Tour “Journey to the Center of Asia”

Tour “Journey to the Center of Asia” is a unique opportunity to see three regions of Russia: Krasnoyarsk region, Khakassia republic and the Tuvan republic. You will learn the life of steppe tribes, walk in the shoes (or rather boots) of nomads, re-connect with mother-nature, experience what it’s like to be a shaman, learn about the culture of old-believers and immerse yourself in the old Russian way of life.
On our way, you will see coniferous forests followed by the steppe with wind-washed semi-deserts making our way to rapid mountainous rivers and hot springs.

What will you see?
– National colors of Khakassia and Tuvinian yurt; Siberian village the way it existed for centuries.
– Petroglyphs and megaliths of more than 2000 years old

What will you hear?
– History of three regions, interwoven with legends.
– Sounds of wildlife
– Your own self free from the stress of big-city living

What will you feel?
– The energy of shamanism and paganism
– Harmony and tranquillity of people following centuries-old canons.

Category:

Description

Tour “Journey to the Center of Asia” is a unique opportunity to see three regions of Russia: Krasnoyarsk region, Khakassia republic and the Tuvan republic. You will learn the life of steppe tribes, walk in the shoes (or rather boots) of nomads, re-connect with mother-nature, experience what it’s like to be a shaman, learn about the culture of old-believers and immerse yourself in the old Russian way of life.

Sample Description

Day 1.
Arrival in Krasnoyarsk. Transfer from airport to hotel. Rest. Excursion to Stolby natural reserve or city tour can be arranged (at extra-cost).

Day 2.
Transfer Krasnoyarsk – Khakassia. Boyarskaya petroglyphs, unique relic of Tagar archaeological culture 7-3 centuries B.C.
We will visit so-called “places of power”: Salbyk valley and Big Salbyk tumulus dated to the 4-5 centuries B.C. It is the biggest out of 56 tumuli in the “Valley of Tsars”. Experienced guide will tell us long history about dwellers of that valley centuries ago.
Transfer to village Askiz, accommodation in the hotel. Traditional dinner of Khakassian cuisine.

Day 3.
Visit to the archaeological museum-reserve “Kazanovka”, excursion around Khassian “aal” (settlement). You will learn why in Khakassian language there is no word for hay, how charm “tyosi” guards Khakassian family, will find out about the 9 stages of shaman’s life, will touch 4000 years old granite stone Akh Tas, which is believed to have curative power and will see shaman’s ritual “kamlanie”.

Day 4.
We will leave Askiz early in order to see sunrise in Safronovsky barrow. There, we will see stone megaliths with petroglyphs dated back to the 5 century B.C. Owing to the richness of petroglyphs and their deep meaning, Safronovsky barrow is sometimes called the “Encyclopaedia of Siberian shamanism”. It will be followed by excursion to Poltakovsy rock art open-air museum “Khaya Khoos”, where scientists collected the most interesting examples of ancient rock art of Khakassia. Transfer to the forest lodge.

Day 5.
Morning will start with photo-walk along picturesque Ona River, where it merges with the Big Anzas River. Ridges of Sayan mountains in background add to the impressive landscape. We will start the way to mountain pass Ak-Dovurak, its peak is a geographical border between Khakassia and Tuva, stopping for a shaman ritual of blessing along the way. After Ak-Dovurak we leave taiga and go to the steppe part of Tuva. First stop in Tuva will be the village Bizhigtik-Khaya, near which we will see a unique 1200 years old granite statue of the warrior Kizhi-Kozhae.
Transfer to Kyzyl-Dag, the village of hereditary stonemasons and blacksmiths, where we will be invited for workshops of masters and maybe will share in their little secrets. Accommodation in homestay in village Taeli. Traditional Tuvinian dinner to finish.

Day 6.
We will visit the Buddhist monastery of Ustuu-Khuree, the center of spirituality and home of the state identity of Tuva.
Arrival in the ethnographic complex Aldyn-Boolak. Accommodation in traditional style Tuvinian yurts finished with modern touches.

Day 7.
Excursion around Aldyn-Boolak. We will go through Heaven’s Gate of Shamballa, will learn why the Khans chose that place for their camp and will see the cult symbol “Ovaa Khoomeya”, golden arrow aiming to the sky.
Transfer to Kyzyl, capital of Tuva republic. National Museum featuring the famous “Gold of Scythians”, the discovery of which, in 2001, has changed theory about the history of Scythians. Gold decorations made more than 10 centuries ago will still fascinate you with the intricacy of the patterns and accuracy of work.
Walk to the obelisk “Geographic center of Asia” at the point of merge Big Yenisei and Small Yenisei rivers. Sculpture group “Tsar hunting” won the prestigious award in Italy in 2013.
Transfer to Sizym village, accommodation in the forest lodge.

Day 8.
Introduction to the history, traditions, customs of old-believers of Sizym village. You will learn what is “sobor”, how old-believers find brides, how many scarves are supposed to be worn by married women and other interesting facts.
Walk along picturesque sides of the river Sizym. Workshop on making “valenki” (traditional boots made of felt). Experience a sunset walk to the Mountain of Love, which gives magnificent view on old-believers village. Follow with a Russian sauna, “banya” with taiga “venik” (branches of pine that are soaked in hot water and are used in banya for health).
Traditional dinner with old-believers “kvas” (light alcoholic drink).

Day 9.
Take a picture of the beautiful sunrise before breakfast (optional). Workshop on old-believers cuisine: Under careful guidance of experienced chef, you will learn how to bake taiga pies, the secret of horseradish spicy sauce and how to prepare the yeast out of potato.
Workshop on old-time craft – try your hand at weaving warm home mats.
For those who love fishing: in wintertime you can experience the workshop and have the opportunity to go ice fishing (subject to weather), in summer – you can take a speedboat ride up along Yenisei river through rapids and fishing in quiet backwaters.
In the afternoon, you will have horse riding around picturesque environs.
In the evening, we will hear tales from the master of herbs about taiga herbs and herbal medicine. You will learn about different herbal teas and how to make your own. In the evening have an herbal sauna (for those who want to try it out). Farewell dinner with old-believers’ “cognac”.

Day 10.
Transfer Sizym – Kyzyl. In Kyzyl we will visit central market and will taste traditional milk delicacies of Tuva, such as unsalted cheese “byshtak”, dry cottage cheese “kurut” and even milk vodka “araka”.
Transfer to national reserve Ergaki. Accommodation in the forest lodge.

Day 11.
Arrival in the village of artisans Petropavlovka. Immerse yourself in the creative culture, which you can feel in practically everything – from music, through construction of houses, to art and crafts. Guests can choose to try a workshop on one of the following:
- Cane-weaving
- Blacksmithing (in 40 minutes you will be able to forge your own axe!)
- Manufacturing of musical instruments
- Cloth weathering
Overnight in homestay.

Day 12.
Transfer to Estate “Okolitsa”, and a traditional Russian welcoming. The so-called “Samovarnya” (from “samovar”, traditional Russian coal kettle) will charm you with little museum of household appliances of 19th-20th centuries, as well as seeing functioning “samovars” and traditional pancakes. Upon request, it is possible to go fishing. In the evening Russian “banya” will be waiting for our guests.

Day 13.
Transfer to Krasnoyarsk. End of the tour

Note:
We reserve the right of changes of the tours due to change of weather conditions or other unpredictable circumstances. We can offer individual tours based on your requirements.


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