If a lake could have bragging rights, this one could have all the most important and highest bragging rights in the world.
One of the reasons why this lake is different from all the lakes you’ve heard of or been to is that it’s the oldest, deepest, and clearest lake in the world. Being around for more than 30 million years ain’t easy, but this lake seems to be doing well. The Lake Baikal, which contains 20% of the world’s unfrozen fresh water reserve, is located at the southern Russian region of Siberia (between Irkutsk Oblast to the northwest and Buryatia to the southeast).
It is considered as one of the most biodiverse lakes in the planet, and is the wisest decision you’ll ever make if you wish to explore one of the planet’s most treasured gifts of nature.
There are also nearly 2,000 species of plants and animals (many are endemic to the area) here. It’s been actually dubbed as the “Galapagos of Russia” because of the unique and important freshwater fauna that live here, playing a big and important role in evolutionary science.
The surrounding mountains, forests, islands, and overall surroundings are as impressive as the lake, with its many archaeological treasures that simply make this place extraordinary. Some of the most amazing creatures living here at the Lake Baikal Seal, the omul, the Baikal grayling, the Baikal oil fish, and thousands more. The lake has more than 40 islands and islets, and the two biggest are Olkhon and the Great Ushkany. Both of these islands have amazing grasslands, and forests rich with lots of interesting creatures.
The Baikal Lake—which has also been labeled as “the Pearl of Siberia”— is exceptionally breathtaking during the winter, as it freezes with thick ice that allows sleighs to go on it. During summer, on the other hand, the lake shows its refined blue waters, which is perfect for boating trips. Hiking in its rich forests is also one of the best ways to fully explore this place. Different tours and Trans-Siberian journeys by a lot of companies are offered all year round, and will give you the experience of exploring the Baikal Lake area and its islands.
There are three starting points in order to go to Lake Baikal: Irkutsk, from the lake’s southern tip on the Angara River; Severobaikalsk, from the lake’s northern tip; and Ulan-Ude, about 100 kilometers east of the lake.
In the past years, the lake and its surroundings have faced some serious environmental threats, such as those of paper mills and proposals of a nuclear plant. This is why the government and other private communities are finding ways to save it; to find ways on how to maintain its beauty; and to preserve its pristine lakes.
The good news is that this place is not really frequented by tourists, so and you will not have to worry about having to deal with big crowds. Visiting this place today will not fall short in providing you with awe, with all the lake’s wonders and unique features will certainly take you to a whole new different place you’ve probably have never experienced before.