Baikal is the deepest lake in the world (up to 1642 meters deep), located in the southern part of East Siberia, Russia, near the Mongolia border. This large fresh body of water is famous for it’s clarity and how it turns to a beautiful shade of see-through blue once it freezes. The lake contains roughly 20% of the world’s unfrozen surface fresh water. It contains more water than all the North American Great Lakes combined. The area is still underdeveloped in terms of advanced tourist serving infrastructure. There are no large hotels. You will be kind of on your own. But that is maybe the best part of Lake Baikals attractiveness. The lake is also a Unesco World Heritage Destination.
Pack ice, caves on rocky shores and several kilometers worth of fissures gleaming in the sun, whether it was rising or setting. The fresh air and the smell of the Sibearian pines makes this place a truly unique experience.
It takes approximately a month for Baikal to freeze over. Halfway through January the whole lake is covered by a clear coat of ice. Strong winds tend to blow all the snow off it, keeping it nice and clean for anyone wanting to go ice skating, photographing, kicksledding or biking. Unfortunately no one can guarantee a clean coat of ice.
The beginning of Spring is the best time to visit Baikal. Biting frost eases has eased its grip, there’s more sunlight and thus longer days. We visit two spectacular locations: Olkhon Isle, the largest island in Baikal and a favorite among painters. And Listvyanka Village, named after a specific breed of larch growing in the area.
The next trip is on 29 February 2020. Please go read about it in the blog.
|Day 1||Flight from Helsinki to Moscow to Irkutsk|
|Day 2||Arrival to Irkutsk (time difference 6 hours) Transport to Olkhon Isle, the journey takes about 4 hours. Accommodation in the hotel. Exploring the villages of Khuzhiri and Shamanka.|
|Day 3||We travel to the west and south sections of the island. We have a UAZ Jeep at our disposal – the car also goes by the name Buhanka aka Loaf). |
We’ll visit the island of Ogoy, known for it’s Buddhist Stupa
|Day 4||Today we’re off toward the most northern cape, Cape Hoboy. On the way we will visit the ice-covered hills on the shores and to witness the patterns formed in the clear ice of Lake Baikal.|
|Day 5||Today’s agenda is to visit Uzur and see the epic view provided by ascending a mountain.|
|Day 6||We travel to Listvyanka and check into the hotel. Listvyanka Village is one of a kind.|
|Day 7||A visit to a museum and ringed seal aquarium, general outdoors activities and should the ice be clean, skating.|
|Day 8||A tour in the Museum of Architecture and Entography.|
|Day 9||Back to the airport. A flight from Irkutsk to Moscow to Helsinki.|
The above is an an example intinerary. We will visit some these places but not necessary in this order. Always check the current trip details and itinerary in the correct tour information in the blog article.
|The price includes||Accommodation in a hotel for 7 nights, twin room with breakfast.|
Transport from Irkutsk Airport to Olkho Isle, from Olkho Isle to Listvyanka, to ListvyankaAirport. Car transport to and from destinations during the time in the Olkho Isle. Transport to and from the Museum of Architecture and Etnography.
Registeration fee for visa
Visit to Listjvanka Museum, ringed seal aquarium, Taltsi-museum.
|The price does not include||Plane tickets (each person buys their own according to given instructions)|
Meals in restaurants, cafeterias, drinks, souvenirs
Tour skates, kick sleds. Kick sleds can be folded easily and transported in an Aeroflot plane for free.
JuriS Travel reserves all rights to any changes in the program and also reserves the right for any changes in the leaflets, fees and stipulations. Juris Travel can get their customer a visa to Russia (for any EU citizen, excluding citizens of Denmark and the UK). A visa valid for a year via JuriS Travel costs about 160 € + post. It’s easy to get and takes about three weeks to arrive.
Baikal has a continental climate. In the Isle of Olho, it rains about 50 days a year, which is not a lot. In the year 2016 the temperatures in the early March were -13 to -29 degrees Celsius at night and +2 to -12 degrees Celsius during the day. The average low is -18 and average high is -6. Bring proper winter gear. The strong winds can get very challenging otherwise. The larger part of Baikal hasn’t had an ice cover once in the past 60 years. The ice skating season usually lasts from early January to early April. The locals say the best time to visit is in March.
Watch the trailer of a Frenchman who left the hum of the city behind and went to Baikal.
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