Ice Driving Excursion to the biggest island of Lake Baikal - Olkhon
See more pictures from our Ice-Driving tour here !
Arrival to Irkutsk airport/ railway station and hospitable meeting by a local guide.Transfer to the local family and walking excursion to the historical center of Irkutsk. You'll visit the place where Irkutsk was founded at the confluence of two Siberian rivers: Irkut and Angara. The place is framed by three churches, two of which are Russian orthodox with golden domes and outer wall paintings and the third one is Roman Catholic. You'll be served traditional Siberian food at the one of the city cafes. After lunch you'll take a walk along the streets of old wooden Siberian houses, decorated by curved doors and windows. You'll also have a chance to take a look on a central market which is a kind of typical Siberian bazaar. Dinner and overnight at the local family.
(Privately owned flat at the center of the city, double room, French / Twin bed, flashing toilet, shower facilities).
In the morning just after breakfast you will have a morning transfer by car to the biggest island on Baikal Lake – Olkhon. First part of the road is paved, last stretch - gravel. The whole route length is about 350 km. On the way there you will see different landscape types – vast steppes, wintry Taiga forest and rocky shores of Baikal Lake. We will make a stop for lunch in one of the local road cafes, where you may try local specialty – dumplings with meat cooked on steam – main dish of native cuisine. (Locally called Pozy).
To get to Olkhon Island from the mainland we will take a drive over the ice shield of Baikal Lake right across frozen Olkhon’s Gate strait.
After that we will catch main road at the Island and continue driving over it until we get to the main settlement of Olkhon Island – Hujir village. There we will take a walk to the main local sight – Burkhan cape – located at the Baikal’s shore not far away from the village. Native people previously believed that this cape with a cave in it is a home place for main Spirit – owner of Olkhon Island – Burkhan and this spot was considered sacred and holy place among them. Your guide will show you hidden cave at this rocky cape and point for you some ancient rock-drawings.
Tonight we will be accommodated at the cozy log cabins of guesthouse. Dinner and Russian steam sauna – Banja will complete this day.
Overnight at the log cabins of local guesthouse (twin rooms).
After breakfast we will pack our luggage into the jeep car and continue driving excursion around northern extremity of Olkhon Island. The route goes along steep and rocky shores of Island on the ice of Small Sea - local name for the part of Baikal Lake between Western shore and Olkhon. Today you will see ice caves and grottos located at some of the small islands in the Small Sea. Extremely low temperatures in November-December and splashing Baikal waves create icicles of amazing forms and shapes which are hanging down from ceilings of ice-caves and cover the walls of some grottos.
Driving at the ice of Baikal Lake is challenging itself. Every local who drives on the ice mostly picks unique way according to his own experience and practical knowledge. Sometime 4 WD cars can’t pass some places with hummock ice or cracks in the ice shield, so driver tries to choose the route around this problematic place in the ice labyrinths and tries to keep general direction.
Today we will drive on ice to the most northern point of Olkhon Island – Cape Hoboy. In translation from local dialect this name means “Fang” which is quite true according to its outline. This rocky cliff looks like high pillars surrounded with endless spaces of frozen Baikal Lake. Also this place is famous for most rough ice conditions. Usually next to the Hoboy Cape you can observe huge blocks of blue hummocked ice, some of which are much higher than mans height.
Lunch will be served for you right on the ice of Baikal Lake like a picnic in a scenic spot next to the northern extremity on the Olkhon Island. You can enjoy your meal sitting next to the comfortable heat of the campfire. After lunch we will continue driving along Eastern shore of Olkhon southwards until we reach small settlement Uzury located at the picturesque bay, right between two high rocky cliffs. Here we will download our gear from car and get accommodated at the private home stay of local family.
This afternoon we will have a walk on the ice of Baikal Lake along picturesque rocky shore line. Don’t miss your chance to take incredible pictures of icy rocks and crystal clear blocks of Baikal’s hummocked ice.
Dinner and overnight at the private home stay of local family will finish this day.
Log cabins, twin rooms.
In the morning you will have breakfast at the guesthouse. Today we will make short trekking excursion to the top of one of the local cliffs from which you can observe amazing panorama of the whole northern end of Olkhon Island surrounded by high snowy mountains and endless Baikal’s expanse.
After that we will collect all our things and equipment into the jeep car and start driving back to Irkutsk. (Whole drive is about 340 km). First will drive to main settlement of Olkhon Island – Hujir village and then to Mainland by crossing Olhon’s Gate strait driving over ice of Baikal Lake. Continue driving along main road to Petrovo village, where we will have lunch in a local cozy road café.
Continue driving along main highway, probable it will take us about 2.5 hours to get back to Irkutsk city. Upon arrival to Irkutsk city you will have an accommmodation in a private homestay (private twin/doulble room in a comfortable flat located at the city center)
See more pictures from our Ice-Driving tour here !
|Price( Euro) per person
Note: Ask manager about ongoing tours and get your group discount!
Tour price includes:
- guide service
- complete meal 3 times a day.
- accommodation according to the program
- all transfers included into the route plan
- all fees for visiting museums and national park zones on Baikal lake
You can book this tour by e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
Map of the trip area