We like to review places of enormous natural beauty. Unfortunately to find that enormous natural beauty you sometimes need to venture a bit off the beaten track. Lake Baikal in Russia's Irkutsk Oblast is one such place.
In terms of volume, Lake Baikal is the largest freshwater lake in the world, containing as much as 20% of the world's fresh (unfrozen) water. Some other amazing statistics are that at a maximum depth of 1,673 m (5,500 ft) it is the deepest lake in the world and its surface area is about the size of Belgium. To top it off, it is also the world's oldest at 25 million years.
But what really matters here is its breathtaking beauty: endless deep blue waters, mountain ranges sticking out far away in the background, surrounded by beaches and wilderness, pretty green and swimmable in summer but harsh and frozen in winter. If you have an image of Siberian natural beauty in your head, Lake Baikal is probably it.
Most travellers get in from Irkutsk. You can make a day trip or stay a town near the lake. We link to Listvyanka which is probably the most popular of the villages around the lake and has a number of decent hotels. If you're up for it, you can also go camping on the island of Olkhon. [Review by travelindicator]
- Lake Baikal is a region in Russia. It is situated at an altitude of 1493ft and the best airport to fly into is IKT (Irkutsk, Irkutsk)
- The currency used in Russia is the Russian ruble (RUB)
Lake Baikal Weather
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