Lake Baikal, the highlight of Eastern Siberia and famous Trans-Siberian route. The most famous place in this region after Irkutsk is Listvyanka.
In case you’re searching for shoreline fun, you’re at the wrong address – the eastern shore (Buryatiya) is the place to build sandcastles. Be that as it may, what the Buryat shore doesn’t have is Listvyanka’s scope of exercises: anything from short pontoon treks to plunging and stream skiing in the summer.
For me Listvyanka was a simple tourist trap. Arrived there in the afternoon, the city or, better said a village, was totally empty. Got to my hostel which was extremely hard to find, especially that google maps won’t show any roads but the main one. Luckily for me the hostel and the view from the room were just perfect. The village was kinda nice, as it was almost empty and quiet. The only things I wanted to do here, were a boat ride around the lake and a BAM railway. However it is not easy if you are traveling alone, as they ask you there for triple prices. For example I couldn’t make BAM cos there was not enough people to make a group, so only for me would be really expensive.
Then when I finally found a tour by boat and to visit BAM railway, it was cancelled last moment (someone got sick and so the whole group cancelled as they were all together). When I decided to go from Listvyanka to the Olkhon Island, they asked me 5000 RUB (80€) for a one way ticket only cos I was alone!!! When normally the ticket is around 800 RUB (11€). It was insane!
Luckily I stayed there only two nights. I did a small trekking ip the hill right next to the hostel and some short walks along the lake. They also have a small market with souvenirs and food. Here you have to try the Omul fish. It’s one of the most tasty fish I have tried! And so cheap here.