Planning a visit to Irkutsk city and Lake Baikal? This might be a challenge even for an experienced traveler. The main question is how to fit your short vacation into the endless distances of Siberia and make the most of it. Sure, by now you have probably already checked several websites, “Lonely Planet” and most likely talked to several travel agents in your country and Russia, but still are at a crossroads. Guess what….the bottom line of this dilemma is actually pretty simple. The western side of the lake is a mountainous area, and despite many offers for touring it, the highlights of visiting the area lies in 3 key destinations: Irkutsk, Listvyanka & Olkhon.
Find out why Irkutsk is often called the "Paris" of Siberia.
Walk the streets of old Irkutsk with charming wooden houses.
Enjoy the Siberian countryside with endless forests.
Learn local folklore and traditions, and Lakes hidden secrets.
Take advantage of the landscape contrast presented by mountainous taiga forests and Mongolian type grasslands on Olkhon Island. Both are great for hiking and views.
Experience a multiethnic environment influenced by two dominating religions: Russian Orthodox and Buddhism.
Explore Olkhon Island. Visit the local museum and fishing factory in Khuzir village, Shaman Rock, & archeological sites.
Discover Siberian hospitality and mysterious "Russian soul".
Day 1 - Irkutsk city Arriving. Meeting and transfer to the hotel. Check-in and visa registration. Free time. City tour. Overnight in Irkutsk city.
Day 2 - Listvyanka village Breakfast. Transfer (~ 70km/43mi) to Listvyanka village by private car with a stop in the Taltsy Museum of Wooden Architecture. Upon arrival, visit the Lake Baikal Museum. Lunch. Sightseeing. Supper. Overnight in Listvyanka village.
Day 3 - Olkhon Island Breakfast. Transfer (~370km/230mi) to Olkhon Island by private car. Lunch at local Buryat cafe. After 3-4 hours of driving, we will arrive at the strait between the Island and the mainland. If there is a connection* to the Island, we will transfer to Olkhon and continue our drive to Khuzir village (~ 1 hour). If there is no connection, we will stay in one of the villages on the mainland side. Supper upon arrival. Overnight on Olkhon Island at the local B&B or family.
*Olkhon Island is connected to the mainland by a ferry in the summer and the ice road in the winter. There is no transfer connection in April-May & December-January (dates vary).
Day 4 - Irkutsk city Breakfast. Sighseeing. Lunch. Transfer to Irkutsk (~ 370km/230mi). Depending on the departure date and time from Irkutsk to your next destination, we will adjust the departure time from Olkhon Island accordingly.
Room and Board on Olkhon Island (1 night)
Room & Board for guide and driver (2 nights / 3 days);
Transportation by private car as described;
Ferry fee (mainland-Olkhon Island), round trip;
National Park entrance fee;
Admission fees to 3 museums;
Sokol orientation guide;
Room and Board in Irkutsk city and Listvyanka village;
Visa registratoin fee;
First Aid Kit;
Special tour-related note:
Be prepared to use an outdoor toilet (wooden box) when staying at B&Bs and with the Families in Listvyanka village and Olkhon Island. Amenities include breakfast and Russian Banya.
Due to seasonal fluctuation of accommodation fees, Sokol Tours reserves a right to adjust the rates accordingly.
If you have chosen the tour without a guide, please be advised to carry a basic dictionary with you at all times. Be aware that the driver does not speak your language.