Where to Go at Baikal Lake:

Author: Dimitry Paranyushkin (on 07 Aug 2009)

In this section
we will tell you everything about the most interesting places on
Baikal lake and propose great travel itineraries at the lake.

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Recommended
Travel Itineraries:
 


 

In this section we bring you a description of the route we
prefer, as well as ideas for other travels you may want
to make,
depending
on the time you have and budget.

We hope it will help you to find your way at Baikal!

[read more]

 

 
Listvyanka
Settlement:
 

Listvyanka settlement on Baikal lake
 

What is It: A settlement on Baikal lake,
very close to Irkutsk and Circum-Baikal, quite touristic.

You can rent a bike, or make some trekking walks.

How to Get There:
60 km from Irkutsk by car or by
bus (~$3-$15), or via Circum Baikal (then - ferry form Port
Baikal - 5 mins).

Pros:
Easily accessible from Irkutsk, Baikal is just
next to it, many good, comfortable, and very inexpensive hotels,
nice restaurants, fish market;

Contras:
As it is quite touristic, the place is not
very "sincere", and there are a lot of people in
high season. However, if you walk a few hours away, you will
be able to enjoy the nature;

[See the Listvyanka
Guide
]


 
 
Olkhon
Island:
 

Olkhon island

Updated September 2003!
 

What is It: Beautiful island near the warmest
bay of Baikal Lake, with meditative and relaxing views, picturesque
walks, and friendly people. It is also a local center of Shamanism.

Great for trekking, biking, sailing, and fishing.

How to Get There:
250 km from Irkutsk by car or by
bus (~5-7 hours, $10 by bus, $100 by car).

Pros:
Marvelous landscape, sunny and warm climate,
sandy beaches, comfortable living conditions (felt-yurt camps
or staying in b&b with locals), local food (especially
fish), and much more.

Contras:
May be hard to get to (local buses are always
booked), if you come there, you will want to stay :-);

[See the Okhon Island Guide]

 
 
Circum-Baikal
Railway:
 

Circum Baikal railway
 

What is It: A very picturesque railway along
the Southern Baikal shore, built about a century ago.

How to Get There:
60 km from Irkutsk by car or by
bus to Listvyanka, then - ferry (5 mins). Or by any Trans-Siberian
train to Slyudyanka (1 hour after Irkutsk).

Pros:
Beautiful views, great for trekking and camping,
Baikal Lake just next, meeting Russian backpackers, villages
along the way;

Contras:
Not easy to find a place to stay, so most
people just go the whole railway by train, meeting Russian
backpackers may take too much time, snakes, train may be too
crowdy;

[See the Circum-Baikal
Guide
]


 
 
Eastern
Shore of Baikal — Buryatia:
 

Buryatia
 

What is It: Sandy, warm, and sunny beaches,
popular among Russian travelers. There are some secluded spots
and a lot of thermal springs as well.

How to Get There:
The auto road goes all along the
Eastern shore of Baikal. There's at least 1 daily bus. You
can also book a boat from Irkutsk.

Pros:
Sunny, hot weather, warm lake, sandy beaches,
possible to camp freely either among people or alone. Great
food. Accessibility.

Contras:
The tourist infrastructure is not well developed,
so you can get there on your own only if you are brave or
speak Russian, or if you book a trip with a travel agency.

[See the Eastern Shore
of Baikal - Buryatia Guide
]


 
 
Arshan
— Sayan Mountains:
 

Buryatia
 

What is It: Arshan is a village at the place
where Sayan mountains start. There are thermal springs, and
a lot of good trekking walks (one - to Shumak springs on top
of the mountains). Quite touristic, but only the village.
Go 1 km away - and there's noone. Great for rafting.

How to Get There:
Any Trans-Siberian train to Slyudyanka
- then a bus (3 hours) to Arshan. Also, daily buses from/to
Irkutsk and Ulan-Ude.

Pros:
Mountains, rivers, good trekking walks, good
infrastructure (but for Russian-speaking only), yoga and meditation
camp, opportunity to get aquainted with locals.

Contras:
Not as close as other places, but easy to
get to by transport, many people in Summer, nobody speaking
English.

[See the Arshan Guide]

 
 
 






 

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