists.
Apart from the numerous annual festivals and markets dedicated to ethnic culture, music, and crafts, there is also a village of craftsmen and artists. The village is called Askat and it’s a community of people who long for a life of harmony with nature.
4. Discover mythic Shambhala.
The total area of Siberia is compared to the territory of Canada, which is the second largest country in the world. Siberia’s nature and climate are both very diverse.
The Altay region is located in the southern part of Western Siberia, which is sometimes called Shambhala. Shambhala is a mythical land of harmony and universal knowledge where all dreams are said to come true.
5. Take a break from areas overflowing with tourists.
The development of civilized tourism here is just enough to not get lost and still get the most out of the surrounding wilderness. The way of life that local people lead here is harmoniously intertwined with nature, making it heaven for adventurous travelers.
6. Breathe in the unique air.
The combination of rare blooming plants, optimal humidity, and the altitude makes the air here so enriched that you will want to eat it with a spoon. The close location of thermal radon springs makes the air here very healing and that’s why the Altay Mountains are often compared to resorts in Switzerland.
7. See animals of the Red List with your own eyes.
There is a lot of wildlife to see in Siberia. For example, the maral is a wild red deer who is truly magnificent. You will have a chance to see these animals in their natural habitat.
8. Visit ancient Ukock Plato.
The charming beauty of this place speaks for itself.
9. Take in the beauty of the Siberian rivers.
The rivers of Siberia are the longest in Russia. One of the main rivers of the Altay region is the Katun River. It is almost 700 km long and its curves are very picturesque.
10. Cross the hanging bridge.
The river is so loud here that you will have to shout if you want to say something to someone. Even though the bridge is safe, be sure to be careful while taking selfies!
11. Try extreme rafting.
International canoeing and rafting competitions are regularly held on the Altay rivers.
12. Enjoy hiking incredible routes.
The highest mountain of the region is Belukha (4509 m.) It’s quite easy to find a guide to lead you to the foot of the mountain to step on ancient glacier ice.
13. Become an experienced horse rider.
You can also go up the mountain paths and explore Siberia on horseback which is sure to be an unforgettable experience.
14. Admire nature.
The serpentine roads along the mountains will leave you speechless.
15. Chase your game.
If you enjoy hunting, here you will have the chance to participate in hawk hunting.
16. See Siberia from above.
If you want to know how it feels to glide through the Siberian sky, you can go for a helicopter ride and observe the splendid landscapes from above.
17. Hang out at ethnic festivals.
You can participate in all of this fun and try new activities at no cost.
18. Learn crafts
You can join the villagers and spend some time among the community. Just imagine how cool it is to live among shamans and artists! You’ll be sure to learn some secrets of the magical Altay herbs or how to make leather belts, for example.
19. Bring home fascinating gifts
Souvenirs are gorgeous here. Instead of postcards, magnets, and plates, you can find healing herbs, spiritual stone amulets, honey, pine nuts, straw pictures, and traditional cutlery made of birch-tree bark.
20. Try on “pimy”
Moreover, you can buy unique handmade stuff, such as special Siberian winter felt boots made from wool called “pimy.”
21. Explore hidden corners of the world
There’s so much to see in Altay that there’s no doubt that you’ll return with incredible stories!
Have you ever met someone who has visited these amazing places? Or would you like to explore Siberia yourself? Share your thoughts with us in the comments!