Lake Baikal is in Russia. It is the biggest and deepest freshwater lake in the world, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The lake is located in Eastern Siberia, between Irkutsk Oblast to the northwest and Buryatia to the southeast. It is the planet's deepest and oldest lake, as well as its largest body of freshwater, containing over one fifth of the world's supply.
The nearest airport is in Irkutsk, which can be reached from either Domodedovo or Sheremetyevo 1 in Moscow.
The Baikal-Amur Mainline and the Trans-Siberian Railway both reach Lake Baikal.
Buses leave from Irkutsk station throughout the day. The ride is about an hour and a half, with several stops along the way, and ends in the small town of Listvyanka, at the shores of the lake.
From Listvyanka you can go by boat to the Bolshoie Koty, in the hearth of Baykal national park. One way costs 180 rubles, but you cannot buy tickets in advance (only in Irkutsk, I think). First boat goes from Listvyanka at 10, last at 16 o'clock. From there you can get by boat at 18.00 or by foot by Baykal tourist trail. It is around 18 kilometres and the most of the path goes around the shore of a lake. From Bolshoie Koty you can go to the Irkutsk by the same boat. It costs 360 rubles (summer 2008).
From Listvyanka you can go to the Port Baykal that lies on the opposite side of river Angara. Boat costs 34 rubles and goes from the place just under the Baykal limnological museum. It takes around 5 minutes to get there. However it is recommended to go the other way, from Port Baykal to Listvyanka.
To Port Baykal you can go by train as well. It goes from Sludyanka at the southern corner of the lake. It takes around 4 to 6 hours, since the train is really slow. But you have time to look around, because the railway is going by the shore of the lake. It costs 46 rubles. It is so slow because it is the old Baykal railroad was built around 100 years ago.
The smoked Omul sold by several fish sellers on the edge of the lake is wonderful, and there is a restaurant on the lake's edge with good fish, along with several bars and small groceries. Everything in Listvyanka is within walking distance, including a small post office.
Listvyanka, Irkutsk Oblast
Souvenirs are sold near the omul sellers (see below), and tend to be cheaper than in other Russian cities. There are several boats at the main dock who take on tourists when not fishing. The prices are negotiable, try to find other tourists who want to ride and get cheaper prices by being in a large group. Sometimes a kid with broken English acts as an intermediary for the price haggling.
Irkutsk is the biggest city nearby, but the BAM and the Trans-Siberian can take you from one side of the country to the other.
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Peter Fitzgerald, zengzhipeng, Sergey Kudryavtsev and Marc Heiden, Tatatabot, E2v and WindHorse
This travel guide also includes text from Wikipedia articles, all available at View full credits