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Around Baikal Winter Expedition

Destination: Lake Baikal
Easy - nothing more than normal walking while sight-seeing
Moderately Easy - 1-3 hours of physical activity daily
Moderate - 3-5 hours of physical activity daily
Challenging - 5-7 hours of challenging physical activity daily
Extreme - 7+ hours of challenging/extreme physical activity daily
Difficulty
Basic — most of nights in tents or rooms with shared WC, some nights in comfortable rooms.
Standard — most of nights in comfortable rooms, some nights in tents or rooms with shared WC.
Upgraded — all nights in comfortable rooms.
Comfort
Minimum age of the participant of this trip
10 Days
Highlights
  • More than 400 km of the way by frozen lake
  • Visits of the two Baikal regional capital cities: Irkutsk and Ulan-Ude (Republic of Buryatia)
  • Visit of the Old Believers’ village
  • Visit of Ivolginsky Datsan - Center of Buddism in Russia
  • Ring road going for more than 2000 km
  • Night in fishermen’s yurts on the ice
  • Bathing in the hot springs
  • Feasible itinerary even in case of extreme weather conditions
  • Road along of the Trans-Siberian and Baikal-Amur Mainlines.
  • Observation of ice in all its forms
  • Discovery of the wildest and the least “touristy” part of the lake
Tour Overview

There are so many opportunities that the winter season offers to motorists, like the famous winter roads that replace the hardly passable mud paths and the lake with a depth of 1500 km.  BaikalNature invites you to take advantage of these opportunities and would like to present to you a new exclusive tour - off-road expedition around lake Baikal. 10 unforgettable days of adventure, during which you will take a ride around the lake and also pass more than 400 km by ice.


Moreover, you will: 

bathe in thermal hot springs where the temperature of water reaches 50 degrees, 

spend a night in a true fisherman's yurt on the ice, 

travel to the largest peninsula on lake Baikal, 

enjoy the unforgettable views of giant ice hummocks (up to 5x meters in height), 

visit the village of Old Believers - Tarbagatay and the center of Buddhism in Russia – datsan of Ivolginsk. And if luck is on your side, you will get a chance to see the nerpas – famous lake Baikal endemic seals.


During the tour you will also visit 2 capitals of Baikal region - Irkutsk and Ulan-Ude, and travel along the longest railway lines in the world - the Baikal–Amur Mainline and Trans-Siberian. 

The full length of the Trans-Siberian railway is more than 9200 km and we will join this great route for a short but its most picturesque segment - from Ulan-Ude to Irkutsk, part of which runs along the shore of lake Baikal. 

As for the trip along the Baikal-Amur Mainline, running for more than 4,200 km, here we will compete in the speed with trains going for 135 km from Ulkan to Severobaikalsk. 

Baikal-Amur Mainline runs north of and parallel to the Trans-Siberian railway departing from it at Tayshet. Its construction began in 1938 and was carried out mainly by prisoners of correctional camps and later by volunteers.


For your transportation during the trip we provide specially equipped  off-road vehicles - Toyota Land Cruiser, known for their power and maneuverability.

Tour programme
  • Day 1
    Discovery of Irkutsk
    Irkutsk
  • Day 2
    Departure toward Kachug Road
    Irkutsk — Zhigalovo
  • Day 3
    Road along the BAM. Hot springs
    Zhigalovo — Goudzhekit
  • Day 4
    Severobaikalsk. Crossing of Baikal on the ice
    Goudzhekit — Khakusi
  • Day 5
    Hot springs Khakusy
    Khakusy
  • Day 6
    To Chivyrkuysky Gulf through the ice
    Khakusi — Chivyrkuysky Gulf
  • Day 7
    Sviatoy Nos peninsula
    Chivyrkuysky Gulf — Ust-Barguzin
  • Day 8
    Ulan-Ude - the capital of Buryatya
    Ust-Barguzin — Ulan-Ude
  • Day 9
    Along "Baikal" highway
    Ulan-Ude — Irkutsk
  • Day 10
    End of the program
    Irkutsk
  • 11:00
    Arrival in Irkutsk.
    Transfer to the hotel. Check-in, rest after the trip.
  • 13:00
    Lunch
    Meeting with the guide in the hotel hall. Lunch at the restaurant .
  • 14:00
    City tour pedestrian
    After lunch, walking tour of the historical city-centre with your guide. For several hours you will be surrounded by this particular atmosphere that makes Irkutsk such a unique city: the old churches, the southern docks of the river Angara, the wooden houses of the old city and the central market.
  • 19:00
    Dinner in the hotel
Photo of the day
Route
Irkutsk
Accommodation
Accommodation in the hotel Imperia
-
  • 08:00
    Breakfast in the hotel
  • 09:00
    Departure to Zhigalovo
    Departure for Zhigalovo through Kachug road, where the endless steppe of Ust-Orda opens on the forest and the wild taiga. All along the day, we will stop in various picturesque spots.
  • 13:00
    Lunch in a café along the road Not included
  • 14:00
    Continuation of the way by Kachug road
    We will as well make a stop and take a moment to observe the Shushensky petroglyphs. Arrival in Zhigalovo in the evening, accommodation at the base.
  • 19:00
    Dinner in the local café Not included
  • Overnight in the resort
Photo of the day
Route
Irkutsk — Zhigalovo
Note

4x4  (390.5km)

  • 08:30
    Departure for the Goudzhekit's hot springs.
  • 09:00
    En route, breakfast in roadside café
  • 10:00
    Continuation of the way
    This day, the part of route will follow the popular BAM mainline (Baikal-Amur Mainline), one of the biggest railroad in the world. Its construction began in 1938 and goes through the country for 4287km. The BAM mainline crosses the path of the legendary Transsiberian railroad before the two part from each other in Tayshet. This mainline was mainly built by prisoners from the labour camps, then, by volunteers. This is an opportunity for you to see with your own eyes a part of Russia’s History.
  • 13:00
    Lunch in roadside café Not included
  • 14:00
    Continuation of the way
    Return to Goujekit in the evening. setting up of the Resort
  • 18:00
    Dinner at the resort
  • 19:00
    Free time
    Possibility to enjoy of the hot springs (entry must be paid on spot, about 200 rubles). The thermal waters are located in the floodplains of Goudzhekit and come out of the ground at a temperature of 50°C. The waters of the hot springs are well known for their rich composition of silicic acids and alkalis properties.
  • Overnight in the resort
Photo of the day
Route
Zhigalovo — Goudzhekit
Note

4x4  (390km)

  • 09:00
    Breakfast at the resort
  • 10:00
    Departure for the Baikal coasts
    We will go through the city of Severobaykalsk, where we will stop a bit to visit the city-centre. Severobaykalsk is the most populated town on the Baikal coasts and is surrounded by the rocky ridges of the lake. Then, we will cross the lake on the ice from its east coast.
  • 13:00
    Pic-nic lasts the ride
  • 14:00
    Continuation of the way on the ice
    In the afternoon arrival and check-in at the base in Khakusi.
  • 19:00
    Dinner at the resort
  • Overnight in the resort
Photo of the day
Route
Goudzhekit — Khakusi
Note

4x4  (82km)

  • 09:00
    Breakfast
  • 10:00
    Free day in Khakusi
    Khakusi is a thermal station known for its hot springs and their waters whose temperatures are reaching 46°C. It is also an opportunity for you to bathe in the medicinal waters and draw strength from the surrounding environment.
  • 13:00
    Lunch in the resort
  • 15:00
    Free time for bathing
  • 19:00
    Dinner in the resort
  • Overnight in the resort
Photo of the day
Route
Khakusy
  • 09:00
    Breakfast
  • 10:00
  • 13:00
    Pic-nic along the road in the great air
  • 15:00
    Continuation of the way on the ice
    In the afternoon, arrival at the Chivyrkuysky Gulf. We will spend night in fishermen’s yurts on the ice.
  • 19:00
    Dinner
  • Overnight in fishermen’s yurt
Photo of the day
Route
Khakusi — Chivyrkuysky Gulf
Note

4x4  (203km)

  • 09:00
    Breakfast
  • 10:00
    Departure to Ust-Barguzin
    Today, we will carry on the road to Ust-Barguzin. If the ice is safe enough, you will have the opportunity to go around the Sviatoy Nos peninsula and visit the island of Uchkani.
  • 13:00
    Pic-nic in the open air
  • 14:00
    Continuation of the way to Ust-Barguzin
    Arrival in Ust-Barguzin in the evening, installation in homestay.
  • 19:00
    Dinner at homestay
  • Overnight in homestay
Photo of the day
Route
Chivyrkuysky Gulf — Ust-Barguzin
Note

4x4  (130km)

  • 09:00
    Breakfast
  • 10:00
    Departure to Ulan-Ude
    After breakfast, we go back on the road to Ulan-Ude, capital city of the Republic of Buryatia. A part of the route that will last approximately five hours along the Baikal coasts. Visit of the Old Believers’ village of Tarbagatay.
  • 13:00
    Lunch
    You will be offered a traditional Buryat meal by the local people as well as a folkloric show.
  • 15:00
    Continuation of the way to Ulan-Ude
    Visit of Ivolginsky Datsan, a Buddhist complex located in the middle of the steppe, away from the city. This Dastan has a particularly important place in the Buryat culture and is also the heart of the Buddhist faith in Russia. Way back to Ulan-Ude, check-in. If there is enough time - stoll in the city-centre to discover different touristic assets of the city.
  • 19:00
    Dinner in the local restaurant
  • Overnight in the hotel
Photo of the day
Route
Ust-Barguzin — Ulan-Ude
Note

4x4  (425km)

  • 09:00
    Departure to Irkutsk
    After breakfast, departure to Irkutsk along the "Baikal" highway. A part of the route will be along the coasts of the Baikal.
  • 09:00
    Breakfast in the hotel
  • 13:00
    Lunch in the road-side café Not included
  • 14:00
    Continuation of the way to Irkutsk
    Arrival in the afternoon. Check-in in the hotel.
  • 19:00
    Dinner
    Festive diner in the local restauant
  • Overnight in the hotel
Photo of the day
Route
Ulan-Ude — Irkutsk
Accommodation
Accommodation in the hotel Imperia
-
Note

4x4  (459km)

  • 09:00
    Breakfast
  • 11:00
    Transfer to the airport
    End of the program
Photo of the day
Route
Irkutsk
Detailed description
New departures available soon
Price includes
  • Transfers in Irkutsk
  • English-speaking guide
  • Accommodation as per itinerary
  • Transport as per itinerary
  • Medical insurance
  • Excursions and visits as per itinerary
  • Letter of invitation
  • Sleeping bag rental
  • Ice cleats
Price does not include
  • Personal expenses and tips
  • Visa fees and travel insurance
  • Ski rental
  • Airline tickets
For more info, please download the detailed description of the trip.
Note

The price given is for a group of 3 people (for one car). Total number of vehicles: 2 to 4. If there are less than 3 persons in the car, the price of the expedition will be recalculated. All meals are included in the price of the program, except for: breakfasts on the 1st and 3rd days, lunches on the 2nd, 9th and 10th days as well as diners on the 2nd and 10th days. The access to the hot springs in Goudzhekit is to pay on the spot (around 200 rubles per person).

Reviews
4.67
4.67
Total score
5.00
Work of BaikalNature office before and during travel / customer support
4.00
Quality of accommodation
5.00
Quality of transport / transfers
5.00
Quality of meals
4.00
Friendliness and professionalism of guides / management
5.00
Quality and originality of visits / attractions / events
Hélène
From 3 March 2017 to 12 March 2017
Destination: Lake Baikal
Would you like to travel with BaikalNature again? Yes!
Voyage très bien organisé et original (logement et repas chez l'habitant très bien). Confort un peu rudimentaire, mais c'est normal dans cette région et il faut l'accepter. Par contre à Khakoussy il était noté sur le programme toilette et douche à l'étage. De douche il n'y en avait pas, et les toilettes, c'était dehors. D'ailleurs, nous n'étions pas dans l'hébergement prévu. Les repas étaient
  Read more
BaikalNature's reply
Bonjour Hélène, merci pour vos précieux commentaires. En ce qui concerne votre logement à Khakoussy, nous avons dû remplacer votre hébergement car les chambres de l'hôtel initialement prévu au programme sont actuellement en réparation. Toutefois, nous vous prions de bien vouloir nous excuser pour ce désagrément qui est indépendant de notre volonté. Nous vous remercions pour vos appréciations du travail de votre guide et de l'organisation du voyage. Et, cela nous fait plaisir d'apprendre que malgré les blessures vous gardez un bon souvenir de ce voyage.
5.00
5.00
Total score
5.00
Work of BaikalNature office before and during travel / customer support
5.00
Quality of accommodation
5.00
Quality of transport / transfers
5.00
Quality of meals
5.00
Friendliness and professionalism of guides / management
5.00
Quality and originality of visits / attractions / events
Pierre-Jean
From 3 March 2017 to 12 March 2017
Destination: Lake Baikal
Would you like to travel with BaikalNature again? Yes!
This guest did not leave a comment.
No reviews anymore or no reviews at all for this tour. Below reviews for destination:
5.00
5.00
Total score
5.00
Work of BaikalNature office before and during travel / customer support
5.00
Quality of accommodation
5.00
Quality of transport / transfers
5.00
Quality of meals
5.00
Friendliness and professionalism of guides / management
5.00
Quality and originality of visits / attractions / events
Michel
From 7 March 2017 to 17 March 2017
Destination: Lake Baikal
Would you like to travel with BaikalNature again? Yes!
Tout était parfait, les transferts impeccables, Irina, Andrej, Janna et Anna furent des guides de qualité. Vous aviez parfaitement choisi les lieux de séjour et de repas La base Lada à Olkhone nous convenait parfaitement, nous avons eu l’occasion d’y rencontrer un charmant groupe féminin qui était aussi en villégiature pour quelques jours et qui comprenait une ancienne professeure de français…
  Read more
5.00
5.00
Total score
5.00
Work of BaikalNature office before and during travel / customer support
5.00
Quality of accommodation
5.00
Quality of transport / transfers
5.00
Quality of meals
5.00
Friendliness and professionalism of guides / management
5.00
Quality and originality of visits / attractions / events
Catherine
From 2 March 2017 to 8 March 2017
Destination: Lake Baikal
Would you like to travel with BaikalNature again? Yes!
Un séjour grandiose et inoubliable à tout point de vue. Dans la description, il faudrait peut-être quand même préciser que pour faire les 2 jours de marche sur le lac, il vaut mieux être entrainé à marcher vite en cas de mauvaise météo. Ceci a été le cas pour nous le dimanche, avant d'arriver au campement. Heureusement notre guide Andreï a été parfait et notre groupe était homogène pour avoir une
  Read more
4.50
4.50
Total score
5.00
Work of BaikalNature office before and during travel / customer support
5.00
Quality of accommodation
4.00
Quality of transport / transfers
4.00
Quality of meals
4.00
Friendliness and professionalism of guides / management
5.00
Quality and originality of visits / attractions / events
Frédéric
From 5 March 2017 to 11 March 2017
Destination: Lake Baikal
Would you like to travel with BaikalNature again? Yes!
Très belle découverte que ce voyage. Qualité des prestations : en préparation (merci Anna); à Oulan Oudé, excellente guide (Natacha) Une simple recommandation : le guide principal devrait faire un débriefing chaque jour pour le lendemain afin que chacun puisse s'organiser; cela semblait par moment improvisé au dernier moment. Enfin, nous avons fait le circuit à l'envers et le début est un peu
  Read more
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