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Lakes in Russia

More than two million lakes are concentrated on the territory of Russia. There are really unique lakes among them. For example, Lake Baikal contains 20% of all drinking water reserves in the world. The salt lakes Baskunchak and Elton are similar in composition to the Dead Sea. Many lakes in Russia are located on interesting tourist routes.

In this review on the online travel guide Geomerid you can read about the Lakes of Russia, which are interesting for tourists:

1.    Lake Baikal, Siberia
2.    Teletskoye Lake, Altai
3.    Lake Ladoga, Karelia
4.    Baskunchak Lake Astrakhan
5.    Lake Elton, Volgograd
6.    Lake Seliger, Tver
7.    Pleshcheyevo lake, Pereslavl
8.    Turquoise lake, Caucasus
9.    Blue lake, Altai
10.    Trout lake, Dombay

Follow the hyperlinks to read in detail about each lake and see a large number of photos

Lake Baikal, Siberia

Lake Baikal is one of the most interesting places in Russia. The lake is rather unique scientifically, and it is very suitable for ecotourism, hiking and adventurous tours. You couldn’t find such flora and fauna nowhere in the world. In this respect Baikal is very similar to Australia where there are also a large number of endemics. 

Lake Baikal is the deepest in the world (1642 m). It contains about 20% of the world's fresh water reserves. Its water volume is greater than all five Great American Lakes combined. The water of Lake Baikal is very clean, it can be drunk without treatment. Lake Baikal is the oldest lake in the world (age 25 million years). The most attractive place for tourism is the island of Olkhon. The touristic village of Listvyanka is located near Irkutsk.

Teletskoye Lake, Altay

Teletskoye Lake is one of the main attractions of Altay Mountains of Russia. It is a tectonic fault, sandwiched between the rocky mountains. Teletskoye Lake stretches for 78 kilometers from south to north. The average depth of Lake Teletskoye is 170 meters, but in some places, it reaches 325 meters. Thus, Lake Teletskoye is the second natural reservoir of clean drinking water after Lake Baikal. 

In the northern part of the lake is the village of Artybash, which is reached by a comfortable road from Gorno-Altaysk (157 km). On the opposite bank from Artybash is the village of Iogach. They are resorts in the northern part of the lake. Most of the houses on the shore are rented to tourists. Many people come to Teletskoye Lake for fishing. 

Lake Ladoga, Karelia

Lake Ladoga is one of the most interesting tourist destinations in the North-Western region of Russia. It is the largest lake in Europe, and the second largest in Russia, after Lake Baikal. On the shores of Lake Ladoga there is a large number of historical and natural attractions. 

More than 35 rivers flow into Lake Ladoga, and only the Neva River flows out of it, which flows to the Baltic Sea.  In the south of Ladoga is located a defensive belt of fortresses, which in the era of the Novgorod Republic was built to protect against the Swedes. On the Western shore of Lake Ladoga, the Monastery of the Nativity of the Virgin on the island of Konevets, as well as the city of Priozersk, are of interest to tourists. However, if you want to fully enjoy the beauty of Karelian nature, then you have to go to the north of Lake Ladoga to the Ladoga Skerries Nature Reserve. It preserves a unique ecosystem

Baskunchak Lake, Astrakhan

Salt lake Baskunchak, located in the north of the Astrakhan region is a natural phenomenon, the same as the Dead sea in Israel. The lake is located 21 meters below sea level. The salinity of the lake reaches 300 grams per liter. Swimming in its waters, you cannot drown; you can lie on the water and read the newspaper.

The climate on lake Baskunchak is very similar to the microclimate of the Dead sea in Israel. There is low humidity, and the air contains a high content of useful chemical elements, including bromine. Unfortunately, the tourist sphere on lake Baskunchak is now almost not developed. In addition to salt in different places of the lake, there are deposits of therapeutic mud. There are two sanatoriums: Baskunchak and Bussol. They were built in Soviet times, and so far, the level of their service cannot be considered high.

Lake Elton, Volgograd

The salt lake Elton is located in the Caspian Lowland on the border with Kazakhstan. The nearest major city of Volgograd is 330 km away. The brine mineralization in Lake Elton is similar to the level of the Dead Sea, and outwardly Elton is very similar to the Bolivian Uyuni Salt Flat. The term "unique" can be used in relation to Lake Elton, due to the properties of its brine, as well as therapeutic mud. Elton has the shape of a circle. Its area reaches 152 square kilometers. 

In 1910, a medical sanatorium was opened on Lake Elton. Therefore, Elton became a balneological resort. In addition to salt deposits with high mineralization (brine), there is a therapeutic hydrogen sulfide mud in Lake Elton. People come to the sanatorium Elton for the treatment of diseases of dermatology, musculoskeletal system, gynecology, and the nervous system. While the tourist infrastructure of the sanatorium and the village of Elton is at the stage of its formation. 

Lake Seliger, Tver

Lake Seliger is the most picturesque lake reserve in central Russia. It has good environmental conditions and clean air, and it is just a perfect place for ecotourism and tenting. Seliger isn’t a single lake but a system of lakes, islands, channels, pools and bays. 

Most beautiful places are on the western shore of Seliger in the vicinity of the Nilo-Stolobensk Monastery. It is located on the island of Stolbny. The tourist infrastructure is most developed on the island of Svetlitsa.  There are sandy beaches, from here you can walk to the monastery. At the marina you can rent a boat to take a tour of the most beautiful places of Seliger.

Pleshcheyevo Lake, Pereslavl

Lake Pleshcheevo, which is a national nature park where you can find an endemic fish – the Pereslavl ryapushka or freshwater herring. Lake Pleshcheevo has a round shape. The municipal beaches are on the southern side of the lake, which is very gentle. Within several dozens of meters from the bank the depth of the lake is no more than half a meter. However, closer to the middle its depth can reach 11 meters.

Lake Pleshcheevo may be interesting for kite-surfing in summer and snow-kiting in winter. As a rule, those who are fond of active recreation (first of all kiting) pitch their tents at the camping «Ohana». They can also stay at the recreational zone «Dubki». Such recreation zones are also on the west side of the lake near the Nikitsky Monastery.

Turquoise lakes, Caucasus

Turquoise lakes are located in the high valleys of Chilipsi mount’s slope in the Caucasus nature Reserve. The height of the mountain reaches 3097 meters. The highest of the Turquoise lakes is located at an altitude of 2538 meters, but there are no Hiking trails to this lake. Only Turquoise lakes located at the source of the Pure river are open to the public. They are located at an altitude of 2100 meters.

At an altitude of 1800 meters, you will see large fields of rhododendrons that bloom in June. Juniper bushes and other flowers also grow in the meadows of the subalpine zone. At an altitude of 2100 meters, there are two Turquoise lakes. In Sunny weather, the water of the lakes really has a characteristic turquoise hue. They are surrounded by the rocky ridges of mount Chilipsi. Picturesque stone blocks are scattered around the lakes.

Blue lake, Altay

The ascent from the Aktry Mountaineering Camp to the Blue Lake is the most popular route in the Aktry Valley. In fact, it is the only one available for unprepared tourists. All other routes lead to mountain peaks that are accessible only to climbers with special equipment. The ascent begins at the Mountaineering  Camp Aktry at an altitude of 2150 m. The route is 5.2 km long. The climb is 720 m. Blue Lake is located in the glacial zone at an altitude of 2823 meters.

The color of the water in the Blue Lake is not blue, but turquoise. The lake is located in a hollow between mountain peaks. Its height exceeds 3000 meters. The lake is covered with ice from September to June. You can enjoy its beautiful water color only two months a year – July and August. Climbers on its shore undergo acclimatization before climbing difficult routes to the glaciers.  

Trout Lake, Dombay

The Trout Lake is the only place in Dombay you can easily get by car, and the water of this lake is warmed up to 20°. It is rather cool, but quite comfortable for bathing. In Karachay the Trout Lake is called Tumanly-Kel. A trip to the lake is one of Dombai tours. However, while the other tours involve foot walks over the mountain valleys and forests, one can get to the Trout Lake only by car.

The Trout Lake is at the altitude of 1850 meters; it is 275 meters long and 120 meters wide. The average depth of the lake is some 4 meters. You can really fish trout in the lake, though you can rarely meet any fishermen there, but there are always many swimming and browning tourists on the shore of the lake in summer.