Peschanaya (Sandy) Bay and the nearby Academic Bay are one of the most beautiful places on Lake Baikal. This is the territory of the Pribaikalsky National Park. The sides of the Bay are limited by picturesque rocks – Large and Small Bell Towers.
The bay climate is mild with a large number of sunny days a year. This is the only place in Eastern Siberia where the average annual air temperature is positive (+0.4°C). In July-August, the clear water of the bay warms up to 22-23°C. The Baikal is always cool, but here in summer you can swim, and then lie down and get a first-class tan on the sandy beach.
There are no motor roads to Peschanaya Bay. The Bay is far from settlements and the civilization. In summer you can get here by water. You buy a ticket for "Barguzin" hovercraft and relax for some days at the holiday center "Baikal Dunes" or in a tent (previously you need to get permission from the National Park). You can get to the bay from Listvyanka by private high-speed boat (2-2.5 hours) or boat (6-7 hours).
Peschanaya Bay can be visited as a part of a day boat trip or as a part of a multi-day cruise on Lake Baikal.
There is also a trekking route from Bolshoye Goloustnoye (120 km from Irkutsk by car) of 37 km. The route is quite complicated, runs along the spurs of the Primorsky mountain range.
In winter, during the ice period Peschanaya Bay can be reached by “Khivus” (small hovercraft). In February-March, this place can be visited as part of a group one-day ice tour by “Khivus”. When the ice reaches its maximum thickness, an ice road connects Bolshoye Goloustnoye and Peschanaya Bay. The bay can be reached by car in approximately 40-50 min.
Academic Bay with its holiday camp "Baikal Dunes" is perfect for family holidays – you can swim, sunbathe, walk, enjoy the lake, take a Russian bath, and in the evening – sing songs with a guitar by the fire.
In winter, Peschanaya Bay is very beautiful, with clear blue ice. You can take a skate tour and skate on the largest and deepest skating rink in the world.
And this place is famous for its beautiful and easy walking routes. The most popular ones are:
1. To the Rock of Observation (2-2,5 hours), which offers a magnificent panorama of Lake Baikal – Peschanaya Bay, the sandy beach, Babushka (Grandmother) Bay, Cape Ded (Grandfather), Vnuchka (Granddaughter) Bay.
2. To Babushka Bay along the shore of Lake Baikal (1-1.5 hours), with beautiful lake views with incredible color of water and sandy beaches. On the way you can see stilted trees – the bay must-see and must- visit. Mighty pines and larch trees with wind-twisted branches rose above the ground on roots-stilts higher than human growth.