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Mongolia: Land Of The Great Khan

Group Tour

13 Days From £2,595

Overview

On this epic trip across Mongolia we will experience the incredible diversity of scenery in which this country abounds. From the flaming cliffs at Bayanzag and the towering sand dunes at Khongor Els we’ll make for the remote western stretches of the Gobi before heading north, crossing mountain ranges and pine and lark forests, to finally reach the grasslands and wild horses for which the country is so rightly famed.

Wherever we travel we’ll be sure to encounter scattered families ...

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HIGHLIGHTS

At a glance

MEALS

12 x Breakfasts
12 x Lunches
12 x Dinners

TRANSPORT

On this tour we will use one domestic flight, a minibus in Ulaanbaatar and 4WDs for the rest of the journey.

GROUP SIZE

Maximum: 12

CARBON CONTRIBUTIONS

A carbon-offsetting contribution to Eco Act for all bookings

EXPERT TEAM

The full services of a Wild Frontiers Tour Leader with local guides where appropriate

ACCOMMODATION

All accommodation as outlined in the itinerary

ACCOMMODATION

As an overall ethos, wherever possible we aim to use characterful accommodation that enhances the overall travel experience, not just offers a bed for the night. This can obviously vary dramatically from country to country and from trip to trip. 

On this particular trip we will be in hotels for 3 nights (in Ulaanbaatar & Arvaikheer) and in ger camps for the rest of the trip. In the ger camps you will sleep in native Mongolian dwellings which Russians call “yurts”. Although not luxurious, they are clean, comfortable and cosy. Bedding is provided, and there are shared showers, washing and toilet facilities with hot water.   The only exception to this rule is on Day 9 in the Orkhon Valley at the Ursa Major Ger Camp, which prides itself on being an eco-camp. This means that instead of showers, hot towels are bought to your ger in the evening and morning. There is no electric in the gers but a torch and candles are provided. Please note that the accommodation mentioned in the itinerary is intended as a guide only and is always subject to availability.
 

ENTRANCE FEES

All entrance fees for sights mentioned in the itinerary

FITNESS RATING

Low / Moderate

FITNESS RATING

LOW: You should be comfortable walking around towns and cultural sites. May include some optional walks (typically 1-2hrs).

LOW/MODERATE: May be of a long duration and/or involve numerous border-crossings. May include easy/moderate day walks (up to 2-3hrs/day). You should be relatively fit and lead a generally active lifestyle.

MODERATE/HIGH: May include several easy/moderate day walks (up to 2-4hrs/day) possibly at altitude. You should be relatively fit and lead a generally active lifestyle. Previous experience of similar trips helpful.

HIGH: May involve several days of moderate hiking (up to 3-5 hrs/day) possibly at altitude. You must be a fit and active traveller with appropriate trekking experience.

VERY HIGH: May involve several days of moderate/strenuous trekking (up to 5-7 hrs/day) possibly at altitude. You must be a very fit and active traveller with appropriate trekking experience.

Map & Itinerary

Individual departures may vary so please refer to the information in the tour specific links in the Dates and Prices section below

Mongolia: Land Of The Great Khan
EXPAND ALL ITINERARY DAYS
COLLAPSE ALL ITINERARY DAYS

DAY 1: TOUR STARTS IN ULAANBAATAR

DAY 1: TOUR STARTS IN ULAANBAATAR

Starting mid-morning, we’ll have an introductory meeting and then take a walk to the city square and visit the Winter Palace Museum, the residence of the last king of Mongolia, Bogd Khaan, which now houses an eccentric collection of animals, curios and artefacts. There are great views of Ulaanbaatar city from Zaisan Hill and we’ll take a stroll here before our welcome dinner and an evening of traditional Mongolian folk music and dance.

Khuvsgul Lake Hotel or similar
Lunch, Dinner

DAY 2: ULAANBAATAR – YOL VALLEY

DAY 2: ULAANBAATAR – YOL VALLEY

Early this morning we will transfer to the airport for a short flight to Dalanzadgad, in the Gobi. Once here we’ll transfer to our 4WDs and head out to the Yol Valley, where we will take an afternoon walk through this stunning landscape. Tonight we’ll experience our first night in a ger. Approx. 2hrs driving (50kms tarmac + 40kms dirt road)

Goviin Bayanburd Ger Camp or similar
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 3: YOL VALLEY – KHONGOR ELS SAND DUNES

DAY 3: YOL VALLEY – KHONGOR ELS SAND DUNES

Our first destination today will be the flaming cliffs of Bayanzag, where dinosaur eggs were found in 1922 by Roy Chapman Andrews. We’ll then head west to the Khongor sand dunes, the tallest dunes in Mongolia. Approx. 5hrs driving (240kms dirt road)

Goviin Erdene Ger Camp or similar
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 4: KHONGOR ELS SAND DUNES

DAY 4: KHONGOR ELS SAND DUNES

We have a full day to explore the striking desert scenery here and the dunes, which reach above 200min height. For those that wish there will the opportunity to take a camel ride along the dunes or to just relax and take in the spectacular landscapes. Approx. 1.5hrs driving (80kms dirt road)

Goviin Erdene Ger Camp or similar
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 5: KHONGOR ELS SAND DUNES - NARAN DAATS

DAY 5: KHONGOR ELS SAND DUNES - NARAN DAATS

Heading even further west today we’ll experience the true wilderness of the Gobi. Few western travellers make it out this far and we expect to have much of the desert to ourselves, save for perhaps a few nomadic families eking out an existence from this unforgiving and wild land. Our destination is the Naran Daats Spring near the Zulgani Oasis which is fed by the waters that rise in the nearby mountains. Approx. 5-6hrs driving (190kms dirt road)

Batarin Ulgii Ger Camp or similar
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 6: NARAN DAATS - KHERMEN TSAV - NARAN DAATS

DAY 6: NARAN DAATS - KHERMEN TSAV - NARAN DAATS

Today we have a chance to explore the nearby wonder of the Zulgani Oasis and Khermen Tsav canyon, a spectacular valley which offers great walking opportunities. After a whole day discovering this fascinating and remote region, we’ll return to our remote ger camp at Naran Daats. Approx. 6-7hrs driving (195kms dirt road)

Batarin Ulgii Ger Camp or similar
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 7: NARAN DAATS - KHAIRKHAN

DAY 7: NARAN DAATS - KHAIRKHAN

Changing direction, we’ll head north today, gradually leaving the Gobi and encountering ever greener lands. We’ll pass several villages and have the chance to interact with the locals who either permanently live here, or who pass through as part of their nomadic (or more often these days, semi-nomadic) lifestyles. After a full day on the road we’ll arrive in the small town of Khairkhan where we’ll spend the night in a ger camp. Approx. 6hrs driving (240kms dirt road)

Tergun Gobi Ger Camp or similar
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 8: KHAIRKHAN - ARVAIKHEER

DAY 8: KHAIRKHAN - ARVAIKHEER

Continuing our journey north we’ll reach the provincial capital of Ovorkhangai province. Over the course of today’s beautiful drive the scenery will take on a dramatic change as we finally leave the Gobi and enter the Khangai Mountains. Tonight we’ll take a rare opportunity to overnight in a local hotel (rather than a ger camp). Approx. 4hrs driving (100kms dirt road)

Arvaikheer hotel or similar
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 9: ARVAIKHEER– ORKHON VALLEY

DAY 9: ARVAIKHEER– ORKHON VALLEY

Crossing the Khangai Mountains with its pine and lark forests, we’ll arrive at a big meadow on the shores of the Orkhon River. Once more we’ll experience the incredible variety that this country has to offer and after our drive, we’ll arrive at our characterful ger camp and visit a local family in the area. Approx. 3-4hrs driving (140kms dirt road)

Ursa Major Ger Camp or similar
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 10: ORKHON - KHARKHORIN

DAY 10: ORKHON - KHARKHORIN

Today we head to Kharkhorin town, the ancient capital of Genghis Khan’s Mongolia in the 13th century. We visit Erdene Zuu monastery, which was built from leftovers of Kharkhorin’s ruined city in the 16th century. Sadly a communist purge destroyed almost everything but a few main monasteries. There are numerous unusual cultural and religious exhibits here, as well as a Tibetan-style monastery still active in the Erdene Zuu and important to the area. Approx. 3-4hrs driving (100kms tarmac + 20kms dirt road)

Munkh Tenger Ger Camp or similar
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 11: KHARKHORIN - HUSTAI NATIONAL PARK

DAY 11: KHARKHORIN - HUSTAI NATIONAL PARK

Today we move on to the Hustai National Park which is home to the only truly wild horses on earth; the Takhi horse. Several decades ago wild horses had disappeared from Mongolia, victims of habitat loss and poaching. However small numbers survived in European zoos and from these scattered remnants, through a program of careful breeding and international cooperation, the wild population was rebuilt. Now Hustai is home to some 250 wild horses, of which 130 were born in the wild. Approx. 5-6hrs driving (270kms tarmac + 100kms dirt road)

Hustai Ger Camp or similar
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 12: HUSTAI NATIONAL PARK – ULAANBAATAR

DAY 12: HUSTAI NATIONAL PARK – ULAANBAATAR

Today we will return to Ulaanbaatar and transfer to our hotel. In the afternoon there will be an opportunity for some free time to wander around the city, or head to the main street for some shopping before our farewell dinner. Approx. 2hrs driving (80kms tarmac + 20kms dirt road)

Khuvsgul Lake Hotel or similar
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 13: TOUR ENDS IN ULAANBAATAR

DAY 13: TOUR ENDS IN ULAANBAATAR

The tour finishes this morning at the hotel.

Breakfast

ACCOMMODATION USED ON THIS TOUR

Mid-Range

Good quality service and overall comfort

Mid-Range

Good quality service and overall comfort

Simple

No frills, basic accommodation, but often in the most exciting of places

Accommodation displayed here should be taken as a guide only. *Please refer to the Detailed Itinerary of your individual departure for more information.

PRIVATE HOLIDAYS: DATES DON’T FIT?

All group tours can be taken on a private basis.

Additional Details

Responsible Travel

Responsible travel and sustainable tourism are fundamental ideas that Wild Frontiers has been committed to since our birth. It is our strong belief that these words should not be simply ‘tagged on’ to itineraries and websites but should be at the very core of each trip, and our adventures are therefore designed with the local people, culture and eco-system in mind. We believe that a successful trip not only delivers a unique and unsurpassable journey for our clients, but that it also benefits the peoples whose lands we are privileged to visit. For more information, please see our responsible travel page.

Getting There

If you would like us to send you a quote for the suggested tour flights or on any alternative flight that may suit you better, please let us know, noting that for our US clients, we will most likely refer you to one of our preferred partners. For this trip our suggested flights from the UK (subject to change) are shown below.

If you wish to arrange your own flights you are completely free to do so and in this case we can arrange any transfers or supplementary accommodation that you may require. However please note that if you are planning on making your own flight arrangements, we recommend that you first check with us to see if the trip is guaranteed. We then suggest that you purchase flights that are flexible and ideally refundable as due to the nature of adventure travel, itineraries and destination accessibility can change at any time. For more information, please refer to our booking conditions.
 

Flight Code Departing Arriving
SU 2581 London Heathrow (LHR) 10:40 Sheremetyevo Airport (SVO) 16:35
SU 330 Sheremetyevo Airport (SVO) 18:35 Ulaanbaatar Airport (ULN) 05:40
SU 331 Ulaanbaatar Airport (ULN) 08:10 Sheremetyevo Airport (SVO) 08:50
SU 2582 Sheremetyevo Airport (SVO) 13:40 London Heathrow (LHR) 16:00

Visas

Visas are necessary for many of the destinations we travel to and while we aim to provide you with the most up-to-date information, requirements frequently change and as such for the latest advice we advise that you check with the relevant embassies or contact our recommended visa agency, Travcour www.travcour.com 

For this tour UK passport holders currently require a visa for Mongolia.

Non-UK passport holders or non-UK residents should contact the relevant embassies for individual requirements. 

Further details will be sent out to you on booking, however ensuring that correct and valid visas are obtained remains the sole responsibility of the client.

Extensions

If you have more time available, why not arrive early to adjust to a new time zone or just to get a feel for the country before your tour starts? Or alternatively you might choose to allow a few extra days after the tour to relax or to undertake some further exploration.

The choice is completely yours and we can usually arrange anything from simply additional accommodation and transfers to full tailor-made itineraries.

Below is just a small sample of what you could do. Please contact the office for more details and to discuss your individual requirements.

Terelj, Genghis Khan statue & Gun Galut

Only a few hours to the east of the capital you’ll find the ever popular Terelj National Park with its stunning scenery, the world’s largest statue of Genghis Khan and the Gun Galut Nature Reserve which is great for walking and kayaking. Allow 3-4 days.

Governmental Travel Advice

Many governments issue advice which highlights potential hazards their citizens might experience when travelling abroad. We strongly suggest you refer to your country’s particular advisory site before booking and contact us if you have any queries or concerns. Click to follow links to the advice of the British Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) or the US State Department.

Non-UK citizens should consult the travel advice of their respective governments.

Key Information

CLIMATE

Although it boasts over 260 sunny days a year and is known as the "Land of the Blue Sky", Mongolia's climate is extreme with fierce summers and bitterly cold winters. Late May and June is typically a good time for travelling with cooler temperatures and occasionally rain, which fills the rivers and brings fresh grass to the steppes.

IS THIS TRIP FOR ME?

It may sound obvious but Wild Frontiers tours are not always for everyone and it is important to us that the tour you choose is the most suitable. All our tours have a fitness rating as a guideline but you should check the day-by-day itinerary carefully. In certain instances we may ask you to complete a travel questionnaire before confirming your booking in order to ensure your suitability. Should you have any concerns about your ability to partake in any aspect of the tour then please contact the office.

KEY ASPECTS TO CONSIDER

Anyone in a reasonable state of health, with an open mind and a sense of adventure should be perfectly able to cope with this tour, as all the walks are optional. 

There are some long drives to be taken but that is part of the Mongolian experience, and there will always be time for walks, photos and local encounters. Some of the areas visited are remote and see few foreign visitors so be prepared for the unexpected and be aware that changes to local conditions can dramatically affect envisaged timings and exact routings.

Please be advised that on this trip vegetarians can be catered for but the selection and variety may be very limited, therefore we recommend packing a few extra bits to fill the gaps!

THE NATURE OF ADVENTURE TRAVEL

We feel that it’s worth pointing out that while we will always strive to stick as close to the stated itinerary as possible, it may be necessary from time to time to make changes to our itineraries or services (due to weather, political and religious influences etc.) and this can happen with little or no notice. This unpredictability can be one of the most exciting aspects of adventure travel and for many of our clients often leads to unexpected highlights as the tour-leader necessarily adapts the tour to the changing conditions. However we are aware that this lack of assuredness may not suit everyone. As such, with the greatest respect, if you are someone who needs to know that everything will happen exactly as planned, we would kindly suggest that perhaps our tours are not for you. Adventure travel can be infectious and once you’ve caught the bug, it is likely to never leave you, but especially if this is your first such tour we would strongly urge you to give us a call if you have any concerns whatsoever about your suitability for this trip.

TRAVELLING SOLO AND SINGLE SUPPLEMENTS

As a company approximately 70% of our clients are solo travellers, so it’s very unlikely you’ll be alone!

Our prices are typically based on twin-share accommodation, but single supplements are not compulsory for any Wild Frontiers tour. If you prefer not to pay a single supplement we’ll pair you with someone else of the same sex for you to share with throughout the trip.

On this trip, if you do opt to pay for a single supplement then please note that it will cover you for all nights of the tour.

Please note that paying a single supplement entitles you to lone occupancy of a single room. In many cases these rooms will be of the same size as a double/twin room, but in some cases they may be smaller.
 

INSURANCE

Insurance that provides cover for emergency repatriation in case of a medical emergency is compulsory for all tours. You should be aware that due to some of the geographical areas visited and some of the activities included on certain of our trips some standard insurance policies may not always provide adequate cover. As such we strongly recommend that you purchase a policy that adequately covers your trip. If you choose to purchase the Wild Frontiers bespoke policy through Travel & General (currently available to UK residents only) then please note for this trip the minimum required level of cover will be the Standard policy. Please see the Insurance section for more details.

General Information

TOUR PRICE

All our tours are priced on a land-only basis, giving you maximum flexibility when deciding how to get to and from your tour.

DEPOSIT

A £500 (or equivalent) deposit is required to confirm your booking.

PROTECTION FOR YOUR MONEY

For further details please see our travelling with peace of mind page

WILD MILES

This tour will earn you 8690 Wild Miles

WHAT'S NOT INCLUDED

We believe in a completely transparent approach to pricing with no hidden extras. As such, please note that the following are not included in the cost of the tour.

Visas & Travel Insurance: Visas will always be tour/nationality dependent but travel insurance is mandatory
Tips: Always optional but some guidance will be given in the pre-departure information documents
International Flights: Please ask us for an obligation-free quote for flights which originate in the UK
Beverages & any costs of a personal nature: This will include items such as laundry and souvenirs

WILD FRONTIERS COMMUNITY

If you’re still not sure if this trip is right or just want to see get some different perspectives, then why not have a look at the wide variety of resources we have on our website? Browse our community section to read our blogs, watch videos and find out about our events. 

WHY WILD FRONTIERS?

We are frequently asked what makes Wild Frontiers different from other tour operators. Visit our Why Wild Frontiers page to find out.

INSPIRATION

60 SECOND GUIDE TO MONGOLIA

From the mountains of the north to the Gobi desert in the south, Mongolia is awash with dramatic mountain scenery, spectacular deserts, a fascinating and ancient culture, and a warm and welcoming peo…

REVIEWS OF THIS TRIP