Baikal Explore: Listvyanka, Baikal toy train + Olkhon island
Explore sights and sunny beaches of Olkhon island and the Maloye Sea, visit Listvyanka and take a ride on Circum Baikal railway. Taste Baikal omul and kharius.
Group departures in 2016 (date of arrial to Irkutsk): 12, 25 of June, 9, 23, 30 of July, 13 of August
Today is the first day of the tour, and you are welcome to start it with exploring lake Baikal in Listvyanka settlement. This is perhaps one of the oldest Russian settlements on the shore of the great lake. Lately it has turned into a tourist center with the number of sights, cafes, hotels and tourists exceeding the number of residents.
We invite you for a sightseeing tour of Listvyanka, during which you will visit an observation platform next to the famous Shaman-Rock, hear a beautiful legend and visit the acting Russian Orthodox church of St.Nicholas-the-Miracle-Worker – the patron of all travelers and sailors. You may also have an excursion to Baikal Ecological museum with an exposition telling about the flora and fauna of Baikal, including aquariums with the lake’s live inhabitants. Tireless travelers may have a boat ride on Baikal, hiking or ATV tour along the picturesque shore (for extra charge). Watching the water from the coastal cliffs pay attention to its unmatched transparency and purity!
Besides, you may visit the spectacular open-air market, where the locals sell souvenirs alongside with home-made specialities of Baikal fish.
We recommend you to have dinner at “Proshliy Vek” (Past Century) café, where one can enjoy delicious specialities of original Siberian cuisine as well as a marvelous view of Baikal.
Itinerary in brief: meeting at the airport of Irkutsk. Transfer to Listvyanka (65 km ~ 1 hour). Accommodation at the hotel. Listvyanka sightseeing tour. Lunch at the hotel. Time at leisure. (Meals incl.: lunch).
You will spend this day traveling by various means of transport: water, railroad and automobile, and all day long you will see Baikal next to you – so huge and so different every time.
First, you cross the Angara’s headwaters by ferry and come to Baikal port – a train station and port, where there is no automobile road. Here you set off on a trip by special tourist train on the Circum-Baikal line – the so-called “Golden Buckle of the Russian Steel Belt” – an amazing masterpiece of engineering and architecture of the early 20th century. During the trip the guide will tell you about the history of its construction and unique peculiarities. The number of tunnels and bridges on such a short way impresses especially when one realizes the level of technical development at the construction time: everything was built by hand, but so thoroughly and solidly – to serve for centuries.
In the evening you arrive at the southernmost point of Baikal, at the very bottom of the superb Khamar-Daban mountain range, and then in a couple of hours reach Irkutsk.
Itinerary in brief: breakfast at the hotel. Transfer to the pier (~10 min). Transfer by ferry to Baikal port (~ 40 min). Scenic trip by tourist train to Slyudyanka and then to Irkutsk (~10 hours). Lunch and dinner on the train. Upon arrival in Irkutsk – transfer to the hotel. Accommodation at the hotel. (Meals incl.: breakfast, lunch, dinner).
After breakfast you will set off on a trip to Olkhon island. Your way will head through vast steppes, ancient Buryat villages, over the magnificent Pribaikalskiy range’s spurs covered with the Siberian taiga forest which then change to Mongolian-type landscapes of the Tazheranskaya steppe.
Boarding the ferry to cross the famous Olkhon Gate Strait separating Olkhon from the mainland. It will take you about 40 min. to get to the island; on the way you will see both the Maloye (Lesser) and the Bolshoye (Larger) Seas – two parts of Baikal split by Olkhon.
Arrival at Olkhon island – the biggest one out of 26 Baikal’s isles; the lake’s geographic, historical and sacral centre, which resembles it even by shape.
A 40-km transfer on the island – and you reach its capital – Khuzhir settlement. After the long impression-filled trip to Olkhon, you will have a sound sleep enhanced by the health-giving atmosphere of a wooden house.
Itinerary in brief: bus transfer to Olkhon island (320 km, ~ 6 hours). Accommodation at a tourist lodge. Lunch and dinner at the lodge. (Meals incl.: breakfast, lunch, dinner).
Today we invite you to start exploring the vast spaces of Olkhon with a walking sightseeing tour of the outskirts: Khuzhir settlement, sacred Burkhan cape (Shaman-Mount) – 1 of the 9 Asian shrines, equally worshipped by Shamanists, Buddhists and Lamaists. Then – excursion to the local lore museum with an interesting collection of objects representing the everyday life and culture of the islanders.
Itinerary in brief: breakfast at the lodge. Walking sightseeing tour. Lunch at the lodge. Dinner at the lodge. (Meals incl.: breakfast, lunch, dinner).
Although Olkhon is just an island, the distances here are quite long, making most of the local excursions last practically the whole day. So, we invite you to spend this day exploring the legendary Khoboy cape – the island’s northernmost point, which is located at the widest place of Baikal.
On the way you will see all the diversity of Baikal’s natural landscapes concentrated on the island: steppes, warm bays jutting deep into the shore, sandy dunes, mixed deciduous forests interspersed with relict fir woods and magnificent marble rocks spotted with red lichens.
The cape gives a splendid panoramic view of Baikal’s northern part, and if the weather is fine, one can make out the outlines of the Ushkanyi Isles and Svyatoy Nos Peninsula.
It is really worth having a walk here, during which the guide will tell you the legends, and describe traditions and customs connected with this place. If the local deities are especially kind to you, they will give you a chance to see the unique Baikal nerpa – the world’s only fresh-water seal.
Itinerary in brief: breakfast at the lodge. Sightseeing as per programme. Lunch in the open air. Dinner at the lodge. (Meals incl.: breakfast, lunch, dinner).
Today you will get back to the mainland. After breakfast at the lodge the bus will take you to the ferry. After crossing the Olkhon Gate Strait again you will put up at one of the cozy and hospitable lodges on the shore of the Maloye Sea.
Here you are welcome to experience the local beach rest: scenic sandy beaches, warm bays and various water attractions (water skiing, banana boat riding, water scootering, etc. – on extra charge).
Itinerary in brief: breakfast at the lodge. Transfer to the Maloye Sea (~ 1.5 hours). Accommodation at the lodge. Lunch and dinner at the lodge. (Meals incl.: breakfast, lunch, dinner).
A day at leisure. Curious travelers may visit the saline lakes of the Tazheran Steppe or choose a water excursion to the isles of the Maloye Sea (on extra charge). Those who fancy some activities will hardly miss a chance of cycling along the numerous paths lining the picturesque coast (bicycles are available for rent on extra charge). Meanwhile fans of luxuriating in the sunshine will enjoy the sandy beach gently washed by warm water.
Itinerary in brief: day at leisure. Breakfast and dinner at the lodge. (Meals incl.: breakfast, dinner).
The week has passed in the blink of an eye still leaving impressions and memories for years. The way to Irkutsk will give you some time to range them.
The highway will take you again over the picturesque Pribaikalskiy mountain range covered with the pristine forest thicket, and closer to Irkutsk populated localities will help you to gradually get ready for returning to the everyday life.
Itinerary in brief: breakfast at the lodge. Transfer to Irkutsk (~ 4.5 hours). Accommodation at the hotel. (Meals incl.: breakfast).
Today is the final day of the tour, and we offer you to explore Irkutsk – ancient Siberian city.
During the city sightseeing tour you will see the historical centre, the place, where over 300 years ago Irkutsk was founded, the Angara river’s embankment, the most prominent monuments of architecture and, of course, Znamensky (Holy Sign) Russian Orthodox convent with one of the most beautiful Siberian cathedrals noted for its iconostasis and graves on the territory (graves of the Decembrists, Gregory Shelikhov and others). After the sightseeing you will have some time for shopping at the central market and a souvenir store. Night in Angara 2* hotel.
Itinerary in brief: breakfast at the hotel. Sightseeing as per programme. Approximate time of the end of the tour – 14:00. (Meals incl.: breakfast).
|Day 10||End of the tour.|
Tour cost, per person: 58000 roubles
single supplement: 22800 roubles
accommodation at hotels and lodges: in Irkutsk (3 nights), Listvyanka (1 night), on Olkhon island (3 nights), Maloye Sea (2 nights) on twin-sharing basis; meals as per programme; all transfers and excursions as per programme, except for those specified for extra charge; guides’ services*; museum entrance fees as per programme, except for those specified for extra charge; ticket for the Circum-Baikal Line trip. Russian visa support letter.
* the tour is led by Russian-speaking guides, guides-interpreters are provided for extra charge upon request.
Flights, alcoholic drinks. Visa to Russia.