Tailor-Made Holiday

Highlights of Mongolia

Take in the highlights of Mongolia from the vast Mongolian steppe to the dunes of the Gobi Desert

15 days

from £3,060pp (excluding flights)

15 days from Karakorum to the Gobi desert

  • Camp in a ger in the South Gobi (Ömnögobi) - the least populated province in Mongolia
  • See the Gandan Monastery - the largest and most significant monastery in Mongolia
  • Explore the The Högnö Khan countryside and steppe area where many nomadic herdsmen live
  • See the the Przewalskii Horse re-introduced from extinction in Hustai National Park
  • Hike or ride horses or camels across the dunes at Arburd Sands

Experience the capital city of Ulaanbaatar, where more than half the population still lives in gers in the city. Compare this with camping out in traditional gers both on the vast Mongolian steppe and amidst the dramatic and arid desert of the South Gobi. Also visit The Hustai National Park with rolling Steppe Mountains and large patches of birch and aspen forests. End the trip at Arburd Sands in a low impact ger camp ideal for hiking or riding by horse or camel.

For a more detailed itinerary with great ideas on what to do and where to stay, please get in touch with our experts.

Price Excluding Flights £Flight cost from 
£ 3060 £ 685
  Click here to see what is included/excluded

what is included

  • All accommodation
  • Internal flights
  • International flights as detailed
  • Sightseeing with private guide as per the itinerary
  • Transfers as detailed

what is excluded

  • Gratuities
  • Travel Insurance
  • Visas


Itinerary at a glance

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Day 1

Fly London to Istanbul

Fly Istanbul to Ulaanbaatar

The capital and largest city by some distance, Ulaanbaatar has changed drastically since the turn of the millennium. Construction has boomed and as a consequence the face of the city has changed.

Despite this, more than half of residents still live in traditional gers, showing that nomadic culture remains well-entrenched within this modern city.

Founded by nomadic Buddhist monks, Ulaanbaatar didn't settle in a permanent location until the 18th century. It then took until the 20th century for the city to really develop, fuelled by its industrial growth.

Day 2

Visit the Natural History Museum and Choijin Lama Temple
Explore the exhibit-packed Natural History Museum, which was founded in 1924. One of the museum's undoubted highlights is the impressive palaeontology section, which displays petrified dinosaur eggs and bones from the Gobi Desert. These include two complete skeletons that date back 60-70 million years.

Afterwards, visit the Choijin Lama Temple. Built in the early 20th century, this beautiful complex is situated in the centre of Ulaanbaatar. Now also a museum, it houses a fine collection of art and religious relics, including tsam masks and traditional dance.

You will be staying at Narantuul Hotel, Breakfast

Day 3

Fly Ulaanbaatar to Dalanzadgad

Half Day Visit to Bayanzag
Travel to Bayanzag, also known as the ‘Flaming Cliffs’. Made of vivid red sandstone, it is this eye-catching colour - which is particularly pronounced at sunset - that gained Bayanzag this nickname. The cliffs are also renowned as the spot where American palaeontologist Roy Chapman Andrews unearthed the first fossilized dinosaur eggs ever found, in the early 1920s.

You will be staying at Gobi Ger Camp, Full board

Day 4

Day Trip to the Gurvansaikhan Mountains
Set out to visit the Gurvansaikhan Mountains, also known as the ‘Three Beauties’. One of the highlights of this spectacular area is an impressive gorge, known as Yolyn Am. Have the chance to explore this ravine, which – although surrounded by the Gobi Desert – is home to a semi-permanent ice field. Lammergeiers (bearded vultures) nest here and are likely to be spotted soaring above Yolyn Am.
On the way back, visit the local Nature Museum, if it is open.

You will be staying at Gobi Ger Camp, Full board

Day 5

Full Day Excursion to Moltsog Els
Head out on a full day excursion to Moltsog Els, one of the few areas of the vast Gobi Desert that is covered with sand dunes. For the most part, the Gobi consists of arid desert steppe, with sand dunes only making up three percent of its area. Here, spot local wildlife, such as gazelles and desert foxes, as well as meeting local people with their livestock.

You will be staying at Gobi Ger Camp, Full board

Day 6

Fly Dalanzadgad to Ulaanbaatar

Visit to the Bogd Khan Winter Palace
Also visit Bogd Khan’s Winter palace, which is a series of beautiful, traditional buildings in which Mongolia’s last king resided until his death early this century. It is now a museum displaying fascinating artefacts and costumes associated with the king, as well as his own collection of European furniture and stuffed animals.

Evening of Folk Music
Witness a folk music performance by the Mongolian National Song & Dance Ensemble, Tumen Ekh. This will include traditional throat singing, known as 'Hoomi'.

You will be staying at Narantuul Hotel, Breakfast

Day 7

Half Day Visit to Gandan Monastery
Head to the Gandan Monastery, which is one of the largest and most significant monasteries in Mongolia. Built in the mid 19th century, it was the only Buddhist monastery that continued to function throughout the communist era.
A highlight of the monastic complex is the Migjid Janraisig Temple, which houses a majestic gilded, jewel-encrusted statue of Migjid Janraisig, a famous boddhisattva. This 26-metre-high figure is a modern copy of a statue that was destroyed by the Russians in the 1920s.

Drive from Ulaanbaatar to Hogno Khan

You will travel on one of Mongolia's few tarmac roads. There will be steppe landscape all the way.

You will be staying at Delger Ger Camp, Full board

Day 8

Day Exploring the Area
Spend time exploring the surrounding countryside, which is home to nomadic Mongolian herdsmen.

You will be staying at Delger Ger Camp, Full board

Day 9

Day Trip to Harhorin (Karakorum)
Leave the ger camp and drive for two hours to Harhorin, formerly known as Karakorum.

The capital of the Mongol Empire in the 13th century, Karakorum fell from favour following the ascension of Kublai Khan to the throne. Eventually, after the fall of the Mongol Yuan Dynasty, it was sacked by Chinese Ming troops.

Explore the scenically situated ruins. During the 16th century, the giant Erdenezuu monastery was built from the remains of Karakorum; it was the largest Buddhist monastery in Mongolia with 1,000 monks and some 100 temples.

Sacked again during the purges of 1937, Erdenezuu still remains one of the most fascinating sites of Mongolia. At the end of the 20th century, monks returned to the monastery.

You will be staying at Delger Ger Camp, Full board

Day 10

Drive from Delger Ger Camp to Hustai National Park via Altan Ull

Leave Delger Ger Camp and drive to the Altan Ull, near Erdenesant, to view the raptors sweeping across the landscape.

Continue on to Hustai National Park, crossing the Tuul River Bridge. This is approximately three hours away by car.

Evening Game Drive

Declared as a Specially Protected Area by the Mongolian Government in the late 20th century, this park covers an area of 51,000 hectares and extends though the Khentii Mountains. Combining forested steppes, grasslands and hills; this reserve is packed with wildlife.

Of particular significance is the park's population of Przewalski Horses. These are the last-surviving true wild horses and they can only be found in three Mongolian reserves.

Day 11

Half Day 4x4 Trip to See Przewalski Horses
Head out in search of the park's famous herds of Przewalski horses. Extinct in the wild by the mid-20th century, these horses were reintroduced to Mongolia in 1992 as part of a unique wildlife project. The population now numbers around 400 horses, all descended from nine captive animals.

The tour lecturer Jane Blunden played an integral role in the reintroduction of the species and will be able to give a detailed insight into how it was instigated.

Drive from Hustai National Park to the Arburd Sands via Zorghol Hairhan Mountain

Leave Hustai National Park and drive across the steppes to the sacred Zorgol Hairhan Mountain.

Spend the day exploring the area, which offers dramatic views of imposing rock formations set against the empty steppe. The sacred mountain is dotted with shrines, holy springs and caves. Locals regularly bring offerings of sweets, money, milk and vodka for the mountain spirits. On some of the rocks are petroglyphs and rock paintings dating back millennia.

Whilst on the mountain, look out for the rare Argali sheep and the agile Siberian Ibex. These are often found clambering up the sheer mountainside.

Afterwards, continue on to the Arburd Sands Ger Camp.

The northernmost sand dunes of the Gobi Desert, the Arburd Sands extend for 20 kilometres across the steppes.

Far harsher than Mongolia's meadows and hills, this remote area is home to camels, rather than yaks.

You will be staying at Arburd Sands Ger Camp, Full board

Day 12

Several Days of Activities
Spend the next few days at leisure or participate in a variety of activities offered by the camp. These include the following.

- Day hikes: From the camp, hike out into the dunes. Look out for signs of the local wildlife, including wolves, which are common to the Arburd Sands. These are included in the trip cost.

- Horse riding: Explore the region on horseback, in a truly Mongolian fashion. Hourly, half day and full day rides can be organized with local horsemen at an additional cost, although full day rides should be pre-booked. Serious riders are advised to bring their own hardhat and short chaps.

- Camel riding: Set out across the dunes or steppe on camelback.

You will be staying at Arburd Sands Ger Camp, Full board

Day 13

You will be staying at Arburd Sands Ger Camp, Full board

Day 14

Drive from Arburd Sands to Ulaanbaatar

Leave Arburd Sands and travel to Ulaanbaatar. The journey will take approximately two hours.

You will be staying at Narantuul Hotel, Breakfast

Day 15

Fly Ulaanbaatar to Istanbul

Fly Istanbul to London

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For a more detailed itinerary with great ideas on what to do and where to stay, please get in touch with our experts.

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