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Get away from the common tourist trail with this 10 day Mongolian adventure
Experience Naadam Festival, Mongolia's largest traditional festival showcasing competitions in three sports of wrestling, horse racing and archery over three days
Learn about Nomadic culture and day to day life in the Mongolian countryside
Spot wild horses in Hustain Nuruu National Park
Stay at Three Camel Lodge, a National Geographic Unique Lodge of the World
Visit Mongolia's ancient capital of Karakorum and its earliest surviving monastery of Erdene Zuu
Stay at a remote ger camp in the Orkhon Valley, offering spectacular views and a taste of rural nomadic life
The remote and wild panoramas of Mongolia stretch from the scorching dunes of the Gobi Desert in the south to the frosty reaches of the Siberian taiga in the north. As a rule, Mongolian winters are harsh and long thanks to the high altitude and extreme continental climate, rendering some of the more remote regions impassable during the frigid winter months. The best time of year to visit is during the short summer season of June to August, to take advantage of the best of the weather, whilst May and September also offer pleasant weather alongside fewer tourists. The famous Naadam Festival takes place in July, whilst the Golden Eagle Festival is held in October, at the start of the low season when some of the ger camps start to close.
Discover the ‘land of the blue sky’ on this 10-day Mongolian adventure, taking in Ulaanbaatar’s famed Naadam Festival, the sun-scorched landscape of the Gobi Desert, and the grasslands of the Orkhon Valley alongside some of the most luxurious hotels Mongolia has to offer. This itinerary is perfect for the adventurous and culturally curious traveller looking to get off the common tourist trail in comfort and style.
Upon arrival in Mongolia’s capital of Ulaanbaatar, you will be welcomed by your private guide and driver and transferred to your hotel in the heart of the city. The rest of your day is at your leisure to explore the city’s shops and museums on your doorstep, or to unwind and enjoy the spoils of your hotel. The following day, enjoy a private guided tour of the city’s highlights. Starting with a private blessing ceremony at Gandan Monastery, before continuing to the National History and Fine Arts museums for a deeper understanding of Mongolia’s history and culture. End the day with a stroll through Sukhbaatar Square before enjoying dinner in a local fine-dining restaurant accompanied by a traditional Mongolian dancing and throat singing performance.
Leave the bustle of Ulaanbaatar behind and drive to Kharakhorum, the 13th Century of the Mongol Empire, stopping on the way to spot wild Takhi horses in Hustain Nuruu National Park. Spend the next two nights at a mountain-top Ger Camp, offering breathtaking views and traditional furnishings alongside home-comforts and additional luxuries. Enjoy a walk to explore your surroundings that afternoon before exploring the wider Mongolian countryside the next day, including a visit to the Erdene Zuu Monastery, the Kharakhorum Museum and hiking or horse riding or hiking through the beautiful grasslands of the Orkhon Valley.
After breakfast, you will be driven back to Ulaanbaatar, making a stop at the 8th Century Kultegin Monument on the way. Upon arrival in Ulaanbaatar, you will have the rest of the day at leisure to explore the city as you wish, perhaps visiting some shops or markets or sampling one of the local fine-dining restaurants.
This morning, you will be transferred to the airport in time to catch a 1.5 hour flight to the Gobi Desert, Mongolia’s southernmost province. Spend the next two nights at Three Camel Lodge, a spectacular lodge in the heart of the Gobi Desert and one of the most luxurious properties in the country. Over the next three days, enjoy a number of excursions to discover your surroundings, including exploring sand dunes by camel, meeting with a local nomadic family, inspecting ancient rock carvings, hiking through valleys, and visiting the iconic ‘Flaming Cliffs’. In between excursions, unwind in the camp’s massage tent or bar, try some classic Mongolian games and learn more about local traditions with a documentary screening.
After breakfast, you will be transferred to the airport to catch a flight to Ulaanbaatar. Upon arrival in the city, make a stop at the Chinggis khan Equestrian statue, a 250 tonne stainless steel statue of Genghis Khan that dominates the surrounding landscape. The following day marks the beginning of Ulaanbaatar’s Nadaam festival, one of Mongolia’s most famous cultural festivals where men, women, boys, and girls come together to compete in the ‘three manly games’ of archery, wrestling and horse-racing. Attend the festival’s opening ceremony, a colourful event of performances related to history and heritage marking the start of the festival. The next day, you will be collected from your hotel and transferred to the airport in time to catch your flight home.
Spend a day exploring the landscape of the Gorkhi-Terelj National Park, just an hour’s drive from Ulaanbaatar. A haven for native wildlife including moose, brown bear and wolf, explore the breath-taking terrain and visit the historic Aryabal Monastery.
Visit the remains of Kharakhorum, once the capital of the Mongol Empire and a vital city in the history of the Silk Road, whilst the nearby Erdene Zuu monastery harks back to this ancient time but still remains an active Buddhist monastery.
Experience a way of life unchanged for centuries as you spend the afternoon with a local nomadic family, learning how they herd and care for their livestock and thrive amongst the harsh and often unforgiving landscapes of Mongolia.
Travel to the spectacular ‘Flaming Cliffs’ or ‘Bayan Zag’, a vibrant ridge of red-orange sandstone that glows like fire as the sun sets. It was here that the celebrated Dr Roy Chapman Andrews found the first nest of dinosaur eggs the world had ever seen.
Etched into a mountaintop in the Havsgait valley, the ancient Bronze Age petroglyphs are a sight to behold. Depicting life between 15,000 and 40,000 years ago, this incredible ancestral art gallery offers a glimpse into early life in the Gobi.
Amongst the rugged rocks and cliffs of the Gobi, Moltsog Els is one of the few areas covered by sand dunes. Explore the shifting sands on foot or more atmospherically, on the back of a Bactrian camel, a unique symbol of the Mongolian desert.
Spend the day soaking up the atmosphere at Ulaanbaatar’s famous Naadam Festival. This one of a kind event is the highlight of the Mongolian calendar and celebrates the three traditional sports of horse racing, wrestling and archery.
Explore the remote and beautiful Yol Valley National Park, set at the foothills of the Altai Mountains. Discover a lush valley, often dotted with ice formations even in high summer, and a pristine habitat for fascinating indigenous species.
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Orkhon Valley, Mongolia
The Gobi Desert, Mongolia
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