Join a tour to Baikal Lake in July- August 2017
You are welcome to join our on-going tour "Trekking along the shoreline of Baikal lake" and "Trekking to Cherskiy Peak" from 29 July 2017 till 6 August 2017!
The program is below:
Day 1. (24.07.17). Arrival Day.
Day 2. (25.07.17) Transfer to Olkhon island, excursion to Burkhan cape
10.00 - Transfer to Olkhon Island – the biggest island on Baikal lake by public mini-bus. It takes about 6 -7 hours to cover the distance of 300 km. Our way runs partly through the forest, flowering meadows, little villages on both sides of the road. You can stop for some special local ritual of worshipping the local spirits. You’ll have a lunch stop on the way in one of the road cafes. For lunch you can try traditional Buryat dish – Pozy (Boozy). When you arrive to Small sea – part of Baikal which is separated from main part by Olkhon Island from one side and Primorskiy mountain range from another – you’ll cross Olkhon Gates Strait by a ferry. The other car will be waiting for you on the opposite shore, in order not to wait in line for the ferry. 40 minutes ride will bring you to the central village of the island – Khuzhir. Accommodation in a hotel, shower and toilet inside. In the evening you may walk to Burkhan rock which is right at the shore of Baikal. According to a legend this is a castle of the main spirit of Olkhon. It is one of 9 sanctuaries of Asia, center of shaman cult. It is highly respected among native people and shamans. Dinner. (-, L, D).
Late breakfast. After breakfast you’ll have trekking on Olkhon island. (possible to rent bikes and go by bikes). You’ll start from the village, walk to Burkhan cape on the shore of Baikal and then continue trekking north along the Saraiskiy bay – a sandy bay which stretches for about 3 km along the shoreline of Baikal. Then you’ll trek in the forest and have lunch as a picnic on the way. Some trees have very funny shapes of the branches which is special to Olkhon due to the winds and its climate. Lunch as a picnic. Return to Khuzhir. Time at leisure, sightseeing the village. Possible to visit an art-gallery or local museum, or rent bikes for some time. You can buy different Baikal souvenirs at the souvenir yurts which stand at different places on the main street of Khuzhir or in the art gallery. In the evening you may enjoy Russian Banya – a kind of steam sauna which will make you clean and relaxed. Dinner and overnight at the hotel. (B, L, D. )
Note: if you want you can rent bikes on this day and go biking (not included, extra cost)
Day 4. (27.07.17). Excursion to the north of the island – Khoboy by UAZ car
Breakfast at the hotel. Today you’ll visit the most picturesque sights of Olkhon island as you are going to excursion to the northern part – Khoboy cape. The best transport on Olkhon is Russian 4WD – UAZ car, as it is optimal for off road in the forest. Before you reach Khoboy you’ll have several stops on the way to admire the beauty of local landscape. The most popular are: Sandy bay where Gulag camp used to be, Three Brothers cape with 3 separate steep rocks rising from the water. Khoboy Cape (from Buryat language it means “fang, tooth”) – is the most northern point of Olkhon Island. It is also called a “lady” rock. You’ll understand why it is so when you come to this place from waterside while being on cruise. It is spectacular rock which is located near the widest place at Baikal – 79,5 km. Lunch will be served for you as a picnic in the forest. You’ll try a fish soup made from Baikal water and local fish – Omul. Before returning back to Khuzhir we’ll make a stop in one more place – Uzury. Return to the hotel in the evening. Dinner, overnight. (B, L, D.)
Day 5 . (28.07.17). Transfer Olkhon – Irkutsk. Museum of Oust-Orda, shaman
After breakfast you’ll have transfer to Irkutsk. It takes about 6 hours to get back. It is always little sad to leave this island. Some people make a wish and ask the spirits give them a possibility to come back here, and some will carefully keep in their hearts and minds the memories and feelings which this island presents to everyone who is clear in thoughts, kind to nature and open-hearted. Lunch on the way at the road café with tasting the local cuisine. On the way you will have a stop in Oust-Orda museum of regional studies which will give you an idea about life of local people – Buryats. Possible meeting with local shaman. Accommodation at the homestay/hostel (double room). Dinner is free in any restaurant of your choice. (B, L, -).
Day 6. (29.07.17). Irkutsk – Listvyanka. Taltsy museum, Sightseeing Listvyanka, start of the trekking.
After breakfast at 10.00 you’ll have a ride to Listvyanka. The name of the village comes from the Larch trees – Listvennitza, which are widely spread on the near-by mountains. It is possible to visit the open air Siberian Wooden Architecture Museum “Taltsy” where you can see the Cossack’s houses (so called “izba”) and wooden orthodox churches, Evenk and Bouriate gers...).
Short stop near the Shaman Rock where you’ll be told a beautiful local legend about Angara and Shaman rock. After arrival to Listvyanka you may have an excursion to Baikal museum with the nerpa (Baikal seal) and fish aquarium and get useful information about Baikal formation and its flora and fauna (optional, not included). You will visit the Cherskiy rock by a ski lift with a nice view to Port Baikal, part of Circum-Baikal line and Angara river from the top. Also you will visit the central square where you can find freshly smoked Baikal fish – Omul or buy some Baikal souvenirs. Start of the trekking at the second part of the day. Lunch on the way. The first part of the trekking goes over the hill overtaking the most steep and rocky places. Then the route goes down to Baikal where you may set up the tent camp in some bay. Dinner will be prepared for you over campfire. You’ll enjoy the night sky and listen to the waves splashing on the shore. Overnight in tents. (B, L, D.)
Day 7. (30.07.17). Trekking to Bolshie Koty village.
After breakfast you’ll continue trekking to Bolshie Koty village – an old Russian village which was founded here at Siberian Gold Rush time. There are only about 40 locals who live there all year around, others come here only in summer. Total distance is about 15 km. Lunch will be cooked for you on the way over the campfire. Any your help of making the fire or cooking is welcoming. If the weather permits and you are brave enough you may try swimming in the clear Baikal water. Accommodation in guest house. Dinner. (B,L,D.)
Day 8. (31.07.17). Trekking to the top Screeper Rock, speed boat Bolshie Koty – Listvyanka
After breakfast with light backpacks we will continue trekking along the shoreline. Today your route climbs to the top of the cliff which has a name – Screeper. It is about 7km away from Bolshie Koty village. This cliff has unique geological structure very rare at Baikal region - Yurk conglomerate. It is made of sandy rock with shingle. Going up is long and steep, but a stunning view at the top will be a worth reward to you! From the top of the cliff you’ll see fantastic view of the vast expanses of the Lake and transparent turquoise colored waters of Baikal, as well as near-by village – Bolshie Koty from where we started. Return to Bolshie Koty village and at 18.00 you’ll catch a speed boat which will bring you to Listvyanka. (about 1 hour ride). Accommodation in wooden chalet. Dinner, overnight. (B, L, D).
Day 9. (01.08.17) By train (or by boat as an option) along the Circum-Baikal railway. Trekking
At 9.00 the ferry to Port Baikal leaves form the pier. (Причал Баржа). Morning ferry from Listvyanka to Port Baikal where the train starts along the Circum-Baikal railway. The Circum-Baikal is not just a railway, but a unique museum of history and nature. You will pass through historically important villages on the way, which gives you a chance to walk around and take beautiful pictures of the monuments of engineering, architecture and nature. The guide will take you through the longest tunnel on the railway; will show you the water pump towers that used to pump water for the steam train. Lunch on the way. A train (or boat) will leave you at some part of Circum-Baikal railway (at around Polovinka station) and you will continue trekking along the railway. In the evening you will set up a camp. Dinner. Overnight in tents. (B, L, D).
Day 10. (02.08.17). Trekking to Angasolka village.
After you meet sunrise on the shore and have breakfast we’ll continue trekking along the Circum-Baikal railway. For the transcendental building expenses this part was named “Golden Buckle of Russian steel belt”. There are lots of bridges, tunnels, walls and other constructions on this railroad branch, everything is hand-made from stones with big art. For the present moment this part of Transsib is not included into general railroad line and this fact turns it into a museum. Lunch stop at shore of Baikal lake. When you reach old Russian village Angasolka on the shore of Baikal you will visit the museum of Roerich. Accommodation in tent. Dinner. Overnight. (B, L, D)
Day 11. (03.08.17). Train to Sludyanka. Start trekking to Khamar-Daban mountains.
Late breakfast. After breakfast you will have trekking along the valley to the nearest station on main Transsinb line – Temnaya pad. At about 12.00 catch a train to Sludyanka village. Upon arrival to Sludyanka you will start trekking to the Kamar-Daban mountains, away from the shore of Baikal. The hiking route goes along the old geological road which was built there for the reason of extracting very rare Baikal mineral – Lazurite. The road was build at 1960-s and now it’s possible to drive there only by huge military trucks. (Possible to rent a car to bring your luggage to 7 km along this road). We will cross the river several times by wooden bridges. The route is very picturesque: skin flowers, green slopes, crystal-clear running water near-by. It is possible to swim in the mountainous river in the hot day. This area has very high humidity of the air and this makes green moss grow on the stones, ground and trees. Tonight we will set up tent camp in the picturesque meadow among the evergreen cedar tree forest. If the group is in good physical condition it is possible to reach meteostation at the altitude of 1400 meters and spend the night either at the warm houses or tents (depending on your demand). Dinner will be prepared for you there. Overnight in wooden houses at meteostation. (kind of hostel, you love with your guide and may be other people. Sanitary facilities outside). Trekking distance is about 20 km.
Day 12. (04.08.17). Trekking to the summit of Cherskiy peak.
After breakfast we will start trekking up to the serpentine to end of the forest zone. Small trail runs through Taiga forest with huge and old cedar trees, some of them are probably more than 300 years old. After a while, we’ll get to the Alpine meadows – usually flowering all summer period. Then the trail will bring us to the mountain rib above forest zone, where we will continue hiking to the summit of peak Cherskogo (2090 m) – highest mount of this area. The From the summit you can observe the southern extremity of Baikal Lake and Lake Heart (it has the shape of heart). It is believed that if you come here with the person you like, it will make your love stronger. On a clear day you can see even rocky Sayan mountains on the horizontal line. Returning back to the meteostation or a campsite. Banya. Overnight: Wooden house. Total trek distance for this day is 20 km. (B, L, D).
Day 13. (05.08.17). Visiting the cascade of waterfalls. Banya
Today after breakfast we’ll go to visit the waterfalls on the Podkomarnaya river. One of the waterfalls you can see and hear right from the place where we camp. The route goes through the forest, sometimes on the boulders (fallen stones), over the slopes. In June this place is all covered with a carpet of light yellow flowers, sometimes with wild garlic. Lunch will be prepared for you near one of the waterfalls. Enjoy swimming in the sparkling waterfalls on a hot day. It is refreshing and energizing! Returning back to the camp. Dinner, resting time. In autumn it is a luxury place for berry lovers. You may lay down in the meadow and eat the berries right in front of you. It is mostly sweet blueberries and mountain cranberries. Foreign tourists love making compote with these gifts of nature and herbs. Banya in the evening. Overnight: Tent camp/Wooden house. Total trek distance for this day is 15 km. (B, L, D).
Day 14. (06.08.17). Trekking back to Slyudyanka village. Night train Sludyanka – Ulan-Ude
Today in the morning after breakfast we will pick up all our camping equipment and start hiking down to Sludjanka city. Usually it takes about 6-7 hours to go back. The way back is always easier and seems shorter. Lunch will be prepared for you on the route. After you arrive to Sludyanka you will have some rest and may visit the local museum of minerals. Dinner in any cafe on your choice. At about 11pm you will board on Transsiberian train Sludyanka – Ulan Ude. Night in train. Once full compartment. (B, L, D).