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Our Baikal Lake Photo Tour, in Russia, is an incredible journey to the caves and dreamy landscapes in its famous frozen waters. Lake Baikal is a perfect destination for all those who love nature, the great landscapes, and without a doubt, for any landscape photographer. We will enjoy these landscapes without worrying about anything else, since all services will be included, traveling in full pension throughout the tour.
Located in the region of Irkutsk, south of Siberia, for many the most impressive lake in the world, is a region with an overflowing beauty. During our Baikal Photo Trip, we will have the opportunity to photograph ice caves, the frozen water of the lake with its characteristic lines, and bubbles… apart from the possibilities of visiting the unique local culture in the world of this spectacular peninsula, a mixture of religions between orthodox, Buddhism and primitive shamanism.
Irkutsk Airport, Russia
Our Baikal Lake Photo Tour begins at Irkutsk Airport, the meeting place of the group at an agreed time. This first day, we will take the opportunity to get to know each other and our local guides. After that, we will go directly from Irkutsk to Cape Kristovsky where we will stay in a house of local farmers in the middle of nature.
Cape Krestovsky is located on the west bank of Lake Baikal, on the border of the Baikal forests and the Tazheranskaya steppe. The site is far away from other tourist sites and will allow us to begin to intrude on the nature of the region and photograph its forests. Also, the majestic rocky cliffs are usually covered with ice sheets and without snow, which will allow us to start taking majestic photographs of the place.
Once we finish, in the house we can rest and take a hot bath (the house has a Russian sauna: Banya), besides being able to taste typical homemade food of the region.
We will wake up soon to begin visiting Lake Baikal after having breakfast, in our transport by the bay near our house. We will be able to photograph the iconic lines that will offer us magnificent photographic compositions. At the same time we will hear the sound of ice crunching under our feet at the bottom of the lake. Something similar to ethnic music for the locals.
At night we will return to the house, to rest, and return to dinner typical food.
We will return early in the morning to visit the Cabo Sagan-Zaba, which will offer us spectacular winter views of the lake. In them we can observe cave paintings, of the Kurykan tribes, which according to the scientists are the ancestors of the native tribes of North America.
From there we will go to the cave Aya, located on the plateau of the same name in the Tazheran steppe. Aya comes from the Evenk language, indigenous people of Siberia, and that means “beautiful, incredible”. In fact, the cave Aya is the largest on the west bank of Lake Baikal and in it we can visit several rooms called: music, cheese, snow, and marble.
After our session, we will continue advancing on Lake Baikal through the Tazheran steppe. We will stay at the hotel and have time to take a walk around Cape Uyuga and the island of Oltrek, each year covered with incredible ice temples.
After breakfast, we will dedicate the day completely to visit the rocky caves of the island of Olkhon. From the southern end of Cape Mare to finish in the village of Khuzhir. During our excursion, we will visit caves with an infinity of ice stalactites and ice floors with frozen bubbles that will offer us incredible photographs.
Also will have time to visit the Buddhist steppe located on the top of the island of Ogoy. There we will have spectacular views and better understand the culture that inhabits the area. After that, we will return to the hotel for dinner and rest in the village of Khuzhir.
As every day, we will have breakfast early to begin our excursion along the ice of the west coast of the island of Olkhon to its northernmost point: Cape Khoboy, which translated from the Evenk language means “Fang”. This Cape is also called rock “Virgo”, as the sign of the zodiac, because the rock of the cape is reminiscent of a woman in a long dress.
Late in the afternoon, we will arrive at the Uzura meteorological station. This is the only settlement on the east side of the island of Olkhon, and we will stay in a cozy guest house at the weather station. Also here we can take a bath and visit another Banya, to enter and heat, while we prepare dinner with the typical Baikal fish: Omul.
Today we will wake up, even more, to prepare for the sunrise, since from this point we will have the best moment of light when the light arrives from the mountains on the other side of the lake. After the session, we will return to breakfast to gather strength for today’s excursion.
As soon as we finish breakfast, we will walk to the Guardian of Lake Baikal. A majestic formation of old trees with twisted branches, which in winter will offer us incredible photographs of their nature. Then, we will move on the ice to the other side of the lake, to the Svyatoy peninsula on the other shore of Lake Baikal, in the republic of Buryatia. This is the widest place in the whole lake, and it will be a true adventure to cross from one side to the other.
In the afternoon we will arrive at the fishing village of Kurbulik and we will stay in a guest house near the local fishermen’s houses. There we can take a hot bath in the Banya, and have dinner with the fishermen before resting in our rooms.
This day we will explore the Chivyrkuy bay of Lake Baikal, visit the nearby islands, and have the unique opportunity to swim in the hot springs and mineralized outdoors. The area will offer us the possibility of continuing to take photographs of its icy waters, but also we can make a more social picture of the fishermen of the area and the hard life of these in the long Siberian winters, with which we will spend the night again in the town.
Today we will leave the cozy fishing village and go to the Barguzin valley, surrounded by mountain ranges – the mountains of Barguzin and Ikat.
Here we will visit the Suvo rock complex, which are the ruins of an ancient Buddhist castle discovered 20 years ago, and which has become a center of Buddhist pilgrimage. We will visit the current monastery, the temple dedicated to the goddess Yanzhima, that will offer us the possibility of making incredible social and architectural photographs.
In the afternoon we will reach the extreme point of the Barguzin valley, where the two crests are closed and we will be located in a guesthouse on an island of the Barguzin River, at the foot of the mountains. This place is called Yhmey. Here you can also swim in the mineralized baths and, if you wish, even in a small warm lake.
Today we will return to Lake Baikal through the Barguzin Valley, driving along the lakeshore to Ulan-Ude. There we will visit the Ivolginsky Datsan, which is the center of Buddhism in Russia. Here we will photograph its architecture that will offer us some wonderful pictures to close our trip.
We will perform our last session at dawn on the Ivolginsky Datsan. After that, we will return to the hotel to pick up our bags and go to Irkutsk airport. Here, at the airport, we will finish our Baikal Lake Photo Tour.
Price based on the participation of a minimum of 6 participants. In case there are not enough participants, the possibility of making the trip will be offered with an increase proportional to the price, or a 100% refund of the total paid.
The last time of exchange rate calculation was 15th of May 2020, the final price can be modified up to 30 days before the tour start.
The accommodations offered are double rooms with private bathrooms & guesthouses.
You can book individual room during the process of book your place for the photo tour. Also you can write us to [email protected] later with this or another request about this tour.
This tour include a basic insurance, we suggest to contract a full cover insurance. Contact us to expand your insurance coverage.
All our tours include all internal transports (cars, vans, trains or flights). We don’t include international flights, but we will guide you at the moment of your booking the best options to arrive to the destiny from your home.
The itinerary mentioned above can be changed due a force mayor reasons as weather conditions or accidents for example. The tour is though for photographers of all levels, so we will prioritise the capture of photographies than tourist visits. Anyway, we always have time to rest or buy souvenirs during the free time.
To book your place you need to pay the 20% of the total cost. Reservations can be made up to 30 days before the start of the trip, and the total payment must be made 15 days before the trip.
This tour is done by Team Travel LLC, PhotoWorldTours acts as an intermediary, due to illness or other reasons the trip may be made by another guide.
Before 90 days we refund the 100%. Before 30 days we refund 80% of the total cost of the tour. Less than 30 days there is no refund (we recommend to contract a full insurance to cover this).
Please, check the section “This tour include” and “This tour not include” to know more details about meals, guides or other services include.