Location of Lake Baikal
Lake Baikal is the deepest and oldest lake in the world and it is located in eastern Siberia. Lake Baikal separates the Irkutsk region of Russia and the Republic of Buryatia (the Russian Federation).
Lake Baikal lies in in the Baikal basin that formed in the area where a huge Siberian platform connected to its surroundings.
Despite of the location of Lake Baikal – in a cuphole – the water level in the lake is higher than the level of the global sea by 456 meters (it is higher than the tallest building in the United States).
In the area of Lake Baikal you can see rocks ejected from the depths, which are 3 billion years old.
Much of the shore area of Lake Baikal is located in the area of one of the protected nature reserves, game reserves and national parks. Lake Baikal is shaped like a crescent moon:
Location of Lake Baikal
How to Get to Lake Baikal
The easiest way – is to take a plane to the city of Irkutsk. Direct flights to Irkutsk originate from several cities of Russia, as well as from several foreign countries: Vietnam, India, Spain, China, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Tajikistan, South Korea, etc.
From Irkutsk to Lake Baikal (70 km) you can get by bus or train, that goes around the lake, or by a mini bus or car.
Also, you can get to Lake Baikal from Ulan-Ude (130 kilometers).
Climate in Irkutsk and Lake Baikal
The distance between them is only 70 kilometers. But the difference in temperature can be … 10 degrees.
The explanation is simple. Eastern Siberia, where Lake Baikal is located, is in the area of extreme continental climate. That means very harsh winters and very hot summers. Huge amount of water in Lake Baikal cools the air above the lake in summer, and warms it up in winter.
Weather on Lake Baikal
During summer due to the low temperature of the lake water, the evaporation from the surface of the lake is minimal – there are no clouds. However, in the shallow waters in the summer the water can warm up to even to +22 degrees Celsius.
Clouds, coming to the lake, go over the mountains surrounding Lake Baikal, which in the summer heat up and dissipate the clouds.
Thus, many world resorts could envy the number of sunny days on Lake Baikal.
Where to Stay on Lake Baikal
The most popular among organized and independent tourists destination is a unique mystical island of Olkhon with its stunning sandy beaches. The feature of the island is almost complete absence of cloudy days.
In recent years, near Lake Baikal you can find a wide variety of recreation facilities, including ecological settlements.
Maps of Lake Baikal
The first official maps of Lake Baikal available to wide range of travelers were published only in 1775. However, until now, due to geological processes in the region of Lake Baikal, the contours of the lake change from time to time.
In addition to hundreds of species of plants and animals in Lake Baikal area that are not found anywhere else in world, around Lake Baikal there were also found unique and one-of-a-kind minerals named after Siberian scientists – kalinit, nataliit, florensovit, etc.