The biggest island in Lake Baikal is Olkhon, and in fact it is the fourth largest lake-bound island in the World. The island is a popular destination on Lake Baikal and is is definitely worth the trip here if you want a real ‘Baikal Experience’. The biggest attraction is the island’s nature which ranges from forest and taiga to steppe and desert; it even has a lake of its own. The island is beautiful all year round, but it is especially magical in winter when it is surrounded by completely transparent ice.
Olkhon is also considered a sacred place in Buryat Shamanism and Buddhism, especially the famous landmark of Shamanka Rock outside the settlement of Khuzhir - the main settlement on the island where you can find accommodation, shops, cafes and mini-bus tours for tourists.
It is possible to get to Olkhon by mini-bus from Irkutsk, which takes around six hours and is a rather bumpy trip in places. In addition, in winter months it is possible to be driven across the frozen lake to Ust-Bargusin in Buryatia. However this crossing of course depends on the thickness of the ice and the condition of the ice-road.