Active and Beautiful Lake Baikal Tour
Make a must-stop on the Trans-Siberian Railway, take off nearby Baikal!
Join Lake Baikal Tour to experience a great adventure and explore one of the most beautiful places in the world. Spend your holidays in Russia; enjoy the stunning nature of Baikal, which one of the most important Russia destinations, get to know its authentic and traditional local lifestyle and Olkhon Island – the heart of lake Baikal. We will show you Baikal from a different perspective.
Visit famous Taltsy open-air museum to learn about Siberian culture and architecture, and Listvyanka settlement to experience a bit of everyday Siberian life. Discover spectacular natural lake Baikal’s sights, starting from the Olkhon Island with its beautiful capes and bays. In the end enjoy Tazheranskaya Steppe, its breathtaking landscapes, rocks, and caves covered with ancient paintings. Travel with Russian military jeeps, go shore hiking and sleep under the starry lake Baikal sky!
Lake Baikal tour, which one of the most incredible Russia destinations is definitely exciting. You will see the world oldest and deepest freshwater lake which stretches for nearly 650 km through southeastern Siberia, north of the Mongolian border. Lake Baikal preserves really unique flora and fauna, including several species existing only near this lake. The gorgeous landscapes are incomparable with any other places on Earth!
Active Lake Baikal Tour also gives you an opportunity to take a glimpse of busy Moscow. Start your holidays in Russia, take a walk around the Moscow city center and see its major tourist attractions. Discover the Kremlin, the historic center of Russian politics and power, its modern part and vibrant Gorky Park.
Learn about problems that Lake Baikal faces nowadays here.
- Get to know main Moscow tourist’s attractions like The Red Square, Kremlin, Lenin’s Mausoleum, St Basil’s Cathedral, GUM (The Central Mall of Moscow), The Cathedral of Christ the Savior and Arbat Street. See Moscow off the “beaten track” and visit the most vibrant park and entertainment complex – Gorky Park.
- Go to Irkutsk, the largest city in the Baikal area. Visit many attractions in Listvyanka, a village located at Lake Baikal, i.e. open-airTaltsy Museum.
- Explore the Olkhon Island, its villages (Khuzir, Harantsi) and breath-taking natural areas
- Go shore hiking near the Sandy Bay and spend your time at a campfire.
Lake Baikal Tour Plan:
Day 1: Introduction to Moscow
Arrive in Moscow and meet your ExploRussia rep. Go to the hotel and check-in.
Begin discovering Moscow with an interactive walking tour around the city center. Our walking tour will get you to the main must-sees of the city but keep you away from huge tourist crowds. Enjoy Red Square, St. Basil’s Cathedral, GUM department store, Lenin’s mausoleum and the State Historical Museum. Afterward walk along Tverskaya Street, pass by secret yards that are invisible from the main street and visit a hidden church which avoided its destruction during the Soviet times exclusively due to its concealed location. Learn fascinating stories and legends about Moscow and its center.
The best way to enjoy your holidays in Russia is with a traditional Russian dinner, try the Russian cuisine with a bit of Soviet touch, which is a great beginning to know the local cuisine.
Day 2: Moscow’s historical and modern face
Today visit the most important tourist attraction of Moscow and the center of the Russian power and politics – the Kremlin, which is one of the most well-known Russia destinations. The Kremlin is a famous historic fortified complex located in the heart of Moscow. Once home to grand dukes and tsars, it is now the President’s official residence. Visit the impressive Armory Chamber and the Cathedrals within their imposing walls. The Armory hosts the ancient state regalia, the Tsars’ ceremonial vestments and coronation robes and the world largest collection of Russian-made gold and silver ceremonial armaments.
In the afternoon you can get acquainted with modern Moscow by visiting Gorky Park and Museon Art Park. Gorky Park is a modern and eco-friendly recreational area completely redesigned and renovated in 2011. Thanks to its numerous restaurants, cafes, open-air cinemas, sport and cultural attractions located on the territory, Gorky Park has become one of the most popular meeting spots in Moscow. It is definitely the perfect place to observe the Muscovites’ lifestyle and join them in their free time. Walk along the bank of the Moscow River and visit Museon, an open air park-museum which holds a unique collection of 700 sculptures, most of which are outstanding monuments from the Soviet times. In the evening you can go for a boat trip along the Moscow River, admire Moscow night views and beautiful buildings situated along its banks.
In the evening, you will fly to Irkutsk to start your Siberian adventure.
Day 3: Irkutsk
Arrival in Irkutsk, the largest city in the Baikal area which is among the most well-known Russia destinations. Transfer to the hotel and check-in.
Have your breakfast and some rest afterwards, you might get a bit tired due to a long flight and time change. You can take a nap or explore the city on your own.
After lunch, take a guided sightseeing tour around the city center and enjoy its architecture which enshrines the charm of the old times. Wooden houses located in the center are some of the great and rare examples of the Siberian architecture style, whereas many were demolished during the industrialization in the 20th century. Walk along Uritsky Pedestrian Street, where there are a lot of small shops and cafes. Visit the beautiful Church of the Exaltation of the Cross and the Irkutsk Regional Memorial Decembrists’ Museum. Finish your tour at the embankment of the Angara River and enjoy the city sights. The whole day will be a great source of information and interesting facts about Siberia and its people, a perfect introduction to your Baikal adventure.
Enjoy free time in the evening. Accommodation in a hotel in Irkutsk.
Day 4: Listvyanka
Have breakfast and check out from the hotel. In the morning you will go to Listvyanka, a small settlement situated exactly at Baikal.
First, visit The Taltsy Museum of Wooden Architecture and Ethnography. This open-air museum has the territory of 67 hectares and hosts over 40 monuments of the architectural heritage and 8,000 exhibits of great historic value. It is divided into two sections devoted to the cultures of minorities who have lived there for centuries (Buryats and Russians). Visit traditional interiors to learn what the life of Siberian people was like (see everyday objects, tools, clothes, and furniture). You can also take part in one of the workshops in traditional crafts.
Afterwards, go to the hotel to check-in and eat lunch.
In the afternoon we will take you on a sightseeing tour around the village. It’s a small settlement, but there are a lot of attractions. Learn about flora and fauna of the region by visiting Baikal Limnological station, a museum entirely devoted to the history of exploring Lake Baikal. See many of its incredible aquariums with unique species and find out more about the life of all fish that live in Baikal as well as Baikal seals.
Afterwards, visit St. Nicholas Serbian Orthodox Church, an old church located on the hill; it is a perfect place to get familiar with Russian Orthodox traditions. Stop by the Shaman Stone (Shaman Rock), the source of the Angara River at the entrance to the village. It is a great observation point with a panoramic view of Baikal. Finish your day by visiting an open-air market fish market and try local delicacies, including famous and delicious smoked fish called Omul!
Accommodation in a hotel in Listvyanka.
Day 5: Olkhon Island
Have breakfast and check out from the hotel. Meet your ExploRussia’ s guide in the morning and travel from Listvyanka to the Olkhon Island ferry port located about 250 km (155 miles) north. On the way stop for lunch in a Buryat village of Elantsi. Get on a ferry to reach Olkhon Island. Today, get to know Khuzir, the Olkhon main village. Visit the unique Burkhan Cape (Shamanka rock), a peculiar symbol of Baikal and one of the nine holiest places in Asia. Shamanka Rock, currently a natural-historic monument, was previously used by shamans for meditations, religious rites, and sacrifices. According to the legend, this cape is the entrance to the parallel world! Afterwards, visit the Local Lore Museum and explore its ancient ritual shamans’ adornments (found in the places of their cremation). Enter an ancient Yurta with original elements and badges which used to belong to Genghis-Khan’s warriors.
For dinner, try delicious local cuisine and taste a home-cooked grayling, a local Baikal speciality.
Accommodation in a family-owned guest house in Khuzir. Keep in mind that Khuzir is a small village and living standards are very basic. Our guesthouse has the highest standard available; however, it does not have any running water. All inconveniences will be surely compensated by extremely kind hosts and unforgettable atmosphere.
Day 6: Olkhon Island
Today you will explore Olkhon Island. The tour will be really exciting because you will travel on Russian military jeeps.
Head north to visit a small Harantsi village and discover the life of local people. Then, stop in the Peschanka Bay famous for its sandy dunes. After World War II it used to be a camp for political and war prisoners, but now you can hardly find any evidence of this fact. Afterwards, go to the Sagaan-Khushun Cape, a very picturesque marble rock which is very quiet and difficult to reach from the land. The Locals call this mountainous archipelago “Three Brothers” after its three huge ledges.
Drive further to the Khoboy Cape. This is the most northern cape of Olkhon; it resembles a woman’s profile. The Locals consider it to be one of the most sacred places in Baikal. Standing there feels like standing at the end of Earth! Enjoy lunch in a form of a picnic in the Uzury Bay having a breathtaking panoramic view of Baikal. Afterwards, go back to Khuzir to relax and have dinner.
Day 7: Baikal wonders
In the morning go back by ferry to the mainland to explore one more of the Baikal wonders – the Tazheranskaya Steppe, a solid massive created about 300-400 million years ago. The Tazheranskaya Steppe is a spectacular area with unbelievable nature, which will definitely impress you: rocks, mountains, caves, sandy dunes, lakes, and bays. Visit Aya Bay and its caves. Its cave is the longest in the region (1300 meters length) and famous for its ancient cave paintings of people and animals.
In the evening transfer to Kuyada area. Accommodation in a guest house in Kuyada.
Day 8 and 9: Shore-hiking
Days 8 and 9 are a perfect combination of adventure and relaxation. Go trekking and shore-hiking along Baikal and the Sandy Bay (Peschannaya Bukhta). Thanks to “dancing” pine-trees and larches’ roots growing high above the ground, it reminds you of the world from Tolkien’s books. Enjoy the stunning lake views, its colour-changing and crystal waters. Use the last opportunity to take photos of this marvellous landscape.
Spend you evenings by a campfire, looking up at the illuminated starry sky, relaxing and contemplating.
The night from day 8 to 9, you will spend in a camp tent.
In the evening of day 9 you will go back to Irkutsk. Check-in and spend a night in the hotel in Irkutsk.
Day 10: Farewell
It’s time to say goodbye to amazing Baikal, Siberia, and ExploRussia’s team. Check out of the hotel and go to the airport. Fly back to Moscow and then back home.
Departurepick-up from the hotel in Moscow or airport
Departure Timewill be confirmed after the booking
Dress CodeCasual. Comfortable clothing, shoes, hat, warm clothing depending on the season.
Includedaccommodation in 3* or 4* hotels with breakfastAirport TransfersPersonal GuidePrivate tours in citiesTrain stations transfersTrain tickets
Not Includedentry fees in museumsFood and Beverages