Grand Lake Baikal Adventure: Siberian summer - uVisitRussia
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Grand Lake Baikal Adventure: Siberian summer

Irkutsk was founded in the middle of the XVIIth century. The town is famous for its wooden houses and wooden lace perfectly preserved. Also, it is a gate to Lake Baikal—the largest and deepest fresh water lake in the world. Baikal contains 20% of our planet’s fresh waters!

This tour combines classic Baikal adventures and a trip deep into taiga, to hide away in a very remote and isolated manor, accessible only by a 4X4 or a helicopter. Russian bears inhabit the area in abundance and you will have a guaranteed and safe bear viewing in the wilderness.


  • Admire Irkutsk's famous wooden lace and historical sites

  • Meet Buryat people, taste local food and meet the Buddist Lama

  • See the deepest and largest freshwater lake in the world

  • Visit the museum of wooden architecture

  • Taste real Siberian food and drinks

  • See Russian bears in the wilderness

  • Learn about Baikal lake beliefs and traditions

  • Ride on Circum-Baikal railroad

  • Baikal activities: fishing, BBQ, local vodka tasting and cruising

From: Irkutsk

To: Irkutsk

Theme: Wildlife & Nature

Grade: Moderate

Season: June-August

Destination: Lake Baikal

Type: Small Group Tours
Duration: 8 days

Itinerary Hide all details


Arrival in Irkutsk. You will be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel. After a short break and rest, take a guided city tour to discover this appealing Siberian settlement. Irkutsk was founded in the middle of the seventeenth century and is now famous for its great number of wooden architecture buildings and monuments preserved in the town. Also, it is a gate to Lake Baikal—the largest fresh water lake in the world, containing twenty percent of our planet’s fresh waters. In fact, the Irkutsk historic centre is one huge open air museum! Irkutsk is located on the banks of the mighty Angara river and was once used as a place of exile for revolutionary noble men from St. Petersburg and Moscow, for their participation in riots or civil disobedience. The biggest in Irkutks’ history new arrival happened after the famous Decemberists riot against the tsar in December 1825 where some of high-profile rebels ended up travelling to Siberia with wives and families. Decembriest aimed to eliminate the monarchy in Russia.

The high concentration of noble, well-educated inhabitants in this remote corner of Siberia gradually changed Irkutsk and its appearance. As a result, we can now spend a day walking the streets and not come across two homes that are alike! Every house is completely unique and represents quite an original Siberian style. Classic stone architecture is of the “Siberian Paris” style—Russian nobles spoke French and preferred France to any other country. Our schedule today is flexible; your guide will recommend authentic local restaurants to try Siberian dishes: Siberian “manty” (dumplings) and pancakes, Baikal fish and traditional Russian soups.


Breakfast at the hotel. Today we remind you how huge a part of the Asian continent Siberia really is, as we tour to a Buryat town of Ust-Orda and visit the Datsan monastery to meet the Buddhist Lama. Ust-Orda village is home to the indigenous Buryat people. The Ust-Orda Museum has a rich collection of exhibits on Buryat history and culture. Here in Datsan you will meet the Lama, Renchen, who has been commissioned to start the reconstruction of the Buddhist Monastery, destroyed during Soviet times.

Lunch with traditional Buryat food (salad, soup, pozy (Buryat steamed meat dumplings), dessert, and drinks, including traditional vodka.


After breakfast, we depart to Lake Baikal, to Listvyanka village, one of the first settlements of the Russian people on the shores of Lake Baikal (70 km).

We stop en route to visit a real Siberian Zaimka (hunter’s house) for a cup of Siberian tea and then visit the museum of wooden architecture "Taltsi" with thirty-six perfectly preserved wooden buildings from the nineteenth century. Lunch at a local restaurant with traditional Baikal food.

Listvyanka city tour: Visit Baikal Museum and the aquarium, where you will see Baikal fish and freshwater seals—nerpas, Shaman Rock, St. Nicholas church and a Fish Market. Baikal Museum is a splendid museum where information about lake Baikal wildlife is kept, studied and exhibited: including the origins of the lake, the endemic flora and fauna from the surface of the lake to its maximum depth, an excellent model of the lake, etc. Shaman Rock is a natural boundary between the deepest lake in the world and the only river that flows out of the lake—the Angara river. Locals have thousands of legends about this place, which is believed to be the house of one of the Buryat gods.

Transfer to a private small and cozy hotel.


Breakfast at the hotel, full day to explore the lake. Ride to the Old Circum-Baikal Railroad. The Circum-Baikal Railroad, “a golden buckle on the silver belt of Russia” as it is often called, is an outstanding landmark to the arts of engineering and construction.

The Railroad was built around the south of Lake Baikal more than a hundred years ago, to connect the two ends of the Trans-Siberian Railroad. It contains forty tunnels and sixteen separate galleries, and four hundred and seventy viaducts, bridges and pipes.

And here is more, breathtaking huge capes and cliffs, picturesque valleys and amazing Lake Baikal views are always here!


After breakfast, we transfer you to a very remote and isolated taiga house, accessible only by 4X4 or helicopter. Russian bears inhabit the area in abundance and you will have a guaranteed wilderness bear sighting. We stay at a traditional wooden lodge, same as those used by hunters a century ago.

Bear viewing locations are numerous in the area and it takes no more than fifteen minutes of four-wheel driving to reach them. We stay outside till late evening to get great sunset pictures. A hot Russian “banya” will be prepared for you in the taiga, our endless Siberian forest.


We will drive and walk in the taiga with our armed guide, to encounter the amazing and rich fauna of this area. In the afternoon, deep in the forest, we will meet a real Shaman, who will perform a traditional ceremony to introduce us to the gods of the forest, to facilitate the bear viewing. In the early days, Shamans always asked permission from the gods to hunt bears.

We will practice traditional local archery, and Buryat locals will put on a traditional Wolf dance and music performance (throat singing and national music instruments). Shashlyk (BBQ) and herbal liquors will be served at the fireplace.


Early wake up to get us to the bear viewing locations by sunrise, and to catch the best morning light for photography. After a few hours here in the forest, we will drive to Lake Baikal shore settlement and board a private boat. We will sail along the shore with a few stops en route in the most picturesque places, bays and beaches to make sure you get great photos. We will visit the most famous Sandy Bay and Skriper cave. Late lunch will be served onboard the boat or at one of the isolated beaches nearby. Fishing equipment is available onboard the boat.

We return to our forest lodge for a farewell BBQ, with local spirits infused with Siberian pine tree nuts.


Depart at leisure for your outbound flight from Irkutsk.

What's included

  • Accommodation as per program, hotels in Irkusts and Lustvyanka, Lodge in the taiga

  • Ground transportation as per program

  • Meals as per program, including local specialties

  • English-speaking guide

  • Guaranteed bear-viewing

  • Great fishing

  • Cultural tours and excursions

  • Russian "banya"

  • Visit to a Shaman

  • Wolf dance and music performance

  • Lake Baikal cruise


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Russian visa support (Russian visa invitation letter) is included.

Sights included in program

Irkutsk : 130 Kvartal
Transport yourself back in time and take a stroll along 130 Kvartal, a restoration project of traditional Siberian wooden houses of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, some transported from other locations, some constructed to blend in with original structures in the area. Read more
Current place the Lower Embankment has been used since the founding of Irkutsk. On the spot where now a mound and viewing platform, was a dock for privatewire ships and boats, which led to the carriageway of the Spasskaya tower of the Kremlin, Irkutsk. Along the shore of the Angara was formed meadows and the road to Znamensky monastery. Gradually (with the increase in the settlement) of the free territory was built up with blocks. On the Lower Pr... Read more
The house of the merchant Shastin (1907) is the example of the French association for Shastin was included in the list of the world heritage to be preserved and thanks to the support of Irkutsk mayor it was not pulled down. Now it is called the House of Europe. Official meetings, conferences and exhibitions service of Irkutsk. Read more
Before the Revolution, Karl Marx Street in Irkutsk was called Bolshaya Pershpektivnaya Street (Big Perspective Street) or simply Bolshaya Street (Big Street), and not for nothing: it was located between the Angara and Ushakovka rivers and was home to the most prominent buildings of the city. Those that have survived up to the present day, now stand on Karl Marx Street. Today, this street is considered a historic... Read more
Irkutsk : Kirov Square
Kirov Square is located between the streets of Lenin and Sukhbaatar, just across the street from the Irkustk State Linguistic University where SRAS programs in Irkutsk are based. Read more
Baikal : Irkutsk
An unique old city, Irkutsk was known as «Paris of Siberia» in the middle of the 19th century. It plays a remarkable role in the Russian history and it's not accidentally called the city-museum. Irkutsk saves many ancient monuments, romantic look, church cupola's lighting upon the blue current of Angara River. This incredible city is called the midst of the Earth, since it's equidistant from the three world's oceans: the Arctic, the P... Read more
Listvyanka is perhaps one of the oldest Russian settlements on the shore of the great Lake Baikal, the deepest lake in the world. It is a charming village dotted with traditional Siberian wooden houses, with a main road that runs right along the shore of fantastic lake, making it the perfect base to explore this picturesque region. This old-style Siberian village is one of the most visited places in Siberia. Everything about it impresses our imag... Read more
Baikal Limnological museum is located at the beginning of Listvyanka, beautiful old-style Siberian village, on the shore of fabulous Lake Baikal. The museum is engaged in collecting and storage the materials and analysis of the information bound with the lake.The unique exhibits tell about the origin and the history of the lake, its fantastic flora and fauna, geological structure, climate and tectonics of Pribaikalye. All scientific activities of... Read more
Taltsy Museum of Wooden Architecture is an unique storage of history and culture of the peoples of Eastern Siberia. This incredible open-air museum consists of several fabulous exhibit areas which hold interesting ethnographical collections and show life of the Siberians. The variety of amazing Siberian wooden izbas, churches, living houses and Buryat wooden yurts were brought together from different parts of Siberia. The museum is conveniently l... Read more
Bukhta Peschanaya (Sandy Bay) is the most popular place at Baikal Lake. There are "Stilt" trees that grow here while wind and water constantly blow and wash away the sand from under their roots - that's why the roots remind of stilts. Bukhta Peschanaya is made up of taiga slopes from Primorskiy mountain range with picturesque rocks gently coming down into Baikal water. Read more
St. Nicholas Orthodox Church is one of the few preserved architectural monuments in Listvyanka. The building dates from the middle of the century before last. Such buildings in Russia were called the "octagon on the quadrangle". A wooden two-tiered church with belfries is very beautiful and majestic. St. Nicholas Church has its own interesting story. Read more
In truth the Circum-Baikal Railroad is an amazing creature of the human's labour and thought, worthy of your attention. The section of the Trans – Siberian Railroad on the southern shore of fabulous Baikal from Port Baikal to Kultuk is called the Circum-Baikal Railway and was built more than 100 years ago. There are a lot of beautifully constructed tunnels and amazing bridges along the way, making the Circum-Baikal a fantastic monument in i... Read more
One of the most amazing parts of the world, Lake Baikal is the largest freshwater lake on the planet. It is beautiful any time of the year, but in summer time especially. Summer travellers enjoy stunning views of the wild nature, untouched Taiga and endless waters of "sacred sea" (as the locals call it). Apart from being the oldest lake in the world at over 25 million years old, Lake Baikal is also home to over two thousand varieties of amazing f... Read more
In the world there are only three freshwater species of seals, and one of them is the Baikal seal (or Baikal seal). Nerpa is a unique symbol of Lake Baikal, because it is the most beautiful inhabitant of the local territories. In the Baikal region there are three faults, the largest of which is located in the village of Listvyanka.  Read more
Baikal : Shamanism
Shamanism, beautifull religion of the romantic notions of magic auras and spiritual energy, is still very strong, and it doesn't conflict with other religions. Shamanism take many forms with each tribe and clan of Siberia having different traditions and practices. It has existed like this from ancient times and it survives; in some cases it helps. This astonishing form of pagan earth-reverence dates back to the Stone Age. Shamans do almost the sa... Read more
On the Olkhon Island in the Khuzhir settlement there is a most popular attraction - Shamanka rock, one of the nine holy places of Asia. Shamanic cave was the most revered holy place on the lake, for which shaman people made sacrifices and vows since their first appearance. After the spread of Tibetan Buddhism among the Buryat people, this cave was revered also by Buryat Buddhists. Earlier in the cave there were organized shamanistic rituals. Read more
Baikal : Skriper Rock
Skriper Rock - a picturesque rocky cape on the western coast of Lake Baikal, about 7 kilometers north of the village of Bolshie Koty. From the village to Skriper, there is a mountain trail passing through the Senna Pass. The mountain massif of Scriper is composed of a rare breed on the Baikal - the Jurassic conglomerate, which is a sandy rock with a shingle of various sizes. Read more
Baikal : Ust-Orda
Buryats is one of the most numerous ethnic groups inhabiting the territory of Siberia. Ust-Orda region is know because the roots of the Buryat traditional culture originated here. During this tour you will get acquainted with Buryat national folklore, national games and shamanic rituals, you will try traditional dishes of the Buryat cuisine. Read more
1/7th of the World : Baikal
Lake Baikal in Siberia is listed as a Unesco World Heritage site and was also voted as one of Russia's Seven Wonders. It's not hard to see why. Baikal is one of those rare spots on the earth where nature has still remained genuine and untouched. The magnificent landscapes – the lake is surrounded by high mountain chains - and the unique clarity of the crystal-clear water, which runs into a darkness teeming with fish. Siberians believe that ... Read more
US$ 1932
per person, based on 2-people group
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Our flexible payment options allow you to pay 20% of a deposit first and the remaining 80% in 14 days prior to your tour date - payment can be done both online or over the phone. This gives you the peace of mind knowing your spaces are booked on the tours and that you do not miss out on making the most of your time in Russia.

Also you get the best, top-rated and most experienced and knowledgeable hand-picked tour guide appointed on a priority basis.
In our experience, exceptional travel experiences are almost always delivered by exceptional people. With that in mind, we utilize a comprehensive approach to select and employ the best tour guides only. Multilingual and well travelled, each possesses deep insight into the diverse attractions and cultural patterns throughout the region. With us guides undergo a rigorous selection process, achieving outstanding knowledge of local culture and language. Rest assured that the best tour guides only will be working on the tours to give you excellent opportunity to explore the best of the sights during both short and long-term stay in Russia.

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Speak to an expert
Call us now

+1 (888) 845-8877