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Discover the Delights of Listvyanka

Near the point where the Angara River flows out of beautiful Lake Baikal, is the urban-type settlement of Listvyanka. This picturesque area in the Irkutsk Oblast, Russia, is a very popular holiday destination for foreign tourists as well as Irkutians and has many places of interest to see, as well as numerous leisure activities. Listvyanka can be reached by bus from Irkutsk. During the months of June, July and August, Listvyanka can be reached by hydrofoil and this is a very popular means of transport, as not only is it quick, but it gives travelers a lovely view of Lake Baikal.

In the summer months visitors can take a walk along the shore of Lake Baikal going north to a path through the hills. Mountain bicycles or horses can be rented for the day and there are a number of trails with stunning scenery that can be reached with this type of transport. Lake Baikal, the oldest, deepest and largest lake in the world, has been declared a World Heritage Site and trips on the lake are very popular.

The winter months give visitors the opportunity to enjoy the thrill of riding on a snowmobile. There is also skiing available and for something really different visitors can go on a dogsledding tour. Many of the local hotels offer Russian steam-saunas. Visitors spend some time in the steam-sauna and then plunge into the fresh snow – a popular and invigorating experience.

The Limnological Museum (also known as Museum of Baikal) is a very interesting place to explore, with exhibitions of the flora and fauna of Lake Baikal. The aquarium at the museum houses the Baikal endemic seal, known as Nerpa, and these seals have been trained to dance and do tricks. The Taltsy Museum of Wooden Architecture has many examples of old wooden houses, churches and yurts (nomadic lattice-framed dwellings) that have been transported from all over Siberia. Many traditional wooden houses with their colorful shutters are found in Listvyanka.

Visitors should not miss out on a trip to the market situated on the main square of Listvyanka, where the local people sell all kinds of souvenirs as well as delicious traditional home-made food. A specialty is the tasty salmonoid lake fish, known as omul, which is prepared in a variety of ways including salted, smoked and baked.

Listvyanka is rich in history, culture and tradition. Anyone that decides to travel to Russia can be assured that a visit to this lovely settlement will be well worth while.


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