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Baikal Lake Travel Guide

INTRODUCTION:
Baikal LakeBaikal is a beautiful lake located in the South-Eastern part of Siberia. It is the deepest freshwater lake on the earth and the largest reservoir of fresh surface water. Baikal is famous for unique clarity of its waters and diversity of flora and fauna. Besides, Baikal Lake has been the important holy place of Asia for many centuries.

It is especially good (and just a "must") to visit Baikal if you're taking a train. This train stops in Irkutsk and rather than sitting in the train for 6 days waiting Moscow, you can hop off the train in Irkutsk and make a trip to Baikal Lake. The experiences you will get there will be incomparable to anything else.

In Russia we spell Lake Baikal like "Ozero Baykal". The word "Baikal" came from Turk language. The word "bai" means "wealthy" and "kul" means "lake". So "Baikal" originally means "wealthy lake". It IS wealthy. The lake contains 20% of the world surface fresh water while the flora and fauna of the lake are mostly endemic.

The lake is so huge and enormous that locals call it sea. This "sea" is rapidly growing with the average speed of 2 cm (0.8 in) per year. Baikal is considered to be a future ocean; in several million years there will be a new great ocean all over Asia and Baikal is a starting point for this ocean. This remarkable lake is a one of Asia's holy places. Peoples through over the centuries prayed to the lake and believed in its power. You can still see at the lake the unique carvings and parts of the ritual buildings of the tribes that gone thousands years ago.

Baikal LakeBaikal serves as a boundary for two Russian provinces - Buryatia Republic (south-east shore) and Irkutskaya oblast (north-west shore). The south-western part of Baikal is more touristic, however north-eastern part is almost deserted - few inhabitants and almost no tourists. Baikal was added to the World Heritage list by UNESCO in 1996.

INTERESTING FACTS:
Baikal - freshwater lake located in the southern part of eastern Siberia. Age: around 30 mln. years old ||| Maximum depth: 1637 meters or 5370 feet (the deepest lake on the earth) ||| Area: 31500 sq. km or 12209 sq. m |||Lengths: 636 km by 70 km ||| Islands: 26, the largest one is Olkhon island ||| Rivers feed: 336 ||| Rivers outlet: 1 (Angara river) ||| Average summer water temperature: Open water +12 C (+54 F), Bays +22 C (+72 F) ||| Warmest bays: Maloye more (Olkhon Island - western shore), Chivyrkuiskiy zaliv (Svyatoy Nos peninsula - Eastern shore), Posolsky sor.


WHEN TO GO TO BAIKAL:
Siberian winter is a really cold winter. Meanwhile, Baikal accumulates much warmth during Summer period and influences the temperature during Winter time. The lake completely freezes in Winter and remains iced in some northern as long as until beginning of June.
Mon: Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Celc-21-18-91915181581-10-18 Fahr-601634485964594634140. Most of the travelers visit the lake during Summer time. However number of tourists who wish to check what is Siberian winter and how transparent ice of the lake looks like is increasing. Most of the standard tourist activities can be done at the lake.


BAIKAL SEASONS:
Summer (15 June-15 August) Up to February it can be really cold and snowy, there are few sunny days. March seems to be the best time if you want to explore the winter activities at the lake as there will be much sun and it will be getting warmer. You can do skiing, snow riding.
Spring (15 April - 15 June)April and the beginning of May is a bad time to go to the lake as there will be unstable weather conditions and the ground roads around the lake will be blocked with the tons of dirt. End of May and the beginning of June is a perfect time if you want to feel yourself the lonely explorer. The lake is deserted, most of the tourists are still afraid of the cool days and you can be the only traveller for hundred kilometers.

Lake Baikal and Siberia Tours











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