One of the most beautiful places you’ve never seen

There is some­thing tan­ta­lis­ing­ly mys­te­ri­ous and exot­ic about the Siber­ian region of Altai, a place so remote many in the West have nev­er even heard of it.

Locat­ed near the bor­ders with Mon­go­lia and Chi­na, this is one of Russia’s least pop­u­lat­ed places where the few humans who live there share their land with brown bears, wolves and the occa­sion­al snow leopard.

Hun­dreds of miles from any major city, the name in Mon­go­lian means ‘Gold­en Moun­tains’ and the Altai land­scape lives up to that promise.

Mead­ows emerge from their deep win­ter blan­ket of snow in late March and quick­ly trans­form into vast colour­ful flo­ral car­pets. High­er up into the moun­tains a whole dif­fer­ent kalei­do­scope of blos­som­ing flow­ers and herbs takes over, all pro­vid­ing yet more nec­tar for the busy Siber­ian bees.

And those bees are among the most for­tu­nate on the plan­et. Theirs is a world far away from the chem­i­cals and pol­lu­tion of the mod­ern world. Altai has no indus­try. There aren’t even any major roads to dis­turb the healthy lives of the bees who make their hon­ey in the same way they’re done for cen­turies, cared for by farm­ers using only tra­di­tion­al meth­ods. It’s very dif­fer­ent from the bru­tal real­i­ties of glob­al fac­to­ry-based, pas­teurised, homogenised hon­ey production

Altai is a place like no other on earth. And you can savour that difference in every delicious spoonful of pure Mishka honey.

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