Naadam Festival and Gobi Desert Tour

11 days from $2048 Next Departure Date Jul.03rd 2021

Traveling through Mongolian legendary Gobi desert, visiting historical sights, and enjoying National Holiday Naadam Festival of Mongolia in the capital city. This special tour is designed to bring you into the colorful event of the year letting you discover a lifestyle, arts, and music that reflect the true national identity and culture of Mongolian people. While touring in Mongolia‘s heartland - a classic landscape of rolling hills, steppe, grasslands, and mountain forests, you will enjoy the uniqueness of nature and the peaceful lifestyle of nomads.

Naadam Festival is held annually between July 11-13, is a thrilling three-day sporting event that has been happening for centuries since Chinggis Khaan time. The festival highlights are  Mongolia’s “three manly sports”- horseracing, wrestling, and archery. Naadam festival brings together the country’s sporting men and women from the remotest regions to compete at the national level in the capital city. It is also a celebration of common people- herders who ride into town and urbanities who leave their flats and offices to watch the games- gathering where they have the opportunity to participate in the events, to barter, mix, sing and enjoy life to the full.

Highlights

  • Colorful event of the year - Naadam festival
  • Gobi desert
  • Bayanzag - Flaming Cliffs
  • Ancient Kharkhorin
  • Erdene Zuu Monastery
  • Khustai National Park - the home of the only wild horse in the world

Key Info

Physical level: Easy Physical level: Easy
Overlanding & Discovering Overlanding & Discovering

Tour Itinerary

Itinerary

Day 1.

Arrival in Ulaanbaatar

Transfer to the hotel and relax. City tour including the Gandan Monastery, the National Museum of Mongolia, which represents Mongolian Culture starting from the Stone Age to the 21st century, and Buddhism, Sukhbaatar Square (also known as Chingis Khaan Square). In Gandan Monastery, you can take local prayers, monks, the biggest standing indoor Buddha statue, and temples' own figure. (L/D)

in the hotel

Day 2.

Gobi Gurvan Saikhan National Park

Take a flight to Dalanzagdad town, the central town of Southgobi province. Drive to Yoliin Am or Yol valley and also known as Vulture valley in the Gobi Gurvan Saikhan Mountain (28km) - this sunless canyon located in the middle of Gobi Gurvan Saikhan Mountain National Park has a particular beauty with narrow paths broadening in places between rocks, while buzzards and eagles wheel and glide in the blue skies above. The cliffs of the canyon block the sunlight from the rivers below so that they remain frozen until the end of June. (B/L/D)

in the camp 2 hours

Day 3.

Khongor Sand Dunes

Drive to Khongor sand dunes (195km) - the largest and most spectacular sand dunes in Mongolia. Dunes of Khongor is known as the «Singing dunes» and rise from the plain reaching a height of 80m and extending for about 180km long. The spectacular dunes are bordered by lush green vegetation supported by a small river Khongoriin gol. Hiking and sliding through the sand dunes. Visit camel breeding family and experience short camel riding. (B/L/D)

in the camp 1 hour

Day 4.

Bayanzag - Flaming Cliffs

Drive towards Bayanzag (140 km) - the classic desert of rock, red sands, scrub, sun, and unbelievable emptiness has become known to the world as "Cemetery of Dinosaurs”. The red sandstone cliffs and canyons of Bayanzag are where the American paleontologist Roy Chapman Andrews first discovered fossil beds of dinosaur bones and first-ever recorded dinosaur eggs in 1922 - discoveries which made world headlines. The best time for photographing is before sunset when the cliffs look like flames. (B/L/D)

in the camp 1 hour

Day 5.

Mysterious Ongi Monastery

Head to the south towards the Gobi. Overnight stop in Middle Gobi province, at the Ongi monastery ruins, 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 dinner walk to the ruins of the monastery and enjoy the sunset. (B/L/D)

in the camp

Day 6.

Explore Ancient Capital City of Mongol Empire - Kharkhorin

Drive to Kharkhorin (130 km) – ruins of the ancient capital of the Mongol Empire built by king Ugudei in 1235. The city was strategically located at the crossroads of traditional routes, creating a staging post for migrating nomads and merchants’ caravans. Foreign envoys and prominent clerics traveled to this city for an audience with the king of the Mongol Empire. Far after when the Khubilai Khaan (King) moved the capital to Beijing in 1264, Kharkhorin was raised to the ground by Manchu soldiers. However, the bricks and stones from the ruins of this ancient city were used to build the Erdene Zuu Monastery nearby. Visit Erdene Zuu monastery and Karakorum Museum in Kharkhorin and local market for interesting souvenirs and artworks. (B/L/D)

tours mongolia

in the camp

Day 7.

Discover Khustai National Park

Head to Khustai national park to see a wild horse- takhi, widely known as “Przewalski horse”. Those are the only wild horse to survive in modern times. The species were returned to Mongolia from world zoos and reserves within Hustai National Park 100 km west of Ulaanbaatar in 1992. Khustain Nuruu has good vegetation, springs, birch forest, and rocks which are suitable for many wild animals including 46 species of mammals and 172 species of birds. (B/L/D)

hustai np mongolia

in the camp

Day 8.

Deeltei Mongol Festival (National Costume Festival)

Leave after breakfast to Ulaanbaatar to enjoy Deeltei Mongol Festival (Traditional Costume Festival). Deel is a national costume that makes the festival more colorful and more traditional. It is good to tell you that foreigners are possible to participate in this festival to dress in Mongolian costume and join the parade in the central square. There are also more cultural activities are organized. (B/L/D)

in the hotel

Day 9 - 10

NAADAM FESTIVAL DAYS

Naadam festival, biggest national holiday Mongolia. Enjoy festival colors and tradition: famed wrestlers, horse racers, and archery athletes will compete for best titles. Naadam festival brings together the country’s sporting men and women from the remotest regions to compete at the national level in the capital city. It is also a celebration of common people- herders who ride into town and urbanities who leave their flats and offices to watch the games- gathering where they have the opportunity to participate in the events, to barter, mix, sing and enjoy life to the full. (B/L/D)

About Naadam Festival

Horse racing: The most impressive spectacle is surely the horse racing. The horses cover different distances according to their age. Azarga (stallions) 26km, Ikh nas (horses more than 5 years old) 28km, Soyolon (5-year olds) 24km, Khyazaalan (4-year olds) 20km, Shudlen (3-year olds) 18km 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.

mongolian naadam festival horse race

Wrestling: The rules are very simple: The wrestling area is unrestricted; there are no weight-classes and the one who touches the ground any part of the body, 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. 

naadam tour mongolia

Archery: Mongols are almost born with archery skills, an integral part of nomad’s 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 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 75 meters.

naadam festival archery

in the hotel

Day 11.

Departure Day

Transfer to Chinggis Khaan International Airport or Train station and depart Mongolia. (B)

Prices & Inclusions

Prices & Inclusions
Group size Price/Per person
2 PAX 2398$
3-4 pax 2248$
5-8 PAX 2148$
9-12 PAX 2048$
13-15 PAX 1998$

Includes

Accommodation: Hotel****,* ger camp
Guiding and interpreting service
Full board meals
Transport: 4x4 vehicle or minivan
Naadam festival ticket
Entrance fees to protected areas and national parks
Museums and cultural performance
Camel riding
Horseback riding /optional/

Not Includes

International airfare 
Personal equipment
Optional activity cost 
Excess baggage charges
Single room supplement 
Alcoholic drinks 
Travel Insurance
The extra cost for photography in museums
Tip for a tour guide, driver, etc

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