Facts about Baikal lake and Why to travel there.
Lake Baikal is the largest freshwater lake by volume in the world, containing 22–23% of the world's fresh surface water. With 23,615.39 km3 (5,670 cu mi) of fresh water, it contains more water than the North American Great Lakes combined. It is almost a quarter of the world's supply of fresh water, and the water is extremely pure and clear. A white disk 30 cm in diameter can be seen through the Baikal water even at a depth of 40 meters.
Baikal is a sacred place for those who live there. It’s often called “the Sacred Sea”, “the Blue Eye of Siberia”, “the Diamond of the Planet”. The Baikal water is very unique for it’s not only just clean and fresh — it contains a very small amount of mineral salts, which makes this water distilled. It also contains a lot of oxygen.
With a maximum depth of 1,642 m (5,387 ft), Baikal is the world's deepest lake.It is considered among the world's clearest lakes and is considered the world's oldest lake, at 25–30 million years.
It is the seventh-largest lake in the world by surface area. Lake Baikal was formed as an ancient rift valley and has the typical long, crescent shape, with a surface area of 31,722 km2 (12,248 sq mi).
Lake Baikal and its shores are home to 1,850 species of animals and 850 species of plants, many of which can only be found there. The most famous Baikal fish are the sturgeon, grayling, cisco, and live-bearing oilfish. However, the most valuable of them all is the omul, revered for its exquisite, tender taste.
It is also home to Buryat tribes, residing on the eastern side of the lake, raising goats, camels, cattle, sheep, and horses, where the mean temperature varies from a winter minimum of −19 °C (−2 °F) to a summer maximum of 14 °C (57 °F).
The region to the east of Lake Baikal is referred to as Transbaikalia, and the loosely defined region around it is sometimes known as Baikalia.
The lake was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1996.
The lake is located at an elevation of almost 500 m above sea level; it is 636 km long and from from 20 to 80 km wide.
The lake offers more sunny days than resorts on the southern seas. In the fall, storms with strong winds are frequent.
Lake Baikal freezes over only in the second half of January and is completely free of ice only in May. Baikal ice, like its water, is surprisingly clear, forming enormous, transparent fields; in shallow areas the bottom and underwater inhabitants can be seen.
Over three hundred rivers fall into this fresh-water storage of the Earth, and only one — the Angara — has its source there. At the outflow, near Listvyanka Village, 70 km from Irkutsk, a stone towers above the water. According to the legend, Father Baikal threw this rock after his disobedient daughter, the beautiful Angara. Despite her father's admonitions, she went to her groom, the Yenisei, after moving apart the mountains surrounding the lake.
Lake Baikal is a true tourist magnet.
Most come in the summer, a relatively warm season there. In late July — early August, the water near the shores heats through well. It is best to travel about the lake on a small rental boat, being able to change the route at one's discretion, enter the picturesque harbors and straits, fish, and sunbathe. The best time to travel to Lake Baikal is from May through to October. Summer is the best time for hiking, excursions, fishing, riding jeeps along the coast, and swimming. Besides it, one may enjoy the beaches here, and yachting as well.
In winter time, people come to the Lake Baikal for skiing mostly, but such activities like riding the snowmobiles, dog harnesses, skating, and mountain skiing are very popular there. One may choose comfortable hotel for staying, but there are also stylized Mongolian jurts (nomad’s tents), so such a vacation will be unforgettable.
And do not forget about diving! It is extremely exiting and unusual, especially in winter time diving under ice.
There are also about 20 island in the Lake Baikal, and the biggest one is Olkhon — the unique island which contains different types of nature landscapes, like, for example, steppes and Baltic sand beaches at the same time. It’s where the sun shines almost all year round, so Olkhon is definitely a place to be for those who loves sunbathing and don’t like raining cats and dogs.
The Olkhon Island is a power center of sorts of the area. It is called the Heart of Lake Baikal; even its shape is reminiscent of the outline of the lake. It is the largest island on Baikal, 71 km long and 12 km wide. The deepest spot of Lake Baikal is near the north-western bank of the Olkhon (1,637 m). Locals believe that the grave of Genghis Khan is located in the cave of the Burkhan marble cliff.
There is another, man-made, sight near Lake Baikal. Its name is the Circum-Baikal Railway. This historic railroad in Irkutsk Oblast, formerly a part of the Trans-Siberian Railway, 94 km long, was formerly known as the gold buckle of the steel belt of Russia. These days, it is a museum of railroad culture of a kind, comprising 806 cultural historic objects, 582 engineering monuments, including 38 tunnels, and over 200 bridges.
Take a trip to Baikal with Tari Tour!