Baikal – the Pearl of Siberia.
Lake Baikal is one of the most gorgous and sightes in the world, rather unexplored by travellers than the opposite. Surrounded by the picturesque taiga and mountains, this UNESCO World Heritage Site is also a spiritual destination point that is sure to please. Baikal’s age is estimated at 25–30 million years, making it the most ancient lake in geological history.
The lake is completely surrounded by mountains: The Baikal Mountains on the north shore, the Barguzin Range on the northeastern shore, and the taiga are technically protected as a national park. The lake encompasses 27 islands in total. The largest, Olkhon, is the pilgrimage site and home of shamans. The lake itself is fed by as many as 330 inflowing rivers. It is drained through a single outlet though, the Angara River.
Lake Baikal is rich in biodiversity. It hosts more than 1,000 species of plants and 2,500 species of animals based on current knowledge, but the actual figures for both groups are believed to be significantly higher. More than 80% of the animals are endemic.
Buryat tribes inhabit Baikal’s eastern side and have been rearing goats, camels, cattle and sheep on this territory for centuries.
Depending on the season, there may even be special events to celebrate the winter or the coming of spring. As one of the world’s most mystifying creations, Lake Baikal is an essential visit for travelers of all ages.