Russia Tour Plan

Russia Tour Plan

As a country that starts with R listed on, with an area of ​​17 million km², Russia is the largest country in the world and with 144 million residents it is also one of the most sparsely populated. Only about a quarter of the country’s area is in Europe – the capital Moscow (8 million residents) and St. Petersburg (4 million residents) are also the two largest cities in the Russian Federation.

Russia 2

  • Day 1: Arrival from Europe
  • Day 2: Discover Irkutsk
  • Day 3: With the Siberian Railway to the East
  • Day 4: Buddhism in Russia
  • Day 5: Off to Ust-Barguzin
  • Day 6: Hiking on endless beaches
  • Day 7: Excursion to the Transbaikal National Park
  • Day 8: Visiting the locals
  • Day 9: Hike to the legendary Suvinskiye rocks
  • Day 10: Hot springs and live by the lake
  • Day 11: On the way on sections of the “Big Baikal Trek” or boat excursion
  • Day 12: Old fishing settlements
  • Day 13: Back in Ulan-Ude
  • Day 14: Journey home – Doswidanja Siberia!

We have already got to know our new surroundings on the east bank of Lake Baikal a little, from the town with its wooden house settlements we walked to the Barguzin river bank and had a picnic there. It is an area with extensive pine forests, dunes and secluded sandy beaches. Today we leave for the Transbaikal National Park. We walk past Lake Bormashevoe to Chivyrkuysky Bay: For those of us who are slightly frozen, this is the best place to jump into the lake. Afterwards we can warm up around the campfire while our dinner is cooked.

Our adventure began in the old trading town of Irkutsk, where we boarded the “Rossiya” train and headed east. We got to know the Buddhist monastery Ivolginsky Datasan in a swamp, and the Folklore Museum near Ulan-Ude.

The Suvinskiye rocks look like gigantic towers or the ruins of a defensive system that is already completely perforated. Long ago people came to it as a shamanic place of worship; they believed this was where the wind spirits lingered. According to legend, this was the last stronghold of the Barguts, the indigenous people of this valley.

We return to the lunch table of the fishing family to whom we are invited. When we rock the next day in our floating hotel in Zmeevaya Bay towards sleep, we can think about the matter of the Baikal wind whistling through the holes in the stone walls.

Meals: B = breakfast / L = lunch / packed lunch / D = dinner

1st day:

Arrival from Europe

Flight from Europe via Moscow to Irkutsk.

(- / – / -)

2nd day:

Discover Irkutsk

In the morning we land in Irkutsk and are met by our tour guide at the airport. We drive together to our hotel and in the afternoon, after we have rested a bit, a city tour is planned. Much revolves around the so-called “Decembrists” (noble revolutionaries) who refused to take the oath to the new tsar in 1825. Old wooden buildings and museums are visited among other things. In the evening we dine in a restaurant in town.

(B / L / D)
City tour: 3-4 hours
accommodation in a 3 * hotel

3rd day:

With the Siberian Railway to the East

In the morning we get on the “Rossiya” train and head east to Ulan-Ude. We ride the Trans-Siberian Railway through beautiful landscapes and leave the hustle and bustle of the largest city on Lake Baikal. After a 6-7 hour train ride we reach Ulan-Ude, which is east of Lake Baikal. The city is a bit smaller than Irkutsk, but the city is far and wide the only center of the local population and it is very busy. The planned arrival is in the early afternoon. There is still a little time left to get a first impression of the city.

(B / L / D)
Train ride: 6-7 hours (Rossiya train, 2nd class)
City tour approx. 2 hours,
accommodation in a 3 * hotel

4th day:

Buddhism in Russia

Ivolginsky Datsan (a Buddhist university monastery) was founded in 1945. Unexpectedly after the Great Patriotic War, the authorities withdrew from there. And although the Buddhist community actually received a negative decision for the restoration of the old datsan of the 18th century, the authorities assigned them a piece of land in the swampy area not far from Verkhnyaya Ivolga, which is 30 kilometers from the capital of Buryatia, Ulan-Ude.
On the way back from Ivolginsky Datsan, it goes through the beautiful valley of the Selenga River (the largest tributary of Lake Baikal). At a higher point we stop to pause for a moment. A great panoramic view over the valley with its river opens up in front of us.

The Semeyskiye Old Believers
are a traditional and shiny part of the Russian people who still practice the ancient beliefs and have strictly rejected innovations since the epoch of Peter the First Because of the sanctions imposed, the so-called Semeyskiyen then had to emigrate to Siberia.
The first Old Believers who emigrated settled in the villages of Tarbagatay, Kuytun, Bolshoi Kunaley, Desjatnikowo and Burnashevo near Verkhneudinsk. The entire community of this ethnic group settled in this area, which is why they also called themselves “Semeyskiye” (literally – “family”). More than 240 years have now passed. The Semeyskiyen of Transbaikalia now have their roots in the Siberian country, they have found their second home here. The remaining community still upholds their traditions and this is easy to see from their moral principles, the elegance of their clothing, the house decorations, the patterns on the household dishes and the culture of their family.
They managed to maintain the spiritual experience and values ​​that were lost in other groups of the Russian people. Of particular importance are the national singing traditions, which are a masterpiece of the oral and spiritual heritage that stems from the ancient Russian musical culture and has its origins as early as the early Middle Ages. The culture of the Semeyskiyen of Transbaikalia, which represents a unique ethnic heritage, was declared a “Masterpiece of Oral and Spiritual Heritage of Humanity” and was added to the UNESCO list in 2001.

(B / L / D)
Transfer: 100 km
Hike: 8-10 km
Accommodation in a 3 * hotel

5th day:

Off to Ust-Barguzin

Today we leave the region around Ulan-Ude and make our way to Ust-Barguzin (Barguzinsky Highway – 270 km, asphalt road).
At the beginning of the journey we stop in a suburb of Ulan-Ude and visit the ethnographic folk museum. The complex is quite spacious and there are many exciting things to discover. Then we drive to Turka. We stop for lunch on the way.
Well strengthened, we take a short hike along the shores of Lake Baikal before we drive the last stage to Ust-Barguzin.
The Ethnographic Museum of the People of Transbaikalia is one of the largest open-air museums in Russia. The museum is approximately 37 hectares and more than 40 architectural monuments are included in the complex. The museum has over 11,000 exhibits. The museum area is divided into several complexes (Archeology, Evenki, Buryats, Prebaikal, Transbaikalian, Old Residents, Old Believers and City).
The Barguzinsky Highway runs through the Pribaikal and Barguzin districts. Along the highway there are many places of worship where offerings (mostly in the form of food) are made by the locals.
Our trip leads through a picturesque area. It goes through forests and over hills, but most of the drive is along the shores of Lake Baikal. We make a few stops, including at “Pykhta Khaima” (cult site) and “Turka” (also called turtle rock).
Accommodation in Ust-Barguzin in the guest house.

(B / L / D)
Transfer 270 km
walks: approx. 6 km
Accommodation in the guest house

6th day:

Walking on endless beaches

We walk from our accommodation to the beach and have a picnic there. Then it goes on along the beach and back to the accommodation. Extensive pine forests, sand dunes, eternally wide and secluded sandy beaches characterize this beautiful area.
From here we have a good view of the peninsula to the north, which frames the Barguzinsky Bay – the largest and deepest bay on Lake Baikal.
Accommodation is again in our guest house in Ust-Barguzin.

(B / L / D)
Hike: approx. 7 km
accommodation in the guest house

7th day:

Excursion to the Transbaikal National Park

After breakfast, the vehicles bring us to the entrance and visitor center of the Transbaikal National Park (distance approx. 5 km). After a short visit to the center, we hike from there for about 4 kilometers to the mineral-rich Bormashevoe Lake, which is a true natural wonder. Less than a kilometer behind the lake is the large Chivyrkuysky Bay, which has the highest water temperatures in the area. Here we will have lunch today (it will be cooked for us right in the middle of nature). It’s probably the best place to jump into the lake if you’re a bit frozen. The warm water, the golden beaches and also the “healing properties” of the mud attract visitors here.
The many mineral-rich deposits are in great demand and are used for a wide variety of therapeutic purposes. The residents of the area also get some “healing mud” from time to time, for example to get skin diseases under control. Even the well-known health resort “Gorjatschinsk” gets the ingredients for any treatments from Lake Bormashevoye. The lake is also very popular with passionate anglers in summer, who usually get their money’s worth there.
Then we hike to the mouth of the Barguzin River and after we have enjoyed the dinner prepared by the fire, we visit the place where this settlement was supposedly founded as early as 1666. Ust Barguzin had to give way to a construction project for a hydropower plant and was relocated to the other side of the river in 1956.

(B / L / D)
Transfer: 10 km
Hike: approx. 6 km
Accommodation in the guest house

8th day:

Visiting the locals

Today we continue, our next stop is the village of Suvo. Ancient pertoglyphs have been found in this area. We go on a two-hour hike and have another picnic at noon. On the way we pass the Alginsky Salt Lake, the destination is our host family, who will give us accommodation and an insight into their lives.
The petroglyphs themselves date from the Bronze Age, around 2,000 BC. We hike through the rocky landscape and descend to the small salt lake, which lies in the Barguzin valley. Here, too, the mud has an exfoliating effect. Salt lakes are not uncommon here, but each lake has its own charm and these places exude beauty and tranquility. The small salt lake is therefore often visited regularly to switch off a bit.
Today we are accommodated with a host family in Suvo.

(B / L / D)
Transfer: 75 km
hike: approx 8 km
Accommodation with a host family – Very simple but clean accommodation with an outside toilet!

Day 9:

Hike to the legendary Suvinskiye rocks

Today we hike to the Suvinskiye rocks. We are on the road a little longer compared to the last few days, but this exciting place is definitely worth the extra effort. The rocks resemble gigantic towers that resemble the remains of an old fortification. On the way we stop again to strengthen ourselves. This imposing landscape was used by the Evenki’s as a shamanistic place of worship. The name Suvinskiye means whirlwind in the language of Evenki’s and people believed that the wind spirits stayed and lived here.
The most important spirit of the wind was the master of the legendary Baikal wind called “Barguzin”. There are stories that the last stronghold of the “Barguts” – the indigenous people of this valley – was here. The huge towers with the many holes and the wall-like stone formations make these exciting stories seem real and plausible, and maybe it was just that…

(B / L / D)
Hike: 5-6 hours
accommodation with a host family Very simple but clean accommodation with an outside toilet!

10th day:

Hot springs and living by the lake

Drive from Suvo to the Gulf of Chivyruysky (130 km). We make one or two stops and at lunchtime we are served a warm meal with a fishing family. A short walk takes us through a forest to lakes, it is good to stretch your feet a bit after the ride. Before we leave for our special kind of accommodation, there is still the opportunity to take a bath in the local hot springs. The water temperature fluctuates roughly between 38 and 45 degrees Celsius. To get to our destination today, we will take a motorboat from Monakhovo port to Zmeevaya Bay. Today we will stay in a comfortable and floating hotel.

(B / L / D)
Transfer: 130 km
Boat trip: approx. 45 min.
Accommodation in the floating hotel

11th day:

On the way on sections of the “Big Baikal Trek” or boat excursion

We do a short hike along the coast to Krestovy Cape, we are on a section of the BBT (Big Baikal Trek). Lunch is eaten on a lonely beach and we take enough time to relax. We return to our floating accommodation by boat.
Optionally, instead of hiking, a motorboat excursion to the Ushkanyi Islands can be taken. These islands are great for viewing the baikal seals and native birds.

(B / L / D)
Hike: approx. 6 km
Boat trip: approx. 20 min.
Accommodation in the floating hotel

12th day:

Old fishing settlements

After our breakfast a boat transfer to Okunevaya Bay follows. From there we hike back to Monakhovo (7 km) for about 2 hours. Our vehicles are already waiting for us there and we go back to Ust-Barguzin to our already known accommodation. During our hike along the coast we pass two old fishing settlements, the destination of our hike is the viewing platform in Monakhovo.

(B / L / D)
Transfer: 40 km
boat trip: approx. 20 min
walk. approx. 7 km
accommodation in the guest house

13th day:

Back in Ulan-Ude

The journey is slowly coming to an end, we are going back to Ulan Ude. On the way we stop for lunch in a cafe. After we have moved into our hotel in the district capital, we have the rest of the day at our disposal. Walks and perhaps buying a souvenir or two from this exciting region are a good idea. In the evening we say goodbye to each other over dinner and review the past two weeks.

(B / L / D)
Transfer: 310 km
accommodation in a 3 * hotel

14th day:

Journey home – Doswidanja Siberia!

Transfer to Ulan-Ude airport. The planned departure to Europe is expected to be in the morning. Today is long. Over time we will fly west and reach our home on the same day.

(B / – / -)
Transfer to the airport: 20 km
flight home

Russia 1