Going to Mongolia: Which Route Should I Choose?
You should prepare the basics before you make your trip to Mongolia. Mongolia, a country three times larger than France, has many assets to unveil to its visitors, but unless you have more than 6 months of vacation in front of you, you will have to make a choice when and which route to adopt. To do this, you must first establish the duration of your trip and then inquire about the different regions and possible routes in Mongolia.
WHAT IS THE IDEAL DURATION FOR A STAY IN MONGOLIA?
Once you have set a date for your departure to Mongolia, the question of time on the spot will arise. There is no truth about the ideal time to spend to discover Mongolia. Although the duration of the holidays is very often independent of your will (budget, imposed holidays), we advise anyway a stay of a minimum of 2 weeks knowing that it is already necessary to count 2 days for a return flight.
For the lucky ones, choosing a 3-week Mongolian tour will help you to immerse yourself deeper with the Mongolian culture and discover as much of its natural and cultural treasures as possible.
Family travelers with young children generally opt for stays of 10 to 14 days. Life in nature can be quickly tiring for the youngest.
Also note that winter stays are often shorter, on average 7 to 12 days, due to the harsh climate.
WHAT REGIONS SHOULD I VISIT DURING MY TRIP TO MONGOLIA?
This question is closely related to the previous one and will depend on the time you have for your tour in Mongolia. However, keep in mind that a trip to Mongolia, no matter what region you discover, it takes time to discover the essence of the country: its nomadic people and share moments of exchange. No matter which region you choose, you will be immersed in a wilderness of steppes, mountains, canyons, rivers, forests, and deserts.
Here is a brief overview of the 5 most touristic regions of Mongolia:
1. THE CENTER OF THE COUNTRY
A nomadic region, the center offers a variety of sceneries often inscribed in the country's must-haves like the Khustai National Park, the Khögnö Khan National Park, Karakorum, and the Orkhon valley. A small trip outside the box is also possible across the province of Arkhangai.
2. THE GOBI DESERT
Representing 30% of the territory, the Gobi covers the entire south of the Mongolian territory. Vast and difficult to access some places, it offers an unforgettable experience. Easily combinable with the center of the country, and accessible by plane from Ulan Bator, the Gurvan Saikhan National Park has the great advantage of offering a beautiful diversity of landscapes with the region of the canyons and the Khongor sand dunes. To avoid missing anything, the Bayanzag flaming cliffs are also nearby.
3. THE NORTH OF THE COUNTRY
the small Switzerland of Mongolia has much more to offer than a superb region of lakes and mountains. You can spend a short stay on the shores of Lake Khövsgöl or go off the beaten track in the most remote parts of the north of the country. The scenery is gorgeous since the region remains unexplored. Expect to ride on one of the worst tracks in the country to reach the Tsaatan camps to the north.
4. THE WEST OF THE COUNTRY
Or the "paradise of trekkers". The west of Mongolia reveals beautiful mountain ranges. The Altai and its landscapes of high mountains are more difficult to access so logically there are fewer tourists. Olgii, for example, is 1600 km from Ulaanbaatar, there are no domestic flights to get there, and yet the region is varies depending on the season, sometimes desert sometimes glacial, but the trip is absolutely worth it.
5. THE EASTERN PART OF THE COUNTRY
The provinces east of Ulaanbaatar are very unknown by travelers, except the Terelj National Park because of its proximity to the capital welcomes many visitors every year. The region does not lack natural wonders, but it is true that they are relatively far apart, and a trip in the far east of the country (allowing 2 weeks) will require you to take a long time to cross the steppe. Nevertheless, the province of Khentii and the Dadal regions are superb for its great Siberian forests.
If you have a relatively short time in Mongolia, from 7 to 10 days, we advise you to focus on one region, the simplest being in the center of the country. The Mongolia Express tour is a good example of a week-long trip that is varied and feasible in good conditions.
In 2 weeks, you can easily explore 2 of the regions mentioned. The best is to choose between the north and the center of the country (see our Wonders Of Mongolia tour ), or the center and the south ( From Steppe and Desert ). You can even consider a short hike (3 to 4 days) or if you are hiker or rider, you can enjoy a beautiful 9-day hike in any region.
Finally, in 3 weeks, you can enjoy discovering a little of the 3 regions (north, center, and the Gobi) with our Mongolian Great Loop tour, or from east to west with our Great Crossing tour. Both trips are ideal to have a complete overview of Mongolia. But, if you are in good conditions and love hiking, you can visit 2 regions of the country while spending time for a great hike on foot ( Hiking and Gobi ) or on horseback ( The Great Ride ). Of course, other combinations are possible, especially in the west of the country.
WHAT ACTIVITIES CAN I DO FOR THIS MONGOLIAN ADVENTURE?
A trip to Mongolia offers many activities but how to manage the time to allocate to them without fear of wasting it at the expense of some visits? For hikers or riders, trips are specially designed to satisfy your desires. At Horseback Mongolia, we offer several horse riding tours or even great hiking tours, combining the essential visits and guaranteeing homestay time. For other travelers, Horseback Mongolia offers dynamic tours, designed to mix all the best possible activities in Mongolia. The trip From Steppe to Desert is a perfect example: it allows you to visit the center of the country and the Gobi, but also to spend 8 nights with nomadic families, to make two excursions on horseback (excursions thought to be accessible to the beginners), one with camel, and several hikes throughout the stay.
A brief summary of possible activities in Mongolia:
• Discover the nomadic way of life
• Hiking on foot, on horseback, on camels or in a cart pulled by yaks
• Allow yourself a fishing session in the rivers and lake of Mongolia
• Browse Wild Trails by ATV
• Canoeing on the rivers that cross the steppes
• For more activities, visit our Activities section on our webpage.