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Winter Programms

Winter BaikalSiberia  in winter is a Fairy tale.…  it's hard to find a proper word to describe all the winter beauty and might of this tremendous land! Winter air is fresh and still, pristine Taiga forest stretches far beyond the horizon and ice-covered Baikal shimmers in the sun.

Winter tours at Baikal are for those who prefer adventures and want to get some rest from hustle and bustle of life.Image

Many people who were at Baikal in summer want to come back in winter.  There are a lot of travel-opportunities at Baikal in winter.  When the Lake gets frozen, remote areas become accessible and one can travel for days on this immense ice floe on skies, in dog sledges, by snowmobiles, ATVs (All Terrain Vehicle), by airbag boats or on foot.

   It's all up to your preferences!

Dog-sled sliding trips

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Just imagine yourself traveling through age-old forests, across frozen Baikal, and over snow-covered trails behind a team of dogs running fast and far. Only the whisper of wind in the pines and the rhythmic patter of paws packing snow break the silence in the winter woods - quite a contrast from the normal hustle of everyday life!

You'll definitely have a great journey in the picturesque and mysterious Siberia when the sled is pulled by Imagea team of hearty Husky sled dogs who are having as much fun as you are! They love people, and they love to run and pull.

Once you try it, you'll find that dog sledding is a great experience. Every trip is unique, and since there are many different routes, the opportunities for adventure are endless!

Irkutsk Travel Bureau "Sputnik" is glad to offer you dog-sleding tours of various duration and level of complexity.

Tours by hydrofoil boats (= airbag boats Khivus)

Khivus is a hovercraft boat able to travel across Baikal ice with the speed up to 100 km/h.

Hovercraft boat

It is a very safe vehicle, which is intended for all-the-year-round exploitation. It feels well equally on water and on ice, and it is capable to move across gullies, cracks and shallows, flat coastal slopes, and it can move on shoal, deep snow and bogs. Tours by khivus either can go alone or  can easily be combined with any other type of winter activities such as dog-sledding, ATV tours or ice-fishing (tours are on request).

Fresh winter air, fascinating Baikal views and high-speed ride along transparent ice will definitely raise up level of adrenaline in your blood!

Khivus BoatImageImageImage

 

 

 

 

Adventure tours by snowmobiles (ATV tours)

Snowmobile-trips give an excellent chance to get to the most distant (and most beautiful!) spots of Baikal withing a much shorter period of time.

ATV can travel easily both along asphalt roads and through the Taiga forest, along smooth ice floe of Baikal and through deep virgin Imagesnow-fields of the mainland.  In straight and more or less smooth sections of the route ATV can reach the speed of 100 km (!). When crossing cracks in Baikal ice (which can be up to 1 m wide) or when moving through the forest area, the speed is certainly much lower (30-40 km/h), but impressions after such a ride will never make you feel indifferent!  

Duration and the route of the snowmobile trip can be modified in accordance with all of your preferences: from 1-hour ride to more prolonged tours.

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Dog-sled sliding tour to "Black Valley" with overnight in "Gold-miners' lodge"

Duration: 2 days, 1 night

Period: December – March

Maximum number of guests: 4

Safety: accompaniment of an experienced mush on a snowmobile, satellite mobile connection

Day 1

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Arrival to the dog-farm in Listvyanka Village.

Meeting with instructors and dogs. Briefing about safety rules and rules of how to behave while riding a sledge.

Riding a sledge does not demand any special skills, but at first it might be a bit difficult to stand in the sledge and keep the balance. But it all comes with the time … and after a few minutes of the ride you will definitely feel more confident.

15:00 p.m. – Beginning of the sledging tour through the Taiga forest and over the "Black" mountainous pass.

Arrival in "Gold-miners' lodge" before darkness.

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Upon arrival, at first, we'll set a camp for dogs for overnight. Afterwards, it's possible to walk along the ice of Baikal to the near-by village "Bolshie Koty" and enjoy your stay in this small Russian settlement, which was founded during the Gold Rush .

Visit to Russian Banya will be arranged for guests in the evening. After warming up in banya the guests can deep into the ice-hole. 

Dinner.

Overnight in the "Gold-miners' lodge" (rooms are very basic and simple).

Day 2

09:00 a.m. Breakfast

Departure back to Listvyanka

Arrival to the dog-farm in Listvyanka at round 12:00/13:00 p.m.

Price:

Pax

1

2

3

4

Price (p/p)

468 Euro

446 Euro

428 Euro

408 Euro

Price includes:

  • meals in accordance with the program
  • accommodation in twin rooms (toilet is outside) in "Gold-miners' lodge"
  • Russian banya
  • Rent of the dog-sledge and equipment
  • Assistance of a mush

Price does not include: services of the English-speaking mush – 65 Euro per day

Sledging over the ice of BaikalDog-sled sliding tour to the Circum Baikal Loop

During this tour we'll travel along the ice!

Baikal ice is a special phenomenon – it's very thick up to 1.5 meters and absolutely transparent.

Crystal clear ice under your feet, shimmer of snowy-peaked Sayan mountains and frosty almost tangible winter air will surround you. Only the rhythmic patter of paws packing snow and your breathing break the silence in this winter tale. Such a once-in-a-life experience will always stay in your memory!

Duration: 2 days, 1 night

Distance covered over the ice of Baikal: 20 km

Period: February – March

Maximum number of guests: 4

Safety: accompaniment of an experienced mush on a snowmobile, satellite mobile connection

Program:

Day 1
  • Arrival to the dog-farm in Listvyanka Village.
  • Meeting with instructors and dogs. Briefing about safety rules and rules of how to behave while riding a sledge.
  • 15:00/16:00 p.m. – Beginning of the sledging tour along the Baikal ice in direction of Circum Baikal Loop.

Circum Baikal Loop in winter

Baikal Loop is one of oldest and most beautiful parts of the Trans Siberian Railway. It's righteously regarded "The Golden Buckle of Russian Railway"

At present the Circum Baikal Railway constitutes an integrated historical, architectural and engineering-landscape monument of federal significance.

Thanks to brilliant feat of labor and engineering accomplished by the builders, its structures harmoniously fit with Baikal's harsh and vulnerable landscape.

Frozen BaikalBaikal in winter seems to be huge and invincible. It's enchanting its guests with its might. Winds blow over Baikal sweeping the snow out of it. And transparent ice seems to be crinkling…

  • Arrival in the tourist camp, which borders on Baikal, from one side, and with the Circum Railway, on the other. Accommodation in warm and cozy wooden huts.
  • Dinner in the camp.
  • Russian steam Banya will help the guests to get warm after their long trip and relax in the coziness of the camp.
  • Overnight in the camp.

Distance covered within the day is 10 km.

ImageOvernight en routeImageImage

 

 

 

 

Day 2
  • Breakfast in the camp... and a meal for dogs, too! The guests can participate in feeding the dogs.
  • Afterwards, we pack our bags, gear up the sledge and head back to Listvyanka. 
  • The way back home is always faster and easier.. even the dogs seem to pull faster as if anticipation return back to home.  

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Distance covered within the day is 10 km.

Notes:

1. all the distances indicated in the program are approximate. Matter-of-fact distance can be up to 15-20% more due to the fact that during the way we should overtake ice hummocks and bypass cracks in the ice.

2. Guests are actively involved in the tour: help cooking, set a dog camp for overnight and get the dogs "properly dressed " (breastbands, felt slippers for dogs, harnesses, etc )

 

 Prices:

Pax

1

2

3

4

Price (p/p)

403 Euro

388 Euro

372 Euro

354 Euro

Price includes:

  • rent of a dog-sledge and equipment (warm coat and trousers)
  • services of a musher on a snowmobile
  • meals in accordance with the program (D1 – dinner, D2 – breakfast)
  • accommodation in the tourist camp
  • Russian banya

Price does not include: services of the English-speaking mush – 65 Euro per day

Dog farm in Listvyanka Village

1-day dog sled sliding tour to "Black Valley" with a picnic

 

 

Period: November – End of March

 

Program:
  • Arrival to the dog-farm in Listvyanka Village.
  • Meeting with instructors and dogs. Briefing about safety rules and rules of how to behave while riding a sledge.
  • 11:30 p.m. Beginning of the tour through Krestovaya Valley.

Passing through Krestovaya ValleyKrestovaya Pad Valley is the biggest open part of Listvyanka Village. River of the same name "Krestovaya" is crossing the valley on its way to Baikal.

Krestovaya Valley is characterized by a great variety of landscapes: the forest, river, swampy areas, haylands and a lot of mountainous slopes… A fairytale-like nature and fresh frosty air will only add positive emotions to your trip.

At the starting point of our trip dogs pull the sledge with a maximum speed. Therefore, at first the guest is sitting in the sledge and a musher is standing behind.  En route the musher and the guest can swap places.

Dogs can also smile)))The point of our today's destination is a mountainous pass called "Black". Stops en route for photos. Upon arrival to the Black Pass the guests make a halt for lunch and wanderings in the surrounding areas.

  • Lunch will be arranged in a traditional Russian way: Russian pelemeni, sauerkraut and other pickles, tea with Siberian herbs and sweets.
  • After lunch we head back to Listvyanka to the dog-farm.
  • Arrival to Listvyanka village at round 16:30 p.m. 

Notes: from mid February till end of March the dog-sledding tour can be arranged along the ice of Baikal. Please, discuss it with the manager beforehand.

Rates:

1 Sledge (1 guest + 1 musher)

385 Euro

 The price includes:

  • rent of a dog-sledge and equipment (warm coat and trousers)
  • services of a musher
  • lunch cooked on open fire

Waiting for a start

    Short tours by dog-sledges

    Period:

    End of October – end of March /

    beginning of April (depends on weather conditions)

     

    Price
    Distance ≈ 5 km ≈ 10 km ≈ 20 km 20 km + picnic
    Description Duration:  09 – 20 min (depending on weather conditions and daypart) Duration:  25 –  40 min (depending on weather conditions and daypart) Duration: 50 min – 1.20 hrs (depending on weather conditions and daypart) Duration: 3 hrs
    Per person, Euro

    43 Euro

    75 Euro

    150 Euro

    163 Euro

    Recommendations:

    • it is always recommended to have warm clothes – mittens (not gloves), warm boots which do not skid, scarf or mask to cover the face, hat.
    • Guests, who would like to have a fast ride, should arrange their sled-tours in the first half of the day (11:00 – 14:00 p.m.), trips after noon are for those who prefer a slower ride

     

    Tours by hydrofoil boats (= airbag boats Khivus)Hovercraft boat

    Khivus is a hovercraft boat able to travel across Baikal ice with the speed up to 100 km/h.

    It is a very safe vehicle, which is intended for all-the-year-round exploitation. It feels well equally on water and on ice, and it is capable to move across gullies, cracks and shallows, flat coastal slopes, and it can move on shoal, deep snow and bogs. Tours by khivus either can go alone or  can easily be combined with any other type of winter activities such as dog-sledding, ATV tours or ice-fishing (tours are on request).

    Fresh winter air, fascinating Baikal views and high-speed ride along transparent ice will definitely raise up level of adrenaline in your blood!

    Khivus BoatImageImageImage

     

     

    One day tour with snow mobiles through the Pristine Taiga ForestsTours with snowmobiles at Lake Baikal

    Duration: 6-7 hours

    Period: December – March

    Route: Listvyanka Village → Black Valley → Listvyanka Village 

    Program:

    • Arrival to the snowmobile camp in Listvyanka
    • Acquaintance with instructors, briefing about safety rules and discussion of the program
    • Beginning of the tour. At first, the route runs along the Taiga forest path through Krestovaya Valley. 

    Krestovaya Valley is the biggest open part of Listvyanka Village. River of the same name "Krestovaya" is crossing the valley on its way to Baikal.

    Krestovaya Valley is characterized by a great variety of landscapes: forest, river, swampy areas, haylands and a lot of mountainous slopes… Nature like in a fairytale and fresh frosty air will only add positive emotions to your trip.

    • The point of today’s destination is a mountainous pass called "Black".  Crossing the “Black” pass is a real challenge and a perfect opportunity to try the off-road passing abilities of snow-mobiles.
    • Stops en route for photos.
    • Upon arrival to the Black Pass the guests can make a halt for lunch and walk in the surrounding countryside.
    • Trip back to Listvyanka Village. The way back might be arranged along the same route or along the ice of Baikal (depending on weather conditions).
    • Arrival to Listvyanka village at round 16:30 p.m. End of the tour

    Notes: Frozen Baikal

    Clients should have warm cloths (hat, coat, trousers, socks, mittens, thermo-underwear and shoes, which do not skid) and should be ready (psychologically-ready) to stay in the cold for 6-7 hours.

    Transport:

    Snowmobile Arctic Cat Bearcat 750 – a snowmobile of enhanced off-road passing ability, which is well-suitable for long-distance trips.

    Price:

    250 Euro for 1 snowmobile (1 or 2 passengers)

    Price includes:

    • rent of 1 snowmobile
    • services of instructor, who follows the clients on the 2nd snowmobile
    • rent of equipment

    Price does not include:

    • transfer to/from Listvyanka
    • lunch (from 15 Euro per person)

    Ice of Baikal

    The tour is not very complicated, but very impressive and intensive!

    During the tour guests can see the most picturesque spots of the Old Russian Railway, which is famous for its tunnels and bridges built in the end of the XIXth century.

     

    Duration: 6-7 hours

    Period: February – March

    Route: Listvyanka Village → Berezovyj (Birch-Tree) Cape → Listvyanka Village  

    Program:

    • 11:00 arrival to the snowmobile camp in ListvyankaImage
    • Acquaintance with instructors, briefing about safety rules and discussion of the program.
    • Instructors explain some peculiarities of riding a snowmobile along the ice-floe of Baikal
    • Beginning of the ride along the ice to the opposite shore of the Lake. Not only the tunnels, but also the ice-road itself is worthy of trying.

    On the way to the tunnels of the Old Railway clients will have an opportunity to bypass ice-cracks and snowdrifts, which will definitely raise up the level of adrenaline!  

    • Moving eastwards to Port Baikal and then along the Circum Baikal Railroad. Visit of the tunnels, bridges and supporting walls of the Old Railroad
    • Stops for photos and for a short snack en route
    • After lunch – trip back to Listvyanka. On the way back it’s possible to see grottos and hummocks on the ice of Baikal, which are really impressive in their size and form!
    • At 17:00-18:00 p.m. arrival in Listvyanka. End of the tour.

    Important to know:

    Image

    - Snowmobile trips are highly intensive. It’s necessary to keep in mind that driving along the ice involves some certain risks. Clients should always follow instructors’ advice and drive only along the recommended route.   

    - Long stay in the cold can be convenient only in case of proper outfit. We provide warm trousers and a coat. Clients should have their own basic clothes: thermo-underwear, warm coat, socks, warm hat under the helmet, mittens and shoes, which do not skid

    - Clients should be psychologically-ready to stay in the cold for 6-7 hours

     

    Transport:

    Snowmobile Arctic Cat Bearcat 750 – a snowmobile of enhanced off-road passing ability, which is well-suitable for long-distance trips.

    Price:

    250 Euro for 1 snowmobile (1 or 2 passengers)

    Price includes:

    • rent of 1 snowmobile
    • services of instructor, who follows the clients on the 2nd snowmobile
    • rent of equipment

    Price does not include:

    • transfer to/from Listvyanka
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