Experiences » Traveling to Baikal and Buryatia
Experiences » Traditions and History
Experiences » Traditions and History
Experiences » Traditions and History
Trips » Culture & History
Trips » Nature of Buryatia

Chivyrkuy Bay

Chivyrkuy Bay

Earlier the bay was called Kurbuliksky, and the current name came from the Bolshoi Chivyrkuy river, which flows into the bay from the north. Translated from ancient Evenki, “chivir” means to wriggle. Indeed, if you look at the bay from above, you will see how the Chivyrkuyka River wriggles like a worm, drawing in its course many smooth bends. On the shores of the bay, there are several settlements. The main ones are:

on the west bank - Katun, Kurbulik, and Monakhovo.

on the northeastern shore of the bay, at the mouth of the Bolshoi Chivirkuy river, the village of Chivirkuy, but no one lives there now.

The bay is located within the Nature Reserve of the Zabaikalsky National Park.

Chivyrkuy Bay is relatively shallow, the depth of 90% of the territory is about 10 meters. Thus, the water in the bay warms up well in the summer (up to +24 °C).

There are many bays and gulfs. The gulfs are mostly muddy bottomed, in the open part of the bay sandy, and sand-muddy. At the bottom of the bay, there is a blanket of algae. In calm weather, every blade of grass, every petal, and schools of fish floating among thickets are visible through the water at the bottom of the Bay.

It extends into the continent for 27 kilometers and has a width of up to 13.5 kilometers. The surface area is 27 thousand hectares.

There are seven islands in the Chivyrkuy Bay and all of them are declared protected areas, access to them is limited.

Thermal spring in Zmeinaya Bay (snake bay)

It is one of the most famous points off the coast of Chivyrkuy Bay. In 1929, 5 outlets of mineral water with a pungent odor of hydrogen sulfide were discovered.

The bay bears such a name because of the abundance of snakes. The water temperature in it is 38.5-45.5 °C. It is used to treat diseases of the musculoskeletal system and radiculitis. The thermal spring in Zmeinaya Bay is of the Alla type which is bicarbonate-sulfate-sodium water, total mineralization is 0.5 g/l, with the smell and taste of hydrogen sulfide, with fluorine content of 10 to 23 mg/l.

In summer, many tourists come to the spring. In winter, snow melts around the spring, but it does not freeze.

About settlements in Chivyrkuy Bay

Driving along the shores of the bay by car is possible only in a few places:

To Monakhovo the length of the sandy beach is not more than 600 meters, to Katun - where the road is badly broken, and, finally, to the central fishing camp in the village of Kurbulik, where there is no beach at all, and the road runs far from the coast through a mountainous zone.

What to do

There are several types of outdoor activities to be offered. Trekking and an excursion for mountain peaks climbers.

Trial Trail

This is the name of the way to the top of the Holy Nose Peninsula among the local population. The trail is not easy and to walk and you will need basic hiking skills. But on top of the Holy Nose, you will be rewarded with stunning views. Almost all night sky above Baikal is occupied by the indescribably beautiful Milky Way.

Swimming in the bay

Fans of water adventures can take a boat or kayak to swim to the islands, see the thermal springs.

You can go fishing. For fishermen, Chivyrkuisky Bay is a real happy fishing-ground. And all because many bays are protected by dense taiga, which is why fishermen always have a rich haul. Net fishing is strictly prohibited and equates to poaching. Hunting is also prohibited.

Arangatuy Lake

Another amazing attraction. Arangutay Lake is considered the largest in the nature reserve. Endangered bird species nest here. And with the onset of spring, the lake turns into real birdy spots.

Holy Nose (Svyatoy Nos) Peninsula 

The Holy Nose Peninsula is the most striking attraction of Chivyrkuy Bay. You may climb to its peak in the summer and winter would be great for cross-country skiing and snowmobiling. The peninsula offers a bewitching view from the water on a yacht or boat.

How to get to Chivyrkuy Bay

By car: (view route)

The distance to the Holy Nose Peninsula from Ulan-Ude is over 318 km.  Past the settlements of Turuntaevo, Gremyachinsk, Turka, Goryachinsk, Maksimikha, and Ust-Barguzin. 

The entrance to the territory of the Trans-Baikal National Park is paid.

More experiences

Experiences » Traditions and History
Experiences » Traditions and History
Experiences » Traditions and History
Experiences » Traditions and History
Experiences » Traveling to Baikal and Buryatia