If you visit Lake Baikal in Siberia in the winter, you will! Even though I grew up in a hot desert and was incredibly daunted, I still wanted to see this!
We booked a 3 day tour with Baikal Explorer in February and it was one of the most magical experiences of my lifetime. Driving across a frozen lake, lying on the ice, sitting in an ice cavern, leaning on a clear, four foot high frozen sheet of ice that was once a wave but literally froze mid-wave one night, walking over the bluest-blue ice chunks in the world…where else can you do all this plus more?
Baikal Explorer gives you free range to set up your tour however you want. Simply let Leonid know when you book and you can add extra destinations, days, whatever you want. Our guide, Anna, picked us up at our hotel in Irkutsk and drove us to Olkhon Island. She was a million percent great!! We adored her! She is super sweet, fun, speaks fluent English and is completely fearless! She was jumping over ice chunks like a mountain goat! She was always there to lend me a hand as I was slipping on the ice or suggesting a different camera shot that we hadn’t thought of or giving a tip on how to keep our hands warm. We love Anna!!
A few specifics to help you plan: You will be a little daunted when your guide drives onto the frozen lake the first time. When we got out of the car, we walked as if we were walking on broken glass. Then we got used to it and it was incredibly fun! Our motel for two nights was fairly small but absolutely adequate. The rooms were warm, there are showers with hot water and single beds. Breakfast and dinner are provided each day. The second day was our frozen lake day. We wore 5 layers plus our winter coats. Wearing two gloves helped, also, super thick socks and of course, boots made for -20 degrees. I used the new charcoal packets to keep my hands warm (should have brought the toe warmers I purchased but foolishly left at home). My husband did not use the warmers and his hands were darn cold. I was never cold during the day except my feet. You can always get back in the jeep if you’re too cold and they’ll turn on the heater. Our camera froze 27 times! We had to hold it in our hands to get it to work again. Our pictures look like they could be on the cover of National Geographic! Staggeringly beautiful!
Book with this company and they will ensure you have a safe and incredibly memorable experience in Siberia!
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