Great Sayan Ring

PART I 

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. 

Day 1

We highly recommend you to arrive to Krasnoyarsk the day before, to have chance to take rest after long flights and to start excursions relaxed. The hotel will be provided on your request**.

After the tourists' arrival to Krasnoyarsk airport they are transferred to the center located hotel Krasnoyarsk (check-in possible between 00-10 am). Breakfast at the hotel (buffet), short rest.

10:30 am meeting with the guide in the hotel lobby. 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. You will pass the historical town part with its monuments of 18-19 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.

We are going to visit the Ethnographical Museum which is considered to be among the best historical and ethnographical museums in Siberia. The museum was opened in 2001. It will provide an excellent prelude to your travel and your first impression of the Great Sayan Ring tour.

Lunch in a city restaurant.

If you have ever been to Krasnoyarsk, but haven’t visited the nature reserve “Stolby”, you haven’t seen the heart of the city, its lungs, it’s soul. For those, who like spending the holiday in a calm or active way, who like to open new spaces and observe panoramic views, who looks for harmony with nature we offer the excursion to the National park “Stolby”. This is the place to get unforgettable impressions while visiting our city! Unlike regular tour to “Stolby” our tourist will not have to go up 7 km to reach the “First Stolb”. Our driver will get you straight to the top and our guides will make this tour unforgettable by telling you a lot of interesting stories about the nature park.

Dinner in a restaurant.

*Accommodation in the Krasnoyarsk hotel. Breakfast, lunch, dinner.

Day 2

 

After early breakfast departure to the Siberian south. 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 Yenisei 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.  

Arrival to Abakan, capital city of Khakassia republic, lunch.

Then the group goes to Shushenskoye village, 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.

You will overnight in the guesthouses of the museum Shushenskoye, it still keeps the customs and traditions of the Siberian village of the late 19th century, with its streets and houses, it will help you to feel the atmosphere of country life. Guesthouses were reconstituted with preservation of cultural styles of Angara river area and south of Krasnoyarsk Territory. The realities of peasant life are combined with modern comfort living. Stopping for a rest in the new village, becoming masters of estates, enjoying traditional peasant cuisine, learning the basics of craft, taking part in the games and entertainments, ceremonies and celebrations, guests can feel the real Siberian farmers.

Before dinner a visit to Russian banya is highly recommended**!

*Accommodation in guesthouses in Shushenskoye village. Breakfast, lunch, dinner.
** Not included (banya should be ordered in advance)

PART 2 

Living in the rush of big cities, limited by the daily routine, the majority of us don't have an opportunity to stay alone with our thoughts and with our real "self". People have forgotten what the real silence is, how the grass rustles at dawn, how sunset looks like, how the water flows. Do you believe that stones, trees, wind and clouds are alive and you can even talk to them? We don't feel being a part of nature. We even think that we don't need it. Greatness of the Tuvan steppes, silence of the Sayan mountains, sky and cedar taiga smell will certainly remind that you are a part of this all too.

 

Day 3

The day begins with excursion to the ethnographical museum Shushenskoye that 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.

After a lunch the group continues its way towards Tuva 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 Khakassian 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 the 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 civilization on the most part of Tuva territory, steppes and sharp mountains are over the hundreds kilometers.

The group makes a stop 22 km from Kyzyl city, on the bank of the Biy-Khem river (in Tuvan – Big Yenisei), in the yurt camp. Accommodation in the real thick felt yurts built by Tuvans 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.

* Accommodation at the yurt camp. Breakfast, lunch and dinner 

Day 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 Yenisei) and Kaa-Khem (the Small Yenisei) unite their waters and give a life to the great river Yenisei. The first sightseeing to visit here is the Geographical Centre of Asia

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 National Museum of Tuva (exhibition Scythian gold) and see unique archaeological finds of different epochs.

Free time in the city. Visit to local handicrafts.

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 camp.

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**. Kamlaniye is a magical communication between shamans and spirits. During this ritual the shamans dance around fire, sing and beat a drum. Kamlaniye 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 at the yurt camp. Breakfast, lunch, dinner

** Not included (appointment with shaman is for 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 the 14th Dalai Lama to be an energetically powerful place. Once a year local shamans come here to get energy, strengthen and purify their spirits.

Picnic is organized right on the grass.

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 2214 meters. 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.

* 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 bridge of love.

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.

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

Distance of the day depends of the chosen route

PART III

 

The ancient earth of Khakassia takes the lead over Siberia and even Russia for the abundance of its archeological relics. Here right by the road you can see the rock drawings, every twenty meters - a burial mound or a stone figure, which is still serving as a cult place for the local people.
Feel the energy and power of the Khakassian land. This unearthly peace of mind and inner cleanliness, ease and lucidity will accompany you. Suddenly you will recognize yourself and no. This world is full of mysteries. And you are a part of these mysteries, you should only let yourself become free. Khakassia is a centre of the favorable emotions, diluted by amazement before the fantastical proximity of eternity.

Day 7

After breakfast – big farewell to Snow Leopard and taiga.

On the route the group makes a stop at a Khakassian 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 Khakassian people call this valley "delight", archaeologists find a lot of monuments of different cultures. There is the yurt camp Kyug situated not far from the nature reserve Kazanovka. Free time for walking around. Accommodation again in yurts, this time it will be wooden Khakassian yurts also built specially for tourists.

Visit to an ethnographical village Khakassian 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 - a performance of the Khakassian national folklore group.

Khakassian 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 at the yurt camp Kyug. Breakfast, lunch, dinner. 

Day 8

The history of Khakassia 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.

After lunch group departs to Abakan.

Upon arrival short Abakan city tour and then you will be able to see the exposition of stone monuments in the National 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.

Check-in to hotel Asia.

Dinner.

* Accommodation at hotel Asia. Breakfast, lunch, dinner.

Distance 160 km a day

Day 9

After breakfast group departs to 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 Great Salbyk burial mound. 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 picnic 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 Krasnoyarsk hotel. Breakfast, lunch, dinner. 

Day 10

Morning transfer to the airport/

Open your Russia with "SAGA VOYAGES"!

День 9. Долина Царей

Из Абакана группа отправляется в Долину Царей, где находятся около 30 могильных курганов III-IV века до н.э. Кульминацией всего путешествия станет Большой Салбыкский курган, когда-то сооруженный над могилой знатной семьи тагарского племени и раскопанный археологами в 1954-56 г.г. Он имел окружность 0,5 км и высоту 11,5 м, а вес вертикально стоящих камней достигает 60 тонн. 

Обед-пикник возле Большого Салбыкского кургана с видом на Долину Царей и обратная дорога в Красноярск.

И не пытайтесь сразу осмыслить все, что вы увидели за время путешествия, - это придет позже. Для начала самое главное – сильнейший эмоциональный заряд. И пусть его хватит до следующей поездки в Сибирь.

День 10.

В 03:00 Групповой трансфер в аэропорт / в 10:00 на жд вокзал.

Проводы туристов осуществляются к рейсам, отправляющимся с 05:30 местного времени. Если вы вылетаете до 05:30, то прибыть в аэропорт во время групповым трансфером вам не удастся. В этом случае и если для вас это слишком рано, вы можете заказать индивидуальный трансфер.

Открой свою Россию вместе с "Сага Вояж"!