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The Great Sayan Ring

10 days / 9 nights

The Great Sayan Ring is a unique opportunity to touch the nature and culture of three very different regions: the Krasnoyarsk Territory, Tuva and Khakassia Republics. You will learn how Siberians lived in past centuries as well as present day. You will feel the hospitality of local people and realize the richness of this nation's cultural traditions. Moreover you will touch the origins of religions - from the Orthodox Church to Shamanism.

This round a guarantee will be lead to all the declared dates!
Date of arrival to Krasnoyarsk: 13, 27 of June, 18 of July, 1, 15 of August, 5 of September 2018


Tour programme:

Day 1

After the tourists' arrival to Krasnoyarsk they are transferred to the hotel. Breakfast, rest, lunch. This day there is a sightseeing including a visit to the symbol of Krasnoyarsk - the Paraskeva Pyatnitsa chapel situated on the Karaulnaya mountain and shown in the 10-ruble banknote. In the 17th century the Cossacks who founded the city built a watch tower on this mountain. One can enjoy a picturesque view of the city, of the river Yenisey, of the surrounding mountains and the nature reserve Stolby.

You will pass the historical town part with its monuments of XVIII-XIX centuries, the former mansions of Siberian merchants and patrons, you will see the monument to Krasnoyarsk founder Andrey Dubensky, the Annunciation Cathedral, the Theatre Square and much more. Tourists will also make an excusrion to the Surikov's house-museum (Usadba) - a wooden house of the beginning of the century, keeping all the features of that period (furniture, design, utensils, service buildings). At the end of 19th century a young boy Vasia Surikov left this house to win world-wide glory of one of the most prolific painter of that period. Free time for walking in the city, visiting souvenir shops.

In the evening the tour agency "Sayan Ring" will host the welcoming dinner in one of the most homelike Krasnoyarsk restaurants, during the dinner you will be able to get acquainted with the other tour participants.

*Accommodation in 3* hotel. Breakfast, lunch, dinner.

Day 2

Today the tourists will have a chance to see a man made sea, to cross two nature zones and to reach the Sayan mountains. The group will travel to the South through the city of Divnogorsk. They will cross the river Yenisey twice. The road goes along one of the biggest dams in the world - the Krasnoyarsk Hydroelectric power station. It was built in 1972, forming a water basin 400 km long.  


Lunch is organized on the border between Krasnoyarsk region and Khakasia. After lunch those who wish to enjoy the stunning view of the Krasnoyarsk Sea may climb the nearest hill and walk among the ancient monuments of Scythian culture of VIII-VII century BC.

Upon arrival to Abakan, capital city oh Khakassia republic, a short sightseeing excursion visiting the Siberian unique landscaping park “Garden of the dream”. The park has so many unexpected and interesting things: the Eiffel Tower, the evil claws and beak of an huge eagle, unsightly mounds near the grass are funny hedgehog, an English lawn, meditation in a Japanese garden, and the most impressing thing is many Siberian amazing plants, pergolas, swings, funny little creatures, sitting at the edges of walkways and much more. The park is unique one in Russia.

Then the group goes to Gladenkaya Ski Resort, located near the Sayano-Shushenskaya hydroelectric power station. The dam was built in 1987, height 245 meters, the length of the ridge 1,070 meters, the width at the base of 110 meters, the width of the crest 25 meters. Hydroelectric dam forms the Sayan-Shushenskoye reservoir volume of 31.34 km ³ and an area of 621 km ². In the area of the reservoir there is the Sayano-Shushensky Biosphere Reserve. Amazingly clear water allows to exist a trout farm near hydroelectric power station, because trout are known to not tolerate polluted water. Visit a trout farm, where it is possible to buy fresh fish.

Accommodation at the pension, rest. Free time for walking around and visiting to the Spa-complex (extra charge). Dinner.

*Accommodation at the pension “Zharki”** on Gladenkaya Ski Resort. Breakfast, lunch, dinner.

Accommodation in Gladenkaya “Sport hotel”**** on request. The complex is made in the style of a wooden chalet. It has 4 floors built in the shape of a shamrock. Choosing this hotel you get an opportunity to enjoy comfortable rest. The hotel has a swimming pool, a sauna, a restaurant, children playgrounds and other facilities. (extra charge)

Day 3

The day begins with departure to Shushenskoye village (430 km is the total mileage of the day) that will serve as a pass from civilization to ancient times. The excursion to the ethnographical museum "Shushenskoe" will bring you to the real Siberian village of ХIX-XX centuries. The history of the museum is inextricably linked with the name of Vladimir Lenin, who lived in Shushenskoye in exile 1897-1900. This corner of antiquity is situated on a bank of the river Shush, near its confluence with the Yenisei. There are numerous monuments of architecture on the 7 hectares: farmhouses, commercial shop, jail, tavern, about 200 wooden buildings. A lot of people go here attracted by ancient Siberian traditions, which are fully preserved in this place. A visit to a real tavern will bring everybody another surprise, you can see handicrafts and go to the shop of a merchant. Here you will be served a cup of tea in a real Siberian izba.


During this day the group will also get acquainted with another Siberian village. The name of the place is Tanzybei. The group will visit a local family; taste home cooked cookies and beverages, fruit and vegetables from the garden. Here you can see chickens and rabbits, have a natural milk, see the Siberian garden. Lunch at the farmhouse will surprise you with its variety of dishes.

After a lunch the group continues its way towards Tuva (430 km) across the West Sayan mountains. You will see the host of this territory - Sleeping Sayan warrior if you look attentively at the contours of the mountain. The legend says that one day the khakasian warrior Sayan fell asleep here. He can be seen now lying on the back with folded arms.

In June now here, now there you can see globeflowers, flowers of a bright orange colour, which are so fond of Siberians.

Closer to the evening group comes to Tuva. It’s amazing but as soon as the bus crosses the border between Krasnoyarsk region and comes to Tuva even the scenery changes. It seems like you are coming to another planet and another age. There are almost no signs of civilisation on the most part of Tuva territory, steppes and sharp mountains are over the hundreds kilometres.

The group makes a stop 22 km from the city Kyzyl, on the bank of the Biy-Khem river (in Tuvan – Big Yenisey), in the yurts’ complex. Accommodation in the real thick felt yurts built by tuvians specially for the tourists.

After dinner – the performance with the traditional throat singing – “khoomei”. The throat singing - a fantastical capability of the Tuva people (and some other Siberian nationalities) to emit simultaneously two or three sounds of different tone and to sustain the same sound for 25-30 seconds without taking a breath. If you close your eyes it is hard to believe that the sounds are emitted by a person and not by a musical instrument.

Who of us has not dreamed of the open spaces of the sky? At the end of the day you can enjoy Tuvinian starry sky in all its glory with the help of a telescope installed in the yurt complex. You can see many constellations; an experienced guide will help you in this, even if you have not been strong in astronomy. From time to time the soul of each urban resident asks for something special, for what we have never enough time in everyday. And then we look at the stars.

* Accommodation is in the yurts’ complex “Biy-Khem”. Breakfast, lunch and dinner/

ay 4 The Europeans are still interested in the eastern traditions. The route that covers the Sayan ring lets you visit the heart of Asia. The place of this day is Kyzyl, the capital of Tuva. This city is situated in the place where Biy-Khem (the Big Yenisey) and Ka-Khem (the Small Yenisey) unite their waters and give a life to the great river Yenisey. The first sightseeing to visit here is the Geographical Centre of Asia. Built in 1964, the monument represents a big globe on which the contours of continents are marked, Tuva and Kyzyl are specially indicated.

The next place of visiting is the Buddhist temple where you will have a chance to hear a sermon of the lama. Buddhism in Tuva exists in harmony with shaman beliefs. So after the Buddhist temple we will go to a Shaman community where you can pay and ask about your health and future, get information about shamanism secrets. Lunch is organized in a local restaurant. After eating the group will visit the Regional Museum of Tuva (exhibition “Scythian gold”) and see unique archaeological finds of different epochs.

Free time in the city. Visit to local handicrafts who will share the secrets of making shamanic drums, yurts, utensils, jewelry.

A dinner with traditional dishes of Tuvan cuisine including meat and dairy products will be cooked specially for the guests on returning back to the yurt complex.

To make the guests’ life as clear as the milk, to let spirits of heaven and earth help to the successful resolution of all deals, to make the travel trouble free, we invite you to Tuvan tea ceremony. During the ceremony you will hear a story about cooking national Tuvan tea with milk and salt, you will learn about the history of tea in Tuva, about tea legends and parables. You’ll feel the taste of the rich culture, feel the wonderful land of steppes and open spaces of Tuva.

In the evening you will see a bewitching show: shamans' kamlaniye**. Kamlanie is a magical communication between shamans and spirits. During this ritual the shamans dance around fire, sing and beat a drum. Kamlanie will leave a long lasting impression, nobody remains indifferent after this ritual. There the shamans will tell you about their traditions, rituals and abilities. After that you will get an opportunity to ask them about your future, your health and experience the ritual of purification**.

* Accommodation in the yurts’ complex “Biy-Khem”. Breakfast, lunch, dinner

** Extra charge
Day 5 Nowadays the tourists can follow exactly the same path that ancient nomads followed crossing Tuva from the east to the west and reach Khakassia. The route will go through the mountain pass. Here you can meet places which are considered to be energetically powerful. Before lunch there is a stop near a breathtaking mountain Khairykan - one of the most respected places in Tuva. In 1992 it was chosen by Dalai Lama XIV to be an energetically powerful place. Once a year local shamans come here to get energy, strengthen and purify their spirits.

Many of the tuvan people are still nomads. The group will meet a family of real nomads (if nomads are there that time). The nomads' way of life today has little difference with their life a hundred years ago. Traditionally a yurt, where they live is divided into two halves - a man's half and a woman's half. Guests are received in a special place.

Picnic is organized right on the grass, next to a Buddha stela. And around the larches a lot of edelweiss’s are growing, which became a symbol of the mountains for many people.

On the way tourists will see the center of Buddhist culture, a ruined temple Ustuu-Khuree. The temple was the crowning of Buddhist construction in Tuva. And it was unique not only in Tuva, but also in like the former Soviet Union. In 1930, after the adoption of a special resolution Ustuu-Khuree was closed, and in 1937 - destroyed. In 1999, the Russian government, recognizing the historic and architectural value of the unique temple Ustuu-Khuree, decided to restore it.

Khakassia begins after the Sayan pass, at a height of 2206 metres. The mountains here are covered with fabulous cedar taiga. The tourists will spend the next two days in the taiga camp "Snow Leopard" built on the bank of the river Stoktysh.

You can enjoy walking on colourful moss here, breathe pure mountain air, taste traditional taiga cuisine.

* Accommodation in the camp "Snow Leopard". Breakfast, lunch, dinner
Day 6

The first day in taiga will amaze you by silence, not usual in big cities. In the morning the group will go to the mountain Mayak, to the bridge of love or to the hunters’ house. It is also possible to hike to the mountain lake Marankul (8 km one way) or Stoktyshskie mountain lakes (10 km one way). In case of bad weather we can offer you a visit to Lama Vostokov. White Lama Vostokov is a professor of Tibetan medicine, who will talk about the local medicinal herbs and opportunities of health improvement in the unique conditions of Sayan Nature.

The pendant bridge is over mount river, which flows across taiga forest overcoming many rapids. There is a local tradition according to which a lover if he wants to prove his love has to carry in one's arms his beloved lady over this bridge.


Lunch. In July and August you can gather gifts of the forest - berries and mushrooms which you don't even need to look for - they are just under your feet. You will also have a chance to eat cedar nuts. A Siberian cedar is a unique tree. Those cedars which you will be surrounded by are the witnesses of several centuries, fed hundreds of generations who lived in taiga.

Taiga air makes you healthier, but the real cure for all illnesses is a Russian banya. A steaming Russian banya with brooms made of coniferous twigs, birch and oak twigs. Those who are courageous enough can jump into the cold river right after steaming. But if you are not ready for such an extreme procedure, there is also phytosauna** built on the territory of the camp. Time after the lunch is spent at the fireplace. Cedar taiga, fire, star-spangled sky and silence will make you forget about rush of the cities. All this will make you feel a part of wild nature.

After dinner evening at the fireplace. Cedar Taiga, starry sky and the silence that we forget about in the city surround you and only the crackle of the blazing fire…

* Accommodation in the camp "Snow Leopard". Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 7

After breakfast - bid farewell to "Snow Leopard" (242 km) and taiga.

On the route the group makes a stop at a khakasian village where there is a monument Khurtuyakh tas, where native women bring there gifts if they wish to have a baby.

By afternoon the group arrives to the Kyug valley (in Khakassian "kyug" means "delight") 137 km far from Abakan. Two great mountains chains stand near each other here. The Khakasian people call this valley "delight", archaeologists find a lot of monuments of different cultures. There is a yurt complex "Kyug" situated not far from the nature reserve "Kazanovka". Free time for walking around and horse riding**. Accommodation again in yurts, this time it will be wooden khakassian yurts also built specially for tourists. After dinner - a performance of the khakassian national folklore group.

Khakassisn speech sounds here, Khakassian food is not exotic, all rituals are natural without striving for theatricality.

In the silence of the Khakassian valley you can really calm and relax and the scent of the beautiful irises will give you new energy.

   * Accommodation in the yurt complex "Kug"*. Breakfast, lunch, dinner.

   ** Extra charge


Day 8 The history of Khakasia is very reach and has plenty of memorable dates.

The excursion to the National museum of Khakassia "Kazanovka" will let you know more about the inheritance of ancient civilizations. This museum is situated under the open sky and includes mountains, canyons, caves, mixed forest, rare plants. There are more than 2000 archaeological monuments on the territory of the nature reserve. Every year archaeologists open 30-40 new monuments. The main purpose of this museum is to preserve natural and historical landscapes, reconstruction and development of local people's life, gathering, searching, forming and protection of the funds. In "Kazanovka" the tourists will have a chance to see rock paintings which are 3000-5000 years old. Archaeologists make copies of these paintings on paper for further studying and you can take these copies with you as souvenirs.

Visit to an ethnographical village "Khakasian aal," where the tourists have a chance to get personally acquainted with everyday life of Khakassian people from the late 19th - early 20th centuries.

After dinner those who wish can visit banya**.

 * Accommodation in the yurt complex "Kug". Breakfast, lunch, dinner.

 ** Extra charge
Day 9 The capital of Khakassia is Abakan. The group will travel to this city from "Kyug" valley. You will be able to see the exposition of stone monuments in the Regional museum of Khakassia. Among them there are fantastic animals, sun like gods, figures with animal's heads. Local people believe that some of these stones still have great power.

After that the group will visit the Valley of Kings. There are 30 burial hills in this valley that date back to III-IV century B.C. The largest hill is named The Big Salbyk hill. The hill's circumference is 500 m, its height is more than 11 meters. The total weight of vertical stones is approximately 60 tons.  Many think that this is a place where shamans enrich their power.

The group will have lunch in the open air. After that – a long way back to Krasnoyarsk.

Don't try to understand everything that you have seen during this journey. Understanding will come to you later. The most important thing is a powerful emotional impulse that you will get. It will last for a long time, until you visit Siberia again.

   *Accommodation in the Hotel****. Breakfast, lunch, dinner (in the hotel).
Day 10 Departure to the airport.

Tour cost, per person: 1580 Euro
single supplement: 270 Euro
Tour cost includes:
Transport service (bus), including group transfers airport-hotel-airport, double accommodation in hotels, camp “Snow Leopard” (with WC), yurt complex (without WC), meals (including mineral water, juices, coffee, tea, local drinks), excursions, folk programs, porter services, tickets to the museums and parks, guide service, visa support, accident insurance, Tick-borne encephalitis insurance.
Cost does not include:
Flights, alcoholic drinks, extra service. Group (not individual) transfers: airport–hotel transfer bus is available from 05.40 to 08.00 a.m., hotel-airport transfer bus is available to the flights from 08.00 to 12.00 a.m. Please book flights according to this schedule. Extra fee for individual transfer airport – hotel is 45 Euro.

Every participant of the tour should have:
1) a rucksack or travel bag 2) a sleeping bag and a tourist rug 3) trekking boots or rubber boots 4) additional shoes to change 5) things for personal hygiene, bathing accessories 6) warm clothes (waterproof and windeblock jacket) 7) sunglasses 8) a hat 9) small lamp 10) gloves 11) sticks for climbing 12) the first-aid set 13) anti-mosquito spray

Change of sequence of passage of round is possible.