Lake Baikal: Ice, Sun, Snow & Fun

Tour Russia's Lake Baikal in just four days, on a guided small group tour that offers the perfect combination of adventure, culture and relaxation.

Once so remote that only the hardiest adventurers would make the grueling 4,202km trip from Moscow to Irkutsk, capital of the Baikal region, now, a short flight and less than four exhilarating days is all you need to experience some of the most iconic sights and exciting activities that Lake Baikal, the "jewel of Siberia" has to offer. Don’t let the season put you off! Mid-winter is arguably when Lake Baikal is at its most visually stunning, completely covered in crystal clear ice that shimmers gem-like in the abundant winter sunshine.

The perfect combination of culture and adventure, this short tour packs in some of Baikal’s signature ice and snow based activities and attractions, while offering downtime against a backdrop of some the most magical winter scenery imaginable.

TRIP HIGHLIGHTS

  • Cosy up in the lovely lakeside village of Listvyanka, affectionately known as the "Riviera of Siberia". While it's become a hub for tourists visiting the Baikal region, Listvyanka retains an authentic feel. Standing close to the lake shore are many timber houses in the traditional Siberian style, intricately decorated with wooden lace, brightly painted shutters and picket fences
  • Meet Siberia's furriest and most lovable mascot, the loyal and adorable husky. In remote parts of Siberia, dog sledding is still a common form of transport. After a crash course with an experienced handler, you'll get to try your hand at "mushing" a team of huskies yourself on a short but unforgettable ride through the snowy landscapes of the Baikal coast
  • In winter, the Baikal ice is thick enough to drive on in some parts, but the only way to get to secluded beauty spots like the fabled  Peschanaya Bay is by hovercraft. Blast over the ice on a Russian-built Hivus hovercraft before slowing the pace right down to appreciate one of the most picturesque white-sand beaches in all of Baikal
  • Visit the Taltsy Architecture and Ethnography Museum. This enormous open-air museum, surrounded by acres of majestic forest, features approximately 40 life-sized buildings (including many authentic, centuries-old homes transported from all over Russia).  With over 8,000 additional exhibits, the Taltsy Museum is an exhaustive and completely interactive living document of life in rural Russia from the 17th to the 20th centuries.

Lake Baikal, the largest expanse of freshwater on earth, freezes every year, typically between November and April. The months of January, February and March see the lake almost entirely concealed by ice, thick enough to walk, and even drive on, in many parts.

Baikal also boasts the most transparent ice in the world - so clear in some spots you can see plants, pebbles and fish almost 40 metres below.

If you're visiting Russia over the winter and only have limited time to explore the country's natural splendour, Lake Baikal should be at the top of your list of places to see.

This tour provides a wonderful opportunity to experience the warmth and hospitality of the Siberian people, and absorb the blend of nomadic Buryat and Russian culture, cuisine and architecture that make Baikal both one of the great wonders of the natural world and a truly unique cultural experience.

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Arrival

Departure

Accomodation

Trip style

Irkutsk

Irkutsk

3* hotels

Winter Adventure

Duration

Action rating

Group size

Type of tour

4 days / 3 nights

     

2-6 people

Private tour

Itinerary

Day 1:Listvyanka village

On your arrival at either Irkutsk International Airport or Irkutsk-Passazhirsky train station (a major stop on the Trans-Siberian Railway), you will be met by your guide and begin the 70km journey to Lake Baikal.

Our destination is Baikal’s “tourist capital”, the still small, cosy and traditional Listvyanka village on the southern shores of Lake Baikal. Here, we’ll visit the observation deck on Chersky Rock. This incredible viewpoint overlooks the Angara River delta where it flows into southern Lake Baikal, replenishing the world's deepest lake with fresh water from the mountains. The view is perhaps at its most magnificent in winter, when the sheer enormity of the ice is on full display, surrounded by a chain of snow-capped peaks.

Later, you'll tuck into a hearty restaurant lunch overlooking the crystal-clear expanse of the lake.

After lunch, it’s time to meet Siberia’s most iconic mascot, the adorable Siberian husky. That’s right, it’s time to go dog sledding! Get a crash course in husky handling and try your hand at “mushing” these majestic creatures on a short-distance ride through the snow.

You’ll then be delivered to the Anastasia Hotel, where you can relax in a comfortable room overlooking Lake Baikal and enjoy a delicious dinner with a view.

Day 2:Peschanaya Bay

Action fans, be prepared to get your fix of adrenaline, as today we get out on the ice in a legendary Russian hovercraft! We may associate hovercrafts with James Bond-esque fantasies, but during winter in Siberia, they’re a legit form of transport, able to fly over the frozen surface of Baikal at 70km per hour.

Our hovercraft will deliver us to the shores of beautiful Peschanaya Bay, an official natural landscape monument and one of the most picturesque out of Baikal’s many secluded  coves. The taiga slopes come down from the Primorsky mountain range to touch the shore itself and dot the white sandy bay with ancient pyramidal rock formations.  

In the evening, we return to Listvyanka, where we suggest relaxing after a long day in an authentic ‘banya’ or Siberian sauna - an unmissable cultural experience!

Day 3:Irkutsk

After breakfast, it’s time to say goodbye to Baikal and transfer back to Irkutsk.

On the way, we stop at the hugely impressive Taltsy Open-Air Museum of Wooden Architecture. Stroll down a painstaking replication of an 18th-century Siberian street, wander through up to 40 life-sized examples of Russian and indigenous Buryat architecture and immerse yourself in the culture and traditions of centuries gone by.

On arrival to Irkutsk, check-in to your hotel and as an option, opt to join a guided tour of the city reputed to be the most beautiful in Siberia, or spend your last evening exploring on your own.

Day 4:Departure

Today, you will be transferred to Irkutsk International Airport or train station for your journey back home, or on to your next destination.

 

Inclusions

Group airport transfers

All transportation on tour according to the itinerary

Hotel accommodation in Irkutsk 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

DatesAvailabilityPriceSingle sup. 
Jan 31 - Feb 3, 2020
Private Tour
AvailableUS $1,350US $160Reserve
Feb 1 - Feb 4, 2020
Private Tour
AvailableUS $1,350US $160Reserve
Feb 7 - Feb 10, 2020
Private Tour
AvailableUS $1,350US $160Reserve
Feb 14 - Feb 17, 2020
Private Tour
AvailableUS $1,350US $160Reserve
Feb 21 - Feb 24, 2020
Private Tour
AvailableUS $1,350US $160Reserve
Mar 6 - Mar 9, 2020
Private Tour
AvailableUS $1,350US $160Reserve
Mar 14 - Mar 17, 2020
Private Tour
AvailableUS $1,350US $160Reserve
Mar 21 - Mar 24, 2020
Private Tour
AvailableUS $1,350US $160Reserve
Mar 27 - Mar 30, 2020
Private Tour
AvailableUS $1,350US $160Reserve

Day 1: Listvyanka village

On your arrival at either Irkutsk International Airport or Irkutsk-Passazhirsky train station (a major stop on the Trans-Siberian Railway), you will be met by your guide and begin the 70km journey to Lake Baikal.

Our destination is Baikal’s “tourist capital”, the still small, cosy and traditional Listvyanka village on the southern shores of Lake Baikal. Here, we’ll visit the observation deck on Chersky Rock. This incredible viewpoint overlooks the Angara River delta where it flows into southern Lake Baikal, replenishing the world's deepest lake with fresh water from the mountains. The view is perhaps at its most magnificent in winter, when the sheer enormity of the ice is on full display, surrounded by a chain of snow-capped peaks.

Later, you'll tuck into a hearty restaurant lunch overlooking the crystal-clear expanse of the lake.

After lunch, it’s time to meet Siberia’s most iconic mascot, the adorable Siberian husky. That’s right, it’s time to go dog sledding! Get a crash course in husky handling and try your hand at “mushing” these majestic creatures on a short-distance ride through the snow.

You’ll then be delivered to the Anastasia Hotel, where you can relax in a comfortable room overlooking Lake Baikal and enjoy a delicious dinner with a view.

Day 2: Peschanaya Bay

Action fans, be prepared to get your fix of adrenaline, as today we get out on the ice in a legendary Russian hovercraft! We may associate hovercrafts with James Bond-esque fantasies, but during winter in Siberia, they’re a legit form of transport, able to fly over the frozen surface of Baikal at 70km per hour.

Our hovercraft will deliver us to the shores of beautiful Peschanaya Bay, an official natural landscape monument and one of the most picturesque out of Baikal’s many secluded  coves. The taiga slopes come down from the Primorsky mountain range to touch the shore itself and dot the white sandy bay with ancient pyramidal rock formations.  

In the evening, we return to Listvyanka, where we suggest relaxing after a long day in an authentic ‘banya’ or Siberian sauna - an unmissable cultural experience!

Day 3: Irkutsk

After breakfast, it’s time to say goodbye to Baikal and transfer back to Irkutsk.

On the way, we stop at the hugely impressive Taltsy Open-Air Museum of Wooden Architecture. Stroll down a painstaking replication of an 18th-century Siberian street, wander through up to 40 life-sized examples of Russian and indigenous Buryat architecture and immerse yourself in the culture and traditions of centuries gone by.

On arrival to Irkutsk, check-in to your hotel and as an option, opt to join a guided tour of the city reputed to be the most beautiful in Siberia, or spend your last evening exploring on your own.

Day 4: Departure

Today, you will be transferred to Irkutsk International Airport or train station for your journey back home, or on to your next destination.

 

Included

Group airport transfers

All transportation on tour according to the itinerary

Hotel accommodation in Irkutsk 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