Irkutsk is one of the few cities of Russia where quantity of sunny hours perday exceeds 2000. Vegetable meadows, piny-woody, piny-birch forests, birch groves stretch spaciously around Irkutsk. The city consists of 5 areas: Kirovsky area is a historical and modern center of the city. Almost all administrative offices, theaters, museums, libraries, monuments of architecture are situated here.
Founded in the mid-17th century as a winter quarters for traders and tax collectors, Irkutsk came to prominence in the 1800s. Participants in the Decembrist revolt against Tsar Nicholas I were exiled to Siberia in droves, turning Irkutsk into their cultural center. Today, it’s one of Siberia’s biggest and most important cities, with over half a million people, many universities, many historic churches and museums, and beautiful Lake Baikal, just about an hour away by train.
Lake Baikal is placed on the south part of East Siberia, it is the deepest lake of our planet, the largest nature reservoir of sweet water. The lake and coast territories differ the unique variety of flora and fauna. Local people historically name this lake Baikal as a sea.
The Baikal is the purest nature reservoir of sweet water on Earth. There is no one similar open reservoir of fresh water in the world, like Lake Baikal. Its water is suitable for drinking and have a high taste features.
Stretching for over 6000 miles all the way from Moscow to Russia’s Far East, the Trans-Siberian Railway can claim to be one of the wonders of the modern world. Spanning 7 time zones and passing 80 cities and towns on the way, the “Trans-Sib” is the longest continuous railway in the world, extending from European Russia, through the Ural Mountains, into Siberia, before finally reaching Russia’s Far Eastern shores. You will pass the great plains of the Volga region and the dense forests of Siberia, travel along the shores of the world’s largest and deepest freshwater lake – Baikal – and enjoy stunning views of the Altai Mountains.
The Golden Ring is one of the oldest Russian routes. It is the name given to the chain of ancient towns lying to the north and east of Moscow, full of history and unique Russian architecture of the XII-XVII centuries. These towns contain a collection of architectural masterpieces, such as the monasteries and churches, set in the charming landscape of central Russia. The Golden Ring is also an opportunity to get acquainted with life in the Russian provinces, unhurried and peaceful, miles away from the hustle and bustle of the big cities.
The route starts from Moscow and includes such cities as Sergiev Posad, Suzdal, Vladimir, Novgorod, and many more. Suzdal is full of old churches, wooden houses and the sounds of bird songs and church bells. Sergiev Posad dates back to the XIV century and is one of the oldest and most important towns along the ring. Vladimir used to be the capital of Russia in the 12th century and boasts two UNESCO World Heritage Sites. In Novgorod you will see the Novgorod Kremlin (traditionally known as the Detinets) - a masterpiece of medieval architecture which also contains the oldest palace in Russia dating back to 1433 – the Chamber of the Facets, which served as the main meeting hall of the Russian archbishops. It’s the oldest Russian bell tower, dating from the middle of the 15th century, and the oldest Russian clock tower.