Lake Baikal, the Pearl of Siberia

 

Lake Baikal is the world’s deepest and oldest lake. It is located in south-east Siberia, between Irkutsk Oblast and Buryatia. This lake is 25 million years old and produces the most outstanding example of freshwater ecosystem. A lot of unusual freshwater flora and fauna are found here, such as the Baikal seal, therefore, this site is listed as one of the UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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View of Baikal Lake with Sayan Mountain Range, Siberia

The best time to visit Lake Baikal is in July, when the water and winds reach favorable condition. Even in the summer, the temperature is still cold so you may want to bring a jacket. Near the lake, there is a beautiful village of Listvyanka. A lot of tourists visit Lake Baikal from that village, or from Irkutsk city. Get the tram right outside Irtkutsk train station or take the bus from Litsvyanka for about one and a half hour. If you need to go on a plane first, do it from Moscow or other major Russian cities to Irkutsk or Ulan-Ude. The flight from Moscow to Irkutsk takes about six hours.

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Lake Baikal

There are lot of activities you can do in Lake Baikal, from sightseeing to more challenging sports like hiking, kayaking, motor biking, skating, and many more. If you love exotic animals, make sure you see the sunbathing seals. Feel the freshwater by taking a dip in the beaches along the northern shore of Olkhon Island. Legend has it that Baikal’s freshwater gives you extra five years of life if you swim in it.

 

 

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