Arrival to Irkutsk, "the Paris of Siberia". Meet your guide at the airport for a transfer to the centrally located hotel. After short rest, we embark on the city centre tour with visiting main sites.
After breakfast in the hotel we embark on a long drive north. En route we will stop at Ust-Orda village, where we get acquaintance with the local Buryat people culture, try their cuisine and participate in traditional games and dances. In the evening we will arrive to Sakhyurta village on the Small Sea strait.
Today we learn about the 2 cultures of Lake Baikal - Shamanism and Buddhism. After breakfast at the hotel, we board a boat for a mini cruise to Olkhon Island - the shamanistic "capital".
On the route to Olkhon, we will make a stop on Ogoy island, where the Stupa of Enlightenment is located - the Buddhists sacred place. In the evening upon arrival to Olkhon, you will check-in at the hotel and will learn about the shamanistic culture of Lake Baikal. We will enjoy the sunset close to Shaman Rock - one of the most sacred shamanistic places of Baikal.
This day will be dedicated to the beautiful nature of the Olkhon Island.
We board a mini-bus for a drive to the northern part of the island - Khoboy Cape. We will visit the most beautiful spots of Olkhon, and will enojy a picnic lunch at on the shores of Baikal.
Today we leave the sacred Olkhon Island and move east to the opposite shore of Baikal, located in Buryatia village. We board a boat for a mini cruise to Maksimikha village.
En route we make a stop at Ushkan Islands, where if we're lucky enough we meet the Baikal freshwater seals, called Nerpas. After picnic lunch at the bay, we board a bus for a drive to Maksimikha village, where we stay for the night.
This day we will spend travelling along Barguzin Valley. Here we visit the Yanzhima Palace, where women from all around the globe come to ask gods for babies.
We also take a short hike to the cliffs, from where we enjoy the amazing views of Baikal. Before heading back to Maksimikha, we will visit the Barguzin village, where time has stopped and different cultures co-exist together.
Today we are leaving Baikal and heading to the capital of Buryatia - Ulan-Ude. After hotel check-in, we embark on a comprehensive city tour, including visiting the Ivolginsky Datsan, where you will learn about buddhism in Siberia.
This day we spend with the old-believers in the village of the Tarabagatai. You will learn the story of the Old Believers, see their traditional clothes and try the family cuisine.
It's time to say goodbye to Lake Baikal and its cultures. After breakfast at the hotel, you will be transferred to the airport of Ulan-Ude.
3* hotels in Irkutsk and Ulan-Ude
Guesthouses in Sakhyurta, Khuzhir and Maksimikha villages
All meals during the program (B,L,D)
Transportation according to the itinerary (coach, 4wd cars, boat)
Local professional English-speaking guide
All activities and sights indicated in the program
Nature reserve fees
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
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