Lake Baikal, Russia - Firebird City Guides

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Lake Baikal, Russia
Lake Baikal is a real Russian treasure and mystery. Surrounded by mountains and a 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 a 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.

See it on following tours

Private tour  |  Nearest Date:
Flexible

13 days

3 cities

1 country

Moscow | Irkutsk | Saint Petersburg

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.

Small group tour  |  Nearest Date:
May 12, 2019

17 days

5 cities

2 countries

Moscow | Kazan | Ekaterinburg | Irkutsk | Ulan Bator

Set off on an unforgettable journey in comfort of a private train car along Trans-Mongolian railway line. Cross 1/3 of the world on the legendary Trans-Mongolian railway in just 17 days: from mighty Moscow to glorious Kazan and Ekaterinburg. Absorb the beauty of Lake Baikal and explore the Buddhist and nomadic traditions of Mongolia.

Private rail tour  |  Nearest Date:
Flexible

23 days

7 cities

3 countries

Saint Petersburg | Moscow | Kazan | Ekaterinburg | Irkutsk | Ulan Bator | Beijing

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.

Private rail tour  |  Nearest Date:
Flexible

15 days

4 cities

3 countries

Moscow | Irkutsk | Ulan Bator | Beijing

A classic three-country Trans-Siberian with the combination of trains and downtown hotels, carefully planned sightseeing, and flexible program.
Small group rail tour  |  Nearest Date:
May 12, 2019

19 days

7 cities

1 country

Moscow | Kazan | Ekaterinburg | Irkutsk | Ulan-Ude | Khabarovsk | Vladivostok

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.

Private rail tour  |  Nearest Date:
Flexible

17 days

5 cities

2 countries

Moscow | Kazan | Ekaterinburg | Irkutsk | Ulan Bator

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.

Small group rail tour  |  Nearest Date:
May 04, 2019

16 days

8 cities

3 countries

Moscow | Kazan | Ekaterinburg | Novosibirsk | Irkutsk | Ulan-Ude | Ulan Bator | Beijing

The Tsar's Gold Trans-Siberian rail-tour focuses on your experience and comfort, providing every opportunity for enjoying your journey of a lifetime. Explore Russian towns to get an insight of real Russia, experience genuine Mongolia and finally discover the best of Chinese heritage in and around Beijing.

Group Rail Tour  |  Nearest Date:
May 05, 2019

15 days

8 cities

2 countries

Moscow | Kazan | Ekaterinburg | Novosibirsk | Irkutsk | Ulan-Ude | Ulan Bator | Vladivostok

The Golden Eagle is a one-of-a-kind luxury train - a glamorous throwback to the golden age of steam engines on the Trans-Siberian railway route. Overwhelming Moscow, unique Russian towns, magnificent Lake Baikal and the city of Vladivostok all combined with special onboard entertainment, exceptional service and unique cultual experiences.

Private rail tour  |  Nearest Date:
Flexible

20 days

9 cities

1 country

Moscow | Nizhny Novgorod | Perm | Ekaterinburg | Novosibirsk | Irkutsk | Ulan-Ude | Khabarovsk | Vladivostok

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!

E.g., Sep 25 2018