Join our tours to Chivyrkuysky Bay:
Spend your vacation in the Floating hotel “Ecotur” which is located on a barge floating through the waterways of the Baikal.
During the “Around the Baikal” tour you will be traveling by variety of water vehicles watching slowly changing landscapes or getting adrenaline rafting the fast mountain rivers.
Chivyrkuysky Bay is located in the northeast part of the Baikal between the Svyatoi Nos peninsula and the Barguzinsky Range. Its territoty belongs to a reserve zone of Zabaikalsky National Park. Entrance to the park is paid.
Chivyrkuysky Bay is thinly populated. There are 3 settlements in the bay: Kurbulik, Katun and Monakhovo.
Surrounded by dense wild taiga the bay is considered to be the most picturesque place of the Baikal. Here you can find a variety of landscapes: snow-capped mountains, marshes and meadows, cedar forests and sandy beaches. There are a lot of small shallow bays hidden from strong Baikal winds. During the summer period the water of the bay warms up well and its temperature reaches a comfort level for swimming.
There are seven islands in the Chivyrkuysky Bay: Bolshoy Baklaniy (the biggest), Bolshoy Kyltygey, Maliy Kyltygey, Beliy Kamen, Svyataya Elena, Pokoynitskiy kamen, and Kovrizhka. All these islands have a status of reserve zone with limited access.
Fauna of this area is mainly represented by brown bear, sable, fox, wolf, squirrel, hare, elk, deer, roe and other. During summer seals migrate from Ushkanyi Islands to Chivyrkuysky Bay and stay there till the the lake freezes over. A particularly large number of bears inhabit the eastern shore of the bay but they try to avoid meeting people.
Chivyrkuysky Bay is one of the main sites of nesting Baikal waterfowl. Every spring flocks of Baikal teals, ducks, goldeneyes, pintails and dun-birds appear on the Svyatoy Nos Isthmus for nesting.
The bay is known for its abundance of fish. Pike, omul, grayling, perch and other species of fish inhabit warm water of the bay. Some of lacustrine fish come from the Baikal to Chivyrkuysky Bay for spawning. From August to September, one can catch pikes of up to 33 lb (15 kg) and over 2 lb (1 kg) perch. Omul spawns in Bolshoy Chivyrkuy River that flows into the bay at its northern end. The commercial fishing is strictly prohibited in the bay.
Thermal springs of the Zmeinaya bay (Snake cove) are known by their healing water rich in hydrogen sulphide, sodium and fluorine. The temperature of the water ranges from +101ºF (+38.5ºC) to +114 ºF (+45.5ºC). The bay got its name because grass snakes in great numbers have inhabited the shore of the cove. Nowadays the likelihood of encountering a snake is not great.
The Zmeinaya bay is located 8 km off settlement Kurbulik. A section of the Great Baikal Trail connects Kurbulik and the Zmeinaya bay. It is difficult to get lost because some trees along the trail have red marks. Mainly the trail runs along the shore, through small sandy coves and beaches.
Gps coordinates: Longitude: 109.094238E; Latitude: 53.714588N
Travellers should be aware of the possible risk of tick-borne encephalitis and take all precautions: wear clothing with long sleeves and long trousers (tucked into socks), check the body regularly for ticks and be aware of effective tick removal methods (common areas for ticks: the hair-line, elbows, behind the ears, backs of knees, groin and armpits). Ticks inhabit long grass and leafy trees. Vaccination may be considered for travelers who are going to visit the Baikal.
Take repellent with you, there are mosquitoes in the area.
To get to Chivyrkuysky bay:
Longitude: 109°5’49.2”E (109.097000)
Latitude: 53°41’27.24”N (53.690900)
The whole Park is a protected zone with limited access. The entrance is paid. The road passes through settlements Katun and Kurbulik. Most of tourists coming to Chivyrkuisky bay stay in Monakhovo. The cordon of Zabaikal National Park is on the way to Monakhovo.
From Ulan-Ude: Take bus №302 from the bus station “Selenga”, also known as “Yuzhniy” (32, Korabelnaya str., Rus: ул. Корабельная, 32), to settlement Ust-Barguzin. The journey takes about 5-6 hours (157mi/253 km). In Ust-Barguzin you should cross the river Barguzin by ferry, which operates from May to November. During the rest of the time ice crossing operates.
Also bus №300 (Ulan-Ude – Barguzin) and bus №320 (Ulan-Ude – Kurumkan) leave from the bus station “Selenga” for settlement Ust-Barguzin. However, Ust-Barguzin isn’t the last stop and after a ferry crossing they head further northeast.
To get to Monakhovo you have to negotiate with locals to drive you there.
There are a few hotels in Chivyrkuysky Bay: Floating tourist camp “Ecotour” in Snake Bay, fishing camp “Baikal Land” in Bezymyannaya Bay. They offer transfer from Ulan-Ude or Ust-Barguzin to the bay.
By car: take the Barguzinsky highway and follow the route Ulan-Ude – Turuntaevo – Gremyachinsk – Turka –Goryachinsk – Kotkovo – Maximikha – Ust-Barguzin (Rus: Турунтаево – Гремячинск – Турка – Горячинск – Котково – Максимиха – Усть-Баргузин). In Ust-Barguzin cross the river Barguzin by ferry. There are a lot of shops and cafes along the road to Ust-Barguzin. And there are no problems with gasoline on the way to this settlment. To get to Monakhovo, continue forward for another 40 km / 25 mi. The road between Monakhovo and Ust-Barguzin (25mi/40 km) is the most difficult and “wildest” section of the way.
By car: The distance between Irkutsk and settlement Monakhovo is about 435 mi (700 km). Take the highway M-55 to Tataurovo (Rus: Татаурово), where you should use the ferry to cross the Selenga river. Follow to Turuntaevo (Rus: Турунтаево), and then take the Barguzinsky highway (rout Gremyachinsk – Turka – Goryachinsk – Kotkovo – Maximikha – Ust-Barguzin, Rus: Турунтаево – Гремячинск – Турка – Горячинск – Котково – Максимиха – Усть-Баргузин). In Ust-Barguzin cross the river Barguzin by ferry. To get to Monakhovo, continue forward for another 40 km / 25 mi.
There are a lot of shops and cafes along the road to Ust-Barguzin. And there are no problems with gasoline on the way to this settlment. The road between Monakhovo and Ust-Barguzin (25mi/40 km) is the most difficult and “wildest” section of the way.
By boat: a weekly scheduled boat service operates to Ust-Barguzin (See boat timetable and fares). Total travel time is 11-12 hours.
To get to Monakhovo you have to negotiate with locals to drive you there.
There are a few hotels in Chivyrkuysky Bay: Floating tourist camp “Ecotour” in Snake Bay, fishing camp “Baikal Land” in Bezymyannaya Bay. They offer transfer from Ust-Barguzin to the bay.
Other Baikal attractions:
The Circum-Baikal Railway is truly the main Baikal man-made landmark. This unique achievement in architecture and engineering is a section of the Trans-Siberian Railway and one of the most beautiful places of Lake Baikal.
Olkhon Island, one of the most beautiful and mysterious places of the Baikal, rich with wonderful nature sights.
Barguzinsky bay, the largest bay of the Baikal. The Baikal’s longest sand beach stretches 12.5 mi (20 km) along the bay.
Listvyanka is the best place to get to know the unique nature of the Baikal. This settlement is a starting point for many Baikal routes including the Circum-Baikal Railway.
Bolshiye Koty settlement, is located close to Irkutsk and Listvyanka, yet far enough to preserve the beauty of a landscape. One of the section of the Great Baikal Trail passes through the village.