If you think that the Baikal region is terribly cold, gray and uninteresting in winter, you are completely wrong. The place is beautiful at any season of the year. And even during the severe frosts Baikal has something to surprise you with.
There are legends about the transparency and beauty of the Olkhon ice. It is the largest skating rink in the world. Frequent strong winds sweep the snow from the frozen lake and literally polish it, creating a perfectly smooth mirror surface. Therefore, during the winter holidays you can take your favorite skates out of the closet and to go and boldly conquer wide open spaces. You soul will keep a memory of such an adventure forever!
Just do not forget that the ice on Baikal is strong enough only from the mid-January. Before this time it is rather dangerous to step onto the water surface.
Winter fishing is extremely popular at Lake Baikal. Hundreds of patient fishermen gather at the lake anticipating the catch from the mid-December until late May. Most often it is possible to catch perch, pike, cisco, grayling and, of course, omul. The most favorite places for ice fishing are the bays of Maloe More, Proval and Chivyrkuisky. A successful catch can also be found in the delta of the Selenga River, as well as in the Baikal sor. Provide yourself with warm clothes, hot tea and enjoy the quiet and greatness of nature while waiting for the bite.
Bathing in hot healing water in winter is an unforgettable pleasure, everyone should try it. The curative springs of Arshan and Zhemchug are very popular. Their water temperature reaches 44 degrees Celsius. This water is used to heal the diseases of the musculoskeletal system, skin, nervous system, joints, and so on.
Severobaikalsk mineral springs are very famous: Zelinda, Khakusy, Goudzhekit, Kotelnikovskie. The Zmeinaya Bay also has some healing waters. To be brief, the choice is great. Just imagine: a hot miracle-working bath with a view of the magnificent lake. Lovely, is not it?
One of the most significant advantages of the frozen Baikal is the possibility to quickly and easily access any point of its expanse. Therefore, trips through the lake surface on quad bikes, bicycles, cars, snowmobiles are very popular in winter. But the safest option for such travels is Khivus hovercrafts. These are inflatable boats – hovercrafts easily moving on ice and water. A trip through the expanses of the great lake will enrich you with a lot of positive emotions. You can effortlessly reach any place and fully enjoy the splendor and special atmosphere of Baikal in winter.
This ancient Russian entertainment has not lost its popularity until today. A ride in a sleigh harnessed with Siberian huskies is an amazing way to have a great time. Fresh frosty air and beautiful nature: what else do you need for a good mood?
An unusual and very interesting event is held at Baikal annually: the craftspeople show real masterpieces made of ice. Looking at them, you can hardly believe that all of them are man-made. This year the festival is scheduled for the end of February and will be held at the village of Listvyanka. You will be able not only see the amazing exhibits, but also enjoy a rich entertainment program. Be sure to come!
The fans of speed and freedom will certainly like a snowmobile ride. There is a lot of snow in the Baikal Region, which creates the conditions suitable for this kind of entertainment. You are guaranteed to get adrenaline and energy.
The Museum of Ethnography allows you to plunge into the atmosphere of the ancient Russia and travel in time for a while. To make this effect more realistic, do not limit yourself to viewing the exhibitions. We recommend you to go to Taltsy for Christmas or Shrovetide. They held real folk festivals according to the best traditions of the Russian people during holidays. This is a great way to have real fun.
The Baikal region is a paradise for skiers and snowboarders. It provides all conditions for excellent skiing and snowboarding. The fans of prepared trails can have a great time and hone their skiing skills in Baikalsk, on the Sobolinaya Mountain. Those who prefer backcountry and wildlife should go to Mamai. This is the mecca of Siberian freeriders. A huge amount of snow and the bewildering beauty of the winter forest attract travelers from all over the world.
Everyone has probably heard about the annual tradition of walking on the Baikal ice. If you have not yet participated in an event of this kind, then you have one more chance to do it in March 2018. You are going to enjoy a fascinating 14-kilometer-long walk. Be sure to take a sunblock cream and sunglasses: it will be very hot.
• Do not drive a car on ice without a conductor and reconnaissance;
• Do not ride on ice before mid-January;
• Choose parking lots reasonably and track the weather.
No doubt, Baikal is interesting from all of its angles; but being a part of the lake – spending time amidst its waters - is a special sensation. "Key to Baikal" will tell about the most important water routes of the Sacred Sea-Lake.
Our readers Pavel and Alina Yakusheva have already been participating in the ice transitions on Lake Baikal for several years. This year Pavel has shared with us his story and photos telling about the way the “Meeting with Lake Baikal – 2018” has been held and how a missed train allowed them to discover the Circum-Baikal Railway.
Tourists and photographers from all over the world go to Baikal. What should one capture on Lake Baikal in winter and, most importantly, in which way?
According to the statistical data, a million tourists have come to Baikal for the last two years. The rest on Olkhon becomes not only more popular, but also rapidly expands the geography of visitors: they come here literally from all over the world. We pondered upon it: when did the tourists first appear on the island? Who were they? Why did Olkhon become so popular?