Europe Travel News

At 25 million years old, Lake Baikal is a must-see on a tour of Russia

Given it's size, it's understandable that some of the highlights of Russia tours will go overlooked. Visitors may be more likely to stay to the big cities - St. Petersburg, Moscow, Sochi - than head to the center of the country where some unusual natural features reside. One of the most compelling of these landmarks is Lake Baikal, which only sees about 30,000 foreign travelers each year. However, the lake, known as the Blue Eye of Siberia, is among the most unique bodies of water in the world. 

Located near the border with Mongolia, Lake Baikal is perhaps most famous for containing a jaw-dropping 20 percent of the world's non-frozen surface fresh water. While it's not the largest lake in the world - it ranks seventh on the list - it's so voluminous due to it's extraordinary depth. The lake reaches 5,387 feet at its lowest point, making it the deepest lake on Earth. It is also among the clearest, which helps create one of the most stunning views in the country. 

The lake's depth and volume of water is not the only reason why adding Lake Baikal to a tour of Russia makes sense. At more than 25 million years old, it's the world's oldest lake, and that, combined with its isolation, have created some unique flora and fauna in the area. Many of the plant and animal life that lives in and around the lake are endemic to the area and can't be found anywhere else. Among the lake's most unusual residents is the scaleless Baikal oilfish and the earless Baikal seal, which is the only truly exclusive freshwater seal in the world. 

Share
Recommended Tours

Baltics Highlights

7 days from $1,764 pp*
Custom Private Tour
The scent of rich pine forests lingers in the breeze as the 13th-century ruins of Turaida Castle are revealed before your eyes in the lush Gauja River valley in a medieval sanctuary untouched by the march of time.
More Info

Budapest, Vienna, Prague Signature

7 days from $2,030 pp*
Custom Private Tour
The aroma of dark roasted Viennese coffee hangs thick in the air as you tread the cobblestone laneways and bask in the elegant architecture, atmospheric cafes and refined restaurants in one of the most beautiful cities in Eastern Europe.
More Info

Highlights of Eastern Europe

10 days from $2,770 pp*
Custom Private Tour
The rhythmic trot of your horse and the soft crunch of your carriage wheels upon cobblestones is a seductive soundtrack to accompany the stunning ancient architecture of Vienna’s charming Ringstrasse.
More Info
Kensington Advantage
Personalized itinerary with private guide & driver. Award winning value.
  • Personalized itinerary that fits like a glove
  • Full attention of your own private guide & driver
  • In-country offices for 24/7 peace of mind
  • Multi-award winning
  • 30,000 delighted clients

With the inside track on the new, the old, the off-the-beaten track and the out-of-this-world, you won't find a more knowledgeable team of destination specialists.

Meet Our Experts
Curators of extraordinary experiences, you won't find a more skillful team.
30,000 Delighted Customers
"Kensington, you've done it again...perfection!"

Don't take our word for it.
Here's what our clients say.

"Fabulous trip. Every aspect from the planning to execution was excellent."

Newsletter Subscription
Have our hand picked trips, news & specials delivered to you.
Thank you for signing up!

Your details have been received and processed successfully.
Travel + Leisure : World's Best Award 2014 Family National Geographic Traveler : 50 Tours of a Lifetime Travel Leisure Award 2015