Baikal - Buryatia - Mongolia
Itinerary: Irkutsk - Baikal - Olkhon - Chivyrkui bay - Ulan-Ude - Mongolia
Duration : 12 days /13 nights
We present the unique tour "Baikal - two shores": Irkutsk, Ulan-Ude combined with the visit to the Genghis-Khan motherland, Mongolia. During this trip you will have an in-depth insight into the traditions and rituals of Baikal region and Mongolia. Baikal is so vast and enigmatic that it will take more than one day to see it better. The itinerary is tailored with special regard to the picturesque Baikal and Mongolian places. You will visit the Orthodox and Buddhist sanctums and the places worshipped by the Shamans. You will see the sacred island Olkhon. This island has a special energy focused on Shaman Rock, one of the 9 Asian sacred areas. You will visit Chivyrkui bay, Ushkan islands; you will see Ivolginsk datsan, the Russian Buddhist center, where the incorruptible body of Khambo-Lama Dashi-Darzho Itegilov is preserved. Besides, you will get acquainted with Irkutsk, the capital of Eastern Siberia. This trip will enrich your impression "luggage" with unforgettable memories.
Cost of the tour (group not less than 5 pax):
single accommodation - 2300 euro/person
double accommodation - 2045 euro/person
10% discount for the children under 12 years
Arrival to Irkutsk
Airport or railway station pick-up
Accommodation at the hotel in the city center
* Visiting the most beautiful places of Irkutsk
Lunch in one of the best city restaurants with traditional Siberian cuisine
* After lunch you will visit the Decembrists' museum. The guide will tell you about life and activity of the Decembrists in Irkutsk, about their contribution into the cultural life of the city.
Returning to the hotel
Overnight at the hotel
At 10:00 Baikal tour starts
On the way you will visit the ethnographical museum "Taltsy". This open-air exhibition features the unique monuments of the wooden architecture of the 17th - 20th centuries.
Continuation of the trip to Listvyanka
Accommodation at "Baikal'skiye Terema" hotel
You will enjoy the most delicious Baikal fish dishes for lunch
After lunch you will visit the local wooden St. Nickolas church and Baikal museum where our guide will tell you about the flora and fauna of Baikal, which has over 3500 species and where you will see the real Baikal seal. You will also visit the souvenir and fish markets, where you can buy different Baikal souvenirs from jade, charoite, lapis-lazuli; different Shaman tokens and things made from cedar wood.
Returning to the hotel
In the evening you can visit banya for extra payment
Together with your guide you go by car to the harbor to continue your trip by the hydrofoil "Barguzin" to Olkhon island. During the water trip you will be enjoying the beauties of Baikal.
* Olkhon island is the sacred place of Baikal, where the double-peaked Shamanka rock is located, one of the nine sanctums of Asia.
Arrival to Olkhon island. Accommodation at one the comfortable tourist camps.
Dinner and overnight at the camp.
After breakfast you will leave for Cape Khoboi, one of the most beautiful places of the island
* It is the northernmost point of the biggest Baikal island, offering the view upon Holy Nose peninsula. During the tour you will see gorgeous deserted sandy bays and beaches, which are numerous at Olkhon. Specially for you we shall arrange the picnic on the shore.
Returning and overnight at the camp. Dinner.
One can visit banya (extra payment)
After breakfast you can go for the tour to Shaman Rock, one of the nine sanctums of Asia. Transfer to the harbor. Embarkation on "Barguzin" to continue your trip to Chivyrkui bay.
Chivyrkui bay is a remote from civilization place with thermal springs, pristine nature and the best fishing at Baikal. There is no other place like this, the nature here is unique and it seems that every tree, every hill and every rock is perfectly complimenting each other in the overall landscape. To spend your holidays in Chivyrkui bay means to enjoy the cocktail of beach holidays, the relaxing and the active and extreme escape from the everyday life.
Accommodation at the floating camp "Ekotour", located in Zmeinaya ('Snaky') gulf of Chivyrkui bay.
This bay is famous for its thermal springs. Moreover the place boasts the warmest water - in summer it can be up to 24 C. Every tourist will find something just for himself: golden tan, exciting excursions, curative and relaxing hot water springs and many other things. But the fishermen will be the happiest ones here.
Overnight at the camp
After breakfast you will go to Ushkanii island, going round the northern point of the Holy Nose. You will visit Tonkii ('Thin') island, which is the reserved area of Zabaikal'skii national park and permanent rookery of the seals, Baikal endemics.
Here with your own eyes you can see the seals and make pictures of the swimming seals and their rookery. Excursion will last the whole day, you will have hot lunch onboard.
Returning to the camp
After breakfast you will go by speed boat to Monakhovo and then across Ust'-Barguzin valley by car to Ulan-Ude.
*From the time immemorial the picturesque area, relatively warm climate and fertile lands attracted the people here. The name of the valley, as well as the river name "Barguzin" comes from the tribe Barguty, which used to live in the valley, the northern part of Bargudzhin-Tukum land. The valley has many sacred places, belonging to different tribes and peoples.
The chronicles of Barguzin valley is very eventful. Some of the events are described by historians and the researchers of the local lore, some of them are preserved in legends. One of the main sanctums of the northern Buddhist world, Baragkhan mountain is located here. Buddhist datsans and Orthodox churches were constructed here. Before the October Revolution Barguzin was the place where the Russian Tsar government exiled its opponents, including the Decembrists.
The history of gold-mining in Trans-Baikal region is connected with Barguzin valley. The gold was mined in taiga and sent to the central part of Russia and to Israel. Copper was also found here. During the civil war guerilla detachments were created here to counter-attack the army of chieftain Semenov. Some people say that here the remnants of the great Hungarian poet-revolutionary Sándor Petofi are buried. Our tour in Barguzin valley will take almost the whole day. We shall cover almost 400 km along the road first on the left bank of the Barguzin River, then on the right bank with stops in the most interesting places. One of the first stops will be at the distance of 1 km from Yarikto settlement. In May 2005 on the local rock in a miracle way the image of the dancing goddess appeared; it is about 1 meter high. The wonderful depiction of Yanzhima attracts everyone. People worship and honor it as a sacred thing, they address their prayers to her asking for patronage and protection. Many are coming here from far away to see and to adore the divine power and beauty. People believe that appearance of this image is the sign of heaven being specially benevolent to the Trans-Baikal land.
Then the route goes along the right bank of the Barguzin River at the foot of Barguzin mountain range, and the view of the magnificent mountains will accompany us along the whole way. On the elevated sections of the valley there are rather big steppe areas, covered with pines and bushes. Such sections are called "kuituns". In one of the kuituns you can have a picnic. From far away you can see arabesque rocks on the bald hill. At the foot of the hill there is a Buryat settlement Suvo. These rocks can be called the pearl of Barguzin valley. The rocks are located on the steppe slopes of the hill at the foot of the Ikat mountain range. On the mountain top they create a picturesque group, resembling the ruins of a castle with huge stone towers and narrow rock gorge between them. They are about 200 m long and 50 meters high. The rocks shelter many nests of pigeons and swallows. This place offers a good view upon the Barguzin valley landscapes with lakes and rocks in the foreground.
Local people believe that the rocks used to be the last outpost of the Barguty, the ancient inhabitants of the valley.
On the way from Suvo settlement to Bodan settlement there is the sanctum of Barguzin valley - Bukhe-Shulun stone ('Stone Bull'). It is believed that its spirit is the patron of the whole valley. According to the ancient legend, when the Buryats were inhabiting the valley they were driving their cattle to Chita region. One bull liked the valley so much that he did not want to leave it. Three times the bull was forced to go, but every time he came back, and then he got petrified here and stayed in the valley for good. Since then the local people worship the stone, being sure that it has the power protecting all the valley inhabitants. An old Buryat lady has told that when you come to the stone first you have to introduce yourself, tell about your life, your children, your household and cattle, and only then switch to your problems and requests. The whole fence round the stone is literally covered with tied ribbons.
At the distance of 15 km from Suvo settlement there is the landscape natural monument - the Stone Garden of Ina. When crossing the Ina River from the left and from the right side one can see the big stone boulders elevated above the ground. Total area is 10 sq.km. Probably in the past it was a beautiful place, but now it doesn't present any aesthetic value: there is a big amount of telegraph poles and the remnants of not-finished soil reclamation canal.
Having made the circle round the Barguzin valley we shall return to the ferry across the Barguzin River and enjoy the view of the sunset over the mountains reflected in the famous river.
Lunch on the way
On arrival to Ulan-Ude you will have an excursion to Ivolginsk Datsan (Buddhist temple)
*Ivolginsk datsan, founded in 1946, nowadays houses the residence of the Head of Russian Buddhist church. The datsan keeps the incorruptible body of Dashi Dorzho Itigelov.
Accommodation at "Baikal Plaza" hotel in Ulan-Ude
Ulan-Ude city tour
*Ulan-Ude was founded in 1666 as a Cossack winter hut on the right bank of the Selenga River. In 1678 it was already known as a fortification, the stronghold of the Russian Cossacks conquering the East. Nowadays it is a modern city with the population about 380 000 people.
Visiting the village of Old-believers with dinner and folklore performance
*During your visit to the local residents` family an interesting program awaits you: visiting the museum, private residential area and enjoying delicious meals. You will be acquainted with the history of “semeyskie”, participate in the rites and ceremonies, listen to the local folk songs and watch the local folk dancing.
Returning to the hotel
Overnight at "Baikal-Plaza" hotel
Transfer to the railway station for the train N 362 to Ulan-Bator
Arrival to Ulan-Bator, the capital of Mongolia.
You will be picked-up at the station and accommodated in a comfortable hotel "Evergreen" 3*. Free time to have some rest.
City tour with a visit of the main Buddhist temple - Gandan monastery.
*Buddhist monastery Gandan is located in the middle of Mongolian capital Ulan-Bator city. Among the quarters of yourts and one-storeyed houses it looks specially beautiful with its bright painted walls, roofs covered with coloured tiles and the figures of gods guarding the entrance. The main gates of the temple are traditionally south-oriented. In the yard there is a Buddha statue, a stone stupa and of course the Lama.
Lunch (traditional Mongolian cuisine)
Central square of Sukhe-Bator, visiting the National historic museum.
NationalMongolianconcertintheevening. Dinner. Returning to the hotel.
In the morning after breakfast you will go to visit the National Park Terelzh located at the distance of 70 km away from Ulan-Bator
*Terelzh is the national park. The nature landscapes of Terelzh are the most beautiful in Mongolia. Park Terelzh is a part of Khengei mountain range with the inimitable alpine and steppe sceneries. What made Terelzh famous are numerous rocks, amazing with their exotic forms; you can discern in the rocks a hare, a sleeping dinosaur, a reading man with the book on his lap (that is all the original forms of granite wind erosion). The rock Melkhii-khal looking like a gigantic tortoise has become the symbol of Terelzh
Visiting the "Tortoise" rock
Visiting the temple Aryaabal
*Aryaabal temple is the Buddhist meditation center
Lunch in a Mongolian family where you will get acquainted with the everyday life of the Mongols.
Horse-riding with an instructor (1 hour)
Accommodation in yourtas
After breakfast returning to Ulan-Bator. Visiting the summer and winter palaces of Bogdykhan.
the last Mongolian emperor. Here you will get to know the life and traditions of the Mongolian Bogdykhans since the 18th century till the time of the last one's governing in 1924. Palace complex of Bogdykhan is one of the most frequently visited historical monuments of Mongolia.
Visiting Zaisan memorial
*If you want to see the whole Ulan-Bator, you just need to ascend the Memorial complex Zaisan. A magnificent view upon the city and the Tola River valley opens up for you from the hill top. Memorial complex Zaisan was constructed in 1979 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Khalkhyn-Gol events. Till 1971 the top was crowned by a memorial in honor of the Soviet warriors who died fighting for the freedom of Mongolia.
Shopping tour (incl. cashmere factory)
Accommodation at a hotel 3*
Transfer to the airport or railway station
What is included:
pick-up/ transfer for departure within the itinerary in all the cities
all the transfers within the itinerary
meals within the itinerary (11 breakfasts, 7 lunches and 9 dinners)
service of the guide during the whole tour
accommodation within the itinerary: Irkutsk - 1 night, Olkhon - 2 nights (comfortable camp), Listvyanka - 1 night (standard accommodation), Chivyrkui bay at the Eco-tour camp - 2 nights, Ulan-Ude at "Baikal-Plaza" hotel - 2 nights, Mongolia at "Evergreen" hotel - 2 nights, Terelzh - 1 nights in a yourta
train tickets Ulan-Ude - Ulan-Bator (2nd class) (overnight on the train)
excursions within the itinerary (Irkutsk city tour, Decembrists' museum, "Taltsy" museum, Baikal museum, Cape Khoboi, Shaman Rock, Ushkan islands by boat, excursion to Barguzin valley, Ulan-Ude city tour, Ivolginsk Datsan, the village of Old Believers, Ulan-Bator city tour, Gandan monastery, National park Terelzh, temple Aryabal, winter and summer palaces of Bogdykhan and Zaisan memorial.)
Recreation fee for entering the area of Ushkan islands.
The cost does not include:
additional services not mentioned in the itinerary
*Our company can assist in preparing the documents for Mongolian visa. Standard tourist Mongolian visas are issued for 30 days from the time of border crossing. You have to visit Mongolia within 3 months period since the visa issuing. Visa process normally takes several days, but not more than 2 weeks. If you want to get visa faster you can do it for extra payment. For detailed information please contact our manager.
Things we recommend to take:
reserve pair of shoes
Fleece and waterproof jackets
summer-hat or some other head-wear against the sun
a mosquito repelling spray for the body and clothes, possibly - Gartex.
If you or your children take any medicine please don't forget to take it with you
Our company reserves the right to make amendments concerning the days of the itinerary (for weather conditions reasons), change the order of showing the sights, order of staying at the hotels; hotels and campings (similar in quality or better).
We recommend to buy before you set on the trip the anti-tick remedy "Iodantipirin", or arrange the tick-bite insurance in advance.
Attention! Please consider possible delays of flights and trains when planning the trip! The company will not be liable to refund the money in case of the tourist's failure to appear!