Lake Baikal: the Pearl of Siberia

Visiting Lake Baikal, what is considered to be the oldest lake on earth, in the heart of Siberia.

After a few days in a train, it was great to breathe in some fresh air and to be able to move around. Our main reason to get off in Irkutsk, what is a city in the South-eastern part of Siberia, was to get to Lake Baikal. The lake is known to be the world’s deepest lake holding over 20% of the world’s fresh surface water.

From Irkutsk it is easy to organize yourself to the town of Listvyanka which serves as a gateway to Lake Baikal.

Lake Baikal in Siberia
Early autumn sun was still gentle.

Listvyanka as a town didn’t have much to offer, I would recommend heading further to truly enjoy the lakeside. The Olkhon Island offers a chance for more authentic experience. Foolish of us, we didn’t do our background check properly and didn’t actually spend any nights in the area. We left back to Irkutsk in the evening.

We enjoyed a few hour trek from Listvyanka. The path followed the lake to the North, offering beautiful views over the glimmering lake. It was such a peaceful place. I definitely regretted our poor planning and not staying in the area longer.

Lake Baikal is known for its rich biodiversity.  For example one of the three freswater seal populations live in the lake.

It was outside of the tourist season and the streets of  Listcvyanka were empty and quiet. Few sleepy dogs and a couple of restaurants open. We were the only customers for the time being. We enjoyed beers while admiring the views. Couldn’t stop wondering how I ended up here, into a sleepy old town in Siberia. Sometimes life throws us into adventures we didn’t even dream of a year before.

The lake water was as freezing as you could expect from the world’s deepest lake. It was a no no for swimming.

In Listvyanka, a town by the lake Baikal in Siberia
In Listvyanka village

Sometimes life throws us into adventures we didn’t even dream of a year before. That’s the magic of life.

7 thoughts on “Lake Baikal: the Pearl of Siberia

  1. I love that you visit places that are so different and remote. That is what makes them so interesting to read about. I didn’t know much about the Lake before. Thanks for introducing me.


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