During our tour in February in March 2017 we will have pretty "warm" temperatures, reaching the low point at around 14°F/-10°C. While we will be out enjoying the beauty of amazing ice and taking unforgettable photos, nicely heated cars will be waiting for us. It will be an overall excellent and exciting experience and you will be charged with positive emotions from Baikal lake.
1st day Irkutsk – Ogoy – Khuzhir Arrival in Irkutsk in the morning. Meeting with our guide. The journey begins! Beautiful road through Siberian forests, steppes and mountains takes nearly the whole day. This is not just a transfer from Irkutsk to Olkhon Island. This is a fascinating and informative tour to steppes and foothills of Baikal. Your guide will be happy to tell you everything of this region. On the way there are Siberian villages, hairy caws (yaks) that find their food under the snow, stops near "burkhan" – local spiritual offering points, lunch with Buriat (local people) traditional dishes, and of course breathtaking panoramas of Baikal and the Small Sea Straight. Then we will stop before the ice road. Baikal ice is an amazing natural phenomenon, absolutely different from the ice you have seen before. The ice is formed late - In January in the south, the northern part of the lake is covered with ice earlier. Later, as a result of wind, temperature differences, frosts, currents, hot springs and the sun numerous cracks and ice-hummocks are formed. It is possible to walk on the ice, to skate on it, to ride a bicycle or even a motorbike – there is huge variety of possibilities. All this types of Baikal activities are exciting, but we offer the most interesting and comfortable way – ice tour by 4WD cars. We will be moving along the Small Sea Strait, observing different icy caves and grottos. On the way to Khuzhir – the "capital" of Olkhon island we will visit Ogoy island – a sacred island with Buddhist Stuppa on its top. We will arrive to Khuzhir late in the evening after meeting startling sunset. Dinner will be served at a guest house we will stay for a night.
2nd day Khuzhir – Khoby Cape – Cape Rytyi –– Zavorotnaya In the morning we will continue the journey to the north. From Khuzhir we will continue our way to the Sagan Khushun (Three Brothers) rocks – a very picturesque place where you we take plenty of unforgettable photos. Our guide will tell you interesting legends about this place and Baikal. The next item on the program is the northernmost tip of Olkhon – Khoboy Cape. From this point there will be an opportunity to observe the Small Sea Strait, opposite mountain ridges with snow caps and endless open Baikal – you will understand why the first Russians who came here called Baikal not a lake, but a sea. After a stop for a lunch – it will be served directly on ice - we continue our way. Crossing the Small Sea and will move to the most mysterious and enigmatic place on Lake Baikal - the Cape Ryty (Pitted). A huge, treeless gravel array juts out far into the lake. This place is considered as a holly place. Let us stop and get out on its shore. Next will drive to the weather station "Sunny" on the way. Here the scientists of Irkutsk hydro-meteorological center perform year-round weather observations. We will make ashort stop in Zavorotnaya - in Soviet times many geological expedition were working here and discovered an unique mineral - miroquartzite. Now there are only 3 people here – a ranger Vladimir with his dogs and a married couple. We will stay here in a guest house.
3rd day Zavorotnaya – Kotelnikovsky Cape After breakfast we will continue our ice adventure. From Zavorotnaya you will see Northern Baikal in full extent of its power. It's possible to see sharp-edged mountains from both sides of the lake. Their snow-capped peaks rise as impregnable bastions and transparent ice reflects their greatness in the morning and the sunset colors. Silence, the absence of people and untouched nature will be your companions. In the rare places on the coast lonely houses can be distinguished. Yes, there are still hidden corners of nature and you have the opportunity to visit them! In the second part of a day we will reach Kotelnikovsky Cape. The cape is situated on the western shore of the lake, 80 km from the Severobaikalsk city. Kotelnikovsky Cape is famous for its hot spring, which is the only one on the western shore and the hottest one. The water temperature attains +81ºС. It is good for taking a bath but not good for drinking as it is high in fluorine. There is a sanatorium on Kotelnikovsky Cape. We will stay here for one night.
4th day Kotelnikovsky –Khakusi Today we will cross the northern basin of Lake Baikal. Majestic mountain views will be following us all the way. And straight ahead, at their base, it is one of the most amazing places – Khakusi thermal springs. The water temperature in the baths is up to + 47C! On the way we will have our lunch straight on ice! Upon arrival accommodation in the guest cottage and swimming in the springs. Dinner will be served in the evening.
5th day Free day in Khakusi This place not so easy to get to, only the true fans of wildlife can afford to visit these places. Therefore, the area around is in the original form in which it was created Mother Nature. Pristine taiga forests, untouched by man lake beaches – you will enjoy all of it. And the air ... This you will not find anywhere else. The nearest town is on the other side of the lake (more than 40 km), You can fully enjoy the peace and power of this place walking on amazing ice and taking hot natural spring baths.
6th day Khakusi – Severobaikalsk / Khakusi - Irkuts We offer you two opportunities for you – we can deliver you to Severobaikals town (54 km) – from where you can take a train and continue your journey by Trans-Siberian Railroad or you can prolong ice travelling and return to Irkutsk by the ice road. ________________________________________________________________________________
Necessary equipment: The ice on Lake Baikal requires good equipment. Although day time temperatures during the trip are -10 - -13 C, in the evenings it is still cold and the temperature can reach -20 - -25 C. During the day the sun rays are reflected from the surface of the ice warming up the air and creating comfortable environment for being outside. Particular attention should be paid to the boots. Best suited winter sport boots are with soft rubber soles - it does not slip on the ice. Take two pairs of winter trekking socks and warm woolen socks as well. In street clothes, follow the three-layer principle - thermal underwear on average activity, and then set fleece top and windproof jacket (with hood) and pants with membrane. Also take warm windproof mittens or gloves and a windproof cap. A ski suit is the most suitable top layer. Do not forget sunglasses and sunscreen - the spring sun is very bright! Other equipment: - Backpack or hand bag - Private hygiene items -Individual First Aid Kit. - Photo camera
We had limited time in Irkutsk and I can't think of a better way to see Listvyanka. In one day we managed to see monuments and cathedrals in Irkutsk, drive to Listvyanka, hike to a beautiful vista (lift also available), see the Baikal museum, fish market, walk along the beaches, and see Shaman rock. Dasha's knowledge of history and geology gave us a better understanding of the region. I hope to see more of Baikal someday.
The Baikal tour was a wonderful experience, the natural beauty of area and the scenery amazed us. Dasha was very experienced with respect to the history of the area and natural environment. The tour was extremely well organized and flexible enough to accommodate different tastes, interests and levels of fitness. We will return once again, perhaps in the winter to experience the difference of seasons. Thanks the guide and the team for such a wonderful trip!
Daril and Olive
The scenery was very beautiful, the food was good, people were very nice. Dasha was very knoledgeble about everything! I love Baikal and Russia.
Maison J Kooley
Alexander and Dasha picked us up right in front of our hostels. All i can tell you guys is that you've come to the right website. -Professiona & friendlys guides -Best service -Nice driving skill Worthy experience
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