Spa town in Russia
Belokurikha is a town and a balneological resort in Altai Krai, Russia, located on the Bolshaya Belokurikha River 250 kilometers (160 mi) south of Barnaul, the administrative center of the krai. As of the 2010 Census, its population was 14,661.
Belokurikha is located approximately 250 meters above sea level in the Belokurikha River Valley at the foot of the Tserkovka Mountain. It is sunny here approximately 260 days a year.
Hot springs were first discovered in the area in the late 1700s when Russian settlers passed through the area. The city’s name means “white smoke” symbolizing the mist that rises from the springs. In the mid-19 century the curative properties of the waters was unearthed.
Although the settlement was founded in 1803, the resort was only officially inaugurated in 1867 when a wooden cabin was built near a spring and the site was advertised. The waters have been known to heal skin, eye and joint illnesses.
Today there are about 20 major resorts with more than 100,000 guests coming annually. The city is designated as a Resort of Federal Importance.
The town is also trying to market itself as an international conference destination and many hotels and resorts have been adding business facilities in recent years. The term “Siberian Davos” is often tossed around to draw comparisons with the Swiss resort town that hosts an annual economic forum.
While many of the facilities here operate year round, the best time to visit is in winter. It is important to note that many sanatoriums, especially the ones focusing on medical procedures can require a minimum number of days in order to receive a reasonable rate.