|Highest point||2,588 m|
We will meet you in Irkutsk and deliver by a private plane to the most northern point of Lake Baikal. During the flight over the lake, light snacks and champagne will be served. After landing you'll go by car to the best country hotel in the world. First, you will have lunch and then you'll have time to have rest from the flight. In the evening we will arrange a dinner in banya with Siberian dishes and beer brewed with Baikal water.
Baikal residence is the only 5* lodge hotel in Baikal. In 2017 it became the best country hotel in the world according to the international competition World Luxury Hotel Awards. The territory of the hotel is equal to 60 football fields, there is a spa complex, modern equipment and a view of Lake Baikal.
The hotel has three categories of rooms: “premier”, “premium” and “suite”. They are different in size and interior. One of the suites has a living room with a wood burning fireplace and a bath instead of a shower.
After breakfast you will have a course of spa treatments at the hotel. Massage, scrubs, wraps, cedar barrels — there is a choice of several body care services. You will have lunch on the terrace overlooking the lake and go on safari by quad bikes on the ice of the lake. You can go in any direction, there is a snow-ice desert the size of Belgium. Deep snow, areas of absolutely pure ice, cracks, hummocks — obstacles created by nature. For dinner you will return to the hotel.
Spa treatments are made on the basis of professional cosmetics Comfort Zone, Thalasso.
The ice of Baikal is what attracts thousands of tourists from around the world. The area of ice mirrors equal to the area of Belgium and the length of the coastline is equal to the distance from Moscow to Vienna. The period of comfortable and safe travel on the ice lasts from February 20 to March 20 — the ice is the thickest and the weather is not so severe.
On the ice you can move almost by everything: cars, airboats, bicycles, skates and skis. At the tsarist's time on Lake Baikal there were even trains. Landscapes are also diverse — tens of kilometers of snowy desert are replaced by areas of clear ice, and the fields resemble mountains of broken glass, pass into a strip of ice sheets stacked on top of each other. Due to winds and underwater earthquakes, the ice is constantly shifting and cracking. Every day new landscapes are formed.
You can read more about travel on the ice in the report “The Course to the North”. We also went round Baikal several times by SUVs as part of the International SUVs Expedition Baikal Trophy. You can watch the film about it of the TV channel Drive or read the impressions of the correspondent of the magazine Men's Health.
As soon as you wake up and have breakfast, you will get in SUVs. You will be taken to the hottest springs of Baikal. They are located in the taiga, away from roads and settlements. On the territory of several football fields, right on the shore equipped with modern swimming pools with thermal water. On the way to the springs you will make a stop for photography the ice of the North Baikal and visit Cape Ludar, where the settlement of ancient men was found. While you swim in the pools, you will be served light snacks, fruit and berry juice. In the evening you will have free time, which can be devoted to playing poker and tasting of Millésime Cognac.
Kotelnikovsky is the hottest spring on Lake Baikal. The temperature of the water outlet is 81 °C. There are two outdoor swimming pools and a hotel building for thirty people. The center is completely autonomous, you can get here only by water or ice. The buildings are heated with thermal water, like houses in Iceland.
There is a lot of fluorine and silicon in the water of the spring, you can not drink it. Before the water is supplied to the pools, it is mixed with Baikal water to lower the temperature to comfortable 45 °C. It is desirable to stay in the water for no more than 20–30 minutes, not to overheat.
Ludar is a cape 40 km from Severobaikalsk City. Here is a cave in which a settlement of ancient people of about five thousand years old was found. In this area, the remains of an ancient Mongol fortress and petroglyphs were discovered. During the digging, scientists of the Irkutsk University found here a jade axe and pottery of the iron age.
While everything is sleeping, you will have breakfast and go fishing. Going by airboat, you will stay in quiet bays of the Angarsky Sor for fishing. If you are a beginner, the instructor will teach you how to use spinning, tell you how the bait differs from the fly and how to pull the fish. From catching fish, the chef will cook fish soup and show how to smoke omul. Before dinner you will have free time to surf the Internet or read a book on the terrace. For the good mood, the waiter will bring freshly brewed coffee or a glass of wine.
Angarsky Sor is a semi-enclosed bay in the North of Lake Baikal. It is separated from the lake by a ten-kilometer sandy island. A small depth and isolation from the open Baikal create a special ecosystem. There are a lot of fish in the bay: pike, perch, soroga.
After breakfast, you will have all the instructions and choose the transport — a quad bike or a buggy. For a day you will pass sixty kilometers along a forest road. You will overcome the stones, roots, sand and a few fords. If you are lucky, you will see in the wild nature an eagle, a sable, a wild boar or a deer. In case of a meeting with a bear, an armed guide will go with you. On the way you will come to the observation platform. A panorama of the border of the Republic of Buryatia and the Irkutsk region opens here - Mount Davan and the Goudzhekit Range. After a swim in the thermal spring and a picnic in the taiga, you'll return to the hotel.
Goudzhekit is a thermal spring forty kilometers from the Severobaykalsk City. The water temperature is on average 50 °C. The composition of the water is referred to "Dilijan" type — carbon dioxide, hydrogen, sodium. Similar to Borjomi, but with lower mineralization. It is used for diseases of the digestive system and urinary tract. On the territory of this spring hydropathic works. There are wooden pools with thermal water, where you can swim.
Surely you would like to rest and slow down the pace, so you will spend this day as you want. You can lie under the blanket or try different Baikal dishes, go skating or go to spa treatments. Billiards, shooting from Buryat archery, curling, buggy racing or skiing — choose what you like. When it gets dark, together with the shaman to the sounds of the tambourines, you can dance the sacred dance of Yohor around the fire.
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The final chord of your northern adventures will be a visit to the thermal spring of Khakusy. After breakfast, you will sit in a hovercraft and cross Baikal from West to East. When you arrive you will walk along the pine alley and get into the soaring valley. Hot water of different temperature is everywhere and fills the outdoor pools. Here some of the coziest springs on the lake are hidden. After the bath you will cook with the chef, something special from home products — meat with mushrooms or pilaf on a Finnish candle. Before sunset we'll return to the hotel in the same way.
Khakusy from the Evenki is “hot”. The spring beats out of the rock and forms a stream that spills over the valley and fills the pools. One part of the water flows through the pipe into the bathroom building, another part goes to Baikal. A day on the surface comes about 4 tons of water — this is enough to fill 250 home baths.
The water temperature is 47 °C, it is used to treat skin and gynecological diseases, musculoskeletal system and endocrine system. It is desirable to swim with breaks for rest. The total stay in the pool should not be more than 20–30 minutes. There is also drinking water spring.
After a week of traveling to secluded places of Baikal, we will take you to Irkutsk. There will be a whole day to walk through the main streets with lacy merchant mansions. Here you will find cozy restaurants and noisy pubs, quiet streets and an embankment full of young people. If you wish, we will take you to the chocolate factory, where they make the best cedar roasting or show you how to cook local ice cream. We advise you to spend the evening in the art gallery, walking with a glass of wine past the works of Siberian artists and the world famous Buryat sculptor Dashi Namdakov.
Irkutsk is the sixth largest city in Siberia with a population of more than six hundred thousand people. It is located on the banks of Angara river, 70 km from Lake Baikal. Since the beginning of the 17th century, merchants conducted trade with China and mined gold. There was an office of the Russian-American Company — monopolist in fur trade in the East of Russia.
There were Chekhov, Fidel Castro, Indira Gandhi, Kim Ir Sen and Tsarevich Nicholas in Irkutsk. Here, the Decembrists served the penal servitude and Admiral Kolchak was shot. In the Irkutsk drama theater actors Leonid Bronevoy, Mikhail Svetin, Gleb Strizhenov and film director Leonid Gaidai worked.
You can spend a day walking through the main streets with historical buildings and the embankment, to drink coffee in the picturesque 130th quarter among the merchant estates. The city has many restaurants, cafes and pastry shops, there are modern shopping malls with brand stores. You should also go to the Angara Chocolate Factory and Angaria Ice Cream Factory. Among the cultural objects of interest is the gallery of Victor Bronstein there are works of the world famous Buryat sculptor Dashi Namdakov.
Kupechesky Dvor Hotel is a modern reconstruction of a merchant's estate. It is located in the historical center of Irkutsk. The windows from rooms overlook a pedestrian street with shops, pastry shops and restaurants. The hotel has fourteen rooms of three categories: “standard”, “junior suite”, “studio”.
Breakfast is included in the room rate.
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