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Wild Altay

  • Dates

    02.08 to 10.08.2019

  • Bike Stages

    8

  • Duration

    13 Days & 12 Nights

  • Parcour Distance

    330 km and 6800 m (elevation climb)

  • Level

    Medium

  • Support

    Vehicle support and luggage transport

  • Group size

    5 to 12

  • Guide

    Local MTB-Guide (Yarik) French, Spanish, German and English speaking guide/coordinator (Manon and/or Pablo)

  • Meals

    Full board during bike tour

  • Duration – 13 Days / 12 Nights
  • Tour  – 02.08 au 10.08 (2019)
  • Meeting – Almaty (KAZ)
  • Group Size – 5 to 12 People
  • Stage – 8
  • Parcour Distance – 330 km and 6,800 m (elevation climb)
  • Level – Medium
  • Support – Vehicle support and luggage transport
  • Guide – Local MTB-Guide (Yarik) French, Spanish, German and English speaking guide/coordinator (Manon and/or Pablo)
  • Meals – Full board during bike tour

Tour Program

Wild Altai - Altai Sauvage - Altai Salvaje

Kazakhstan may suggest you huge desert steppes. Nothing is further from reality if you dare to travel with us! Our trip starts in Almaty, the former capital of the Soviet Republic. The city benefits from an exceptional environment that would make jealous any city and is located at the foot of the Tian Shan mountain range with its monumental summits beyond 6000 meters of altitude. The view of the mountains from the busy streets of the city looks like surreal paintings. 
From there we need to first reach a place like no other in Kazakhstan, the Altay.  After a short flight to Oskemen we’ll drive to Katon-Karagai national park. It’s the price to pay to discover the overwhelming beauty of the untouched wild nature around this remote and mystical region. Together with local guide Yarik, who was born here and spent his childhood exploring the area, we’ll ride through breathtaking landscapes. A tour like no other and specifically created to discover Kazakh Altai region by MTB.  
This tour include a large variety of sceneries, from green forests and snow-capped mountain peaks to clear blue lakes, sandy deserts and rocky mountains. One is for sure, everything you will see here will feel so gigantic, emotional and spiritual! Come with us and observe the life and picturesque architecture of Altai fishermen villages. Enjoy a singular river crossing on a tiny ferry. Reconnect with the nature as never before. Ride an epic trail to the Wild Altay

 

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Arrival to Almaty

Long day of travelling to fly to Almaty. We’ll waiting for you at the airport and we’ll
pick you (and your bike!) up. We will spend the night in a comfortable Hotel or
Guehsthouse. Take it easy and relax when you arrive. If you have time enough, you
can go exploring or we can start assembling the bikes. We’ll gather in the evening
to meet each other as we’re going to be a small family for the next few days.

Flight to Oskemen

Internal flight from Almaty to Oskemen, the closest airport to the treasures of East-Kazakhstan. The city was founded in 1720 at the confluence of the Irtysh and Ulba rivers as a fort and trading post named Ust-Kamennaya. It was established according to the order of the Russian Emperor Peter the Great, who sent a military expedition in the search of Yarkenda gold destination. We take the opportunity to prepare the bicycle and get to know each other among the participants, organizers and guides. We will spend overnight in the city of Oskemen.

Wild Altai - Altai Sauvage - Altai Salvaje

Katon-Karagai

Bicycle distance: 30 km
Vertical climb: 1000 m
Vertical downhill: 1400 m
Relief smooth climb, mountain bridge
 A final stretch of 400km separates us from Katon-Karagai our playground for the upcoming days. We need to drive there. The Katon-Karagai is the largest national park in Kazakhstan, located on the eastern edge of the country, in the Southern Altai Mountains. We will arrive at the national park right on time for lunch and to proceed with the national park registration.
After lunch, the bike tour begins! We break the ice with the first 30 km easy roll in, the relief is not complicated. We go on beautiful picturesque places. We will go through old villages in the Altai style with rather wooden make architecture. In the evening, we pitch the camp on the river bank, relax and finally enjoy the beauty and calm of mother nature.

Wild Altai - Altai Sauvage - Altai Salvaje

Lake Yazovoe

 

Bicycle distance: 30 km
Vertical climb: 900 m
Relief constant smooth climb with through Forest.  

 

After a good breakfast, we start our 30 kilometres climb on a forest path towards the lake of Yazovoe, on the way we’ll go to the waterfall. The Yazovoe lake is situated at an altitude of 1685m above sea level not far from extraordinary river Katun which is fed by the glaciers of highest peak in Altai (and whole Siberia) region. From the lake we can see the snow-covered caps of this mountain, the Belukha. The mountain is on the borders of Kazakhstan and Russia
We will stop for the night along the bank of the lake. What a better way to finish the day than diving into this crystal clear water?

Wild Altai - Altai Sauvage - Altai Salvaje

Bukhtarminsky Reservoir

Bicycle distance: 50 km 

Vertical climb: 1000 meters
Relief descent from the lake, then gradually begin to gain altitude.
Early rise to feel the pure joy of riding through an unforgettable and majestic trail where a bewitching beauty serves as background. The Bukhtarma reservoir is simply an experience of assimilation into the nature. You and the surrounding become one. We’ll ride towards another incomparable spot. The Bukhtarma lake is awaiting for us. Campsite near mountain stream. 

Wild Altai - Altai Sauvage - Altai Salvaje

Bukhtarma Lake

Bicycle distance : 35 km 
Vertical climb: 1300 meters
The relief: smooth ascent to the lake and an epic descent to the spot for the night
We wake up early today for a day high in emotions. The dramatic steppe valley along the river that drains from the Bukhtarma lake is awaiting us. On the south of it the beautiful snow capped Ontustik Mountian. It’ll will be a continuous and moderate ascent. Before reaching the lake, we set up the camp. After lunch,  we continue our bike ride to the lake. Once at the lake we can contemplate the landscapes and lands from Russia too,  the border is only 5 km away! We collect some energy for the final effort. Time for observing, taking some pictures and be overwhelmed by the lake surroundings. The silence around us is pristine. It could be a chilly up there but don’t worry, after the terrific downhill to camp spot we’ll have a great camp-site spot once more!

Wild Altai - Altai Sauvage - Altai Salvaje

Bukhtarminsky lake to Staroavstriya road

Bicycle distance : 55 km .
Vertical climb: 1100 meters
Relief descent along the plateau, and ascent to the pass
We start the day with a 30 km downhill. After this, we go back on the car until the beginning of the Old Austrian road. The old Austrian Road was built from 1915 to 1917 by Austro-Hungarian WW1-prisoners captured on the Eastern Front. They needed 3 years to built a 60 km stretch. The track contains several bridges and fords and climbs from 990m in the Bukhtarma Valley up to the 2137m high Burkhat pass. The road is famous for its beauty. Due its unique location and the climb in elevation passing through remote areas. Before reaching the Burkhat pass a spectacular outlook over the Bukhtarma valley shows why the Katon-Karagai national park is one of the most interesting and picturesque parts of the Kazakh Altai.  After the pass we move along the plateau to a late night’s rest by the river.

Wild Altai - Altai Sauvage - Altai Salvaje

The Old Austrian road. Markakol Lake

Bicycle distance : 30 km away 
Vertical climb: 900 meters
The relief is hilly a terrain, through a magnificent forest.
The day before was just the appetizer of Old Austrian Road.  We continue our ride through mountain slopes covered by taiga-like coniferous forests: spruce, pine, larch and birch interfere with meadows, with a wide variety of colourful wild flowers. We will stop along the track to taste the delicious forest berries. After the epic ride, we finally arrive to the lake Markakol and the village of Urunkhayka with its 500 inhabitants, probably the only humans we see since last 2 days. Tonight we well deserve a comfortable night at the local guest house!

Wild Altai - Altai Sauvage - Altai Salvaje

Kin Kirish, Cape Shekelmes. 

Bicycle distance: 45 km .
Vertical climb: 500 meters
Relief smooth and easy

 

We start the day heading to the village of Terekty, riding along the border with China and facing the most northern part of Gurbantünggüt dessert. This is the second biggest in China (after legendary Taklamakan) includes the most distant point to any sea in the world. The contrast of lanscapes is simply mindblowing. From the sandy mountains and dunes in China to the green forests in  Kazakhstan. Further on we ride to the mountains of Kin Kirishin dating from Cretaceous in direction to Cape Shekelmes on Zaisan Lake. Again a magical spot to contemplate and enjoy the lake for the night.

Wild Altai - Altai Sauvage - Altai Salvaje Zaisan and Tainty lakes

We take a break today. The place well deserves it! Time to relax and start the day with a dive in the Zaisan lake. Later we drive to the ferry terminal to cross the Irtix river with the small ferry. It’s an experience itself enjoying the views of the mountains we’ve been riding through last days. We will cross fishermens’ village with a unique architecture where traditional Kazakh life might be glimpsed. 
In the evening we reach the small Tainty lake for a cozy and wild camp-site under a roof of stars. 

 

Wild Altai - Altai Sauvage - Altai Salvaje

Tainty and Sibinsky Lakes

Bicycle distance: 55 km .
Vertical climb: 1000 meters
Relief smooth relief, 1 pass. 

 

 We ride along an old road to the village of Asubulak, a tiny town with a population density of 5 people per square kilometer. Further on we ride the pass towards the glorious Sibinsky lakes. Unique granite sandy rock, plate-like rock formation surround the lakes. They are four: Kashkerbai (Sassykkol); Alka (Korzhynkol); Ulmeis (Shalkar); Gnuisen (Tortkarakol). Final kilometers back Oskemen. There’s dinner in a cafe. Overnight in the city. Ust-Kamenogorsk.

Back to Almaty & Farewell

Time to say goodbye to the east of Kazakhstan. An early flight will bring us back to Almaty. The city and the surrounding area has plenty to offer. We plan a sightseeing tour through the most representative places of the old capital of the country. Among the attractions we’ll stop at the famous Green Bazaar so that you can contemplate one of the most lively and traditional market places in Central Asia. In the end you’ll be free to go for lunch and explore the town on your own. We’ll be happy to help you with any wishes or ideas you might have.
Depending on the group wishes we could consider organizing a city-bike-tour instead. You’ll be surprised of how bike-friendly Almaty can be!
In the evening we’ll have dinner all together in a traditional Kazakh Café”  to say goodbye! 
(THIS EVENT COULD BE CHANGED TO THE BEGINNING OF THE TRIP DEPENDING ON THE MOST CONVENIENT SCHEDULE).
If you would like to visit a particular attraction let us know in advance and local
partners could arrange it for you:
  • You can arrange a paragliding flight.
  • Climb with the cable car to the ski resort of Shimbulak.
  • You can arrange a walk on the mountains near Almaty;
  • Visit to local museums.
Unfortunately, this is the end. Flying back home. Spend some more time in
Kazakhstan if you have the opportunity

More details

Dates :

Tour 1: 02.08 to 10.08.2019

Price:

€ 1.870 per person

€ 1683 for reservations before end of April

Single room supply : 200 €

International flights are not included in this tour. If you need, will be happy to assist you in finding a suitable flight. Return flights start from 350 €

INCLUDED:

Transport

  • Transfer from the airport to Almaty and vice versa
  • Internal return flight from Almaty to Oskemen and rental bike transport
  • Support vehicle with bicycle transport and luggage

Meals

  • Full board during the bike tour
  • Picnic for each day as well as water, coffee and tea during the course of the route

Accommodation

  • 12 nights accommodation in hotel/guest houses double room or camping in individual tent with technical comfort mattress included

Included Activities

  • 1 day guided cultural tour in Almaty
  • 11 days guided tour by local team (Yarik and Madi) and escort guide (Pablo and /or Manon in Spanish, French, German or English)
  • Entrance fee to national park Katon-Karagai
  • River crossing by ferry.

Additional  support : 

  • Cook and medical assistance
  • T-shirt or some similar souvenir
  • Pictures and videos that will be sent to the participants after the tour

NOT INCLUDED:

Transport 

  • International flights are not included in this tour.

Meals 

  • Alcoholic beverages in hotels and guest houses

Equipment

  • Mountain bike rental. High-end MTBs to 200€ for the whole trip
  • Models
    • 1) Giant Reign 2 
    • 2) Giant Trance
    • 3) Cube Acid
    • 4) Cube  Ams 110 Pro
  • Sleeping bag
  • Single room supply  Additional price of 200€

KAZAKHSTAN TRAVEL INFORMATION

Money & costs:

The Tenge is the national currency, and it is the only method of cash payment in Kazakhstan. It is strongly recommended to have small notes while travelling in cities because change is not readily available from taxi drivers or merchants in small shops. In big cities, you can withdraw the national currency from the ATMs. However, it is recommended to carry a little amount of USD(in small notes) that you can exchange in the bazar for a fair rate when ATMs are missing.

Safety

Kazakhstan enjoys a relatively low crime rate. For peace of mind, keep the normal and common-sense precautions in mind. Behave as you would anywhere else in the world: Don’t wander down any dark alleys alone, keep your valuables out of sight and don’t show off cash. Follow these simple rules:

1. Always carry your passport, you can show it but never give it to anyone. You can always provide a copy of the passport that you carry with you.

2. Although local drivers are respectful towards pedestrians, always be careful crossing streets, cycling on main roads

3. Bazaars and train stations are the places where robberies may take place. As tourists to all countries of the world are aware, it would be prudent to carry with you at all times the telephone numbers ( the police : 102, Rescue Service : 112

Entry & exit

Citizens of the european countries and territories can visit Kazakhstan without a visa for up to 30 days. When entering Kazakhstan, travelers receive a white registration card. You must fill in and retain this card throughout your stay in Kazakhstan.

Best Time to Go

The climate of Central Asia is one of extremes. The region is also the furthest place on Earth from the ocean. The softening influence of the sea has no effect here, meaning summers are hot (up to 40°C), winters are cold, and spring and autumn are transitions that take up only a few weeks in the year. Kazakhstan have agreeable springlike weather from March to May and from September to November. If you are planning to visit the mountains the best season is summer. Be aware, however, at high altitudes of 3000 metres or more it may even snow overnight during the summer.

Health

The most common illness for travelers in Central Asia is diarrhea or constipation. A simple rule: cook it, peel it, boil it or forget it !  Make sure to always wash your hands before eating. To drink avoid tap water. In the restaurant you will always be served a cup of tea(green or black) We recommend to bring a thermos and ask a refill for the rest of the day.

Kazakhstan has no vaccination requirements. However, it is highly recommended that you get vaccinated against tick borne encephalitis before visiting mountains during the Spring period. Typhoid, DTP (Diphtheria, Tetanus and Polio) and MMR (Measles,Mumps and Rubella), Hepatitis A and B are standard travel vaccinations and you should double-check you are up to date. Vaccinations for rabies are expensive and the chance of obtaining the virus is very small if you do not stay in the countryside for an extended time, so you should weigh up the risks for yourself. There are a fair number of clinics and hospitals with medical specialists in Kazakhstan. Foreigners can get free medical assistance in case of an emergency, but non-emergencies require a fee.

Travel insurance is required for this tour. Make sure you have a travel insurance that covers also repatriation.Upon arrival, please provide your insurance details to the tour guide. Which insurance you choose is up to you. We recommend for example this one: https://www.worldnomads.com

  • Endurance: Medium. For this tour a basic endurance is required. We ride around 40km per day but we must be ready for days of climbing although generally not very steep. Altitude will not be over 2000m. This tour is not a sport competition. There is enough time enjoy and caputre landscapes. Ambitious cyclers can drive ahead on many sections.

  • Riding skills: Medium. The tour is in general easy and most of the times there’s the chance to avoid technical parts. However it’s important to be used to MTB as some parts go through unpaved trails and for those looking for some adrenalin, some optional sections through more challenging trails can be done.


Secrets of Tian ShanWild Altai

Dates & Prices

Dates :

Tour 1: 02.08 to 10.08.2019

Price:

€ 1.870 per person

€ 1683 for reservations before end of April

Single room supply : 200 €

International flights are not included in this tour. If you need, will be happy to assist you in finding a suitable flight. Return flights start from 350 €

We take care...

INCLUDED:

Transport

  • Transfer from the airport to Almaty and vice versa
  • Internal return flight from Almaty to Oskemen and rental bike transport
  • Support vehicle with bicycle transport and luggage

Meals

  • Full board during the bike tour
  • Picnic for each day as well as water, coffee and tea during the course of the route

Accommodation

  • 12 nights accommodation in hotel/guest houses double room or camping in individual tent with technical comfort mattress included

Included Activities

  • 1 day guided cultural tour in Almaty
  • 11 days guided tour by local team (Yarik and Madi) and escort guide (Pablo and /or Manon in Spanish, French, German or English)
  • Entrance fee to national park Katon-Karagai
  • River crossing by ferry.

Additional  support : 

  • Cook and medical assistance
  • T-shirt or some similar souvenir
  • Pictures and videos that will be sent to the participants after the tour

NOT INCLUDED:

Transport 

  • International flights are not included in this tour.

Meals 

  • Alcoholic beverages in hotels and guest houses

Equipment

  • Mountain bike rental. High-end MTBs to 200€ for the whole trip
  • Models
    • 1) Giant Reign 2 
    • 2) Giant Trance
    • 3) Cube Acid
    • 4) Cube  Ams 110 Pro
  • Sleeping bag
  • Single room supply  Additional price of 200€
Travel Information

KAZAKHSTAN TRAVEL INFORMATION

Money & costs:

The Tenge is the national currency, and it is the only method of cash payment in Kazakhstan. It is strongly recommended to have small notes while travelling in cities because change is not readily available from taxi drivers or merchants in small shops. In big cities, you can withdraw the national currency from the ATMs. However, it is recommended to carry a little amount of USD(in small notes) that you can exchange in the bazar for a fair rate when ATMs are missing.

Safety

Kazakhstan enjoys a relatively low crime rate. For peace of mind, keep the normal and common-sense precautions in mind. Behave as you would anywhere else in the world: Don’t wander down any dark alleys alone, keep your valuables out of sight and don’t show off cash. Follow these simple rules:

1. Always carry your passport, you can show it but never give it to anyone. You can always provide a copy of the passport that you carry with you.

2. Although local drivers are respectful towards pedestrians, always be careful crossing streets, cycling on main roads

3. Bazaars and train stations are the places where robberies may take place. As tourists to all countries of the world are aware, it would be prudent to carry with you at all times the telephone numbers ( the police : 102, Rescue Service : 112

Entry & exit

Citizens of the european countries and territories can visit Kazakhstan without a visa for up to 30 days. When entering Kazakhstan, travelers receive a white registration card. You must fill in and retain this card throughout your stay in Kazakhstan.

Best Time to Go

The climate of Central Asia is one of extremes. The region is also the furthest place on Earth from the ocean. The softening influence of the sea has no effect here, meaning summers are hot (up to 40°C), winters are cold, and spring and autumn are transitions that take up only a few weeks in the year. Kazakhstan have agreeable springlike weather from March to May and from September to November. If you are planning to visit the mountains the best season is summer. Be aware, however, at high altitudes of 3000 metres or more it may even snow overnight during the summer.

Health

The most common illness for travelers in Central Asia is diarrhea or constipation. A simple rule: cook it, peel it, boil it or forget it !  Make sure to always wash your hands before eating. To drink avoid tap water. In the restaurant you will always be served a cup of tea(green or black) We recommend to bring a thermos and ask a refill for the rest of the day.

Kazakhstan has no vaccination requirements. However, it is highly recommended that you get vaccinated against tick borne encephalitis before visiting mountains during the Spring period. Typhoid, DTP (Diphtheria, Tetanus and Polio) and MMR (Measles,Mumps and Rubella), Hepatitis A and B are standard travel vaccinations and you should double-check you are up to date. Vaccinations for rabies are expensive and the chance of obtaining the virus is very small if you do not stay in the countryside for an extended time, so you should weigh up the risks for yourself. There are a fair number of clinics and hospitals with medical specialists in Kazakhstan. Foreigners can get free medical assistance in case of an emergency, but non-emergencies require a fee.

Travel insurance is required for this tour. Make sure you have a travel insurance that covers also repatriation.Upon arrival, please provide your insurance details to the tour guide. Which insurance you choose is up to you. We recommend for example this one: https://www.worldnomads.com

How fit?
  • Endurance: Medium. For this tour a basic endurance is required. We ride around 40km per day but we must be ready for days of climbing although generally not very steep. Altitude will not be over 2000m. This tour is not a sport competition. There is enough time enjoy and caputre landscapes. Ambitious cyclers can drive ahead on many sections.

  • Riding skills: Medium. The tour is in general easy and most of the times there’s the chance to avoid technical parts. However it’s important to be used to MTB as some parts go through unpaved trails and for those looking for some adrenalin, some optional sections through more challenging trails can be done.

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