From steppe to desert

Nomadic Mongolia waits for you in this tour in the heart of the nomadic life. From family to family, you will start your tour by the green Orkhon Valley, before going deeper in the remote area of Naiman Nuur. Then you'll go towards South, where the track disappears to give place to a legendary spot : the Gobi Desert, and the arid majesty of its lunar landscapes, with its towering rocky formations, frozen canyon and sand dunes.

Day 1. Arrival at Ulan Bator and visit of the city

  • Arrival at the airport, meeting with our driver. Transfer to your hotel, settling in, and rest.
  • Appointment at 12 o'clock at your hotel with your guide. He will take you in the restaurant of your choice.
  • Let's immerse ourselves in the heart of the Mongolian history, in the wonderful National History Museum. Three floors of a rich, glorious, violent and noble past, from prehistory to Soviet period, including the creation of the great Mongolian Empire by Genghis Khan.
  • Walk in the centre of Ulan-Bator. Discovery of Gengis Khan Square and the House of Parliament.
  • At 18 o' clock, Mongolian traditional show at Tumen Ekh : folkloric dances, contortion, and of course khoomi, the overtone singing.

Day 2. Ulan Bator - Khogno Khan National Park

Ulan Bator - Khogno Khan
  • Visit of Gandantegchinlen Monastery. In the morning, lamas get together to pray. They will answer your questions at the Mongolian Buddhist Centre.
  • We arrive at the splendid rocky formations of Khogno Khan. Discovery of the park : semidesert steppes, taiga, stunning rocky formations, 80-kilometres (49,71 miles) long sand dunes, are characteristic of this arid area nicknamed "Mini-Gobi".
  • Pony trek until Erdene Khambiin Monastery. "Monk Erdene's Monastery" dates from 17th century and was built in the mountain. Zanabazar built it in honour of his teacher, monk Erdene.
  • Visit of the sand dunes of Elsen Tasarkhai.

Day 3-5. The former capital and lands of nomadism

Khogno Khan - Kharkhorin
  • Journey to Kharkhorin, the former capital of Mongolia. The legendary city of Genghis Khan was founded in 1220 and was one of the stages of the silk road. The Mongolian Empire was governed from this city, until Kubilai Khan set up the capital in Beijing. Today, there are only a few vestiges left of the former capital.
  • Visit of Erdene Zuu Monastery, built in 1586 by a nomad prince. The Chinese and Tibetan-inspired buildings are surrounded with 108 sacred stupas.
Kharkhorin - Orkhon valley
  • We definitely leave the tarred road to taste the joys of the track. We drive along the splendid landscapes formed by the canyons and the green steppe, then we arrive at the home of breeders who will host us in the heart of Orkhon Valley.
Day 4
  • Visit of Tovkhon Monastery. Vehicles can't go until the top of Öndör Ulaan Hill and we will walk until there to discover Tovkhon Ermitage, where Zanabazar, the first religious leader of Mongolia, created the Soyombo alphabet. The monastery is located 2312 metres (1,44 mile) above the sea level and from that place we'll have a wonderful view on the whole Khangai range. We'll picnic in exceptional surroundings, facing Orkhon Valley.
Day 5
  • Those who wish can go for a pony trek along Orkhon Valley, from the camp to Orkhon Waterfalls.
  • Visit of Ulan Tsutgalaan falls, white flood flowing on the black stone, transformed in rainbow by a short sunray... These 16-metres (52,49 feet) falls are just magic ! They formed 20.000 years ago, as a result of a unique combination of earthquakes and volcano eruptions.
Also
3, 4, 5Stay at herders' from the valley. During your stay, you will discover their way of life and you will be proposed many activities, such as milking, making traditional dairy products, or rounding up the animals with a horse. You will also attend the preparation of a Mongolian barbecue that you will enjoy with yours hosts.

Day 6-7. In Naiman Nuur mountains

Orkhon valley - Naiman nuur
  • We go deeper in the Khangai mountains. The track is harsh, notably because of a pass located 2800 metres (1,74 mile) above the sea level. We reach the very remote Naiman Nuur National Park, "eight lakes", where we'll see many forests of larches and, as the name suggests, many lakes. This area can be very cool and it's not unusual to have snow in June or in August !
Day 7
  • Peaceful day breathing fresh air in this altitude area. We hike in the park discovering its splendours and arrive near Lake Shireet, probably the most beautiful lake of the area. Back to our host family's to benefit the simple pleasures of life, such as drinking a cup of tea with milk or playing knucklebones.
Also
6, 7Stay with breeders living in this mountainous area, with whom we'll share moments of their daily life.

Day 8. Let's hit the road to Gobi desert !

Naiman nuur - Arvaikheer
  • Day of transition between two ecosystems. We leave the green mountains of Khangai to go towards Gobi. We drive across the green steppe and reach Arvaikheer, the capital of province, where we stop to get fresh supplies at the local market.
Arvaikheer - Ongi monastery
  • We arrive in the sum of Saikhan Ovoo. West Saikhan Ovoo, some mountains located along the Ongii River, are the perfect place to rest between Northwest of Mongolia and Gobi Desert. In the bends of the river, we can see the ruins of two monasteries, Barlim Monastery on the Northern bank, Khutagt Monastery on the Southern bank.
  • Let's discover this site, best known as Ong lamasery, and the museum. In 1937, the Soviets almost completely destroyed the homes and monasteries where one thousand lamas were living. In 2002, some lamas came back and began to rebuilt the monastery, with few resources but much enthusiasm.

Day 9. Flaming cliffs and dinosaurs

Ongi monastery - Bayanzag
  • Last day of track before reaching Great Gobi and its "Three Beauties", the three highest peaks of this part of the Gobi-Altai range : Baruun Saïhan, "the Western Beauty" ; Dund Saïhan, "the Middle Beauty" ; Züün Saïhan, "the Eastern Beauty", the highest (2846 metres, 1,77 miles).
  • Visit of the cliffs of Bayanzag, today best known as "flaming cliffs", owing to their ochre red colour, where is located the "cemetery of dragons". The cliffs and the saxaul forests that surround them are the evidence of the time when Earth was still inhabited by huge creatures : dinosaurs. Palaeontologist Roy Andrews Chapman was the first man to discover in 1922 some bones and eggs of dinosaurs that we can see today in the Natural History Museum of Ulan Bator and in other museums in the world.

Day 10-11. Riding a camel among the dunes

Bayanzag - Khongor sand dunes
  • We ride towards west of the park to reach Khongor sand dunes, "light bay sand". These dunes extend at the foot of the "Three Beauties".
Day 10
  • Visit of the dunes of Khongor. These dunes are the most spectacular ones of Mongolia, they extend on more than 180 kilometres (111,85 miles) long and 20 kilometres (12,43 miles) wide, and have an average height of 80 metres (262,47 feet), the hightest one being 120 metres (393,70 feet) high. From the top, the view on the desert is quite amazing. From this place, it's also possible to hear the moving masses of sand, hence the name of "singing dunes". Beyond the dunes, the steppe extends for as far as the eye can see.
Day 11
  • Camelback hike in the Gobi Desert is an unforgettable experience. The nonchalant animal will take us with its peaceful gait along the dunes and the Khongor River, "light bay", that flows alternately on the surface and under the ground. We'll go until a small oasis at the foot of the dunes, where some bushes grow, such as saxaul. Camels are very fond of saxaul and Mongolians think it's the most precious wood. We will walk until the top of a dune and will have a wonderful view on the desert. Far away, we will see the peaks of the Three Beautiful and, if we listen carefully, we might hear the song of the dunes__.
Also
10, 11We'll stay with a Bactrian camels' breeder for two nights. It's a unique chance to discover their authentic way of life and their legendary hospitality.

Day 12. Hiking in the canyons

Khongor sand dunes - Dungenee canyon
  • Journey on the track towards east of "the Three Beauties" to reach the area of canyons. Stop at Dungenee Canyon. We leave the vehicle to start our first magic hike along the river that flows between huge canyons.
Dungenee canyon - Yoliin am canyon
  • Hiking in the canyon of Yol, the bearded vultures canyon. We will walk in the bottom of the canyon that is covered with perpetual snow. The canyon is so steep-sided, that sunrays make the ice melt only in August. The rest of the year, ther's ice everywhere in the canyon.

Day 13. Return flight to the Mongolian capital

Yoliin am canyon - Dalanzadgad
  • 30-kilometres (18,64 miles) journey until Dalanzadgad, the capital of the province, where we'll embark for our return flight to Ulan Bator.
  • Arrival in town and transfer to your hotel where you can rest a few moments.
  • Rest of the day free. With our guide, you can go and shop in the centre of the city.

Day 14. Have a nice journey and see you soon !

  • Breakfast at the hotel. We go with you to the international airport of Ulan Bator. The transfer can be organized at the time you want, according to the schedule of your flight.

Departure dates - 2017

Start date End date Available Status Price
May 8 May 21 10 Available 1490€ Enquire
June 12 June 25 10 Available 1490€ Enquire
June 28 July 11 10 Available 1490€ Enquire
July 7 July 20 10 Available 1490€ Enquire
July 17 July 30 10 Available 1490€ Enquire
August 2 August 15 10 Available 1490€ Enquire
August 16 August 29 10 Available 1490€ Enquire
September 6 September 19 10 Available 1490€ Enquire

Individual price per person

2345-89-10
2450€1990€1690€1590€1490€

Included

  • Transfers airport / hotel / airport
  • Flight Dalanzadgad / Ulan Bator
  • 2 nights in 3* hotel in Ulan Bator, breakfast included
  • Full pension during the tour
  • Water
  • 4 nights in comfortable yurts camps with warm shower
  • 7 nights with a host family, in a guest yurt
  • Journeys in Japanese 4WD jeep or Russian 4x4 UAZ + driver
  • Petrol
  • English-speaking guide
  • Assistant for groups > 8 members
  • Pony treks
  • Camelback treks
  • Local guides for the treks
  • Entrance fees for parks and museum indicated in the program
  • Traditional show
  • Equipment for meals (tables and chairs) and nights (sleeping bag)

Not included

  • nInternational transport
  • Passport and visa fees
  • Repatriation insurance
  • Travel insurance
  • Drinks / alcohols extras
  • Meals in Ulan Bator
  • Phone calls
  • Any excursion that is not indicated in the program
  • Additional charges for luggage exceeding 15kg (total weight for both carry-on checked luggage) on the domestic flight

14 days from 1490€ per person. Flight not included.

Need advice?

Contact us via

+976 11 331098
horseback-mongolie
info@horseback-mongolia.com

Departures

29 mai 2015 3 available
8 juin 2015 6 available
25 juin 2015 5 available
20 juillet 2015 8 available
17 août 2015 10 available
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