As it was reported by the Federal State Statistics Service, Irkutsk Oblast is annually visited by 80,000 -150,000 tourists. The majority of people go to Lake Baikal. Today we will tell you about the favorite places of travelers, discuss means of transportation and sightseeing attractions.
This is the name of a strait between the island of Olkhon and the mainland. The maximum depth in this part of the Lake reaches 210 meters, so the water warms up relatively well. In July and August the temperature achieves +24 degrees Celsius.
Families with children come here most often. There are a large number of tourist recreation centers and cottages. There are some fully equipped houses with a shower and heating system. You can take a tent, but you will have to search for a place where to put it for quite a long time due to the influx of tourists in summer.
How to get there. The road from Irkutsk to Maloe More begins at the Kachugsky Tract and turns right towards Lake Baikal after the village of Bayandai. The distance makes up 250 kilometers. Then turn left at the sign saying “Chernorud” 10 kilometers short of the village of Sakhyurta (Maloe More Fishing Station). Almost all tourist recreation centers organize transportation of tourists from Irkutsk by bus or a minibus.
Do you want to see the Baikal nature without going far away from civilization? Come to the village of Bolshie Koty. Be sure to visit the Baikal Museum founded by M.M. Kozhov, the shelter of gold miners in the Chernaya Gorge, the picturesque Skriper Mountain and the Chayachik Cliff.
The locals lease out houses to tourists, so it is easy to find a bed for several days. Guests are often offered to relax in a Russian bath.
How to get there. Public taxi buses depart from the Irkutsk bus station to Listvyanka every half-hour. Beginning from this village you should go along the coast of the Lake along the Great Baikal Trail or by a rocket boat. The cost of a trip from Irkutsk by ship is 800 roubles, and the trip from Listvyanka will cost you about 320 roubles.
This island is popular for several reasons. The first one: the weather on Olkhon is dry and sunny. There are virtually no rains in summer, the weather is warm. The second one: the island has a diverse nature, there are scenic rocky areas and sandy beaches where you can sunbathe.
Only the bravest swim here, because the water warms up to a maximum of +18 degrees Celsius even in enclosed bays.
Many tourists prefer to go here as unofficial holiday makers and spend nights in tents at the Saraiskiy Beach (which is located right behind the village of Khuzhir). If you prefer a more comfortable rest, stay at a tourist recreation center in Khuzhir, Kharantsy or rent a private house for a few days.
How to get there. Cars get to Olkhon by ferry from the village of Sakhyurta (Maloe More Fishing Station). In July-August a queue to the ferry is extremely long, so some car drivers are waiting for the ferry during more than a day. Scheduled public taxi buses go to the ferry without waiting in line. They depart from the bus station in Irkutsk. The schedule depends on the season of the year. You can look it up at the web site of the bus station. The cost of a travel makes up approximately 600 roubles, the way takes about 6 hours.
The name of the village is derived from the Buryat word “enkhe”. It is translated as “calm, holy”. There are a lot of sandy beaches around Enkhaluk. A thick pine forest approaches close to it. As far as the town is located on the territory of the nature reserve, you can meet wild animals there: moose, roe deer, wild boars, hares, squirrels and many others.
The most part of the houses in Enkhaluk have been bought by the residents of Irkutsk and Ulan-Ude. They lease them out to vacationers. In addition, many tourist recreation centers are built in the village. They differ in the degree of comfort: there are completely equipped houses and a private sector with outhouse services.
How to get there. A scheduled bus departs from Ulan-Ude 3 times per day from the train station in summer. The road will take about 2 hours. The way from Irkutsk on your car will take about 7 hours.
This bay is known for its warm water. Since the depth does not exceed 10 meters, the water warms up to 24 degrees Celsius in July-August. People swim and fish in Chivyrkui. Tourists go to the Hot Springs of the Zmeinaya Bay along the western coast.
Vacationers stay in 3 villages on the coast of the bay - Monakhovo (the one that is the closest to the water), Katun and Kurbulik. But we recommend you to stay in a tent on a narrow sand spit. Tourists kindly treat their neighbors, and you will find new friends among them.
How to get there. You can only get there by a car or hitchhiking. The road from Irkutsk starts on the Kultuksky Tract. You need to go to the village of Ust-Barguzin and then sail on the ship. The distance from the city makes up 700 kilometers, the way will take you 10-11 hours.
We hope that our tips will help you organize an independent travel to Lake Baikal. We have briefly outlined the main recreation places of the Lake and will continue this topic in other articles.
This article is meant for those who are going to visit Baikal lands with a tent as so-called “unorganized tourists” who prefer “more democratic recreation options” and for those who want to go to the lake on their own.
There is a strip of land distinguished by its unique beauty in the extreme north of Lake Baikal, in the most inaccessible place of the lake. This beauty can disappear soon. We are speaking about the island of Yarki.
Olkhon is a unique island, and those who want to travel through it by bike, as commonplace as it may sound, will get unforgettable impressions.
The very convenient location of Irkutsk gives all city residents and tourists an opportunity to go on exciting cycling excursions, from “weekend” trips to several-day trips. You can reach Lake Baikal through absolutely different routes, including the one that can rightfully be called the most popular: Irkutsk - Olkhon.