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Destinations > Siberia

Baikal Lake

The deepest and cleanest lake on Earth. 20% of the world’s freshwater reserves are concentrated here

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The Siberian Pearl

The surface area of Lake Baikal is 31,722 km² (excluding islands), which is approximately equal to the area of countries such as Belgium or the Netherlands. The fauna and flora of Lake Baikal are extremely diverse. Scientists predict that there are about 1,500 species that are not yet known to science. Only here lives the Baikal seal.

Today Baikal is called the Pearl of Russia, the Blue Eye of Siberia, the Diamond of the planet, the Siberian, and the Sacred Sea. Most of the species of plants growing here and of animals, waterfowl, and birds, living in the local regions, are unique. The surrounding landscape is striking in its natural harmony and monumentality, the extraordinary beauty of picturesque landscapes and enchanting spaciousness.

short region information

LOCAL TIME
UTC+8
CLIMATE
Severe
HOW TO GET
5,5-6 hours by plane from Moscow
HIGHLIGHT
Baikal Lake

types of tourism

Winter

A lady with binocular sightseeing

Excursion

A man riding a snowmobile in winter

Active

A man hiking in beautiful nature

Eco

Two people wearing traditional clothes

Ethno

A very cute seal watching the camera

wild nature

The Baikal of Irkutsk

Listvyanka and   Olkhon

It is impossible to imagine any trip to Lake Baikal without Listvyanka. The village Listvyanka appeared at the time of the development of Siberia by the Russians — in the 18th century and got its name because of the abundance of larch trees growing here, coniferous trees with soft needles that fall for the winter. Today Listvyanka is the main tourist center on the Western side of Lake Baikal. 

The only island inhabited on Lake Baikal – Olkhon – belongs to the territory of the Irkutsk region. Olkhon is a sacred island of the Buryats. Legends say that the spirits of Lake Baikal live here.

Before immersing yourself in the magical atmosphere of Lake Baikal, it’s worth visiting the city of Irkutsk, where so many examples of wooden and stone architecture of the XVIII – beginning of the XX centuries have been preserved.

The Baikal of Buryatia

Rocks, Seals, and Hot Springs of Baikal Lake

The most visited villages on the shore of Baikal in Buryatia are Gremyachinsk and Turka. Gremyachinsk is the oldest resort with healing hot springs in this area. Turka village is worth visiting for a recently built walking embankment along the Baikal harbor and its Lighthouse.

One of the most beautiful places in this area is the Barguzin valley. There are picturesque rocks called Suvinsky Saxon Castle, resembling the ruins of a castle with two elegant natural towers. Ininsky rock garden with many boulders growing out of the ground along the banks of the Inu River is located 100 km from Barguzin. Some of the cobblestones are just huge – about 4 m in diameter – that creates an unusual landscape. The Ushkanyi Islands are also worth visiting. In May and June, the seal is choosing the Ushkanyi Islands’ rocky shore and having a rest and sunbathing there that is the unique opportunity of taking unforgettable pics for the tourists.

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Itineraries of Siberia

Baikal Summer Tour
It’s time to see the legendary lake with your own eyes and to listen to...
Irresistible Magnetism of Buryatia
Buryatia, the land of Buddhism, shamans, wild nature, and rich ethnic culture will conquer you...
Ice Realm of Winter Irkutsk
All beautiful things happen in Siberia in winter! Don’t miss the opportunity to plunge into...

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