Lake Baikal Ice Adventure

Walk on water on the oldest lake on Earth
Spring is one of the best times to experience the beauty of Baikal, when the weather is warming up but the lake is frozen solid and crystal clear

Our Lake Baikal Ice Adventure tour takes place during late February and March. The beginning of spring in the Baikal region, at this time of year, the temperature climbs above zero, but the surface of the lake is still largely frozen, covered by solid winter ice so clear you can see rocks and other objects at the bottom of the lake as far as 40m below. During spring, Baikal receives few visitors compared to the summer high season, allowing you to feel an inspiring sense of isolation and communion with undisturbed nature during this handcrafted 7-day tour. Be amazed by the frozen beauty of the world’s oldest and deepest lake and experience real-life walking on water. We’ve included a few activities exclusive to the cooler months such as ice skating snowmobiling to add a sprinkle of spills and thrills to this thoroughly enjoyable adventure.

Lake Baikal Ice Adventure Highlights:

  • Embark on an over-ice expedition by 4WD around Olkhon Island, the largest of Lake Baikal’s islands and the centre of shamanic energy for the Buryat people. Spend two nights on the island and discover pristine beaches, craggy capes, and untouched Siberian forests
  • While on Olkhon Island, participate in a round of special activities for Baikal’s ‘ice travellers’. Take your pick from tube riding or ice skating, or just head out on to the ice for a once-in-a-lifetime photoshoot! 
  • Our over-ice hovercraft expedition continues on to Peschanaya Bay, part of the Baikal National Park and widely considered to be the most beautiful sandy bay in all of Baikal 
  • Enjoy one of the most popular winter activities - snowmobiling, during which we will visit the best spots of the Curcum-Baikal Railway to explore its tunnels and viewpoints.

If you’ve dreamed of seeing the crystalline splendour of a frozen Lake Baikal in all its glory but aren’t so keen on the chilly winter weather, our spring Baikal Ice Adventure is the perfect tour for you. Visit some of the most scenic highlights of the lake and its largest island, Olkhon, crossing the solid surface of the lake in an expertly driven 4WD – a novel experience you won’t find in any other tourist destination on the planet. At this time of year, the ice is at its thickest and strongest, making driving a safe way to explore the lake’s natural and man-made wonders. 

This tour offers a mix of natural discovery and fun adventure activities out on the ice. You'll have the opportunity to try classic Baikal cuisine and local produce. Feast on Siberian sashimi and fish skewers on a picnic lunch in the middle of the frozen lake. Sample traditional Buryat dishes including dumplings with tea, before visiting a Buryat Buddhist stupa on Ogoy Island.

We’ll also visit the charming township of Listvyanka at the mouth of the Angara River to see the native freshwater seals at play in the Museum of Lake Baikal aquarium. On our last night, relax in a real Russian banya, alternating between the hot steam room and taking a few bracing dips in a bath dug out from a hole in the ice – one of many uniquely Siberian experiences you’ll savour and remember for years to come on a trip filled with laughs, joy, and wonder.

7 days
from
$
2,690
USD
Make an enquiry Detailed Itinerary
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Arrival

Departure

Accomodation

Trip style

Irkutsk

Irkutsk

3* hotels

Winter Adventure

Duration

Action rating

Group size

Type of tour

7 days / 6 nights

     

min 2-max 8

Guaranteed Departures

Itinerary View map

Day 1:Irkutsk

Welcome to Siberia! You'll be met at Irkutsk airport for a transfer to your centrally located hotel. Sometime after lunchtime, we will embark on a city tour of Irkutsk and its main sights. Enjoy a welcoming dinner at the cosy restaurant.

Day 2:Transfer to Maloye More

For the next 4 days, you are going to travel by an expeditionary 4WD Nissan Safari and hovercraft on the frozen surface of the great Lake Baikal.

Your first destination is the legendary island of Olkhon. At 72 km long, Olkhon stands out among the three dozen islands of Baikal for its sheer size and the monumental grandeur of its landscapes. During the 5h drive by jeeps to the island, we stop for a lunch at the road cafe, where we taste traditional Buryat cuisine with a banquet of buuz-dumplings and Buryat tea.

Next, we drive along the magnificent Tazheran Steppe, which once was home to the first indigenous Baikal peoples, whose petroglyphs are found at the tribal encampment sites. Here we will stop at the Tan-Khan Mountain (530m) from where we will enjoy breahking view of the Maloye More area with a stunning panorama of Lake Baikal.

Closer to the evening, we arrive at a cozy hotel in Maloye More area.

Day 3:Southern part of Maloye More and Ogoy Island

Get ready to be excited as today's transport is legendary hovercraft, similar to those James Bond was using in one of his adventures! 

In the spring, thanks to the thick layers of ice, you can freely walk right into the grottoes and admire the beauty of the ice shapes. During the day will'll make our way around the best spots of Maloye More to explore its endless grottoes, caves and ice bubbles.

For lunch, the group will enjoy a picnic on the ice of Lake Baikal, consisting of smoked cisco, saguday and Siberian tincture on pine nuts. After lunch, you will participate in the winter activities: tube riding and ice skating, ice golf, or just photoshoot with ice.

Later in the afternoon, we visit Ogoy Island. This Island has never been inhabited by people and it is considered to be “a pure land”, that is free of negative energy. More than ten years ago the Stupa of Enlightenment was established here. It is considered that Buddhist stupas are meant to dissolve negative interferences in the world, favour locality and benefit to people especially to those who visit them consciously. At the southern part of the Island, we stop for a photo of the iconic Dragon Rock, which you may saw previously on the internet.

In the evening we’ll return to the hotel for a yummy dinner. Today we suggest trying a real Siberian Sauna  - "banya" to warm up after a long winter day.

Day 4:Northern part of Maloye More

Today, we explore the Northen Part of Maloye More. Jump into the hovercraft and be ready to see even more grottoes and caves with amazing ice formations and Lake Baikal views. These places are very famous for the glass-clear ice, so be prepared to make a lot of photos!

We will stop at Elenka Island - a unique place, hidden by from the people. It's surrounded by transparent ice hummocks, giving a huge field for the photographer’s imagination! We also visit Zama area, which is the widest part of Lake Baikal (80km), standing here, in the middle of nowhere, in the ice kingdom in absolute silence and tranquillity will give you those goosebumps, which you will never forget.

Day 5:Peschanaya Bay and Listvyanka village

Day five and our journey on the Baikal ice continues. Today, you are going to reach Listvyanka – a village, which is the most visited place by tourists on Baikal Lake (due to its proximity to Irkutsk, which is one of the main stops on Trans-Siberian).

The day promises to be quite eventful, as we will visit Mt Shebety, sacred Mt Yerd, and look at the famous ancient Petroglyphs on Sagan Zaba rock.

Along the way, you will also pass Skripper cliff, legendary Devil’s bridge and the famous Peschanaya bay, which is considered to be one of the most picturesque places of Lake Baikal. Since 1981, Peschanaya has had the status of state natural landscape monument. Unique taiga slopes with picturesque groups of rocks together with a clean sandy beach of a semicircular form are very picturesque.

Upon arrival to Listvyanka village, you'll be transferred to a hotel, which will be our home for the next 2 nights.

Day 6:Listvyanka village and snowmobiling

Today is dedicated ton Listvyanka village, where we explore its main sights. In the morning, we’ll visit the observation point (720m) – Chersky Rock, a lift-chair will take you up from there. From the observation point you will enjoy incredible views of the source of the Angara River and Lake Baikal. No trip to Listvyanka is not complete without a visit to the Museum of Lake Baikal. Here you’ll discover more about Lake and its nature from the research staff of the Institute of Limnology.

Next, we board snowmobiles for a drive along Circum-Baikal Railway, which also called the "golden buckle" of Russia. It's the oldest an most beautiful part of Trans-Siberian Railway, which is now not in use by Trans-Siberian trains and only used as a tourist attraction and connection between Port Baikal and Kultuk village. There are a lot of beautifully constructed tunnels and bridges along the way, making the Circum-Baikal a monument in itself. We stop at the most beautiful ones and enjoy our picnic along the way.

Day 7:Departure

Time to say goodbye to the oldest and deepest lake on earth. After breakfast, transfer to the Irkutsk airport for your flight back home or to your next destination.

Inclusions

Group airport transfers

All transportation on tour according to the itinerary (4wd cars, hovercraft, snowmobiles)

Hotel accommodation in Irkutsk, Maloye More and Listvyanka village

Breakfasts in the hotels, some lunches during day excursions, some dinners

All experiences and activities indicated in the itinerary with local professional English-speaking guide

Russian visa support document (voucher/invitation letter)

Flights

Travel insurance

Russian visa and visa fees.*Russian visa can be arranged by 56th Parallel for an additional cost (for Australian citizens only). Apply for comprehensive visa service here.

Optional excursions

Individual transfers, not indicated in the itinerary

Alcohol

Dates & Prices

Dates Availability Price Single sup.  
17 Feb - 22 Feb, 2019
Guaranteed Departures

Sold out

US $2,690 N/A
25 Feb - 02 Mar, 2019
Guaranteed Departures

Sold out

US $2,690 N/A
5 Mar - 10 Mar, 2019
Guaranteed Departures

Sold out

US $2,690 N/A
11 Mar - 16 Mar, 2019
Guaranteed Departures

Sold out

US $2,690 N/A
17 Mar - 22 Mar, 2019
Guaranteed Departures

Sold out

US $2,690 N/A
2020 departures (Feb-March) are coming soon
Guaranteed Departures
Available US $TBA TBA Reserve

Testimonials

Julija GlizevskajaLithuania

It was a pretty great adventure and well organised!

I enjoyed a lot! Great food (especially picnics), good accommodation. Days were planned very well, we had enough time to enjoy and made plenty of photos or just have fun. I really liked, that we were not rushed. Our guide was enthusiastic, full of energy and well acknowledged. The group was very friendly, probably that our age range was pretty small. It was also very nice to receive a small present on international women’s day.

Although it was sad to see that majority of the group didn’t speak English. It’s strange that young Russian could not understand English. Except for guide and Australian girl, there was only one more who spoke some English and could communicate with us.
Then I was a bit disappointed that it was provided too much alcohol. But even on an ice raft, when in a program was mentioned that it would be mulled wine, there was only champagne. I hope this could be taken into consideration.

And in conclusion, I would like to say thank you for a great time. I would definitely recommend it!
PS. I am also at some point would love to visit Kamchatka and Yakutia.

Regards
Julia

Oskari EskolaFinland

We really did have an amazing time at Baikal!

We had spectacular luck with the weather, being basically sunny with no wind or downwind for the days with skating, and when skiing in Mamai there was a 50cm dump of snow during the night that provided great powder runs. But we were even more impressed with the level of planning you had put into making the trip a success, from all the transports to every meal it was perfect.Having some diet issues I was very happy to see that all the food was thought through, but that it also had a local touch, since that always makes it more interesting.

I guess the only improvement would have been if our skiing guide had known a bit more English, but even now it worked out, and he did a great job overall. Our ice skating guide was fantastic - if he would want to improve, he could be a bit more proactive in describing the plan, and options etc, but that’s a minor detail.

Hendrik and Claudia LeberSwitzerland

Moscow was fascinating, we want to come back soon. And personally, I liked Siberia and Lake Baikal.

I was very happy with the tour organisation it was well planned and everything was smooth. All our needs were covered. The guides in both Moscow and lake Baikal was very good. By the way, the group was also very nice. We were happy to be in a mixed Russian-Western group with mostly young people.

4 Seasons Hotel in Moscow was outstanding, one of the best rooms in one of the best hotels we have ever stayed at. Hotel in Irkutsk was good. The hotels and guest houses on Lake Baikal itself were not up to our standards, especially regarding beds (mattress and bed cover) and bathrooms. Food was ok, but somewhat monotonous. For a week it is ok, but it is not very positive memory.

But anyway, we've enjoyed our time in Moscow and Lake Baikal very much. Moscow was fascinating, we want to come back soon. And personally, I liked Siberia and Lake Baikal. I liked the emptiness, the cold, the ice. With better hotels, I could even convince my wife to come back.

I will definitely recommend choosing the 56th Parallel for others travellers and yes, I highly recommend to travellers explore Lake Baikal, however, it is suitable only for a certain type of traveller.

Lake Baikal winter tour Lake Baikal winter tour Lake Baikal winter tour Lake Baikal winter tour husky dog sleddingLake Baikal winter tour Lake Baikal winter tour Lake Baikal winter tour

Chris WrightAustralia

Everything was wonderful!

I was very happy with the trip. The guide, Yulia, was wonderful. She was friendly, positive, knowledgeable and interesting. Alexei the driver was very good at what he does. The lake, of course, is absolutely beautiful, a wonderful place. Thank you for all of your assistance with that part of the trip too.

Sandra Thomas and Pat FarrantUK

A trip of a lifetime, many thanks!

Hi Anna, just to say "thank you" for organizing such a fantastic trip in Lake Baikal! Both Pat and I thoroughly enjoyed it and met some lovely people, the one day of -40C was a bit extreme. All went off well, both of the tour guides in Moscow and Irkutsk were really good and drivers met us all promptly, so really well organized! Thank you so much for putting up with all our enquires. Anyway a trip of a lifetime, many thanks! 

Lake Baikal winter tour

7 days
Irkutsk
from
$
2,690
USD
Make an enquiry Detailed Itinerary
7 days
from
$
2,690
USD
Make an enquiry Detailed Itinerary
Click here to subscribe
Click here to subscribe

Day 1: Irkutsk

Welcome to Siberia! You'll be met at Irkutsk airport for a transfer to your centrally located hotel. Sometime after lunchtime, we will embark on a city tour of Irkutsk and its main sights. Enjoy a welcoming dinner at the cosy restaurant.

Day 2: Transfer to Maloye More

For the next 4 days, you are going to travel by an expeditionary 4WD Nissan Safari and hovercraft on the frozen surface of the great Lake Baikal.

Your first destination is the legendary island of Olkhon. At 72 km long, Olkhon stands out among the three dozen islands of Baikal for its sheer size and the monumental grandeur of its landscapes. During the 5h drive by jeeps to the island, we stop for a lunch at the road cafe, where we taste traditional Buryat cuisine with a banquet of buuz-dumplings and Buryat tea.

Next, we drive along the magnificent Tazheran Steppe, which once was home to the first indigenous Baikal peoples, whose petroglyphs are found at the tribal encampment sites. Here we will stop at the Tan-Khan Mountain (530m) from where we will enjoy breahking view of the Maloye More area with a stunning panorama of Lake Baikal.

Closer to the evening, we arrive at a cozy hotel in Maloye More area.

Day 3: Southern part of Maloye More and Ogoy Island

Get ready to be excited as today's transport is legendary hovercraft, similar to those James Bond was using in one of his adventures! 

In the spring, thanks to the thick layers of ice, you can freely walk right into the grottoes and admire the beauty of the ice shapes. During the day will'll make our way around the best spots of Maloye More to explore its endless grottoes, caves and ice bubbles.

For lunch, the group will enjoy a picnic on the ice of Lake Baikal, consisting of smoked cisco, saguday and Siberian tincture on pine nuts. After lunch, you will participate in the winter activities: tube riding and ice skating, ice golf, or just photoshoot with ice.

Later in the afternoon, we visit Ogoy Island. This Island has never been inhabited by people and it is considered to be “a pure land”, that is free of negative energy. More than ten years ago the Stupa of Enlightenment was established here. It is considered that Buddhist stupas are meant to dissolve negative interferences in the world, favour locality and benefit to people especially to those who visit them consciously. At the southern part of the Island, we stop for a photo of the iconic Dragon Rock, which you may saw previously on the internet.

In the evening we’ll return to the hotel for a yummy dinner. Today we suggest trying a real Siberian Sauna  - "banya" to warm up after a long winter day.

Day 4: Northern part of Maloye More

Today, we explore the Northen Part of Maloye More. Jump into the hovercraft and be ready to see even more grottoes and caves with amazing ice formations and Lake Baikal views. These places are very famous for the glass-clear ice, so be prepared to make a lot of photos!

We will stop at Elenka Island - a unique place, hidden by from the people. It's surrounded by transparent ice hummocks, giving a huge field for the photographer’s imagination! We also visit Zama area, which is the widest part of Lake Baikal (80km), standing here, in the middle of nowhere, in the ice kingdom in absolute silence and tranquillity will give you those goosebumps, which you will never forget.

Day 5: Peschanaya Bay and Listvyanka village

Day five and our journey on the Baikal ice continues. Today, you are going to reach Listvyanka – a village, which is the most visited place by tourists on Baikal Lake (due to its proximity to Irkutsk, which is one of the main stops on Trans-Siberian).

The day promises to be quite eventful, as we will visit Mt Shebety, sacred Mt Yerd, and look at the famous ancient Petroglyphs on Sagan Zaba rock.

Along the way, you will also pass Skripper cliff, legendary Devil’s bridge and the famous Peschanaya bay, which is considered to be one of the most picturesque places of Lake Baikal. Since 1981, Peschanaya has had the status of state natural landscape monument. Unique taiga slopes with picturesque groups of rocks together with a clean sandy beach of a semicircular form are very picturesque.

Upon arrival to Listvyanka village, you'll be transferred to a hotel, which will be our home for the next 2 nights.

Day 6: Listvyanka village and snowmobiling

Today is dedicated ton Listvyanka village, where we explore its main sights. In the morning, we’ll visit the observation point (720m) – Chersky Rock, a lift-chair will take you up from there. From the observation point you will enjoy incredible views of the source of the Angara River and Lake Baikal. No trip to Listvyanka is not complete without a visit to the Museum of Lake Baikal. Here you’ll discover more about Lake and its nature from the research staff of the Institute of Limnology.

Next, we board snowmobiles for a drive along Circum-Baikal Railway, which also called the "golden buckle" of Russia. It's the oldest an most beautiful part of Trans-Siberian Railway, which is now not in use by Trans-Siberian trains and only used as a tourist attraction and connection between Port Baikal and Kultuk village. There are a lot of beautifully constructed tunnels and bridges along the way, making the Circum-Baikal a monument in itself. We stop at the most beautiful ones and enjoy our picnic along the way.

Day 7: Departure

Time to say goodbye to the oldest and deepest lake on earth. After breakfast, transfer to the Irkutsk airport for your flight back home or to your next destination.

Included

Group airport transfers

All transportation on tour according to the itinerary (4wd cars, hovercraft, snowmobiles)

Hotel accommodation in Irkutsk, Maloye More and Listvyanka village

Breakfasts in the hotels, some lunches during day excursions, some dinners

All experiences and activities indicated in the itinerary with local professional English-speaking guide

Russian visa support document (voucher/invitation letter)

Not included

Flights

Travel insurance

Russian visa and visa fees.*Russian visa can be arranged by 56th Parallel for an additional cost (for Australian citizens only). Apply for comprehensive visa service here.

Optional excursions

Individual transfers, not indicated in the itinerary

Alcohol

If you have any urgent questions or enquiries, please give us a call +61 2 9388 9816