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IRKUTSK –LAKE BAIKAL – OLKHON ISLAND

7 DAYS / 6 NIGHTS

DAY 1
  • Arrival in Irkutsk train station/ airport, transfer to a hotel in Irkutsk for breakfast (buffet style)
  • Transfer to the camping-hotel "Yolochka" (or any otrher hotel on your request)

Camping-Hotel "Yolochka"Camping-hotel is located 21 km away from Irkutsk, in Siberian forest Taiga, on banks of the Angara River. Camping hotel is especially recommended for people who want to enjoy real Siberian nature and fresh air and stay away from crowded places and hectic rhythm of big cities.
In each room of the camping-hotel there is a WC and a shower.

 

  • Check-in, time for rest
  • Lunch
  • Transfer to Irkutsk. City tour.

City tour gives guests an excellent chance to get acquainted with one of the oldest and the most Building of the Easter Siberian Coal Trust in Irkutskbeautiful cities of Eastern Siberia. We will start our excursion in the historical center, where 340 years ago the first village of Irkutsk was founded; we'll see ancient Orthodox churches there, walk along the Bridge of Love (where lovers make their appointments and make wishes for future life) down to the shore of the Angara River. After a short stop in this remarkable place we'll continue our excursion and visit the most important and the biggest Orthodox Church of Siberia - Sign of the Cross convent, which is famous for its ancient one-of-a-kind iconostasis. Intricate patters of frescos on the Convent's walls, ancient icons of orthodox Saints and celestial singing of church-choir will never leave anyone indifferent. Then we'll drive back to downtown along the main streets of Irkutsk, pass by shopping area and finally come to the shore of the Angara River - the only river that flows out of Lake Baikal and brings its crystal waters to the Arctic Ocean. Locals and guests of the city always chose the Angara's embankment for their evening strolls. It's such a picturesque and relaxing place that it never fails to charm its visitors! During our last stop we'll also stop by the monument to the most beloved (for Siberians) Russian Tsar - Alexander III, Museum of Local History and the Governor's House.

  • Dinner at a restaurant in the city (Russian cuisine)
  • Return to the camping-hotel
  • You can spend this evening staying on the picturesque bank of Angara River or walking in the beautiful forest (the camping-hotel's territory)
DAY 2
  • Breakfast
  • Departure for a day tour to Baikal Lake (to Listvyanka Village, 70 km far from Irkutsk).

View to the mouth of the Angara River from aboveLake Baikal is righteously regarded as a unique masterpiece of Nature and respectfully called by locals "Sacred Sea". It's a Lake of Superlatives - the deepest (1 637 m deep), the oldest (35-37 million years old) and contains the biggest number of endemic organisms living in it (3/4 of the total amount). It's worth mentioning also that Baikal is the biggest fresh water reservoir on the Planet and contains 22% of the World's fresh water supplies and 80% Russia's fresh and drinking water.

  • On the way to Baikal we'll visit the open-air museum of wooden architecture "Taltsy",Museum of wooden architecture Taltsy

see ancient Siberian wooden houses dating back to the XVIIth and XVIIIth centuries and make acquaintance with traditions and way of life of Siberians.
After excursion in the museum you can stop by in a small and cozy cafe, called "Siberian Tearoom", and have a cup of hot tea before our trip continues.

  • Stop by Shaman-stone. The guide narrates the old Buryat legend about Baikal Lake, his daughter Angara and Shaman-stone
  • Sightseeing tour of Listvyanka Village (the old wooden Saint-Nicola church, fish and souvenir market)
  • Lunch in a local restaurant (tasting the original Lake Baikal fish - Omul)

Museum of Baikal Flora and FaunaVisit to the museum of Baikal Flora and Fauna. In the museum there is a very interesting exhibition of Baikal's flora and fauna. In museums' aquariums you be able to watch various species of Baikal fish and, certainly, you'll see Nerpa - the most well-known and the only fresh-water seal in the world.

  • Boat trip on Lake Baikal with landing in the old Circum-Baikal Railway
  • Return to Listvyanka and transfer to the camping-hotel
  • Dinner in the restaurant of the camping-hotel
DAY 3
  • Breakfast
  • Check-out and departure to the Olkhon Island (about 5-6 hours on the way)

Island OlkhonThe Olkhon Island is the biggest and the most mysterious island of Lake Baikal. It is 72 kilometers long and 15 kilometers wide. On this small territory you'll see a unique combination of taiga, steppe and even a desert. The island's aboriginal people are Buryats. Olkhon is the geographical, historical and sacred center of Baikal, the heart of many legends and fairy tales and is believed to be the home of many Baikal spirits. Burkhan Cape (Shaman Rock) - known as one of the palaces of Heaven's gods, tengrii, and one of Asia's most sacred places. This is the most famous of Olkhon's capes.

  • Lunch on the way (lunch-box)
  • Arrival to Khuzhir Village - the capital of the Olkhon Island. Accommodation at Nikita Bentcharov's guesthouse in wooden houses (facilities: bio-toilettes on the floor). For dinner hospitable owners of the guesthouse will prepare local dishes for you: fish dishes, Buryat dish "pozy" and fresh vegetables from their own garden.
  • Walking tours:

excursion to the local regional museum, tour to the village and to the Burkhan Cape.

By Nikita's guest-house (for extra payment) you can rent a bicycles and enjoy the beauty of the most distant places of the Island by yourself. Or .. it is possible to arrange a meeting with a local shaman, to take part in ancient ceremonies or book excursions by car or ship. 

DAY 3-6
  • Stay on the Ilsnad, Free time
DAY 6
  • Breakfast
  • Departure back to Irkutsk
  • Check-in in a hotel in Irkutsk, time for rest
  • Lunch in a restaurant
  • Time for shopping (with the guide and bus)
  • Transfer to the hotel. Dinner.
  • Overnight in the hotel
DAY 7
  • Breakfast in the hotel
  • Check-out. Transfer to the railway station or to the airport.
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