Fascinating Cultures of the Altai (Naadam)

Explore Ulaanbaatar and Terelj National Park before flying to Ulaangom, from where you will discover some of the most stunning mountains and lakes in the world. Ride camels in the sand-dunes, visit traditional Oold and Kazakh families and eat traditional Mongolian food.

Day 1         

Arrive Ulaanbaatar – sightseeing – evening cultural show & dinner

Arrive in Ulaanbaatar on Mongolian Airline flight from Berlin at 07:10, or from Beijing at 10:50 and transfer to a 3 star hotel. Lunch in a local restaurant. Afternoon sightseeing including: Gandan Monastery; Bogd Khan Winter Palace; and the National History Museum. In the evening there will be a folklore show, followed by dinner at a North Indian restaurant. Overnight at the hotel.

Day 2         

Day trip to Terelj National Park – hiking, riding, relaxing

After breakfast you will head out of Ulaanbaatar to Terelj National Park, the southern edge of the Siberian Taiga. Here you can choose to spend the day hiking, riding horses, or simply relaxing. Return to UB after lunch. Dinner will be at a local restaurant. Overnight at the hotel.

Day 3         

Flight to Ulaangom – 50km drive to Uvs Lake

You will be transferred to the airport for a flight to Ulaangom departing at 12:00. On arrival in Ulaangom (16:05) you will be served lunch by our cook and driven to the southern edge of Uvs Lake. Dinner and overnight stay in tented camp.

Day 4         

Bayan Nuur – camping and fishing on lake’s shore

After breakfast at camp we will drive to Bayan Nuur (100km), a lake surrounded by sand dunes, and where locals claim there is good fishing! Once we have reached the lake we will camp on its shore. This will be our camping spot for the next 3 days.

Day 5         

Camel riding across Uguumur Mountain

A day of camel riding - Bactrian camels are the only possible means of transport in many places in this area. You will experience a full day of camel riding across Uguumur Mountain. Packed lunch. We will return to the base camp in the evening. The riding distance is 20-25km depending on the weather and circumstances.


Day 6         

Zuun Gobi Naadam – traditional Mongolian dinner

After breakfast at base camp we will drive down to Zuun Gobi soum (20km) and visit their local Naadam festival. Full day at Naadam - packed lunch. Competitions in the three manly games: wrestling; horse racing; and archery are held throughout the country. Smaller places such as our destination normally only have wrestling, and horseracing, but retain the charm and authenticity of larger festivals. After watching the Naadam we will return to our base camp for dinner and the night. For dinner we will have ‘khorkhog’ the most Mongolian meal you can imagine – mutton cooked slowly in a huge, metal urn with vegetables, water, and hot stones from a flaming fire.

Day 7         

Khyargas Lake

After breakfast at camp we will drive to Khyargas Lake via Khyargas, Tag, and Tsagaan Khiarkhan soums (185km). Khyargas Lake National Park has 332,800 hectares, and was established in 2000. Khyargas Lake is famous for having the least number of mosquitoes at any time of year, and its banks are like a pleasant seashore. Khar Termes - or Snake Spa - is nestled at the northern edge of the lake. We will set up camp nearby in the late afternoon, and you will have chance to swim until dinner.


Day 8         

Shar Nuur – Turgen Mountain – 150km drive

Breakfast at camp before driving to Kharkhiraa Turgen Mountain. (150km). We will drive via Naranbulag and Tarialan soums, refuelling at the latter, continuing until we reach Shar Nuur in the heart of Turgen Mountain. Packed lunch on the way. The twin peaks of Kharkhiraa and Turgen mountains are almost equidistant between Achit, Uureg and Uvs lakes. As vital sources of the Uvs Lake, the mountains are part of the Uvs Lake Strictly Protected Area. Camp in tents.

Day 9         

Uureg Lake - 90km drive

Driving further, we will reach Uureg Lake, which lies 25km from the Russian-Mongolian border. The lake is 1425m above sea level and is surrounded by 3000m peaks, including the 3496m Tsagaan Shuvuut Mountain We will reach the lake before lunch and camp on its southern shore. Swimming and fishing, depending on the season, are ideal at this pristine lake. Dinner and night at camp.

Day 10        

Achit Lake – visit Kazakh families – 105km drive

After breakfast we will drive to Achit Lake, the largest freshwater lake in the province. Achit Lake is on the border of Uvs and Bayan Ulgii provinces, and is an easy detour between Ulaangom and Olgii. It offers stunning sunsets and sunrises as well as good fishing. We will visit Kazakh families and, if we are lucky, watch hunting eagles. We will set up camp near Usan Khooloin Bridge. Dinner and the night at the camp.

Day 11        

Namarjin Valley – visit Oold families or hike Tsast Mt. – 210km drive

Today we will drive to Namarjin Valley via Bayan Ulgii province capital, where we will refuel and have a glimpse of the local Muslim community. Namarjin lies next to Tsast and Tsambagarav mountains - both snow-capped and over 4000m high. On arrival you can visit Oold families, one of the several ethnic minorities living in the area. Alternatively, you can hike to the remains of an avalanche which took place 15 years ago, trapping and killing several hundred animals. There is an excellent view from Tsast Mountain. We will camp in Namarjin Valley tonight.

Day 12        

Khovd – visit Kazakh families – 140km drive

Drive to Khovd city. Once a small farming community, and later a center of trade with Russia, Khovd city is the major industrial center of western Mongolia. About 300 Kazakhs live in the town and more live in a village 25km north of Khovd. You will have the opportunity to visit Kazakh families. Packed lunch on the way. We will camp outside Khovd city.

Day 13        

Khovd market – return flight to Ulaanbaatar

In the morning we will visit the town of Khovd and its market. After lunch at the previous night’s camping spot we will drive to Khovd airport for a return flight to UB at 17:20. On arrival (21:00) you will be taken back to your hotel. Dinner at Hasara Restaurant.

Day 14        


After breakfast you will be transferred to the airport for your international departure.


This tour can be organized as an individual request.

Prices include the following: 

2 domestic flights, transportation within Mongolia. Single accommodation can be arranged at an additional cost. Tented accommodation while on trek, three meals a day, English-speaking guide, all sightseeing costs, transfers, camel or horse hire where specified, support staff including drivers, horse/camel men and camp assistants.

Prices do not include: 

International transportation, travel insurance, visas, departure tax, alcoholic drinks, gratuities, items of a personal nature.

It is the responsibility of the client to be fully covered with travel and medical insurance while traveling in Mongolia.

Please note: 

Upon request, single supplement in the countryside can be provided at the additional cost. In case single accommodation in ger camps was not provided the amount would be calculated based on the missing nights and reimbursed.

Nomads cannot be held responsible for over bookings, as long as the company can prove with sufficient documentation that overbooking has been the error of the third party.

Should circumstances beyond our control, such as the imposition of quarantine restrictions, any changes of domestic flight or train schedules, require a change of itinerary, we will inform your agent and propose an equivalent itinerary. Again, Nomads cannot take over the responsibility for the Airlines or the National Train Company. The traveler is responsible for having proper travel documents, such as a valid passport, proper visa and the necessary passport pictures.

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