You will be picked up at Irkutsk Airport at 9 a.m. to travel 65 kilometres to Listvyanka.
En route, you will make a stop at the Taltsy museum. This unique open-air museum complex boasts some of the most remarkable wooden architecture examples of Baikalia across 67 hectares. At Taltsy, you will learn about the daily lives, traditions, and beliefs of Buryats, Evenks, and Tofalars. You will see Russian peasant houses from the 17th–19th centuries and picturesque watermills from the late 19th century.
Upon arrival in Listvyanka, you will check into the hotel.
After a short break, you will head to the Baikal museum. There, you will not only learn exciting things about the lake’s geology and geography. Anticipate a virtual dive to the depth of 1643 metres, where you will watch Baikal omul, whitefish, and seals in the aquarium!
Once you’ve had lunch, you will take a walk in the historic area of Listvyanka and take a cable car to Chersky Stone, a viewing platform located 700 meters above the ground. You will soak in sweeping vistas of Baikal and the beautiful Angara River, Listvyanka and Port Baikal, Shamanka Rock, and the old railway.
Your first day at Baikal will gently slip into the night at the hotel.
The day will begin with breakfast at the hotel.
In the morning, you will head to the Mushing Centre at Tyuryumin Manor and the Svarozhich Smithy. You will have a singular opportunity to ride a dog sledge, hammer a good luck talisman in an authentic forge, and buy works of local blacksmiths. Finally, you will see medieval armour and will have a chance to try it on and take memorable photos.
After lunch, you will take a ride along the Circum-Baikal Railway by Hivus, an air-cushioned craft, adapted for ice and named after one of the many Baikal winds.
The stunning beauty of the Baikal mountains and one-of-a-kind architectural pieces will enchant you. It is for a reason that the Circum-Baikal Railway is sometimes referred to as ‘the golden buckle in the steel belt of Russia’.
Upon your return to Listvyanka, you will have a chance to enjoy leisure time and take a meander through this picturesque settlement.
You will have a chance to walk along the icebound Baikal, go skiing or visit the Nerpinary. Cute little Baikal seals a.k.a. nerpas, will fascinate you with an unforgettable show. You will see this endemic species of Baikal within your arm’s reach and learn interesting facts about this freshwater seal, the only such in the world.
A night at the hotel will restore your strength for further adventures.
Your day will begin with breakfast at the hotel.
Afterwards, you are going to see Olkhon, the largest island of Baikal. The road will take you through taiga valleys, passages of Primorsky Ridge, and the fascinating Tazheranskaya Steppe, where ancient civilizations left their imprint. Along the way, you will make a stop at Elancy, where you will get the chance to meet a Baikal shaman and indulge in Buryat specialities.
Your next destination will be Khuzhir, the main settlement on the island. You will arrive there at 5 p.m., check-in at the hotel and take a stroll to Cape Burkhan. There, you will see Shamanka Rock, one of the nine relics of Asia. Millions of people dream of getting to the ritual poles on Shamanka to tie a khadaki band to them and make a wish.
For dinner, you will have a chance to partake of delectable Baikal cuisine. Afterwards, you will be able to unwind in the Russian banya. (This option is available for an additional fee: about 2500 rubles per hour for a company of up to five people).
You will spend that night at the hotel.
You will begin your day with breakfast.
On the fourth day, you are going to see the main landmarks of Olkhon Island.
Your first destination, Cape Khoboy, lies in 41 km in the North of Olkhon Island. Along the way, you will stop at the most picturesque places of the strait Maloe More. There, you will meander on the Baikal ice and listen to the breathing of the great lake. Fanciful frostwork inside the ice will leave you with an indelible impression and allow for striking photos.
Just a few more kilometres walking, and you will be rewarded with dramatic vistas of Cape Khoboy. From the frozen lake’s surface, you will enjoy a fantastic view of the magnificent rocks, covered in sokuy. Sokuy, one of the Baikal’s wonders, is frozen splashes on the bottom of the cliffs. They emerge when the lake begins to freeze in winter.
When back at the hotel, you will have dinner at the cosy hotel cafe.
Later in the evening, you will be able to enjoy the steam in the Russian banya. (This option is available for an additional fee: about 2500 rubles per hour for a company of up to five people).
You will have a restful sleep at the hotel.
Your day will begin with breakfast at the hotel.
After that, you will travel to Ogoy. The famous Stupa of Enlightenment sits on the highest point of this island: 512 metres above the sea. The Stupa is home to a whole lot of Buddhist relics. The pure energy of the island, where no people have ever lived, boosts their spiritual power.
When back in Irkutsk, you will take an evening stroll in the historic centre, check-in and spend a night at the hotel.
You will have breakfast at the hotel and be transferred to Irkutsk Airport afterwards.