Ice-trekking "Breath of Baikal"
Duration: 8 days
February - March;
Dreaming about travelling among endless spaces of frozen Baikal? During this tour you will ice-trek in the middle of frozen Baikal lake, spend one night in tent on ice, listening to Baikal breath, walk on skis in deep snow of wintry taiga, experience warm sauna and spend the night in wooden hut in the silence of surrounding forest. Also you will try traditional Russian cuisine and may experience dog-sledding (optional).
Day 1. Arrival to Irkutsk . Transfer to Bolshoye Goloustnoye village. Trekking for about 20 km to Kadilniy cape.
Day 2. Ice trekking Kadilniy cape - Bolshiye Koty village (20 km).
Day 3. Trekking on ice Bolshiye Koty - Listvyanka .
Day 4. Ice trekking Listvyanka - ice camp (27km). Overnight in tent on ice of Baikal.
Day 5. Ice-camp - Vydrino village. (25 km). Accommodation in wooden hut.
Day 6. One-day walk on skis in the wintry taiga forest. Sauna. Overnight in wooden hut.
Day 7. Vydrino - Irkutsk.
Day 8. Departure.
Arrival to Irkutsk. Transfer to Bolshoye Goloustnoye. Start of ice-trekking on Baikal. (20 km).
Arrival to Irkutsk in the morning. Meeting with your guide.10.00 - Transfer by car to Bolshoe Goloustnoye village - our starting point of our trekking. (about 140 km ride).
The name of the village means “wide bare river mouth” as the village stands at the place where one of the rivers flows into Baikal Lake. Only 30 km of the road is paved, the rest is gravel. It is about 2.5-3 hours ride.12.30 - Get the backpacks and sleds ready and start ice trekking on Baikal lake.
We will go along the shoreline of the lake, sometimes bypassing cracked ice of different textures, sometimes walking on clear smooth ice with incredible patterns inside, sometimes passing over fields with hummocked ice blocks.14.00 - Lunch on the way as picnic.
17.00 - Arrival to Kadilnaya Bay. In this place you will be accommodated in a hut of National park cordone. Our trekking distance today is about 20 km. 19.00 - Dinner with tasting the local cuisine.
We recommend to use the ice-cleats for ice-trekkings on frozen Baikal lake if you feel not stabile on ice.
Ice trekking on Baikal from Kadilniy cape - Bolshiye Koty village (20 km).
10.00 - Start of ice trekking from Kadilniy cape.
After you get ready we continue our way to frozen expances of Baikal lake. For the trekking part we will provide you with plastic sleds which are easily pulled behind you. It is easier to pull the sled rather than carry a backpack.13.00 - Lunch on the ice of Baikal as picnic.
17.00 - Arrival to Bolshiye Koty village . Accommodation in guest house.
Bolshiye Koty is a quiet village on the shore of Baikal lake, which was founded as a gold minery in the past. Nowadays about 30 people live there in winter time, and about twice more in summer.19.00 - Dinner. Rest after trekking.
Trekking on ice Bolshiye Koty - Listvyanka.
10.00 - Continue ice trekking on lake Baikal from Bolshiye Koty village.
After breakfast in guest house we'll get back on ice. Today we have a final stretch of trekking along the coast line of Baikal.13.00 - Lunch on the ice of Baikal as picnic.
17.00 - Arrival to Listvyanka village . Accommodation in guest house.
18.00 - 20.00 - Relax in Banya (Russian steam sauna) after trekking day. 20.00 - Dinner. Overnight.
Advise: The peculiarity of the weather on Lake Baikal is that you never know what happens in a few hours, and sometimes even minutes, so don’t get sad if the weather is bad: snow can be blown away in a couple of hours, and gray days often have marvelous sunsets! At the same time, do not be lazy to take photos, if everything around is beautiful at the moment: it may snow on the next day!
Start of trekking on ice of Baikal (27km). Overnight in tent.
10.00 - Start of trekking on ice.
Walking over the blue abyss under your feet covered with veinlets of cracks. Day-distance for today is about 25 -27 km. We will provide you with plastic sleds where you may put your backpack and easily pull behind you on ice. If walking sticks or ice-cleats are needed – please, let us know in advance.13.00 - Lunch on the way as picnic on ice of Baikal.
17.00 - Arrive to tent camp.
18.00 - Dinner. Overnight in tent.
It is a unique experience to sleep on ice. At nights due to day/night temperature change the Baikal starts cracking. When it happens it makes strong booms and crackles. At first it seems unusual but after a while one will get used to it. This is what local people describe as "Baikal is breathing".
Ice-camp - Vydrino village (25 km). Accommodation in wooden hut.
09.00 - Breakfast.
After breakfast we’ll pack our camping equipment and personal gear into the sleds and continue ice-trek. The closer we get to the opposite shore - the more snow we meet. You may of course stop on the way for making pictures! Experience being alone in nature, surrounded by endless frozen landscape. The trekking distance is about 25 km).17.00 - Arrive to Vydrino village – a small settlement on the shore of Baikal. You will be accommodated in the forest in wooden hut just about 5 km deeper in the valley from the village. (biotoilet, no shower).
19.00 - Dinner, overnight in wooden hut (or tourist base).
One-day walk on skis in the wintry taiga forest. Sauna. Overnight in wooden hut.
10.00 - Walk on wooden skis in the forest.
At this place usually we get much snow. And the nearest slopes of Khamar-Daban mountains are topped with snow. Be careful not to miss the trail as you will deep into snow untill your waistline! This place has its unique microclimate and it is also called “Siberian Alps”. You will be accompanied by instructor or your guide to visit the places around.18.00 - Sauna willbe heated for you.
19.00 - Dinner with tasting traditional Russian cousine (you may try Borsh, salyanka, Baikal delicacy – Omul fish, etc). Overnight in wooden hut (or tourist base).
Vydrino - Irkutsk. Accommodation in homestay.
09.00 – Transfer by car back to Irkutsk. It is about 200 km distance.
On the way it it possible to stop in Baikalsk ski resort for mountain ski or snowboarding.
You will pass Utulik village on your way which offers dog-sledding in the forest with friendly husky dogs. It is possible to have a stop there if you would like. (not included, extra cost).14.00 - Accommodation in homestay in Irkutsk.
15.00 - Time for rest. It is possible to visit the central market for souvenir shopping or sightseeing the city.
09.00 - Transfer to the airport. Departure
|Group Size, people||Tour price per person, EURO|
|7 and more||45 000|
Tour price includes:
- Accommodation as mentioned in the programme
- All fees for visiting national park zones
- All transfers mentioned in the programme
- English-speaking guide service
- Meals during the tour
- Rent of camping equipment, cooking and food ware
- Transfer to/from airport
Tour price doesn’t include extra services:
- Additional services not mentioned in the programme (taxi rides, snowmobiles, etc.)
- Bank transfer fees