Irkutsk – Listvyanka – cross-country skiing trip (2 days, 36 km) – Baikalsk (downhill skiing resort) – Arshan – Irkutsk
8 days / 7 nights
Tour price per person:
The tour program:
On the way to Listvyanka it is worthwhile visiting Taltsy open-air ethnographic museum (for extra charge). Here one can feel the unique charm of the authentic wooden architecture and everyday life of the Pribaikalye peoples, and take part in some traditional winter entertainments: get a thrill sliding down a real Russian ice-hill, have a ride on a sled or Troyka or try to walk on stilts.
In Listvyanka we invite you for a sightseeing tour, 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 (for extra charge) with an exposition telling about the flora and fauna of Baikal, including aquariums with the lake’s live inhabitants.
Besides, you may visit the spectacular open-air market, where the locals sell souvenirs alongside with home-made specialities of Baikal fish.
Finally, we recommend you to have dinner at “Proshliy Vek” (“Past Century”) café (for extra charge), where one can enjoy delicious specialities of original Siberian cuisine as well as a marvelous view of Baikal.
Here starts one of the most popular cross-country skiing itineraries, suitable for both experienced skiers and beginners. Enjoying the fresh air and fairytale sceneries of the snow-covered taiga, you will easily cover this 18-km route, which goes down practically all the time. Here you are – on the famous Circum-Baikal line, a world-known masterpiece of the railroad architecture dating back to the early 20th century. Built by hand on the hardly accessible Baikal rocks, it is really astonishing. For half a century, the CBL used to connect the Trans-Siberian railroad split by Baikal, but since the construction of the dam on the Angara river it has become a dead end and a popular destination attracting plenty of tourists from all over the world.
Here you will make a stopover for the night at one of the tourist lodges. The coziness of a wooden house and hospitality of the local people will certainly compensate for the absence of modern facilities.
The ice’s thickness reaches 3 m, but even being 50-cm thick it endures the weight of 15 tons, so, it is absolutely safe to travel on it – of, course, if one thoroughly follows the guide’s instructions. In this part of the lake the ice is covered by snow, which makes skiing here easy and pleasant.
In the evening, you will arrive at Slyudyanka settlement in the lake’s south, and the bus will bring you to our downhill skiing mecca – Baikalsk city.
Having covered 160 km you reach Arshan settlement situated at the bottom of towering mountains, and hence always seeming shadowed.
The best way of touring the settlement is walking on foot – thus one can discern some details and nuances of the local life, which are not visible from the bus’s window. You will visit the healing mineral springs (we advise you to take a glass or a plastic bottle with you), the picturesque mountain river Kyngarga, walk in the park of “Arshan” resort with its natural monuments and choose some interesting souvenirs at the amusing local market, where souvenirs are sold alongside with herbs curing nearly all possible illnesses.
Then – a walking tour along the forest road to the ancient Datsan – Buddhist church, where the guide will tell you about its history, specific rules of behaviour in Datsans, and Buddhism in Buryatia Republic.
Upon arrival – a sightseeing tour of the city. You will see the historical centre, the Angara’s embankment and monuments of architecture, history and culture. Excursion to the Znamensky Russian Orthodox convent noted for its splendid iconostasis and graves of the Decembrists on the territory. Upon request – visit to the central market and souvenir store.
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Tour price includes:
- accommodation at hotels and lodges (twin occupancy): 1 night in Listvyanka (room with a private bathroom), 1 night at the Circum-Baikal Railway (room with shared outhouse toilet and banya), 3 nights in Baikalsk (room with shared bathroom), 1 night in Arshan (room with shared bathroom), 1 night in Irkutsk (room with private bathroom);
- meals as per program;
- transfers as per program;
- excursions as per program;
- rent of cross-country skis for a 2-day trip;
- guide’s services for the cross-country skiing trip;
- 2 day ski-passes at “Gora Sobolinaya” downhill skiing resort (Days 4 and 5);
- train ticket from Irkutsk to the start point of the skiing itinerary.
* the tour is led by Russian-speaking guides, guides-interpreters are provided for extra charge upon request
Check-in/out time at hotels is 12:00, earlier check-in and later check-out are charged for according to the hotel’s accommodation rates.