When I made the trek to Northern Asia, I had to check two tourist attractions off my bucket list: Lake Baikal and the volcanoes of Kamchatka. What I didn’t know before my trip was just how much of Russia’s territory was located in Northern Asia. Nearly 80% of Russia is situated in Asia, but it is still considered a European country. When I learned that, I knew I had to make Russia a part of my excursion across Asia.
Below, I have detailed my stops at Lake Baikal and Kamchatka. Needless to say, both visits were truly amazing experiences.
Found in Eastern Siberia, this is the largest volume of fresh water in the entire world! And oh by the way, it is also one of the oldest bodies of water. Our tour guide guessed that the lake is nearly 25 million years old. What is incredible about this lake is how clear it is. From shore or the mountains, it feels like you can see right down to the bottom of the lake. Obviously though, that is not possible as Baikal is also one of the deepest lakes worldwide.
The scenes around Baikal are just as beautiful as the lake itself. The lake’s coast is surrounded by beautiful, colorful mountains. Make sure to you are vigilant while on shore. If you’re lucky enough, you might be able to spot a freshwater seal!
The volcanoes of Kamchatka are home to the largest active volcano – the Klyuchevskaya Sopka. Now, this volcano is not easy to access, but other surrounding volcanoes are more tourist-friendly. Geyser Valley is truly a sight to behold. Although parts of the valley were dismantled in a landslide a decade ago, the damage almost makes the scene more memorable for visitors.
With more than twenty volcanoes in a small area, Kamchatka is definitely a worthwhile stop. If you visit the area, make sure you can get a good view of Karymsky. This volcano is incredibly active. It may erupt right before your eyes.