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 6-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, ice rafting, and ice golf 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 to 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 ice golf, tube riding or ice skating, or just head out on to the ice for a once-in-a-lifetime photo shoot! 
  • Visit Buguldeika on Olkhon Island, a small rural village amid spectacular natural surround including forested mountains and ancient caves in the valley of the Buguldeika River. Spend the night in a real hunters cabin hidden in the middle of the taiga 
  • Our over-ice driving 4WD 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 
  • Ice Rafting: Indulge in an amazing experience unique to Baikal – rafting down the Angara River near Listvyanka village on a raft made of solid ice cut from the surface of the lake, enjoy mulled wine, chocolate and cheese along the way.

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 cultural 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.

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

Departure

Accomodation

Trip style

Irkutsk

Irkutsk

Mixed (hotels, wooden cabins)

Winter Adventure

Duration

Action rating

Group size

Type of tour

6 days / 5 nights

     

1-8

Guaranteed Departures

Itinerary View map

Day 1:Welcome to Irkutsk

Welcome to Siberia! You'll be met in Irkutsk airport from at 9:00 am by our guide and transferred to the jeeps location. For the next 4 days, you are going to travel by an expeditionary Nissan Safari SUV 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. Lunch (en route) will be in the form of traditional Buryat cuisine: with a banquet of buuz-dumplings and Buryat tea. On arrival to Olkhon island, you will visit Buddhist Mortar at Ogoy island. Closer to the evening, you will stop for a night in a cozy hotel in Maloye More area.

Day 2:Olkhon island

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 you'll make your way around most of the island and see beautiful spots such as Cape Shaman, Cape Sagan Khushun and Cape Khoboy. 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 evening’s activities: tube riding and ice skating, ice golf, or just photo shoot with ice, and a dedication to ice travellers! Later in the afternoon, we’ll return to the hotel for dinner and an overnight stay.

Day 3:Buguldeika village

Today, you will be heading south from Maloye Morye to Buguldeika village. 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. On the way, you will also enjoy a delightful experience of dining on the traditional Russian meal, “pelmeni”. In the evening, you will discover the beauty of Buguldeika village and its surroundings. Spend the perfect night in a real hunters cabin hidden in the middle of the taiga.

Day 4:Peschanaya Bay

Day four 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). Get ready to be excited as today's transport is legendary hovercraft, similar to those James Bond was using in one of his adventures! Along the way, you will 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 guest house.

Day 5:Listvyanka village

In the morning, we’ll visit the observation point – 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. You will also view the aquarium with Baikal seals that inhabit the lake. Rest of the final day you will embark on one of the most beautiful and sublime privileges Lake Baikal has to offer its visitors – ice rafting! We will gather on the lake and watch as our safety crew saw a huge chunk of ice from the surface of the lake - this will be our raft for the next activity. Our course takes us to the legendary Shaman Stone that separates Lake Baikal from the mouth of the Angara River. On board the raft, the group will toast with mulled wine and a feast of local chocolate and cheese fondue. After this unforgettable experience, you will relax in a real Russian banya with bathing in an ice-hole. After the banya, you will return to the homestay in Listvyanka.

Day 6:Irkutsk, departure

Time to say goodbye to the oldest and deepest lake on earth. After breakfast, transfer to the airport.

Inclusions

Guesthouse accommodation in Maloye More, Sakhurta, Buguldeika and Nikola villages

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

Group airport arrival and departure transfers

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

Enriching tours and experiences with professional local English speaking guides

All activities and sights indicated in the itinerary, download the detailed itinerary for more information.

Russian visa support documents

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

Flights, travel insurance, visa, optional excursions, individual transfers, tips

Dates & Prices

DatesAvailabilityPriceSingle 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

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

Day 1: Welcome to Irkutsk

Welcome to Siberia! You'll be met in Irkutsk airport from at 9:00 am by our guide and transferred to the jeeps location. For the next 4 days, you are going to travel by an expeditionary Nissan Safari SUV 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. Lunch (en route) will be in the form of traditional Buryat cuisine: with a banquet of buuz-dumplings and Buryat tea. On arrival to Olkhon island, you will visit Buddhist Mortar at Ogoy island. Closer to the evening, you will stop for a night in a cozy hotel in Maloye More area.

Day 2: Olkhon island

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 you'll make your way around most of the island and see beautiful spots such as Cape Shaman, Cape Sagan Khushun and Cape Khoboy. 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 evening’s activities: tube riding and ice skating, ice golf, or just photo shoot with ice, and a dedication to ice travellers! Later in the afternoon, we’ll return to the hotel for dinner and an overnight stay.

Day 3: Buguldeika village

Today, you will be heading south from Maloye Morye to Buguldeika village. 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. On the way, you will also enjoy a delightful experience of dining on the traditional Russian meal, “pelmeni”. In the evening, you will discover the beauty of Buguldeika village and its surroundings. Spend the perfect night in a real hunters cabin hidden in the middle of the taiga.

Day 4: Peschanaya Bay

Day four 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). Get ready to be excited as today's transport is legendary hovercraft, similar to those James Bond was using in one of his adventures! Along the way, you will 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 guest house.

Day 5: Listvyanka village

In the morning, we’ll visit the observation point – 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. You will also view the aquarium with Baikal seals that inhabit the lake. Rest of the final day you will embark on one of the most beautiful and sublime privileges Lake Baikal has to offer its visitors – ice rafting! We will gather on the lake and watch as our safety crew saw a huge chunk of ice from the surface of the lake - this will be our raft for the next activity. Our course takes us to the legendary Shaman Stone that separates Lake Baikal from the mouth of the Angara River. On board the raft, the group will toast with mulled wine and a feast of local chocolate and cheese fondue. After this unforgettable experience, you will relax in a real Russian banya with bathing in an ice-hole. After the banya, you will return to the homestay in Listvyanka.

Day 6: Irkutsk, departure

Time to say goodbye to the oldest and deepest lake on earth. After breakfast, transfer to the airport.

Included

Guesthouse accommodation in Maloye More, Sakhurta, Buguldeika and Nikola villages

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

Group airport arrival and departure transfers

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

Enriching tours and experiences with professional local English speaking guides

All activities and sights indicated in the itinerary, download the detailed itinerary for more information.

Russian visa support documents

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

Not included

Flights, travel insurance, visa, optional excursions, individual transfers, tips

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