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The Gem of Siberia, Russia

Lake Baikal is a real Russian treasure and mystery. Surrounded by mountains and taiga, the rift lake is situated in southern Siberia, between Irkutsk and the Buryat Republic. It is considered the world's oldest lake which was formed about 25 million years ago.

Lake Baikal is the largest freshwater lake in the world by volume encompassing approximately 20% of the planet's unfrozen surface fresh water. Its maximum depth is 1,642 m (5,387 ft) making it also the deepest lake in the world. The harsh temperature varies here from −19 °C (−2 °F) in the winter to 14 °C (57 °F) in the summer.

What is more, Lake Baikal Russia is considered one of the clearest lakes on Earth. In the winter its layer of ice freezes up to 1 meter thick so it is possible to go jeep-riding on its surface, yet the biggest phenomenon of Baikal's ice unseen nowhere else on Earth is that it stays crystal clear, revealing all the secrets of its underwater world as if through glass.

It is the 7th largest freshwater lake in the world by surface area and contains more water than all the North American Great Lakes combined. Because of its importance to the planet and its uniqueness, Baikal was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1996. The area is also protected as a national park including the lake's 27 islands, the biggest of which is the legendary Olkhon. It is a pilgrimage site where many shamans lived and is believed to be a source of enormous power and energy.

The lake is home to more than 3,500 species of plants and animals, 70% of which can be found nowhere else in the world, for example, the nerpa - one of the three freshwater seal populations on Earth. It is the residence of Buryat tribes that live on Baikal's eastern side. They have been rearing goats, camels, cattle, and sheep on this territory for centuries.

Baikal is fascinating any time of the year and is a perfect place to start an adventure.

5
4.78
49 Reviews
Next Date: May 17, 2020
14 days5 cities

Cross 1/3 of the world on the legendary Trans-Mongolian railway in just 14 days: from mighty Moscow to glorious Ekaterinburg. Absorb the beauty of Lake Baikal and explore the Buddhist and nomadic traditions of Mongolia.

5
4.98
48 Reviews
Next Date: May 17, 2020
16 days7 cities

Have an adventure of a lifetime on a tailor-made Trans-Siberian journey. Explore the top sights of Russia from one end to the other in a small group of 8 to 18 travelers. 1st-class accommodation on a private train car and at top-notch hotels, Russian visa-processing, tour leader services, as well as all the must-sees included.

5
4.78
49 Reviews
Next Date: May 17, 2020
14 days5 cities

Treat yourself to the adventure of a lifetime on the legendary Trans-Siberian railway and enjoy the comfort of 1st class on a private train car, the country's top guides and best expert service.

5
4.98
48 Reviews
Next Date: May 17, 2020
16 days7 cities

Cross Russia from east to west along the iconic Trans-Siberian railroad. This program includes travel in a private detachable train car, stays at best hotels, guided sightseeing tours, fun activities, as well as Russian visas.

5
4.88
57 Reviews
13 days4 cities

Discover the most sought-after gems of Russia and enjoy the best of Moscow, Irkutsk, St. Petersburg and the outstanding Pearl of Siberia - Lake Baikal.

5
4.76
49 Reviews
15 days4 cities

A classic three-country Trans-Siberian with the combination of trains and downtown hotels, carefully planned sightseeing, and flexible program.

5
4.89
49 Reviews
14 days5 cities

Begin your 2-week journey along the world's longest railway and travel from the capital of Russia, via Yekateringburg to Lake Baikal, ending your trip with Mongolia. This program is a great balance of rail experience with plenty of guided exploration on land.

5
4.68
49 Reviews
14 days5 cities

Set off on the journey of a lifetime along the longest railway in the world! Start the ride from Ulan Bator along the Trans-Mongolian leg, then cross the border and head to the capital of Russia, gorgeous Moscow, passing such gems as Lake Baikal and the main city of the Ural region, Ekaterinburg along the way.

5
4.92
48 Reviews
3, 4-starhotels
10 days3 cities

Dreaming of going on a private Trans-Siberian adventure but are short on time? Enjoy the highlights of the famous railway with a real-deal authentic experience on Russian trains, explore Moscow and the Lake Baikal region with professional local pros. Stays at best hotels of your choice, airport transfers, and Russian visas included.

5
4.89
60 Reviews
23 days8 cities

Start your exploration from royal St. Petersburg, continue to mighty Moscow, cross over Ural Mountains, visit Irkutsk, absorb the beauty of Lake Baikal. Next - Mongolia's Ulan Bator before crossing the Gobi Desert and arriving in the capital of oriental magic, Beijing.

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4.96
49 Reviews
17 days6 cities

Start your journey along the Trans-Mongolian railway in stunning Moscow, then visit glorious Kazan to see the cradle of Tatar culture. Continue to Ekaterinburg, set right on the border of Europe and Asia. Absorb the beauty of Lake Baikal and vast wilderness of the Great Steppe, before you finally reach Ulan Bator.

5
4.82
48 Reviews
3, 4-starhotels
20 days11 cities

A perfect match for active travelers seeking to explore all Russia. Apart from visiting the mighty capital - Moscow, you get to see multi-sided and diverse Russia far and wide during your adventure. Cross Siberia, discover genuine Russian towns and reach Vladivostok!