Восток и Запад Байкала
As you know Russia is a multiethnic country with different cultures and religions and Baikal is not an exception. Despite the fact that the main nation in Russia are Russian, historically the lake area was inhabited by Buryat people. The Buryats since ancient times were shamanists. However, under the influence of Mongol people, the Buryats who lived on the eastern side of Baikal, so-called "eastern Buryats" adopted Buddhism, while "Western Buryat" remained shamanists. In addition, during the reign of Catherine II, in the middle of the XVIII century, due to the split of the Russian Orthodox Church people who supported the Old Believers were arrested and exiled to Siberia. One of the destination points was Tarbagatai village in the Republic of Buryatia, where Old Believers still live and still adhere to the traditions of the Old Believers. This tour is unique in its kind, since during the trip you will not only relax on the lake, but also get acquainted with 4 cultures and religions of the peoples of Baikal region, cross the lake in its widest part, visit Olkhon island, Ust-Barguzin, Ulan-Ude, take a train of the Trans-Siberian Railway and much more.
Morning meeting at the airport / railway station with a nameplate “CASA” (Central Air Service Agency). Transfer to the hotel. Check-in. Lunch in the restaurant at 13:00. Excursion with a guide in the historical center of Irkutsk: churches, the Decembrists' museum, old wooden houses, new entertaining zone “130 district”. Free dinner. Your guide will advise you the best restaurant or cafe according your wishes and desires. Overnight in the hotel.
Irkutsk - Ust-Orda - Khuzhir
Breakfast. Transfer to the village Ust-Orda. On the way he will meet with a real shaman, who will sanctify your journey, will answer your questions. Visit the National Museum of Ethnography, where you will know about history and traditions of the Buryat people. Lunch in buryat cuisine restaurant with the famous traditional meal - "buuzy". Continuation a way to Khuzhir – central village in Olkhon island. Today you will have an excursion around Khuzhir village: Shaman Rock, one of the nine sacred place of Asia. Banya. Dinner. Overnight in the resort.
Breakfast. Departure for an excursion (8 hours) at the northernmost point of the island - Cape Khoboy. Because of the lack of asphalt roads on the island, your trip will be in "off-road" style by specialized cars like UAZ or Niva. Cape Khoboy, a sacred place for the indigenous people of the island - the Buryats. It takes plenty of shamanic rituals and religious ceremonies. Here you can see all four sides of the lake. During your excursion, the driver will prepare for you lunch from fresh fish. Return to Khuzhir. Dinner and overnight in the resort.
Breakfast. Free day. Today you are free from the excursions, trips to the museums and galleries. Free lunch. Today you can freely swim in the lake, sunbathe on the beach. Also there are a lot of different activities like cycling, horse riding, boat trips, catamarans, etc. Moreover you can book an excursion to the South of the island. Dinner and overnight in the resort.
Khuzhir — Ust-Barguzin
Breakfast. Board the private speedboat. If you look at the map, you will see that you will cross Baikal in the widest part. Arrival in Ust-Barguzin. Transfer to the resort. Late lunch. Walking around the village. Dinner. Overnight in the guest house.
Breakfast. Today you will find the most popular excursion in Barguzin nature reserve, a trip to the most beautiful bay of Lake Baikal – Chivyrkuisky Bay. You will see white sand beaches, 7 islands - natural monument, hot springs, warm water in the bays. Firstly you will go by car through isthmus of the peninsula of Svyatoy Nos (St. Nose). Then you will take a boat and during several hours you will admire different Baikal landscapes. Return to Ust-Barguzin in the evening. Dinner. Overnight in the guest house.
Ust-Barguzin — Ulan-ude
Breakfast. Departure to Ulan-Ude, the capital of the Republic of Buryatia (268 km), east capital of Baikal. Arrival in the city at 13:00. Lunch in cafe of Buryat cuisine. After lunch you will go to Ivilginski temple (Datsan), the center of Buddhism in Russia. On the territory of Datsan you'll be able to talk with lamas about your difficulties or problems. Free dinner. Overnight in the hotel.
Ulan-ude — Irkutsk
Breakfast. Check-out at 11 a.m. So you can take your luggage with yourself or put it in luggage room (payment on the spot). Departure to Tarbagatay, village of Old Believers. Tarbagatay is located near Ulan-Ude (40 km). During excursion in the village you will get acquainted with a culture of Old Believers, their life, traditions, folklore. You will be able to participate in the rituals of marriage, listen to old Russian songs on accordion, see how danced in Russia and all this in a live performance. Lunch of national Russian cuisine. Return to Ulan-Ude. Transfer to the railway station. Dinner is free. Overnight in the train.
Morning arrival in Irkutsk. Transfer to the airport or to the hotel. End of the program.