The 35 best sights of Baikal – descriptions and photos

Baikal Sights

Baikal Baikal nature reserve Nilov desert Olkhon Island Olkhon Island Transbaikal National Park Crystal Lake Chivyrkuisky bay Shamanka Rock

This site features Baikal sights – photos, descriptions and tips for travelers. The list is based on popular guidebooks and is presented by type, name and rating. Here you will find answers to questions: what to see in Baikal, where to go and where are the popular and interesting places of Baikal.

Baikal

Baikal on Baikal (photo)

If you want to get away from the hustle and bustle of megacities, from the urgent affairs and city problems, Baikal is the best place to visit. Welcome to the springs of the nature itself! Primordiality surrounds you everywhere: it is in the wild and lush taiga, in the air, filled with the scents of the sea, in the crystal clear blue water, in every stone and flower. You will visit the cozy bays and coves, you will see regal cliffs with their grottos and caves, you will feel, how our ancestors lived, who left their writings on the majestic arches. You can touch the magic of the lake and feel all its greatness.

Around the deepest lake in the world there are a lot of natural and historical monuments: the Shaman-rock, Ushkanyi islands, Sandy bay, Mare’s head peninsula, Shaman cape and Khobot cliff. These names alone give rise to mystical and mysterious visions! Here you can find an activity to your liking, whether it be a motorboat cruise, a kayak trip, fishing, hiking along the Great Baikal Trail or meditation on the shore in harmony with the nature.

You will get to one of the nearest cities: Irkutsk, Ulan-Ude or Severobaikalsk. Then you are to take a bus or a ship to Listvyanka settlement.

Coordinates: 53.18176100,107.66246800.

Baikal

Lake Baikal (photo)

If you want to get away from the hustle and bustle of megacities, from the urgent affairs and city problems, Baikal is the best place to visit. Welcome to the springs of the nature itself! Primordiality surrounds you everywhere: it is in the wild and lush taiga, in the air, filled with the scents of the sea, in the crystal clear blue water, in every stone and flower. You will visit the cozy bays and coves, you will see regal cliffs with their grottos and caves, you will feel, how our ancestors lived, who left their writings on the majestic arches. You can touch the magic of the lake and feel all its greatness.

Around the deepest lake in the world there are a lot of natural and historical monuments: the Shaman-rock, Ushkanyi islands, Sandy bay, Mare’s head peninsula, Shaman cape and Khobot cliff. These names alone give rise to mystical and mysterious visions! Here you can find an activity to your liking, whether it be a motorboat cruise, a kayak trip, fishing, hiking along the Great Baikal Trail or meditation on the shore in harmony with the nature.

Coordinates: 53.18176100,107.66246800.

Baikalsky Nature Reserve

The Baikal reserve (photo)

Baikalsky Natural State Biosphere Reserve was founded on September 26, 1969, by the decision of the Buryat ASSR, dated December 31, 1968.

The reserve occupies the central part of the Khamar-Daban mountain range and its slope on the north side, spread along the southern shore of Lake Baikal.

The opening of the reserve was a response by the environmentalists of the USSR to the construction of the notoriously badly known Baikalsk Pulp and Paper Mill. The most important task of the reserve was to protect the virgin cedar forests. Today the Reserve serves as a benchmark for assessing the impact of industrial emissions in Siberia on the forest massifs.

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The area of the Reserve is 165,724 hectares. The Reserve is surrounded by a strip of protected area of about 34,788 hectares.

Coordinates: 51.34324600,105.15746100

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Nilov Desert

Nilov desert (photo)

Nilov desert is a balneological resort located near the source of mineral water, rich in radon and used for therapeutic purposes. The resort is located in a picturesque area, 250 kilometers from Irkutsk.

There is a good asphalt road to the resort, surrounded by forests and rivers, so it is comfortable and pleasant to get to the springs. The resort itself consists of several well-equipped boarding houses, with everything you need for recreation and entertainment.

The main purpose of the visit is, of course, treatment with mineral waters. Water from the springs because of the large amount of fluoride and silicon is not suitable for drinking, but it is excellent for the treatment of skin and joints. It is used for the treatment of a wide range of diseases, including musculoskeletal system, cardiovascular, nervous system and other diseases.

Coordinates: 51.69325600,101.67630700

In photo mode you can see Baikal sights by photo only.

Olkhon Island

Olkhon Island (photo)

Olkhon Island is the only inhabited island in Baikal. Its area is 730 square kilometers. Its landscapes are known for their beauty and varied landscape: steppes, sand dunes, coniferous groves, hills, fir groves, dense forests and cliffs. There are almost no overcast days on the island – during the year there are about 48 of them.

There are eight settlements, which are mostly concentrated in the western part of the island. The largest settlement is Khuzhir, where more than 1200 people live. The main occupation of the local population is fishing.

According to Buryat folklore, there are menacing spirits of Lake Baikal on Olkhon. Khan-Khoto Babai, sent down to this island from the sky by the higher gods. Olkhon is the home of the white-headed golden eagle, Khan-Khubuu Noyon, son of Babai, who has the gift of shamanism. There is a place for worshipping spirits – burkhan. In general, Olkhon is considered a sacred corner of the northern shamanistic world.

Coordinates: 53.15666700,107.38361100

Zabaikalsky National Park

Zabaikalsky National Park (photo)

The Zabaikalsky National Park was established on the eastern shore of Lake Baikal, south of the Barguzin Nature Reserve, in 1986 and occupies an area of 269.1 thousand hectares. This is where the famous Podlemorye, the Svyatoy Nos Peninsula and the Chivyrkuisky Bay with its wonderful beaches are located.

In this park valuable natural complexes are protected and their tourist use is organized. An extremely important task is also the protection of rookeries of Baikal seals on the Ushkany Islands and mass concentrations of waterfowl on Lake Arangatui.

The Zabaikalsky National Park has many interesting places that attract tourists from all over the world. For example, the Ushkany Islands, where the largest summer rookery of the Baikal seal – the Baikal freshwater seal – is located. In summer the animals rest on the islands and change their winter fur for summer one.

Chivyrkuisky Bay is also a very popular place to visit. Its shores are highly indented and form a series of small sandy bays protected from the winds. The most famous thermal spring in Chivyrkuisky Bay is Snake Bay. Water temperature varies from 40 to 60 degrees, it depends on time of year.

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Coordinates: 53.71666700,109.21666700

Crystal Lake

Crystal Lake (photo)

Mountain lake with amazingly clear “crystal” water. Located about seven kilometers from the resort of Arshan. There is a hiking route there.

Chivyrkuisky Bay

The Chivyrkuisky bay (photo)

Chivyrkuisky Bay is the second largest bay of Lake Baikal. It is 26 kilometers long and 6 to 12 kilometers wide. The depth of the bay is no more than 10 meters, so the water is well heated. The bay is a great place for recreation and entertainment.

The bay is part of the Zabaikalsky National Park and commercial fishing is prohibited here. Because of this, the bay is rich in different types of fish. Perch, pike, salmon, and other fish species that can weigh up to 10 kilograms live here!

There are competitions in trophy fishing, the participants of which live in tents or on yachts, because of the ban on construction, to preserve ecology.

Coordinates: 53.72190400,109.11460900

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Shamanka Rock

Shamanka Cliff (photo)

The Shamanka Rock is located on Cape Burkhan and is identified with it.

It is so named because of the Shaman Cave located in the rock. The Shamanka Rock is a two-top rock on Lake Baikal, one of the nine shrines of Asia. It is located at Cape Burkhan, on Olkhon Island, near the largest settlement on the island, the village of Khuzhir.

Coordinates: 53.20361100,107.33916700

The most popular attractions in Baikal with descriptions and photos for all tastes. Choose the best places to visit famous places of Baikal on our website.

More Baikal sights

Ushkanyi Islands, Baikal, Russia Barguzin Bay, Baikal, Russia Lake Heart, Slyudyanka, Russia Chershsky Stone, Baikal, Russia Baikal Limnological Museum, Baikal, Russia Mandarkhan Bay, Mukhor Bay, Baikal, Russia

Going on holiday to Baikal

Going further

Attractions in Russia

Krasnyaya Ploshchad, Moscow, Russia Museum-Reserve in Kolomenskoye, Moscow, Russia Center of Contemporary Culture “Garage”, Moscow, Russia Church-on-Blood in the name of All Saints Who Shone Forth in the Land of Russia, Yekaterinburg, Russia Old Arbat, Moscow, Russia Europe-Asia stele, Yekaterinburg, Russia

Interesting cities in the world

Maputo (Mozambique), Bo Song (Thailand), Quebec City (Canada), Zaventem (Belgium), Rome (Italy), Melbourne (Australia), Balchik (Bulgaria), Bremen (Germany), Zakynthos (Greece), Pretoria (South Africa), London (UK), Daramsala (India),

World Attractions

Marin Drive, Male Atolls, Maldives Victoria Station, Mumbai, India Saona Island, La Romana, Dominican Republic Pyramids of Giza, Cairo, Egypt The Great Sphinx, Cairo, Egypt Chatuchak Market, Bangkok, Thailand

The 35 best sights of Baikal – descriptions and photos

The Baikal-Lensky State Reserve is located on the northwestern coast of Baikal. It is the largest protected area on Lake Baikal: the reserve includes 110 km of coastline from the Kheirem River to Cape Elokhin.

Cape Burkhan

Burkhan cape or Shaman-cliff as it is also called is one of the most famous places of Baikal and its visiting card. This cape is famous for the Shamanka Cave, where the first shamans performed shamanic rituals and sacrifices.

Pribaikalsky National Park

The Pribaikalsky National Park is located on the western shore of Lake Baikal. The protected area of the park in the form of a narrow strip of land, adjoining the shore of the lake, from 1 to 8 kilometers in width, stretches almost 400 kilometers of coast from the village of Kultuk to Cape Kocherikovsky.

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Shamanka Rock

When we think of any place on earth, we usually imagine it in a certain perspective. For example, the classic view of the Eiffel Tower is photographed from Trocadero Square, and Big Ben from the middle of the Thames Bridge.

Church of the Savior in Irkutsk

The Church of the Savior of Irkutsk is the building that started the city. 300 years ago the church was surrounded only by an ostrog – a fortress erected on the bank of the Angara River for the defense of the eastern borders of the Russian Empire.

Art Gallery “Diaz” in Irkutsk is not only an opportunity to look at Baikal through the eyes of the artist!

The 130th quarter

The 130th quarter is a historical area of Irkutsk, where are concentrated a few tens of old wooden buildings and houses, built in the XVIII century. Few Russian megalopolises can brag of such attraction.

Diaz Art Gallery

Art Gallery Diaz was founded by spouses, Diana and Robert, in 2009. It all began with love, in this case a love of art. For many years the couple formed a collection of works of Siberian artists, gradually expanding the boundaries and increasing professionalism.

Dorenberg Art Factory

The Dorenberg Art Factory is a public space for cultural events, recreation and work of creative entrepreneurs. The new art space is located on the site of a former 19th century brewery in the “commercial” part of downtown. In the 90s.

Baikal Museum

Lake Baikal, the deepest and purest lake on the planet, has its own museum. There are only three such projects in the world, and the Baikal Museum is the only one on the territory of Russia. Its collection consists of more than 17 thousand exhibits divided into classic and interactive exhibitions.

Baikalsky Surf

The village Baikalsky Priboy that is 130 meters away from Ulan-Ude is popular because of its successful location: on the shore of a shallow, warm and clear bay of Peschanyi Sor, separated from Baikal by narrow sand spits. First of all, Priboy attracts tourists by its uniquely beautiful nature.

We were on Taimyr! Norilsk – Putorana Plateau – Dudinka – Yeniseisk – Krasnoyarsk 13 days.

Barguzinsky bay

Barguzin Bay forms the eastern shore of Lake Baikal between Krestovsky and Nizhnee Izgolovye capes. It is the biggest bay on the lake: it goes as deep as 30 kilometers, its length is 90 kilometers, its depth is up to 1000 meters and more, herewith the Barguzin river estuary is quite shallow.

Aya Bay

The cove is located in the central part of the lake, on the western shore. Semicircular bay, 800 m long and about 600 m wide, is protected from the wind from both sides by high rocky shores, so ships have always stopped here during storms.

Victor Bronstein Gallery of Contemporary Art

Victor Bronstein Gallery of Contemporary Art is the largest private collection beyond the Urals. Its exhibition halls occupy an area of more than 1,300 square meters, and the exposition includes about 1,500 works of art, including paintings, sculptures, and graphics.

Fir Mountain

On the outskirts of Bratsk on the high bank of the beautiful Angara River is a modern ski resort Fir-tovaya Mountain. Here all-Russian championships are held and masters of sports are trained, but the slopes are also suitable for beginners.

Ski slope “Eastland”.

Baikal is a year-round destination. The local nature is equally good both in summer and winter, and there is enough entertainment and beauty here for every month of the year. And winter months are not an exception: just from the end of November a comfortable ski slope “Eastland” in Listvyanka opens.

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Art Gallery “Diaz” in Irkutsk is not only an opportunity to look at Baikal through the eyes of the artist!

Hot thermal spring “Goujekit

Hot spring “Goujekit” located in the foothills of the Baikal range, just 30 km from Severobaikalsk, is very popular among residents of Buryatia and the Irkutsk region. It was discovered not so long ago, at the end of the 20th century.

Dzelinda Hot Thermal Spring

“Dzelinda is one of the unique thermal springs of the north of the Baikal area. It is located in the valley of the Verkhnyaya Angara and Dzelinda rivers. It is more than 20 kilometers from the nearest village Angoy, and 70 kilometers from the district center Nizhneangarsk.

Znamensky Monastery in Irkutsk

The Znamensky nunnery in Irkutsk is one of the largest and oldest in Siberia. Given its location in a harsh region, it is easy to understand why it performed other, not the most high-spirited, functions in addition to those of the church.

Irkutsk Akademgorodok

Irkutsk Akademgorodok is a special district of Irkutsk, where all the city’s research institutes are concentrated. The Irkutsk “skolkovo” was created in the Soviet period, but even today scientists work here for the benefit of science and progress.

Irkutsk Datsan

The Irkutsk datsan is a Buddhist temple complex that is visited by tourists and locals of all faiths. The Buddhist community in Irkutsk has existed since the 19th century, but it occupied a tiny wooden house until 2006.

An amazing creation of nature is the legendary Lake Baikal. One can talk about the uniqueness of this freshwater sea endlessly, thousands of books were written about it, dozens of TV programs were devoted to it. But not only the geological, landscape and botanical peculiarities make Baikal stand out from other beautiful lakes of the planet. The abundance and diversity of the attractions gathered at this point of the Earth is also striking. Coming here with an open heart, you can not just relax your soul and be charged by the forces of Mother Nature, but also greatly replenish your cultural baggage. After all, Baikal is an Ecumene of many ancient tribes and nations, and for thousands of years these places have been covered with history, myths and secrets. Many of these legends were embodied in man-made exhibits, carefully collected in numerous museums. Other wonders and beauties of the unfathomable Baikal open to the eyes of the inquisitive travelers right in the open air. When exploring Buryatia’s distinctive culture, it may seem that the whole world revolves around Baikal.

When you explore Buryatia’s distinctive culture, it may seem that the whole world revolves around Baikal.

Natural attractions

Baikal’s natural attractions are the basis of its foundations, a magnet attracting weary human souls here. The only inhabited island on the lake, Olkhon, is considered to be the center of the Baikal world and its sacred point. Not only the locals live there, but also the ancient spirits, and the Buryat shamans are in successful contact with both worlds. The Olkhon is impressive in size – 70 by 15 kilometers, so the landscapes are lush with diversity: you will find here dense forests and steppes, hills and sand dunes, cliffs and even its own lake.

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The most famous places on Olkhon are Zhima Mountain, Shamansky (Burkhan) capes, Sagan-Khushun and Khoboy.

Not so long ago, in 2006, Okhotnichya cave, another important natural monument, was found in the western part of the lake. It hadn’t been thoroughly explored yet, but 5 km of explored passages attract ordinary tourists and experienced speleologists.

The famous thermal springs of Talaya (the second name – Munok springs) need no introduction. They are located in the village of Ulkan, next to the Kirenga River, in environmentally friendly and strikingly beautiful places. But it wasn’t their beauty that brought the recognition to the Talaya Springs, but the curative properties of the local waters, which were only thoroughly investigated in the 1980s, but have served the locals for centuries.

Among the most popular attractions is the Little Sea, a part of Baikal separated by Olkhon. Over time, the Small Sea, whose beauty is legendary, has become a symbol of Baikal, an embodiment of its natural beauty and uniqueness.

One of the most important natural monuments of our Motherland, a famous sightseeing attraction of Baikal and just a beautiful place is the Ukov Waterfall, recognized as one of the most powerful in the Central Sayan. Rushing down from a height of over 50 meters and disappearing into the bottomless rocky gorge streams of water will give new impressions even sightseeing tourists.

Cultural attractions

People are not only fed up with natural beauties, but also with cultural gastronomy, and it’s worth saying that Baikal offers a true feast of the spirit. Look at, for example, the church of St. Nicholas the Wonderworker in Listvyanka. Built in 1847 on the bank of Angara river and then moved twice, it pleases both pilgrims and ordinary tourists who are interested in church architecture.

Of course, and Listvyanka village itself, associated with the steamship line on Lake Baikal, has managed to be covered with historical facts and legends.

You shouldn’t ignore museums of Lake Baikal. You can’t miss the Baikalsky Nerpinarium, a unique place. It is quite expected, that the seals are here, but they don’t just swim mindlessly from one corner to another in the pool. In the Sealpinarium there are the real shows, where the actors are these funny freshwater seals. Cute and smart animals play musical instruments, sing to the best of their abilities, and create peculiar drawings. If you add that the seal is a symbol of Lake Baikal, it becomes obvious: one has to visit this place.

The “Taltsy” Ethnographic Museum is spread right under the open sky. On its rather spacious territory there are a lot of historical and ethnographic monuments dating from the period of the 17th-20th centuries. The architectural museum organizes not only traditional exhibitions, but also actively holds various events and holidays. Among the historical exhibits of wooden architecture you can hold a wedding ceremony or a children’s festival.

Here you can attend Shrovetide festivals or folk concerts, and master classes to learn the secrets of indigenous crafts.

Of course, this is only a tiny part of the Baikal sights, about which you can talk for a very, very long time. It’s much more useful and interesting to come here, to see everything with your own eyes, to fall in love with these places forever and to tell about them by yourself.

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