Highlights of Irkutsk and Lake Baikal
Tour Duration: 3 days
Group Size: 2 - 5 people
Specialty Categories: Cultural Journey, Sightseeing tour
Season: May - September
Tour Customizable: Yes
Price Per Person: USD 630 - 755
We invite you take a short 3-day stopover tour to Irkutsk and Lake Baikal as you travel along the Trans-Siberian Railway. Irkutsk is located in the heart of Siberia and has the population of more than half a million people. It is one of the largest cities in the East of Russia, founded in 1661 as an outpost near Lake Baikal. Its importance grew as it became a transit point from Europe to China and an administrative center of the extensive area from Siberia to Alaska. Irkutsk survived tumultuous early years of Siberia exploration and now is one of Russia’s cities that possesses the unique historical heritage.
The city is situated on the banks of the Angara River, the only Baikal outflow, 40 miles from Lake Baikal which is world famous for being the deepest and the largest in volume fresh water lake in the world. It contains roughly 20% of the entire world’s surface fresh water. Amazingly pure water of Baikal has a very low degree of mineralization and thus is incredibly transparent. More than half of the species that inhabit Baikal are endemics which mean they have evolved here and are not found anywhere else in the world. All these are making Irkutsk and Lake Baikal attractive tourist destinations. Enjoy your trip to one of the world’s nature wonders and the official UNESCO World Heritage site Lake Baikal!
Day 1: Irkutsk. City tour, Taltsy open-air museum. Lake Baikal
Welcome to Irkutsk! Your guide will meet you at the airport/ railway station for a city tour around all of Irkutsk major historical sights including Znamensky Orthodox Cathedral, old-style wooden houses with distinctive hand-carved trims, the Monument to Russian Emperor Alexander III, Angara ice-breaker that used to carry Trans-Siberian railway passengers across Lake Baikal, and many more. Lunch.
Departure to Listvyanka settlement at Lake Baikal waterside. Stop for a two-hour excursion to Taltsy open-air museum of wooden architecture where one can discover the culture and the lifestyle of native Siberians and Russians. Museum funds include over 40 original log buildings. The most valuable of them are the "Tower of our Savior" built in 1667 and the Khazanskaya Chapel built in 1669. Continue to Listvyanka. When approaching Lake Baikal you will observe the headwaters of the Angara River with the famous Shaman rock right in the middle of it. Here we make a short stop to walk around local crafts market and enjoy beautiful local legend about old mighty Baikal and his only daughter Angara told by your guide. Arriving Listvyanka. Check in to your hotel. Free time to rest and explore the surroundings. Includes: (L).
Day 2: Lake Baikal. Baikal museum, Chersky viewpoint, Baikal seal show. Irkutsk
Breakfast. Check out of your hotel. Visit to Baikal Museum with the diverse collection of Baikal flora and fauna. You will also see aquaria with some of Baikal endemic species including Baikal nerpa, the only fresh water seal in the world. Then take a chairlift to the top of Chersky peak from where one can enjoy breathtaking views on the vast expanse of Lake Baikal, the Angara River headwaters, peaks of Khamar-Daban Mountain Range on the lake opposite side and a part of disused Circum-Baikal Railway track. Lunch in a local fish restaurant. After lunch attend a show of Baikal nerpa in Listvyanka nerpinarium located next to the main pier. Transfer back to Irkutsk for overnight. Includes: (B), (L).
Day 3: Irkutsk. Departure
Early transfer to the airport/railway station. Includes: (B).
Prices (per person):
- Superior accommodation (4* hotels):
* 2 pax: $755 p/p
* 3 pax: $685 p/p
* 4-6 pax: $615 p/p
* Single supplement: $300
- Standard accommodation (3* hotels):
* 2 pax: $630 p/p
* 3 pax: $560 p/p
* 4-6 pax: $490 p/p
* Single supplement: $165
- Accommodation on DBL sharing basis as stated in the itinerary
- All meals as stated in the itinerary
- All private car or minibus transfers
- Museum entry fees
- English-speaking guide during transfers and excursions
- Russian visa support
- Air tickets or train tickets to/ from Irkutsk
- Health insurance