The first day will begin with a group reception in Irkutsk, followed by a three-and-a-half-hour transfer to the settlement of Sakhyurta.
En route, you will make a stop for lunch at a roadside cafe. You will be free to choose a lunch option as it is not included in this tour’s price. Use this opportunity to partake of traditional Baikal cuisine: bukhlyor (Buryat soup), Buryat buusy (dumplings), and Baikal omul saguday.
Your next destination will be the picturesque settlement of Buguldeyka. Buguldeyka is named after a word that means northwestern gale. There, you will explore the abandoned marble quarry and see huge snow-white lumps of statuary marble, forming gigantic sheer walls.
Afterwards, you will reach an ice crossing in the Sakhyurta settlement, check into the guest house, and take a stroll towards peninsula Kobylya Golova, where water splashes freeze on the eastern cliffs in winter.
There, you will snap some of the most thrilling shots of Baikal during the blue hour at sunset.
After that, you will return to the guest house for dinner, followed by leisure time and a night shooting of the starry sky.
You will tank up energy for the next day, full of new experiences, through a restful night in the guest house.
After breakfast in the guest house, you will take a one-hour trip to Ogoy Island.
A desert island, Ogoy is like a tongue of flame in the middle of the icy strait Maloe More. In the centre of the island stands the Stupa of Enlightenment, a Buddhist temple that stores messages to the future generations across the planet. Take 108 steps along the path that goes around it, and you will get a blessing for your good deeds.
You will capture the incredible beauty of Ogoy Island and Baikal on camera during the blue hour at sunrise. After that, you will have hot tea with sandwiches for a picnic.
Your next destination will be the fishing settlement of Khuzhir on Olkhon Island. It will take you one hour to get there.
Olkhon is a large inhabited island on Lake Baikal. Indigenous people of Baikalia hold it sacred; there, they preserve their centuries-old rituals and customs.
Olkhon is rife with archaeological monuments. It is a photographer’s paradise, thanks to its varying landscapes and majestic sceneries.
After exploring the sacred island, you will check into the hotel in the Khuzhir settlement and have a chance to choose what to have for lunch as it is not included in the tour price. You will continue that day with a stroll through the settlement to see an abandoned ship, the Saraysky beach, Shamanka Rock and Cape Burkhan.
Shamanka Rock is still referred to as one of the nine relics of Asia. According to legend, the lord spirit of Olkhon lived in the cave of Cape’s cliff. No one had the right to come close to his home. For centuries, shamans performed sacrifice rituals at the rock.
Afterwards, you will return to the hotel, have dinner, and take pictures of the starry sky.
You will spend the night at the hotel.
After breakfast at the hotel, you will travel to Cape Khoboy for shooting in the blue hour. It will take about one hour to get there.
Cape Khoboy is the northernmost point of Olkhon. The cape is considered to be a spiritually charged place. There, according to Buryat legend, did the gods gift the otherworldly power to the first shaman. Since then, it has been a tradition for shamans to perform rituals at Khoboy. This place draws occultists of all sorts.
The Cape is a wide place, and, when the sky is clear, you can see the eastern shore of the lake and the Holy Nose peninsula.
You will have hot tea with sandwiches for a picnic and continue your journey along the western coast.
En route, you will see Cape Sagan-Shukhun a.k.a. White Cape and Three Brothers Cape. The cape is formed by light-marble cliffs covered by lichen and dotted with numerous ice-grottoes beautifully dressed in ice.
Your next destination will be Urochishe Peschanoe. You will have a chance to shoot the ruins of a pier and barracks where prisoners once worked and lived. You will see sand drifts and stilted trees, rising over the sand on strong naked roots.
Afterwards, you will check into the guest house in the Kharantsy settlement and take a stroll to the Kharantsy peninsula. There, you will photograph the island’s cliffs covered with frozen splashes and sokuy.
You will return to the guest house, have dinner, and take photographs of the starry sky.
Finally, you will sleep at the hotel, tanking up energy for another day of adventures.
The day will begin with breakfast at the hotel, followed by a 35-minute trip to Cape Izhimey located in the northeastern part of the lake.
You will take amazing shots during the blue hour at sunrise.
Cape Izhimey takes its name from the Buryat word “ezhym” meaning the master of the land. It culminates in the Zhima mountain, which is the highest point of Olkhon. Indigenous people hold the mountain as a sacred place where spirits dwell.
You will photograph the sun rising over the vast lands piled with sparkling ice.
There, you will have a chance to listen to the lake. Some of the sounds you will hear are reminiscent of an explosion that turns into a hum and disappears in the distance, others are like distant moans or rattle. These are sounds of ice changing with temperature.
You will have ukha, a Russian fish broth, cooked over a campfire and Siberian herbal tea for lunch.
After lunch, you will take a walk along sheer cliffs with ice grottoes towards the weather station in Uzury, the only settlement on the eastern shore.
Afterwards, you will return to the hotel, have dinner, and take some more amazing photographs of the starry sky.
You will spend the last night of the tour at the hotel.
You will have breakfast at the hotel and travel to Cape Shunte-Left. The trip will take about one hour.
You will have a chance to shoot the sunrise in all its glory during the blue hour.
“Shunte” or “shanete” is a Buryat word for larch, the only tree species that grows on the shores of the cape. The cape protrudes deep into the lake, which allows for spectacular views.
Shunte-Left is also called the Cape of Love as married couples, lovers, and singles come there to make a wish.
Afterwards, you will be transferred to the Khuzhir settlement and have lunch at the cafe (this meal is not included in the tour price).
After lunch, you will take a six-hour trip to Irkutsk. Once there, you will be transferred to the airport.