At the beginning of March for just four weeks, Baikal experiences a unique period. The furthest reaches of the lake become accessible thanks to winter tracks and the weather is particularly good: blizzards are rare and the days are long. The sun rays add to the ethereal atmosphere of this universe – its deep woods, frozen taiga and snowy steppe that contrast sharply with the unearthly shapes of the lake’s ice formations.
Leaving from Irkutsk, you will journey through the steppe to reach Olkhon Island and Khoboy Cape, a sacred area for shamanism. Then you will cross Baikal in a 4x4 with a stop to set foot on the deepest part of the lake. You will meet fishermen along the Chivyrkuyski Gulf, who sleep in yurts and small cabins directly on the lake. To warm up, you will be offered a swim in natural hot springs (+40°C) as the temperature outside plunges to -30°C. Onwards to the coast of Buryatia and a little village called Ust-Barguzin where the locals will greet you and share tales of their lives split between the taiga and the Siberian sea.
Leaving the shores of Baikal, you will discover the town of Ulan Ude and enter the datsan of Ivolginsky, the biggest buddhist temple of Buryatia. Then, in Nadeino, the village of old believers, local woman Evdokia will be your guide through her village on one of the most memorable moments of the trip. To finish this 1,200 km trip to the four corners of Baikal, you will stay one night on board the mythical Trans-Siberian train.