The Northern Baikal
Since the building and completion of the Baikal-Amur-Mainline (BAM)1 in 2002, not only cities like Severobaikalsk have been founded but the region has become easily accessible, too. In comparison to the Southern Baikal, this region is not much touristically developed yet. But inexpensive accommodations and first maps already exist. Due to the Great Baikal Trail project, first hiking trails have been built since 2004. Severobaikalsk is the child of the BAM but the ambitious ideas of the Soviet planers have never been realised. It was the Perestroika which set an end to it and almost every plan was cut short.
Those who could afford to leave moved away. Until now, many citizens of Severobaikalsk still live outside of the city centre in barrack camps which were originally planned as emergency and temporary accommodations.
Trips to the glimmer lakes (20 km from Severobaikalsk), the many hot springs, the Kotelnykovski Cape (with the option to climb the 2588m high Tsherskovo peak), the east coast to the city Chakussy (via boat), the Ayaya bay and the Frolikha lake are some of the many attractive options to spend your free time.
Trains arrive directly from Moscow (about 100 hours) and Irkutsk (about 35 hours) every two days. The railway is the most reliable and easiest way to get to Severobaikalsk. If anything else does not work the train does.
During the summer months, a hydrofoil (raketa) departs from Irkutsk with destination Severobaikalsk several times a week. The hydrofoil needs about 10 hours for 650 km. But tickets are early sold out and often "mashin kaput" - "machine's broken". Because of the high speed of hydrofoils, passengers can not enjoy the journey on deck but have to "fight" for a spot on the small balcony.
Several times a week, small planes fly from Irkutsk and Ulan-Ude to Nizhneangarsk (NIL) which lies 35 km in the South of Severobaikalsk. To Severobaikalsk you can get easily by bus or marshrutka-minibus. But again, tickets are hard to get and having one does not mean the plane is leaving on the scheduled time and date.