- Location: In the southern Siberia in Russia, near the city of Irkutsk, between Irkutsk Oblast to the northwest and the Buryat Republic to the southeast.
- Attraction Type: Lake.
- Significance: It is the deepest as well as the largest freshwater lake in the world by volume.
- Best time to Visit: During Summer, from June to August.
- Visiting Hours: During the daytime.
- How to Reach: You can reach Lake Baikal through Baikal-Amur Mainline or by the Trans-Siberian Railway. If you are coming down by air, come to Irkutsk Airport and then take a bus to reach Lake Baikal in an hour.
- Nearest Airport: Irkutsk Airport (IKT).
How is the idea of spending an evening in front of an amazing lake with a dish full of fresh and fried salted Baikal fish in your hands? Or how it’d be when you start your dinner with a special soup Ukha, prepared with water directly from the lake? We can assure you, it would be the experience of your lifetime to visit the wonderful Lake Baikal and having dishful of preparations of the famous Baikal fish. Come and explore the deepest as well as the largest freshwater lake in the world by volume. Lake Baikal, often known as the “Pearl of Siberia” or the “Blue Eye of Siberia”, is a famous lake in the southern Siberia in Russia, near the city of Irkutsk, between Irkutsk Oblast to the northwest and the Buryat Republic to the southeast. A long and crescent-shaped lake with a surface area of around 31,494 square km, Lake Baikal has more than 1,700 species of plants and animals including the Baikal Seal, Ringed Seal, Omul, Salmonid, Golomyanka or Baikal oilfish, and Baikal Sturgeon, etc. The forested shores of the lake are surmounted by peaks of the Barguzin Mountains. During the summer, you can see through the crystalline blue waters of the lake up to a depth of almost 40 meters, whereas during the winter, the lake freezes with thick ice. In 1996, the lake has been declared a World Heritage Site.
Things to Do
Baikal Lake has a lot to offer to the tourists as there is an abundance of natural beauty, fresh air and water, rocky mountains and wonderful forest which will together make you feel pretty close to nature. Besides enjoying the natural beauty of the lake and its surroundings, you can also go for various activities like trekking, camping, biking, fishing, and kayaking. It is also the place where you can also experience Asian Buryat and Siberian Russian cultures. There are a number of places where you should pay a visit during your trip to Baikal Lake.
The Island of Olkhon: It is the largest island of Baikal, surrounded by plenty of ancient myths and legends. During the winter, the beauty of the island reaches at its best when the shores get almost deserted.
Cape Khoboy: Another wonderful sport for travelers which is officially recognized as a natural landscape monument. Seals, though pretty small in numbers, set up their haul out on the handful of boulders here.
Listvyanka Settlement: It is a settlement on Baikal Lake, located pretty close to Irkutsk and Circum-Baikal.
Other Attractions: The other attractions in and around Lake Baikal include Cape Sagan-Khushun, Lake Khankhoy, Cape Burkhan, Kobylya Golova Peninsular, and Sagan-Zaba Cliff, etc.
Baikal Fish — a special attraction: Baikal Fish is a special attraction for all the travelers who come to visit Lake Baikal. The fresh fishes of Baikal Lake are too tasty to resist. You can buy fishes from the fishermen. The fishes can either be Salted or Dried and Smoked. Don’t moss the special soup Ukha, which is prepared with waters from the lake.
You have a number of options to choose from while searching for accommodation in Baikal Lake.
Mayak [4 Star] 85, Street Gorkiy, CityIrkutskiy region Listvjanka, 664520
Baikal (Listvyanka) [3 Star] 13, Academicheskaya str., Listvyanka village, Irkutsk region 664055
Related Links :
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_19o6fhVWPc: Check out the wonderful beauty of Lake Baikal in this travel video!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OAG1HOmlBng&feature=related: Another wonderful video that truthfully captures the beauty of the incredible Lake Baikal. However, remember that this beautiful lake is facing grave environmental threats, and it is the duty of all tourists to respect it for everything it is worth and travel responsibly.