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Horse-riding on Olkhon 4 days

Horse-riding on the biggest island of Baikal - Olchon

This tour will give you an opportunity to horse-ride at the most beautiful place of Baikal - Olkhon island, where the freshest wind is blowing while you're trotting, galloping or just walking among the steppes, hills and forests surrounded by the greatest waters of Baikal lake, as well as one-day excursion to the northernmost of the island - Khoboy where the width of Baikal and steepness of its shores takes away your breath...

Available: from June to September; Summer;
Duration: 4 days
Places: Baikal lake; Olkhon;
Activities: Sightseeing; Jeep tours; Horse-riding;

Day 1. Transfer to Olkhon, walk to Burkhan cape

Shamanka, Olkhon

Welcome to Siberia! Once you arrive to the train station you’ll be met by your English-speaking guide who will accompany you during your trip. Transfer to Olkhon Island – the biggest island on Baikal lake by mini-van. It takes about 5-6 hours to cover the distance of 300 km. Out way runs partly through the forest, flowering 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) (it is kind of ravioli with meat prepared on steam). 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 a ferry. Once you reach the island you’ll understand why Olkhon means “little woody” from the language of native people. 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 can have a walk and 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. It has beautiful colors at the time of the sunset.

In the evening you may enjoy Russian Banya* – a kind of steam sauna which will make you

*If you want to have Banya at the base- it must be ordered in advance 

The wooden statue made by nature Flying seagull Burkhan rock on Olkhon island Burhan cape on Olkhon

Day 2. Excursion to the northernmost of the island – Khoboy

The road to Khoboy, Olkhon

Today you’ll visit the most picturesque sights of Olkhon island as you are going to excursion to the northern part – Khoboy cape. The best transport on Olkhon is Russian 4WD – UAZ car, as it is optimal for off road in the forest. 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 most northern point of Olkhon Island. It is also called a “lady” rock. You’ll understand why it is so when you come to this place from waterside while being on cruise. 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, rocky outline of Saint Nose Peninsula. This place is also considered as one of the most energy place 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. Before returning back to Khuzhir we’ll make a stop in one more place – Uzury. This is one of not many exits to Baikal on the eastern shore as it is very steep and rocky. 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.

Admiring the vastness of Baikal waters Sheep on Olkhon On the arch of Khoboy Rhododendron blossomming on Olkhon The steep Eastern shore of Olkhon island Admiring the majesty of Baikal lake near Khoboy cape

Day 3. Horse-riding on Olkhon

Local Buryat man on his horse

After breakfast the car will pick you up and bring you to the nearest village – Maliy Khuzhir. There you’ll be given safety instructions from your horse-riding instructor as well as some features regarding the controlling and character of the horse. Horse-riding on the island is magnificent, even for the beginners as it is very difficult to “catch” a tree. The freshest warm wind blowing into the face while you’re galloping or trotting or just walking, marvelous views and nature around, the feeling of you and your horse as a whole grant you another happiness that you’ve never felt before. Your route lays on the island depending on your experience. The landscape will change from the flat steppes to the hills and forest, following some forest roads, one of which will bring you to the other side of Olkhon where you’ll meet the “Bolshoy “ Baikal (opposite to the “Small”sea). Lunch as a picnic on the way. Returning to the base. Time at leisure, sightseeing the village. You can buy different Baikal souvenirs at the souvenir yurts which stand at different places on the main street of Khuzhir or in the art gallery. Dinner and overnight at the base.

On the very shore The steppe roads to Baikal Local horseman on Olkhon To the nearest village, Olkhon Horse on Olkhon Horses on Olkhon island, near Uzury village

Day 4. Transfer Olkhon – Irkutsk

Turquoise water of Baikal

After breakfast you’ll have transfer to Irkutsk. It takes about 6 hours to get back. It is always little sad to leave this island. Some people make a wish and ask the spirits give them a possibility to come back here, and some will carefully keep in their hearts and minds the memories and feelings which this island presents to everyone who is clear in thoughts, kind to nature and open-hearted. Let Olkhon live in your heart.

The tour price includes:

 

-transfers Irkutsk – Khuzhir – Irkutsk by mini-bus

-all meals during all the trip

-English-speaking guide service during all the trip (including the horse-riding trip)

-one-day excursion to the North of Olkhon island

-one day horse-riding on Olkhon

-accommodation at the base on the Island

-Banya on Olkhon

-meeting at the train station/airport in Irkutsk

Please contact us for the tour price and available dates.

Comments from our guests

Cassandra, Australia

April 8, 2014, 6:32 a.m.

We spent 4 days on Olkhon Island as part of our Trans-Mongolian/Trans-Siberian train journey from Beijing-Moscow in July 2012. This part of the trip was just stunning. Svetlana accompanied us the whole time, and was extremely helpful, informative and enthusiastic. The scenery on Olkhon Island is breath-taking, and Svetlana made sure we saw the most amazing parts of the island while educating us about the native people's beliefs and customs with respect and great knowledge. It was clear to us that Svetlana is very passionate about this part of the world, and I would recommend to anyone to enlist Svetlana's help to organise their time here. The highlight of the experience for me was our day-long horse-ride. Magical! Thanks Svetlana! We WILL be back to experience more of this most beautiful part of the planet!

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