Welcome to Lake Baikal
Lake Baikal is a lake in Eastern Siberia, Russia. It is the biggest and deepest freshwater lake in the world, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The lake is located in Eastern Siberia, between Irkutsk Oblast to the northwest and Buryatia to the southeast. It is the planet's deepest (1637m) 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.
From Listvyanka you can go by boat to the Bolshoie Koty, in the hearth of Baykal national park. One way costs 180 rubles, but you cannot buy tickets in advance (only in Irkutsk, I think). First boat goes from Listvyanka at 10, last at 16 o'clock. From there you can get by boat at 18.00 or by foot by Baykal tourist trail. It is around 18 kilometres and the most of the path goes around the shore of a lake. From Bolshoie Koty you can go to the Irkutsk by the same boat. It costs 360 rubles (summer 2008).
In the winter there is an ice road from Listvyanka to Bolshoie Koty.
From Listvyanka you can go to the Port Baykal that lies on the opposite side of river Angara. Boat costs 34 rubles and goes from the place just under the Baykal limnological museum. It takes around 5 minutes to get there. However it is recommended to go the other way, from Port Baykal to Listvyanka.
To Port Baykal you can go by train as well. It goes from Sludyanka at the southern corner of the lake. It takes around 4 to 6 hours, since the train is really slow. But you have time to look around, because the railway is going by the shore of the lake. It costs 46 rubles. It is so slow because it is the old Baykal railroad was built around 100 years ago.
Olkhon. The largest island on the lake.
In Irkutsk Oblast (west of the lake)
Vitimsky Nature Reserve
In Buryatia (east of the lake)
Baikalsky Nature Reserve
Barguzinsky Nature Reserve
Dzherginsky Nature Reserve
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