”So much of who we are is where we have been.”

Olkhon is by a wide margin the biggest island in Lake Baikal, and one of the genuine gems of Siberia. With its stunning — and incredibly different — scene, and a lively culture even the Soviet’s couldn’t exactly stifle — this island essentially asks for a spot on your Siberian itinerary. The greatest fascination is the island’s tendency which ranges from woodland and taiga to steppe and desert; it even has its very own pool. The island is wonderful throughout the entire year; however it is particularly enchanted in winter when it is encircled by totally transparent ice.

HISTORY:

Olkhon is additionally viewed as a consecrated spot in Buryat Shamanism and Buddhism, particularly the renowned milestone of Shamanka Rock outside the settlement of Khuzhir – the principle settlement on the island where you can discover convenience, shops, bistros and smaller than expected transport visits for vacationers. Olkhon Island separated from the mainland after millions of years of tectonic movement. The Kurykans settled here some 3000 years ago. They built walls so unique you can see their remains on the Khorgoy peninsula. Their successors, the Buryats, came much later (probably in the 13th century), and stayed until today. In the 17th century, the Russian Cossacks arrived. There were bad times too. The Soviets established a small gulag on the island.

UNSPOILED NATURE:

With dramatic terrain varying from craggy mountain peaks lining its eastern shore to lush taiga thickets, sprawling steppe and even desert, it’s easy to forget that Olkhon is a mere island. Besides its beautiful flora and fauna and breathtaking scenery, the island is home to friendly and welcoming locals, warm guesthouses, informative museums and tasty authentic food. As such, it’s a great destination for exploration with ease. Visitors can hike to rocks and caves, snap pictures of weird and wonderful rock formations and experience a slice of real Buryat lifestyle.

GET IN:

As Olkhon is an island, it is normally important to take a ship from the dock in Sakhyurta, all the more ordinarily known as the MRS. As of summer 2016, the ship ride is free for walkers and vehicles (that likewise go on the ship). Throughout the winter, however, the ice becomes excessively thick for the ship to run. Rather, transports resort to taking an ice street over the restricted channel. The island utilized the be cut-off when the ice was excessively slim (mid-April till June, and around January) however an air cushion vehicle runs (free for local people, 400 RUB for other people). To make sure to get the hovercraft, you should better sit in a public transport.

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