Trips by car
- Mode of transport: 4x4 Russian truck (‘Wazik’). Some excursions include a short hike.
- All excursions provide travellers with a lunch of fish soup and tea.
- Cape Khoboi- 80km, 6-8 hours
Derived from the Buryat word for ‘fang’, Cape Khoboi is the northernmost point of the island, and is one of Baikal’s most sacred spots. Here the ‘Bolshoye More’ (large sea) and ‘Maloye More (small sea) of Lake Baikal converge, offering a wonderful view of the distant mountain ranges and the ‘Sviatoi Nos’ peninsula, all against the backdrop of the endless azure sky typical of the Baikal landscape.
The route passes through the village of Kharantsiy and the beautiful sand dunes of Peschanka. This village was home in the post-war period to the island’s only labour camp, only traces of which remain today. The camp’s derelict cemetery is located in the woodland nearby.
You will then visit the picturesque ‘Three Brothers’ cape, with its lichen-covered marble cliffs, before moving on to the north-easterly village of Uzuri, where you will be treated to a campfire lunch of hot fish soup and tea. A small meteorological station and a branch of the ‘Earth’s core institute’ are located here, whilst it is worth noting that the nearby ‘Tolgoi’ mountain contains a small cave in which the local anthropologist and founder of the Khuzhir museum N.M. Revyakin discovered fragments of ceramics and worn cutlery belonging to ancient Siberian tribes.
- Lake Khan Hoi/Lake Yalga: 24km, 3-4 hours, swimming
The second largest lake on Olkhon, Khan Hoi offers a particularly good spot for outdoor swimming, especially in the summer when the water heats up nicely, whilst fishing is also a popular pastime here.
Surrounded by the beautiful Olkhon Steppe, the lake is separated from Baikal’s Maloye More by a naturally-formed sand peninsula. 500 m to the south-east, on the rocky shores of the Maloye More, lie the tombstones of the ancient Kurumchin people, a memorial to an extinct tribe and culture.
- Shara-Nur: 36km, 4-5 hours, swimming
Derived from the Buryat meaning ‘Yellow Sea’, Shara-Nur is the only fresh-water lake on the island. Surrounded by diverse flora and fauna, it is a great spot to observe Olkhon’s unique wildlife in its natural habitat.
The lake’s water provides many health benefits to those who swim in it- a dip in her waters will leave one’s body red (owing to Shara-Nur’s salt minerals), whilst the lake’s mud helps alleviate the symptoms of a variety of illnesses, including arthritis.
- Tashkinei waterfall: 48km, 5-6 hours, fishing
Emptying into Baikal’s Bolshoye More, the Tashkinjei waterfall is surrounded by picturesque mountains. At the fall’s foot runs an icy river partially concealed by thick shrubbery overgrowth. On the shore, just to the south-west of Tashkinjei, lies a complex of archeological monuments dating back to the Iron Age. Fishing activities can be organized here, upon request.
- Tashkai- Large sea: 60km, 4-5 hours, short hike
This route leads to the steep rocky shore of Baikal’s Bolshoye More. Here, the cliffs take on an other-wordly form, covered as they are by multi-coloured lichen, whilst Tashkai is renowned for its ancient Kurikan (ancient ancestral tribe of the Yakuts and Buryats) monuments dating back to the 8-9th century BC.
The trip continues through Olkhon’s steppe land, an area where it is often possible to witness a stunning game of colours played out by the lake’s interaction with the sun and clouds, creating an other-worldly illumination of the Maloye More.
- Idiba waterfall: 50km, 5-6 hours, fishing, short hike
Running through the island’s southern steppe, here the road leads to a natural cold-water spring in the mountains where, on disembarking from the vehicle, it is necessary to undertake a 2.5 km walk to the shore of the Bolshoe More.
Here, Baikal opens up before your eyes, a stunning picture-postcard panoramic view of the lake stretching all of 200 km to the north!
- Khatka waterfall: 5-6 hours
Conditional on permission being granted by the national park. For aficionados of long wilderness hikes.
Here, the footpath snakes along a stream through the forest, eventually opening out onto a picturesque glade by the shore of Baikal’s Bolshoye More, where the stream transforms into a small waterfall.
The walk to the sea covers approximately 3 km, with the trip lasting 6 hours in total.
Trips by sea
- Island hopping on the Maloye More: 25km, approximately 6 hours
Each islands is distinctive. On Barakchin lie the graves of the long-extinct Kurikan people, Ogoy houses a beautiful Buddhist stupa, while Belenkiy plays host to an assortment of diverse wildlife, including a sizeable bird colony.
- Holy Spring: 36 km, 6 hours. 3 km hike to the mountain
A most scenic trip- a boat ride across the Maloye More to the lake’s western shore and its mineral springs, situated 3 km inland (by foot). Locals swear by the springs’ medicinal health-benefits.
- Cape Khoboi: Boat + minibus, 70 km, 8 hours
Travelling by both boat and minibus, this trip offer a wonderful opportunity to see the best Olkhon has to offer, both from the open water and the shore. Unforgettable scenery, includes a picnic in Uzur. If you are lucky, you may even get the chance to catch a glimpse of Baikal’s famous nerpa seals!
- Catamaran trip: duration negotiable
Endless blue skies, the gentle lapping of the waves under your feet, spectacular shorelines- take it at your own pace whilst lazily sailing on the lake!
Horse rides, mountain-biking, hiking trips
- Kharantsii- (hike/horse-ride), 10 km
This route runs along the strikingly beautiful sandy and rocky shore, leading to the ‘enchanted forest’, before ascending up the mountainside. Return journey by car possible.
- Third Spring (hike/horse-ride), 18 km, car journey in one direction available (500 roubles)
A 3 hour trip along a scenic forest path by the river. The route passes by the ‘first spring’, a beautiful forest meadow enclosed by old hedgerows. Further on, the path leads up to the ‘second spring’, before finally reaching the ‘third spring’ that lies within the forest’s picturesque glade.
- Field Camp (hike/horse-ride), 5 km
View point offering an excellent panorama of Baikal’s Maloye More and the village of Khuzhir
- Shara-Nur- Tashkinei (bike trip), 48 km.
A journey where you can test your limits and at the same time take in the wonderful scenery. An upgrade on the view you get from the car! (Only for those well-prepared for such a journey)
- Khatkha waterfall (hike), approx. 40 km there-and-back
Description above (Trips by car).
- Buryat village- 8km, 1.5-2 hours
A great opportunity to become better acquainted with the Buryat way of life, folklore, religion and craftsmanship. You will visit a charming open-air museum in a nearby village, where your guide will lead you on a fascinating tour (don’t be shy to ask questions!). You can return to Khuzhir either by car or on foot (along the beach).
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