Irkutsk (Lake Baikal) Variations

Here are a selection of programmes that can be organised when you stop over at Irkutsk and Lake Baikal, replacing the stopover programmes shown with each rail option. Naturally the cost does vary.

When is the best time to visit?

  • Hiking and climbing tours in the area of Lake Baikal - from mid May until late September.

  • Cross-country skiing through the Taiga and across the ice of Lake Baikal - from late February until mid March.

  • Ice skating on Lake Baikal - end of January to the beginning of February, when there is the least amount of snow on the ice.

  • Typically, the coldest period is the first part of February (-35 to -40 C).

And as a client saw this part of Siberia:

How do you end up on the local TV news in Siberia? Walking along Lake Baikal, a huge inland lake holding 20% of the world's fresh water supply, an ACNT TV crew stopped to ask about our impressions of the area as tourist. I hope we were translated correctly and they edited out all my laughter at our tour guide's attempts at directing us. Not 100% comfortable about participating in a media without free speech.

The transMongolian train disembarking at Irkutsk involved a lot of hugging and kissing of new friends. I hope the four actresses - an Austrian, Swede, Spaniard and Pom - travelling in the compartment next to ours, do visit Australia as discussed.

The Lake Baikal area in Siberia was virtually unscathed by Soviet architecture. The Listvyanka village was filled with traditional log houses, with carved and brightly painted window frames. The gardens filled with chrysamenthems, daisies, and dalias, and the bakeries chocker with the most divine pastries - banana, chocolate, cabbage, meat and fish.

But little reminders of where we were popped up occassionally ... the soldier in combat gear with an automatic rifle slung casually over his shoulder who strolled into the guesthouse restaurant at lunch. And a fellow traveller who visited the parents of one of the local guides - gobsmacked to find they lived on a nearby military base with nuclear warheads.

Then it was 3 days on the famous trans-siberian train - and here in Moscow.

Fresh Water Seals of Lake Baikal

Monthly average day and night temperature in Irkutsk

 

JAN

FEB

MAR

APR

MAY

JUN

JUL

AUG

SEP

OCT

NOV

DEC

DAY

-16

-12

-3

8

13

20

22

20

14

5

-6

-11

NIGHT

-26

-25

-16

2

1

7

10

9

2

-6

-16

-15

Sightseeing options and Adventure Tours.
You can add these to one of our existing train journey packages or if yuo re flying directly into Irkutsk we can arrange these, or longer packages.

Summer + or - a bit

Irkutsk and the Lake Baikal village of Bolshie Koty
Irkutsk Lake Baikal ‘Olkhon Island Adventure’ Stopover - 5 nights
Circumbaikal Railroad Irkutsk and Lake Baikal - 3 nights
Walking Tour along the Southern Shores of Lake Baikal
Cycling along the Western Shore of Lake Baikal

Winter and other seasons.
Russian Winter Travel

Irkutsk Lake Baikal ‘Olkhon Island Adventure’ Stopover - 5 nights
Circumbaikal Railroad Irkutsk and Lake Baikal - 3 nights
Irkutsk Lake Baikal & Siberian Cross Country Ski experience - 1 night
Huskie Dog Sledding Lake Baikal Tour and Museums
Map and details Circumbaikal Railway

Picture Gallery

Homestay accommodation                Hotel Accommodation