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Lake Baikal

Duration: 3 days and 2 nights

Day 1 :Arrival in Irkutsk
You will be met at the airport or station by our representative and taken to your hotel for check in and lunch.

City Tour including a visit to the Cathedral of the Holy Sign. Apart from ornate and rich iconostasis, the cathedral is famous for its graveyard where you will see the graves of the Decembrists Mukhanov, Beschasnov, Trubetskaya and the Russian Columbus Shelekhov. We will then proceed to the Museum of the Decembrists. The museum is housed in a mansion belonging to one of the leaders of Decembrist revolutionaries - these were Russian aristocracy who were banished to Siberia after their ill-fated attempt in December 1825 to overthrow the Russian Tsar in favor of a Constitutional regime. The museum is truly evocative of 18th century Russia.

Dinner and Free Time

Irkutsk began as a small settlement in the mid 17th century for gold-trading and for the collection of the fur tax from the Buryats. The settlement officially became a town in 1686 and the first road between Moscow and the new city was built in 1760. With the road construction, many new products, often imported from China, were widely available in Irkutsk for the first time including gold, diamonds, furs, wood, silk and tea. In 1821, Irkutsk became the seat of the Governor-General of East Siberia. In the early 19th century, many Russian officers and nobles were sent into exile in Irkutsk for their part in the Decembrist revolt against Tsar Nicholas I. Due to this influx of individuals from St. Petersburg, Irkutsk became the Siberian center of intellectual and cultural life. By 1900, the city had earned the nickname “The Paris of Siberia.” Today Irkutsk has become a college town with many young people studying at the university and other institutes of higher education in the city.

Day 2
Breakfast at the hotel Departure for Listvyanka, a small settlement located on the shores of Lake Baikal. En route to Listvyanka we will also stop for a guided tour of Taltsy - an open air Museum of Russian/Siberian Wooden Architecture. The museum´s oldest building is the Spass Tower of the Ilimsk Fortress (1667) and the still active Kazan Chapel (1679). We will also stop by an Obo (a sacred place for the local Buddhist and Shamanist population). We will then proceed to the headwaters of the Angara River to see the famous Shaman Rock (another sacred site for the local people). You will visit a market where locals sell smoked fish from the lake as well as local crafts.

We then check in at the hotel and proceed to lunch in a wooden, waterfront restaurant "Proshli Vek" (fish and vegetarian menus available). After that, we will visit the Church of Saint Nicolas the Wonderworker - the guardian angel of travelers. We then go to the Baikal Ecology Museum with exhibits of the unique fauna and flora that surround the lake. There is also an aquarium where you can see different species of local fish and the Baikal nerpa – the earth’s only fresh water seal.

Return to your hotel. Dinner and Free Time

Day 3
Breakfast at the hotel
Check out from the hotel
Departure to the railroad station or airport in Irkutsk.
Say goodbye to Lake Baikal and Irkutsk. We look forward to welcoming you back to this very special part of the world at some point in the future.

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