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Baikal winter dream

Ice grottoes on Olkhon

During this tour you’ll see the most beauties of wintry Baikal, ride over the ice of frozen Baikal by snowmobile and feel its vastness, experience dog-sledding on Baikal and spend night at the warm wooden houses, try Russian Banya, explore icy grottoes of Olkhon island, try ice-fishing and have a UAZ-car excursion to the northernmost of Olkhon island. It is a nice combination of activities and leisure at the same time!

Available: Middle of February - end of March; Winter;
Duration: 9 days
Places: Baikal lake; Maloye more; Olkhon; Irkutsk; Listvyanka;
Activities: Sightseeing; Snowmobiling; Dog-sledding;

Day 1. Arrival. Sightseeing Listvyanka

Clear ice of Baikal

Arrival to Irkutsk, meeting with your guide and transfer to Listvyanka by car.  On the way to Listvyanka you’ll have a stop in the open air Taltsy museum of wooden architecture which is located at the picturesque shore of Angara river. Your next stop will be near the Shaman rock  - a sacred place among local people. It stands in the widest river mouth in the world – the place where Angara river flows out of Baikal. In Listvyanka you’ll be accommodated at the hotel. Lunch. Sightseeing Listvyanka. Possible visit the Cherskiy rock by a funicular with a great scenery to Port Baikal on the opposite shore. As an option you can visit the Baikal museum, possible ride over the ice on the air-vehicle if it will be available during that time. Dinner, overnight at the hotel.

The non-freezing source of Angara river Evening sun in Baikal ice in Listvyanka Babushka selling Omul fish in winter Frozen shore of Listvyanka village Broken ice of Baikal Frozen Baikal

Day 2. Listvyanka – Bolshie Koty by a dog-sled (or snowmobiles)

dog-sledding to Black valley

Listvyanka – Bolshie Koty by a dog-sled and snowmobiles. Today you’ll experience the dog-sledding. After you arrive to Baikal Dog-sledding center, our instructor will tell you about the huskies' character, teach you to hitch dogs up correctly and to ride the sled. You’ll see how friendly the dogs are you are sure to find common language with this most devoted and most ancient man's friend! Dog sled riding is not difficult, but requires some training. After everything is ready and your luggage is loaded we’ll start the trip. If the group is more than 4 people, it is possible to ride snowmobiles for others and change to dog-sledding int he way. 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 down to the ice of Baikal lake. ( It is also possible to ride in the forest, through the Pass, and then ride over frozen Baikal for the last 4 km. The route should be discussed in advance). The sled can be doubled as expedition type. One person sits on the sleigh and one person controls. You’ll be accompanied with a snowmobile as well. Arrival to Bolshie Koty village. Lunch. Sightseeing the village, it is possible to walk up the hill to the observation platform with a nice scenery to the village and the shore from the height of the bird’s flight. Time at leisure. (dogs and snowmobiles will go back to Listvyanka the same day). In the evening you may experience Russian steam sauna – Banya. Dinner, overnight at the wooden houses. 

Dog-sledding in the forest In the dark valley with the sledding dogs Dog-sledding on Baikal Dog-sled in the forest Before the start Dog-sledding over ice of Baikal Snowmobiling over the clear ice of Baikal Snowmobiles in taiga

Day 3. By hover Bolshie Koty - Peschannaya bay - Buguldeika

Today you’ll have a ride by hovers (inflattable air boat, the safest way to travel on the ice as it can also go over the water). 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 move 60 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 hammocked 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. When we arrive to Peschannaya bay you can put on your ice-skates and skate at the deepest ice-skating rink in the world! Sometimes when the wind is strong you can just unfasten your coat and the wind will take you gliding over transparent ice of the lake. We'll have a walk in Peschannaya bay, see the famous "Walking trees", optional climp the Bolshaya Kolokolnya rock which has a beautiful view to the surroundings. Lunch as a picnic. After lunch we'll continue our way. When we arrive to Buguldeika village, we'll have a short ride to Talovskoye hotel with cozy wooden houses - the center of Hunting and tourism. Dinner. Time at leisure. 

Walking on the clear Baikal ice I am at Baikal!!!! In Peschanka (Sandy bay) in winter Looking for fish under Baikal ice Enjoying the ice and wind blowing in the face A hover-craft ride over Baikal ice in the wind A stop to see the fields of broken ice One of the ice-diamonds To Sandy bay by hover-craft Ice of the near-by rocks In the arch of the near-by rocks on the shore of Baikal In Sandy bay, walking among the roots of "Walking trees" In Sandy bay Hello from wintry Baikal

Day 4. Bugildeika - Olkhon island

Shamanka rock, Olkhon

After breakfast you’ll have morning transfer by car to Olkhon island– the biggest island on Baikal lake. It takes about 5 hours to cover the distance of about 200 km. Out way runs partly through the forest, meadows, little villages on both sides of the road, Tageran steppe – unique natural complex with hills, steppes, lonely rocks, caves and lakes. You’ll have a lunch stop on the way in one of the road cafes. For lunch you can try traditional Buryat dish – Pozy (Boozy). Olkhon was originally inhabited by Buryat people, one of Native people of Baikal who are Mongolian physical type. When you arrive to Small sea – part of Baikal which is separated from main part by Olkhon Island from one side and Primorskiy mountain range from another – you’ll cross Olkhon Gate Strait by an ice road. At this part of Baikal there is little snow as winds blow it away from the island. Maximim snow depth can reach 10-15 cm, which happens very rarely. 40 minutes ride will bring you to the central village of the island – Khuzhir. You’ll be accommodated at the tourist base and have some rest. In the evening you may enjoy Russian Banya* – a which will make you clean and relaxed after a long journey. Dinner at the base. Accommodation at wooden houses.

On the ice of Baikal Ice on Burkhan cape A curved lady Evening ice on Baikal Winter road to Olkhon Frozen spaces of Baikal lake in winter In this bay you get on the island after crossing the ice-road to Olkhon

Day 5. A ride to the northernmost of Olkhon

Exploring ice caves

One-day ride to the northernmost of Olkhon - Khoboy

Today you’ll have a day-ride by 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: Sandy bay where Gulag camp used to be, 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. Lunch will be served for you as a picnic in the forest. You’ll try a fish soup made from Baikal water and local fish – Omul. For Buryat people Olkhon island is geographical center of ethnical Buryat territory, it is a sacral center. Still once every 4 years Shamans gather on the island and perform their rituals. Olkhon Island, protected and separated by cold waters from other places has preserved traditional ideology and many traditions of Buryats. Return to the base in the evening. Dinner, overnight.

Ice grottoes on Olkhon Icy shores of Olkhon island Icicle Riding over clear ice Fishermen tent Near the ice grotto of Olkhon in winter Ice-skating Olkhon Olkhon's northernmost - Khoboy in winter On the way to Khoboy you'll have a several stopr to take pictures of the ice and the shore Iced arch Some may spend hours taking pictures of ice Wonders of Baikal wind On Three Brothers' cape In broken pieces of transparent Baikal ice Behind the icicle Icy creatures on the rocks Group picture! It is a huge ice-piece UAZ excursion over the ice of Baikal Walking on the frozen water of Baikal

Day 6. Sightseeing and rest in Khuzhir

A walk on the ice

Today you can spend your day exploring Khuzhir village and its surroundings. You definitely have to walk to Burkhan cape (Shamanka rock) at the shore of Baikal. According to a legend this is a castle of the main spirit of Olkhon. It is one of 9 sanctuarities of Asia, center of shaman cult. It is highly respected among native people and shamans. There is a cave inside but it is forbidden to enter it. Right next to Burkhan rock there is a 3 km sandy beach – Saraiskiy bay. You enjoy walking over the ice to Kharantsy island (it is well seen from the shore) which also has beautiful small grottoes easy accessible by ice in winter. Take your time listening to Baikal breath shooting sometimes creating new cracks in its ice shield. Take a walk back and along the streets in Khuzhir to see the atmosphere of a village. There are no paved roads of course, and electricity appeared here just in 2005. Dinner can be ordered at the base. Enjoy watching stars which are incredibly big at the open sky on the shore. Overnight in the wooden houses.

Icy glass Looking through transparent ice Shamanka rock in winter Shaman Baikal ice mirrow Olkhon's bread it the tastiest bread on the planet! Resting on one of the streets in Khuzhir

Day 7. Ice-fishing at the Small sea

Fishing tent on the frozen Baikal

Today we will go to the Small sea.  This place is called a sea, but it’s now quite a sea – it’s a strait between Olkhon island and the western shore of Baikal. A car will take you there after breakfast. Accommodation at the hotel. Every fishermen knows that the best fishing is fishing at this place in March. Lots of cars with fishermen go on the ice and fish. Today you’ll try ice-fishing and get familiar with all the secrets and techniques of how local fish. Lunch and dinner at the base. Overnight.

Small sea in the morning light Sunrise at the Small sea Ice-skating at the Maloye more Baikal Omul fish Morning sun at the Small sea Ice-fishing at the Small sea Got stuck in the ice

Day 8. Sightseeing in Irkutsk

The museum of Irkutsk

Morning transfer to Irkutsk. Lunch stop on the way. Accomodation in the hotel in Irkutsk. This day you’ll spend in Irkutsk. Today you can relax and feel the atmosphere of Irkutsk – the capital of Eastern Siberia. It is 350 years old this year so the city celebrates its anniversary. It is a small Russian city with a rich history, located on the bank of Angara river, 70 km away from Baikal Lake. Irkutsk used to be wooden in the past. Even nowadays it is one of not many Siberian cities which preserved its wooden outlook. The city has mysterious charm: quiet shady streets with different carved decorations get on nowadays with many-storied modern buildings. 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… You can have lunch in one of the city cafes. It is also possible to visit one of museum of you would like – Decembrists museum or museum of history. (Must be ordered in advance). Festive dinner can be ordered in one of the restaurants to celebrate your trip to Baikal. Overnight at the hotel.

Irkutsk in winter The church of the Saviour Epiphany Cathedral in Irkutsk The image of Jesus on the oldest church of Irkutsk The catholic church in Irkutsk which is now an orghan hall In the park near the Angara river in Irkutsk The road to Epiphany Cathedral in Irkutsk Map of Baikal winter dream tour

Day 9. Departure

Transfer to the airport/railway station.

Please, contact us baikalamikan@gmail.com regarding the tour price depending on your group size. Thank you!

Please contact us for the tour price and available dates.

Comments from our guests

Ophélia, Guillaume, Raphaël, Marianne, William, Louise, Aurélie et Benoît

March 22, 2017, 10:20 a.m.
Baïkal was a dream for us and Svetlana's professionalism as well as the carefulness of our amazing guide Dasha, made this wish came true even further than our highest expectations. Everything was perfectly planned so we just had to enjoy the magic surroundings of the lake. Plus, we even had the luxury of modifying things at the last minute. Svetlana and Dasha were always so kind to us even though we, sometimes, made things a little bit more complicated for them. We still have sparkles in our eyes when we think or talk about this trip and we are sure that it would not have been the same without Baïkal Amikan. Moreover, the programme was very much fitting our requirements of travelling with kids of young age : suitable activities, days not too fully booked and special attentions to make this trip an unforgettable memory. Thanks Sveta and Dasha, we will never forget you and we hope to see you again on this big, beautiful planet!

Virginie Grussaute

April 11, 2016, 4:40 a.m.
A family with twins of 6 years old for one week early march. Our great Baïkal adventure became true thanks to Baïkal Amikan. We have contacted Svetlana by email. She organised everything for us perfectly : all the programm was adapted for our family needs. Our french speaker guide Olga was nice and very interesting. The different places and activities (the kids enjoyed all the time and loved every minute of it !), the people, the landscapes, the culture with the shaman spirit....we will keep forever a piece of Baikal in our heart ! Thank you again Svetlana for giving us this trip so special and unforgettable. Kind regards. Virginie Grussaute

Florence Dalleas

March 7, 2016, 11:27 p.m.
3 families, 7 children from 8 to 17 yo, and 2 super ladies who made our trip in Baikal absolutely fantastic ! We warmly thank you two, Svetlana and Yulia. We really enjoyed our trip thanks to your professionalism, your adaptability and your kindness. You answered all our expectations : to discover the awesome landscapes of Baikal Lake and the culture and traditions of the inhabitants, and to have fun and strong sensations, while feeling secured. Thanks again for our nice trip... we are still like in a dream ;-) Kind regards, Florence.

Erwan and Celine Hediard, France

Jan. 4, 2016, 11:02 p.m.
Baikal in winter time with 3 small children (7,5,2 years old): yes it is possible and fantastic ! A great thanks to Svetlana and Yulia for this great trip ! All had been organized in very details by Svetlana. Great communication before getting to Irkutsk. Our super guide Yulia made everything possible and kept updating program according to weather conditions and our wishes. On the tour she was our guide, photograph, nany, and a great family member ! She was happy if and only if ... All of us were happy ! We look forward to traveling with them on summer tume to discover unfrozen Baikal ! Erwan

Boris et Marie-Charlotte De Lalande, France

April 18, 2015, 10:21 p.m.
"This winter trip in Baikal Lake is wonderful: Landscapes are amazing, the lake is frozen from Mid-February, and you can road on it at this time. Some good events are organized (dogs-sledging, walk on the ice), and we were advised for other interesting & funny activities (ice-fishing, banya, museums), but not included in initial proposal. The agency is very available by phone or by email, which is kindly appreciated. We had a sympathic French-speaking guide; she unfortunately didn't explain us a lot of historical or geological things ; and we discovered during last day that our Russian driver can provide us more details. Globally, activities stop at 05:00 PM, which we consider quite early, and we have managed by ourselves during some evenings. Anyway, the cost from this agency is far more better than with other biggest companies. We thank Baikal Amikan for our one week-trip in Siberia !"

Hagen Schulze, Germany

June 16, 2014, 9:31 p.m.

Liebe Svetlana, Ich habe vor 2 Wochen die schönste Reise meines Lebens gemacht. Es war so schön, das ich auf jeden Fall noch einmal so eine Reise machen möchte. Ich fand es gerade zu dieser Zeit mit dem Eis auf dem Baikal und dem tollen Sonnenschein besonders schön. Du hast einen sehr großen Anteil an den vielen tollen Eindrücken, die ich bei dieser Reise erleben durfte.

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