Lake Baikal – Frozen beauty of Olkhon Island

Enjoy winter Siberian sun and explore Baikal's endless ice caves, grottoes and frozen bubbles of this frozen wonder.

Lake Baikal winter tours are rightfully upheld as Siberia’s most famous attraction - its clear-as-a-mirror waters are a reflection of Siberia’s wildness, its vastness and its beauty. The crescent-shaped lake extends for 636km from north to south and is up to 1,637m deep, making it the deepest lake in the world. In fact, 20% of the world’s freshwater is contained within Lake Baikal. The vast Baikal region is home to unique indigenous cultures such as the Buddhist Buryat people. Traditional villages are dotted along the lake’s shore, interspersed with taiga forest and rocky steppes.

This tour takes place at the end of winter to provide guests with the unique opportunity to experience winter sports on the frozen surface of Lake Baikal and a trip to the region’s spectacular ice caves.

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 tour is the perfect adventure 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 and hovercrafts  – 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.

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Arrival

Departure

Accomodation

Trip style

Irkutsk

Irkutsk

Guest house

Winter Adventure

Duration

Action rating

Group size

Type of tour

5 days / 4 nights

     

min 2 - max 8 people

Private tour

Day 1:Arrival to Irkutsk, transfer to Olkhon

Welcome to Siberia! You'll be met at Irkutsk airport for a transfer to the jeeps' location, which will take you on a journey to Olkhon Island. The tour starts at 10 am, so please make sure your flight arrives at least 1-hour earlier.
 
For the next 4 days, you are going to travel by an expeditionary 4WD Nissan Safari and hovercraft along the shores of Lake Baikal and on its frozen surface. Your 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 a breathtaking view of the Maloye More area with a stunning panorama of Lake Baikal. Closer to the evening, we arrive at a cozy hotel in Khuzhir village.
 

Day 2:Olkhon 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 we'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 3: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 4:Back to Irkutsk

It's time to say goodbye to this beautiful land. After breakfast at the hotel, we start our journey back to Irkutsk, en route we stop for lunch at the ethno-park Golden Hord. On arrival at Irkutsk, you will be transferred to your centrally located hotel. Enjoy your free evening and explore the "old town" on your own.

Day 5:Departure

Today, you will be transferred 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, hovercrafts)

Hotel accommodation in Irkutsk and Olkhon

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

DatesAvailabilityPriceSingle sup. 
Feb 17 - Feb 21, 2020
Private Tour
AvailableUS $2,885US $270Reserve
Feb 24 - Feb 28, 2020
Private Tour
AvailableUS $2,885US $270Reserve
Mar 2 - Mar 6, 2020
Private Tour
AvailableUS $2,885US $270Reserve
Mar 9 - Mar 13, 2020
Private Tour
AvailableUS $2,885US $270Reserve
Mar 16 - Mar 20, 2020
Private Tour
AvailableUS $2,885US $270Reserve
5 days
Irkutsk
from
$
2,885
USD
Make an enquiry Personalise this tour

Day 1: Arrival to Irkutsk, transfer to Olkhon

Welcome to Siberia! You'll be met at Irkutsk airport for a transfer to the jeeps' location, which will take you on a journey to Olkhon Island. The tour starts at 10 am, so please make sure your flight arrives at least 1-hour earlier.
 
For the next 4 days, you are going to travel by an expeditionary 4WD Nissan Safari and hovercraft along the shores of Lake Baikal and on its frozen surface. Your 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 a breathtaking view of the Maloye More area with a stunning panorama of Lake Baikal. Closer to the evening, we arrive at a cozy hotel in Khuzhir village.
 

Day 2: Olkhon 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 we'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 3: 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 4: Back to Irkutsk

It's time to say goodbye to this beautiful land. After breakfast at the hotel, we start our journey back to Irkutsk, en route we stop for lunch at the ethno-park Golden Hord. On arrival at Irkutsk, you will be transferred to your centrally located hotel. Enjoy your free evening and explore the "old town" on your own.

Day 5: Departure

Today, you will be transferred 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, hovercrafts)

Hotel accommodation in Irkutsk and Olkhon

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