Enjoy Mongolian national holiday Naadam festival, visit top travel spots and must see attractions on this Mongolia Highlights tour.
The highlight of the trip is Naadam Festival and this special tour is designed to bring you into the colorful event of the year letting you to discover a lifestyle, arts and music that reflect the true national identity and culture of Mongolian people and is held annually in July. Real off road adventure tour, which crosses the vast Mongolian land vertically, while passing by unique wild paysage of the nature. In less 20 days, you will encounter yourself in chilling areas of taiga; clear waters of the north, peaceful green meadows, as well as hot desert plains surrounded impressive dunes of the south, so different colors like Mongolia itself. Our experienced tour team will let you explore all the wonders that this tour offers.
We offer you to spend most of the nights under the star dazzling skies to be settled in beautiful wild areas.
- Mongolian National Holiday Naadam Festival
- Beautiful Khuvsgul Lake National Park in the North
- Kharkhorin ancient capital and Erdene Zuu Monastery - UNESCO Heritage Site
- Khongor Sand Dunes and Dinosaur Fossil Sites in Gobi Desert
- Amarbayasgalant Monastery and its Surrounding Cultural Landscape
(08 July) City tour including Gandan Monastery and the Museum of National History. Prepare for the exciting trip. (L/D)
(09 July) This morning drive to famous Amarbayasgalant Monastery. Excursion through the monastery, located at the foot of Burenkhaan mountain, Amarbayasgalant or "Monastery of Tranquil Felicity”, is one of the largest and most important monasteries in Mongolia. Built between 1727 and 1736 with more than 40 temples in honor of Zanabazar, the first Bogd Gegeen (Spiritual leader of Mongolian Buddhism), it is one of the very few monasteries to have partly escaped the destruction of 1937, after which only the buildings of the central section remained. The entire contents: the Tankas, statues and manuscripts were looted by the Communists or hidden until more fortunate times. Restoration work began in 1988 and now Amarbayasgalant monastery shows great stylistic unity. (B/L/D)
(10 July) Breakfast at ger camp and drive to Khovsgol Province. Pass Erdenet city and Bulgan town of Bulgan provincial center. Opportunities to meet local people and nomad families during this driving day. Overnight at the local hotel in Murun town. (B/L/D)
(11-12 July) Early morning have a breakfast at hotel and we will drive to Khatgal town near the Khovsgol Lake where the festival is organized. We will attend a local Naadam Festival and enjoy festival colors and tradition: famed wrestlers, horse racers and archery athletes will compete for best titles. After the Naadam, we drive to ger camp near the lake and have dinner.
Magnificent Khovsgol Lake- itself is one of the natural wonders of the world covering area of 2.760 km2. This is land of taiga forest, crystal-clear lakes, icy streams and lush grass. Stay overnight at ger camp in the shore of the lake. (B/L/D)
Horse racing: The most impressive spectacle is surely the horse racing. The horses cover different distances according to their age. Azarga (stallions) 28km, Ikh nas (horses more than 5 years old) 30km, Soyolon (5-year olds) 25km, Khyazaalan (4-year olds) 22km, Shudlen (3-year olds) 20km and Daaga (colts to 2 years old) 15km. There are no limits on the number of horses participating; usually 200-600 horses in each race. The five winning horses are honored with a cup of mare’s milk (airag) on their neck, a khadag (respectful blue scarf) and a medal. Medal will be awarded in the closing ceremony.
Wrestling: The 512 wrestlers fight in the stadium, for the prestigious title “State Titan”. Both the “Titan” himself and the trainers, have the opportunity to choose partners during the first few rounds, thus reducing the number of less experienced wrestlers early on and creating more excitement for the final matches at the second day. The rules are very simple: The wrestling goes as a tournament and wrestle area is unrestricted; there are no weight-classes and the one who touches the ground the any part of the body, except palm other than the feet, has lost. The winner continues to the next round. The loser has to stand under the wings of the proud winner. The wrestlers wear tight pants and a small vest with arms across the shoulders, which barely cover their well-trained bodies.
Archery: Mongols are almost born with the archery skills, an integral part of nomads’ lifestyle. From the very childhood such qualities as perfect eyesight, measurement, patience and strength are nourished to develop a good archer. Mongolian bows are very tight ones, so that it requires a pure strength to stretch it out. As a rule, several teams of archers compete. Each team of 5-7 archers should hit 33 leather cylinders from a distance of 60-75 meters, depending on male and female.
(13 July) Leave Khovsgol Lake after walking along the shore and have a lunch at Murun town. After lunch drive to Shine Ider soum, surrounding by beautiful landscape. (B/L/D)
(14-15 July) Drive to Terkhiin Tsagaan Lake passing through Shine Ider and Jargalant soum and Orookh Pass. Terkhiin Tsagaan is an astonishingly beautiful freshwater lake surrounded by extinct volcanoes at an altitude of 2.060 m. The lake is 16 km wide and 10 m deep with its deepest point at 28 meters and over 20 kilometers in length. It has lovely sandy shores and enough warm water good for swimming. The area offers great adventure for visitors with its caves, mountain cliffs and Khorgo volcano creator. Explore the lake and the volcano creator. Horse riding experience as optional on second day. Relaxing at Ger camp. (B/L/D)
(16 July) After breakfast go to Tsetserleg town in Arkhangai province. On the way we have stop at Chuluut Canyon. Then enjoy Zayiin Gegeenii Khiid Temple with interesting exhibits, all built in the early 1680’s and foot of the Erdendebulgan Mountain. Local Hostel. (B/L/D)
(17 July) Today we head to Tsenkher Hot Springs & Spa. This natural beauty- hot spring is located 30km from Tsetserleg town, center of the Arkhangai province, situated between forested hills and breath taking mountains, a water from this geological spectacle emerges from the ground at 85.5°C. (B/L/D)
(18 July) After breakfast drive to Tuvkhun monastery. Tuvkhun Monastery is located at the peak of Tuvkhun Mountain (2300 m), served for several centuries as a meditative and artistic retreat. It owes much of its significance to the fact that it was originally established as the studio of Zanabazar, founder of the Mongolian school of religious art, who’s masterful bronze Buddhas have gained worldwide recognition. Tuvkhun also bears witness to the Buddhist meditative tradition, as the site includes two caves used by lamas for secluded meditation. Hiking up to the mountain top to explore the monastery. Drive back to ger camp. (B/L/D)
(19 July) Arrive in Kharkhorin, ancient capital city was founded in 1220 in the legendary Orkhon River Valley. It was from there that Mongol Empire governed, until Khubilai Khaan, the grandson of Chinggis Khaan, moved the city to Beijing. On the ruins of Kharkhorin, in 1586, was built Erdene Zuu Monastery which is surrounded by monumental walls with 108 stupas. The monastery is kept till nowadays and it is considered as one of the leading religious centers of Mongolia. Visit to Erdene Zuu Monastery, Karakorum Museum and the local market of art crafts and antique items. (B/L/D)
(20 July) Heading to the south towards the Gobi. Overnight stop at Ongi and Saikhan- Ovoo area of Middle Gobi province. Ongiin Khiid monastery, a small mountainous area with the sites of remains of ruined old monasteries. Once the monastery has served as a midway point for Buddhist pilgrimages going to holy Tibet. After the dinner walk to the ruins of monastery and enjoy the sunset. (B/L/D)
(21 July) World's paleontological important place, where dinosaur fossils and eggs were found in 1920s. American paleontologist Roy Chapmen Andrews’ expedition worked here between1922-1927 year. The Cliffs during the sunset show real meaning of the Flaming Cliffs. One of the best place for photographing. (B/L/D)
(22 July) This morning we drive 4-5 hours to the sand dunes of Khongor are known as the «Singing sands » and they extend for 180 km and at some places they are 80m high. These spectacular dunes are bordered by lush green vegetation supported by a small river Khongoriin Gol. Walking and Sliding at the dunes. Visit camel breeding family and experience 1 hour camel riding. You will have a meditation and relax on the top of sand dunes especially in the sunset. (B/L/D)
(23 July) Yol Valley in Gobi Gurvan Saikhan National Park. Yol valley is formatted by two high rock walls a big glacier on the ground kept frozen during a hot summer days. It has breathtaking dramatic scenery and without doubt is one of the beautiful places of the country. Hiking along the valley for 2kms and reach up the icy glacier (until end of June). Visit natural museum of localities. (B/L/D
(24 July) Arrive in Dundgobi province at Baga Gazriin Chuluu area - this is another granite rock formation in the middle of the steppe plains. The highest peak 1768 meters in the area of Baga Gazriin Uul Mountain. Leisure time for rock climbing and hiking activities. (B/L/D)
(25 July) This morning we drive back to Ulaanbaatar. In the afternoon enjoy shopping and traditional folklore concert. Dinner. (B/L/D)
(26 July) Free day for personal exploration. (B)
(27 July) Transfer to international train or flight. (B)
Prices & Inclusions
|Group size||Price/Per person|
Accommodation: Hotel****,* Standard ger camp in the countryside
Guiding and interpreting service
Full board meals mentioned in the itinerary
Transport: vehicle 4x4 or minivan
Entrance fees to protected areas and national parks
Museums and cultural performance
An hour horse and camel riding
Optional activity cost
Excess baggage charges
Single room supplement
Tip for local staffs (guide, driver etc)