Crystal Baikal ice
Duration: 7 days

February - end of March;

This is where the snow, ice, wind and frost meet. Significant turquoise ice-blocks, fields of ice, fresh breeze from the mountains near-by, crystalling Baikal ice under your feet is so transparent that the brain refuses to understand that there is a support under your feet, and the sky, which is reflected in the ice. During this tour you will explore wintry Baikal lake while snowmobiling in the forest, dog-sledding (optional) on the ice, hovercraft (aeroglisseur) ride to the biggest island on the lake - Olkhon, admire the ice-grottoes and laced ice on the rocks, try ice-fishing and relax in steam sauna - Banya, as well as get familiar with local traditions and cuisine.

Day 1.

Arrival to Irkutsk. Transfer to Listvyanka, Taltsy museum. Cherskiy rock.


Welcome to Siberia!

08.30 - Arrival to Irkutsk in the morning. Meeting with your guide. 09.45 - Breakfast in a cafe.
10.30 - Transfer to Listvyanka . (About 1 hour ride).
11.45 - On the 47th km of Baikal highway you will visit the open air Taltsy museum of wooden architecture which is located at the picturesque shore of Angara river. It will give you an idea of life of Siberians from 16-20th century.
13.00 - Lunch in Traktir with tasting the local cousine.
14.00 - Transfer to Listvyanka.

You will visit the Cherskiy rock which will give you an amazing view to Port Baikal on the opposite shore and Angara river outflow. The ski lift will bring you to the top of the hill and you may walk back to the car.

17.00 - Accommodation in Listvyanka hotel or guest house, twin (double) rooms.
18.00 - Dinner in any restaurant of your choice (not included).

Day 2.

One day snowmobiling Listvyanka - Bolshiye Koty (20 km) - Listvyanka. Banya.


09.00 - Breakfast in a hotel.
10.00 - Start of the snowmobiling ride. After you arrive to snowmobile base you will be told the safety instructions and offered some warm gear.

Today you’ll have one day ride Listvyanka – Bolshie Koty village by snowmobiles. The trip begins in Listvyanka village and you’ll go for about 20 km to Chernaya (Black) valley. The route starts along a river valley and goes through the forest, climbs the Black pass and ascends to Baikal Lake. You may have short stops on the way for making pictures. Two people ride one snowmobile and you will be accompanied by instructor.

13.00 - Lunch in the family in the village.
14.30 - Return to Listvyanka by ice of Baikal.
18.00 - 20.00 - Experience Russian steam sauna – Banya.
20.00 - Dinner, overnight hotel.

*If you are travelling with kids, we recommend you to take about two or three hours of snowmobiling. After lunch it is possible to visit the Nerpa (Baikal seal show) or Baikal museum. Dog-sledding from 10-30 mins is on a special request, must be booked in advance

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Day 3.

Crossing Baikal lake from Listvyanka to Olkhon island by hover (aeroglisseur)


09.00 - Breakfast in hotel.
10.00 - Boarding on hovercraft (aeroglisseur).

Today you’ll have a ride by hover from Listvyanka to Khuzhir – the central village on Olkhon island. The distance Listvyanka-Khuzhir is about 360 km. After breakfast we’ll load our luggage on a hover and start to Peschannaya bay - one of the most beautiful places at Baikal both in summer and winter. We'll have a stop on the way near the sights such as Screeper rock, Baklaniy Rock, and others. The hover can ride 40-50 km per hour, but it depends on the weather, wind and ice regime how fast we'll go. You’ll see different landscapes on the shore – the forests and rocky cliffs as well as small bays. Riding over flat ice is quite fast, but at some places we may meet the fields of broken ice, depending on the ice regime which differs every year. Sometimes ice can be black and transparent, which gives a strange feeling of riding over the water.

14.00 - Lunch on the way as picnic.
17.00 - Arrive to Khuzhir before it gets dark. Accommodation at hotel/guest house.
19.00 - Dinner.

Day 4.

A ride to the northernmost of Olkhon - Khoboy by UAZ car


09.00 - Breakfast in guest house.
10.00 - UAZ car excursion to Khoboy.

Today you'll have a day-ride by 4WD UAZ cars over the ice to Khoboy (the north of Olkhon). In summer time the road goes on the land but in winter once Baikal is frozen the road lies over the ice. Thus letting you see the incredible iced grottoes and frozen rocks. They are especially beautiful once the sun touches them and they sparkle. Before you reach Khoboy you’ll have several stops on the way to admire the beauty of local landscape. The most popular are: Kharantsy island with ice-grottoes, Three Brothers cape with 3 separate steep rocks rising from the water. Khoboy Cape (from Buryat language it means "fang, tooth") is the northernmost point of Olkhon Island. It is also called a "lady rock". You'll understand why it is so once you stay facing opposite it and recognizing the female's outline. It is spectacular rock which is located near the widest place at Baikal - 79,5 km. At clear weather it is possible to see the opposite shore and rocky outline of Saint Nose Peninsula. This place is also considered as one of the unique places with high energy outcome on Olkhon, as Big and Small Baikal seas meet here.

14.00 - Lunch as picnic.
16.00 - 17.00 - Return to the base in the evening.
18.00 - Dinner, overnight.

Day 5.

Ice- Fishing. Visiting the Ogoy island with Buddhist stupa, ice-skating. Banya.


09.00 - Breakfast in guest house.
10.00 - A car will pick you up for ice-fishing.

Today you will try ice- fishing at the Small sea of Baikal or small lake Elginskoye on Olkhon. The local fisherman will teach you the techniques of fishing Baikal fish in winter. You will try cutting the hole in the ice yourself as well as try fish soup prepared for you.

13.00 - Lunch on ice tasting the fish-soup. It is also possible to go ice-skating (you should bring your own skates) to explore the shores near-by.
14.00 - Ride to observation point of the shores near-by.

If the weather permits you will be taken to Ogoy island with buddhist stupa. This island has beautiful icy rocks from teh sea-side. Take your time listening to Baikal breath shooting sometimes creating new cracks in its ice shield.

16.00 - Return to Khuzhir.

One may walk to the shore to famous Burkhan cape (Shamanka rock) which is considered one of 6 sanctuaries of Asia. It is believed that this is a castle of Baikal God - Burkhan. This place is worshipped among local people - Buryats.

18.00 - 20.00 - Banya (Russian steam sauna).
20.00 - Dinner, overnight in guest house.

Day 6.

Transfer Olkhon-Irkutsk by car. Museum Oust-Orda, shaman. Sightseeing Irkutsk


09.00 - Breakfast.
10.00 - Morning transfer Khuzhir-Irkutsk. It is about 6 hours ride (300 km way).
13.00 - Lunch will offered for you on the way in a road café with tasting the local cuisine.
15.00 - Stop in Oust-Orda museum of regional studies, get familiar with local Buryat culture. Meeting with a local shaman.
17.00 - Return to Irkutsk. Accommodation in hotel/homestay. If there is time you might be taken to the sights of Irkutsk.
19.00 - Festive dinner in a restaurant of your choice. (not included).

Day 7.

Departure.


09.00 - Breakfast.
10.00 - Transfer to airport/train station. Departure.
Group Size, people Tour price per person, EURO
The price may vary depending on a season. Please, contact our manager for actual prices.

Tour price includes:

  • Accommodation as mentioned in the programme
  • All fees for visiting national park zones
  • Banya in Listvyanka and on Olkhon
  • English-speaking guide service
  • hovercraft (aeroglisseur) ride
  • Meals during the tour
  • Snowmobile rent (two people ride one snowmobile)
  • Taltsy museum
  • Transfer Irkutsk - Listvyanka
  • Transfer to/from airport
  • UAZ excursion to Khoboy

Tour price doesn’t include extra services:

  • Additional services not mentioned in the programme (taxi rides, snowmobiles, etc.)
  • Bank transfer fees
  • Beverages
  • personal expences and souvenirs
  • Rent of camping equipment, cooking and food ware