At North, a great blue lake wrapped by mountains : all was green, all was blue, except some huts here and there. We were arrived in the land of shamans... Magic was everywhere. Then we took the road towards South and reached the Khangai, this former volcanic mountain range where many nomad breeders have taken up residence. Mountains, rivers, and lakes... A tour that gives time to enjoy.
Day 1Arrival 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.
At 18 o' clock, Mongolian traditional show at Tumen Ekh: folkloric dances, contortion, and of course khoomi, the overtone singing.
Day 2 - 4Adventures around the great blue lake of Mongolia
Ulan Bator - Moron
Flight to Mörön, the capital of the province of Khövsgöl, where our driver is waiting for us.
We arrive at Lake Khövsgöl, one of the natural wonders of the world. This mountain covers an area of 2760 square kilometres, and its water is so pure that we can drink it ! It's surrounded with many peaks culminating at more than 2000 metres and covered with forests of pines and lush meadows where yaks and horses graze !
We go towards East and the green small valleys of Alag Sar, and spend the night in a small yurts camp.
- 3, 4
Let's start a beautiful story... With local breeders and their yaks, we leave for our 2-days hike or pony-trek in the tree-filled valleys of Alag Tsar. Following the peaceful tempo of the cart, we discover this land of nomadism. In the heart of summer, the area is flowered and we will move literally on a carpet of edelweiss, while at West, we will see on the opposite bank the peaks culminating at 3000 metres that bathe in the crystal water of the lake.
In the evening, with the breeders, we will put up the yurt that we carried, in which we will spend the night.
Day 5On the way to the central steppes
Moron - Shine Ider
Journey towards centre : the track goes through many passes and sinks into lost valleys where landscapes quickly change. Altitude exceeds 2000 metres (1,24 mile) at the passes.
Landscapes are more and more beautiful and there are more and more photo opportunities.
Day 6 - 7Lakes and volcanos area
Shine Ider - Terkhiin Tsagaan national park
Road to Khorgo – Terkhiin Tsagaan Nuur Natural Park that is located 2060 metres (1,28 mile) above the sea level. This lake, called "the great white lake", and its whole volcanic surroundings, are the emblematic area of the province of Arkhangai. The waters of the lake are full of fish and it's possible to fish if you wish.
Hiking along the banks of the lake. We go towards Southeast where Khorgo Volcano reaches its highest point at 2240 metres (1,39 mile). (Easy) ascent of the volcano. From the top, we enjoy a splendid view on the lake and the surrounding hills. Nearby the volcano, stunning lava flows form an original landscape never seen up to now.
Day 8Let's relax in the hot springs !
Tsetserleg - Tsenkher hot springs
Arrival at Tsenkher hot springs, where you can lounge in the hot springs of the camp.
Day 9 - 10Nomadic life in the Orkhon Valley
Tsenkher hot springs - Tovkhon monastery
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.
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.
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 were formed 20.000 years ago, as a result of a unique combination of earthquakes and volcano eruptions.
- 9, 10
Stay 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 11Change of scenery in the Mini-Gobi
Orkhon valley - 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. Visit of the Museum of Kharkhorin.
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".
Day 12Appointment with wild horses
Day 13Back to the Mongolian capital
Khustai national park - 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.
Visit of Gandantegchinlen Monastery. In the morning, lamas get together to pray. They will answer your questions at the Mongolian Buddhist Centre.
Rest of the day free. With our guide, you can go shopping in the centre of the city.