Listvyanka Village Lake Baikal, The Pearl of Siberia
Listvyanka Village is a little settlement on the shores of the deepest lake in the world, Lake Baikal Russia. Listvyanka is the closest lakeside village to lake Baikal and is about 70 kilometers away from Irkutsk. It was a part of our Russia Visit in which we visited Moscow, St Petersburg, Irkutsk, Novosibirsk, and Kazan. Listvyanka is the place where Angara River leaves Lake Baikal and starts its way towards Irkutsk and finally merges with Yenisei River near Strelka. Listvyanka has the temperature ranges from 10 to 25 celsius in Summer and -10 to -30 in winter. While the town is small, there is more than enough to enjoy with museums, gift shops, and of course, the waters of Lake Baikal.
How to Get to Listvyanka Village and Lake BAikal
Generally, there are four convenient ways to reach Listvyanka
- By van(Marshrutka). Bust stand to Listviyanka is situated beside the central Market Irkutsk at Timiryazeva street or from Irkutsk Bus Station. I have marked both the locations in the map. We can get a ticket to Listvyanka for 150 Rubles and it takes a time of one and a half hour to reach Listvyanka. If you have luggage, then you have to pay 100 Rubles more to your normal fare. You can get a Marshrutka from 8:00 of the morning to 16:00 of the Afternoon. However, sometimes the service ply till 20:00. So, you can confirm the exact timing,if you plan for late departure. We can also purchase the tickets in advance for this trip.
- Ferry. In Irkutsk, Raketa is the starting point of all water routes on the Angara River to all destinations started from Irkutsk. In summer, a ferry can take you to Listvyanka. Same ferry operates to the next stop of Bolshie Koty. The one side fare is 550 Rubles and it takes around hour to reach Listvyanka. Ferry leaves Irkutsk at 11:30 and you can get the same ferry for your return journey at 18:30 of the evening. However, you can check the present timetable from HERE.
- Take Circum Baikal Railway train from Slyudyanka to Port Baikal and then cross the lake to Listvyanka.
- Private taxi costed about 1500 Rubles for one side
How to Get Around Listvyanka Village
Listvyanka is a small village and you can explore the charming village on foot. The total coastline of Listvyanka from Baikal Museum to Ferris Wheel is about 4km. However, you can get a taxi to go to a nearby place.
Where to Stay in Listvyanka Village
Listvyanka village has few hotels for night sleep. Although I didn’t have a direct lodging experience there, however, a couple of my friends stayed at Mayak Hotel that is right in front of the Bus stand and a famous building of Listvyanka. Hostel Baikal is another Budgeting option here with 10$ per night stay. You can book your stay by using booking.com.
Top Attractions in Lisvyanka Village
Listvyanka offers plenty of activities from the Shaman Rock to Ferris Wheel. Symbolically it is a 4km road that keeps calling the tourists to come and spend time with Lake Baikal. Undoubtedly, Listvyanka is home to Lake Baikal. Moreover, in the below map, the attractions of Listvyanka are marked Blue. Whereas, you can open and save this map for your future visit.
Lake Baikal Listvyanka
Lake Baikal is the world’s deepest lake and among the largest ones. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is one of the largest freshwater lakes in the world too. It is often called the Pearl of Siberia. It was one of our great wishes to visit Lake Baikal and dip our feet in its cold water. We did so, and believe me, it was the chilled ever water that we felt till today. In winter Lake Baikal becomes a real fairy-tale, as it freezes completely and formed a solid surface. So, in winters, all sort of transportation starts over the frozen surface of Lake Baikal. The lake encompasses 27 islands, including Olkhon Island which is the most famous among all.
Visit the Old Listvyanka Village
As wander around the town from one of its sides to another is a great activity in Listvyanka. However, you can enter into the few streets of the town that goes to opposite sides of Lake Baikal. I also went to one of them like Gudina Street for a couple of miles. Gudina street also offers the starting base for Lake Baikal Trail for hikers. The greenery was outstanding and the views were splendid. Most of the huts were wooden.
In the marketplace, you can find numerous stalls of fish for sale. Besides, you can find a few stalls of precious stones, emblems, and amulets. Although it sells fish, in fact, it is the tourist attraction of the town, where you can even find the Russian families who gather to drink vodka and eat Omul too. You will also find there a stall with fresh fruits and vegetables, and plenty of souvenirs. The market is located at the far end of Listvyanka, along Gorky Street and just after the Listvyanka bus station.
Try Omul Fish is a must Thing in Listvyanka
You have to try Omul here as it is a must-try-like thing in Listvyanka. Omul is a local fish and a specialty that you can buy from locals at the Baikal Market. However, you can find plenty of stalls within the town of Listvyanka especially at its extreme right end near Ferris Wheel. You can get smoked, baked, or roasted Omul from the town.
If you want to learn about the history of the Baikal, its worlds of animals and plants then you will definitely love to visit this museum. This Museum is solely dedicated to Lake Baikal. All exhibits are dedicated to the origin and the history of the lake. You can learn about the flora and fauna, geological structure, climate, and tectonics of Lake Baikal.
CAble Car and chersky Rock
Not only it is a full-time activity but also a preferred way to see the Listvyanka from high points. The way to the cable car starts beside the Baikal Museum. It costs 250 Ruble as a ticket price for going up.
Chersky Rock is an observation platform and offers the best view of the Town. We can see the starting point of the Angara river from here. It is best accessed via the cable car of the mediocre Eastland ski resort. We can reach Eastland sky resort by taxi or by an uphill short trek. The ride/trek starts beside the Baikal Museum.
Other Activities and attraction at Listvyanka/LAke Baikal
- Boating in Lake Baikal. You can take aboat tour of about an hour to see a different perspective of Lisvyanka from water side. Tour started from the Lisvyanka Pier near to the Listvyanka bus stop.
- Hiking options. Listvyanka is a start point of the Great Baikal Trail that is a stunning path along Baikal coast. It goes from Listvyanka to Bolsoie Koty and further to different trails. Till Bolsoie Koty, the trail is 18km and it takes around 6 hours to reach at the last end.
- Circum Baikal Train Ride is a one day activity. You can do one side ride on a slow/Fast train and other side by bus. This was the most scenic part of old Trans Siberian route but now we can see the most picturesque part of the railways almost only by touristic train.
- Bolshie Koty: a village in the heart of Baikal national park.You can do it by trekking or by ferry that operates once per day.
Winter Activities in Listvyanka Village Lake Baikal
As it is already mentioned, in Winter temperature drops to -10 to -30 and waters of Lake Baikal freezer to a solid surface. So the life continues to move on the surface of Lake Baikal then. In addition, the town of Listvyanka also wears a white blanket of snow. So different kinds of activities like Dog sledding or rental all-terrain vehicles come into action for tourists. In addition, Snowmobile rides, Ice Yachting, Ice Skating, Hover Crafting, and Ice Fishing will be there for winter tourists. Above all, the Trans Siberian train ride will be the out of this universe adventure in winter.