Baikal

Explore splendid Lake Baikal

- the deepest lake in the world with waters transparent up to forty meters deep

The great Russian writer Anton Chekhov, when he came to the shores of Lake Baikal, wrote that when he arrived at the Pearl of Siberia, he realized that everything he had seen before was prose. “Everything afterward was poetry,” he wrote.

This sacred body of water really does have that sort of effect on people. Chekhov claimed that the water was so transparent that he could see some 3,500 feet down (a Russian verst), and the view of submerged rocks and mountains “plunged in the turquoise-blue” sent a shiver over him. This is certainly within reason. With 20 percent of all the unfrozen freshwater on the planet, this ancient rift lake boasts superlatives such as being the deepest, clearest, and, scientists say, the oldest lake in the world.



What’s on its shores, of course, will take one’s breath away. “The banks are picturesque,” Chekhov described. “Mountains and mountains, and dense forests on the mountains. I felt so happy that I cannot describe it. The scenery on the Angara River is like Switzerland. It is something new and original.”

The Chinese called Baikal the Great Northern Sea. Certainly for early explorers, even the Russian Cossacks who spent a lifetime riding from one end of the continent to the other, the idea that this was one huge lake boggled the mind. “It is like a mirror,” Chekhov noted. “The other side, of course, is out of sight; it is 90 kilometers away. The banks are high, steep, stony, and covered with forests; to right and to left there are promontories that jut into the sea. It’s like the Crimea.”

The lake sits in the middle of the largest landmass on Earth. Eurasia is a place so vast that it takes a train on the Trans-Siberian Railway more than a week of travel to cross. And all around the lake is the taiga. A once-impenetrable boreal forest that defined Siberia in the minds of Europeans, the taiga remains today one of the Earth’s greatest biomes. “It’s not the giant trees, nor the deathly stillness that constitutes its power and enchantment,” Chekhov noted. “Rather, it’s in that only the migrating birds know where it ends.”

The Circum-Baikal Railway is one of the picturesque sights around Lake Baikal

As it was in Chekhov’s time, one of the brightest gems on Lake Baikal is the village of Listvyanka. Named for the larch trees that dominated the forests here, the locale has attracted tourists, scientists, and even Russia’s leaders of state for its convenient location and inspirational beauty. “This station lies at the water’s edge, and is strikingly like Yalta,” Chekhov described it. “If the houses were white, it would be exactly like Yalta.”

One of the best ways of seeing the lake is on a private cruise, and Travel All Russia has a perfect options for experiencing the wonder that is Baikal. Just remember, tradition has it that if you wash your feet in the waters of this sacred sea, it is said that five years will be added to your life. Perhaps not even Chekhov could come up with a better reason to visit this must-see world destination.

Classic Trans-Siberian
Classic Trans-Siberian
Classic Trans-Siberian
Beginning in Moscow, you will travel through the mighty Ural Mountains, stop in the frozen city of Irkutsk, and absorb the beauty of Lake Baikal. Your next stop is Mongolia's Ulan-Bator before cro...
Eurasian Capitals Trans-Siberian
Eurasian Capitals Trans-Siberian
Eurasian Capitals Trans-Siberian
Similar to our Grand Trans-Siberian Tour, with one exciting addition. The Venice of the North, St. Petersburg will be your launching pad, taking you then to Moscow, the Ural Mountains, Baikal Lake,...
"Golden Eagle"
"Golden Eagle"
"Golden Eagle"
The Golden Eagle is a one-of-a-kind luxury train. This glamorous throwback to the golden age of steam engines on the Trans-Siberian railway route is especially appealing for travelers who want over...
Naadam Festival
Naadam Festival
Naadam Festival
For a peak into the life of a Mongolian, book one of our Naadam Festival Trans-Siberian tours – a journey across Russia aboard the Golden Eagle Private Train to the lively Mongolian national ...
Grand Deluxe Trans Siberian Tour
Grand Deluxe Trans Siberian Tour
Grand Deluxe Trans Siberian Tour
Starting in Moscow, you will travel through the mighty Ural Mountains with stops in Ekaterinburg, Novosibirsk, and Krasnoyarsk. Next is the frozen city of Irkutsk and the beautiful Lake Baikal. Mon...
The Sacred Sea
The Sacred Sea
The Sacred Sea
Our short Trans-Siberian tour launching from Moscow takes you to the shores of the world's biggest lake, Baikal. Early settlers, astonished by the beauty of this huge body of water, used to call i...
Epic Trans-Siberian Expedition
Epic Trans-Siberian Expedition
Epic Trans-Siberian Expedition
A perfect match for active travelers. Take part in the exciting 21-day adventure of Russia with our Epic Trans-Siberian Expedition. Cross Russian Siberia and reach the Far Eastern port of Vladivostok ...
Tsar's Gold Trans-Siberian Adventure
Tsar's Gold Trans-Siberian Adventure
Tsar's Gold Trans-Siberian Adventure
A private Trans-Siberian tour is a very special kind of travel. It focuses solely around your experience, and Tsar's Gold program is so carefully tailored and perfected over the years that you ...
Baikal-Amur Mainline Adventure
Baikal-Amur Mainline Adventure
Baikal-Amur Mainline Adventure
Setting up your trip in Vladivostok, the Russian Far East, be ready for a true 20-day- Russian adventure......
"Imperial Russia" Short
"Imperial Russia" Short
"Imperial Russia" Short
The newly launched "Imperial Russia" train takes you from St. Petersburg to Baikal and introduces you to some less explored treasures of the Russian Siberia. This program is unique in man...
"Imperial Russia" Classic
"Imperial Russia" Classic
"Imperial Russia" Classic
NEW! With our new exciting Trans-Siberian tour on a luxury train "Imperial Russia" you will feel the imperial spirit of the endless expanses of Russia, see unique nature of Siberia with y...
Pacific Trans-Siberian Express
Pacific Trans-Siberian Express
Pacific Trans-Siberian Express
Trans-Siberian Railway is an unequalled travel experience that every globetrotter should experience at least once in a lifetime. The best option to visit this remote destination is onboard our comf...