The Altai Territory — is a constituent of the Russian Federation and a part of the Siberian federal district. The Territory was founded on September 28, 1937. The Territory population is 2 496,8 thousand people. The administrative centre — is the city of Barnaul. The Territory borders Eastern-Kazakstan and Pavlodar Districts of Kazakstan in the south and west, Novosibirsk and Kemerovo districts in the north and northeast, the Altai Republic in the southeast. The Altai Territory is located in a time zone designated according to the international standard as Omsk Time Zone (OMST/OMSST). The time difference between the Moscow time and the time zone is +3 hours and designated in Russia as MSK+3. The time difference between the Omsk time and zone time is one hour as far as decree time is used in the territory of Russia.
The Altai Territory climate is moderate, transitional to continental one, average annual temperatures are above zero, 0,5-2,1°С. Average maximum temperatures of July are +26...+28°С, extreme temperatures may reach +40...+42°С. Average minimal temperatures of January are −20...−24 °C, absolute winter minimum is −50...−55 °C. Frostless season is about 120 days.
Altai — is a wonderful highland. This is a perfect place for alpinist tourism and active rest. Altai is a diverse, rich and magnificent place — it can satisfy ambitions of the most exacting traveler and eco-tourism lover. The Swiss say that this is the only place to imagine Alps prior tourists’ invasion. Pure air with warm streams, blue skies being a background for immense mountains covered with green bring you a wonderful feeling.
The main resort resources of the Territory are climate (plenty of sun, advanced air transparency and its high ionization degree), mineral waters (sulfate-chloride-sodium, also chloride-sulfate, magnesium-sodium and calcium-sodium with salt content from 2 to 10 g/l), sludge dirt.
The largest rivers of the Territory are Biya and Katun interflowing merge into one of the key Siberian rivers — Ob. There are 13 thousand lakes in the Territory, the largest one is the Kuldinskoe Lake (728 sq.km.). These rivers will satisfy ambitions of the most exacting rafting and extreme tourism lovers.
The Teletskoye lake, so popular among tourists, is located in the south of the Territory, plains mostly tilled ones are in the north, the Altai wildlife refuge is located in the south-east.
The Altay Territory comprises a relict lake Savushinskoe, unique banded pine forests (the only ones in the world), sweep for hundreds kilometers, bottomless caves with the remaining traces of ancient people (according to opinion of many scientists, the first person in the world appeared in Altai). Federal resort Belokurikha is well-known with its famous radon baths, also the city of Yarovoy with its therapeutic mud.
Two types of landscapes prevail in the Altai Territory: a mountain one in the east and prairie one in the west, taiga forests occupy significant areas.
Taiga by-places and wonderful sceneries rich of wildlife will be of a paramount interest to real fishermen and hunters. Bears, wolves, hares, elks, trots, cranes, hazel grouses, great grouses, bream, roach, crucian carp, sturgeon, grayling, sterlet, ruff are present in Altai.
Wonderful greenery of Altai differs by a rich diversity of medicinal species (official medicine uses about 100 species): maral root, golden root, bergenia, heliotrope, paeonia anomala, adonis spring, licorice, Jacob's ladder etc. The region is wonderful due to its beauty and purity. Eco-tourism travelers come here from all over the world.
Travel agencies will offer amazing journeys through the Altai Territory and the Altai Republic. For example Aktru mountain climbing is one of the wonderful tours. This journey gives an opportunity to have a look at almost all Altai natural zones from dry prairie landscapes of Kurayskaya bolson to Nothern-Chuyskiy range ice houses. Tourists will face a combination of history excursus, nature life and meetings with the local population: the path leads to the south towards Mongolia, along ancient trade route of the Chuysky Tract, straight across two mountain passes up to Kuay village — to the Aktru peak.
In winter one may go skiing down the animal paths of snow-covered Siberian taiga. Such tours are not extreme ones but require resoluteness to get over till the end.
There are various camping, bases, touristic complexes and hotels in the Territory which can offer different services: dormitories, outdoor pools, saunas and baths with extract of antlers, show- programs and national ceremonies.
The Altai Territory has been a symbol of mining wealth of Russia through many centuries. Everybody who is interested in the history of Russia must be sure to visit the city of Zmeinogorsk and the Kolyvan village.
The Altai Territory sights are connected not only with industrial development in the ХVIII-th century but also with the civil war, wildlands reclamation, life of spacemen G. S. Titov (cosmonautics museum in the Polkovnikovo village), V. G. Lazarev (the Poroshin village), writer, stage director and actor V. M. Shukshin (the Srostki village — the native land of the writer, literature festivals are carried out here annually).
Active rest is very popular in Altai. Parachute gliding and sky surfing are available in many tourist bases. Active tourism development center is the region of the Solonovka village on the Peschanaya River where the majority of flights and competitions are carried out. However Altai is closely connected with mountain tourism and alpinism for the best part of active rest lovers. Presently Belokurikha resort has 4 platter pulls (each is 700-900 meters long) and 1 chair lift (2040 m). The Korgonskiy range incorporates 3 not large ice houses total square of 0,2 sq. km. for alpinists in the Altai Territory. The peak point 2490 m is located in the riverhead of the Kumir River on the Korgonskiy range; it still does not have an official name.
For more detailed information on the Territory, please refer to Internet resources of governmental authorities of the constituent entity of the Russian Federation.