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Chemal is a community of 3,600 people (2010) in the Altai Republic on the right bank of the Katun, at the confluence of the Chemal River. Chemal is one of the recreational centers of the Altai Republic. There are a large number of tourist centers and campgrounds in the village and in its surroundings. It is known as a mountain climatic resort.


Katun River

In Soviet times, in the 1930s, a resort was founded for the leaders of the party and state, and for their families. An anti-tuberculosis sanatorium, a state farm, a bakery, and a bath and laundry plant were created.

It spreads out in a relatively wide valley surrounded by spurs of the Iolgo ridge. Two peaks, Krestovaya (1336 m) and Camel (928 m), overlook the town.

Get in[edit]

It it about 100 km south of Gorno-Altaysk.

By bus[edit]

There are a few buses per day from Gorno-Altaisk, Barnaul and even Novosibirsk via Ust-Sema.

Get around[edit]

On foot[edit]

Chemal is small so it's easy to get around on foot.


There are local buses that go between Chemal and Elekmonar.


Bridge to Patmos Island
  • Patmos Island — Downstream of the Katun from the mouth of the Chemal River, not far from the hydroelectric power station, is the picturesque rock-island Patmos, standing in the middle of the river. On it stands the women's skete of John the Theologian of the Barnaul Znamensky Monastery. The island is connected to the river bank by a pedestrian suspension bridge. An image of the Virgin and Child has been carved into the rock next to the temple. There's an old chapel, Ionno Bogoslavski.
Chemal hydroelectric power plant
  • In the southern part of the village is the Chemal hydroelectric power station, one of the first hydroelectric power plants in the region, built in 1931-1935 by the forces of prisoners of the Siberian Administration of Special Purpose Camps (SibULON). In its vicinity there are a large number of stalls with souvenirs, cafes, and various attractions. After a 2014 flood caused significant damage to the station's structures, the hydroelectric power plant was decommissioned, and the reservoir was completely emptied. The dam is now a museum.
  • The Altai Center, created by the aga-zaisan of the Altai people, Alexander Kindyshevich Bardin. Its exhibits tell about the history, beliefs and life of the Altaians.


Varota Sartikpayev Gorge - as well as being a beautiful natural sight, there are activities like zip-lining available.

Altaysky Tsentr Museum





There's no shortage of accommodation in Chemal. You can also camp.


Go next[edit]

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