Irkutsk / Baikal
Irkutsk is the administrative center of Irkutsk Oblast and one of the largest cities in Siberia. It lies on the Angara River, where the Irkut River flows in, from which the town takes its name.
Irkutsk is a commercial, cultural, manufacturing & scientific center of the Eastern Siberia. Its population amounts to over half-a-million people and over a hundred thousand students get their education there.
The main sights of the city are: Academgorodok, the Kirov’s central square, Karl Marx’ street, district 130 with its historic and modern wooden architecture, the Angara river quay, the famous museum of the Decembrist revolt, Znamensky convent, Baikal seal aquarium. One of the most outstanding points of interest for tourists in Irkutsk is the Taltsy Museum. Located on the Angara, 47 kilometers (29 mi) south of Irkutsk, it’s an open-air museum of Siberian traditional architecture.
Thinking about Irkutsk, it’s impossible to leave out the astonishing Lake Baikal. Lake Baikal is the freshwater lake with greatest volume in the world, containing roughly 20% of the world's unfrozen surface fresh water! It’s hard to imagine, but this huge lake is the deepest and the oldest in the world and one of the clearest at the same time. It is located in only 63 km (39 mi) from Irkutsk and is considered a sea by the locals. Baikal is home to more than 1,700 species of plants and animals, two-thirds of which can be found nowhere else in the world. The reason for it is the clearest, transparent water enriched with oxygen.
Another remarkable sight in the area is the Olkhon Island in Lake Baikal. It’s the largest island in the lake and the only inhabited one. The island has a dramatic combination of terrain and is rich in archeological landmarks. The Olkhon Island is large enough to have its own lakes, and features a combination of taiga, steppe and even a small desert.
Discover the mysterious glory of Siberia and Lake Baikal with us!