Our Photo Tour to Lake Baikal, in Russia, is one of our new destinations for the year 2020. Incredible caves and dreamy landscapes in its famous frozen waters. Lake Baikal is a perfect destination for all those who love nature, the great landscapes and, without a doubt, for any landscape photographer. From February 29 to March 9, we can enjoy these landscapes without worrying about anything else, since all services will be included, traveling in full pension throughout the tour.
Located in the region of Irkutsk, south of Siberia, for many the most impressive lake in the world, is a region with an overflowing beauty. During our Photo Trip to Lake Baikal, we will have the opportunity to photograph ice caves, the frozen water of the lake with its characteristic lines and bubbles … apart from the possibilities of visiting the unique local culture in the world of this spectacular peninsula, a mixture of religions between orthodox, Buddhism and primitive shamanism.
In order to make the most of this trip, we will spend the nights in Olkhon Island, located in the center of the lake, and that will facilitate access to all places with the greatest possible comfort. In this way, we will be able to photograph the most spectacular and, at the same time, most exclusive locations. Always looking for the moments of better light, surrounded by a unique natural environment, in a wild territory.
For a trip like this, we will have the services of a local expert company, who will guide us, assist us and prepare everything we need during our trip, so that we only have to take care to enjoy photographing incredible places such as those here we will find A special photographic journey, an authentic adventure, that will allow us to reach where others only dream.
With the support of our team of guides, drivers and local experts, we offer you an incomparable Photographic Journey, towards wild routes, in search of really unique images. Thanks to them, our professional photographers, Eduardo Fuster and Sergio Lanza, will be able to focus on helping you to achieve the best possible photographs of Lake Baikal, contributing all your experience and knowledge in photography, and taking you to the most amazing locations of the destination.
ITINERARY OF THE PHOTOGRAPHIC TRIP TO LAKE BAIKAL
Our Photo Tour to Lake Baikal begins on February 29, 2020, at Irkutsk Airport, the meeting place of the group at an agreed time. This first day, we will take the opportunity to get to know each other and our local guide. We will go directly from Irkutsk to Cape Kristovsky where we will stay in a house of local farmers in the middle of nature. Cape Krestovsky is located on the west bank of Lake Baikal, on the border of the Baikal forests and the Tazheranskaya steppe. The site is far away from other tourist sites, and will allow us to begin to intrude on the nature of the region and photograph its forests. Its majestic rocky cliffs are usually covered with ice sheets and without snow, which will allow us to start taking majestic photographs of the place. In the house we can rest and take a hot bath (the house has a Russian sauna: Banya), besides being able to taste typical homemade food of the region.
We will wake up soon to begin visiting Lake Baikal, after having breakfast, in all its splendor in our transport by the bay near our house. We will be able to photograph it in all its splendor, with its iconic lines that will offer us magnificent photographic compositions. At the same time we will hear the sound of ice crunching under our feet at the bottom of the lake, something similar to ethnic music for the locals. At night we will return to the house, to rest and return to dinner typical food.
We will return early in the morning to visit the Cabo Sagan-Zaba, which means Rocas Blancas, which will offer us spectacular winter views of the lake. In them we can observe cave paintings, of the Kurykan tribes, which according to the scientists are the ancestors of the native tribes of North America. From there we will go to the cave Aya, located on the plateau of the same name in the Tazheran steppe. Aya comes from the Evenk language, indigenous people of Siberia, and that means “beautiful, incredible”. In fact, the cave Aya is the largest on the west bank of Lake Baikal and in it we can visit several rooms called: music, cheese, snow and marble. On leaving we will continue advancing on Lake Baikal through the Tazheran steppe to the Strait of the Mar Menor. We will stay at the hotel and have time to take a walk around Cape Uyuga and the island of Oltrek, each year covered with incredible ice temples.
After breakfast first thing, we will dedicate the day completely to visit the rocky caves of the island of Olkhon. From the southern end of Cape Mare to finish in the village of Khuzhir. We will visit caves with an infinity of ice stalactites and ice floors with frozen bubbles that will offer us incredible photographs. We will also visit the Buddhist steppe located on the top of the island of Ogoy, where we will have spectacular views and better understand the culture that inhabits the area.
We will return to the hotel for dinner and rest in the village of Khuzhir.
As every day, we will have breakfast early to begin our excursion along the ice of the west coast of the island of Olkhon to its northernmost point: Cape Khoboy, which translated from the Evenk language means “Fang”. This Cape is also called rock “Virgo”, as the sign of the zodiac, because the rock of the cape is reminiscent of a woman in a long dress.
Late in the afternoon, we will arrive at the Uzura meteorological station, the only settlement on the east side of the island of Olkhon, and we will stay in a cozy guest house at the weather station.
Here we can take a bath and visit another Banya, to enter and heat, while we prepare dinner with the typical Baikal fish: omul a la parrila.
Today we will wake up even more to prepare for the sunrise, since from this point we will have the best moment of light when the light arrives from the mountains on the other side of the lake. After the session, we will return to breakfast to gather strength for today’s excursion. We will walk to the Guardian of Lake Baikal, a majestic formation of old trees with twisted branches, which in winter will offer us incredible photographs of their nature. Then, we will move on the ice to the other side of the lake, to the Svyatoy peninsula on the other shore of Lake Baikal, in the republic of Buryatia. This is the widest place in the whole lake, and it will be a true adventure to cross from one side to the other. In the afternoon we will arrive at the fishing village of Kurbulik and we will stay in a guest house near the local fishermen’s houses. There we can take a hot bath in the Banya, and have dinner with the fishermen before resting in our rooms.
This day we will explore the Chivyrkuy bay of Lake Baikal, visit the nearby islands and have the unique opportunity to swim in the hot springs and mineralized outdoors. The area will offer us the possibility of continuing to take photographs of its icy waters, but also we can make a more social picture of the fishermen of the area and the hard life of these in the long Siberian winters, with which we will spend the night again in the town.
Today we will leave the cozy fishing village and go to the Barguzin valley, surrounded by mountain ranges – the mountains of Barguzin and Ikat.
Here we will visit the Suvo rock complex, which are the ruins of an ancient Buddhist castle discovered 20 years ago, and which has become a center of Buddhist pilgrimage. We will visit the current monastery, the temple dedicated to the goddess Yanzhima, that will offer us the possibility of making incredible social and architectural photographs. In the afternoon we will reach the extreme point of the Barguzin valley, where the two crests are closed and we will be located in a guesthouse on an island of the Barguzin river, at the foot of the mountains. This place is called Yhmey. Here you can also swim in the mineralized baths and, if you wish, even in a small warm lake.
Return to Lake Baikal through the Barguzin Valley, driving along the lake shore to Ulan-Ude. There we will visit the Ivolginsky datsan, which is the center of Buddhism in Russia and where its architecture will offer us some wonderful pictures to close our trip.
We will perform our last session at dawn on the Ivolginsky datsan, and later return to the hotel to pick up our bags and go to Irkutsk on the way to the airport, where the trip will end.