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Road Trips

Altai Republic
10 Tips For a Comfortable Trip to Altai

What you should not forget when you're going to Altai, and what features of the region can affect your trip - we have collected all the most useful in 10 tips.

10 Tips For a Comfortable Trip to Altai
  • Make sure to book all your accommodation in advance. It is highly unlikely that you’ll find something once you arrive at your destination: demand in this case significantly exceeds supply. In addition to the obligatory, flip through Instagram accounts of local campsites and guest houses, and check out (you may have to use Google Translate for the latter).

  • When booking, pay close attention not only to the mentions of ‘terrace view’ and ‘private bathroom’ but also to the availability of a cafe and a laundry on the premises. There may be neither in remote locations (same applies to private toilets, let alone bathrooms), therefore, it would be a good idea to prepare a meal plan and clothes accordingly. 

  • When putting together your capsule wardrobe for the journey, keep in mind that it needs to be practical, yet not too sparse. Pack three pairs of shoes (lightweight running shoes, hiking boots, and flip-flops), a sensible supply of plain and long sleeve t-shirts, a warm hoodie or two, a jacket, a raincoat, shorts, and a swimsuit or swimming trunks.

  • The sun in the Altai Mountains is very active. Therefore, sunscreens with an SPF of at least 35, sunglasses, and a sun hat are an absolute must.

  • There are virtually no mosquitoes or midges in Altai, but the area is teeming with ticks. If you are planning to travel in late spring or early summer, make sure to take out insurance against tick bites, or better get vaccinated against tick-borne encephalitis (TBE). Note that it is done in several stages, so you will have to take care of the injections at least a month in advance of your trip. Nevertheless, have a repellent on you at all times.

  • Backpacks: you will need at least one – and two at most. An ordinary urban backpack or a small sports one would be suitable for day hikes. But if you are in the mood for serious trekking or climbing, you will have to purchase a proper travel backpack and other essential equipment in a specialised shop, guided by the expert advice from your travel instructor.

  • If you are not conducting large-scale research or planning a full immersion, entertainment can be taken care of on the spot. But if the goal is to see the real Altai in all its diversity, you need to put together an itinerary, find a guide, and book visits in advance.

  • The choice of accommodation depends on the purpose of the trip unless camping or living in a car is what you’re after. For example, Mayminsky, Chemalsky, Shebalinsky and Turochaksky Districts are suitable for a comfortable family holiday. On the other hand, Ongudaysky, Ulagansky, Kosh-Agachsky, Ust-Koksinsky and Ust-Kansky Districts will be a great fit for fans of trekking and expeditions to hard-to-reach places.

  • When heading out to highland regions, always keep in mind that you may experience difficulties finding pharmacies, ATMs, and petrol stations. With that in mind, always take care of a well-stocked first aid kit, cash and a full tank for a comfortable trip. Also note: vegans and vegetarians should meal prep in advance – they will hardly find anything to their liking in local shops and markets.

  • Almost every place in Altai can boast access to clean and delicious drinking water – water pumps and wells in villages; springs, clean rivers and lakes on hikes. Do not forget to bring a stylish, convenient and sensibly large water bottle.