This is truly one of the most amazing places you could imagine. By dimensions alone, Lake Baikal is really more of a sea than a lake; it is 640 km (397.6 mi) long, 79 km (49 mi) wide and a whopping 1,632 m (~5,354 ft) deep, which also makes is the deepest lake in the world. It’s so large, that all of the rivers on earth combined would take an entire year to fill it. It is a fresh water lake with a capacity of 23,000 m3 (~812,237 ft3) , which is one fifth of all the fresh water in the world and its origins date back to around 25 million years ago, so whatever way you look at Lake Baikal, a World Heritage site and its history, you could not fail to be impressed!
Situated in south-east Siberia, the climate around Lake Baikal is much milder than in the rest of southern Siberia. This is largely due to the fact that large areas of water hold heat for longer periods of time than land does. However in the wintertime, Baikal freezes over with ice so thick that the Trans-Siberian Railway was briefly run over its surface. Taking a sleigh ride over the ice and the through the surrounding areas is an unforgettable adventure.
In a total contrast to this, summertime sees the shores and beaches bathed in a blanket of colour from the wild flowers that grow there. There is much to do here in the warm summer months; hiking through the forests, taking a boat tour on the lake and photographing the many waterfalls, wildlife, birds and animals to be found there are only some of the highlights.
With its fine beaches, excellent hiking, bird watching, and pleasure boating, Lake Baikal is sure to become one of the most attractive vacation destinations in Russia.