Irkutsk – Listvyanka – Olkhon – Irkutsk
7 days/6 nights
Tour price per person:
The tour program:
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 centre with the number of sights, cafes, hotels and tourists exceeding the number of residents.
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 with an exposition telling about the flora and fauna of Baikal, including aquariums with the lake’s live inhabitants.
Trip by cable road to the Cherskiy Rock observation platforms, which gives a spectacular view of the southern part of Lake Baikal and, if the weather is clear, of the Khamar-Daban mountain range on the opposite shore of the lake.Besides, you may visit the spectacular open-air market, where the locals sell souvenirs alongside with home-made specialities of Baikal fish.
After breakfast you will set off on a trip to Baikal. Your way to the lake 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 Straits 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 putting up at the tourist lodge 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. Optionally – for extra charge – excursion to the local lore museum with an interesting collection of objects representing the everyday life and culture of the islanders.After the long impression-filled day, you will have a sound sleep enhanced by the health-giving atmosphere of a wooden house.
Although Olkhon is just an island, the distances here are quite long, making most of the local excursions last practically the whole day. You will 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, 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 Barguzin 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.
A day at leisure on the island.
Optionally you can visit a real Buryat village (for extra charge), where you will get acquainted with the life, traditions, life of the Buryats, and also taste the national dishes of the Buryat cuisine. Or go to the south of Olkhon (for extra charge).
During stops in the mountains, you can see the Bolshoye and Maloye seas together.
The southern route has three main stops:
1. Observation platform "Polevoy Stan", which offers a picturesque view of the Maloye Sea.
2. Lake Yalga - the largest lake on Olkhon Island. It is surrounded by a picturesque steppe landscape. The lake is separated from the Maloye More by a thin natural sand spit.3. Kurykanskaya wall. Archaeological site of the 7th-8th centuries AD. The stone ritual bowls of the Kurykan culture have survived to this day.
Departure to Ust-Orda settlement – the capital of the Ust-Ordynskiy Buryat Autonomous Okrug. Upon arrival – excursion to the Local Lore Museum with an exposition displaying the history of the peoples who have inhabited the region since the Paleolithic era. Here you will get acquainted with the customs, traditions and beliefs of the Western Buryats as well as with the natural and geographic peculiarities of the area.
Meeting with a real shaman and taking part in an ancient ritual.
Lunch of national Buryat cuisine. Return to Irkutsk.
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.
A week of travel passed unnoticed, but left impressions and memories for several years.Transfer to the airport.
Tour price includes:
- accommodation at hotels and lodges (twin occupancy): 3 nights in Irkutsk (room with private bathroom), 3 nights on Olkhon island (room with private bathroom);
- meals as per program;
- transfers as per program;
- excursions as per program.
*The tour is led by Russian-speaking guides; bilingual guides or 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.