Few natural sights can surpass the beauty and grandeur of Lake Baikal, a major highlight on our Trans-Siberian journey. Lake Baikal is the deepest lake in the world and holds 20 per cent of the world’s freshwater. Also known as the ‘Pearl of Siberia’, it is home to a unique breed of freshwater seal and over 50 species of fish including omul. For five hours we wind our way through tunnels along cliff hugging tracks above the lake. With a vista of snow-capped peaks along the far shore forming a picture-perfect backdrop, we gain a full appreciation of the engineering achievement which produced this part of the railway in the early twentieth century. To add to the grandeur of the day our Golden Eagle train will be hauled by a Soviet Era steam locomotive on this beautiful section of line. There will be plenty of opportunities to take photographs as the train winds its way along the lake.
Weather permitting, we stop in an extremely picturesque location by the lake for photographic opportunities. For the brave hearted, there is time for a refreshing swim in the crystal clear and ice-cold waters of Baikal. Travelling onwards to the end of the Baikal branch line, we leave the train and travel by boat on the lake to Listvyanka, a small Baikal settlement nestling at the base of the surrounding hills and visit the Lake Baikal Museum and Aquarium where you can learn about the flora and fauna of the lake.
We will enjoy a delicious barbecue prepared by our own chefs, including freshly smoked omul fish, in the delightful covered dining area on the shore of Lake Baikal to complete a memorable day.
As part of our Freedom of Choice excursion programme you can choose a hiking opportunity up Chersky Mount or you can choose to take the chair lift, which offers some spectacular and panoramic hillside views of the grandeur of the lake below.