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  Main arrow Tour offers and itineraries arrow Ice Diving on Baikal  
 
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Ice Diving on Baikal

 

Duration: 7 nights/8 days;
Availability: February, 15 – March, 25

 

Suggested Itinerary

 

Day 1
Welcome to winter time 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 at the airport, assist with the luggage and take you by coach to a down-town hotel.
After lunch we shall proceed on a guided sightseeing tour to the city’s historical centre with its remarkable sights including the oldest stone structure of Irkutsk, graves of the Decembrists exiled to Siberia after ill-fated attempt to overthrow the Russian emperor, grave of “Russian Columbus” Grigory Shelikhov, the outstanding explorer of Alaska and founder of the Russian-American Company; and the statue of Russian tsar Alexander III, who contributed much into the construction of famous Trans Siberian Railway.
Dinner and overnight is at the hotel.

 

Day 2
After breakfast we depart to the Olkhon Island, located 240 km away from Irkutsk.  With some stops en route it will take about 6 hours to get to Olkhon.
Two hundred kilometers north from Irkutsk, our jeep turns east, towards Baikal, and heads up into the highlands and mountains which surround the Lake. Shortly before the pavement ends there is a special “obo” sight where offerings with vodka sprinkling are made and colorful ribbons tied on the bushes in respect to Bourhan, the native god.
Very soon we get to the MRS settlement to find ourselves right before the biggest island on Lake Baikal – Olkhon. It stretches for 72 km from the North to the South and separates the strait which is called Maloye More or The Small Sea. The Island’s comparatively small territory is a combination of taiga, steppe and even a small desert. Its flora and fauna are unusual too. It is believed Olkhon is the home of many tribes and peoples of Central Asia such as huns, turks, and kurykans. One of the legends says “the conqueror of the Universe” Chinggis Khan is buried here.

 

 Driving onto the ice is amazing, it's such a strange sensation. Jack stopped the van once we'd gone about 50 metres in and we all clambered out, with lots of oohing and aahing. It was so unreal to be walking on ice, yet still being able to see the bottom of the lake quite clearly. The ice, like the water of the lake, is very clear, pure and slightly blue in colour. It was truly weird to literally be walking on water (now I know how Jesus did it!).- Niamh and Cathal, foreign visitors to the Olkhon Island

 

After crossing the so-called Olkhonskie Vorota (the Olkhon Gates) strait by the Ice road we drive to a cozy tourist camp at the Huzhir settlement, the administrative capital of Olkhon.
Check in, dinner and overnight in a camp.

Days 3, 4, 5
Breakfast is at the camp.
Guided by the ice-master we drive on the ice road of the Small Sea several km from the island’s shore to a dive site.
After short introduction into Baikal dive theory, provided be the dive master, we will start off with a check-out dive so you can acclimatize to the cold water and to the special Baikal conditions. During the dive you have an opportunity to explore the wildlife from below the surface. The combination of sunlight, exceptionally pure and transparent water and ice create an overwhelming, ever changing colour spectrum, with a fantastic variety of shades and brilliance.
After dive we depart to the Khoboy Cape (meaning Fang), the northernmost point of the Olkhon Island, which rocky shape reminds of a female’s head with breast. So, it bears the name of the Virgin rock. Lunch shall be served on the ice. After coming back to Olkhon we’ll go on for a sightseeing tour around the Island. Before dinner you’ll have a chance to experience the Russian steam bath or Banya. Dinner and overnight at the tourist camp.

 

Day 6
After early breakfast we depart to the Listvyanka settlement located at the South-western shore of Baikal. En route we will have lunch of the traditional Buriat cuisine. Our next stop will be at the legendary Shaman rock, which is in the middle of the Angara river outflow from Baikal. According to the legend this rock was thrown by furious Baikal to his fleeing daughter Angara.
Here your guide will tell you the whole legend about Baikal and Angara; as well you will learn some facts about the Listvyanka village, its history and everyday life.
Upon arrival we check in at the cozy log-cabins of local dwellers. After home-made dinner, cooked by hospitable hosts, we will enjoy another Russian steam-bath.

 

Day 7
After breakfast we drive on the ice road to the Bolshye Koty village for another dive.
Lunch, transfer to Irkutsk where we check in at a *** - star hotel.
After some time at leisure or walk around the city centre (by yourself) you’ll be invited to participate in the Baikal Farewell Party followed by the Baikal Diving Certificate Award to each tour participant.

 

Day 8
After early breakfast and check out you leave to the airport.

 

Have a nice flight back home!

 


 

 
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