Adventure at the Lake Baikal

"Adventures at the Lake Baikal"
Program:  Irkutsk - Listvianka - Bolshiye Koty - Bolshoye Goloustnoye - Buguldeyka - Tazheran Steppes - Small Sea - Olkhon Island - Irkutsk
Combination of Hiking, sailing, biking and 4WD driving adventures
11 days 10 nights

Day Day's programme Overnight Meals included
1 Day

Arrival in Irkutsk
Meet our guide
Lunch break after landing and arrival into the city
Departure to the lake Baikal, Listvianka settlement (67 km, 1 hour drive)
Visit the museum of Wooden Architecture en route
Arrival to Listvyanka
Touring Listvyanka: visit the Baikal museum with the aquarium with Baikal fish and freshwater seals – Nerpas and St. Nicholas church, Shaman Rock and a Fish Market
At sun set take the ski-lift to the Cherskiy hill for a view on the Circum-Baikal Railroad and the Angara river outlet
Transfer to the hotel for dinner and rest

Hotel in Listvianka LD
2 Day

Breakfast at the hotel
Listvianka - Bolshiye Koty hiking
Today you will hike along Baikal Eco-Trail named Great Baikal Trail* from Listvyanka to Bolshiye Koty
We will transfer all private equipment in large bags and backpacks as well as our camping equipment to the first campsite and we will carry only daypacks and water with snacks for lunch.
The first 4,5 km are quite a difficult route – the trail goes uphill.
The Great Baikal Trail runs first to a tiny village of Bolshie Koty (total length is about18 km, the hike normally takes from 6 to 8 hours depending on the group physical conditions)

Baikal Hiking - 3.jpg

Before reaching Lake Baikal shore the trail serpentines down the hill. This part of the trail takes approximately 30 minutes, but may cause a knee-pain for those who have knee-injuries.
Then the trail runs along the shore of the lake almost horizontally with small altitude fluctuations.
During the hike there are several stops for rest and snacks. Sandwiches, pirozhki, bottled water and tea are provided for lunch.
Overnight in а family-run guest house in Bolshiye Koty village, on the shoreline or in tents

Baikal Hiking - 5 - Koty.jpg           Baikal Hiking - 7 - Koty tents.jpg

Your luggage will be delivered by our motorboat separately and wait for us in the campsite.

Tents or Guest hourse in Bolshiye Koty Village BLD
3 Day

Breakfast at the hotel
Bolshiye Koty - Kadilny Cape hiking
The trail starts with the uphill hike to a must-see-place - the Scriper cliff with the breathtaking view over Baikal

Baikal Hiking - 7 Scripper.jpg           Baikal Hiking - 9 Scripper View.jpg

You will continue hiking along the Great Baikal Trail from towards the Kadilny Cape where the National Park ranger post is situated.
Kadilny Cape is located between Listvianka and Boshoye Goloustnoe settlement. The cape is included into the National Park of Baikal Area and has black color connected with the lime presence. The name os the cape originates from lime mining.
Picnic lunch en route
While on the hike enjoy great views and learn about the local flora and fauna
From our today campsite there is a short hike to an interesting case (appr.1,5km)
Dinner upon arrival

Tents or Guest hourse in Kadilni Cape BLD
4 Day

Breakfast at the hotel
Kadilny cape - Bolshoye Goloustnoye - Buguldeyka hiking
We will continue hiking along the next part of Great Baikal Trail  to Bolshoye Goloustnoye settlement (total length is 18 km, 5-6 hours depending on the group physical conditions).
Bolshoye Goloustnoye is a settlement on the western shore of the Lake Baikal, founded in the 17th century. The name derives from Russian word meaning "bare" that describes the lack of trees on the rocks on the Lake Baikal's western shore. The Goloustnaya River, running through the settlement flows into the lake and forms a large delta, which is one of the best places for the birds' observation.

Baikal Hiking - 11 Goloust.jpg

While on the hike enjoy great views and learn about the local flora and fauna
Picnic lunch en route with sandwiches, pirozhki, bottled water and tea
After completing the hike we will board our private boat and sail to Buguldeyka village
Transfer to hunter homestead in Talovka for dinner and overnight
Today you will be able to enjoy Russian banya before settling off to sleep in fresh bedding

Hunter homestead BLD
5 Day

Breakfast at the hotel
Buguldeyka - Sagaan-Zaba cliff - Tazheran steppes - Small Sea adventures
After breakfast we will visit one of the largest deposits of marble in Russia – These deposits of marble are older than Lake Baikal, they are about 2 billion years old, more than 10 km long and are not very deep. At the moment, the marble quarry is abandoned. The difference of this marble from other deposits is decorative value of stone, smoothness, hardness, whiteness and “softness”.
Then we will continue our journey on SUVs and drive to Sagan-Zaba petroglyphs.

Baikal Hiking - 14 Petrogl.jpg           Baikal Hiking - 13 Petrogl.jpg

Take an 1,5 hour hike to the sacred Sagan-Zaba petroglyphs cliff distance of approximate 2-3 km.\
The petroglyphs of the Aya Bay (Sagan Zaba cliff) were made over 2500 years ago. These pictures mainly feature ancient shamans, birds and animals done by rubbing, cutting–out, plain scratching. The largest figure is 1.2-0.7ft. Here appear two men of "skeleton" type - Shamans as some stags are shown in this manner similar to animal style. Riders and hunters are seldom. The marble cliff, attached to the mountain, since ancient times served as an altar for the shamanists’ offerings. 
Picnic lunch at Sagan-Zaba
Drive through the Siberian taiga to the beautiful delta of the Anga River entering Lake Baikal forming a large green delta.
Drive across the Tazheran steppes to Small Sea area for overnight

Baikal Hiking - 15 Tazheran.jpg           Baikal Hiking - 17 Small Sea.jpg

Tazheransky steppe is a marvel of Siberian nature. Being situated on the shore of a great fresh-water lake the steppe has a variety of dry Mongolian-type landscapes that cover the lands where ancient nomads of Siberia used to live. The steppe is also famous for a number of small slat lakes, mineral exposures, caves and prehistoric man encampments.
Check into the hotel at the Small Sea.
Enjoy dinner.

Hotel at the Small Sea BLD
6 Day

Breakfast at the hotel
Small Sea - Ogoi Island - Olkhon Island
Board our private boat and sail along the Small Sea strait to Ogoi Island* for a nice hike to the very top of the island.
Listen to the story of the white Buddhist stupa and make donation to local spirit.
Ogoy is the largest island in the Maloe More strait of Lake Baikal. It is located between the Cape Shara-Shulun on the west coast of the Olkhon Island and Kurminskiy Bay on the western shore of Lake Baikal. The island is uninhabited.

Baikal Hiking - 20 Ogoi.jpg           Baikal Hiking - 19 Ogoi Stup.jpg

On the top of Ogoi island overlooks a stupa (6.5 meters high) erected by Buddhists in 2005. In Buddhism any stupa incarnates Sumera Mountain that join Earth, Space and Heaven.
The Stupa was given name “KENSAN DECHEN CHORTEN, that is translated as “The Stupa of Great Bliss”. This Stupa was built in 2005 “to provide peace in this world and happiness for all living beings”. This Stupa is considered to be the Stupa of Enlightenment, of Suppressing Demons of the Mind, and it contains the statue (of female form, the Mother of all Buddhas) of the Unique Mother Throma Nagmo, that is the highest base, liberating all living beings by seeing, listening, remembering and touching.

Continue sailing to Olkhon Island.
Olkhon Island the “heart” of Baikal is the biggest island of Baikal. The island is 72 km (45 miles) long and 15 km (9,5 miles) wide with a population of 1500 people. The major occupations are fishing and cattle breeding. The Island's aboriginal people are the Buryats. The "capital" of the island is Khuzhir. Scientists still debate whether "Olkhon" is translated as "little forest" or "dry" as both names fit well. Olkhon is the geographical, historical and spiritual center of Baikal, the heart of many legends and fairy tales and is believed to be the home of many Baikal spirits.
Arrive at Khuzhir settlement - "the Capital" of the island Olkhon

Baikal Hiking - 21 Olkhon.jpg           Baikal Hiking - 22 Olkhon.jpg

Enjoy lunch at a local café
After lunch orientation tour around the village.
Visit the sacred Shaman cape.
Shaman Cape is one of 9 Asian relics and is known as a palace of Heaven’s Gods, tengri, and one of Asia’s most sacred places. This is the most famous of Olkhon capes. The strongest of heavenly tengri (gods) chosen this place to be his home, and people were not allowed to go there. Many years ago people used to cover the hoofs of their horses so as not to disturb the great spirit and master of the rock.

Baikal Hiking - 24 Olkhon Shaman.jpg           Baikal Hiking - 23 Olkhon Shaman.jpg

The rest of the day is free    
Family run Hotel BLD
7 Day

Breakfast at the hotel
Biking around Olkhon Island
Today we enjoy tour on bikes and start exploration with visit to the observation point “Fields camp” to observe panoramic view of the Small Sea area and western side of the Olkhon Island.
Then we ride along trails and roads of the island and have picnic lunch today on a Baikal sandy shore.
Cycle back to Khuzhir settlement

Khuzhir-8 Bike.jpg           Khuzhir-10 Bike.jpg

The rest of the day is free

Family run Hotel BL
8 Day

Breakfast at the hotel
Olkhon Island - Khoboi Cape by 4WD UAZ
Board the 4WD UAZ vans for a full day tour of the Northern Olkhon island.
Our trip today is to the cape Khoboi** with stops at the most beautiful places.
When we arrive at the northern point we will hike to the cape for a great view over the Central Baikal.
Traditional Baikal picnic-lunch on the cape (enjoy the omul fishermen soup cooked on the open fire, traditionally served with vodka, fresh vegetables and bread)
Continue exploration of the island with stops at Sagaan-Khushuun Cape*** and Uzury**** bay.
Dinner at the hotel

Khuzhir-12-Soogon.jpg           Khuzhir-12-Khoboi.jpg

Khoboi cape (from Buryat language «Fang“) is the most northern cape of Olkhon island. From the sea the cape resembles the side face of a woman who is looking afield. Local legend says that it is the petrified Buryat lady who asked the celestials to present her with the better castle than her husband was presented with. For her anger and envy she was fated to be a stone till there would be evil and rancor.

Sagaan-Khushuun cape is located near the famous Khoboi cape, but unlike the nethermost Khoboi capem this cape is a solid rock of pink and white marble. The cape is known as an archeological site with remnants of constructions dating to the V-X centuries A.D.

Uzury bay is the only inhabited bay on the eastern shore of Olkhon island. It has breathtaking view on the open Baikal area and the meteorological station.

    The rest of the day is free

Family run Hotel BLD
9 Day

Breakfast at the hotel
Olkhon Island - Day for Leisure and Optionals
Today is independent day on the Island
Enjoy free time with a number of local activities
Please check all these options with local guide
The village is full of different food places; it is good time to make your own choice to order lunch on your own. 

Family run Hotel B
10 Day

Breakfast at the hotel
Transfer back to Irkutsk
Cross the strait between the mainland and Olkhon Island on the local ferry
Lunch en route in the local café with Buryat cuisine
Arrival to the city
City tour of Irkutsk-: Kazan Cathedral, Visit Church of the Savior, War memorial, Angara river embankment, Cathedral of Our Lady of the Sign, Monument to the Emperor Alexander III on the embankment and Decembrist’s House Museum
Farewell dinner at the local restaurant in Russian style

Hotel in Irkutsk BLD
11 Day

Breakfast at the hotel
Transfer to airport or railway station. 
Good bye, see you soon!