Leave for an 8-day self-sufficient hike from Orkhon Valley to the Eight Lakes Park.
It's one of these places for which anyone could change his/her life. Orkhon Valley is an edelweisses bed, an enchanting garden where tumultuous torrents overflow with fishes. Wrapped by the Khangai range, this little heaven is the land of nomadism. From the camp of our host family, we'll hike until the very remote area of Eight Lakes.
A genuine tour where richness of the landscapes matches with the richness in the heart of the many breeders we'll meet on our way.
Day 1Arrival in 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.
At 18 o' clock, Mongolian traditional show at Tumen Ekh: folkloric dances, contortion, and of course khoomi, the overtone singing.
Day 2Let's go to Kharkhorin, gate of Orkhon !
Ulan Bator - Kharkhorin
Visit of Gandantegchinlen Monastery. In the morning, lamas get together to pray. They will answer your questions at the Mongolian Buddhist Centre.
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.
Day 3We join the breeders
Kharkhorin - Tovkhon monastery
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.
Tovkhon monastery - Orkhon valley
Journey to Orkhon Valley. Inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List, the valley is a land of nomadism and many breeders set their summer camp there.
We join ours guides' families, nomad breeders of the area. They will host us for the night and come hiking with us.
Day 4Let's start our hike in the steppes !
Day 5 - 7Hiking in the Naiman Nuur National Park
We start our autonomous trek, walking in a beautiful valley surrounded by the Khangai chain of mountains.
From there we will reach the Böörögiin oroï valley a quiet and wonderful place to set up our camp for the night.
We go on hiking along Khangai Valley. We walk across a tree-filled area, go up towards the Naiman Nuur National Park. First, we visit Lake Khuis and Lakes Bugat, Döröö, Khaya, then we set up our camp on the banks of Lake Shireet.
We hike on the Shireet Hill and visit the stone of Shurangiin Tsokhoi. Then we finally join a nomads family and rest in its camp.
Day 8Coming back down from the mountains
Naiman nuur - Shuranga river
We start going back down the Shireet Hill, then walk along the Ulziitiin Am Mounts. We set up our camp on the banks of the Shuranga River.
Day 9Hiking along the rivers
Shuranga river - Uvur Gyatruun
Hiking in Ulziitiin Am Mountains. After lunch, we go hiking along two rivers that will lead us to Övör Gyatruu springs. We set up our camp.
Day 10 - 11Back to our local guides'
Hiking on the Khaitruunii Hills (2200 metres, 1,37 mile) to reach Ar Khyatruun springs, where we set up our camp.
We hike along the Khyatruun River and reach the Orkhon River. Our vehicle is waiting for us and will lead us to the camp of the family that hosted us four our first night in the valley.
In the evening, you attend the preparation of a Mongolian barbecue that you will enjoy with your hosts.
Day 12Change of scene in the Mini-Gobi
We arrive at the splendid rocky formations of Khogno Khan. Discovery of the park : semidesert steppes, taiga, stunning rocky formations, 80-kilometre (49,71 miles) long sand dunes, are characteristic of this arid area nicknamed "Mini-Gobi".
Walk 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 13Back to the Mongolian capital
Khogno Khan - Ulan Bator
Back to Ulan-Bator. Last herds of wild horses crossing the road outside our dumbfounded eyes, last yurts smoking far away, the steppe will be with us until the last moment.
Arrival in town and settling in at 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.