Is it far to Baikal? Almost all daylight hours, if we consider the distance from Krasnoyarsk to Irkutsk.
Traveling to Lake Baikal is one of the most popular and extreme not only for Russians, but also for foreign tourists. Some come here to visit the place of power, others - to see the deepest lake in the world. Festivals, excursions, extreme tourist routes offered by tour operators on the coast of Baikal make the rest in these parts unforgettable. But for whatever purpose the guests come here, most often everyone arrives first in Irkutsk, the center of the Irkutsk region, a city in itself of great interest to anyone interested in the history of Russia and, in particular, Siberia.
Irkutsk - the cultural center of eastern Siberia
The most eastern outpost of the Russian presence in Siberia in the late seventeenth century was the Irkutsk jail.The settlement developed and grew rapidly due to the trade routes from east to west that passed through it.
Today it is a city that has preserved the richest cultural and historical heritage both in its architectural appearance and in terms of the historical attractions of the territory. Although Irkutsk itself is not a tourist, but there are almost everyone here who comes to Baikal. Between Irkutsk and Krasnoyarsk, the distance that needs to be covered will take no more than half a day, which is why most of the visitors to the capital of the Irkutsk region come from the largest region of the country, from Krasnoyarsk Krai.
We are going from Krasnoyarsk to Irkutsk
So how to get there? The nearest major airport, where tourists most often arrive, is in Krasnoyarsk. The distance from Krasnoyarsk to Irkutsk can be overcome by plane, train or car. By the way, there are a lot of tourist routes. From Yemelyanovo Airport (Krasnoyarsk) you can go to Irkutsk on a passing bus, but it’s better to take this route in a car. How many kilometers from Irkutsk to Krasnoyarsk? This distance is 1063 km. Compare by time:
- In the car - 10 hours and 37 minutes.
- By bus - 11 hours 48 minutes.
- By train - 17 hours 12 minutes.
On the way to Baikal
You can get to the legendary lake in different ways: by plane to Krasnoyarsk or Irkutsk. You can get by plane to Ulan-Ude, or Nizhneangarsk. In a car, it is better to travel along the M7 Volga and P255 Siberia (the more familiar old name is M53, or “Siberian Route”). From Yekaterinburg to Irkutsk there are roads P351, P402, P254.
A trip to Baikal from Moscow will take about 5 hours of flight, and by train - 3-4 days, because the distance is more than 5000 kilometers. The car route will take 2.5-3 days.
Experienced travelers advise those who are going to Baikal for the first time in a car to drive along the R258 “Baikal” (former M55), which leads from Irkutsk to Ulan-Ude. This is practically the only high-quality road along the southern coast of the lake. There is no full circular route, and in many places the road is completely impassable, it is possible to move there only by hiking routes.
It’s not at all necessary to drive your own car from the other side of the country to Lake Baikal. Upon arrival in Irkutsk, you can rent a car, you just need to take into account the low road traffic and take care of spare wheels, cables and other devices for any emergency.