Baikal Irkutsk Trans Siberian

Chivirkuysky Gulf 

In general, Lake Baikal has the reputation of a mysterious cold Siberian lake that strikes its куплю дом
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керамическая плитка visitors by noble dignity and severe beauty. Quite few people venture to swim in its crystal ice waters, unless it’s a fervent summer day or there is a sauna nearby. Yet, there are some places on the lake that feature Baikal in a totally different way. Chivirkuysky Gulf is one of those. The second largest gulf of Lake Baikal has such a unique location that makes it an oasis of warm cozy bays, sunny sand beaches and magnificent sceneries. The gulf of 300 sq km has appeared in the result of the Barguzin mountains break up when a large body of land, now known as Sacred Nose peninsula drifted out from the eastern lakes’ shore. A narrow sediment isthmus connects it with the mainland and forms two gulfs: Barguzinsky gulf to the south and Chivirkuysky gulf in the north. The latter has an elongated form with the length of 26 km and width of 6-12 km. In spite of its size, the depth of the most part of the gulf does not exceed 10 meters which makes its waters in shallower bays so unusually warm. Water may reach up to +19…23ºC in early August.

The gulf has received its name after Big Chivirkuy river, that flows from the north-eastern side of similarly-named mountain range. The area near the river’s mouth is covered with thickets of bushes, high grass and forest. The word “Chivirkuy” originates from Buryat “sheverkhu” which means “thickly wooded”. Big-size omul (major food fish of the lake), black grayling, lenoks and other fish enter the river during the spawning season. As a whole, microclimate of the gulf provides comfortable conditions for the local flora and fauna. This is not a coincidence that fishermen are extremely lucky here, so that a pike of 10 kg is not the ultimate dream. Eastern side of the gulf is abundant with sour-sweet cranberry and bog bilberry.

One of the most popular bays of Chivirkuy Gulf is Zmeinaya (Snake) bay. One can feel here safe, though, since snakes, that are occasionally met here, are not venomous. There are several hot springs here. Near the main one (its temperature is up to 45ºC) there are two wooden bathtubs. Just a little further, closer to the shoreline, there are also four other streams with the temperature of 28-34ºC. Healing waters of Zmeinaya bay have low mineralization degree and contain fluorine, hydrogen carbonate and sodium sulfate. Despite specific smell of hydrogen sulfate, these hot springs are effective in healing muscular-skeletal diseases, relieving radicular pains.

One peculiarity of Chivirkuy Gulf is that development is forbidden in this area. The only tourist camp is made on water with accommodation on a barge parked near the shoreline. Usually people come here either by water or by off-road vehicles. If you choose overland route, you can take a ferry from Ust-Barguzin settlement across the Barguzin River and continue further along the road going to Monakhovo village through the peninsula’s isthmus. Deadend road leads till Monakhovo located on the very southern end of the gulf. There is a small sand beach over there where most tourists stop for camping. A few small villages to the north, such as Katun’ and Кurbulik are hardly accessible without a good off-road car. Though, Kurbulik is only within 4 hours walking distance from Monakhovo. Further from Kurbulik you can get to Zmeinaya bay (another 8 km of the forest trail). One can also get there by water hiring a private motor boat from Monakhovo. Scheduled ferry route Irkutsk-Ust-Barguzin-Chivirkuy gulf-Irkutsk is operated once a week on Mondays in the high summer season 2012. Ticket are available for purchase in advance. Contact us for more details and a price quote.

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See also:

  • Barguzinsky Gulf
  • Small Group Cruises – Programs and Pricing
  • Ust-Barguzin Settlement
  • Peschanaya Bay Guide
  • Charter Boat Cruise at Lake Baikal