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Scenic Siberia: Exploring Lake Baikal & Beyond

Uncover the treasures of Lake Baikal, the turquoise jewel in Siberia’s crown. Spend ten days exploring the fascinating scenery around and inside the oldest and deepest freshwater lake in the world. From the historic city of Irkutsk, journey to shoreline villages to learn the history of lakeside life, sample traditional fish soup and meet the lake’s incumbent seals. Journey into the taiga to meet local wildlife, camp in the Baikal Dunes and hike up rock formations for unparalleled views. Set sail onto the lake itself to explore its bays and islands, and experience the ancient power, harnessed by the mystic shamans.

Highlights   Pricing
  • Discover the delights of historic city, Irkutsk on a guided tour
  • Explore the flora and fauna of the taiga on a Siberian safari
  • Embark on invigorating hikes for stunning views of the lake
  • Explore sacred Olkhon Island and visit sites of shamanic power
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Day by Day Itinerary
Day 1

Arrive in the beautiful Siberian city of Irkutsk, famed not only for its proximity to beautiful Lake Baikal but also for its unique wooden architecture. Spend a day getting acquainted with the city with a tour exploring its ancient churches and discovering its history via the many monuments. Relax in the evening with dinner at your hotel and a good night’s sleep.

Day 2

After breakfast at the hotel, embark upon the first stage of your journey to Lake Baikal with an 80-minute transfer to Listvyanka, a charming lakeside village. On the way, visit the area’s open-air ethnographic museum and on arrival, stroll along the lakeshore and enjoy a traditional fish lunch. Enjoy views of the lake from the Chersky Stone and enjoy the antics of the Baikal seals in an entertaining show. Bed down for the night at your comfortable Listvyanka hotel.

Day 3

Rise early for breakfast before an exciting day amongst Siberian nature. Hop in a Russian jeep and make the seven-hour journey to the taiga, or ‘snowforest’. Besides countless species of trees, the taiga is home to an amazing array of highly-photographable animals including stags and wild boar. Enjoy a picnic lunch of omul fish before heading back to Listvyanka and then on to Irkutsk where you will spend the night back at the hotel.

Day 4
Baikal Dunes

After breakfast, head to Raketa Quay for your first day on the Lake. Hop on board a motorship and set sail on the turquoise waters for Akademicheskaya Bay, the location of your camp. Enjoy lunch by the water before a guided tour of the camp and the area known as the Baikal Dunes. Gather together for a cozy dinner around a campfire before retiring to your simple but comfortable camp bed.

Day 5
Baikal Dunes

After a hearty breakfast, enjoy the stunning surroundings with a leisurely, two-hour stroll round to Peschanaya and Babushka Bays. Take a hike up to Bell Tower Rock and drink in the gorgeous views of the lake and afterwards, cool off with an invigorating dip in its waters. Head back to the camp for dinner and a well-earned rest.

Day 6
Baikal Dunes

After breakfast, embark upon the challenging ascent to Observation Rock, an ancient settlement location. The strenuous climb is every bit worth the payoff at the top as you relax and gaze at the vast panorama of Lake Baikal - a fantastic photo opportunity. Take the afternoon to relax and enjoy the surroundings, swimming and sunbathing before dinner.

Day 7
Baikal Dunes

After a leisurely morning to spend as you please, gather for lunch before climbing aboard a motorship bound for Olkhon Island. Take a pleasant walking tour on this most sacred and largest of islands, the historical center of the lake and source of power of the Buryat shaman. Head back to camp for dinner.

Day 8
Baikal Dunes

After breakfast, set out for Cape Khoboy, in the very north of Olkhon Island. During your seven-hour excursion, enjoy and picnic surrounded by beautiful views of Lake Baikal, learn the myths and legends surrounding the ancient Buryat people and visit the sites of shamanic power. Head back to camp for dinner before an evening excursion to Shamanka Rock for an unforgettable sunset.

Day 9

After breakfast at camp, pack up and wave goodbye to beautiful Lake Baikal as your discovery of her treasures is at an end. Take a leisurely transfer back to Irkutsk, with opportunities to stop off on the way. Check back into your Irkutsk hotel and enjoy a relaxing evening and dinner.

Day 10

Enjoy a final breakfast at your hotel in Irkutsk before meeting your driver who will see you safely to the airport for your journey home or onward destination.


Suggested Accommodations

Courtyard by Marriott

Courtyard by Marriott

Irkutsk is a city full of aging and rundown hotels, but thankfully the recent opening of Courtyard by Marriott addressed this problem, offering modern and comfortable rooms alongside a range of facilities and amenities. Heralded as the best hotel in the city, this three-star hotel has a globally-recognized name that all travelers can trust. Rooms number 208 (including eight suites) and come well-appointed with carpeted floors, large comfy beds, WiFi, satellite television, heating controls and stylish en-suite bathrooms. Courtyard by Marriott Irkutsk is also ideally placed in the city center, just a short walk from Kirov Place, the Angara River, a popular drama theater and the art museum. The UNESCO World Heritage Center of Baikal Lake is also around a one-hour drive from the hotel. In terms of on-site amenities, guests are spoilt for choice with a range of dining options including an all-day international restaurant, bar, meeting room and fitness room.

Legend of Baikal Hotel

Legend of Baikal Hotel

Situated on the picturesque shoreline of Lake Baikal and lying in the shadow of the legendary Shaman Stone, this modern hotel really is one of the most impressive places to stay in Listvyanka. The hotel is also near the Angara River affluence,and the surrounding area is rich in fresh natural air, green pine trees and secluded shorelines along the perimeter of the lake. As for the hotel, interiors here feel luxurious yet cozy, with warm wood tones, large comfy beds and modern facilities found throughout the range of 39 rooms and suites. All come with electronic security systems, a local and international telephone connection, WiFi, satellite television, air-conditioning and most have balconies facing the lake. Elsewhere, guests are free to enjoy the hotel’s superb restaurant with panoramic views of Lake Baikal and the Angara River. There’s also an on-site swimming pool, sauna, games room and area for parking. Legend of Baikal Hotel is approximately one hour from the nearest major city of Irkutsk.

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Jay is fascinated by Siberia's spectacular landscapes, historic architecture, diverse ethnic mix and extreme climatic conditions - truly one of our planet's remotest lands.
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