Sights and entertainments:
wooden architecture of Irkutsk, places of power at the island of Olkhon, hot springs in the settlement of Arshan, the Buryat village, the Buryat cuisine, local customs and traditions, meeting with the shaman, conversation with lama, the Buryat legends
Program of the tour
Meeting in Irkutsk.
Today we will have a sightseeing tour to Irkutsk. Ancient wooden buildings, churches, mansions of the Siberian merchants - the city architecture and also its unique color will leave an indelible impression in your heart.
Right after the excursion we will go to the settlement of Arshan, which is called the Siberian Alps (215 km, about 3 hours of drive). On the road we will stop in the most southern part of Baikal to have dinner with a surprising view of the lake. On arrival to Arshan we will have a fascinating excursion to the village and also walk to local falls at Kyngarga river (2 km).
Night in Arshan
Free day in Arshan.
The excursion in local Buryat datsan will allow to touch Buddhist religion and to communicate to the real lamas - monks.
For active hikers it's possible to go to the mountains, such as Peak of Love, Bowl of Virgins, Hot Springs of Arshan, you'll see the beauty of nature and learn romantic legends about each place.
It's also possible to visit real shamans either in Arshan or in the neighboring villages and participate in the real shaman ritual.
Early in the morning we will go to Tunkinsky valley. Today we will have the trip to the amazing country of mountains at the border with Mongolia. We will see landscapes, worthy to be painted by artists, with majestic snow-covered tops and the mountain raging rivers. We will have a lunch picnic at the picturesque coast of Irkut. After returning we will stop in the village Zhemchug, where you will have an opportunity after the long trip to have rest and bathe in the swimming pool with curing water.
Departure from Zhemchug to the settlement of Slyudyanka. Today you will have a relaxing trip around the Circum-Baikal railroad. You will pass along the unique section of the old Trans-Siberian Railway and you will admire Baikal from the train window. And at the stops you will have an opportunity to walk and admire man-made and natural monuments. Then you will go from the terminal station Port Baikal to the settlement of Listvyanka.
Excursion across Listvyanka with visit of the Baikal museum, the viewpoint at the height of 700 m above the sea level with beautiful view of the source of Angara and Baikal. After lunch we will go to Irkutsk and on the way we'll stop at the museum of wooden architecture of Taltsy to get acquainted closer with the history of the Siberian people.
In Irkutsk there will be an evening sightseeing tour.
We'll go to the island of Olkhon, which is situated in 250 km from Irkutsk. On the way you will have a chance to admire the beautiful steppe landscapes and wide plains stretched for hundreds of kilometers.
On the way we will stop in one of the Buryat small villages, and you will be able to participate in the real shaman ceremony, look at the folklore performance of local ensemble and you will dance the real Buryat dances. On the way you will try dishes of the Buryat cuisine. We will reach the island on the ferry, and during the 15-minute crossing we will enjoy a boat voyage across Baikal. Arrival in the village of Huzhir. After dinner we will walk to the sacred rock of the Shaman and admire the sunset at Baikal.
Today we will have an excursion in the most northern part of the island of Olkhon - cape Khoboy, with which the surprising legend of the Buryat woman is connected. During the excursion we will visit the most beautiful places, such as cape Three Brothers, Peak of Love, Uzury valley. Photos of these places most often are found in the Internet in the description of Baikal. During the excursion you will have a tasty picnic lunch outdoors. You will get filled with energy of Baikal, you will hear fascinating local legends and learn a lot of things about traditions of indigenous people.
Upon return the surprising excursion to the Buryat village, where you will get acquainted with life of the Buryats - folklore, household, you will try the real Buryat dishes and also look at the small performance and you will take part in national wrestling.
Today you will have a boat voyage to Ogoy island, where there is a Buddhist Stupa of Enlightenment. The special story is connected with it, and you will surely recognize it during the trip. This is a unique chance to look at Olkhon and at other islands, which are in the Small Sea Strait, not from the land, but from water. You will also have tasty lunch at the mainland
After breakfast and saying good buy to Lake Baikal we'll return to Irkutsk