The Lake Baikal area is located in the East Siberia and includes two regions of Russian Federation: Irkutsk Region (West coast of the Lake Baikal) and Republic Buryatia (East coast). In the South the Lake Baikal area borders on Mongolia, in the West, East and North – on different regions of Russia (Republic of Tuva and Krasnoyarsk Territory in the West, Transbaikal Territory in the East, Republic Yakutia in the North). Climate of the Lake Baikal area is extreme continental with short hot summer and long frosty winter. Virgin nature of the area is very diverse: endless steppes, alpine meadows, taiga. The Lake Baikal is unique natural phenomenon of our planet. It is the deepest lake in the world and it is estimated to contain one-fifth of all the Earth’s surface fresh water.

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The Lake Baikal is called the Pearl of Siberia. It is a unique natural phenomenon of the Planet, the deepest lake in the world and it is estimated to contain one-fifth of all the Earth’s surface fresh water. The Limnological Museum (Baikal Ecology Museum) at Listvianka settlement (65 km from Irkutsk) acquaints you with a magnificent exhibition of the flora and fauna of Lake Baikal region and aquariums with live inhabitants of the Baikal presented. Here, for example, you can see nerpa — the only in the world exclusively freshwater small seal found only in the Lake Baikal. Scientists still can’t understand how these seals originally came to Lake Baikal located in the middle of Asian continent, hundreds of kilometers from any ocean. This astonishing species was on the verge of extinction in the second half of XX c. because of the valuable fur of cubs and now it is listed in the Red Book. In Listvianka you can also ascent by cable way the Chersky Stone panoramic platform where you will take pleasure in picturesque the Lake Baikal and the Angara River source view. Also you will see St. Nicholas Church and visit souvenir & fish market.

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Visiting the Lake Baikal in winter period you will not only acquaint with numerous places of interest and see beautiful ice sculptures at the main pier of Listvianka settlement but also will have chance to take part in traditional Russian winter activities: rapid descent from snow or ice hill with the skins, dog sledding, troika riding, walk with stilts. Cross country skiing and snowmobiling is also possible. Merry Shrovetide festive gathering with ritual burning of the Maslenitsa (big straw doll symbolizing winter and death) is traditionally arranged at the Taltsy Open Air Museum of Wooden Architecture and Ethnography. At frosty winter period traditional Russian hot snack – pancakes with caviar and fragrant hot tea is especially good. You have chance to take part in traditional Russian tea party with original samovar (traditional Russian tea-urn) and to taste local delight – Baikal omul caviar.

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Souvenirs & insider tips

One of the main symbols of the Lake Baikal is nerpa (freshwater small seal founded only in the Lake Baikal). That’s why the most popular local souvenir is plush nerpa. You can find plush nerpa at each of numerous souvenir shops in Irkutsk and Listvianka. Another very popular Baikal souvenir (especially at the East coast of the Lake Baikal) if small Buddha figurines made of wood, stone, ceramics. Great authentic souvenirs are also traditional Buryat and Old Believers wooden dolls.

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Destination map

  • the worlds’ biggest fresh lake
  • over 800 endemics
  • over 300 sunny days a year

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