Tailor-Made Holiday

Yurt Camping & Fossil Hunting in Mongolia

A family adventure through the open steppe and gobi desert landscape

9 days

from £4,125pp (excluding flights)

With vast open spaces free from traffic and incredibly welcoming people with a strong tradition of hospitality and a deep respect for nature, Mongolia is an exciting and incredibly special destination for a family holiday.

  • Visit nomadic families where children learn to ride a horse before they can walk
  • Go fossil hunting where the first nest of dinosaur eggs were found
  • Search for golden eagles in the never-ending Mongolian skies
  • Hear the sand dunes of the Gobi sing as you whiz down them on your boogie board
  • Camp out in a traditional ger under millions of twinkling stars

Ulaanbaatar

Begin your family holiday to Mongolia in Ulaanbaatar with a visit to the Museum of Natural History to wander amidst dinosaur skeletons, including the world famous ‘fighting dinosaurs’ found some 80 million years ago. Also, visit other quirky and family friendly 'museums' including one displaying a range of traditional toys and games and a 13th-century park with camps set up to reflect how life would have been in Mongolia hundreds of years ago.

Mongolian steppe and the Gobi Desert

Onto the mountains, grassland steppes, rivers, lakes and abundant birdlife of the Gun Galuut Nature Reserve to camp out and explore on horseback.

A short flight to the Gobi desert for four days of adventure. Board your camel to explore the desert dunes nomad style, see ancient rock art (the Banksy’s of millions of years ago!), visit nomadic families, hunt for fossils and sample the traditional drink of Airag (not quite a milkshake it is fermented Mares milk).

For most of this holiday to Mongolia, you will stay in Gers which are the traditional felt dwellings used by Mongolian herders. Staying in these camps offers a real chance to experience the Mongolian way of life.

**Please note that fossils should never be removed from the site where they are found. Fossils are only to be looked at and never to be moved or taken away.

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 
£ 4125 £ 750
  Click here to see what is included/excluded

what is included

  • A family ger at Three Camel Lodge
  • A family wooden cabin at Gun-Galuut Nature Reserve
  • Bed and breakfast while staying in Ulaanbaatar
  • Entrance fees to all sites as detailed
  • Full board while staying at ger camps (excluding alcoholic beverages)
  • All transfers and transportation as detailed
  • Internal flights
  • Sightseeing with private guide as per the itinerary
  • Two double or twin rooms in Ulaanbaatar

what is excluded

  • Lunches and dinners 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



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 Best Western Premier Tuushin Hotel, bed and breakfast

Day 2

Full Day Family Sightseeing
Begin the day with a visit to Gandan Monastery, the seat of Buddhism in Mongolia. Stroll through the monastery grounds, hear the low tones of the horns used to call the lamas to the temple and observe their daily rituals, including the reading of sutras, the teachings of the Buddha. Also visit the recently renovated Chenrezi and Kalachakra Temples, as well as the magnificent statue of Migjid Janraisig, "the lord who looks in every direction." This 82-foot high statue, gilded in pure gold and clothed with silk and precious stones, completely fills the biggest of Gandan's temples.

Next, drive through downtown Ulaanbaatar to the National History Museum for an excellent overview of Mongolia's history and culture. The museum displays traditional implements of daily nomadic life, including Stone and Bronze Age artefacts, historical costumes of Mongolia's minority tribes, sacred religious relics, and agricultural, fishing, and hunting equipment.

After lunch, visit the International Intellectual Museum which showcases a fascinating private collection of traditional toys, puzzle and games. In the evening, drive to Zaisan Memorial, built by the former Soviet Union to commemorate fallen soldiers of World War II. Those who climb the 300 steps will be rewarded with a beautiful panoramic view of the capital city, the Tuul River, and the surrounding countryside.


You will be staying at Best Western Premier Tuushin Hotel, bed and breakfast

Day 3

Drive from Ulaanbaatar to Gun-Galuut via 13th Century Theme Park


After an early breakfast, head east for approximately two and a half hours to Gun Galuut Nature Reserve.

En route stop to visit the 13th Century Theme Park which consists of six camps showcasing how life would have been in 13th century Mongolia. Ride a camel or horse, try on traditional clothes and learn about cultural traditions from herding to shamanism.


Gun-Galuut Nature Reserve occupies a beautiful river valley with mountain ranges surrounded by rolling steppe. Home to a small population of the endangered argali sheep and the extraordinarily graceful and rare white-naped Crane. There is also a chain of small lakes where an interesting variety of birds can be seen.


On arrival take a hike within the Gun-Galuut Valley to spot argali and Marco Polo sheep.


You will be staying at Gun-Galuut Ger Camp, full board

Day 4

Half a Day of Horseback Exploration
Meet local horsemen and their steeds, before exploring this scenic area on horseback. En route, visit sites of interest and encounter local nomadic families in their summer pasture. Pass by wetlands and look out for the birds that flourish here, such as rare white-naped cranes. If preferred, it is possible to explore by car.

Drive Gun-Galuut Nature Reserve to Ulaanbaatar via Chinggis Khan Statue


Return to Ulaanbaatar stopping to visit the Chinggis Khan Equestrian Statue in Tsonjin Boldog. This massive statue made of 250 tons of gleaming stainless steel contains a two-story base where visitors can see a replica of Chinggis Khan's legendary golden whip and also take a lift to a deck on the horse's head for far reaching views of the Mongolian steppe.


You will be staying at Best Western Premier Tuushin Hotel, bed and breakfast

Day 5

Fly Ulaanbaatar to Dalanzadgad

Drive from Dalanzadgad to Three Camel Lodge via Yol Valley


Drive approximately one hour to Yol Valley National Park, cradled in the foothills of the Altai Mountains. An ancient river carved this surprisingly green valley, and its remnant streams create ice formations at the base of the valley which sometimes persist as late as July. A hike through the valley leads to the habitat of indigenous vultures such as lammergeiers, Altai snowcocks, ibex, yaks, and argali mountain sheep.

Continue a further two hours to the Bulagtai Mountain on the edge of Gobi Gurvan Saikhan National Park, home to Three Camels Lodge.


You will be staying at Three Camel Lodge, full board

Day 6

Half Day Trip to Khavtsgait Petroglyphs
Drive to Khavtsgait Valley to examine the area's incredible petroglyphs. Carved into rocks that are strewn across a hillside, these well-preserved carvings depict everyday Bronze Age activities. They offer a fascinating insight into the lives of the people who lived in the Gobi desert during this period (Note: This is a steep hike over gravel covered ground).


Late Afternoon Cycle Ride
Spend the afternoon riding horses or mountain bikes around the area surrounding Three Camel Lodge.


You will be staying at Three Camel Lodge, full board

Day 7

Day Trip to Moltsog Els and Bayanzag
This morning drive to Moltsog Els, one of the few regions of the Gobi covered by sand dunes. Explore the sand dunes on foot or by Bactrian camel. Also visit a local camel herding family and experience their hospitality and way of life. Late afternoon, travel around one hour to the legendary "Flaming Cliffs", so named for the red-orange sandstone which glows brilliantly at sunrise and sunset. It was here, in 1922, that Dr. Roy Chapman Andrews and his exploration team from the American Museum of Natural History found the world's first nest of dinosaur eggs. To the trained eye, the ancient formations of the Flaming Cliffs are rich with fossils, and paleontological expeditions continue to make significant discoveries at this site.


You will be staying at Three Camel Lodge, full board

Day 8

Drive from Three Camel Lodge to Dalanzadgad

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.


You will be staying at Best Western Premier Tuushin Hotel, bed and breakfast

Day 9

Day at leisure in Ulaanbaatar

Accommodation

Below you can see some of the wonderful places we recommend you stay on your journey.

Three Camel Lodge

Three Camel Lodge

Arriving at Three Camel Lodge you are met by a line of broad, smiling young Mongolian faces....

View Accommodation

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

Destination Experts

Our experts have unrivalled firsthand knowledge of Mongolia

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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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