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Lake Baikal

Photo © adamandmeg

Travel Guide Europe Russia Siberia Lake Baikal

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Introduction

Sunset over Lake Baikal

Sunset over Lake Baikal

© All Rights Reserved Griffster

Located in Siberia near the Mongolian border, and surrounded by mountains, forests and wild rivers, Lake Baikal is an immense and breathtaking area of physical beauty. You can enjoy the lake as well from the Olkhon Island, a short ferry ride from the main shore. Lake Baikal holds twenty percent of the earth's fresh water and harbors more endemic species of plants and animals than any other lake in the world. Fed by 336 rivers and streams including the Angara, Barguzin, Selenga, Turka and Snezhnaya, the lake holds fifty species of fish including bullhead, sturgeon and omul. [1]

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Geography

The lake is located in Eastern Siberia, between Irkutsk Oblast to the northwest and Buryatia to the southeast. It is the planet's deepest (1637 metres) and oldest lake, as well as its largest body of freshwater, containing over one fifth of the world's supply. The origins of the name are unknown, but several hypotheses are these: deep water (Yakut), rich lake (Turkic), rich fire (Mongolian), northern sea (Chinese). Russians sometimes call the lake Baikal sea because of its size.

Baikal mountains surrounding the valley and the lake consist of a few ranges. In the west there are the Baikal Mountains, in the east the Zabaikalskie Mountains. The Angara River is the only outflow of Lake Baikal. The ranges, rivers and valleys are tourist attractions of their own.

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Gateway Cities

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Getting There

By Plane

The nearest airport is in Irkutsk, which can be reached from either Domodedovo or Sheremetyevo 1 in Moscow. From Munich the flights are served by Yakutia airlines. Other international options include Seoul, Ulan-Bator, Beijing. Domestic flights are taken in from Khabarovsk, Vladivostok, Krasnoyarsk, Novosibirsk, Magadan, Yakutsk, Yekaterinburg, Saint Petersburg, Sochi.

By Train

Both Irkutsk and Ulan Ude are stops on the Trans-Siberian railway between Moscow and Vladivostok.

By Bus

Buses leave from Irkutsk station throughout the day. The ride is about an hour and a half, with several stops along the way, and ends in the small town of Listvyanka, at the shores of the lake.

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Lake Baikal Travel Helpers

  • Irina_tc

    Hello, I am Irina.I am from Irkutsk, Russia.I have been working with tourist for 3 years. I love my home town and i know it like the back of my hand. There is so much to see and do! Please feel free to ask :)

    Ask Irina_tc a question about Lake Baikal

This is version 6. Last edited at 10:15 on Dec 28, 15 by Utrecht. 13 articles link to this page.

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