Tailor-Made Holiday

Highlights of Mongolia

From Ulaanbaatar to the vast Mongolian steppe and the dunes of the Gobi Desert

15 days

from $3,350pp (excluding flights)

Experience epic landscapes, nomadic culture and diverse wildlife on this 15-day holiday showcasing the highlights of Mongolia.

  • Camp in traditional gers in the south Gobi - the least populated province in Mongolia
  • Explore the Hogno Khan steppes are where many nomadic herdsmen live
  • See the Przewalski horse, re-introduced from extinction in Hustai National Park
  • Explore the rocky landscape of Ikh Nart, home to argali sheep and cinereous vulture

Ulaanbaatar

Begin your holiday to Mongolia in the capital city of Ulaanbaatar, where more than half the population still lives in gers. There will be time to visit some of the cities main sites such as Gandan Monastery before heading out into the Mongolian wilderness.

Gobi Desert

A short flight from Ulaanbaatar takes you to Dalanzadgad and the start of the Gobi Desert. The largest desert in Asia, the Gobi covers huge chunks of both Mongolia and China. Spend three nights staying in traditional ger camps while exploring sites such as the ‘Flaming Cliffs’ as well as beautiful landscapes from sand dunes to rugged valleys. This region is home to a wealth of wildlife and birdlife and is famous for the number of dinosaur fossils found here.

Karakorum

Head west of Ulaanbaatar towards Karakorum, capital of the Mongol Empire during the 13th century. Over two days explore hidden monasteries and temples including the fascinating Erdene Zuu Monastery where resident monks still perform religious duties.

Hustai National Park

The grassy steppes of Hustai National Park are the home to the endangered Przewalski wild horse.  Take an evening game drive in search of the horses who venture to lower ground to graze and drink later in the day. There will also be time to visit local communities who live on the fringes of the National Park – take lunch with a family, dining on the local speciality of Buuz, a steamed dumpling filled with meat.

Ikh Nart Nature Reserve

Spend two days exploring the Ikh Nart area, on foot, horse or camelback. The semi-desert landscape and rocky outcrops harbour various kinds of wildlife including argali sheep, as well as Siberian ibex and many bird species. Also explore a range of archaeological and historical sites from various epochs, including petroglyphs, burial sites and temple ruins. There may also be the chance to meet some local herding families. Being reliant on pastures and precipitation, the hardy and hospitable Gobi herders, frequently migrate in and out of the area with their herds of livestock.

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 
$ 4522.5 $ 1012.5
  Click here to see what is included/excluded

what is included

  • Bed and breakfast at hotel in Ulaanbaatar
  • Entrance fees to all National Parks, National Monuments and Museums
  • Full board when staying in Ger camps
  • All accommodation as detailed
  • Internal flights
  • Sightseeing with private guide as per the itinerary
  • Transfers as detailed

what is excluded

  • Lunch and dinner in Ulaanbaatar
  • Gratuities
  • International flights
  • Travel Insurance
  • Visas

PLEASE NOTE THE COST SHOWN INCLUDES INTERNATIONAL FLIGHTS DEPARTING FROM THE UK, BASED ON AN APPROXIMATE AIR FARE. PLEASE ASK YOUR TRAVEL EXPERT FOR AN ACCURATE INTERNATIONAL FLIGHT QUOTE. INTERNATIONAL FLIGHTS DEPARTING FROM THE UK ARE ATOL PROTECTED.

Itinerary at a glance

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Day 1

Spend the remainder of the day at leisure.


You will be staying at Blue Sky Tower, bed and breakfast

Day 2

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.

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.


You will be staying at Blue Sky Tower, bed and breakfast

Day 3

Fly Ulaanbaatar to Dalanzadgad


Arrival at Bayanzag and Exploriation of Moltsog Els
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, a journey of around 90 kilometres. Bayanzang translates to 'Rich in Saxaul' due to the salt resisetnent Saxaul trees that grow here. The main attraction, though, are the "Flaming Cliffs", made famous by American explorer Roy Chapman Andrews, who discovered the first fossilized dinosaur eggs here in the early 1920's. The name alludes to the red and orange hues, that come together to create an awe-inspiring sight, especially at sunset. Enroute you may see wildlife, such as gazelle and fox. Moltsog Sands is 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 the whole Gobi. 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 Tour Ger Camp, full board

Day 4

Khongor Sands
These giant sand dunes stretch for some 150 kilometres from northwest to southeast. Up to 80 metres high, they are just a couple of hundred metres wide in some places, and as wide as 20 kilometres in others. Visit the dunes in the evening light when their beautiful shapes stand out.

The word Gobi in Mongolian means desert. The Gobi is bounded by the Altai mountains and the grasslands and steppes of Mongolia in the north, by the Tibetan Plateau to the southwest, and by the North China Plain to the southwest. Unlike the Sahara there are few sand dunes; rather you'll find large barren expenses of gravel plains and rocky outcrop.


You will be staying at Gobi Erdene Ger Camp, full board

Day 5

Yolyn Am National Park
Yolyn Am or Eagle Valley, is a beautiful area of national park rising out of the sandy desert of the South Gobi. The valley is about 10 kilometres long and is completely shaded from the sun in some parts by the high cliff walls; as such ice normally covers the narrower parts of the ravine until mid-summer. Explore this dramatic ravine on foot while keeping a look out for varied birdlife including eagles and bearded vulture, also known as Lammergeier which soar high above the ravine. Yol is actually the Mongolian name for this large raptor. You may also be lucky enough to spot wild sheep and goats grazing high on the cliff walls. At the opening of the valley is a local Natural History Museum displaying interesting information about the animals of the area.


You will be staying at Gobi Oasis Ger Camp, full board

Day 6

Travel overland to Dalanzadgad airport for your flight back to Ulaanbaatar.

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 Blue Sky Tower, bed and breakfast

Day 7

Drive from Ulaanbaatar to Hogno Khan


Travel on one of Mongolia's few tarmac roads with steppe landscape views along the route.


Mongol Els Sand Dunes
See Mongol Els sand dunes in the middle of the open steppe. These dunes are known locally as "Little Gobi" or Elsen Tasarkhai. Next to them is a small lake where some waterfowl may be seen in the summer. Also visit Erdenekhombo temple which has been restored in recent times and hike to the oasis and ruined monastery of Uvgun, located in the middle of the rocky mountains.


You will be staying at Delger Ger Camp, full board

Day 8

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. Visit Erdene Zuu Monastery. Within its 400 by 400-metre-long walls, it once housed 62 temples and 1000 monks performing religious duties. Today only the three oldest temples remain and about 40 monks are in residence. A museum and a fully functioning monastery, Erdene Zuu is still one of the most fascinating sites of Mongolia. Also visit the Mongolian Countryside Museum which exhibits artefacts from ancient Karakorum.


You will be staying at Delger Ger Camp, full board

Day 9

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


Today travel to Hustai National Park stopping for a picnic lunch enroute. Drive to the remarkable Neolithic graves of Ongut, dating from the 6th or 7th century A.D. Continue onto the Tuul River, home to red-footed falcons among other birds. The drive should take around three hours.


Evening Game Drive
This evening take a game drive with a high chance of seeing free roaming herds of takhi or Przewalski's horse. During the day they usually stay high in the mountains so are difficult to see, however, very early and late in the day they venture down to the valley for water and to graze.

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.


You will be staying at Hustai Ger Camp, full board

Day 10

Visit to Local Communities
Visit one of the community groups who inhabit the fringes of Hustai with their livestock and take a lunch of buuz, a type of Mongolian steamed dumpling filled with meat.

Drive from Hustai National Park to Ulaanbaatar (Road Journey)


A journey of approximately two and a half hours.


You will be staying at Blue Sky Tower, bed and breakfast

Day 11

Travel from Ulaanbaatar to Ikh Nart


Journey to Ikh Nart Nature Reserve, a journey of around six to seven hours. Travel over grassland that eventually turns into the more arid Gobi steppe before arriving into camp and checking into your ger.


Located in the East Gobi Province and covering 66,000 hectares, Ikh Nart is a community-supported nature reserve.

In order to aid research and promote conservation of the Ikh Plateau, local people have partnered with international and regional organisations. These include the Denver Zoo Foundation and the Mongolian Academy of Sciences.

An upland area of the arid Gobi steppes, the Ikh Plateau is memorable for its huge rock formation and deep crevices. Among the wildlife that inhabits the reserve, the unique argali sheep is the most famous. The largest wild sheep in the world, around 700 of them live on the plateau.


You will be staying at Red Rock Ger Camp, full board

Day 12

Ikh Nart Nature Reserve
Explore the reserve on foot, mountain bike or camel. The rocky outcrops harbour various kinds of wildlife such as the famous argali sheep. Frequent visitors to the reserve also include many birds, such as the regal black or cinereous vultures, Mongolian gazelle, Siberian ibex and wolves. Your guide can lead you to a number of archaeological and historical sites of interest, from various epochs, including petroglyphs, burial sites and temple ruins. It is also likely that you will have the chance to meet local herding families who migrate in and out of the area with their livestock.


You will be staying at Red Rock Ger Camp, full board

Day 13

Continue exploring Ikh Nart Nature Reserve.


You will be staying at Red Rock Ger Camp, full board

Day 14

Drive from Ikh Nart to Ulaanbaatar


Leave Ikh Nart and travel by road to Ulaanbaatar, a total journey of about six hours. Drive towards the Choiriin Bogd Mountains, where

there are some remote Buddha statues in the rock faces. Stop here for a picnic lunch before continuing on a good tarmac road for about four hours to Ulaanbaatar.


You will be staying at Blue Sky Tower, bed and breakfast

Day 15

Day at leisure in Ulaanbaatar

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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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