Circumbaikal Map from www.waytorussia.com The section of the Trans – Siberian Railroad on the southern shore of Baikal from Port Baikal to Kultuk is called the Circumbaikal Railway and was built more than 100 years ago. There are a lot of beautifully constructed tunnels and bridges along the way, making the Circum-Baikal a monument in itself. The total length of its 39 tunnels is 7 km and the rail road is 86 km long. The Circum-Baikal railway was used for Trans-Siberian trains starting from 1904 until 1950s, when the new direct railway from Irkutsk to Slyudyanka was built. Nowadays, Circum-Baikal is a quiet picturesque route to enjoy lake Baikal. We are offering one or two day tours on this beautiful old railway track. Read more about The Circum-Baikal Railroad 100 years’ anniversary or about the History of the Circum-Baikal.

Our Circumbaikal tours proposition:

1 Day tour with modern trains
2 Days tour with old local train
2 Days tour with modern trains
1 Day tour Winter Circumbaikal railroad old local train

Modern trains 1 Day tour

Circumbaikal summer tour Train and Locomotive view Season: all year round on SAT from Irkutsk – Sludyanka – Port Baikal; on SUN Port Baikal – Sludyanka – Irkutsk.
Mid June-early September – on WED from Irkutsk – Sludyanka – Port Baikal; on THU Port Baikal – Sludyanka – Irkutsk

Description:

This year around tour by modern trains starts on Saturday from Irkutsk eastbound to Sludyanka and then to Port Baikal, where tourists take a ferry to Listvjanka and are transfered to Irkutsk. On Sunday the trip goes the other way from Irkutsk there is a transfer to Listvjanka by bus then ferry and at 11.30 am boarding on the modern train to go to Sludyanka and late in the evening arrival to Irkutsk.

In the high season from mid June till mid September there is an additional train on Wednesdays and Thursdays. On WED eastbound from Irkutsk to Sludyanka and to Port Baikal like on SAT, and on THU vice versa Port Baikal – Sludyanka – Irkutsk.

Itinerary:

Early morning transfer to Irkutsk railway station. At 8.05 am a special train on the Trans-Siberian Railway from Irkutsk to Lake Baikal, town of Sludyanka, train along the Old Railroad to Port Baikal, Ferry or a private boat to Listvyanka, transfer to Irkutsk. You can also stay in Listvjanka (instead of returning to Irkutsk) and we can organize the transfer to hotel/homestay and accommodation there.
Or in reverse: Transfer from Irkutsk to harbor to Listvyanka by public bus. Ferry from Listvyanka to Port Baikal. At 11.40 departure by train along the Old Railroad to Sludyanka, with many stops, then train goes to Irkutsk on the Trans-Siberian Railway. Packed lunch is included. Arrival in Irkutsk at 21.38. Transfer to hotel/homestay in Irkutsk. You can also start this tour from Listvyanka, if you stay in Listvyanka before.

Package price

Price per person depends of your travel dates, contact us for an offer.

Services included: guide, lunch, transfers by public transport and private car.

Old local train 2 days tour

Circumbaikal summer tour old train port Baikal kids Season: 20 September – 31 May– 4 times a week, on FRI, SUN – for sure; and also on MON, WED or TUE, THU.
1 June – 31 August – on FRI, SUN.

Depending on train schedule overnight is arranged in Listvyanka (if the train goes before lunch) or at Port Baikal (in case the train goes after lunch). Transfer from Port Baikal to Listvyanka is made by ferry. Available all year round, for any group size.

Description:

In the morning of Day 1 transfer to station (about 09:00 am local) and ride with local train from Irkutsk to the southern Lake Baikal. It takes about 2.5 hours to arrive at “Black Valley” station from where we walk for about 1 hour down the deep valley to the shore of Lake Baikal, where we spend some time on the beach or walk to the nearest tunnel and have lunch. In the afternoon we take the old local train (about 02:00 pm), which has only two passenger carriages and one or two cargo wagons. This train goes very slowly, about 25-30 km/hour, and lets you experience the beautiful scenaries around Lake Baikal. The ride takes about 4 hours and runs along the shore of Lake Baikal and through numerous tunnels. You can open the doors while the train is moving and take photos of Lake Baikal, tunnels, bridges and railway stations. In the evening, the train comes to Port Baikal. We stay overnight in a homestay at Port Baikal or Listvyanka. On Day 2 we have a full day excursion in Listvyanka, visit the Museum of Lake Baikal, a Russian Orthodox Church made of wood and climb to the viewpoint over the outlet of the Angara river. We will take the afternoon bus to come back to Irkutsk where we arrive early in the evening.

Itinerary:

Day 1
Early morning (8-9 am) local train on the Trans-Siberian Railway from Irkutsk to Lake Baikal (in the vicinity of town Sludyanka), walk along the shore of the Lake, other train along the Old Railroad to Port Baikal (packed lunch).Overnight at homestay h/b (Listvyanka or Port Baikal). Meals: packed lunch, dinner at homestay/hotel

Day 2
Day excursion in Listvyanka, visiting the Museum of Lake Baikal, sightseeing, afternoon public transport (bus or boat) back to Irkutsk. Meals: breakfast.

Package price

Price per person depends of your travel dates, contact us for an offer.

Services included: Guide, lunch, transfers by public transport as mentioned, 1 night at homestay in Port Baikal or Listvyanka with full board.

Modern trains 2 days tour

Circumbaikal Summer tour view on lake Baikal Season: all year round on SAT from Irkutsk – Sludyanka – Port Baikal; on SUN Port Baikal – Sludyanka – Irkutsk
Mid June-begining of September – on WED from Irkutsk – Sludyanka – Port Baikal; on THU Port Baikal – Sludyanka – Irkutsk.

This is the same tour as the 2 day tour above with the old local train with the difference that we will ride a modern train along the shore with more carriages (7-8) and with one carriage turned into a rail-bar serving food and drinks.

Itinerary Option 1:

Day 1
Early morning transfer to Irkutsk Railway station. At 8.05 am a special tourist train on the Trans-Siberian Railway from Irkutsk to Lake Baikal, town of Sludyanka (at 10 am), then this train goes along the Old Railroad to Port Baikal, with many stops. Packed lunch is included.Evening ferry to Listvyanka, transfer to Hotel/Homestay in Listvyanka, 1 Nt, b/b.
Day 2
Full day walking excursion in Listvyanka, visiting the Museum of Lake Baikal, sightseeing. Transfer by car to Irkutsk to hotel/homestay or to the Train station.

Itinerary Option 2:

Day 1
Transfer from Irkutsk to Listvynka by car. Accommodation at a hotel/homestay.chalet, 1 Nt, b/b. Full day walking excursion in Listvyanka, visiting the Museum of Lake Baikal, sightseeing.
Day 2
Transfer hotel/homestay to harbor at 10:30-11.00. Ferry from Listvyanka to Port Baikal.
At 11.40 departure by special tourist train along the Old Railroad to Sludyanka, with many stops, then train goes to Irkutsk on the Trans-Siberian Railway. Packed lunch is included. Arrival in Irkutsk at 21.38. Transfer to hotel/homestay in Irkutsk.

Package price

Price per person depends of your travel dates and choosen accommodation, contact us for an offer.

Services included: Accommodation in Listwyanka, 1 night b/b., packet lunch, guide service, train and ferry tickets, ticket to Lake Baikal Museum, transfers by car.

Winter circumbaikal railroad old local train 1 day tour

Circumbaikal winter tour view on the frozen lake Baikal Season: Tour starts 10th February – 10th April on FRI, SUN – for sure; and also on MON or TUE, THU
From 1 client to groups variable in size. Any age. Siberian winter gives this unique opportunity. Because of ice walking or ice driving (in case of cold) crossing the channel Port Baikal- Listvyanka you can do it in one day. Usually Lake Baikal is frozen over from mid January to the end of April with an average thickness of about 70cm.

Description

In the morning tourists take a local train to the south of Lake Baikal. It takes about 2.5 hours to arrive at “Black Valley” station from which tourists walk for 1 hour downhill the deep valley to the shore of Lake Baikal, where they spend some time on the beach or walk to the nearest tunnel and have lunch. In the afternoon they take the ORR local train, which has only two passenger carriages and one or two cargo wagons. The train goes very slowly, about 25-30 km/hour. With its long stops you travel for about 4 hours on this train. It runs along the Baikal shore, 5-20 meters from the Lake and through the tunnels. You can open the doors while the train is moving and take photos of Lake Baikal, ORR tunnels, bridges and railway stations. Late afternoon the train comes to Port Baikal. The tourists cross the channel from Port Baikal to Listvyanka walking on the ice!!! You’ll get incredible feeling! Usually Lake Baikal is frozen over from mid January to early May. In this period it’s the biggest skating rink with the ice thickness of a meter or more. The lake serves as a temporary road, forming a navigable land route between the settlements at its northern and southern ends. The safest period for ice walking either as for ice driving trip, especially in the southern part of Lake Baikal, is from the beginning of February to the end of March. The ice walking takes 30min. In Listvyanka the car is waiting for the tourists to bring them back to Irkutsk.

Itinerary

Car transfer HTL/Homestay to the railway station. 08:50 AM suburban Trans-Siberian train from Irkutsk to Lake Baikal (in the vicinity of small town Sludyanka).11:30 arriving at Black Valley, downhill walk to the Circum Baikal Old Railroad. Walking along the shore of the Lake, picnic lunch.
15:15 Old Railroad train departure.20:00 arriving at Port Baikal. Ice walking/driving across the Angara river’s outlet from Port Baikal to Listvyanka. Transfer back to Irkutsk (1,5 hour) by private car.

Package price

Price per person depends of your travel dates, contact us for an offer.

Services included: guide, lunch, transfers by public transport and private car.

History of the Circum-Baikal

From 1900 to 1904 the raiway tracks from Irkutsk stopped at Port Baikal, across the mouth of the Angara from Listvyanka. From here ice-breaking steam ships carried passengers and trains across the lake, where rails continued. It took 4 years to put the first line around southwestern shore of Baikal and completed the Trans-Siberian. Extension of this line is 84 km, it is the shortest but most difficult section of the whole railroad, it required a tunnel or bridge almost every kilometer. Circumbaikal Railway is a kind of museum of engineering constructions and building art. It is the place where the stonework of tunnels’ portals, bearing walls, arches and different picturesque rocks have run into one in a remarkable manner. Railroad includes monuments of architecture, engineering and technical art (tunnels, galleries, bridges, viaducts and bearing walls). 56 tunnels, galleries and other detached buildings, 248 bridges and viaducts, 268 bearing walls, 172 monuments of architecture survive to this day. Together with Russian employees, skilled Italian, Turkish and Chinese contract mason took part in building of bridges and tunnels. In 1957 the Irkutsk dam was erected and the part of the original railroad from Irkutsk to Port Baikal was flooded. This section was replaced with the shortcut, going strait from the city to south extremity of Baikal. It turned Circumbaikal to a rarely used branch line. Nowadays the railroad is mostly used as a tourist destination for the local people to camp on weekends, as well as for famous tourist trains, such as “Tsaren Gold”, “Orient Express” and others.

The Circum-Baikal Railroad 100 years’ anniversary

This railroad loop, from Port Baikal station to Mysovaya station, was the final rail-link of the Great Siberian Way. Trans-Sib (end of the 19th – beginning of the 20th century.) is one of the most outstanding technical and engineering constructions and its building has become an event of the world’s significance.
“After America’s explorations and the Suez Canal’s building there was no such an event in the world’s history, mentened as much more prominent and rich of the direct and circumstational after-effects then the building of Trans-Sib.
The Great Siberian Way, 7.500 km. of extent, has connected the European and Asian parts of Russia with “steel belt” and the Circum-Baikal section (260 km.) has become its “golden buckle”.
Only in the period of 1902-1904, there were: 39 tunnels, 47 stone galleries, 1ots of metal bridges, stone viaducts, support-walls, water-defences, railroad stations and other constructions, built in the western part of the Circum-Baical loop, (84 km. of extent). Some of those permanent headworks mentioned above, have their own names like: “Listvenychny”, “Tolsty”, “Khatorzhansky”, “Berezovsky”, “Polovinny”, “Dvoynaja Gooba” ets. The Circum-Baikal section from Port Baikal station to Khultouck station has no comparisson to the volume of the fulfilled works and the quantity of engineering constructions ever built on 1 km. of the road in Russia or even in Europe. And Trans-Sib’s building has also been one of the first experiences of the international cooperation when the foreign workers from China and Albany or Italian engineers worked together with Russians.
Nowadays, the Circum-Baikal rail-road has been set out of the main route but its current location is getting more and more interesting for historians, tourists and for those who are in love for exotic natural spots. Till now the researcher, amateurs of the olden times and tourists cannot stop to be amazed by its mountaineous defensive sistem: trestlebridges, stone walls and galleries, that absorbed the basic firmness and extraordinary elegance. The creative strength and inspiration of the builders have been realized not only in the main contructions but in the others: the concrete drainages, gutters and dry masonry. Every little creak or even spring, falling into Baikal near the line, were ennobled around because the builders had every thing taken into consideration: the most complex relief of shores, conditions of mountain rocks and depth of water.
This railway bed was made out on the vertical slopes of clifs going down to the depth of the “Sacred Sea”. In truth the Circum-Baikal Railroad is an amazing creature of the human’s labour and thought, worthy of your attention. By: Sergey Vyhara

For further information please contact us. Summer Journeys are possible from April till November and Winter Journeys are recommended from December to April, the best season is March/April. Combination with Moscow tours or St.Petersburg tours or additional to our Trans-siberian individual trips are possible. We will be happy to make an individual offer.

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