Travel to Lake Baikal like a local. This video tells you how to get to Listvyanka village from Irkutsk. It is just one hour ride and costs 120 RUB per person one way. More information and helpful details in this video.
Summer high season on lake Baikal is from middle of July to the beginning of September. Warmest days. Most tourist are from Russia and China, but you can meet people from all over the world in Irkutsk and around lake Baikal. There are many locations with no tourists or very little.
Winter high season is from middle of February to the end of March. Winter’s end. This is the time when the ice on the lake is the most stable and firm, 1 meter thick on the most of the lake. It doesn’t freeze only in small area in the south, where Angara river begins (Listvyanka village).
The lake is frozen from middle of January to middle of April.
See the chart below for the temperature averages.
Weather is changing fast. It never rains more than 2 days. Usually 1 day rain, cloudy day after and sunny again. Lake Baikal area is famous for having near 300 sunny days in a year. Most of the time the weather forecast is wrong about the rain. Clouds may be all over the place, but it rains shortly in random location.
It is possible to get into heavy rain but it will be short time rain. But snow falls can last longer and sometimes give a lot of trouble on the roads. Thanks to Russsian people who are used to occasional abundance of snow and icy roads.
Visiting lake Baikal is all about getting connected to nature. We recommend to visit the lake when there is the smallest amount of travelers.
From April to the beginning of June you can see how the lake starts to wake up from the winter sleep. The ice is all gone and more than 300 streams and rivers start to fill the lake. Spring time is a struggle with winter who doesn’t want to finish. The water is the cleanest during this time.
From September to the end of January, extremely beautiful during the fall on lake Baikal. Autumn stormy skies and colors of the nature can impress anybody. Also winter magic starts when everything goes to bed under the white blanket of winter. There is snow all over the land, but the lake takes long time to freeze. Misty waters, icy shores, trees under the snow. Short winter days take you away into the fairy tale of Siberian winter.
I went for a morning forest ride today on Olkhon Island. Picked up some pine tree cones for making health potion later. I was happy to see many snowdrops on the way, these flowers appear first in our forests. The weather was great and it is a great opportunity for one to have such a great excercise trip in the morning.
Best wishes to everybody. Welcome to Olkhon Island.