BUDDHAS, LENINS AND SECRETIVE VALLEYS
Ulan Ude – Barguzin – Baikal – Arshan – Naryn-Atsagat
This tour is offered on a regular monthly basis. Let us know your desired departure month by clicking on the learn-more button below: we will match your preferences with the next relevant scheduled group departure. If you are still unsure about your desired departure date, then simply tell us a period or a season of the year and we will provide you a range of scheduled group departures: just pick up yours!
Our scheduled group departures don't suit your plans? If you are travelling with more than 4 friends, you can set your own departure date: we will arrange a bespoke tour just for you for the same price per person advertised below. If you are travelling solo or with less than four companions, we will then organise a slightly more expensive tailored tour according to your time schedule and specific geographical preferences.
DAY 1 - Ulan Ude
In the morning you will meet your tour guide in the lobby of the designated hotel (exact hotel address and meeting time will be communicated well in advance per email; private airport pickup and shuttle service available for a small additional fee).
Introductory briefing about the region, the route and the set of rules to observe while travelling in Buryatia.
Uland-Ude Soviet sightseeing: Datsan Rinpoche Bagsha, Giant Lenin Monument, Buryat State Academic Opera, Victory Park and lots of old Russian houses and modernist Soviet shapes.
In the afternoon we'll also visit the villages of Ivolginsky and Atsagat, home to two of the most important datsans (temples) of Buryat Buddhism and major pilgrimage sites for every Buddhist across Russia and the former Soviet Union.
Lunch, dinner and overnight in Ulan-Ude.
DAY 2/3 - Baikal Lake
After breakfast we'll depart from Ulan-Ude and slowly travel along the eastern shore of the mighty Baikal Lake.
We'll devote two entire days to the villages, bays and coves of the pristine Wild East of the Baikal.
Highlights will include: secluded bights, white-sand beaches, boat trips in summer and ice driving in winter and an all-inclusive excursion to the remote Holy Nose Peninsula.
During your time in the area you'll have also the unique chance to meet with the local Buryat people, who will share with you their food, their home and the mystic secrets of their culture.
You can also prolong your stay to either undertake a challenging but extremely rewarding 7-day hike along the lakeshore or simply chill-out in Ust-Barguzin, a pretty wooden village with good touristic infrastructures; please contact us to learn more about this option.
Meals and overnights in local guesthouses.
DAY 4 - Barguzin Valley
We'll spend the fourth day of our tour travelling across the Barguzin Valley.
The valley is also known as the little Tibet of Siberia for its concentration of temples, shrines and pilgrimage site.
During our journey through the valley we'll visit several traditional villages inhabited by both Buryats and Evenks, a formerly nomadic Tungusic people spread across much of Northern Asia.
In the afternoon we'll head back towards Ulan-Ude for a well deserved beer night out in town.
Dinner and overnight in Ulan-Ude.
DAY 5 - Southern Shore
We'll leave Ulan-Ude after a lazy-morning-cum-sumptuous-breakfast and travel along the southern shore of the Baikal Lake.
We will travel by car up to the fascinatingly desolate village of Babushkin, named after the early bolshevik revolutionary Ivan Babushkin, and then continue by train along the world-famous Baikal Panoramic Railway.
The train will stop en route in several pretty wooden hamlets, lakeside resorts and Soviet industrial towns such as Mishika, Tankhoy, Murino, Baikalsk and Slyudyanka: we will choose together where to hop off and on according to your personal wishes, cultural preferences, nature desires and travel needs.
In the late afternoon we'll reach the Soviet vacation retreat of Kultuk, where we'll spend the night in a Russian dacha.
Dinner and overnight in Kultuk.
DAY 6 - Tunka Valley
Today's we'll travel southwest towards the remote border to Mongolia heading into the secretive Tunka Valley, renowned for its postcard landscapes and a curious mixture of ancient Buddhist stupas, traditional Russian hamlets and Soviet mountain retreats.
We'll move at slow pace enjoying the gorgeous nature and the cultural exotica of the area; highlights will include: the Soviet observatory in Badary, the traditional Buryat village of Zhemchug and the spa-town of Arshan.
Backed by the dramatic, cloud-wreathed peaks of the Eastern Sayan, Arshan has been recently awoken from its sleepy slumber, but worry not: the Kyngyrga River still murmurs with ice-cold water from elevated valleys above the village, the prayer wheels still twirl at the tranquil little Buddhist temples and cows still blunder through the streets.
Once in Arshan you can either relax at the mineral-rich hot springs this village is famous for or - if fit enough - engage in one of the many (extreme) sport or trekking activities offered by the local resorts.
In the evening we'll all indulge in local gastronomic and cultural pleasures: Buryat dumplings, dried fish, fresh beer and reinvigorating banya (Russian sauna) sesseions.
Dinner and overnight in Arshan.
DAY 7 - Flight back home or transfer to further destinations
After enjoying a last Buryat-style breakfast together we'll take care of your transfer to the airport/train station of choice.
For those flying out: transfer to either Irkutsk International Airport or Ulan-Ude International Airport for your flight back home.
For those wishing to take the train/bus to reach further destinations: transfer to the local bus station.
End of the tour.
4 to 9 participants: 1090 € per person
The price includes: double/twin room accommodation (breakfast included; single supplement: 18 euro/night), private transport in the region, entrance fees to the attractions listed in the itinerary, guiding and translation service.
The price does not include: international flights and any other flight not explicitly included in the tour price and itinerary, meals, drinks and tips, transport to and from the airport of arrival/departure (35 euros/ride), visas if required, entrance fees to attractions not listed in the itinerary, insurance.
The route of this tour has been carefully designed after several research trips in the region. It is, however, always possible to slightly modify the itinerary according to the needs and the suggestions of the participants. Our motto is flexibility.
Airport pickup/transfer in Ulan-Ude is available for just 35 euros per ride.