Lake Drivyaty (Braslav Lakes)

Lake Drivyaty (Braslav Lakes)

Braslav lakes are considered to be one of the few extant unique samples of natural heritage. And the history of these lakes begins with the ice age. Coming to these picturesque places many tourists compare this complex of the lakes with the similar places in Finland and Switzerland. Of course, it is a reason for pride!  

Most trips around Braslav lakes start with the largest lake the Drivyaty. The lake includes six islands each of which covers an area of almost one square kilometer.

The underwater world of the lake is very rich and varied, with a huge number of plants and animals. Under the water there are deep hollows and vast raisings with a large number of shallow waters. Inveterate fishermen can easily name about 50 shoals, every place of which has its own name.

Almost throughout the lake, and it is almost 40 square kilometers, the bottom is sandy. In some places you can see extant glacial boulders which only confirm the theory about the formation of Braslav lakes after global warming 18000 years ago. The largest boulder with a length of 3 meter is near a camp site in the North-East of the lake. However, it is possible to see only its small part on the surface. 

Very often holidaymakers have the feeling as if they are at the sea. The lake is open to winds so that sometimes here rise waves as if it is a sea storm. In more cloudy weather, the water in the Drivyaty becomes leaden-coloured, sea water gets the same color when in bad weather.   

Meanwhile you can see Lake Drivyaty calm extremely rare, but in spite of this the water in it heats up quickly and is sometimes even warmer than in the smaller nearby reservoirs. In addition, the water in the lakes is well-oxygenated that favorably affects the life and reproduction of fish. For many decades this place has been considered the most fishing on the territory of Vitebsk region. In the late 19th century the major part of the lake belonged to the ancient family of the counts Broel-Platers who lived in the estate Balmont, and the other part belonged to a Church. Therefore the counts leased out the Drivyaty to fishermen for a lot of money at that time – 6 000 rubles. But it did not stop fishermen who caught fish far more than the rental fee was. The Drivyaty has always been famous for good catches of pikeperches.   

Braslav pikeperches were ones of the best and differed significantly in taste from those which were caught in other places. Therefore the major part of Braslav fish was sent abroad, in the Russian Empire and Poland. The locals also tell interesting stories about the local lake: earlier the water here was tastier and purer than from a well, and was perfect for brewing of delicious herbal tea.

Today the water level in Lake Drivyaty is supported by 11 small streams. Vacation on the shores of this picturesque lake will be suitable both for lovers of comfortable rest and for travelers with tents.