Olkhon Island 2020-03-16T20:05:17+00:00

Project Description

Olkhon Touristic Rate

Popularity 10/10
Availability 10/10
Complexity 2/10
  • Ship travel is available

  • Guide trips in different languages

  • A chance to see Baikal seal – Nerpa!

  • A sacred center of local believings

  • 143 archeological objects on the island

  • “The New York Times” recommended Olkhon island as one of the best touristic places in 2019

Ol'khon

Olkhon Island

A place where legends come to life

Popularity

Availability

Complexity

Ship travel is available

Guide trips in different languages

A chance to see Baikal seal – Nerpa!

A sacred center of local believings

“The New York Times” recommended Olkhon island as one of the best touristic places in 2019

143 archeological objects on the island

There is no other place in Baikal that’s more popular than the Olkhon island. No wonder it is called the Pearl of Lake Baikal – the beauty and indescribable energy of nature of Olkhon not only delights, but also leaves a feeling of something special, which can’t be found anywhere else in the world! It’s not a surprise that more and more people come here every year.
Olkhon Island, ancient as the Baikal itself, contains many secrets and legends. Each attraction of the island is closely connected to the traditions of shamanism and tells a beautiful legend from local folklore.

  • Word “Olkhon” means “forested”
  • Island’s length – 73.5 km, width – 15 km
  • Island’s population – about 1800 people
  • The capital – village Khuzhir
  • In some places the water heats up to 25 degrees

Olkhon Attractions

Olkhon island doesn’t only portray the beauty of the unique nature of Lake Baikal, you will explore ancient places, full of legends, and mystery. Could nature have created this? Maybe an evil shaman turned someone into stone? On the island of Olkhon, you will see fascinating landscapes and listen to ancient legends that will fascinate you … or scare you?

Shaman Rock

The two-peaked rock, located near the capital of the island of the Khuzhir village.
In ancient times, this rock was a sacred place, it was believed that the master spirit of the entire island lives here. People were always afraid of this place and pray for help here. They swore in love near the rock and gave oaths because no one would dare to lie before the faces of the gods! Local people made sacrifices and performed various rites near the rock to show to the mighty master of the island their respect.

It was a long time ago…

Today, the Rock is considered a sacred place too, so it is strongly recommended not to drink alcohol or use curse words near the Rock of Shamans.

Olkhon Island Attractions

Shaman Rock

Khoboy Cape

The word “Khoboy” in Buryat language means “fang”. It is located in the northern part of the Island. Khoboy Cape is another place of Power on the Olkhon. On the Cape, you can often meet people engaged in meditation. Moreover, there are even strange writings around the rocks… Nobody knows what they mean.

Olkhon Island Attractions

Khoboy Cape

From Baikal the Cape looks like a woman’s silhouette. According to the legend, the Gods gave a man a Giant Palace and he began to live in it with his wife. They were happy. Nevertheless, the wife envied her husband. She asked the Gods to send her the same Palace as her husband. The Great Gods considered it greed, because the woman lived in her husband’s Palace and did not need anything. For such an act, they were angry and turned the envious woman into stone. “Until greed and envy have gone on the Earth, you’ll be a stone!” – They said. The stone still rises above the steppe. However, we do hope that she will become human again.

Olkhon Island Attractions

Nerpas near Khoboy Cape

Khorin-Irgy Cape

On the west part of Olkhon tourists can see a rock in the shape of horses head. That’s why the name. Usually, tourists visit the cape Khorin-Irgy to explore its caves.

Olkhon Island Attractions

Khorin Irgy in Summer

Sagan-Khushun Cape

This place is also called the “Cape of three brothers”. The Three Brothers are three rocks of white marble. The name was taken from a legend. Once there was a powerful Shaman who had three sons and a daughter. One day his daughter ran away to her beloved. The Shaman sent his sons to find her… The brothers found their sister, but left her with her beloved, and told their father that she was lost. Unfortunately for them, no one can deceive the Shaman! In a rage, he turned his sons into three stones.
The Cape is famous for the 15 meter depth cave. Nobody knows the full depth of the cave because the triangular stone which closes the passage makes it impossible to go further. What mysteries could be hiding in the depths within?

Budun Cape

Cape Budun translated from the Buryat language as “Fat Cape”. It received this name because of the huge and high rocks. They towering over Lake Baikal at 100 meters. This Cape is located in the middle of the West coast of Olkhon Island.

Kurykanskaya Wall

Kurykanskaya wall is located at Cape Khorogoy. This wall was built hundreds of years ago without any fastening materials! The length of the wall is about 300 meters and the height is up to 2 meters. What was left of it now are ruins. Scientists still do not know exactly what it was intended: for religious or defensive purposes.

Olkhon Island Attractions

Kurykanskaya Wall

Khankhoy Lake

Khankhoy Lake is connected to Baikal by a narrow two-meter canal. Local beaches are perfect for relaxing by the water. In addition, clear water allows you to see everything within a depth of 4 meters!

Olkhon Island Attractions

Khankhoy Lake

Shara-Nur Lake

In the Buryat language “Shara-Nur” means “Yellow Lake”. Lake Shara-Nur is popular among tourists and local people because of its natural therapeutic muds. There are claims that the mud treats various diseases of the joints. If you decide to swim in the water of the lake, don’t be surprise of getting red all over— its healthy mineral salts. Many tourists are attracted to this lake by its location in the mountains at an altitude of 150 meters from sea level, and fenced on all sides by forests and hills, only the experienced tourists can reach it. Do you accept the challenge?

Zhima Mountain

The highest point on the Olkhon Island with a height that reaches 1300 meters. It takes a whole day to reach the peak of the mountain.

Olkhon Island Attractions

Zhima Mountain

Sarayskiy Bay

One of the most famous places on the island Olkhon is the Sarayskiy Bay. The sandy beach length is about 3 kilometres long and is located right near the Khuzhir village. Perfect for long walks and admiring nature while relaxing.

Olkhon Island Attractions

Sarayskiy Bay

Zagly Bay and Nur Lake

After you cross to Olkhon, on the left side you will see the Zagly Bay. Lake Nur is very close to it, where most tourists stay. This place is popular because of the warm water, up to 25 degrees.

A lonely birch

In conclusion, a beautiful Buryat folk legend.

Olkhon Island Attractions

Lonely Birch

A Shaman had five daughters. One of them had the Gift of Gods – she could heal people. She was always happy to help somebody and use her Gift; people loved and respected the Woman for her kindness. However, even Shamans can’t stop the Time. When time has come for her to die, people began to cry and beg her to stay. In dying, she said, that even after death she will help people. The Woman passed away. Suddenly, on the wasteland, where no living thing grow for hundreds of years, people saw a beautiful birch. There was no doubt – the Healer returned to help her people.
Hug the Birch and ask for health or help then after some time you’ll find the answers you need! After standing for a few seconds hugging the birch, you’ll feel a surge of strength and energy. Hard to believe? Try it yourself!

Olkhon Island Attractions

Lonely Birch

We also recommend you to visit:
Idiba Valley
Rock of Love
Uzury Valley

How to get to the Olkhon

It’s not difficult to get to the island because this route is very popular. The road to Olkhon and its capital Khuzhir takes about 4 hours by car or minibus.

You will be surprised by the quality of the road from Irkutsk to the ferry crossing. However, on the Olkhon the roads are not quite the same.
Be cautious in using your own car, there would be big queues at the ferry crossing. In the worst-case scenario, you have to spend several hours waiting. But route buses and minibuses use the ferry without queuing. Moreover, there is only one gas station on the island Olkhon and local people prefer not to buy gas there.

A taxi service will cost you much more than a minibus trip – about 5,000 roubles one way.

The most widespread and the cheapest option. To go by minibus, tourists can always buy a ticket at the Bus Station and wait for their take off.
The other way to use public transport is to take a minibus on the Central Market. We marked this place on Irkutsk Map. The price to go from Irkutsk to Khuzhir is 400 roubles. Just find a minibus with inscription “Olkhon” or “Ольхон” (pay attention to our “useful terms” section) and take a seat. Pay directly to the driver when you have arrived to Khuzhir.
Cost is similar for both options.

It is possible to visit Olkhon by ship. It is not cheap, but it’s possible to organize a ferry trip to Olkhon Island

Olkhon Island Map

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