Baikal World - travel to Olkhon
Origin & Development
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Earth's Crust Thickness • 
Underwater Relief • 
Landscapes • 
History & Formation • 
Seismic Activity • 
History of Lake Baikal
History of Explorations • 
Inhabitants & Settlers • 
First maps of Baikal • 
Archaeological Sites • 
Lake Baikal Climate
Introduction • 
Fogs • 
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Fauna & Vegetation
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Baikal seal - Nerpa • 
Ichthyofauna • 
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Water of Lake Baikal
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Depth • 
Currents • 
Budget • 
Chemical Composition • 
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Recreational Areas
Circumbaikal Railway • 
Peschanaya Bays • 
Olkhon Island • 
Chivirkuysky Gulf • 
Wooden Irkutsk • 
Trans-Siberian Railway • 
People of Lake Baikal
People of Siberia • 
Buryat nation in Baikal • 
Russians in Baikal • 
Explanation of the local terms and geographical names at lake Baikal
Small Sea / Olkhon Island

baikal travel olkhon
Baikal travel to Olkhon
At the midsection of the western coast of Lake Baikal between the mainland and Olkhon Island stretches a strait known as Maloye Morye (the Small Sea). Its area is about 90 km2. Its southern entrance opens through a narrow channel - The Olkhon Gate. Its northern end depths do not exceed 200 m. Rocky islands tower above its surface. There are a lot of well-hidden bays. Especially famous is Mukhur Bay, a very picturesque one, only 4 - 5 m deep, thoroughly warmed up in summer, rich in fish and famous for its sandy
beaches. Almost near the bay there is a wild ravine, from which the stormy wind Sarma blows. Maloye Morye is the habitat of omul (Baikal endemic fish), especially its fry from the age of one to four years.

Maloye Morye is separated from the open Baikal by Olkhon Island stretching for 72 km along the continental shore. "Olkhon" means "windy, sunny" in the Buryat language (the original language of the region). By a process still not understood winds drive away heavy clouds past Olkhon, and thus, there are more sunny day here than on the Black Sea coast. The shape of island resembles Baikal, and like the lake itself, it also unique, beautiful and mysterious.

In summer the southern section of the island is saturated with fragrance of steppe grasses. The north is woody, with ridges about 900 m high which, in the east are abruptly replaced by cliffs sliding directly into the water. The western coast is not high, it is whimsically jagged with tiny bays and capes. Olkhon Island distinguished not only by its scenery but by its different climate: it seldom rains and it is not often foggy here and the weather is rather predictable. Olkhon is the only; island on Lake Baikal where there has been human habitation since pre-historic times.

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