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Three religions of Baikal
Three religions of Baikal

Journey to Olkhon and Buryatia

Three religions of Baikal
Difficulty
Difficulty levels
Easy. Passive relaxation and sightseeing — cruises for example. No physical activities. Good for older people.
Normal. Active tours. You don’t have to be a sportsman, but you need to be strong enough to ride a snowmobile or go hiking in the mountains.
Advanced. Get ready for a challenge — long trekking with a heavy backpack on the shoulders, rafting along mountain rivers.
Hard. Professional training and perfect physical fitness are required. The level involves climbing to the tops of the mountains (above 3000 meters), freeriding and North Pole diving.
Age
5 y.o.
Group size
from 4 to 16 person
Duration
10 days

Accommodation during the trip

3 nights
6 nights

Languages

EN
guide
We update the dates and tour price.
Leave your email and we’ll notify you when get this info.

This journey will discover the great Lake Baikal in all its wide diversity – natural and cultural. Old streets and churches of Irkutsk city, the Buddhist rites and the Shamans' sacred places as well as Siberian taiga, sand dunes and picturesque rocks — Baikal will open its deepest scenic corners to you and tell you its ancient legends.

Three religions of Baikal
Difficulty
Difficulty levels
Easy. Passive relaxation and sightseeing — cruises for example. No physical activities. Good for older people.
Normal. Active tours. You don’t have to be a sportsman, but you need to be strong enough to ride a snowmobile or go hiking in the mountains.
Advanced. Get ready for a challenge — long trekking with a heavy backpack on the shoulders, rafting along mountain rivers.
Hard. Professional training and perfect physical fitness are required. The level involves climbing to the tops of the mountains (above 3000 meters), freeriding and North Pole diving.
Age
from 5 y.o.
Group size
from 4 to 16 person
Duration
10 days

Accommodation during the trip

3 nights
6 nights

Languages

EN
guide
We update the dates and tour price.
Leave your email and we’ll notify you when get this info.

Experiences you'll have

Tour of Baikal and Buryatia

This journey is a circular route around the lake, starting from Irkutsk and passing through Buryatia and Trans-Siberian. For travellers Lake Baikal offers not only hundreds of amazing natural sites. Also the Baikal region is considered to be a confluence of different religions. The most spread of them are the Orthodoxy, the Buddhism and the Shamanism. You will get acquaintance with the way they remain intact in the spirit of peaceful coexistence and how they are intimately entwined in the life of local people.

This is a journey for those who want to get acquainted with the Baikal history and culture, to learn about the Shamanism of the west coast and the Buddhism of the east coast

Highlights of the journey:

  • focus on culture and spiritual life of the Baikal region — you will stroll along the old streets and listen to the chime of the Orthodox churches in Irkutsk city, visit the Ivolginsky datsan, that is the main center of Buddhism in Russia and explore the Olkhon island, that keeps hundreds of shamans legends and beliefs
  • double crossing of the lake in its central and south part in order you could realize the true strength and immensity of Baikal
  • possibility to see all types of the Baikal landscapes: taiga-covered hills, desert steppes, sand dunes, mountain valleys and the sheet of the purest Baikal water lay going directly to the horizon
  • participation in the shamanic ritual
  • acquaintance with traditions and way of life of Buryat people and tasting of the local cuisine

Itinerary

The journey begins in Irkutsk, and you have to get there on your own. Our guide will meet you at the airport. We are ready to help you with the purchase of tickets. If necessary, leave a comment in your application.

Day 1 Old Irkutsk

After meeting at the airport you will be taken to the hotel. Here you could rest after the flight and have lunch in the restaurant (not included). 

Afternoon you will have an excursion with the guide in the centre of Irkutsk. You will visit the most worth seeing places: the Decembrists' museum, Orthodox churches, quay of the Angara river, wooden houses, central markets. You will feel the particular atmosphere of the city, listening to the bells ringing in the Church of the Savior.
 

In the evening you will go back to the hotel and have dinner (not included).

Day 2 Taltsy museum and the first meeting with Lake Baikal

After breakfast you will meet with your guide and driver and depart to Listvyanka village situated on the bank of Lake Baikal near the mouth of the Angara river.

 

Then you will visit the open-air museum Taltsy, that represents a typical Siberian village of XVIII-XIX century. The museum has become the place of the conservation of the popular culture monuments.

 

Having arrived to Listvyanka village, you will accommodate in the guest house, have lunch (not included) and rest. After that you will have free time to get acquainted with the village, visit the fish and souvenir markets.

Optionally you can go to the nerpinarium (seal park show) or take a boat excursion (extra charges). Also it is possible to visit The Church of St. Nicholas that was built in the beginning of the XIX century. In the evening you will return to the guest house and have dinner (not included).

Day 3 Baikal crossing in its southern part

After breakfast you will go to the berth and get on board of a speed boat. You will cross Lake Baikal from Listvyanka to Tankhoy village, navigating about 35 km to the eastern coast of the lake to the Republic of Buryatia.The crossing will take about 1 hour. 


Having arrived to Tankhoy village you will have time to walk along the shore and take pictures. Then you will continue travelling to Ulan-Ude city. On route you will have lunch in a Buryat cafe (not included), where you could taste the traditional cuisine: posy, chebureki, Buryat tea, etc.

In the evening you will arrive to Ulan-Ude, check in the hotel and have dinner (not included). 

Day 4 Centre of Buddhism in Russia

After breakfast you will visit Ivolginsky Datsan. It is the main Russian Buddhist temples complex outside the city located in a picturesque steppe. Here you could get acquainted with the Buddhist culture. This Datsan serving the most important place of worship in Buryatia is the centre of Buddhism in Russia.

 

Then you will have lunch, during which you will taste the traditional Buryat cuisine and watch the performance, presented by a local folk group. After that an excursion to the Old believers village is waiting for you. The villagers have managed to keep the culture and traditions of the ancient orthodox Russia. They are known for their very specific singing style, unique architecture and costume and, of course, cuisine.

 

In the evening you will return the hotel and have dinner (not included). 

Day 5 Journey to Ust-Bargouzin village

After breakfast you will check out and depart to Ust-Bargouzin. It is a small village, located on the bank of the Barguzinsky gulf, the deepest and the largest one on the whole area of lake Baikal. 

 

On route you will have lunch in a Buryat cafe (not included), after that visit the museum of Buryat history.

 

At 3 pm you will arrive to Ust-Bargouzin and stay at the local guest house. In the evening you will visit the Russian banya and have a homemade dinner.

Day 6 Barguzin valley

Today you will have a free day in the village. It is a good opportunity to walk along the coast and to get acquainted with the authentic life of the Baikal village.

 

Optionally we can suggest you a cruise to Ushkany Archipelago to observe freshwater seal. Also you could ascent the summit of Svyatoy Nos Peninsula ("Holy Nose" 1877 m high) or have an excursion to Barguzinskay Valley. These activities are paid additionally.

 

In the evening you will visit the Russian banya and have a homemade dinner.

Day 7 Baikal crossing from the east to the west

After breakfast you will move to the port and board on a on private comfortable boat. You will be sailing for several hours before reaching the Olkhon island. On the board you will have a delicious hot lunch. 

 

You will cross Lake Baikal in its widest part. This great cruise will really allow you to sail in the geographical centre of the lake.

 

At 4 pm you will arrive to Khuzhir village, located on the Olkhon island. You will go to the recreation complex, check in the hotel and have dinner.

Day 8 Sacred sites for shamans

After breakfast you will have an excursion by 4X4 (UAZ) to Khoboy Cape, the northernmost point of Olkhon, sacred place of the shamans. The trip will allow you to discover the beauty of the Maloye More (Small Sea) and its islets, also places of worship of shamans.

 

You will stroll towards the cape and have lunch outdoors. Then you will return to Khuzhir. On route you will visit the Uzury area and observe the meteorological station located here. The road passes through steppes, beaches and taiga.

 

In the evening you will have dinner and rest.

Day 9 Rest at the Olkhon island

This day is a good possibility to walk along the coast and to get to know the authentic life of the Baikal village.

 

Optionally we can suggest you an excursion to the Ogoy island (extra charge). You will depart by boat the Ogoy Island to discover the Buddhist Stupa raised at the highest spot of island. A Buddhist stupa is an object of worship and means "a support for gifts". It is believed that if you go around the stupa three times expressing your respect to it and make a wish, it will come true.

 

In the evening you will have dinner and rest.

Day 10 Departure

After breakfast you will move to Ust-Orda village by minibus. Have lunch in cafe and visit the ethnographic museum of Ust-Orda.

 

At 3 pm you will meet with the shaman and take part in a real shamanic rite. This unusual acquaintance with the shamanism culture will finish your journey to Lake Baikal. Then you will be transferred to the city centre of Irkutsk or to the airport. 

Three religions of Baikal
Difficulty
Difficulty levels
Easy. Passive relaxation and sightseeing — cruises for example. No physical activities. Good for older people.
Normal. Active tours. You don’t have to be a sportsman, but you need to be strong enough to ride a snowmobile or go hiking in the mountains.
Advanced. Get ready for a challenge — long trekking with a heavy backpack on the shoulders, rafting along mountain rivers.
Hard. Professional training and perfect physical fitness are required. The level involves climbing to the tops of the mountains (above 3000 meters), freeriding and North Pole diving.
Age
5 y.o.
Group size
from 4 to 16 person
Duration
10 days

Accommodation during the trip

3 nights
6 nights

Languages

EN
guide
We update the dates and tour price.
Leave your email and we’ll notify you when get this info.

Accommodation during the trip

The first night of the journey you will spend in the "Angara" Hotel 3*, located in Irkutsk. It offers a comfortable standard twin room with air conditioning, mini-fridge, flat-screen TV and free Wi-Fi. The room has two comfortable single beds (90/200 cm), spacious wardrobe, work area and bathroom with shower. There are also spa salon, restaurants of international cuisine, indoor pool, sauna, gym and billiard club in the hotel.

 

The second night you will stay at the "BaikalCedar" guest house, located in Listvyanka village. Comfortable accommodation in the twin rooms with WC and bath/shower is waiting for you here. 

 

From the third to the fifth days you will be accomodated at the standard twin rooms of "Buryatia" Hotel. It is located in the heart of Ulan-Ude, a 10-minute walk from Ulan-Ude main railway station. It offers a sauna, gym, beauty salon and a restaurant with the raditional Buryat and European cuisine. There are cable TV, a refrigerator and a bathroom with toiletries in a standard twin room.

 

From the fifth to the seventh days you will stay at the guest house in Ust-Barguzin village, in simple double rooms with a toilet and a shower outdoors. 

 

The last three days you will spend at the recreation complex "Baikal Ostrog", located in Khuzhir village. You will stay in a comfortable standard twin rooms with a WC and a bath/shower. 

 

Note: the hotels and guest houses per program can be replaced by the other ones of the same level of comfort.

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Common questions

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Who will be my guide +

You will be accompanied by experienced guides during the whole journey.

Meals +

The tour price includes breakfast on day 2-10, lunch on day 4, 6-8, 10 and dinner on day 5-9. 

 

If you are a vegetarian or have any particular preferences, please let us know in advance so we can adapt the menu.

Visa +

You need a tourist visa to travel to Russia. It can be issued for a maximum period of 30 days. Your passport has to be valid for at least six months after the expiry date of your visa and to have at least two blank pages.

What should I bring with me +

Important travel documents:

  • passport and visa, original or electronic airplane tickets (with a sets of photocopies kept separately), bank card

 

Clothes:

  • raincoat or wind and waterproof shell jacket (with hood)
  • polartec or similar pullover
  • long sleeve shirts or sweatshirts
  • shorts
  • T-shirts
  • cap or hat to protect against sun
  • foulard or tagelmust
  • comfortable walking shoes (like Vibram or similar)
  • sunscreen for skin and lips
  • sunglasses with filter
  • flip-flops for banya
  • fleece jacket or warm sweater
  • towel
  • swimsuit

 

We recommend you to pack all your stuff in two bags: a small backpack and a large travelling bag. Small backpack will be useful for carrying your personal belongings during the day (camera, film, personal medication, bottled water, etc). Big backpack must contain the rest of your stuff. It will be transported by vehicles.

What will be the weather like +

It is hot in summer at Lake Baikal area. Nevertheless, you should always have something to put on, as weather in Siberia is very changeable. July and August are the hottest months, which offer you temperatures of 77-95 °F at daytime and 59-65 °F at night. 

Money +

The Russian currency is ruble. In all cities and many large villages of Russia, you can easily withdraw rubles, using a Visa or MasterCard, from ATMs, located in banks, department stores or hotel lobbies, some of them are open 24 hours a day. If you have euros or dollars with you, exchange offices will allow you to change them easily in the cities, seldom in the countryside. However, it can be difficult to exchange traveler's checks, even in cities.

Tick-borne encephalitis vaccination +

We recommend to get a tick-borne encephalitis vaccination, especially for May-June arrivals. In Russia vaccination is done in 2 parts. The first vaccine is made 45 days before arrival to Russia. The second vaccine — 7-14 days before arrival to the Baikal region.

 

The vaccination process might differ in your country. For details, please contact your doctor. If you are not willing to go through vaccination process, please, be assured that your medical insurance covers tick-borne encephalitists.

Booking

Three religions of Baikal

Difficulty
Difficulty levels
Easy. Passive relaxation and sightseeing — cruises for example. No physical activities. Good for older people.
Normal. Active tours. You don’t have to be a sportsman, but you need to be strong enough to ride a snowmobile or go hiking in the mountains.
Advanced. Get ready for a challenge — long trekking with a heavy backpack on the shoulders, rafting along mountain rivers.
Hard. Professional training and perfect physical fitness are required. The level involves climbing to the tops of the mountains (above 3000 meters), freeriding and North Pole diving.
Age
from 5 y.o.
Group size
from 4 to 16 person
Duration
10 days

Accommodation during the trip

3 nights
6 nights

Languages

EN
guide
104 678 RUB
What's included in the price:
  • accommodation as per itinerary

  • meals as per itinerary

  • transport as per itinerary, including transfer from airport/railway station

  • english-speaking guide services

  • letter of invitation

  • excursions and visits as per itinerary

  • reserves and national parks entrance permissions

  • boat trip

  • bathhouse (days 5-9)

Extra charge:
  • airline tickets to Irkutsk (starting at 20 400 rubles for a round-trip ticket)

  • visa fees and travel insurance

  • single accomodation at hotel and guest house (+15 300 roubles per person)

  • personal expenses and tips

  • medical insurance

  • excursion on the Ogoy Island (day 9)

  • optional activities

In the price:
Included Extra charge
  • accommodation as per itinerary

  • meals as per itinerary

  • transport as per itinerary, including transfer from airport/railway station

  • english-speaking guide services

  • letter of invitation

  • excursions and visits as per itinerary

  • reserves and national parks entrance permissions

  • boat trip

  • bathhouse (days 5-9)

  • airline tickets to Irkutsk (starting at 20 400 rubles for a round-trip ticket)

  • visa fees and travel insurance

  • single accomodation at hotel and guest house (+15 300 roubles per person)

  • personal expenses and tips

  • medical insurance

  • excursion on the Ogoy Island (day 9)

  • optional activities

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