Road Trip to Olkhon Island from Irkutsk

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Road Trip to Olkhon Island from Irkutsk

Two Days Trip to Olkhon (ahl’-KHOHN) Island

We booked two days package tour from to Olkhon Island, the largest island in Lake Baikal and one of the most popular destination in Siberia. Julia our tour guide was driving her Mazda and picked us up at 8:00 am from Angara Hotel, Irkutsk where we were staying. It’s about 185 miles (298 km) from Irkutsk to Khuzhir the island’s main village with a population of 1500.

On my way to Olkhon Island

I saw many horses on both side of the highway on my way to Olkhon Island

It was a comfortable ride, the highway was smooth so covered the distance as planned. It was interesting to watch Siberian villages along the highway and many cattle and horse farms in the horizon.

Olkhon Island

The car we were traveling with to Olkhon Island, Russia

We stopped at a roadside cafe for lunch. I tried some delicious local borscht soup and cheburek with meat inside.

Olkhon Island

Solyanka Soup for lunch at lunch time during the Olkhon Island trip.


Olkhon Island

Cheburek with meat inside – lunch during the Olkhon Island trip

Ekhe-Yordo (Big Hill)

After lunch we drove off the highway and followed unpaved road for few miles to see the sacred Yordin mountain (Ekhe-Yordo) where Indigenous people of Baikal celebrate Yordyn Games Spring Festival every four years. One of the main event at the games is a circular dance around the Ekhe-Yordo (Big Hill). It takes 700 people to completely encircle the hill, and usually 2 to 3 thousands visitor participate the festival. During the festival only shamans are allowed to climb to the top of the hill.

Olkhon Island Trip

Quick stop at sacred Yordin mountain (Ekhe-Yordo) – Olkhon Island Trip

Secret Hill Along The Highway

We had another stop to see secret hill located right next to the highway, from the top we enjoyed beautiful beautiful view of the landscape.

Olkhon Island Trip

Sacred hill next to the highway

Arrive at Ferry Terminal (Sakhyurta or known as MRS)

Finally we arrived at the ferry terminal, there was a long queue, could be couple of hours wait to get on to the ferry due to seasonal summer high season crowd so, our tour guide planned to park our car at the terminal and just get on the ferry. There was no wait for pedestrians and it was free.

Olkhon Island Trip

Arrive at MRS Ferry Terminal to Oklhon Island

In about 15 minutes of cruising we arrived at the Olkhon Island ferry terminal. Our ride pre-arranged Russian made UAZ (alternative to the American Jeep) was waiting for us. On the Island there is no Asphalt road so it took us about 25 – 30 minutes to get to Khuzhir Village which was about 25 km from the ferry terminal.

Olkhon Island Trip

Our ride is waiting for us at Olkhon Ferry Terminal

We arrived at our guesthouse located right in the middle of the village. It was an interesting 8 hour trip and in no time we were ready again for our next adventure of the day.


Guesthouse where we were staying

My Opinion and Tips

Have you taken a road trip to Olkhon Island? Any additional tips to share?

Please leave a comment below! I’d love to hear from you to improve my knowledge. 

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Pictures From My Trip Tells The Story, Comment If You Like

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