Tunka valley is unique in its mineral springs. A total of 20 springs and 9 mud deposits were discovered and described in the valley. For a long time now, several resorts were operating in the valley to improve health of hundreds of visitors at a time. In 1991, the Tunka National Park was established. For the 1st time in Russia, the boundaries of a national park coincided with the border of the entire administrative district. This is one of the country’s largest national parks. It has the area of 1.183.662 hectares. Some of the most popular are: Arshan, Nilova Pustyn, Zhemchug and Khongor-Uula.
Arshan is the name of the village with medical springs resort in Tunka valley. The name of the village is translated as “healing water” from the Buryat language. The word derived from Sanscrit “rashiani” which means “nectar, the drink of the gods”. Such a name was given to mineral or warm healing springs. In the past the Buddhists attributed arshan properties to some freshwater springs, therefore all springs with cold, fresh, clean water were called arshans obtaining healing meaning.
The number of sunny days per year in Arshan is greater than in such resorts as Yalta, Kislovodsk and Essentuki. Fall in Arshan is clear and windless.
The Powerful and noisy Kyngarga River flows into the Irkut River and runs through the village. If you follow the river’s trail you’ll see a breathtaking canyon and dozens of small and large waterfalls.
The regular tour duration is 2 days / 1 night. The route runs by the highway along the Trans-Siberian railway through Kultuk village – the most southern point of lake Baikal. Kultuk is the first russian settlement on the shores of Baikal and was founded in 1647.
In Arshan group members can sample mineral springs and visit the Buddhist datsan/church, make an excursion up along Kyngyrga river to the first waterfall or to hike farther to Sayan mountains. Meals during the tour are of traditional Buryat cuisine and served at the road cafes operating all along the highway.
Tunka valley is considered to be one of the natural pearls of Buryatia Republic. It continues the Baikal rift and has the size greater than Belgium.
Start from Irkutsk at 9-10am and visit of Arshan village, the springs, waterfall, Buddhist temple, lunch (local Buryat cuisine) and drive back to Irkutsk late evening.
The Circum-Baikal Railway is a historical railway in the Irkutsk region of Russia. It runs along the northern shore of the southern extremity of the lake from the city of Slyudyanka to the Baikal settlement. Until the middle of the 20th century the main line of the Trans-Siberian Railway went along the Circum-Baikal railway; later on, however, a duplicate section of the railway was built. Sometimes called a unique achievement in engineering, the Circum-Baikal is one of the picturesque sights of the area around Lake Baikal.
Minimum tour duration is 2 days / 1 night.
Irkutsk – Kultuk – Arshan: by road
Arshan – Sludyanka: by road
Sludyanka – Port Baikal – Listvyanka: by Circumbaikal tour (by request)
Arshan trip optional: drive to Irkutsk, arrive at 21:00
Day 1: Irkutsk – Listvyanka – Port Baikal – Sludyanka: by Circumbaikal tour (by request)
Sludyanka – Arshan: by road
Day 2: Tour Arshan, visit the springs, waterfall, Buddhist temple, Zhemchug and drive to Irkutsk. Arrive in the afternoon.