Lake Baikal 2020
Winter tours

Exploring Southern Baikal in Winter

Sightseeing Tour
Exploring Southern Baikal in Winter
Itinerary:
Irkutsk – Listvyanka – Irkutsk – Arshan – Irkutsk

Duration :
7 days/6 nights

Available:
- 24.11.2019 – 30.11.2019
- 19.01.2020 – 25.01.2020

Tour price per person:
41 300
10 000 single room supplement

Special notes:
  • The tour is led by Russian-speaking guides; bilingual guides or interpreters are provided for extra charge upon request
  • 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.

The tour program:

Day 1, Sunday

Today is the first day of the tour, and you are welcome to start it with exploring lake Baikal in Listvyanka settlement.  This is perhaps 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.

On the way to Listvyanka 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, and take part in some traditional winter entertainments: get a thrill sliding down a real Russian ice-hill, have a ride on a sled or Troyka or try to walk on stilts.

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 may also have an excursion to Baikal Ecological museum (for extra charge) with an exposition telling about the flora and fauna of Baikal, including aquariums with the lake’s live inhabitants.

Besides, you may visit the spectacular open-air market, where the locals sell souvenirs alongside with home-made specialities of Baikal fish.

Finally, we recommend you to have dinner at “Proshliy Vek” (“Past Century”) café (for extra charge), where one can enjoy delicious specialities of original Siberian cuisine as well as a marvelous view of Baikal.
10:00 – Meeting at the airport of Irkutsk. Transfer (65 km ~ 1 hour).
Overnight at the hotel.
Lunch at the hotel.
Listvyanka sightseeing tour.
Day 2, Monday
The first part of day at leisure in Listvyanka. We suggest you experiencing dog-sledging, horse-riding, downhill skiing, visiting master-classes in blacksmith’s craft or pottery (for extra charge) or just walking in the picturesque surroundings.
After lunch – transfer to Irkutsk, accommodation at the hotel.
Transfer to Irkutsk.
Overnight at the hotel.
Breakfast at the hotel.
Day 3, Tuesday
Today you may enjoy the stunning landscapes through the bus window: first the bus will take you to Irkutsk, then, twisting over the picturesque mountain passes, – to the extreme south of Baikal; and finally – through a wide valley between the two mountain ranges: Khamar-Daban to the left and Eastern Sayan to the right. This is the unique Tunka valley, where one can see young volcanoes, old Buryat yurts and grey-headed Tunka peaks with a background of dazzling blue sky. 
Having covered 120 km in the valley you reach Arshan settlement situated at the bottom of towering mountains, and hence always seeming shadowed. 
After spending quite a time on the road you may relax in the hotel and accumulate some energy to spend next 2 days getting acquainted with the local points of interest and simply the beauty of the unique Tunka valley!
Transfer to Arshan (~ 5 hours) by public scheduled transport.
Overnight at the hotel.
Breakfast and dinner at the hotel.
Day 4, Wednesday
The best way of touring the settlement is walking on foot – thus one can discern some details and nuances of the local life, which are not visible from the bus’s window.
First – a walking tour along the forest road to the Datsan – Buddhist church, where the guide will tell you about its history, specific rules of behaviour in Datsans, and Buddhism in Buryatia Republic.
Then you will visit the healing mineral springs (we advise you to take a glass or a plastic bottle with you), the picturesque mountain river Kyngarga, walk in the park of “Arshan” resort with its natural monuments and choose some interesting souvenirs at the amusing local market, where souvenirs are sold alongside with herbs curing nearly all possible illnesses.
After lunch we offer you to do an easy trekking through the Kyngarga river canyon which will show you those sceneries, which one can see in winter only: fast and swirling river stream under the thick ice crust, fantastic ice masses on the rocks resembling fairytale castles, bridges and grottoes.
Overnight at the hotel.
Breakfast, lunch, dinner at the hotel
Sightseeing as per programme.
Day 5, Thursday
Today you’ll continue discovering picturesque sights of Tunka valley. Besides that you will see almost all the valley today, you will also visit significant sites of 3 religions which local people combine in their own particular way. Eastern Orthodoxy will be represented by the Church of the Mantle (Pokrov) of Our Lady, Shamanism – by sacred site Tamhi-Baryash, where all the strangers ask the spirits for luck during their journey, and Buddhism will be represented by the main datsan of Tunka valley located next to Nilova Pustyn’ resort settlement which is also famous for its radon springs. During the numerous automobile passages your guide will entertain you telling interesting facts about history of Tunka valley, its diverse natural world, traditions and legends of the visited sites.
Overnight at the hotel.
Breakfast and dinner at the hotel. Lunch at a café.
Sightseeing as per programme.
Day 6, Friday
It is so sad to return to the everyday city routine… However, it is time to leave – the bus is waiting for you. All the way to Irkutsk will be filled with recollections of the past tour days and funny cases, at times interrupted by exclamations of rapture about the view from the bus window. A stopover at Kultuk observation platform to capture in a photograph the amazing panorama of the southern Baikal and Khamar-Daban mountain range. 
From this stopover to the very suburbs of Irkutsk you may enjoy the scenic Kultukskiy highway twisting and curving through the taiga.
Transfer to Irkutsk (210 km, ~ 5 hours) by public scheduled transport. Transfer to the hotel.
Overnight at the hotel.
Breakfast at the hotel
Day 7, Saturday
Today is the final day of the tour, and we offer you to explore Irkutsk – ancient Siberian city.  
During the city sightseeing tour you will see the historical centre, the place, where over 300 years ago Irkutsk was founded, the Angara river’s embankment, the most prominent monuments of architecture and, of course, Znamensky (Holy Sign) 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 and others). After the sightseeing you will have some time for shopping at the central market and a souvenir store.
Breakfast at the hotel.
Sightseeing as per programme. Approximate time of the end of the tour – 14:00.

Tour price includes:

- accommodation at hotels and lodges (twin occupancy): 1 night in Listvyanka (room with private bathroom), 3 nights in Arshan (room with shared bathroom), 2 nights in Irkutsk (room with private bathroom);

- meals as per program;

- transfers as per program;

- excursions as per program.