"In all of Russia there is no place as beautiful as Lake Baikal, "the pearl of Siberia" – crystal clear water, surrounded on all sides by mountains and small Siberian villages. ” "Lonely planet": "Russia · Ukraine · Belarus " (2000, p. 642).
Mother Nature gives her beloved creations an absolute, amazing power. Without a doubt, Lake Baikal is one of these creatures of nature. Baikal is a whole world, with its history of 30 million years and its own evolution, with many secrets and mysteries hidden in its depths. He leaves an unforgettable impression in the heart of everyone who has ever visited its shores.
The coastline of Baikal stretches for more than 2000 km. Incredibly, it is sometimes easier for us to imagine thousands of kilometers of empty open space between the Earth and the Moon than these two thousand kilometers of majestic, vivid beauty, open for walking and unhurried, peaceful contemplation. It is simply impossible to comprehend this picture; it is larger, more beautiful, more diverse and more delightful than we can understand or imagine. It can only be seen with my own eyes.
It is hard to imagine that the volume of Baikal water is 23 thousand cubic meters, that is, 20 percent of the global freshwater supply. The thickness of its bottom sediments –
We provide accommodation in hotels and families in various localities on Lake Baikal: Listvyanka, Big Cats, Bolshoi Goloustnoy, Khuzhira na
Irkutsk is the most popular stop when traveling along the Trans-Siberian Railway. In this city, also known as "Siberian Paris"You will meet more calm and friendly people than in Moscow or other large cities of the European part of Russia. Many streets still have cozy wooden houses, the walls and windows of which are decorated with carvings characteristic of Siberian architecture. Irkutsk was founded as a military fortress in 1661 by a group of Cossack tax collectors under the leadership of Ivan Pokhabov. The task of the fortress was to keep the elders of the Buryat clans in fear so that they would pay Russia taxes in a timely and correct manner. In 1686 a church was built here, and a small town appeared on the banks of the Angara River. Tea caravans from China passed through Irkutsk, fur traders sold their goods, gold mines were nearby, and the city soon turned into an important commercial center of Siberia. In the middle of the 19th century Irkutsk became the capital of Siberia, its administrative, financial and cultural center. The diverse population of Irkutsk consisted of fur traders, gold prospectors, merchants selling tea, industrialists and former convicts. The capital of Siberia has become a place of settlement of exiled nobles from western Russia. The most famous of these exiles were, without doubt, the Decubites, the participants of the uprising in St. Petersburg in December 1825. Today, Irkutsk, with a population of 600,000, is one of the largest cities in Siberia. Here are 10 universities and a large research center. In the city center you can see many beautiful buildings of various styles of architecture, built in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. On the central square there are several old Orthodox churches and a Polish church.
We offer accommodation in Irkutsk – from luxury apartments to low-cost hotels. It is also possible to live in families where you can enjoy the atmosphere of genuine Siberian hospitality. For you, we can organize a tour of the city – on foot or by car, visiting museums and churches, cultural and folklore programs.
Olkhon is the largest island of Baikal. Its length – 71km, width – from 15 to 25km. Olkhon is the most beautiful and mysterious place on Baikal, with its special climate and landscape. The average summer temperature is + 20-23 ° C, many sunny days, it rarely rains. In winter there is almost no snow, windy, and the temperature – about – 20C. The nature of the island is extremely diverse: there are beautiful sandy beaches, high steppe hills, picturesque capes, pine forests and beautiful rocks, motley colored with yellow, red and orange lichens. The hard ground of the southern part of the island is perfect for cycling. In the center of the island there is a dense pine forest, and in the north you can sometimes watch the seals that swim to bask in the sun, lying on coastal stones. The small sea, the western part of Lake Baikal between the island and the coast, is one of the few places on Lake Baikal where the water is warm enough for swimming. The island was formed millions of years ago and has a tectonic origin. The deepest bottom depression of Baikal (1637 m) is located near the eastern coast of the island. There are small lakes on the island; The highest mountain (1300 m) is called Zhima or Yimyi, it is a sacred place of the Buryat shamanists, shamanistic religious ceremonies were held long ago on this mountain. On the island there are many places of interest to archaeologists, such as rock paintings, remains of settlements of the Iron Age and the ancient fortress of Kurykans (people living in this area between 500 and 1000 years).
The ferry operates from mid-May to mid-November from 9 am to 8 pm. In winter (from late January to early April) from the mainland to the island, it is possible to cross over the ice.
“BAIKAL-COMPLEX” organizes a variety of cultural programs and adventure jeep tours to Olkhon with overnight stays at a camp site in Khuzhir or in tents on the beach.
The ancient Siberian settlement Listvyanka is located at the same time at the source of the Angara and on the shores of Lake Baikal (70 km from Irkutsk). For more than 300 years, this village has seen a lot. In the 18th century, a ferry opened here, from which merchants brought their goods to China, Mongolia and the Far East. Now Listvyanka lives in tourism – after all, this is where the acquaintance with the wonderful world of the Baikal region begins for numerous guests and tourists from all over the world.
Despite its modest size, Listvyanka is one of the busiest tourist centers in Siberia. Due to its proximity to Irkutsk, more tourists (mostly locals on weekends and foreign tourists on vacation) come to Listvyanka than to all other cities and towns along the shores of Baikal combined. In Listvyanka there are many camp sites, several hotels, restaurants, cafes and picnic areas, as well as a small market where you can buy a variety of souvenirs and the famous Baikal omul – salted, dried or smoked.
Limnological Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences is located in Listvyanka. It studies lakes and artificially created water bodies of Siberia and the Far East of Russia, in particular, Lake Baikal. The institute owns a small but very interesting museum of the flora and fauna of Lake Baikal and the Baikal region. The population of Listvyanka is 2300 people.
Welcome to our hospitable “LIQUID CHALET”! Our staff is always ready to help you with organizing trips and excursions and give all the necessary information. Here you can also see and buy postcards and maps of the area.
Bolshie Koty is a small village on the shores of Lake Baikal, 20 km north of Listvyanka. There are only two ways to get here: by water or on foot, along the shore of Lake Baikal. A picturesque 20-kilometer-long footpath leads to Big Koty from Listvyanka, then going up into the mountains, then going down to the water. There is no road. In the summer between Irkutsk, Listvyanka and Big Cats daily ply "Rockets" – hydrofoils. There are only two ways to get here: by water or on foot, along the shore of Lake Baikal. A picturesque 20-kilometer-long footpath leads to Big Koty from Listvyanka, then going up into the mountains, then going down to the water. In the summer between Irkutsk, Listvyanka and Big Cats daily ply "Rockets" – hydrofoils.
Surrounded by wooded hills and rocky cliffs, this small fishing village lives in its own special rhythm, which is measured not by the hours, but by the seasons. Healthy climate, no crime, beautiful nature and rich history; suitable place for outdoor activities. Earlier, they searched for gold in the Big Kotinka River, and now you can still see half-destroyed dredges in a kilometer from the village. During the gold rush in the village, there was a bakery, a sawmill, a small glass factory and
This place is ideal for relaxing from the bustle of the city, the eternal rush and stress. The rich history and beautiful nature, a wonderful place for outdoor recreation and active, adventure tourism.
The part of the Trans-Siberian railway along the southern shore of Lake Baikal from Port Baikal to Kultuk is called the Circum-Baikal Railway. From 1900 to 1904 the trains went from Irkutsk to Port Baikal, where in those days was the end of the railway. From here, two large icebreaker steamers carried passengers and goods across the lake, to the other side, where the railway track began again. For four years, built the first railway branch around the southern tip of Baikal; so the construction of the Trans-Siberian Railway was completed. Its length is 84 km, it is the shortest, which has become, however, the most technically difficult branch of the entire Trans-Siberian railway: here, at almost every kilometer of the route, it was necessary to build a tunnel or bridge. Circular Baikal – a kind of open-air museum, containing monuments of architecture, technical and engineering art (tunnels, galleries, bridges, viaducts and retaining and protective walls). It combined solid strength and incredible elegance of steel and stone bridges, protective and retaining walls and galleries. 46 tunnels, galleries and other structures, 248 bridges and viaducts, 268 retaining walls, 172 architectural monuments have survived to this day. Along with the Russians, experienced Italian, Turkish, and Chinese bricklayers worked on building bridges and tunnels. In 1957, a dam was built in Irkutsk, and part of the railway from Irkutsk to Port Baikal was flooded. Instead, another branch was built, which passed from the city right through the mountains to the southern tip of Baikal. Circum-Baikal is no longer used as intensively as before; Now it has become attractive for tourists: local tourists come for the weekend with tents, tourist special trains “Zarengold” and “Orient Express” stop here at the most picturesque and interesting stations.
ONE DAY TOUR ON THE KRUGOBIKALSKY RAILWAY – a cultural program for curious, active travelers who love train travel and want to see the historical sights and the beauty of nature.
Tunkinskaya Valley is one of the most beautiful places in the Baikal region, which we recommend to all travelers, adventurers and photographers. The valley was named after the name of a small river that washed a deep and narrow gorge on its way to the plain. A good road connects the Tunkinskaya Valley with the Trans-Siberian Railway, the federal highway M55 and Slyudyanka, so it is not as cut off from civilization as the Okinsky District. In this area live mainly Buryats – the indigenous people of Siberia, the people of Mongolian origin. There are several Buryat villages in the valley. Most Buryats are engaged in farming and cattle breeding, as there are especially rich soils and good meadows in the valley. This area is known among adventurers – primarily because of the Tunkinsky mountain range and the Eastern Sayans; It is well suited for trekking, rafting and kayaking and for mountain climbing. The climate is continental, the summer is long and mild, the winter is characterized by severe frost from November to February. Traces of ancient glaciers can be found throughout the valley. Nowadays, on the site of these glaciers are deep lakes with crystal clear ice water. Mountain passes are mainly rocky saddles with steep slopes, stone scree and mountain meadows. The height of the mountains is about 3000m above sea level.
Around is the taiga, rich in wild animals and various berries, such as blueberries, blueberries, raspberries, lingonberries, honeysuckle, etc. The most common tree is Siberian pine, or cedar, as it is called by Siberians. Earlier, when there was still no sunflower oil in Siberia, Siberians made vegetable oil from the nuts of this tree. Snow usually melts in June, but in some shady slits it can lie all summer. The northern slopes of the mountains and passes are covered with deep snow until mid-June. Locals use horses in order to cross the mountain ranges and passes along good horse trails. It is also possible to go horseback riding to the main attractions in these mountains – the valley of the mineral springs Shumak. At the southern foot of the mountains there are many places with mineral springs, which the locals use to treat many diseases. The most famous and popular of them are Arshan and Nilova Pustyn, with a developed infrastructure, good warm mineral baths and mineral springs, good hotels, camp sites and small cafes where you can try dishes of Buryat cuisine. In the 80s, the whole Tunkinsky district became a national park.
“BAIKAL-COMPLEX” offers to your attention GIP-TOURS IN TUNKIN VALLEY – with a visit to a Buddhist temple and mineral baths of Arshan and a one-day stroll along the Kyngarga river. Overnight at the hostel or hotel.
Shamanism, a kind of paganism, the cult of the Earth, dating back to the Stone Age, was the first religion of the indigenous population of Siberia long before Christianity. Shamanism has many forms and variants, various traditions and practices characteristic of each clan and tribe. But each of these forms comes from the same belief, which says that the Universe consists of three interconnected worlds. In the upper world there are gods, in the middle world – people and animals, in the lower world – spirits and dead. Nature in the human world is controlled by the supernatural forces of the two other worlds. In such a system, a person is considered as an integral part of nature, and not its king. Shamanism, like animism, asserts the presence of spirits in all objects of nature. The idea that all animals and birds, as well as people, have an individuality, and that their souls after death also go to the lower world is very important. The philosophical core of this religion is the need for ecological balance. The shamanists believed: every object of nature, especially mountains and springs, has its own soul, which from time to time needs to be thanked, giving small gifts. This practice with stone pyramids on mountain passes and prayer ribbons, which are tied on sacred trees, still exists in Tuva, Khakassia, Buryatia and Altai.
The role of intermediaries between the world of people and two other worlds is traditionally played by shamans: priests, soothsayers, and doctors at the same time. Shamanism is an aggressive discipline that requires the shaman to endlessly fight against occult powers, evil spirits and demons. This struggle, as well as contacts with other worlds, occurs when he dances in ecstasy, hits a tambourine or eats mushrooms and herbs to cause hallucinations. Despite the fact that the two main religions of the Buryats in our time are Christianity and Buddhism, there are still many followers of shamanism, especially on the western shore of Lake Baikal.
BAIKAL-COMPLEX organizes ONE DAY TOUR TO SHAMANAM – a trip to the Buryat village of Ust-Orda with a folklore concert, a visit to the ethnographic museum, a meeting with a shaman and participation in a shamanist ceremony.