Mongolian Classic Tour

Marvel at the contrast between the ice gorge and sand-dunes of the Gobi desert, visit dinosaur excavation sites, and stay in gers, the traditional Mongolian circular, felt tents. Ride on horseback through the stunning Khentii Mountain range, and visit the country’s most significant Buddhist temples.

This trip combines the ancient traditions of Buddhism with a visit to Mongolia’s famous Gobi desert and to the beautiful Khentii Mountains. Mongolia’s Gobi desert holds a wealth of natural wonders. Here, you will have the opportunity to follow in the footsteps of the paleontologists who discovered dinosaur remains by the Flaming Cliffs, to walk through the ice gorge at Eagle Valley, and to climb the sand-dunes of the southern Gobi.

Mongolia is a Buddhist country, with ornate temples and active monasteries. On this trip, you will visit two monasteries: Gandantegchilin and Gunjiin Sum or the Princess’ Monastery. Gandantegchilin Monastery is the largest functioning monastery and it was built in 1840, it is the most important monastery in Mongolia. It is easily seen in the north west of the city center. In the past it was one of the main Buddhist centres in Asia having more than two dozen monasteries and it was famous for its library collection of religious documents and the typography.

Long before the arrival of Buddhism in Mongolia, the Mongolians had a powerful connection to their land, and its spirits. This connection is still celebrated today. This is nowhere more evident than in the area of Gunjiin Monastery, nestled in the Khentii Mountains, amidst pine and birch forests. Otherwise called ‘Princess Monastery’ these ruins hold a beautiful story of a young princess who loved her people and country.

In summer you will see an abundance of wild flowers, and as the months get colder and autumn begins the leaves create a spectacular glow of warm colours. We will spend several days in these mountains, walking in its valleys and visiting its nomadic families.

Day 1 Arrival in Ulaanbaatar – sightseeing – evening entertainment

On arrival you will be met at the airport and transferred to Ulaanbaatar Hotel. There will be a visit to Gandan Monastery, the Bogd Khan Winter Palace (home to the last religious king of Mongolia), and the Fine Arts Museum. Lunch will be at the hotel and dinner at a ger restaurant with traditional Mongolian food and entertainment.

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Day 2 Flight to Dalanzadgad, South Gobi

Today we will take the flight to the South Gobi Province, either in the morning or in the afternoon depending on the domestic schedule. The flight from Ulaanbaatar to the capital of the South Gobi Province takes one and a half hours, and you will be accompanied by your guide. On arrival at the airstrip in the Gobi you will be met by a driver and jeep and taken to the ger camp close to Bayanzag, which means ‘rich in saxaul shrubs.’ This area, also called the ‘Flaming Cliffs,’ was first excavated in 1922 by the paleontologist Roy Chapman Andrews. It is a place of atmospheric beauty famous worldwide for the number of dinosaur bones and eggs found in the area. We will then visit Moltsog Els (sand-dunes). Overnight at Mongol Gobi.


Day 3 Khongor sand-dunes

Today we drive west along the Altai Mountain range until we reach Khongoriin Els. Reaching heights of 800m, these are Mongolia’s largest sand-dunes. Locally they are called the ‘singing dunes’ because of the tons of sand, which shift in the wind, making a strange sound similar to that of distant aircraft. The drive is about 4 hours long. During this stay in the Gobi we will have the opportunity to use a different type of transport. We will be riding on camels today to explore these massive sand-dunes. The two-humped camels are very comfortable to ride, as they walk slowly and gently and we will be well supported by the humps, sitting comfortably between them. Our camel man will take us to the sand-dunes. We will stay overnight in a ger camp close to the dunes.


Day 4 Gobi – Yolyn Am

After a relaxed breakfast we will drive towards Yolyn Am, or Eagle Valley. This is about 220 km from your ger camp. The valley is about 10km long and is completely shaded from the sun in some parts by the high cliff walls. It is possible to walk through the valley and out the other side. You may be lucky enough to spot wild sheep and goats grazing high on the cliff walls. The valley is also full of soaring eagles hunting for prey. At the opening of the valley is a local Natural History Museum displaying interesting information about the animals of the area. The best time for spotting wildlife is at dawn or dusk and you may discuss with your guide which hours your prefers.


Day 5 Return to Ulaanbaatar – Natural History Museum

You may have enjoyed this morning with an early hike through the Eagle Valley or you may have relaxed at the camp. The return flight is scheduled for late in the afternoon.


Days 6-10 5 days in the Khentii Mountains – horse riding, hiking, visiting nomads

We will depart on the morning of the 6th day for the Khentii Mountains. En route, we will see nomadic families and their gers, and we will go through the Gorkhi-Terelj National Park where we will meet up with our local horsemen. After lunch, our journey will continue, either on horseback or on a yak cart, into the Baga Khentii Mountains, the smaller sisters of the Khentii Mountains to the north. We will spend four nights in tents moving from place to place in the mountains. We will have a dining tent for meals and social time in the evenings. In the daytime, our activities will include horse riding, yak cart riding, hiking and visiting the ruins of Gunjin Monastery. The river, which flows past our camp, is deep enough for a dip in the cool waters, or you can try your hand at fishing with the locals. If you like wildlife, this area is perfect. There are musk deer, moose, brown bears, roe and elk. Birds spotted in the area include whooper swans, spoonbills, great white egrets and a variety of birds of prey. On our last day, we will visit the ger of our local horseman and sample some traditional Mongolian food. We will return to Ulaanbaatar by vehicle. Tonight we will have a farewell dinner at a local restaurant and stay overnight at Ulaanbaatar Hotel.

(Bosgiin guur – Zuugiin Tsagaan khotol –Dund bayan (muddy area) – Gyalalzakh – Gunjiin sum – Tuul tereljiin belcher)

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Day 11 Departure

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

Departure codes and dates:
NSA-001, 16-26 May, 2017
NSA-005, 9-19 Aug, 2017
Price per person for a group more than 9 people: USD2.749

Single Supplement: USD250
Prices include the following

A domestic flights, transportation within Mongolia, twin accommodation in a 4 star hotel. 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

An additional ‘single supplement’ price is given with all our prices. This refers to single room accommodation in hotels only. 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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