Popular Adventure Trips in and Around Lake Baikal

Russian Siberia has always mesmerized people all around and in spite of its dark reputation, tourists love to visit it to entertain their adventure lust. Some biggest natural wonders call it their homes for example that of the deepest fresh water lake, Baikal, nicknamed the ‘pearl of Siberia’, is located in Eastern Siberia. It’s the star resident of the place and boasts of a prestigious, ancient lineage dating back 25 to 30 million years ago. Surprisingly 1/5th of world’s liquid fresh water is stored here and many believe that it’s world’s 5th ocean in the making. At most of its stretch the water is pure to drink. Girdled with picturesque mountains and sparse settlements of wooden cabins, Lake Baikal is worthy of its nickname. Adventure sports have a tremendous scope in and around Lake Baikal in both Summers and Winters. Unlike any other place they are quite different in nature.

Popular Tracks Traversed to Visit Lake Baikal

Lake Baikal

Typical trajectory for foreign tourists is via Listvyanka and Irkutsk. However if you want to have beach funs then come here through Ulan-Ude and trekking addicts, visit this place via BAM or Baikal-Amur Mainline Railway. You should choose your path carefully in absence of a circumnavigating road infrastructure and the northern coasts could not be reached from south.

A Little Introduction of the Neighborhood

Irkutsk: Interestingly Irkutsk is one of the most popular cities around Baikal and nicknamed as ‘the Paris of Siberia’. With its laidback atmosphere, log cabins and intricate fretwork laden window frames, that is so common of Siberian domestic architecture, Irkutsk is a learned city, primarily progressed towards service and engineering.

Èðêóòñê, ãîðîäñêîé ïåéçàæ

Olkhon Island: The largest island of the Lake, nowhere else than here the nature displays an amazing range of variety. With a temperate summer climate pine trees, steppe hills; sunny and sandy beaches; dramatic capes and multicolored lichens, the Island could not be missed out at any cost.


Summer Adventure Trips

Adventure Tours to Irkutsk and Baikal

Let us start with a soft adventure tour here from the small rural settlements of Bolshie Koty and Listvyanka, spanning a distance of 20 kilometers. Both these villages differ a lot in their getup as the later acts as a tourist hotspot whereas the former is a far cry from human noise. Tour operators offer trekking tours to Bolshie Koty and popular sight-seeing tours to Listvyanka. Trek between the 2 places spans for 6 to 7 hours. The Museum of Lake Baikal or Limnological Museum is situated in Listvyanka.

Zabaikalski National Park, Lake Baikal, Siberia, Russia

Let’s trek along the Lake Baikal

Best season to visit: May 10 to Oct. 20.

Permissible age group– Maximum limit is 55 years.

Level of difficulty: Strenuous.

Wt. carried: 10 to 14 Kilograms in a backpack.

The trek traverses through 3 onshore villages namely Bolshie Koty, Listvyanka and Bolshoe Goloustnoe. All of them are not located too far but they have a distinctive historic background and nature. The path between Listvyanka and Bolshoe Goloustnoe is just awesome in a short span of 3 to 5 days. You need to trek through deep pine groves along steppe slopes emerging into green meadows and balancing yourself over pebbled beaches while enjoying the views of azure blue waters of the Lake.


Bike through the Southern Shores of the Lake

Best season to visit: Mid May to late Sep.

Permissible age group- Any

Level of difficulty: Mild

An easy biking trail is located here with quality asphalt and slanting roads making it an easy biking-route. This 120 Kilometers distance is traversed in 5 days and 4 nights. There are options available for night stays in tents and hostels. If feeling tired, you may get a ride on trains (at railway stations). More adventure lovers could opt for trips to Hamar-Daban mountain range.


Canoeing Tour

Best season to visit: Early June to late Aug.

Permissible age group- Any

Level of difficulty: Mild

Canoeing trip starts from Bolshoe Goloustnoe, touches Bolshie Koty and ends up in Listvyanka. During the trip, the vast expanse of the Lake can be felt upon.

Canoeing Tour

Winter Adventure Trips

One Day Excursion to Ice Lake Baikal

Best season to visit: 10th Feb. to 31st March

Permissible age group- Any

Level of difficulty: Mild

A rather comfortable of all other adventure trips, Excursion to the Ice Lake is organized with imported, high quality cars and multi-lingual guided tours are offered to the ‘Museum of Lake Baikal’ or the ‘Museum of Wooden Architecture’. Enjoy a viewpoint to the origin of the River Angara and a pristine visit to the St. Nicholas church. The trip requires an 8 to 9 hours trip.


Baikal Excursion & Dog Sledging

Best season to visit: From mid Dec. to early Apr.

Permissible age group- Maximum limit is 60

Level of difficulty: Mild to a bit strenuous

Three Airmen participate in dog-sled expedition

A tourist can take a dog sledge ride of 10 Kilometers and then the trip can be exchanged with another tourist and if you wish, a longer than 10 Kilometer ride can be booked too. Mostly the trip began from the town Irkutsk and the whole highway leading towards Lake Baikal is as heavenly as it is possible- the path meanders through dense Taiga forest. A 1 hour drive will take you to the origin of Angara River, to the Shaman Rock.

Baikal Excursion trip includes sightseeing trips to the village of Listvyanka. Here the Limnological museum- Museum of Lake Baikal- takes you to an exciting trip of origin of life forms in the Lake. For example, the Baikal Seal is a unique life form of the Lake.


The Lake water hibernates under a wide ice-sheet still early May from late January. During Winters, only the part near the origin of River Angara remains in liquid form.

Skating and Walking Tour at the Lake

Best season to visit: From 30th Jan. to the start of Apr.

Permissible age group- Maximum limit is 55

Level of difficulty: Mild to a bit strenuous

From the part of the Lake starting from the rural settlement of Bolshoe Goloustnoe to Bolshie Koty is endowed with clear icy section that is a famous spot for speed ice-skating and you will be thrilled to know that this is the biggest, natural ice-skating rink of the whole world. You may have to walk for a stretch after an icefall as loose ice would have covered a part of the skating site.


Final Thoughts

Lake Baikal is a marvelous gemstone of natural splendor. Adventure lovers should try to make this tour for at least once in their lifetime. Certainly a trip to remain etched in your mind for ever.

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