Remote travel destination Lake Baikal, Russia | After the fall of the Soviet Union, tourism into Russia became easier. But not too many leisure travelers make it beyond St. Petersburg or Moscow. Lake Baikal – the largest freshwater lake in the world – is not yet overrun by tourists. The lake contains roughly 20% of the world’s unfrozen surface fresh water. It contains more water than all the North American Great Lakes combined. But going there comes with a catch: There aren’t many hotels, and there is no advanced tourist serving infrastructure. You will be kind of on your own. At least for now. It is planned to build three modern hotels until 2020, creating 570 jobs. At the northern part of the lake, a German NGO built the Frolikha Adventure Coastline Track, a 100 km – long trail as example for a sustainable development of the region. According to Wikipedia 146,937 visitors come to nearby Irkutsk and Lake Baikal each year. Numbers are slowly rising.
Why is it worth visiting Lake Baikal? This lake is very rich in biodiversity. It hosts more than 1,000 species of plants and 2,500 species of animals based on current knowledge. More than 80% of the animals are endemic, among others the Baikal seal or Nerpa. Recommended time slot to travel to Lake Baikal: From end of June until mid August. Temperatures reach 18 to 20 degrees celsius. The water temperature will be at around 15 degrees celsius. Avoid the time between November and March, because you will simply freeze your butt off within minutes.
How to get to Lake Baikal
Either by train – that will be a 5,000 km ride with the Trans-Siberian from Moscow to Irkutsk. Or by plane; again Irkutsk will be your arrival point. Estimated duration coming from Moscow: 5h 30m.
Remote travel destination Lake Baikal. By Chili & Chirp | Hugging horizons since 2004 | Getting there is not easy -> Easter Island (Chile) | Angel Falls (Venezuela) | Pyramids of Meroe (Sudan) | Sanaa (Yemen) | Nauru | Salar de Uyuni (Bolivia) | Tahiti