Pancake Festival On Lake Baikal

This tour is not available and is archived.
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
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.
  • Uncommon and fun stay, rich in various activities
  • Discovery of local traditions
Tour Overview

The Pancake Week or Maslenitsa in Russia is a very fun holiday that is celebrated to see severe winter off and to honour spring bringing the awakening of nature and warm sun. For Russians spring was always a symbol of the beginning of a new life and the end of frosts. Every day of the Pancake Week has its own name - Gourmand, Revelry, Mother-in-Law Night etc. In the end of the week everyone meets in the main city square to put a straw effigy representing Winter to the flames of a bonfire.

The Maslenitsa week is the last week before the Great Lent when it is still allowed to eat butter, milk, meat, and fish. According to Orthodox church, the week is also called Cheesefare Week. In this time people usually prepared yellow, round and hot pancakes symbolizing the sun. The latter was always respected as it gives life and strength to all living beings. They believe that when eating a pancake one shares the warmth and the power of the sun.

This journey offers you to celebrate Maslenitsa in the very north of Lake Baikal in Siberia, to learn old Russian customs and taste traditional pancakes. Also you will enjoy the hot springs in the north of the Baikal, try true Russian banya, and visit the factory producing traditional felt boots.

Ideal tour for a family or friends group as well as for solo travellers to get plunged in a warm atmosphere of Siberian traditions!

Tour programme
  • Day 1
    February 5, Friday Arrival in Irkutsk. Transfer to the guest house (not included, possible to reserve in addition). Rest. After lunch walking city tour. Discovery of its historic center, old churches, wooden houses. Excursion in the Decembrists musuem. After dinner in guest house transfer to the train station. Leave by train for Ulan-Ude, the capital of Buryatia.
  • Day 2
    February 6, Saturday Morning arrival in Ulan-Ude. Transfer to homestay. Rest, refreshment. Drive to the village of Old Believers to discover their way of life. Tasting of their traditional dishes. Return to Ulan-Ude, city tour and excursion to the factory producing traditional Russian felt boots - valenkis. Homestay overnight.
  • Day 3
    February 7, Sunday Transfer to the airport of Ulan-Ude. Flight to the north of Lake Baikal to the town of Nizhneangarsk. Transfer to Severobaikalsk. Night in welcoming hotel, 300 m/330 yd from the shore.
  • Day 4
    February 8 "Monday – Hello Maslenitsa!" City tour. Discovery of the museum of the BAM (Baikal-Amur Mainline), of winter garden. Lunch. Time at leisure.
  • Day 5
    February 9 "Merry Tuesday" After breakfast departure to the thermal springs of Goudzhekit. This day is supposed to be spent on sliding and playing active games. By tradition, we will go to skiing lodge. Lunch. Return to the city. Time at leisure.
  • Day 6
    February 10 "Gourmand Wednesday" On this day people usually ate much, especially pancakes that symbolize the sun, good harvest and prosperity. After breakfast we will leave for the hot springs of Dzelinda where bathing and lunch with traditional pancakes will wait for us. Return to the city. Time at leisure.
  • Day 7
    February 11 "Revelry Thursday" This was the day for Russians to party: they made snow castles and sang songs of the Pancake Week. Thursday, they were used to horseback ride around the village and call spring, the sun and good harvest. After breakfast we will head to the Baikalskoye village for a horseback ride accompanied by experienced instructors. We will also play soccer on snow and enjoy snow castles. Picnic and return to the city. Time at leisure.
  • Day 8
    February 12 "Friday – Mother-in-Law's Night" On this day sons-in-law visited their mothers-in-law who treated them with pancakes. We will visit the "White Sail" yacht club. In the programme: sauna with a dive into the lake and vodka with pancakes. Return to the city. Time at leisure.
  • Day 9
    February 13 "Saturday – Good Bye Maslenitsa!" Participation in folk festival and, according to custom, burning of the traditional straw effigy of Maslenitsa. In the evening transfer to the train station, train back to Irkutsk.
  • Day 10
    February 14, Sunday Day and night aboard train.
  • Day 11
    February 15, Monday Arrival in Irkutsk. Transfer to homestay, breakfast. Drive to Listvyanka, village located 70 km/44 mi from Irkutsk, on the shore of Lake Baikal. On the way visit to Taltsy museum which is 50 km (31 mi) from Irkutsk to see traditional Russian and Buryat architecture of the XVII-XIX cen. Lunch in the museum, atmosphere of the XIX cen. Arrival in the village. Visit to the Baikal Museum to see the aquarium with nerpas. Port of the village and typical saleswomen of omul. At wish - tasting of smoked omul (endemic fish of the lake). Return to Irkutsk. Сelebratory dinner at the restaurant serving Russian cuisine. Homestay overnight in Irkutsk.
  • Day 12
    Februaury 16, Tuesday Departure after breakfast (airport transfer not included). End of the programme.
                          Detailed description
                          New departures available soon
                          Price includes
                          • English-speaking guide
                          • Russian-spaking guide
                          • Accommodation as per itinerary
                          • Transport a per itinerary
                          • Excursions and visits as per itinerary
                          • Letter of invitation
                          Price does not include
                          • Meals as per itinerary
                          • Visa invitation and registration of passports (for foreign citizens, if necessary)
                          • Personal expenses and tips
                          • Visa fees and travel insurance
                          • Ski rental
                          • Bathing in springs
                          • Airplane/ train tickets
                          • Bathing in hot springs
                          For more info, please download the detailed description of the trip.

                          NB: If flight from Ulan-Ude to Nizhneangarsk is cancelled, we will have to take train from Irkutsk to Severobaikalsk and cancel visit to Ulan-Ude. The rest of the programme will stay invariable. Meals during train journey from Severobaikalsk to Irkutsk are not included. Small group supplement if 2-3 participants: 18760 RUB per person (approx. 440 EUR) Supplement for the group of 4-5 participants: 4680 RUB per person (approx. 110 EUR)

                          Sign up for our emails!
                          Why subscribe? First, our newsletters are captivating! We are one of the few tour operators specializing in Russian and Georgian nature, who invests a lot of resources into photo and video-shooting. That’s why even sitting in the office, you’ll feel like you are making your way among arctic ices, walking along taiga valleys, admiring volcanos or looking in the mirror of crystal Baikal waters. Second, there is lots of useful stuff in our letters. The information about outstanding places, new routes’ descriptions, stories from expeditions and trips. And don’t worry, we write in an easy and entertaining manner. And finally, we’re not pushy. You will get all this beauty not often than once a month or two. So you’re gonna miss us!