Winter Baikal – an unforgettable vacation
The idea of a holiday on Lake Baikal is full of stereotypes, the most common of which is that a real active holiday on Lake Baikal can only be in the summer. This is a big mistake, because winter holidays on Lake Baikal can be discussed for hours. Dog sledding, snowmobile safaris, skiing, ice fishing and winter diving … All this gives a feeling of solitude with nature and a full life.
In January, Baikal is finally icebound and freezes. When the most severe frosts occur, and in February and March, the cold changes to many sunny days, the thickness of the ice allows you to ride a snowmobile – you can visit the most inaccessible corners of the lake, get to where you don’t want to go by boat in the summer, and look into the mysterious twilight of the caves.
Some routes, one- and two-day snowmobile safaris, are carried out along the western shore of Lake Baikal, past steep and high cliffs – spurs of the Primorsky ridge adjacent to picturesque and cozy bays. From one of the tourist centers of Baikal, Listvyanka, you can go on a journey along the ice along the Circum-Baikal Railway (Circum-Baikal Railway), laid through the rocks at the beginning of the 20th century, surprising with the perfection of technical thought and the scale of the work done. Built by hand, numerous monuments of engineering and technical art – tunnels, galleries and arches – created the Circum-Baikal Railway glory of one of the most beautiful roads in the world.
For fans of extreme sports, many-day routes are organized by snowmobiles or ATVs that pass along the ice of the lake, along the snowy mountain taiga and along frozen rivers. Sometimes snowmobile safaris are combined with ice fishing. The ice itself on Lake Baikal is special, unusually transparent – such that even its meter-long thickness looks fragile, the surface of the lake is like the walls of an aquarium through which its inhabitants are visible. At the mention of the latter (omul, whitefish, grayling, taimen), real fishermen have mysterious lights in their eyes. Ice fishing is especially popular in March and April on the Small Sea and Northern Baikal. With a good bite, one fisherman catches several dozen tails per day. Guides accompanying tourists during winter fishing show the guests culinary traditions: they will offer you to try raw frozen fish, which is used with spices, beaten with a hammer or an ax, and to truly appreciate the Baikal fish soup with smoke, hot smoked fish and fish on the horns.
The uniqueness of the underwater world of Lake Baikal is the clear water of the lake, which attracts lovers of ice diving. Dives are organized in different and remote places, where divers get to all-wheel drive cars. The underwater world of Lake Baikal is amazing to the core. You can travel under water through ice galleries and grottoes, look at the underwater inhabitants, swim over the green fields of the Baikal sponge on the shelf of the lake. The strongest impression in the first minutes when diving is the arising feeling of soaring above the abyss under the “sky” from transparent blue light transmitting bluish light with people and cars hanging overhead.
There are also dog sledding safaris on Lake Baikal. Sled dogs appeared on Lake Baikal recently, they were brought from Kamchatka. You can now feel like a real musher in the vicinity of Listvyanka, where the Baikal Riding Sports Center is located. A dog team develops a speed of approximately 40 km per hour. Even after a detailed theory, those who ride for the first time fall into a snowdrift on the first turn, and, having learned to ride a dog sled, they say that this is a peculiar and best type of winter holiday on Lake Baikal.
Since March 2002, skiers began to pay attention to winter vacations on Lake Baikal, after the President of Russia V.V. himself tested the Sable Mountain, located near the city of Baikalsk. Putin Now the ski resort with each subsequent winter is becoming more visited. It happens that the hotels located nearby can not accept all comers at the same time. Private traders help in this, having vacationers both in apartments in the city and in comfortable cottages. The tracks of the Baikal ski resort “Mount Sobolinaya” are certified according to international standards and currently have a total length of about 15 kilometers. They are interesting for both experienced skiers and beginners. After an exciting ride for those who want to improve their body, there is a gym, sauna, pool, and in the evening you can gather in a cozy cafe with friends and talk about plans for tomorrow.
Beginners who first got on a snowboard or downhill skiing will like the surroundings of Listvyanka, where they built a training track and work is underway to build a whole entertainment complex of the Pribaikalsky tourist center. The construction process is still at the very beginning and you can get adrenaline only by taking walks on snowmobiles or riding from a simple mountain.