Winter Jeep Tour To Olkhon Island – 6 days / 5 nights
In winter Lake Baikal looks like the magic ice kingdom. If you’ve never seen it you wouldn’t imagine such vast immense covered with a meter thick crystal armor. Transparent as if you walk on water, sometimes smooth as a mirror, sometimes risen up like gothic castles, it catches you up in blue labyrinths. You’ll try skating on the ice of the biggest sweet water lake on earth, check your fortune in ice-fishing and of course, traditional Russian sauna. You’ll visit the most interesting and beautiful areas of Lake Baikal and make walking tours along the shore and into the taiga-forest.
Olkhon Island is the largest in Lake Baikal. It is 77 km long and 15-25 km wide. This is a very beautiful and mysterious place. The climate here is different and special. It is dry in summer and not much snow in winter. The average temperature in summer is +20-23C, and about –20C in winter. The channel between the island and the lakeshore is one of the few places in Baikal where temperature is good enough for swimming. There is a good sandy beach nearby. The western shore of the island is steppe bounded by orange cliffs.
In the interior of the island there are half a dozen lakes and the 1300 m-high Zhima Peak. The northern end of Olkhon is one of the places to see Baikal seals. Olkhon Island has several archaeological sites, beginning with the remains of Iron Age fortress built by mysterious Kurykans, the ancient Chinese people who lived here between A.D.500 and 1000. The Island is also famous as one of the center of Shamanism, primitive form of religion of the local Buryats. Many of the shamanistic sacred places and rock paintings are still found here. Khuzhir is the biggest settlement of the Olkhon Island.
-Arrival in Irkutsk
-Transfer to hotel / homestay
-Walking city tour, including visit of one museum.
-Return to the hotel / homestay.
-Driving to Maloe More (Small Sea).
-Accommodation in the hostel in Khuzhir village.
-Driving around Olkhon Island.
-Exploring Baikal ice, skating, ice-fishing.
-Driving back to Irkutsk via settlements Elanzy, Ust-Orda (mainly along modern highway)
-Accommodation in Irkutsk.
-Transfer to railway station/airport. Departure from Irkutsk
Important information about the tour:
- The road to Olkhon (totally 300 km) is partly a bumpy dirt road going up and down snowed hills (50 km), so the whole drive takes about 6 hours with the lunch stop in a little café.
- Other 4WD-offroad car tours in different areas in the vicinity of Lake Baikal, the East Sayan Mountains, the Lena River region, in the Altay mountains and in other area of Russia can be arranged at your request.