Special Interest Tour - Ancient Civilsations

This is a special tour researched by Andre in April 2012 and escorted by him and with special guests from the megalithomania group.

There are two trips running back to back in June 2013, firstly visiting Siberian parts of Russia including Lake Baikal and Tuva. Then fly to Beijing to continue the tour in Beijing and Xi'an, the current and ancient capital of China.

Don't miss Part I where we visit some amazing areas in Siberian Russia. Join us in China for Part II for a alternative look at the Beijing and Xi'an including a microflight view of the Pyramids of Xi'an!

  • Part I - Russia
  • Part II - China

Part 1 - Irkutsk-Krasnoyarsk-Abakan-Tuva-Kyzyl-Abakan-Krasnoyarsk (AC-IK-7)


ITINERARY: Really explore Lake Baikal, Khakassia and the Tuva regions of Siberian Russia on this 13 day tour.

Start with a visit to Lake Baikal and travel on part of Trans-Siberian train. Visit Shamans and experience rituals at Lake Baikal and in Khakassia and Tuva. View 4,000-year old petroglyphs, pyramidal burial mounds and amazing stele, megalithic stones. Sleep in central Asian yurts, log hotels and good hotels, experience local cuisine.

DATES: 14 days trip to Russia, starting in Irkutsk on 6th June 2013.


PRICES: Prices depend on the number of people joining this group tour:
SMALL GROUP: We plan to have at least 12 people: € 4,360
MEDIUM GROUP: Invite your friends and we reach 16 people: €4,130
LARGE GROUP: The maximum on this trip for logistic reasons is 20: €3,980.
SINGLE SUPPLEMENT: Single room in hotels to be announced.

PRICE INCLUDES: ground transport services by minibus, train as listed, accommodation based on twin-share, meals according to the program (excl. alcoholic drinks), transfers, excursions, entrance tickets to museums, parks and nature reserves, English-speaking guide services, train tickets 4/cabin, meeting with shamans, shamanistic rituals (‘kamlaniye’)

EXTRAS: Not included in the price are visa costs, onward travel, food on train, personal consumption, drinks with dinner, etc, gifts, souvenirs, micro-light flight in Xi'an, medical insurance.

Route Map Area

map showing route, Irktutsk to Abakan Tuva Kyzyl

Day to Day Itinerary

Thu 6th Jun


3* hotel

Decembrist Museum Irkutsk

Irkutsk Museum

Transfer from airport or railway station to hotel upon arrival in Irkutsk. Different arrival times. Optional excursion to the Ethnographical Museum.

Fri 7th Jun


Lodge Camp

Lake Baikal Krestovaya Bay

Lake Baikal

06:00 - ~200km, 3-hrs drive to the village Yelantsi near Lake Baikal. 09:00 - Breakfast in typical local café. 10:00 - To rock with petroglyphs near pyramid mountain with Shaman. 11:00-13:00 - Drive to the peak for beautiful views of the Baikal. Return to Yelantsi and lunch in café. 14:00-18:00 - Short drive and hiking to petroglyphs at Sagan-Zaba beach. 18:00 - To Krestovaya resort located only 50m from shore, dinner, Banya. 22:30-24:00 - huge camp fire - Shaman rituals.

Sat 8th Jun


3* hotel

Lake Baikal Terema Hotel

Wooden Lodge

07:00 - Breakfast. 08:00 - Scenic 280km drive from camp to Listvyanka via Irkutsk, with lunch in a restaurant on the way. 14:00 - check into Terema Hotel. 15:00 - Guided walking tour – Baikal museum. 19:00 - Dinner restaurant, sample the Baikal smoked 'Omul' fish.

Sun 9th Jun


3* hotel

Circum_Baikal tourist train

Circum Baikal

After breakfast cross the lake to Port Baikal on the 09:00 ferry crossing. Visit the Railway museum if time before boarding the Circum Baikal Railway train. All day on train with various stops to view/inspect the old line, bridges and tunnels. 22:30 - Arrival in Irkutsk and transfer to Angara hotel and overnight.

Mon 10th Jun

on train

Steam train on Russian Railways

Steam Train on display

09:00 - Breakfast and free time to explore the city. Late check-out and transfer to the railway station for departure at 18:47 on train #007 to Krasnoyarsk.

Tue 11th Jun


on train

Exhibit at Krasnoyarsk Regional Museum

Krasnoyarsk Museum

Travel along the Trans-Siberian Train route (1,088km - 17:51 hrs). Dining car and multiple stops. 11:38 - Arrival and transfer to Oktyabrskaya Hotel. 12:30 - Lunch in a restaurant. 14:00 - visit to the regional museum, with extensive exhibits on shamanism. 17:30 - to hotel, free time. 19:00 - Transfer to the railway station 20:00 - Departure to Abakan in Khakassia on train #124.

Wed 12th Jun


3* hotel

Stone Sculpture in museum

in Abakan Museum

06:15 arrival in Abakan, the capital of Khakassia. Transfer to hotel Abakan and breakfast. 08:00 - Visit to the Republic Regional Museum where a large collection of ancient stone monuments is exhibited. These stones still have great spiritual power. Books and souvenir shop. Lunch. 70 km trip to the place of archaeological digs – the Valley of Kings. There are more than 50 big burial mounds of Tagarsk tribes kings. Visit to “Barsuchiy Log” of ~500BC and investigating some smaller Kurgans. The main part of the excursion is a visit to the Great Salbyksky Mound, which was a pyramid 30 meters high constructed over the grave of a noble family of Din Ling. Stone plates surround each of the Kurgans. Some of the red sandstone megaliths weigh 20 to 70 tons. We’ll investigate some mysterious features and visit the old stone quarry from which these stones were taken. Return to Abakan (70 km).

Thu 13th Jun

Sayan Mountain

Wooden Logde

Photo of a Khakasia Ancient Stele

Great Salbyksky Mound

08:00 - Breakfast. 09:00 - 140 km trip to the archeological nature reserve ‘Kazanovka’. Cave paintings dating 3 to 5 thousand years. This place is full of mysteries, and we will see a real archeological excavation. Check the energy still emanating from the Stele in the middle of a valley.Lunch at wooden yurt-camp Kyug. Trip to the ’Khurtuyak tas’-stele (Holy Old Woman) – a monument which always has been respected by local people. Khakassian women bring gifts here if they wish to have a baby or to be healthy enough to have one. Arrival to ‘Snow leopard’-camp in the Sayan mountains. Dinner. Banya.

Fri 14th Jun


Yurt Camp

Buddhist Cairn Ovoo in Tuva

Buddhist Cairns

08:00 - Breakfast, check-out, trip to Tuva (450 km), lunch box. On the way we stop at ‘A Hundredth Pass’, 2,206 m above sea level. The next short stop is near Ustuu-Huree, a Buddhist temple. Next stop at the breathtaking Khayrakan mountain, one of the most sacred places in Tuva. Evening arrival to Kyzyl, and 22km to our accommodation at Biy-Khem yurt-camp, superbly located along the Yenisey river, dinner.

Sat 15th Jun


Kyzyl Biy Kem Yurt Camp

Biy Kem Yurt Camp

08:00 - Breakfast. 09:00 - excursion to Kyzyl, the capital of Tuva. We also visit the Geographical Centre of Asia. We visit the Regional Museum of Tuva (exhibition “Scythian gold”) and see unique archaeological finds of different epochs. The pearl of the useum's collection are objects from the burial mound Arjaan II. The excavations were carried out in 2000- 2003 by the specialists of the Hermitage and the German archaeological institute. These findings (more than 20 kg of golden objects amongst the 76,528 objects) became a real sensation in archaeological world. In 2008, the famous "Scythian gold" was returned to Tuva from European exhibitions. After lunch in a local restaurant, we go to the mineral spring Dungur (50 km) where a lecture about shamanism and kamlaniye (rituals) will be organized. During the day program – visit to a shamans’ clinic. Meeting with shamans. Visit to craftsmen. Walking tour around the town, visit to souvenir shops. If possible, an audience with 86-year old Shaman Mongush Kenin-Lopsan, author of 25 books. Dinner. Evening camp fire and Shaman rituals.
Sun 16th Jun
Ancient Steles in Tuva Republic

Archaeological findings

Free Sunday at camp with possibility to rent horses & river rafting. The camp is located in a beautiful area at the Yenisey river, ideal for hiking and exploring. After dinner there will be a performance of singers which present traditional deepthroat singing called “khoomei". It’s a special kind of singing typical for Tuvan people and some other peoples of Siberia. Deep-throat singing is an extraordinary ability to produce several sounds at once on different levels and keep them singing up to 30 seconds.
Mon 17th Jun
Shaman at work in Khakasia

Shamanism at work

Breakfast. Meeting with the guide and mountain guide, trip (150 km) to natural healing spring Argolik. On the way a trip to Chagytai lake. The spring is unusual because there is no salt in it, however, it possesses great healing characteristics. On the way meeting with shaman Nadia, which will lead us to the spring and perform shamanistic rituals. Lunch on the way (lunch box). Drive back to Kyzyl.
Tue 18th Jun
Enjiy local cuisine

Khakasia typical cuisine

Breakfast. 08:00 - check-out and departure to Abakan (460km) via excavated Arjaan II round burial mound and other mounds around. Onwards via Shushenskoe wooden village (Lenin’s Siberian place of exile). Lunch at a local family farm in Tanzybei. Dinner in restaurant. 20:00 - Train #124 from Abakan to Krasnoyarsk (~500km)
Wed 19th Jun
Stolby National Park Krasnoyarsk

Stolby National Park

06:44 - Arrival on train #124 in Krasnoyarsk. Check into Oktyabrskay hotel and breakfast. 10:00 - Visit nature reserve ‘Stolby’. 11:00-13:30 - Hiking to rocks with experienced guide and picnic in his hut. 13:30 - Excursion to Divnogorsk town, observation point ‘Tsar Fish’, Ovsyanka village, and passing Krasnoyarsk’s Hydro Power Station. 18:00 - return to hotel. 19:00 - Transfer to airport for 22:00 flight Krasnoyarsk to Beijing (2,480km) on S7507 for those continuing our adventure Part II in China.
Booking Notes

All prices based on two people sharing. Single Supplement applies if you travel as a group and request your own hotel rooms. Train travel is based on a standard four berth second class cabin. Upgrade to a two berth first class cabin is available on some routes subject to availablity.

In order to obtain the Russian and Chinese visas in time, the booking cut-off date is the 1st April 2013.

You can book the 1st or 2nd part only if you don’t have enough free time.


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