Located in southern Siberia, Lake Baikal has been capturing the imaginations of locals and visitors for centuries. Created somewhere between 25 and 30 million years ago, Lake Baikal is considered the world’s oldest lake and is home to more than 3,500 plant and animal species. While the lake is beautiful year-round, it really comes to life during the winter when a thick crust of ice forms over the water, transforming the area into an icy playground.
Lake Baikal is known for its crystal clear water when it ices over, and the transparency is nothing short of marvelous. Deep cracks and trapped methane bubbles can easily be viewed through the 1.5- to 4.5-foot-thick ice layer that takes hold during the winter months. In fact, travelers flock to the location from around the world to soak in the unique winter atmosphere.
From mid-January to mid-April, when Lake Baikal is fully immersed in winter, vehicles are able to drive directly on the ice and give visitors an unforgettable experience. Between ice caves located on the lake’s islands and ice hummocks that create unusual shapes, there’s always something intriguing to see.
For photographers, Lake Baikal is a true delight. The long, crescent-shaped lake, which is also the world’s deepest, is the perfect playground for people who love landscape and nature photography. Unusual ice formations, snow piles, ice crevices, and oversized icicles are just some of the interesting weather phenomena found at this gem of Siberia.
If you are an adventurous traveler and want to experience the area for yourself, Viator offers a 5-day trip to Lake Baikal during the winter.
Lake Baikal in Siberia is the world’s oldest lake, having formed over 25 million years ago.
It’s known for its crystal clear water and methane bubbles that become trapped within the ice.