Listvyanka, Russia

By | June 27, 2022

The village of Listvyanka is the most popular recreation area in the vicinity of Irkutsk. It is located about 60 km southeast of Irkutsk on the northwestern shore of Lake Baikal at the source of the Angara River. The village is the starting point for traveling around Lake Baikal, the Circum-Baikal Railway, the Baikal National Park and the Baikal-Lena State Nature Reserve. This makes it the most visited place on Lake Baikal.

According to, Listvyanka stretches along the coast of Lake Baikal for 5 km. The name of the village was given by numerous larches growing in its vicinity. Listvyanka is a visiting card of Lake Baikal. There are many hotels located here., restaurants, bars and entertainment complexes. Thousands of tourists flock here from all over the world every year to look at the natural wonder – Lake Baikal. From the central village pier offers a beautiful view of the lake. There are also large fish markets and souvenir rows.

There is a wooden St. Nicholas Church in Listvyanka. It was built at the end of the 19th century with the money of the merchant Xenophon Serebryakov. According to legend, Xenophon decided to build a church after his miraculous salvation – while sailing through Lake Baikal, his ship was in distress, but the merchant’s prayers to St. Nicholas helped him avoid death. In the village there is a branch of the Limnological Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences. With him open BaikalMuseum containing expositions on the flora and fauna of Baikal. The private art gallery of Vladimir Plamenevsky is very interesting, where paintings by Plamenevsky and local artists are collected, the main theme of which is Lake Baikal. The gallery is at the same time a creative dacha for the established circle of artists who live and work here in the summer. The village has an Aquarium with Baikal seals and a small zoo.

Mount Chersky’s Stone rises above Listvyanka. At its top (755 m) there is an observation deck. An asphalt road with a length of more than 2 km leads to the top of the mountain, and a cable car was also laid here. In winter, skiing and snowboarding enthusiasts gather on Mount Chersky Stone. At this time, Snowland Park begins to work on its slopes. Tourists are offered four trails with a height difference of up to 200 m. The length of the trails ranges from 200 to 1600 m.

In the vicinity of Listvyanka the Angara River originates. Its source is the largest source of the river in the world, its width is 863 m. In winter, a huge number of waterfowl live in the non-freezing section of the source, which can be observed from the observation deck. Here you can see such birds as the goldeneye, duck, long-tailed duck, slut, merganser and mallard. Not far from here you can see the sacred Shaman stone. Legends of local peoples are associated with this stone, and adherents of shamanism believe that the spirits of the lake lived on the stone. At the source of the Angara River, you can see the memorial stone of Alexander Vampilov. The Soviet writer died not far from these places in 1972.

In the village of Listvyanka there is a visitor-information center of the Pribaikalsky National Park. The park was created in 1986. It covers most of the western coast of Lake Baikal and covers an area of 417 thousand hectares. Listvyanka is located in the park. Mountain-taiga-forest-steppe light coniferous and mixed forests grow in the park, as well as about 76 species of rare plant species. 59 species of mammals, 272 species of birds, 6 species of reptiles, 3 species of amphibians and 40 species of fish live here. There are about 75 species of rare animals in the park.

A number of tourist centers and other recreation facilities have been built in the park. There are also beaches here, but the water temperature in this part of Baikal does not exceed +17 degrees even in summer. In the park, hunting for animals such as elk, red deer, musk deer and bear is possible, as well as fishing for grayling and omul.

The Pribaikalsky National Park is dotted with hiking trails that pass through its main attractions. You can also see them by going on a cruise on a ship or boat along the northwestern shore of Lake Baikal. On the territory of the park there is the village of Bolshie Koty with the Museum of Baikal Studies, not far from Bolshiye Koty there is an abandoned gold mine. Peschanaya Bay, one of the most famous places of Lake Baikal, is interesting in the center of the park. The bay impresses with its nature and surrounding landscapes. Here are the famous “stilted” trees, towering above the ground on their roots. This natural phenomenon is created by the force of the wind, which carries soil and sand from under the trees. Among the natural attractions of the Pribaikalsky National Park, Ulan-Hyp Cape also stands out with a rare accumulation of unique minerals – precious and semi-precious crystals. The Tazheran steppe abounds in salt lakes with sulfite-sodium water and therapeutic mud. In addition, under the protection of the Pribaikalsky National Park are the surface ledge of the Angara Rapids – the legendary Shaman-Stone, a relic spruce forest on Olkhon Island, rocky islands with steep shores in the area of the Small Sea (the strait between Olkhon Island and the shore of Baikal), which are the only habitat of silver seagulls on Baikal.

Many archaeological sights have been preserved on the territory of the park – the remains of ancient settlements, stone walls, tent burial grounds and rock paintings. Of these places, the Sagan-Zaba cliff is the most famous. Its white marble walls are adorned with scrawled and ocher-painted images of shamans, plants and animals. The age of these drawings is estimated at 2.5 thousand years.

Another attraction of the Pribaikalsky National Park is the Circum-Baikal Railway, which stretches for 84 km from the village of Baikal to the city of Slyudyanka. Construction of the road began in 1899. For six years, civil engineers laid the railroad tracks on the rocks. Prior to the construction of the Irkutsk hydroelectric station, the Circum-Baikal was part of the Trans-Siberian Railway. Now there are 38 tunnels with a total length of 9063 m, the longest of which has a length of 778 m, and 15 stone galleries. The Circum-Baikal Railway has no equal in Russia in terms of engineering facilities saturation and occupies one of the first places in the world. In addition to the architectural sights of the road, its natural objects are interesting – Baikal capes with bird nests and rocks with outcrops of rare rocks. You can see all this by going on a trip. along the Circum-Baikal Railway on a tourist train.

North-east of the Pribaikalsky National Park along the coast is the Baikal-Lena State Nature Reserve. The reserve was opened in 1986 in the southern part of the Baikal Range. The area of the reserve is 660 thousand hectares, which makes it the largest protected area of Lake Baikal. About 90% of its area is occupied by mountain taiga forests, and fragments of ancient relic steppes have been preserved on the coast. The reserve is home to 52 species of mammals, including sable, and 235 species of birds. On its territory, in the spurs of the Baikal Range, the Lena River originates. Cape Ryty is also interesting in the park – the largest alluvial cone in Baikal, on which traces of ancient human activity have been preserved. The locals consider the cape sacred. In the Baikal-Lena Reserve, on Capes Pokoiniki and Sredny Kedrovy, there are remains of paleovolcanoes (volcanoes of the Mesozoic era, the oldest on Earth).

Listvyanka famous among diving enthusiasts. In the vicinity of the village there are about 10 dive sites, mainly in the source of the Angara River. Diving is possible here all year round. The depth of local dive sites varies from 3 to 40 m, underwater visibility is from 10 to 40 m, the water temperature during the year is low – from +3 to +12 degrees, there are practically no currents. From Listvyanka you can go by ship to such dive sites as Bolshiye Koty and Khomuty (northeast of the village) and along the Circum-Baikal Railway (west of the village). When diving in this part of Baikal, you can see vertical walls, canyons, grottoes, stepped slopes, gardens of sponges, algae, gobies, gammarus, snails.

Wreck diving is possible in the area of the Circum-Baikal Railway near the port of Baikal. There is a 10 m sunken barge and the remains of a superstructure of a large ship at a depth of 16 m. The Bolshekotinsky dive sites cannot be reached by car, as there are no good roads east of Listvyanka, so dive safaris are organized to them. It is worth noting that dive safari is very popular on Baikal, especially at the end of May, when there is an opportunity to go on a trip. behind the melting ice moving north. At this time, a huge number of Baikal seals accumulate on the ice for molting. During the molting period, seals let a person close enough, which will not leave indifferent fans of underwater photography. Diving in winter is good because the transparency of the water at this time reaches 50 m. Fans of under-ice diving will definitely appreciate the intricate underwater ice formations with caves and grottoes and hummocks up to 8 m thick.

Listvyanka, Russia