Lake Baikal sits long and deep and remote, surrounded by mile-high snow-capped mountains. Hundreds of miles in length, it's also the world's deepest lake, up to 1,637 metres deep, and believed to hold around a fifth of the world's freshwater.
Baikal is a sight to behold, curving through south-eastern Siberia, its crystal clear waters shading from light to intense blue. Cold and oxygen-rich, these waters hide any number of bizarre life forms, including golomyanka - pink, partly transparent fish.
The nearby mountains are rich in wildlife too, while the small villages dotted about the forest - the Siberian taiga - preserve a peaceful charm and centuries-old traditions of local life. It's a wonderful place for adventure holidays, with kayaking and walking to be enjoyed in the summer, and in winter the chance to skate or ride a motorbike over the deep freeze that stills these deepest waters. Whatever the weather, the vistas remain beautiful throughout the year.