Hiking along eastern Baikal lake in sunny Buryatia

This tour proceeds in incredible and hidden Buryatian areas around Baikal lake. Baikal lake is the unique Siberian gem, known all around the World. Lots of tourists coming there to fill themselve with Baikal landscape's beauties. We've found unbeaten way to explore local Buryatian culture in addition to hiking close to the biggest lake in the World. You will stay with locals during few days, will visit the center of Russian buddhism in Ivolginsky datsun, also will do lots of hikes along the bank of Baikal and in close surroundings, in Barguzin valley, located on the Eastern part of Baikal lake. Tour proceeds via the ancient trade capital of Siberia Irkutsk. You will experience Russian Railway train Rossiya, maiking trip from Irkutsk to Ulan-Ude.
  • Activity
  • Culture
  • Comfort
  • Avaliable: June, July, August, September
  • Duration: 14 days
  • Group: from 4 people
  • Border permits:
Languages: English German French Italian
Flight from Europe to Irkutsk.
Arrival in the morning - transfer to the hotel and citytour in the afternoon after some hours of rest. Welcome dinner with the group and their guide. During the city tour the main highlights related with Dekabrists, political persons were not agree with politics of Nikolay II will be visited. Angara embankment, old wooden houses, Museum House of Trubetskie family, Museum House of Volkonskie family.
Departure at 8.03 from Irkutsk to Ulan-Ude with Transsib Railway on "Rossiya train", 2nd class. Arrival at 14.39
Breakfast at the hotel. Transfer to Ivolginsky datsan (20 km). Tasting monk's dishes, excursion round the datsan (2 km). Transfer to Omulyovka Mount. Climbing the mount. Descent from the mount and walk along the Selenga River (8-10 km). Transfer to Tarbagatay Village - one of the largest old believers’ villages in Transbaikal area. Folklore program. Lunch composed of the Old Russian cuisine dishes. Cookery master classes. Ivolginsky datsan «Khambyn Khure» - a Buddhist monastery-datsan, the centre of the Buddhist traditional Sangkha of Russia. The monument of history and architecture. Ivolginsky datsan was founded in 1945. Unexpectedly after the Great Patriotic War the authorities backed down. And though the Buddhist community received a rejection of restoration of ancient datsans of the XVIII century, the authorities allocated it a plot in the swampy area not far from Verkhnyaya Ivolga 30 kilometres from the capital of Buryatiya, Ulan-Ude. Along the way from Ivolginsky datsan, we will observe a very beautiful valley of the Selenga River (the largest inflow of Lake Baikal). We will have a stop in Omulevka area (which opens into a panoramic view on the river) Semeyskiye Old Believers Old Believers are an ancient and bright part of the Russian people who are still practising the old belief, having rejected innovations since Peter I époque. For this reason so called the Semeyskiye faced reprisals and had to move to Siberia. The first rescued Old Believers set up near Verkhneudinsk in villages Tarbagatay, Kuytun, Bolshoy Kunaley, Desyatnikovo, Burnashevo. The whole families of those people settled, therefore people started to call them «the Semeyskiye» (literally – “Family”). More than 240 years passed. The Semeyskiye of Transbaikalia have sent down their roots into the Siberian land, they have found their second motherland here. They are still keeping the gold fund of the Russian culture. You can notice it in their moral principles, stateliness of their clothes, house decoration, patterns on the home kitchenware and the culture of their family. It is hard to overestimate the value of the Semeyskiye as a historical, cultural phenomenon of Russia. They managed to keep the spiritual experience which has actually been lost in other groups of Russian people. The national singing traditions represent particular importance which are a masterpiece of the oral and non-material heritage originating from the Old Russian musical culture and having its roots in the early Middle Ages. Representing the unique ethnic heritage, the culture of the Semeyskiye of Transbaikalia has been proclaimed as "a masterpiece of the oral and non-material heritage of the mankind» and it was included on the UNESCO first list in Paris in 2001.
Transfer to Ust-Barguzin (270 km, a well-asphalted road). Stop in the suburb of Ulan-Ude. Excursion in the Ethnographic Transbaikalian Peoples Museum - an open-air museum. Huge and informative territory for hiking (4 km). Transfer to Turka. Stop in the cafe for lunch. After lunch, walk along the Baikal shore (2 km). Arrival in Ust-Barguzin. The Ethnographic Museum of the People of Transbaikalia is one of the largest open-air museums in Russia. The museum occupies 37-hectares territory. More than 40 architectural monuments are collected in the museum. The museum funds keep over 11 thousand of exhibits. The museum territory is divided into several complexes (archaeological, Evenki, Buryat, Prebaikal, Transbaikalian, Old Residents, Old Believers, City). After the Ethnographic Museum, we go to Ust-Barguzin (Barguzinsky Highway). Barguzinsky Highway passes through Pribaikal, Barguzin districts, a lot of cult places are situated along the highway. Local residents (Bargusin Buryats and Evenkis, Russians, Tatars, etc.) are usually informed about them and when they are in these places they render them "respect". In the traditional Buryat culture, the cult or sacred places play an important role. Sacred places are noted by the higher sacral importance. One of the forms of the material embodiment of Buryats’ traditional beliefs is baisa (from Bur. barikha - to present, to give) or tabisa (from Bur. tabikha - to leave, put). These are the places to give gift food to the spirits - to the hosts of the area. The route is very picturesque, forests and mountains (Ulan-Burgasy Ridge). The most part of the route will pass along the Lake Baikal shore. Planned stops: Pykhta, Khaima (sacred places); Turka ( Cherepakha Rock (Turtle Rock) - a natural monument); Bezymyanka Area. Walks in the neighborhood of Turka and Bezymyanka.
Hiking to Sands area, march to the Ust-Barguzin shore (3 km). Snack from lunchbox with hot tea. Walking to Kholodnyaki area (4 km) which opens into the Barguzinsky Gulf and Sacred Nose Peninsula. Coming back to the guest house (Ust-Barguzin). Smart pine wood, sandy dunes cover many kilometres and lonely multi-kilometer beaches. Excellent view onto the Svyatoy nos peninsula (Sacred nose peninsula). Mobile banya on the beach of Baikal, lunch at the lake. The Barguzinsky gulf, the biggest and deepest gulf of Lake Baikal.
Transfer to the check point of Transbaikalian National Park (5 km). We walk (4 km) from the check point to Lake Bormashevoe which is rich in minerals. After the lakes, we reach the shore in the area of the Chivyrkuysky isthmus where there is the warmest water in the Barguzinsky Gulf (1 km walking). Picnic: Cooking in nature with a guide. After the picnic, hiking to the Barguzin River mouth (1 km). Then we walk to the place where the old settlement Ust-Barguzin was founded in 1666. Return to Ust-Barguzin. Accommodation in Ust-Barguzin. Excursion in Transbaikalian national park. Visit to the Visit-centre of the national park. Walk along Bormashevykh lakes (a natural miracle situated in one of the most picturesque places of Lake Baikal - the Chivyrkuysky isthmus attracts tourists with its golden beach, warm water, therapeutic mud and picturesque specie)s. The lake has received its name from the collective name of sandhoppers called bormysh which live in it. Local residents catch the sandhoppers using them as a live bait for fish - lure catching. Silt lake deposits - sapropels are actively used for therapeutic purposes. Local residents collect the mud of the lake to cure skin diseases and a well-known resort “Goryachinsk” takes them from Bormashevoye Lake for medical procedures. It is necessary to note that Bormashevoe Lake is a popular place of summer fishing of the perch, the pike, Siberian roach and the crucian) Then from the lakes, we go towards the shore of the Barguzinsky gulf. After dinner prepared on the fire, we will go to the place where the city of Ust-Barguzin was founded (earlier it was on the other side of the river but in connection with construction of the Irkutsk hydropower station it was transferred to a new place). Now we will visit the place where the city was situated before (from 1648 to 1956).
Transfer to Suvo (75 km). Arrival in the area where petroglyphs were found. Walking route to Suvo Village (8 km). Snack from lunchbox. We will pass by Alginsky salty lakes. Arrival in the settlement, accommodation in the families. Travelling excursion in Barguzinsky Valley. In my opinion, we could take people to the school museum (in Barguzin), there are a lot of interesting exhibits from the history of the first Transbaikalian jail. Transfer to the area where petroglyphs of the bronze age are situated. Watching petroglyphs (2 thousand years B.C.), then walk among rocks and descent to Alginsky lakes. The salty Alginsky lake is a small lake situated in Barguzinsky valley. The mud of this lake has a remarkable peeling effect. This place combines beauty, calmness, warm air, solitude and benefits for health. Salt lakes are not rare in Barguzinsky valley, but they create the picturesque scenery which attracts tourists here. Every summer, families of tourists come to the lake to restore health and to admire the most beautiful views of the Barguzinsky valley. Passing-by tourists very often stop and take some curative mud of the lake which is useful for their face and body skin. Walking to Suvo village, overnight.
Walk in Suvinskiye rocks (5-6 h). They look like enormous towers with loopholes, and you will be able to see a stone ridge along the perimetre of the fortress which reminds the remains of the fortification wall foundations. Snack from lunchbox. Arrival in the settlement, accommodation in the families. Suvinskaya Saxony Picturesque rocks are situated on the steppe slopes of the hill at the bottom of the Ikatsky ridge which remind the ruins of the ancient castle, with enormous stone towers and narrow rocky gorge between them, the length is about 400 m and the height is up to 50 m. These rocks were a shaman cult place of the Evenki. In the Evenki language, "Suvoya" or "Suvi" means "whirlwind". People thought that the spirits-masters of the local winds lived here, the main one of which was a master of the legendary wind of Baikal - "Barguzin". The Buryat have a popular belief that the masters of Suvo live in the rocks - Tumurshi-noyon and his wife Tudugish-khatan in the honour of which obo and a wooden burkhan were set here. According to the people’s memories, many local residents gathered for the public prayer in the honour of the Suvo lords and a lamb was sacrificed. According to one of the versions, once Suvo rocks served as the last advanced post of Barguts - ancient inhabitants of the valley. They remind enormous towers with loopholes, and a stone ridge has remained along the perimeter of the fortress which is similar to the rests of the basis of the fortification wall.
Transfer from Suvo to the Chivyruysky Gulf. (130 km) Stop at the Chivyrkuysky isthmus, at the geodetic tower. Stop at the Burtuy River canal. Hot lunch at a local fishing family. There is a wood covered path (700 m one way) which leads to Arangatuyskiye lakes. Hot springs. Arrival in Monakhovo. Boarding the motor boat, transfer to Zmeevaya Bay. Accommodation at the floating hotel (with conveniences). Hiking to visit hot springs (another). It is known for its healing thermal waters. The temperature of hot springs is + 38-45 degrees. There are 2 wooden log cabins for swimming, which can accommodate up to 4 people. Dinner. For this day, we are planning a transfer from Barguzinsky valley to the Chivyrkuysky gulf. During lunch in a fisherman’s family the ones who will wish may go and take a hot bath. Then we will go to Monakhovo, it is a port in the Chivyrkuysky gulf. Here we will go on board the boat and sail to Zmeevaya Bay (one of the most beautiful bays of the gulf).
Hiking following the ecological path along the shore «Zmeevaya Bay - Monakhovo». Hiking to Krestovy cape (6 km). Snack from lunchbox. Relax on the Baikal beach. Boarding the motor boat, return to Zmeeva Bay. Night at the floating hotel. Option: motor boat excursion in the gulf, excursion to Ushkanyi Islands. Walk along the ecological track Zmeevaya - Monakhovoо. This track is one of BBT (the Big Baikal track). The track is situated on the Svyatoy nos peninsula (Sacred nose peninsula) and is covered by the territory of the Trans-Baikal National Park. The track passes along the shore of the Chivyrkuysky gulf. The transition is planned to Okunyovaya bay. Here we will stop to have rest and lunch. It is an excellent place for beach recreation, in the evening a boat will take us to the floating hotel.
Transfer by motor boat to Okunevaya Bay. Hiking to Monakhovo (7 km). Snack from lunchbox. Arrival in Monakhovo, transfer to Ust-Barguzin. Accommodation at the guest house. The route will start from Okunyovaya bay. Termination of the route, an observation platform in Monakhovo. On the way, we will see two old fisherman’s settlements Kurbulik and Katun. Upon arrival in Monakhovo, we will be taken away by the bus and go to Ust-Barguzin.
Transfer to Ulan-Ude. Lunch in the сafe. Check-in at hotel. Free time in Ulan-Ude. Visiting souvenir shops. Farewell dinner.
Breakfast at the hotel. Transfer to the airport, flight back to EU.
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Hiking along eastern Baikal lake in sunny Buryatia
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