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Mongolia Holidays

A place where the nomadic lifestyle is still very much alive. Dotted throughout this vast country and its dramatic scenery are beautiful glimpses of local culture – particularly, the Naadam Festival and the Kazakh eagle hunters.

With just over two million inhabitants, Mongolia is the most sparsely populated country in the world and the sense of space is epic.

Freed from its Soviet chains traditions are strong with Buddhism slowly reasserting itself, as is the nomadic lifestyle so alien to the socialist model. Even in Ulaanbaatar half the population still live in gers, the traditional circular Mongolian tent.

Inner Mongolia Great Gray Owl
Mongolia

What to expect on your Mongolian holiday

Expect remote and wild panoramic scenery ranging from lush grassy steppes to craggy desert, rolling sand dunes and soaring mountains. There are few internal flights so moving around the country is either done overland using 4×4 vehicles or via one of the few internal flights. Distances are great so expect long journeys. The further west you travel, the more remote Mongolia becomes as you approach the Altai Mountains and the border with China.

Over 70% of the Mongolian population remain nomadic and travelling across the flat open steppe you will still encounter isolated family ger (yurt) encampments whose occupants will inevitably offer you hospitality. To experience the true essence of the country, spend time travelling by the traditional mode of horseback, camel or yak. The wiry little thirteen-hand ponies will seem a little small, but their stamina is legendary – they carried Genghis Khan across Asia.

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Jalman Meadows Gorkhi Terelj
Jalman Meadows, Mongolia
Kazakh herder with his livestock
Mongolia
Nomads' yurts and mountains, Mongolia
Mongolia

Ger Camping

A holiday to remote Mongolia used to mean staying in basic accommodation but this is no longer the case. There is now the opportunity to stay in small, private ger camps in unspoilt landscapes with modern comforts such as ensuite bathrooms, private chef, excellent guides and a support team. Ger camps can be set up in the most remote and magical locations which can range from a riverside setting to rugged desert landscape or endless grassy steppe, far from any day-trippers. They are then dismantled, leaving no evidence of their existence, ensuring these beautiful landscapes remain untarnished. Some camps work with local communities enhancing what is a truly Mongolian experience.

Naadam festival Women's Mongolian archery competition
Archery, Naadam Festival
Eagle Hunter with his golden eagle in Bayan Olgii, West Mongolia
Golden eagle hunter
Kazah Eagle Hunter, Altai Mountains, Mongolia, JW
Kazah Eagle Hunter, Altai Mountains

Mongolian Festivals

There are two well known festivals in Mongolia, both of which offer a fascinating and authentic insight into Mongolian culture.

Naadam Festival: Travel in July when people from all over the country flock to watch and participate in the festivities. Men and women compete in the three national sports of wrestling, archery and horse racing.

Golden Eagle Festival: In September Eagle Hunters gather in the mountainous Altai region of the country to compete with their magnificent raptors, showcasing the speed, agility and accuracy of their birds.

Need inspiration?
Browse our Mongolia holiday ideas.

Our experts have created and curated these holiday ideas to get you started. Take the time to search through them and find something that is the spark for your unique adventure.

Explore Mongolia

  • Ulaanbaatar
  • Hustai National Park
  • Hovsgol
  • Ikh Nart
  • Karakorum
  • Gobi Desert
  • Altai Mountains

Experiences

A selection of activities and experiences you could consider including in your holiday to Mongolia.

Meet a Nomadic Family

Stay in a traditional ger, spending time with a nomadic family.

Suggested Holiday Idea

Bird Watching

Discover Mongolia’s rich birdlife, including passerines, water birds and of course raptors.

Search for Fossils

Visit the Flaming Cliffs of Bayanzag, where the American expedition of the 1950’s uncovered a great haul of dinosaur remains.

Suggested Holiday Idea

Winter Lake Adventure

Wrap up warm for a winter adventure on Khovsgol Lake when the water freezes and people take to the ice for sledging and ice fishing fun.

Kazakh Eagle Hunters

See the Kazakh Eagle Hunters in all their finery – meet the hunters, their families and their birds, and learn about the skills involved in the capture, training and use of eagles as hunters.

Suggested Holiday Idea

Gandan Monastery

Visit Gandan Monastery just outside of Ulaanbaatar – the largest Buddhist monastery in Mongolia.

Suggested Holiday Idea

Wildlife in the Altai

Search the mountain landscapes for wildlife including snow leopard, saiga antelope, pallas cat and argali sheep.

Hustai National Park

Explore Hustai National Park where Przewalski horses, once close to extinction, now run wild.

Suggested Holiday Idea

Naadam Festival

Travel in July during the Naadam Festival when people from across the country gather to compete and watch the traditional sports of wrestling, archery and horse racing.

Self-Drive Karakorum

Drive overland via Karakorum, the ancient walled city which was once the capital of the Mongolian Empire.

Suggested Holiday Idea

Meet our experts

A passion for travel runs right through every one of our experts - meaning they're always ready with first-hand insight about their specialist countries.

Paul Craven

Paul, our Mongolian expert, joined Steppes Travel in 1994 and has visited Mongolia numerous times. His most recent adventure was with his son when they experienced a yak trek, staying in yurts as they travelled, as well as visiting a nature reserve where they found eagles and argali sheep.

Talk with our experts
  • 01285 880 980

Clare Higginson

It was my passion for languages that first encouraged me to leave the UK behind and grab my rucksack. Since then, it’s been a mixture of intriguing cultures, jaw-dropping landscapes and the wonder of seeing animals in their natural habitat that sees me continuously extending my travel wish list.

Talk with our experts
  • 01285 880 980

Start planning your trip


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Paul Craven designed a really good itinerary in Mongolia, taking in the Eagle Festival, for a sole traveller at relatively short notice. My guide was a bird watching expert so I saw lots of birds and animals as I had hoped - he was an excellent guide and travelling companion making the trip really special.

Mongolia

Where to stay

Below you can see some of the wonderful places we have recommended for this journey.

Three Camel Lodge £££££

  • Mongolia
  • Tented Camps

Arriving at Three Camel Lodge you are met by a line of broad, smiling young Mongolian faces. They don’t need warning – they can see your vehicle from miles and miles away, with nothing else to clutter up the uninterrupted view apart from a few sheep, yaks and ponies. The forty-individual handmade gers are large and comfortable, featuring traditional furniture, a wood-burning stove, camel hair blankets for additional warmth and artwork from around the country.

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Jalman Meadows Ger Camp £££££

  • Mongolia
  • Tented Camps

Jalman Meadows ger camp is an authentic low impact camp offering comfortable ger accommodation as well as separate library, dining and shower gers. The valleys surrounding the camp serve as winter grazing areas for the local nomads and the grasslands burst with the colour of wildflowers in the summer. Hiking, horse-riding, rafting and kayaking are amongst the activities on offer and the camp provides the opportunity to experience the wildlife, culture and landscapes of Mongolia.

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HS Khaan Resort £££££

  • Mongolia
  • Tented Camps

Located midway between Ulaanbaatar and Hustai National Park, HS Khaan Resort is a luxury ger camp. The 26 individual cottages are housed in traditional, circular canvas ger structures, but with all the interior comforts of a hotel room. Comfortable beds with mosquito nets, ensuites with porcelain bathtubs and all with panoramic views over the open steppe. Facilities include a choice of restaurants and a terrace area that makes the most of the far-reaching views.

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Frequently asked questions about Mongolia

Do I need a visa for travel to Mongolia?

How long is the flight to Mongolia from the UK?

What is the food like in Mongolia?

What wildlife might I see on a holiday to Mongolia?

When is the best time to travel to Mongolia?

How long are the flights to Mongolia from the UK?

What should I pack for travelling around Mongolia?

When are the main festivals of Mongolia?

What is the time zone in Mongolia?

Why Choose Steppes?

Our knowledge and expertise set us apart. So too our curiosity. It is this that drives us to create a journey that is really bespoke to you, all the while ensuring we travel and operate sustainably.

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