(Locator)...the word Olkhon means "windy, sunny" in the language of the local (Buryat) people. It is not only the largest island of Lake Baikal, but also the largest lake island in the world. Picturesque landscapes, sandy bays, steep capes with fantastic shapes make Olkhon a place you want to visit.
- Size - length: 71.7 km / 44.6 ml; width: 14 km / 8.7 ml; area: 700 km2;
- Altitude: 1274 m
- Distance between Irkutsk and Olkhon island: 250 km / 155 ml.
- Distance between Irkutsk and Khuzir village: 300 km / 187 ml.
The best time to visit Olkhon is July and August. Due to heavy tourist traffic during this period, be prepared to wait up to a few hours for your turn to board the ferry. Because Olkhon is a part of the Pribaikalsky National Park, during summer months (June - August) visitors are required to pay an entrance fee.
Despite the fact that Olkhon is separated from populated areas and the mainland by a strip of cold water and distance, the island remains a home to 1500 residents living in several villages and settlements. Khuzir village serves as the geographical and administrative center. Most people living on the island are Buryats, who traditionaly are fishermen or farmers. If you get a chance to speak to one of them, you will quickly sense the significance of traditions and rituals passed from generation to generation, in which Olkhon plays the central role of a sacred place.
Popular sights include:
Khuzir village and its Local Lore Museum;
Burkhan Cape, Stone Temple or Skala Shamanka (Shaman's Cliff). For a long time the cave was a place for annual shamanic worship. It is considered one of the nine holiest places in Asia;
- Peschanoye (sandy) Bay, 20 km to the north of Khuzir, is famous for its picturesque beach dunes and even more for being a former camp for political and war prisoners after World War II;
Khoboy Cape, the most northern point of Olkhon, represents vertical marble rock plate. Khoboi is situated near the widest point of Lake Baikal - 79.5 km. Here you will understand why often Baikal is compared to the sea;
Kurykan Wall. Famous for the remains of the ancient Kurykan's stone wall, which is the name for the nation/tribe that lived here in VI - XI century A.D. The length of the wall is about 185 meters, in some parts the height is as much as 1.5 - 2 meters. It was discovered in 1879 by I.D. Chersky;
Sagaan-Khushun Cape. Situated in the northern part of Olkhon, 4 km before Khoboy cape. Local people usually call the cape Three Brothers. Gorgeous views. The location is included in the list of Lake Baikal's nature monuments.