Irkutsk – Bolshoye Goloustnoye – trekking along Lake Baikal – Bol’shye Koty (~ 54 km/3 days) – Listvyanka –Irkutsk
7 days/ 6 nights
Tour price per person:
The tour program:
We offer you to begin your trip with the capital of Eastern Siberia – ancient city Irkutsk. Touring the city you will see the historical centre, the embankment of the Angara river, Ferris Wheel, monuments of architecture and Znamenskiy Russian Orthodox convent with one of the most beautiful Siberian cathedrals noted for its iconostasis and graves on the territory (graves of the Decembrists, Gregory Shelikhov – the Russian Christopher Columbus and others). After the sightseeing, you will have a chance to buy some original presents at a souvenir store or an antique shop.
Besides, it is worthwhile visiting one of the city’s museums (for extra charge): Local Lore Museum – one of the oldest in Russia, Art gallery with a marvelous collection of pieces of art, or the Decembrists’ museum telling about the revolt of the 14 December, 1825, its participants and their life in the Siberian exile.
Today we part with the city fuss and head for Baikal. The gorgeous glades amongst the austere taiga and beautiful bushy banks of the Goloustnaya river will make a 100-km transfer by an unpaved country road a pleasure.
The Goloustnaya river’s delta astonishes by the vast space, which it has conquered from the woodland and adjacent cliffs, and the village – by its man-made coziness and modesty against the background of the nature’s tempestuous forces.
After setting up tents we offer you to walk around the scenic outskirts. During a radial hike by the ecological path you will visit some local attractions: Sukhoye (Dry) lake with healing, pure spring water, relict poplar grove and valleys concealed between mountains, where the alpine vegetation uniquely combines with the flora and fauna of the Siberian taiga and rocks. Majestic cedars and dazzling brightness of the taiga flowers will hardly leave anyone indifferent.
Today you will set off on a trekking trip towards Bolshaya Kadilnaya valley located on the headland of the same name. This is a warm-up day, which will let you get used to the trekking rhythm, stunning beauty of the taiga forest and the lake beside, and spend much time taking pictures.
On the way, those fond of spelunking may drop into one of the caves of Malaya Kadilnaya valley. All the rest may contemplate the white “turrets” of the valley’s northern slope.
Here, at Bolshoy Kadilniy headland the Pribaikalsky National park’s cordon is located. There are some cabins of the old tourist lodge and banya (Russian steam-bath) facing Baikal so that one may plunge into the lake after having a good steam.
It is quite windy on the bald cape, so for the overnight you will need to withdraw to the forest edge.
Today you will have an easy hike by a forest path to Bolshiye Koty village. The path goes over the “Devil’s Bridge” on Sobolev cape, sand and pebble mass of Mt. Skripper, and abandoned gold mines in Sennaya valley. The major part of the path goes along the very shoreline, at times coming close to the water.
A day at leisure. Bolshie Koty - a former mining settlement. The surrounding area has traces of gold mining; for example, you can see artificial lakes and piles of rock inside the Bolshie Koty valley. In the summer, students from the Biology and Soil Science departments at Irkutsk State University come to conduct their practicum.
You are welcome to choose entertainments to your taste with your guide:
The Museum of Baikal in Bolshie Koty (for extra charge). Grebeshok Observation Platform begins near the cell tower. It is a very steep climb ( in concurrence with a guide).
Cape Skriper - located a few kilometers north of the village of Bolshie Koty. From the shore there is a trail that climbs up to the Cape. At the top you will see a beautiful view of Lake Baikal and the picturesque beach below (in concurrence with a guide).
The last trekking stretch will lead you to Listvyanka. The path is quite good and allows for enjoying the stunning views of Baikal while going. Like yesterday, at times it comes down to the very shoreline making it easy to replenish your drinking-water stocks or make a stopover for lunch.
Then it goes up meandering over the steep slopes of the precipitous shore. And here you are in Listvyanka – one of the oldest Russian settlements on the shore of the great lake. Lately it has turned into a tourist centre with the number of sights, cafes, hotels and tourists exceeding the number of residents.
We recommend you to have dinner at “Proshliy Vek” (Past Century) café, where one can enjoy delicious specialities of original Siberian cuisine as well as a marvelous view of Baikal.
Today we offer to explore lake Baikal in Listvyanka settlement.
In Listvyanka we invite you for a sightseeing tour, during which you will visit an observation platform next to the famous Shaman-Rock, hear a beautiful legend and visit the acting Russian Orthodox church of St.Nicholas-the-Miracle-Worker – the patron of all travelers and sailors. You also can have an excursion to Baikal Ecological museum with an exposition telling about the flora and fauna of Baikal, including aquariums with the lake’s live inhabitants (for extra charge).
Lunch at a local restaurant.
Besides, you may visit the spectacular open-air market, where the locals sell souvenirs alongside with home-made specialities of Baikal fish.
On the way to Irkutsk it is worthwhile visiting Taltsy open-air ethnographic museum (for extra charge). Here one can feel the unique charm of the authentic wooden architecture and everyday life of the Pribaikalye peoples.
Tour price includes:
- accommodation at hotels in Irkutsk (1 night), Listvyanka (1 night) on twin-sharing basis;
- meals as per program;
- all transfers and excursions as per program, except for those specified for extra charge;
- guides’ services*;
- rent of necessary outfit.
Check-in/out time at hotels is 12:00, earlier check-in and later check-out are charged for according to the hotel’s accommodation rates.
This group is mixed, basic excursions are conducted in Russian.
Surcharge for foreign-language guide: 12 000 RUR per group.