Baikal winter dream
Duration: 9 days
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!
Arrival. Sightseeing Listvyanka
Arrival to Irkutsk, meeting with your guide and transfer to Listvyanka by car. (about 1 hour ride). 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. You will glimpse at lifestyle of Siberians of 16-20 century and their culture. Lunch. 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 if there is time. Dinner, overnight at the hotel. (B, , D).
Snowmobiling and dog-sledding in Listyvyanka
By hover Listvyanka - Peschannaya (Sandy) bay - Buguldeika village
Today you’ll have a ride by hover (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 ride 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, you will be accommodated in a guest house. Dinner. Time at leisure. (B, , D).
Buguldeika village - Tageran steppes - Olkhon island
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 hotel/guest house and have some rest. Dinner at the base.(B, , D).
A ride to the northernmost of Olkhon - Khoboy cape
Sightseeing and rest in Khuzhir
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. You may also visit a local shaman (optional, not included, must be ordered in advance). Dinner. Enjoy watching stars which are incredibly big at the open sky on the shore. Overnight in the wooden houses. (B, , D).
Ice-fishing at the Small sea, ice-skating, visit Ogoy island. Banya.
Olkhon island - Irkutsk. Sightseeing 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. (optional, not included, must be ordered in advance). Dinner in a restaurant. Overnight in the hotel. (B, , D).
After breakfast you will have transfer to the airport/railway station. (B, -, -).
|Group Size, people||Tour price per person, EURO|
Tour price includes:
Tour price doesn’t include extra services:
Our guests about this tour:
Ophélia, Guillaume, Raphaël, Marianne, William, Louise, Aurélie et Benoît
Mar 22, 2017Baïkal 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!
Apr 11, 2016A 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
Mar 07, 20163 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 04, 2016Baikal 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
Apr 18, 2015"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
Mar 31, 2014
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.