Real Russia Blog

10 Amazing Facts about Lake Baikal, Irkutsk

10 Amazing Facts about Lake Baikal, Irkutsk

Last week, we asked our Facebook community for their favorite place to visit en route on the Trans-Siberian Railway. The place picked was Lake Baikal, on the edge of Irkutsk, though it is hardly surprising with so much to be able to say about the natural wonder!

10 Facts about Lake Baikal, Irkutsk

  • Lake Baikal is 1 of 25 UNESCO World Heritage sites in Russia.
  • It holds the largest unfrozen freshwater reserve in the world, containing about 20% of the Earths freshwater supply.
  • It sinks to a depth of 1,642 m meaning it is also the deepest lake in the world!
  • It supports life for about 1,340 animals and 570 species of plant, including the 'Nerpa', a seal that lives in freshwater.
  • There are approximately 350 rivers that flow into Lake Baikal, though only one river, the 'Angara', that flows out of it.
  • There are about 27 rocky islands that reside in the Lake, of which the largest is Olkhon Island.
  • It entirely freezes over in the winter, and the surface forms large clear ice crystals when it begins to melt – This makes it a key place of interest for photographers to snap some shots!
  • Local people often engage in winter activities on the frozen lake, including ice fishing, ice skating and ice running.
  • Lake Baikal's Circum-Baikal railway can transport you around the edge of lake with its' 87 km of railroad.
  • The main Trans-Siberian railway stretches around the Lake meaning that the lake is just one of many places to experience on the Trans-Siberian railway adventure!

With all of these reasons and many more, it is easy to see why people often consider Lake Baikal to be among their favorite place to visit on the Trans-Siberian railway!

If you are interested in experiencing the wonder of Lake Baikal for yourself, our Classic Trans-Mongolian tour on our tours range can help get you there! Or perhaps you would like to prepare your own journey on the trans-siberian, in which case our trains and visas page can point you in the right direction!

If you would like more information, our travel specialists are always happy to talk through all the options available, so get in touch via our contact us page.

Have you visited Lake Baikal? Or discovered any other extraordinary sites on the Trans-Siberian that you would like to share? Keep in touch with us on Facebook or Twitter too – we like to hear about all the places that you have uncovered, as there is so much to explore throughout the whole of Siberia!