Two shores - two cultures
Duration: 9 days

February - end of March;

Do you know that in Baikal region there are not only Russian people living, but also there are Buryats (considered local people) and old-believers?!? Visiting both shores of lake Baikal will give you an opportunity to learn about their cultures and lifeltyle. Also you will visit the land of Shamanism - Olkhon island, meet with local shaman, cross on ice from Olkhon island to Oust Barguzin, see ice grottoes, visit the old-believer's village and try their local cuisine.

Short itinerary:

Day 1. Irkutsk - Listvyanka , Taltsy museum. Dog-sledding.
Day 2. One day snowmobiling Listvyanka - Bolshiye Koty (20 km) - Listvyanka. Banya.
Day 3. Crossing Baikal lake from Listvyanka to Olkhon island by hover (aeroglisseur).
Day 4. A ride to the northernmost of Olkhon - Khoboy by UAZ car.
Day 5. Crossing on ice of Baikal from Olkhon island to Oust-Bargouzine.
Day 6. UAZ ride to Chivirkuiskiy bay, visit hot springs, return to Oust-Bargouzine.
Day 7. Transfer Oust-Barguzin - Ulan-Ude . Stop in Baturino monastery. Short sightseeing Ulan-Ude.
Day 8. Buddhist datsan in Ivolginsk. Visit to Old believers village. Night train to Irkutsk.
Day 9. Arrival to Irkutsk, sightseeing Irkutsk, transfer to the airport. Departure.

Day 1.

Irkutsk - Listvyanka, Taltsy museum. Dog-sledding.

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 - Visit to Taltsy museum.

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. 14.30 - Dog-sedding in the forest or ice of Baikal. (This is optional, not included, must be booked in advance!)

You will be told the techniques of controlling the sled. You will be accompanied by a dog instructor. (Minimum age to paricipate is 7 y.o).

17.00 - Accommodation in Listvyanka hotel or guest house, twin (double) rooms.
19.00 - Dinner.

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.
16.00 - Return to Listvyanka by ice of Baikal.
18.00 - 20.00 - Experience Russian steam sauna – Banya.
20.00 - Dinner, overnight in hotel.

*If you are travelling with kids, or if you don't want to go snowmobiling for the whole day, we recommend you to take about two or three hours of snowmobiling. After lunch it is possible to visit the Baikal museum with aquarium of Baikal seal (Nerpa), visit the fish and souvenir market.

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.

Meeting with shaman. Crossing on ice of Baikal from Olkhon island to Oust-Bargouzine.

09.00 – Breakfast.
10.00 - Walk to the shore to Burkhan rock (Shamanka cape). Meeting with local shaman.

Shamanism is the oldest religion in the world.
The sacred center of the shamans of the northern world is Olkhon Island on Lake Baikal. Due to its isolation, Father Olkhon in the center of Lake Baikal became the last stronghold of the shamans of Northern Asia. Mongolian shamans ran into him during their persecution in the era of Genghis Khan.
According to shamanic mythology, shamanism arose from the creation of the world and the first shaman was the Son of the Celestial Being, who descended to the earth in the form of an eagle and created the shaman. According to one version, the eagle flew between heaven and earth and received a shamanic gift from Heaven. It was difficult for him to carry this shamanic gift and he gave it to a Evenk woman. She - to her husband Buryat. The cult of the sacred eagle is widespread throughout Siberia and Olkhon as well.

13.00 - Lunch.
14.00 - Crossing Baikal to the opposite shore to Oust-Bargouzine.
17.00 - Accommodation in homestay.
18.00 - Banya.
20.00 - Dinner, overnight.

Day 6.

UAZ ride to Chivirkuiskiy bay, visit hot springs, return to Oust-Bargouzine.

09.00 – Breakfast in homestay.
10.00 – Ride by UAZ car to Chivirskuiskiy bay.

This bay is located on Svyatoy Nos peninsula. In this part of Baikal, the lake is usually covered with snow.

12.00 - Bathing in hot springs of Zmeyovaya bay.

The water there is kept in the range of 28-34 ° C. Water belongs to the Allinian type of mineral medicinal waters, in composition - hydrocarbonate-sulphate-sodium, contain fluorine, are slightly mineralized. It is believed that the hot water of the Serpent spring cures diseases of the musculoskeletal system, radiculitis. One is recommended to stay not longer than 10-15 mins in the water.

13.00 – Lunch as a picnic.
14.00 – Discovering ice-grottos in island of Chivirkuiskiy bay.
16-17.00 – Return to Oust-Bargouzine.
18.00 – Banya.
19.00 – Dinner. Overnight in homestay.

Day 7.

Transfer Oust-Barguzin - Ulan-Ude. Stop in Baturino monastery. Short sightseeing Ulan-Ude.

09.00 - Breakfast.
10.00 - Transfer to Ulan-Ude (distance 280 km, about 5 hours ride).
13.00 - Lunch stop on the way in a road café.
14.00 - On the way to Ulan-Ude you will have a stop in Baturino monastery.

The historic landmark of the village of Baturino is the female Sretensky Monastery. A white-stone beauty was erected on the donations of parishioners instead of a dilapidated wooden one, built in 1777. Old-timers recalled that during its construction ten thousand proteins of chicken eggs (!!!) donated by residents of the surrounding villages were mixed into the solution. Here you will learn the traditions of Orthodoxy and to get acquainted with the life of the monastery ...

15.00 - Arrival to Ulan-Ude, accommodation in hotel.
16.00 - You may have some walk sightseeing in the city (or do some shopping).
19.00 - Dinner.

Day 8.

Buddhist datsan in Ivolginsk. Visit to Old believers village. Night train to Irkutsk.

09.00 - Breakfast.
10.00 - Visit to Buddhist datsan in Ivolginsk.

There are about 3 million Buddhists in Russia - this is the third largest denomination in our country. Today the Ivolginsky Datsan is a monastic complex of eight structures, including temples, a library, and also the only Buddhist university in Russia, which studies philosophy and traditional Tibetan medicine. It is the biggest center of Buddhist culture in Russia. The imperishable body of Dalai-Lama Dashi-Dorzho Itigelova is kept there, He was the leader of Buddhists in Russia at the beginning of the 20th century, an associate of Dalai Lama XIV.

13.00 - Lunch.
14.00 - 16.00 – Sightseeing Ulan-Ude.
16.00 - 20.00 – Visit to Old-believers village.

You will get acquainted with the original culture, religion, folklore and art that existed in Russia before Peter the Great.

21.30 - Transfer to the train station.
22.20 - Depart by train to Irkutsk. Night in train (coupe compartment).

Day 9.

Arrival to Irkutsk, sightseeing Irkutsk, transfer to the airport. Departure.

07.00 - Arrival to Irkutsk in the morning.
08.00 - Breakfast in a café.
09.30 - Sightseeing Irkutsk.

Irkutsk is the capital of Eastern Siberia. It is more than 350 years old. It is a small Russian city with a rich history, located on the bank of Angara river. Irkutsk used to be wooden in the past. Even nowadays it is one of not many Siberian cities which preserved its wooden outlook. Famous Russian writer Anton Chekhov compared Irkutsk to Paris. He said: “As England created London and France - Paris, the same Siberia created Irkutsk”. We’ll visit the historical heart of Irkutsk – the place where it was founded in 1661 and where the fortress was built at the shore of Angara river. You’ll see and can visit the oldest stone structure in Irkutsk – the church of the Saviour. Next to this place is the war memorial with an eternal flame which burns in the memory of Siberians fought in the World War II. Walk along the streets to the embarkment of Angara river – the only river which flows out of Baikal, to the fountain, Lenin and Kirov square, see the monument of Yakov Pockabov – the founder of Irkutsk fortress in the 17th century, souvenir shop, central market.

11.00 - Transfer to the airport. Depart to Moscow by 13.00 flight. (B, -, -)
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
  • All transfers mentioned in the programme
  • Dog-sledding
  • English-speaking guide service
  • hovercraft (aeroglisseur) ride
  • Meals during the tour
  • Meeting with shaman
  • Snowmobile rent (two people ride one snowmobile)
  • Train tickets Ulan-Ude - Irkutsk
  • UAZ excursion to Khoboy
  • Visit to Datsan in Ivolginsk
  • Visit to Old-believer's village

Tour price doesn’t include extra services:

  • Beverages
  • Extra services not mentioned in the programme
  • personal expences and souvenirs