Arrival to Irkutsk/Sludyanka. Transfer to Baikalsk.
After you arrive to Irkutsk airport/train station or train station in Sludyanka (those who come by Transsib) you will be met and have transfer to Baikalsk city on the shore of Baikal. The road goes along Baikal lake, climbs up and runs down the hills covered with taiga forests. Baikalsk is a small city located on the Transsib railway, on the shore of Baikal at the foot of Khamar-Daban mountains. You will be accommodated at the family hotel. Dinner, overnight.
Morning snowmobile, half day ski-resort, Banya.
After breakfast about 11am you’ll have a snowmobile ride to the forest of the near-by mountains. This
part of Baikal gets lot of snow in winter, and the snowy forest there is fascinating with the snow-covered
branches of trees sparkling on the sun and snow-capped mountains. Your ride will take 1-2 hours.
Lunch in café. After lunch you may buy a ski-pass and do snowboarding or mountain ski at Baikalsk ski
resort – the biggest ski resort at Baikal lake. It is very easy to find and reach as it is well-seen from
away. Everyone will enjoy this place – some may walk around enjoying the beautiful views of mighty
mountains and iced fields of Baikal, while others may rush over the steep slopes in the snow making the
snowy clouds on the turns which take your breath away! The slopes give you freedom, not limited with
anything except safety regulations. Here people feel how soul and body merge with the harmonious
world of nature. In the evening it is possible to relax in Banya with the birch-tree branches and to
experience refreshing snow applying over your hot steaming body! (this is in case I don’t find Banya on
the shore with swimming for you). Overnight in wooden houses, double/twin room
Ride in a sled pulled by a horse, cross-country skiing, transfer Baikalsk - Arshan
After breakfast you’ll enjoy a ride in a sled pulled by a horse to the forest. Or if you are quite sportive you may go cross-country skiing. There are prepared ski-routes around. It is quite popular among locals to go cross-country skiing as there is usually enough snow for that, warm temperatures and beautiful landscape views. After lunch we’ll have transfer to Tunkinskaya valley to Arshan village (about 165km, takes 2.5 hours). It is also at the southern part of Baikal, only another mountain ridge called Sayan (Sayany mountains). The elevation there is higher than Khamar-Daban mountains and the climate and snow regime are different as well. “Arshan” is translated as “healing spring” from the language of Buryat people, who are locals here. In this village there are healing mineral springs, which are more mineralized comparing to mineral springs of Caucasus mountains. In its content, mineral waters of Arshan are carbonate-sulfate-magnesium, they have a lot of trace elements. Healing water Arshan can
be used in bathing, showering and drinking. They help with diseases of the circulatory, digestive,
endocrine and respiratory systems. Accommodation at the guest house in cozy wooden houses. It is
possible to have dinner in the café near-by.
Irkutsk, transfer to the airport
Morning sightseeing Irkutsk. You can walk along the streets and feel the atmosphere of Irkutsk – the
capital of Eastern Siberia. It is more than 350 years old, a 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 manystoried
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”. You may
also walk to central market (Ryinok) to buy Baikal fish, cedar nuts or caviar.
Optional visit to the Irkutsk sea for the dog-sledding. Departure to the airport.