Barguzinsky bay is the largest bay of the Baikal. It encloses an area over 270 mi² (700 km²). The Baikal’s longest sand beach stretches 12.5 mi (20 km) along the bay. Some parts of the sand beach alternate with pebble.
The water in Barguzinsky bay, as well as in Chivirkuysky bay, warms up to +20-22 Сº despite the fact that Barguzinsky bay is much deeper. By reason of remoteness, nature has remained in its original form. Combination of three factors warm water, sandy bottom and picturesque landscapes makes Barguzinsky bay a wonderful place for summer leisure. There is settlement Maximikha in the southern and the most remarkable part of the bay. Another settlement, located in the bay, is Ust-Barguzin. It is located 25 mi (40 km) far from Maximikha. There is a walking trail along the shore linking these two villages. Furthermore, the Barguzinsky highway runs through them.
Maximikha is a small settlement located in one of the most picturesque bays of Lake Baikal. Fine sand, clearest water and untouched nature attract more and more tourists each year. The bay is surrounded by dense taiga rich in berries and mushrooms. The ancient religious objects that widespread all over the Baikal shore can be found in the settlement as well.
Major Landmarks of Maximikha:
Longitude: 109°1′51.6″E (109.031000)
Latitude: 53°24′25.92″N (53.407200)
The settlement is located at the mouth of the Barguzin River. A ferry service operates on the river during the period from May to October. During the rest of the time ice crossing operates. Ust-Barguzin serves as a departure point for exploring Chivirkuysky bay, the Ushkanyi Islands, the Svyatoy Nos peninsula, and Olkhon Island.
Travellers should be aware of the possible risk of tick-borne encephalitis and take all precautions: wear clothing with long sleeves and long trousers, 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 Barguzinsky bay:
From Ulan-Ude (147 mi/237 km)
By car: take the Barguzinsky highway and follow the route Ulan-Ude – Turuntaevo – Gremyachinsk – Turka –Goryachinsk – Kotkovo – Maximikha (Rus: Турунтаево – Гремячинск – Турка – Горячинск – Котково – Максимиха). To get to Ust-Barguzin, continue forward for another 30 km /18.6 mi. There are a lot of shops and cafes along the road to Maximikha and Ust-Barguzin. And there are no problems with gasoline on the way to these settlments.
By bus: public buses or minibuses leave for Ust-Barguzin, stopping in Maximikha, several times a day from the bus station “Selenga” also known as “Yuzhniy” (32, Korabelnaya str., Rus: ул. Корабельная, 32). Travel time is 5-6 hours. Bus №302 (Ulan-Ude – Ust-Barguzin) heads to Ust-Barguzin, stopping in Maximikha. Bus №300 (Ulan-Ude – Barguzin) and bus №320 (Ulan-Ude – Kurumkan) also leave for settlement Ust-Barguzin, stopping in in Maximikha. However, Ust-Barguzin isn’t the last stop and after a ferry crossing they head further northeast.
By car (405 mi/650 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, Rus: Турунтаево – Гремячинск – Турка – Горячинск – Котково – Максимиха). To get to Ust-Barguzin, continue forward for another 30 km /18.6 mi. There are a lot of shops and cafes along the road to Maximikha and Ust-Barguzin. And there are no problems with gasoline on the way to these settlments.
By boat: Boat service operates to Ust-Barguzin (See boat timetable and fares). Total travel time is 11-12 hours. The tour available from July, 1 to August, 19. The routes is serviced on Mondays. Additional voyages from Irkutsk take place on Wednesdays and from Ust-Barguzin on Thursdays from July, 24 to August, 15.
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.
Chivyrkuysky Bay, one of the most wildest and thinly populated areas of Lake Baikal.
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.