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April, 25, 2017

Going to Baikal during Holidays: a Weekend Itinerary

Where should you go if you have only several days for staying at Lake Baikal? We’ll tell you about the places you must visit at Lake Baikal and that are perfect for a short trip during weekend or holidays.

If you do not want to go far, but still you want to breathe in the Baikal air, a short trip to Taltsy and Listvyanka will suit you. Public taxi buses run there from the Irkutsk bus station every day, so it will be easy to get there. As far as these places are well-known to everyone, we will not get in detail talking about them and will move on to more interesting options.

Arshan

Many people have heard about this village, but not all of them know about its enormous traveling potential. Snow cover comes off in March here under the influence of the mountain sun. The place is incredibly beautiful in spring: the trees get covered with fresh leaves, and the blossom of wild rosemary starts in late April.

The fans of hiking can go to the Lyubvi Peak (the Peak of Love). The ascent takes about 4 hours, it is best to start your hike early in the morning, then you will have enough time to overcome the road there and back. We would not recommend you to start a hike after a rain, because one may easily slip on the wet trail.

The extreme sports lovers will be interested in the speed rope descent. A cableway goes along the coast from the first waterfall on the Kyngarga River. You will be given a climbing harness and a proper instruction, hooked onto the rope, then you’ll fly over the water. The descent itself lasts only a few minutes, but it causes pleasant emotions and stays in your memory forever.

If you prefer a calmer kind of rest, go to the park of the “Arshan” Resort and marvel at the long-living larches. Visit the Grove of Tears: it is located next to the mineral spring with the water that is rich in iron and curative for the eyes. The trees in this small forest are covered with colorful ribbons - hadaks. According to the Buryat tradition, these are tied to the trees by the healed people as a sign of gratitude to gods and spirits.

You can buy a one-day tour to the extinct volcanoes of Tunka at local tourist centres. You will learn many interesting facts about the formation of Lake Baikal and the nearby mountains. In addition, the tour includes a visit to a radio telescope, you’ll learn how it works and why it had been built.

Olkhon

The ferry to the island starts operating on May 6 this year, so you can go there immediately. The most daring and desperate travelers may take warm winter sleeping bags and stay somewhere in a tent. The rest of the tourists can find accommodation at local hotels and tourist centres.

The athletes are recommended to bring their own bicycles or rent some. You will be able to explore the island on your own. Experienced travelers can cycle from Khuzhir to the northern Khoboy Cape. Not everyone can travel this far, so we recommend to undergo the necessary training before going on such a trip.

You can also just go for a walk. Choose a route basing on your personal strength. If you take children, it will be enough to walk until the Shamanka Rock. The stories about the spirits living there will be interesting both for adults and children.

The fans of long walks can go to the Peschanoe Tract. This place is located 20 km away from the settlement of Khuzhir and is famous for its sand dunes, the largest quartz deposits on the Western coast of Lake Baikal.

Circumbaikal Railway

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There are 2 traveling options for different kinds of tourists: a one-day trip in the Circumbaikal express train or an independent hiking route beginning from the Temnaya Pad Station.

 

The first option is suitable for a relaxing holiday with children or the entire family. During the trip you will watch the movies about the nature of Baikal. The train will make several stops for 1-1.5 hours each so that the tourists could walk through the local tunnels. The guide will tell you about the construction of the Trans-Siberian Railway that had previously passed through this section of railway and was rebuilt later.

The second option is more adventurous. You will need to get to the Temnaya Pad Station by train and then descend from it to the settlement of Staraya Angosolka. You will have to go through a forest trail, so it is better to go with an experienced guide, for there is a risk of getting lost.

You can stay overnight in this small village. Leave your belongings in a house and go for a walk along the railway tracks. Walking here is a real pleasure. You will enjoy the views of Lake Baikal, enter the frightening dark tunnels and breathe in the fresh spring air.

We hope that our small review will be useful for you. We wish you to enjoy bright and memorable spring holidays wherever you go.

 

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