Just after breakfast you will have transfer by car to the region of southern part of Lake Baikal.
(Whole drive is about 80 km, paved road; it takes about an hour to get there). Today you will have one-day cross-country skiing trip across Taiga forest down the creek valley towards to Baikal Lake on traditional Siberian wide wooden skies. Ski route starts at the small Transsib railroad station located not far from Baikal Lake and goes down to the Lake Baikal through picturesque wintry forest following creek valley which runs for 14 km before it reaches the Lake’s shore. Lunch will be served for you like a picnic next to the campfire in the middle of the ski route.
This afternoon we will reach shores of Baikal Lake and old Russian village Angasolka located at the mouth of the creek. This time of the Year Lake Baikal is frozen already so we could have a walk on a ice of the Lake along historical branch of Transsib railroad (Circumbaikal rail line).
This part of Transsib was originally the connection between western and eastern branches of Russian railroads at Baikal Lake region. For transcendental building expenses this part was called Golden buckle of Russian steel belt. There are lots of stone made bridges, tunnels, galleries and other constructions on the, which are all hand-made from local stones with big art. For the present moment this part of Transsib is not included into general railroad line and it became an open air museum.
This evening we will get accommodated at the private hotel and have an experience of Russian steam sauna - Banya, located right on the shore of Lake Baikal. We are welcome to give a try for swimming in the ice pool next to the shore after extremely hot sauna!
Dinner and overnight at the hotel (twin rooms). Included meals: B-L-D
We’ll keep driving southwards on ice shield of the Lake (about 15 km) until we reach Kultuk settlement located at the southern extremity of Baikal Lake. You could take several memorable pictures of Baikal Lake surrounded by snowy Hamar-Daban Mountains while driving.
As soon as we will reach main paved road on mainland we’ll continue driving southwards to the Tunka valley (about 100 km drive, paved road). On the way you will see snow-covered rocky peaks of Sayan Mountains which surrounded flats of quite country side of Tunka valley. On the way we will take a special stop for exploring a Shamanistic sacred spot located at the foot of Sayan Mountains. Here you could see a small temple builded many years ago on a very top of the rocky pillars and used by locals of Tunka valley for some Shamanistic ceremonies and sacrificing.
After exploring this sight we will continue driving southwards deeper into the Tunka valley.
Dinner will be served in a road cafe where you may try most typical dishes of local Burjatish cuisine – meat dumplings cooked on steam. After dinner we will continue driving to Arshan settlement, which is a little spa resort located at the slopes of the Sayan Mountains. Upon arrival to Arshan you will be accommodated at the local hotel (double rooms, twin beds, shower and flashing toilets facilities).
Overnight: Private Hotel. Included meals B-L-D
In the morning we’ll have excursion to the Buddhist temple - Datsan which is located next to Arshan village. Native people of Arshan village - Buryats are mostly Buddhists. There we might have a chance to watch traditional morning Buddhist ceremony which includes reading of mantras by monks. Together with the locals you could get acquainted with spiritual life of Buryats.
After visiting temple we will continue driving across Tunka valley southwards. The steppe surrounded with the steeple-roofed dents of Sayan Mountains salutes travelers, and staid cows walking along the road are not bothered by increasing civilization development. At this area you could feel geographical nearness of Mongolia.
Finally, the road crosses the bridge over the Irkut River and we are getting in to Mondy village. This is a last Russian settlement in Tunka valley before Mongolian border. 20 km more of driving on a side gravel road will bring you to the bridge across White Irkut River which will be a start point of our jeep trip into the ice canyons of Irkut River.
After adjusting special wheel chains we’ll start driving off-road over ice of frozen White Irkut River using its valley like a road (!). Quite soon we’ll get to the mouth of the deep rocky canyon and continue driving into it. You will be definitely impressed by views of this majestic canyon with black and yellow vertical rocks framing it. Tonight will set up tent camp on picturesque terrace on the bank of the White Irkut River with a good view to the mountain surrounding.
Overnight: Tent Camp (Special winter tent with wood stove hitting). Included meals B-L-D
Today we will have one day trekking/ice climbing trip to the deepest and most narrow canyon of Middle Irkut River, which we will explore hiking on ice of frozen river. High vertical rocky walls of canyon have different colors - black, red and yellow, in some places you can observe beautiful icefalls. Some side streams of canyon are so tight that you could touch both walls of canyon with two hands at once.
To pass a canyon through we’ll need to climb one icefall with a heights of 12 m. Your guide will climb it first and then belay you from its top.
After passing most narrow place canyon valley gets more opened and has attractive view to the mountain surrounding. Here we will make campfire and cook lunch. After lunch we could ascend left slope of the mountain valley to take look on another sight of the area – sacred rock – Nuhu Daban. This amazing rock hidden in the forest next to Middle Irkut valley. It shaped like a high arch or wall with a through hole-window (In a translation from local dialect Nuhu means "hole"). This place is famous between locals as holy, sacred and they do some ceremonies at this place time to time.
After exploring Nuhu Daban place we'll start to descend through the forest to our campsite along a picturesque mountain rib. On the way you could take several memorable pictures of mountain surrounding and photos of canyon Valley of Middle Irkut River from above. There are plenty of wild mountain goats at this area, so with certain luck you may see some of them.
This evening we'll get back our base camp, where we will cook dinner and have a meal next to the evening campfire.
Overnight: Tent Camp (Special winter tent with wood stove hitting) Included meals B-L-D
In the morning we'll have a breakfast at the camp, fold tent and other camping equipment and pack it into the jeep car. Today we'll drive out of canyon back to the main road line and start driving in Tunka valley towards to Baikal Lake and Irkutsk.
On the way we'll take a special stop to visit hot mineral springs under the open-air. You can take hot steaming bath with a great open view to the snow covered peaks of Sayan Mountains! The difference of water and air temperature could be extremely big: the water can by about +48C and in contrast the air can be -30C. That’s why the huge cloud of steam covers the whole place of these thermal springs.
After bathing we will have a lunch in a local cafe and then continue driving on a paved road rest of the distance to Baikal Lake. Upon arrival to the southern extremity of the Lake we’ll take stop on a top of the mount which is a best observation spot of this area. From here you could see Baikal Lake surrounded by snowy Humar-Daban Mountains and loops of Transsib rail line and road descending from a hill in serpentines Here we will have a lunch in a road café with a nice panoramic view to the southern part of Lake Baikal.
One more hour of drive will bring us to Irkutsk city where you will be accommodated at the private homestay at the city center. After some rest and shower we will go for exploration of evening Irkutsk city, visit some local pubs.
Overnight: Private homestay (privately owned flat at the city center of Irkutsk city, twin rooms). Included meals B-L.
|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