The Altai Territory should not be confused with its similarly-named neighbour the Republic of Altai. The Altai Territory is located in the south-east of Western Siberia and surrounded by Kazakhstan and Russia’s Novosibirsk and Kemerovo Regions and Republic of Altai. The Altai Territory is known as a breadbasket of Russia with its fields of wheat, buckwheat and sunflowers. In summer you can pass vast multicoloured fields, however the territory also has mountains, alpine meadows and stunning lakes.
The administrative centre of the territory is the city of Barnaul, which was the historical mining capital of Siberia in the 18th century, a centre for trade with Mongolia and China in the 19th century and the centre of virgin lands in the 20th century. Despite its location in far-away Siberia, there is a taste of Hollywood in the city with the Hollywood-style Barnaul sign on a hill and a taste of England with the double-decker buses which run on the city’s transport routes.
The inventor Mikhail Kalashnikov - who created the most widely distributed weapon of the 20th century - was born in the village of Kurya in the territory which now has a museum dedicated to him and his gun. The territory is also home to the Belokurikha resort - one of the oldest resorts in Russia, famed for its mineral water, healing mud and blue clay, as well as its microclimate and mountain landscapes.