Pearls of nature
Chivirkuysky Bay and the Svyatoy Nos peninsula
Cape Nizhnye Izgolovye, on the southern extremity of the Svyatoy Nos Peninsula, is an excellent place to view the nearby mountains. Note the meteorological station and the lighthouse on the green hills. Barguzinsky Bay separates the wild northern part of the eastern coast from the populated and developed southeastern coast and is the largest on Baikal, with an area of more than 700 square km. Other notable sites include the islands of Chivyrkuysky Bay, Ongokonskaya Bay, the hot springs, Zmeinaya (Snake) and Nechaevsky and the Kulinye Marsh. Chivyrkuysky Bay is situated on the northern part of the Svyatoy Nos Peninsula. A kayaking paradise from June until late September, it is one of the lake-s most beautiful and picturesque bays. Surrounded by dark blue mountain ridges and thick taiga, it gives an impression of real wilderness. The bay is relatively shallow (18 m), warm and an abundance of sea grass in the bay-s shallow coves makes it attractive for all kinds of fish such as perch, pike, trout, grayling, white lake fish, and omul. Zmeinaya Cove, in particular, offers excellent pike and perch fishing. In the past, the main attraction to the cove was the number of grass snakes living around the area-s hot springs. The small settlement of Chivyrkuysky, located in the mouth of the Chivyrkuysky River, serves as a check point for Zabaikalsky National Park. . Kurbulik, the largest settlement on Chivyrkuysky Bay, has about 20 houses strung along the long sandy beach. The fishing is excellent, and the area is frequented by locals. Zabaikalsky National Park also has a check point in Kurbulik. Ongokonsky Inlet and Fertik Inlet, to the north in Chivyrkuysky Bay are two unique areas. Protected from the fierce Baikal winds, they offer boaters calm waters and a good shoreline. The area also has many flowering plants throughout the summer, and ancient petroglyphs cover some of the cape-s rocky cliffs.
Ascending the Svyatoy Nos Plateau is probably the most enjoyable adventure of the Zabaikalsky National Park. A hike to the 1,877 m high peak takes just a couple of days and covers 15 km. The former settlement of Glinky on the shore of Kultuk Bay, connects to Ust-Barguzin via road. This hiking tour follows a route along Chivyrkuysky Bay and Svyatoy Nos Peninsula, climbs to the highest point on the peninsula, then visits Zmeinaya, Ongokonskaya and Fertic Bays in the Northeast. Since the route is within Zabaikalsky National Park, hikers need a permit from the park administration in Ust-Barguzin or at a check-point on the edge of the town. The tour is best taken from July to September. Kayaking along the shore of Chivyrkuysky Bay is also recommended. The route starts at Glinky Settlement, reached by a bumpy, dirt road which begins at the edge of Ust-Barguzin and runs north along Barguzin Bay.