Lake Baikal Crossing by 4WD
Take this once-in-a-lifetime journey to check what the incredible Siberian winter is about. Healthy dose of adrenaline, breathtaking adventures through the seemingly endless horizons of the frozen Lake Baikal. If you are seeking active exploration amid gorgeous natural scenery, then Baikal is your ideal choice. Take a walking trip to spot unique cultural heritage sites, spend days driving on ice shields of the frozen Lake, explore grottos and capes with huge icicles.
Day 1: Irkutsk
Meeting at Irkutsk airport or train station and transfer to hotel for rest. At noon we gather at the hotel lobby to start our half day city tour in the historic center of Irkutsk, rightly called the Paris of Siberia. Here we will find beautiful churches, walk in the central square with fantastic ice sculptures and visit the central market, a real Siberian bazaar. For culture aficionados we offer visits to museums of Irkutsk. (B,L,D)
Day 2: Cliffs of Sagan Zaba Bay
We have a 280 km transfer today through snow-covered fields and forested hills to Lake Baikal. We are at the western shore of the lake and on our way to the little village of Buguldeika, we will have a stopover at a stone quarry where locals cut white marble. In Buguldeika we will enjoy a tasty lunch of local dishes to prepare ourselves for the ice drive on the frozen lake ahead. We will see grottoes and rocks covered by ice and explore ancient rock art on high rocky cliffs of Sagan Zaba bay. We spend the night at the hotel in Buguldeika. (BLD)
Day 3: Chibite Mount, Olkhon Island
Today we will drive on the ice of Baikal, having a spectacular "lake crossing" and heading to the Island of Olkhon. We will see the stone walls of Chibite Mountain and will definitely enjoy breathtaking panoramic views to the endless expanse of the frozen Lake from this summit. Later on we will discover fascinating ice caves and islands of the Small Sea between the island and the mainland. Arriving at Olkhon, we will explore Cape Burchan, a sacred spot for locals and head off to the main settlement of the island, Huzhir. This evening we will have our first experience of Russian steam sauna, Banya. Driving 80km. (BLD)
Day 4: Khoboi, Usury
Along our ice driving route today we will see huge icicles, hanging like sharp teeth in rocky grottoes and discover several deep ice caves at the bottom of huge cliffs on the shore. Our route leads us up to the north cape of Olkhon, Hoboi, fang tooth in the local language, the most spectacular place at Olkhon. At this spot the island ends with a high rocky cliff surrounded by ice fields. Our team will make campfire right on the ice, we will enjoy lunch and warm up. In the afternoon we will arrive at the tiny settlement of Usury located at a picturesque sheltered bay at the eastern cost of Olkhon. Here we will have a walking trip on the black transparent ice enjoying the reflection of neighboring reddish rocks and sunset on ice. Overnight is at an authentic farm in Usury. Driving: 80km. (BLD)
Day 5: Izjimey and Goryarchinsk
An exciting day as we take a jeep ride across Lake Baikal from Olkhon at the west side of the lake to it east coast. First we will drive to the deepest spot of Baikal at 1682 m. At a distance of 8 km off the shore we can see all of Olkhon Island including its highest summit, holy Mount Izjimey. We will take a special stop at this spot to celebrate our arrival at the very heart of Baikal! Continuing our way across the white arctic desert we will see snow-capped mountains of Holy Nose peninsula, Barguzin mountain range. Arrival at the east cost of Baikal, Turka settlement where we have lunch. Continue to the oldest local settlement, Goryatchinsk village where we will have a pleasant foot bath in a hot mineral creek! Driving: 90km. (BLD)
Day 6: Ulan-Ude
The morning sees us on a walking trip around Goryatchinsk boasting good examples of authentic Siberian log architecture. Then we load our luggage in the car and take a drive on the main road to the capital of Buryatia, Ulan Ude. On the way we will take a stop for lunch and enjoy Posy, Buryat meat dumplings cooked on steam. After lunch we continue our drive southwards through the wintry Taiga. Just before Ulan-Ude we will take a special stop to visit open-air museum in Beresovka village where we learn about the culture of Buryats. Arrival in Ulan Ude and city tour followed by a dinner and overnight at local hotel. Driving: 245km (BLD)
Day 7: Selenga River, Posolskoye
We leave Ulan Ude and take a trip to the main Buddhist temple of Buryatia, Ivolginsky Monastery located in the middle of a steppe. Here we will see the monks reading mantras and doing other sacred ceremonies in the main temple hall. Then we´ll drive in Selenga River valley back to Baikal and arrive at the village Posolskoye with the oldest Russian Ortodox church. Here we will meet local fishermen and see their ice fishing technique. In the afternoon we cross Lake Baikal for the second time, back to the west coast. Arrival at Goloustnoe settlement where we spend the night at a local home, driving: 275 km. (BLD)
Day 8: Angara River, Devil’s Bridge
Today we will continue our ice driving southwards to the headwaters of Angara River exploring several interesting local spots en route: caves of the small Kadilniy Cape and rocky Screeper Cape. Special stop will be taken at the spectacular high cliffs of Devil’s Bridge. Another stop at the village Bolshie Koty, an Old Russian settlement founded in the gold rush times of Siberia. Arrival at Listvyanka, a small town at the source of Angara River, the only river flowing out of Baikal. Driving: 90 km. (BLD)
Days 9: Listvyanka
In the morning we will visit Baikal Nature Museum where we will see Baikal Seal, Nerpa and other fish species endemic to Baikal. Off to Irkutsk with a stop en route at Talsy museum of Siberian log architecture. Arrival in Irkutsk and free afternoon to explore the city on your own before we celebrate our trip at a farewell dinner. Driving: 85 km (BLD)
If you would like to extend your stay in Moscow, we can arrange cultural tour for a day or two. Please Contact us for details.
Team and Leaders
You will have a local English-speaking Russian guide and support team, so you, the tour participant, need to carry just a day pack each day. Our expeditions are led by very experienced leaders. In selecting suitable leaders, our prime concern is that they have an excellent record of jeep tours and group leading in wilderness.
There are 6 places available on this tour.
Trip participants need to bring their own personal clothing and equipment. Some items of equipment are available for hire from our local partners, please request information at the time of booking. We strongly recommend that you purchase your own personal equipment. A complete equipment list is part of your Trip Dossier, which you will receive upon confirmation of your booking.
The price includes
Russian visa handling
The price does not include
We can organise this tour on a "tailor-made" private basis for groups of friends, families, clubs, or any other group. Please Contact us to discuss the itinerary and your preferred dates, we will advise on important issues and send you a no-obligation quote.
If you wish to discuss any aspect of this tour or its suitability for you, please contact us by telephone: +374 10 482 271 or by email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Joining the trip
If you would like to join this trip, please find your preferred date, click the link and you will be taken to the online booking form. You will receive an email confirmation and information necessary to make your deposit. Alternatively, you can book over the telephone + 374 10 48 22 71 or by sending a booking request to email@example.com.