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Among the 26 islands of Lake Baikal, Olkhon - the largest one. Its length is -71.7 km, most ¬ Shai width - 15 km, the area of -730 km2. Relief Olkhon be called mountainous. The eastern edge of it (its highest level - 1274 m and 1149 m) abruptly to Lake Baikal in fact all over the rocky cliffs mi ¬ up to 80-120 m, and the west - sloping down to the shallow bays of the Small Sea. Buryat word "oh-hon", meaning "little forest" or "a little wooded", gave the name of this famous island. In fact, the forest here comes across only in the central part, and the northern and the southern tip of the island are the steppe.

Ferry sets off the road on the island to the town Kharantsy (53 km). Improved gravel road, but from the village Kharantsy to the northern tip of the island (37 km) is already a forest road with sandy sections. The road runs along the western coast of the island. Olkhon Island is very rich in natural monuments and natural sites, which would not have refused to portray in his paintings of any artist - a sacred Burhan-cape, very picturesque Hushun Sagan, the famous sandy beach Sarayski, fanged Khoboy. Anyone of them can be reached by car, and then go right up the trail. In the eastern part of Olkhon laid forest roads in the valleys Tashkiney (Tyshkine) and Uzuri.
Usually, tourists come in summer break camp at the warm bay: on the western shore of Lake Hyp, on the lake Khankhan and Sandy in the tract. In the northern part of the island because of the high rocky coast and the lack of ramp campers with tents do not stop.

Speaking of style, Lake Baikal - a sky-scoring ¬ fight heart of Siberia, as well Olkhon Island is the heart of Lake Baikal.

Olkhon include geographical, historical and sacred center of Lake Baikal, so much connected with it the ancient legends and historical traditions. For example, with Olkhon linked poetic legend about the origin of the Buryat people, according to which the hunter Horidoy married heaven ¬ tion swan-maiden, and as a result they were born eleven sons, who then became the ancestors of eleven Khori childbirth.

It is no accident that Buryats Olkhon is the geographical center of the ethnic territory, sacred center obscheburyatskogo values.

Olkhon, well guarded from intruders, conquerors of the cold waters of Lake Baikal, longer than other places kept traditional outlook and bore many of the customs of the Buryat antiquity. The island is on the Buryat legend, got its first gift of Buryat shaman. In the Buryat myths and legends Olkhon Island called the abode of the menacing spirits of the lake. On the island, according to legend, descended from heaven, the chief of the Khans - Hahn-Hute-baabay sent to the Earth higher gods. It lives in the form of the bald eagle, golden eagle, his son by the name of Khan coat Noyon, who was the first semi ¬ chill shamanic gift from Tengri. At Olkhon Island, considered a sacred center of the northern shamanic world, ran Mongolian shamans during their persecution by lamas in the era of Genghis Khan. Therefore, by virtue of its isolation, the island became the last stronghold of the shamans of northern Asia.

Shamans of the Republic of Buryatia in the late twentieth century. officially recognized Olkhon Island "the main sanctuary, a religious center and Central obshcheMongolskoj value that represents the sacred homeland of Buryatia.

The area is rich in archaeological monuments Olkhon. It may be noted and tombs and ancient fort and the remains of stone walls. The most famous surviving ancient Kurykanskaya protective wall of extended about 185 meters which blocked the isthmus of Cape Horgoi.

No accident that many of the Buryat legends associated with the island. Particularly sacred sites, "are prohibited to visit the territory are known from the myths, among them the sacred mountain Izhimei, ghostly castle Ha en Hute-Baab on shamans promontory at Cape Khoboy, rock Deva - petrified wife Buryat shaman.

Also located in the central part of Lake Baikal, not far from the greatest depth mark (1637 meters), at an equal distance from the northern and southern extremities of the lake, Olkhon Island collected on their territory all the diversity in ¬ native landscapes of Baikal shores. And it seems that no accident and the island itself in its form resembles the outlines of the lake.

On Olkhon is steppe landscapes with which penetrate deep into the land and well warmed in the summer of coves, rare for the Baikal sites aeolian sand dunes and hills, mixed deciduous forest with areas of relict spruce forest, picturesque rocks on the shore of marble, thickly covered with red lichen. For lovers of wildlife and photography - this reserve amazingly diverse landscapes and magnificent landscapes.