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  Main arrow Tour offers and itineraries arrow Tours in Mongolia arrow Lake Baikal and Khar-Khorin  
 
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“LAKE BAIKAL AND KHAR-KHORIN-BAYANGOBI”

7 nights/ 8 days

 

SUGGESTED ITINERARY

 

Day 1
Welcome to Irkutsk - “Paris of Siberia”, capital of its great Eastern part –Siberia’s Microcosm and the gateway to “Siberia’s” Pearl - Lake Baikal!
Upon arrival we meet you with professional bi-lingual guide holding “Baikal Discovery” sign assist with the luggage and provide transfer to your hotel. When checking in at the hotel–enjoy a welcome drink. After having checked in at the hotel and some time at leisure we’ll go on a guided sightseeing tour of Irkutsk. During the tour today we’ll visit the city’s historical center and its most atmospheric sights, including Znamenskaya Orthodox Cathedral, noted for its original iconostasis, grave of the so-called “Russian Columbus” Grigory Shelekhov who was an early Russian explorer of Alaska and graves of the Decembrists-revolutionaries banned to Siberia after an ill-fated attempt in 1825 to overthrow the Russian tsar; we will also have opportunities to take pictures of  richly carved old-style wooden houses , see the Monument to Russian Pioneers of  Siberia  topped by the bronze figure of Alexander-the 3rd , the White House of Siberian Province as well as the central market.  Dinner and overnight–at the hotel. 
 
Day 2
 After breakfast check out from the hotel and depart by coach to Listvyanka settlement – « the Gateway to lake Baikal» located in the mouth of Angara-river, 62 km away from irkutsk. En route stop at the holy «obo»- sight of worship by local shamanism believers where following the ancient local customs you’ll be invited to “sprinkle some vodka or milk “ and tie ribbons on the bushes as if to do offering to the local master-spirits and win them over. Then we enjoy a guided tour of the Taltsy Open-Air Museum of Wooden Architecture–the highlight museum of Irkutsk region, the place for all people to experience the history and traditions of the peoples of Siberia- Buryats, Evenks and Russians. After a tour of the Museum’s exciting permanent exhibition we proceed by coach another 18 km to approach the only outlet of Lake Baikal–the source of the Angara river. Here, near the Shaman rock associated with many popular legends which your informative guide will tell you about. We will also make a short stop to take pictures of gorgeous landscapes of the Southern part of Baikal with huge water space ahead of you and snow-topped mountains of Khamar Daban Mountain Range on the opposite side of Lake Baikal. You will certainly notice how fast here the river current is, which is due to very steep gradient of the river bed that makes the Angara one the world’s mightiest rivers.
Check in at Baikal Hotel. Upon check in – enjoy another welcome drink from Baikal Discovery. Lunch of tasty Siberian cuisine shall be served at a waterfront restaurant "Proshlyi Vek". After lunch we visit popular functioning St.Nicolas-the-Miracle-Worker Russian Orthodox  Church built of wood without use of any nail .  Dinner and overnight- back at the Baikal Hotel. 

Day 3
After breakfast we depart from the hotel for a tour of Baikal Ecology Museum of Limnological Institute which has a large display of unique exhibits of the lake’s flora and fauna, see an interesting  video about Lake Baikal and also visit the Baikal fresh water seal aquarium. Then we undertake a short and easy hike to the Chersky Rock. From top of which we shall enjoy great panoramic views of lake Baikal southern part and have a picnic-lunch   near the top.
After lunch we’ll get back to the hotel by coach and in a short while start out from the hotel to the Solar Observatory which has unique telescope for sun activities observation. We shall tour this observatory–the tour to be given by one of the scientists of the Observatory. Here you will also have another good chance to take pictures of the lake’s vistas standing atop the best observation spot in Listvyanka. Then we visit the central souvenirs and local shopping place near the boat station. Upon return back to the hotel we will have dinner and overnight at the hotel. 
 
Day 4
After breakfast we check our from the hotel and depart by coach to Irkutsk airport for customs procedures and boarding the aircraft for flight to Ulaanbaatar. Upon arrival to Ulaanbaatar we meet you at the airport gates and assist with the luggage. After a short drive-transfer by coach to your hotel check in at the hotel and some time at leisure before lunch. After lunch to be served at the hotel start out by coach for a sightseeing tour of Ulaanbaatar. Besides visiting the city’s most atmospheric sights like Sukhbaatar Square and a series of traditional buildings where the last religious king of Mongolia resided we will also visit today National History Museum of Mongolia. This museum boasts its large collection of exhibits showing the history and culture of Mongolia since the period when mankind ever existed in this land up to the present day. Its huge number of interesting exhibits includes utensils and clothes of nomads, furnishing of their unique dwelling, musical instruments and artworks. Dinner and overnight at the hotel. Dinner and overnight at hotel.

Day 5
After breakfast drive on coach to Bayangobi  (Western 280kms). Lunchbox en route. No particular sightseeing. 
Upon arrival at Bayangobi we will tour the famous Sand dunes /5kms/. Bayangobi is of a unique natural contrast place combining Mongolian Gobi and Khangai landscapes. Impresses by its majestic rock mountains, sandy hills and the willow grove nearby the river “Shiluustei” and the beautiful mountain “Khognokhaan”. The area is populated with Maral stag (elk), wolves, deer and foxes. You can also see lizards and insects typical of the Gobi. We proceed further to visit Ovgon monastery /10kms/. There are more than 10 temples ruins in front of the monastery. Dinner and overnight at camp.

Day 6
Day trip to Kharkhorin /80kms, 2hrs one way/. Kharkhorin is located nearby Orkhon river, one of biggest and scenery rivers of Mongolia, 380kms from Ulaanbaatar. Upon arrival in Kharkhorin start of a city tour with the visit to Erdene-Zuu monastery. It is built in 1586 using stones from the ruins of Karakorum, was the first Buddhist centre in Mongolia. It was not a simple monastery but veritable fortress, surrounded on four sides by powerful walls and towers. Each wall had a gate, similar to the building designs of the old Qidan and Mongol towns. At its height, the monastery housed 1,000 monks in 100 temples. Closed and badly damaged during the Stalinist purges of the 1930's, Erdene Zuu is once again functioning and open to sightseers. The temple contains valuable collection of sculptures, artwork and books and is surrounded by 108 stupas wall of 400X400mrs size with a gate on every side of the wall. Visit Stone Turtles outside the monastery. Lunch at tourist camp. Drive back to Bayangobi. 
Visit nomadic horse breeding family. Some time at leisure. Dinner and overnight at camp.

Day 7
Early breakfast. Coach drive back to Ulaanbaatar /5.5hrs/. Upon arrival, lunch which is proceeded by the visit to Natural history museum, which displays a number of stuffed animals and birds and samples of various minerals found in Mongolia. Fossilized skeletons and eggs of several different kinds of ancient dinosaurs in the paleonthological section are the main attraction of this museum.   Some time for shopping. Gala dinner with Folk and Dance Performance. Overnight at the  hotel.

Day 8

Breakfast.  Departure.

Breakfast.  Departure.
 
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