Olkhon Island on Baikal Lake
Olkhon is a beautiful nude land that seems to have emerged from the fresh waters of Baikal. The surface of the island is green and smooth like meadows, and crumbles down in Baikal in rocky cliffs on the edges. The island is covered by grass and aromatic plants on the side facing the coast (steppe), and by small pine trees (taiga) on the side facing the middle of the lake. It's about 70 km long, and 15 km wide.
It is a great place to get away from civilization, feel the nature, live just next to Baikal lake, and enjoy magnificient views and new places.
The island is quite remote, and is separated from the main land - there are no telephone lines, no power lines, cell phones don't work there, and the electricity on Okhon is produced by generators. However, despite absense of these modern life amenities, the island is really comfortable for living. There are a few shops and cafes in the main settlement Khuzhir (some open 24 hours), and local people offer bed & breakfast. A few kilometers from Khuzhir, there are two felt-yurt camps, just on the shore of Baikal. You can also make trekking walks, rent bikes, and make tours to the parts of the island that are not populated.
Olkhon is also a center of Shamanism, and there are annual spiritual gatherings on the island, as well as ethno-music parties (in Summer). The island is visited by about 50,000 people every year (mostly in Summer), most of them (80%) are just campers, the rest stay at the tourbases, guesthouses, yurt camps.
Bayanzag (Flaming Cliffs) is internationally famous for its fossilized dinosaur remains. Dinosaur nests with eggs were found here as well as whole fossilized skeletons.
Gun-Galuut Nature Reserve is truly the marvellous combination of high mountains, colourful flowers, pretty lakes, rivers and wetland waters with its famous rare species. At the Nature Reserve tourists can see and take pictures of the endangered beautiful wild mountain sheep Argali the Big Horns from the closest distance. In the reserve, many locations provide great angles to view rare waterbird species including the White Crane, White napped crane, Swan goose, and the beautiful Whooper swan. Horse riding in the mountains, steppes and along the river is just awesome! There is great fishing on the quiet Kherlen River including Taimen, Pike, Lenok, Burbot, Sturgeon. Visiting nomadic families will be unforgettable beautiful experience as you will love their faces with real smiles, true hospitality, simple, unique and peaceful lifestyle. You also can ride camel/yak or travel with camel/yak carts. Sailing in a boat on the Lake Ikh-Gun or the River Kherlen and swimming in the river is a great way to relax. Rafting is well done on the River Kherlen too.