Winter Tours to Lake Baikal - Travel to Olkhon Island
|The winter is no less a time to travel to Baikal than the summer - quite the opposite.
The lake is more accessible by ice, its layer is safe almost everywhere and in the latter part of winter the sunlight
has returned and the weather is usually very good. Winter in Lake Baikal is not as severe as in other parts of Siberia.
The lake has more sunshine a year than in Black sea!
The best time for a winter trip to lake Baikal is in February and March. One of the most interesting destinations for
winter outdoors is at the middle basin of the lake - sacred Olkhon Island.
Map of Olkhon Island - 82 Kb / Scale 1:750000 (1cm=1.5km)|
All year round BaikalEx offers tours to Olkhon island. The best period for winter tours is from the 20th of January till
the 5th of April. Please see the description of the program below.
the distance between Irkutsk and Olkhon: 250 km/155 ml.
the distance between Irkutsk and Khuzir: 300 km/187 ml.
Khuzir is the main village of Olkhon. Here group members are accommodated in the guesthouse owned by local fisherman
family. Full home-made meals of traditional Siberian cuisine are made of Baikal fish.
We offer the minimum tour duration of 3 days / 2 nights. This allows to visit all major spots of the island and to get
a unique experience of travelling on clear Baikal ice. Jeep trip to the wild north of Olkhon (day 2) is the highlight of
the tour - enjoy the scenic Siberian winter landscapes embedded in ice and covered with snow.
You are welcome to spend more days in Olkhon and make walking trips on ice, along the shore or/and into the snowy taiga-forest.
|Tour to Olkhon Island / Itinerary:|
Duration: 3 days / 2 nights
|Day 1: The tour starts in Irkutsk or Listvyanka (hotel, apartments, etc.) where
tourists are picked up by our guide and driver and travel north 250 km / 155 miles to the Olkhon Island.
Lunch en route, served in Buryat village of Elantsi, then make the ice crossing to Olkhon Island. Explore Khuzir,
the island's main village, visit Burkhan Cape and the Local Lore museum. Dine on home-cooked grayling this evening,
a local Baikal specialty. Our guesthouse accommodation in Khuzir this
night is the highest standard available, which means no running water but very nice people. (D)
Day 2: In the morning depart by Russian military jeeps to explore Olkhon Island and classic Lake Baikal vistas.
Heading north, visit Harantsi village and make stops at Peschanka, Sagaan-Khushun Cape, coastal ice caves and stretches
of beach along the way, including the 600'-high cliffs of Khoboi Cape at the northern tip of the island. After a picnic
lunch in Uzuri bay, return back to Khuzir. En route visit fishermen on the ice. Russian banya/steam bath in the evening (on request).
Dinner and night in Khuzir. (B / L / D)
Day 3: After breakfast, drive to the ferry-station. Cross the strait to the mainland and drive to Irkutsk. Short
drive aside to visit the ancient carvings at the Anga river valley. Lunch en route in the buryat village of Elantsi.
Approximate time of arrival in Irkutsk is 18:00. Upon arrival transfer to the hotel or airport/railway station. (B)
3 day tour price: for the group size of 4 persons the price is 17000R per person.
2 day tour price: for the group size of 4 persons the price is 15000R per person.
Included Program Costs:
- Accommodation: Guest house in Olkhon / 2 nights;
- Ground Transport:
Minibus: 4 and more people
Passenger car or Land Cruiser: 1-3 persons
Jeeps UAZ or Land Cruiser: for the trip to the north of Olkhon
Fuel, drivers and driver's travel expenses
- Guides: English-speaking guide to accompany group at all times;
- Activities: Tours and visits as specified in itinerary;
- Meals: As specified in itinerary (B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner)
- Transfers: All transfers to/from hotels, apartments in Irkutsk;
- Permits & Admission Fees For access to special areas and sites;
Travelling to Olkhon Island in the New Year period, in the end of April and in May is possible only within a private tour.
At this time there is no ferry boat and no possibility to cross by ice. A hovercraft (air-cushion boat) is specially arranged for the group. Welcome to join!
Budget Package: 3 day trip 8000R|
• Accommodation: Guest house in Olkhon 3 days / 2 nights
• Meeting & Transfer to the starting point
• Transportation: minibus from Irkutsk to Khuzir and back to Irkutsk
• Meals: As specified in itinerary: (B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner)
More photos from the tour |
Tour to Olkhon in summer (June - October + November)|
You can ask a question or reserve the tour on our
Request Form page.
Read more information about Olkhon island.
Dear Guests: here you can read some comments of travellers who travelled to Olkhon island using one
of the packages above.|
We'd always like to hear about the service you recieve from us.
Please tell us all about it!
TRIP ADVISOR REVIEWS:
Baikal Explorer - Day Tours &
Lake Baikal - Siberian District
Visiting Olkhon Island in Baikal Lake
It was in Lake Baikal that we could, once more, witness the diversity of Russia. In this area you donít find fancy cars or 5* dining like in Moscow or
St. Petersburg. Here you can enjoy the richness of Buryat culture, beautiful nature and the simple things of life.
Diana and Stefano (20-22 October, 2016)
Thank you for a fantastic trip to Baikal. We had a wonderful day dog sledding with lunch provided and cooked over an open fire. Our next 2 days on frozen Baikal
will always remain a highlight during our stay in Russia. We enjoyed all of the sites and the fantastic service provided by everyone associated with this company.
Well done and we hope to come back during the spring months to see this areas transformation.
Judy & Mike Peacock (07-09 March, 2015)
Thanks a lot for this wonderful trip ! That was a great pleasure for all of us !
I look forward to getting again soon to Siberia for another adventure with you !
Martin (06-07 March, 2015)
... Our time with you on Olkhon Island was the highlight of our trip to Siberia. For someone who does it several times a week it must seem strange that we were so excited about driving and walking on a frozen lake, but for us it was a unique experience. We loved staying in the little village of Khuzir as well. Thank you too for your expert guidance and personalized attention during the 3 days.
Adrienne, John and Wally
100 Things to do Before you Die
(27 February, 2014) Australia
Thanks a million for providing us with a once in a lifetime, winter experience on Lake Baikal. Driving over the lake's beautiful thick ice,
and visiting the incredible ice formations around Olkhon island was simply amazing. I have been to 105 countries, and would rate this experience
as being up there with seeing the pyramids in Egypt, Mayon Volcano in the Philippines, Machu Picchu in Peru and Mount Everest in Tibet.
The log cabin we stayed in was of special interest to me, especially the amazing brick, wood stove that kept the place toasty warm. Also, the meals were
substantial and superb, even for me, a vegetarian.
I have driven many miles and lived in the Ice and snow, but I have never met a better four wheel driver than you are. You made driving on the mirror
smooth lake, even dusted with snow and over the hills and mountainous slopes seem effortless.
I was concerned about shooting photographs under extremely cold conditions, It being February and 40 below. But your instructions made it easy.
You are an excellent photographer and took wonderful pictures of us. Thanks! Also, we are especially grateful for the many hours of talking with
us you did as we drove around. Your English is excellent and your knowledge of history is spectacular.
Alena, if it hadn't been for you calming my fears, in your excellent English, during all my emails full of questions, this trip would have never
happened for us. There is so much misinformation on the web, like Lonely Planets material about how it is impossible for foreigners to get a
Russian visa in Mongolia or even Beijing. The fact is, anyone can easily get a Russian visa to visit Lake Baikal if they know the following
information. First, you can get a visa to visit Moscow, without difficulty almost anywhere. And once you have that visa you can go to Russia
through any point of entry no problem, even if you never plan to visit Moscow. The customs officers, 95% of them are women, simply check to see
if you have a current visa, carefully look at you and your passport photo and stamp you in. Be courteous or they can hold you up for ten minutes
and scare you in the bargain. They have all the time in the world.
I am an American living in Kunming China. The misinformation has it that I am required to go to a major city like Guangzhou, Shanghai or Beijing and
apply in person at the Russian Consulate for a visa. Also, that it may take up to two weeks to get it. What a major pain and expense. But if you
simply have a Chinese friend check the internet for you, you can find a cheap visa broker who will fill out your application, and get your visa for
you when you send her your passport. So easy!
We are now looking forward to our summertime visit to Baikal, the freshwater sea.
Kirk Alcond and Jade (15-18 February, 2014)
USA and China
On the great ice road
... We are not in a boat but a four-wheel-drive and the fishing boat is frozen in place. As it recedes into the distance behind us, the sheer magnitude and madness of what we are doing sets in ...
By MATTHEW CLAYFIELD
The Spirit of Discovery | | June 16, 2012
We had a wonderful time on our trip to Olkhon Island. Everything was perfectly organised and Leonid who guided us on the tour
was competent, friendly and a super companion. The trip is really something very, very special including the accommodation at
Nikita's Guest House and the daytrip to the northern tip of Olkhon Island under the guidance of local guide Sergeji. Thanks
again for a wonderful time.
Gaby and Willy (29 March, 2012)
Morocco and Germany
We took the Olkhon Island excursion last March (with a one day extension to visit Listvyanka), and had a fabulous time visiting the
region. Our guide Alexey was very friendly and very professional, and made sure that every little detail was taken care of to make
the trip as pleasant as possible (and his english is remarkable !).
The highlight of our trip was definitely the hours driving over lake Baikal\'s thick ice, visiting the incredible ice formations
around Olkhon island. Accomodation was very good, with a special mention for the great food, and Leonid was always willing to
suggest new things to go see.
The region is absolutely stunning, I recommend the trip when the lake is frozen, definitely a lifetime experience !
Kind regards from Paris
Pierre-Olivier (15 May, 2011)