Program Irkutsk — Listvyanka – Olkhon
During the tour you will be introduced to the famous attractions of Baikal, including Oklhon Island with its Mongolian-esque steppe landscapes. In Lisvyanka you will plunge into the atmosphere of a small resort town with its views of snowy mountain peaks and ice-rocks, as well as enjoy the wooden architecture of Irkutsk. In only one week you get to experience all Baikal’s diverse nature – experience an off -roader crossing the steppes, enjoy dog sledding trips in the Baikal forests, walk on ice and see beautiful crevasses and take perfect memories of Baikal’s ice and grottos.
Day 1 ( 27 Feb)
There is a 6h difference in time with Irkutsk. We fly out of Moscow in the morning and we land in Irkutsk in the evening. So, on this day we will settle into a hotel, visit a nice restaurant and start replenishing our forces for the week full of tours and advntures ahead of us 🙂
Day 2 (28 Feb)
Transfer to Lystvyanka
We will travel in comfortable transport to the village of Listvyanka, our first lake Baikal experience.
On the way, we will visit the Museum of wooden architecture of Taltsy. This is the small Siberian village of the 18th century with the good collection of authentic wooden houses of Russians and local indigenous people. You will also have some free time to walk between the old peasant homesteads.
You may have fun at the old swing, which takes your breath away, slide down from the ice slope, try to walk on hunting skis in pairs or with the whole team, and eat the cranberry cake at local cafe.
Next you will go to lake Baikal and go up the Chersky cliff with the stunning view of the source of the Angara from Baikal lake.
After the descent you will be offered a hearty lunch in the restaurant with the view of the lake ice expanse.
After lunch, you will get acquainted with the incredible sled dogs. So cute and fluffy, but at the same time, active and hardy – they will give you a ride on their sled and allow you to feel like Kayur (dog sled driver).
Then you will come to the hotel. Here you can relax after a busy day in a cozy room.
Day 3 (1 March)
Ice Panoramas of the Sandy Bay
Today is a day full of impressions. After breakfast, we will go to the pier, where the fast hovercraft Khivus will already be waiting. We will have to cross the ice along the coast of Lake Baikal — during the day you will see such places as the Skriper cliff, Sandy Bay with its picturesque frozen beaches and walking trees.
During the lunch we will arrange a lovely picnic on the ice for you. Trying different dishes, at the same time, you will observe Baikal, through the thickness of ice. And there will be a lot of Ice. With cracks and without, rough and smooth, transparent and bright in snow, with bubbles, thick- this is an incredible photoshoot space to create memories. We will also perform the famous winter ritual called «Kiss of Baikal»
Then we will go by the hovercraft to the island of Olkhon, on the way we will visit Sagaan Zaba with ancient cave drawings — petroglyphs, with the age of several thousand years.
Then we will go through the Strait of the Small Sea to the legendary island of Olkhon — the historical and sacred center of Lake Baikal, the center of ancient legends, various historical traditions, the place with which the legend of the origin of the Buryat indigenous people is associated.
Accommodation at the hotel in Khuzhir village at Olkhon island
Day 4 (2 March)
Big ice journey: the majestic cliffs of Olkhon island and the quaint grottos
Breakfast. Excursion to Cape Khoboy (translated from Buryat — «Canine») by Russian car UAZ. This is the northernmost point of Olkhon island, a place of extraordinary energy and beauty. It offers a view of the widest part of lake Baikal (80 km). The Cape is decorated with a pillar-shaped garnet rock called Deva (Virgin). From one side, a woman’s profile can be seen in the outline of the rock. This can be seen on the ancient galleys of Greece.
During the tour, you will make stops in the most beautiful places of the Northern part of the island. You will visit the northernmost point of Olkhon island – Cape Khoboy, the majestic Cape Three Brothers, where you will learn of the wise legend about the relationship of parents and children; Cape Kharantsy (viewpoint), as well as many picturesque islets of the Small sea.
You will participate in unforgettable photo shoots at picturesque grottoes, caves with the amazing transparent ice. Hot lunch with tasty omul fish soup on the ice of lake Baikal will be a bright moment of your ice adventure.
In the evening, tired and happy, you will return to the hotel.
It will be possible to arrange a pleasant evening of Buryat fairy tales and legends in the cozy atmosphere
For everyone, there is an opportunity to take a steam bath in the Siberian bathhouse.
Day 5 (3 March)
Today we will explore the southern part of the island of Olkhon, which is famous for its ice locations-lake Nury and Yalga with their renowned bubbles.
Those who wish can skate on lake Baikal.
There are also stops for landscape photos.
A visit to the Stupa of Enlightenment on the island of Ogoy will give you an introduction to the philosophy of Buddhism and allow you to feel the amazing energy of the place. Inside there are Buddhist relics and a bronze statuette of Dakini Troma Nagmo, the mother of all Buddhas.
The island of Ogoy itself is unique, because it takes different images from different sides in winter. Somewhere it resembles a dragon, somewhere a dancing maiden. This island is the most popular photo location of lake Baikal during the winter.
Day 6 (4 March)
After Breakfast-departure to Irkutsk with stops in the mysterious Tazherany steppes.
Then on the way to Irkutsk there will be acquaintance with local traditions and culture
After a good breakfast we’ll depart for the Small Sea area 9 (the strait, which is separated from main Baikal by Olkhon island). On the way, we will have lunch in an ethnic cafe: here you will taste delicious dishes of Buryat cuisine-buuzi, sagudai, buchler. Along the way, you will have the opportunity to get acquainted with the Buryat culture at the Zolotaya Orda ethnic park.
You will try Buryat dishe, get acquainted with the Buryat ritual of appeasing spirits and learn how to show respect to them. A local guide will tell you in detail about the history and features of the Buryat cuisine and you will immerse yourself in the atmosphere of the nomadic people.
You can also take a photo shoot in beautiful national costumes.
You will also enjoy the concert of throat singing and playing the national instrument.
In the evening-return to Irkutsk, overnight in the city.
Day 7 ( 5 March)
City tour of Irkutsk (3 hours)
— Historical center with churches, monument to the founders of the city, Polish Church, Moscow Gate
— Merchant street with ancient wooden houses
— The monastery with graves of Decembrists, monument to Shelikhov, founder of Russian America
— Lacy house — the most beautiful wooden house of Irkutsk
— Karl Marx Street with late 19th century stone buildings
— Monument to Alexander III, Upper Embankment of Angara
— Cozy wooden 130 quarter with shops and restaurants
Lunch at the local café
Transfer to the airport
Suggested flights :
Moscow, SVO 7.40h arrival at Irkutsk 18.35h
Iruktsk : 13:30h arrival too Moscow at SVO at 14.30h. We arrive practically at the same time as we leave, because of the time difference 🙂 Very interesting feeling 🙂