The Frozen World of Lake Baikal (Jan - Feb)

With its enchanted ice caves, dazzling winter sun and dramatic landscapes, winter is without doubt the most spectacular time to experience the frozen world of Lake Baikal, offering intrepid travelers the opportunity to capture some of Siberia's most stunning nature that is once-in-a-lifetime. 

HIGHLIGHTS

Experience the unworldly frozen landscapes of Lake Baikal

Enjoy total flexibility of photography opportunities in Lake Baikal

Experience the fascinating culture of the Buryat Shamans

ITINERARY

DAY 1: INCHEON / IRKUTSK

Depart Seoul Incheon for your flight to Irkutsk on S7 Airlines, a member of One World Alliance where on arrival at Irkutsk Intl Airport, be met as you are then transferred to the Amurskiy Hotel for check in. Enjoy this evening to rest. 

S7 Airlines schedule:

Departing Incheon 1625hrs Arriving Irkutsk 1950hrs (every Tue & Fri)

Overnight: Amurskiy Hotel, Irkutsk

Meals: NIL

DAY 2: IRKUTSK & LISTVYANKA

Awake to a fresh day with impetus as we begin our exploration of the old Siberian fort town of Irkutsk, standing at the main traffic arteries connecting Europe with the Far-Eastern parts of Russia. The city is also famous for the wooden architecture objects, stone buildings of different styles, and Siberian Baroque churches and the oldest extant wooden buildings outnumber all the largest Russian cities. Visit the Epiphany Cathedral, listed among the landmarks of federal significance in 1960. The building’s tiered composition is crowned with a hipped bell tower lending a bizarre and unique combination of old Russian decor, Baroque elements, and indigenous Siberia motifs that make the cathedral look graceful. Thereafter, admire the Kazan Church, resembling a fairy tower for its remarkable Byzantine style and appearance renowned for possessing Irkutsk’s largest church bell. We also take a walk through Block 130, Irkutsk's most popular promenade filled with man historical old wooden buildings and houses constructed in the 17th Century. 

Thereafter, we continue to the village of Listvyanka, situated on the edge of Lake Baikal. One of the oldest settlements on Lake Baikal, we take a walk in the centre of the town. Visit the Baikal Museum, devoted to the history of Lake Baikal exploration, its flora and fauna allowing you a first glimpse of what to expect soon from your Baikal adventure. Thereafter, enjoy time for lunch (on own expenses) before we return to Irkutsk. 

Overnight: Amurskiy Hotel, Irkutsk

Meals: Breakfast

DAY 3: IRKUTSK / OLKHON ISLAND

Today, we head to the frozen surface of the great Lake Baikal where your first is the legendary island of Olkhon. At 72km long, Olkhon stands out among the three dozen islands of Baikal for its sheer size and the monumental grandeur of its landscapes. During the 5 hour drive to Olkhon, we stop for lunch (on own expenses) where you can sample traditional Buryat cuisine with a banquet of buuz dumplings and Buryat tea. Next, we drive along the magnificent Tazheran Steppe, which was once home to the first indigenous Baikal people, whose petroglyphs are found at the tribal encampment sites. Eventually, we arrive at the Baikal Wood Hotel where we will spend the next 4 days. 

Overnight: Baikal Wood Hotel, Olkhon Island

Meals: Breakfast & Dinner

DAY 4 - 6: OLKHON ISLAND 

Over the next few days, we will visit the most picturesque destinations in and around Olkhon including the ice grottoes of Kharantsy Island, the ice mounds of Khoboy Cape, the Buddhist stupa on Ogoy Island, the bubbles at Belenky Island, the tiny settlement of Uzury and the steppe landscapes on the southern part of Olkhon. Because of the weather-dependent nature of the trip, there are no fixed day to day itinerary. Depending on conditions on the day, we visit the destinations based on the most opportune conditions on each day. 

Overnight: Baikal Wood Hotel, Olkhon Island

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 7: OLKHON / IRKUTSK

Enjoy a relaxing morning where after lunch, we make our return back to Irkutsk where on arrival, enjoy the evening and rejuvenate for the evening. 

Overnight: Amurskiy Hotel, Irkutsk

Meals: Breakfast & Lunch

DAY 8: DEPARTURE IRKUTSK / INCHEON

Transfer to Irkutsk Intl Airport for your flight departure on S7 Airlines for Seoul Incheon. 

S7 Airlines schedule:

Departing Irkutsk 1040hrs Arriving Seoul Incheon 1525hrs (every Tue & Fri)

Meals: Breakfast

HOTELS

Amurskiy Hotel is located not simply on the edge of the old town, or simply in its first historical street Amurskaya (currently Lenina Street), which remains the city’s main street up to date. Here, in front of the hotel, was the starting point of the route taking travelers from central Russia to Irkutsk, the Siberian Russian outpost, further to the east.

Amurskiy Hotel, Irkutsk

Baikal Wood Hotel, Olkhon Island

BaikalWood Eco Lodge & Spa is located on the largest island of amazing Lake Baikal – Olkhon. The hotel is surrounded by beautiful forest and from its rooms the Guest may enjoy a splendid view of the Lake Baikal. The hotel is designed in modern eco-style and made from environmentally –friendly materials. Here you will find a sense of peace and tranquility.

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