➤ Arrive Irkutsk
➤ Meet & greet at the train station/airport
➤ Guided city tour in Irkutsk
➤ Transfer to Listvyanka village at Lake Baikal shores (65 km)
➤ Visiting Taltsy - Siberian Culture Museum
➤ Arrive Listvyanka and check in
➤ Baikal skating
➤ Check-in at the hotel, optional Russian BanyaOPTIONAL TOURS: MALOE SEA & OLKHON ISLAND
Arrival at Irkutsk. Welcome to Siberia, the best part of Russia! Irkutsk was founded in the middle of the XVII century. The town is famous for its wooden houses and wooden lace perfectly preserved. In fact, the Irkutsk historic centre is one huge open-air museum! Irkutsk is located on the banks of the mighty Angara river and was once used as a place of exile for revolutionary noble men from St. Petersburg and Moscow, for their participation in riots or civil disobedience.
The biggest in Irkutsk’s history new arrival happened after the famous Decemberists riot against the Tsar in December 1825 where some of the high-profile rebels ended up travelling to Siberia with wives and families.
The open-air museum Taltsy is located 20 kilometres away from Listvyanka. The exposition features wooden buildings brought from all over Siberia. Right now, 40 landmarked buildings and 8000 artefacts dated by XVII-XIX centuries are presented as part of the exhibition.
The museum looks like an ancient village with long streets, wooden houses, water mills, and even a small school. It should be noted, that in the past real village “Taltsy” was located here. However, with the construction of the Ust-Ilimskaya hydroelectric power station, a part of the village came under the threat of flooding. Authorities decided to preserve the unique village and turned it into the museum.
In winter, when endless waters turn into hardness, life here at Baikal does not stop. On the contrary, more places become accessible by snowmobile and buggy than in the summer and we can do things we only dream on during warmer months...We can cross Baikal directly on transparent ice, climb to the top of snowy ridges, find ourselves in hard-to-reach amazing places, contemplate the greatness of the sacred lake from mind-boggling angles. Feel the taste of life in full. Snowmobiling options vary from test drives to 3-4 hours safari tours deep into taiga with hot lunch cooked at the open fire.
Today, we still have time for skating to feel the incredible power of the world's largest natural open air skating rink and take your first photos of stunning Baikal ice. Tomorrow, we will try dog sledding, one of the most popular winter funs in Siberia. Snowmobiling is also available in Listvyanka area on request.
Optionally, you may choose to travel to Maloe Sea area upon arrival to Irkutsk. Spend 2 nights at the wild shore of Baikal at a comfy eco lodge. Our unique 3 hours ATV tour (self-drive!) across the frozen Lake Baikal is the experience like no other. Ice fishing, skating, Russian Banya...full set of Russia winter pleasures! Chat to Baikal destination specialist to custom your tour.
It is also possible to travel to Olkhon Island for the famous Baikal winter ice by a hover boat. Caves, grottoes, ice plaques, ice bubbles...you will find yourself in the real Ice Kingdom there. We will need a hover boat to reach the most exciting locations.