Winter expedition to Lake Baikal 7 days
Words just cannot describe the beauty of Lake Baikal in winter. It might seem that ice on a lake is a monotonous and uniform structure. Nothing can be farther from the truth! An expedition to the frozen Lake Baikal means experiencing the beauty and power of the nature enchanted in the numerous forms, shapes and colours of the ice.
The winter tour is the only way to find out how it is possible to live at a place where temperatures often drop below -30°C, although in the recent years, as in other regions of the world, such winters occur only occasionally. Even if you have visited Lake Baikal and its area in the summer, the winter tour will be a completely different experience that will enable us to fully explore this unique lake and see the larger and smaller towns of Siberia, such as Irkutsk, Ulan-Ude or Listvianka, in the snowy scenery.
Depending on the place and time of departure of the flight, arrival in Irkutsk and an organisational meeting. The we will set off to visit the city, which will include the most important landmarks of one of the oldest and largest towns of Siberia. We will see the Saviour Church and the Epiphany Cathedral, which are examples of the classical Siberian sacral architecture. We will take a stroll along Angara shores and on the main street of the city – the Carl Marx Street, at which there are many well-preserved buildings from the 19th century. Night rest in Irkutsk.
After breakfast, you will be invited to a whole-day trip to Listvianka. At the beginning, a visit at the Taltsy Architectural-Ethnographic Museum. Next we will visit the Limnological Museum in Listvianka. After lunch, we will take a walk around Listvianka – one of the most picturesque harbours on Lake Baikal. There will be an optional possibility of a short hike into the taiga (weather permitting). Dinner and night rest in Listvianka.
In the morning, we will start our ice odyssey on Lake Baikal. We will take a hovercraft from Listvianka to Olkhon island. En route we will stop to see for ourselves how beautiful and exceptional the ice formations on Lake Baikal are. On our journey, we will see one of the most famous places in Siberia – the Shaman Rock (Shamanka), in its ice-and snow-covered version. We will end our trip in the “capital” of Olchon – Khuzhir. In the evening, we will take a walk to the Shaman Rock to admire it in the rays of the setting sun. We will sleep on the island.
After breakfast, we will start our journey to the northern ends of the island – departure about 9 am. En route we will stop at some most beautiful vantage points. We will travel on military UAZ vehicles – they are practically the only motor vehicles that are able to drive in the Siberian bumpy terrain. We will see the Window of Spirits and the Three Brothers Rock. Then we will head out to the Uzury village where a meteorological station is located – we will stay there for the night. In winter, there are practically no visitors to this place, apart from the station employees and very few tourists. Despite very rudimentary and rather uncomfortable conditions, passing the night in the northern part of the island will certainly prove an unforgettable adventure.
After breakfast, we will set off by cars on ice to the eastern shore of Lake Baikal. To start with, we will stop at Ushkany islands where it is often possible to meet in winter an endemic seal species – the Baikal seal, also known as Nerpa. It is also a site of reportedly most beautiful ice sculptures handmade by the Mother Nature. In this scenery, we will have lunch and then go to the Holy Nose peninsula. We will stop at the Zmeinaya Bay, a location of hot springs, and then we will visit a natural steam cave. At the end, a drive to Ust-Barguzin where we will stop for a complimentary accommodation and dinner at a homestay in a traditional wooden house (hotel accommodation is also possible as an option).
After breakfast, we will set off to Ulan-Ude – a capital of the Republic of Buryatia. We will have lunch in a traditional Buryat yurta. Then we will visit the largest complex of Buddhist monasteries in the Russian Federation territory, in Ivolginsk. In the afternoon, a drive to Ulan-Ude and a brief visit in the town. Night rest at the hotel.
In the morning breakfast, transfer to the airport and outbound flight from Ulan-Ude to Moscow or another connecting flight airport.
The weather in the Lake Baikal area in winder is rather stable. No snowfalls should be expected. There is usually a lot of sunshine and there are no strong winds or snowstorms. Temperatures during the day oscillate around -10°C, and at night drop to -20°C. The apparent temperature may be higher because air humidity is low and it is usually sunny during the day.
For detailed information see https://www.meteoblue.com/en.
- We can arrange a self-guided tour – if your are interested, please contact the office.
- The tour may be combined with a tailor-made tour to Yakutsk.
The planned expedition is an exclusive proposal prepared on the basis of our experience and knowledge of the local peculiarities and major sightseeing attractions of Lake Baikal in winter.
We are committed to ensure the best possible and safe and, as far as feasible, comfortable travelling in winter through the Lake Baikal area.