Crystal Baikal ice
This is where the snow, ice, wind and frost meet. Significant turquoise ice-blocks, fields of ice, fresh breeze from the mountains near-by, crystalling Baikal ice under your feet is so transparent that the brain refuses to understand that there is a support under your feet, and the sky, which is reflected in the ice. We invite you to join us on "Crystal Baikal ice" tour, to explore wintry Baikal lake while snowmobiling in the forest, dog-sledding (optional) on the ice, aeroglisseur ride to the biggest island on the lake - Olkhon, admire the ice-grottoes and laced ice on the rocks, try ice-fishing and relax in steam sauna - Banya, as well as to get familiar with local traditions and cuisine.
February - end of March;
Duration: 7 days
Places: Baikal lake; Maloye more; Olkhon; Listvyanka;
Activities: Sightseeing; Snowmobiling; Jeep tours; Dog-sledding; ice-fishing;
Day 1. Arrival. Transfer to Listvyanka, Taltsy museum. Cherskiy rock.
Welcome to Siberia! Arrival at Irkutsk airport/train station in the morning. Transfer to Listvyanka. (About 1 hour ride). 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. Lunch. In Listvyanka you will visit the Cherskiy rock which will give you an amazing view to Port Baikal on the opposite shore and Angara river outflow. The ski lift will bring you to the top of the hill and you may walk back to the car Accommodation in Listvyanka hotel or guest house, twin (double) rooms. Dinner in any restaurant of your choice (not included). (-, L, -).
Day 2. Snowmobiling in the forest and ice of Baikal
Today you’ll have one day ride Listvyanka – Bolshie Koty 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. Lunch on the way. Return to Listvyanka by ice of Baikal. In the evening you may experience Russian steam sauna – Banya from 18-20pm. Dinner, overnight hotel. (B, L, D).
Note: if you are travelling with kids, we recommend you to take about two or three hours of snowmobiling. After lunch it is possible to visit the Nerpa (Baikal seal show) or Baikal museum. Dog-sledding is on a special request. (B, L, D).
Day 3. Crossing from Listvyanka to Olkhon island by hover (aeroglisseur)
Today you’ll have a ride by hover (start at 10.00) from Listvyanka to Khuzhir – the central village on Olkhon. 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. Lunch on the way as picnic. Arrive to Khuzhir – the central village on Olkhon island. Accommodation at hotel/guest house. Dinner. (B,L,D).
Day 4. A ride to the northernmost of Olkhon
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. (B, L, D).
Day 5. Sightseeing Khuzhir. Ice- Fishing.
Today you will spend half day ice- fishing at the Small sea. At 10.00 you will be picked up by a car. The local fisherman will teach you the techniques of fishing Baikal fish in winter, you will try cutting the hole in the ice yourself as well as try fish soup prepared for you. Lunch possible to have on ice. It is also possible to go ice-skating (you should bring your own skates) to explore the shores near-by. After lunch you will be offered to have a ride to observation point of the shore near-by. Return to Khuzhir. The rest of the day you can spend exploring Khuzhir village and its surroundings. You may walk to the shore, on ice. Right next to Burkhan rock there is a 3 km sandy beach – Saraiskiy bay. Take your time listening to Baikal breath shooting sometimes creating new cracks in its ice shield. Banya (Russian steam sauna) in the evening. Dinner, overnight at the base. (B, L, D).
Day 6. Transfer Olkhon-Irkutsk by car. Museum Oust-Orda, shaman. Sightseeing Irkutsk
You will have morning transfer Khuzhir-Irkutsk. It is about 6 hours ride (300 km way). Lunch will offered for you on the way in a road café with tasting the local cuisine. On the way you will make a stop in Oust-Orda museum of regional studies, get familiar with local Buryat culture, possible to have a meeting with a local shaman. Upon arrival to Irkutsk if you have time then after some rest you will be taken to the sights of Irkutsk. Festive dinner in a restaurant (not included). (B, L, -).
Day 7. Departure.
After breakfast you will have transfer to airport/train station. Departure.
We may adjust the program inividually for you.
The price includes:
- English / French speaking guide
- accommodation in hotels or guest houses in twin/double rooms
- meals according to the programm (B - breakfast, L- lunch, D- dinner)
- transfer from / to train station or airport
- hover ride
- snowmobile rent
- UAZ car excursion to Khoboy
- Taltsy museum and Oust-Orda museum
- meeting with a shaman
- ski lift to Cherskiy rock
- one Banya
- fees for visiting the National park zone
Tour price doesn't include:
- extra transfers not mentioned in the programme (taxi rides)
- dog-sledding (must be ordered in advance on special request)
- bank transfer fees
- personal insurance
- airplane tickets
- personal expences and souvenirs
Please contact us for the tour price and available dates.
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