Multi-Day Tour | Escorted, Group

Epic Mongolian Overland Adventure (15 days)

Nomadic Expeditions

Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia To Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia

Itinerary

DAY LOCATION(S) HOTEL MEALS DESCRIPTION
Day 1
Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia
Shangri-La, Ulaanbaatar None

The contrast between ancient traditions and a 21st-century democracy is most visible in Ulaanbaatar, where traditional gers and Buddhist monasteries sit side by side with modern high-rises. Upon arrival at the airport you are welcomed by your Mongolian guide and transferred to a centrally located hotel within walking distance of various museums and shops.

Day 2
Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia
Shangri-La, Ulaanbaatar Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Begin the day with a visit to Gandan Monastery, the seat of Buddhism in Mongolia. Although Buddhist monasteries were either destroyed or converted into museums during the Stalinist purges of the 1930s, Gandan Monastery continued to operate as a showpiece for government of cials. However, in spite of the government’s efforts to suppress Buddhism and other religious beliefs, Mongolia’s spirituality persisted and a signi cant resurgence of Buddhism began in 1990 when Mongolia became a democratic nation.

Strolling 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 magni cent 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 lls one 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 newly remodeled museum displays traditional implements of daily nomadic life including Stone and Bronze Age artifacts, historical costumes of Mongolia’s minority tribes, sacred religious relics, and agricultural, shing, and hunting equipment.

After lunch, 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. In the evening enjoy dinner at a ne local restaurant. Overnight at the hotel.

Day 3
Muren, Mongolia
Ger Camp Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

After breakfast, fly north to Murun (1.5 hours), the capital of Hovsgol Province, and continue overland to Lake Hovsgol (approximately 2.5 hours), passing through Mongolian steppe and forested mountains and by the Uushgiin Deer stones. Mongolia’s largest lake by water volume, Hovsgol extends 85 miles in length and 18 miles in width and is fed by over 90 streams and rivers. This crystal-clear alpine lake, known as Mongolia’s “dark blue pearl,” is situated among some of the most pristine forests, mountains, and meadows in the world. There will be ample time to discover the lake’s secrets in the following days. Overnight in gers.

Day 4
Muren, Mongolia
Ger Camp Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Spend these days exploring the lakeshore and surrounding mountains and meadows. For those interested, there will be opportunities to kayak, visit local nomads’ dwellings, sample horseback riding, or fish for Siberian grayling and lenok (please bring your own rod and tackle.) Overnight in gers.

Day 5
Muren, Mongolia
Ger Camp Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Spend these days exploring the lakeshore and surrounding mountains and meadows. For those interested, there will be opportunities to kayak, visit local nomads’ dwellings, sample horseback riding, or sh for Siberian grayling and lenok (please bring your own rod and tackle.) Overnight in gers.
Day 6
Muren, Mongolia
Ger Camp Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
UUSHGIIN DEER STONE | ZUUN NUUR

Drive to the Uushgiin Deer Stones. Dating back thousands of years, the Uushigiin Deer Stones are comprised of 14 magni cently preserved deer stones, lined up from north to south and often referred to as the “graveyard of deer stones.” The front stone is carved with a human face on top and is the only one of its kind to have been found. Awareness of the Uushigiin Deer Stones has increased recently as a result of the Smithsonian Institute’s research at the site.

Day 7
Muren, Mongolia
Ger Camp Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
HORGO | TERKHIIN TSAGAAN LAKE

In the morning, continue driving through the beautiful Arkhangai Province, known for having the largest number of yaks in the country. In the late afternoon, reach the Horgo Volcano and explore this sunken caldera and its volcanic formations, as well as two unique caves, “Youth Cave” and “Yellow Dog’s Hell.”

Continue on to crystal-clear Terkhiin Tsagaan Lake, known as the “Great White Lake,” and the highlight of Khorgo-Terkhiin Tsagaan Nuur National Park, established for the conservation of spectacular mountain scenery and endangered ora and fauna. The lake was formed thousands of years ago when lava from nearby Horgo Volcano owed into the Terkh River, creating a natural dam. Overnight in gers. (Approx. 4-5 hours driving)

Day 8
Muren, Mongolia
Ger Camp Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

TAIKHAR ROCK

Travel in the morning to Taikhar Rock. This huge rock protruding from the ground inspired a legend that tells of a huge snake that demanded the sacri ce of the area’s most beautiful girls. A young hero put the stone on top of the snake’s hole to trap him and save the girls. Overnight in gers. (Approx. 4-5 hours driving)

Day 9
Orkhon, Mongolia
Ger Camp Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

TSETSERLEG | KHARAKHORUM | ERDENE ZUU

After breakfast, drive to Tsetserleg, provincial capital of Arkhangai, considered to be one of the most beautiful provinces in Mongolia. Visit the picturesque Zayayn Gegeenii Temple.

Continue driving to Kharakhorum, built by Chinggis Khan’s son, Ogodei, to serve as the capital of the Mongol Empire. Forty years after its construction, Kharakhorum was abandoned and the capital was moved to Khanbalik, in what is now Beijing. Few traces remain of this once-magni cent city, but nearby Erdene Zuu Monastery was reputedly built from Kharakhorum’s ruins in the 16th century. Mongolia’s largest monastery and a place of Buddhist activity for centuries, Erdene Zuu’s temples are richly decorated with spectacular Buddhist art. Overnight in gers. (Approx. 4 hours driving)

Day 10
Orkhon, Mongolia
Ger Camp Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

KHARAKHORUM | ONGIIN HIID MONASTERY

After breakfast, drive to Ongiin Hiid and explore the ruins of this 17th-century temple, situated in a beautiful mountainous region. Still known as the “Pearl of the Great Desert,” Ongiin Hiid was one of the largest monasteries in Mongolia until its destruction during the communist purges in 1939. Overnight in gers. (Approx. 5 hours driving)

Day 11
Bulgan, Mongolia
Three Camel Lodge Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

GOBI | THREE CAMEL LODGE

Continue south to Bulagtai Mountain (4.5 hours) near Gobi Gurvansaikhan National Park, and the award-winning Three Camel Lodge. Spend the rest of the afternoon resting at this luxurious eco-lodge. Dinner and overnight at the lodge. (Approx. 6 hours driving)

Day 12
Bulgan, Mongolia
Three Camel Lodge Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Contrary to the sameness that the word ‘desert’ suggests, the Gobi is a diverse and fascinating region, and includes the sites of some of the 20th century’s most important paleontological discoveries. Explore the stunning landscape of the Gobi, habitat for Bactrian camels, Argali mountain sheep, goitered gazelle, Golden Eagles, Saker Falcons, jerboas (similar to kangaroo rats), and many endemic reptiles. The Gobi is also home to some of the Northern Hemisphere’s most rare and elusive mammals, such as the dhole, snow leopard, and Gobi bear.

After breakfast, drive to Yol Valley National Park (2.5 hours), cradled in the foothills of the Altai Mountains. Located in the northern part of the Gobi, this surprisingly green valley was once carved by an ancient river, and its remnant streams create ice formations at the base of the valley that sometimes persist as late as July. Hike through this prehistoric canyon leads to the habitat of indigenous vulture-like Lammergeiers. These predatory birds feed primarily on bone marrow, dropping large bones from the sky in an attempt to break them into smaller pieces. Return to the Three Camel Lodge.

Day 13
Bulgan, Mongolia
Three Camel Lodge Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

HAVSGAIT VALLEY | FLAMING CLIFFS

In the morning take an optional drive to the Havtsgait Valley, site of ancient rock drawings left by early Gobi settlers. Hundreds of petroglyphs adorn rocks scattered on the top of the mountain. Return to the lodge for lunch.

In the afternoon, drive to Bayan Zag (1 hour), commonly known as the Flaming Cliffs for its orange glow at sunset. It was here in 1923 that Dr. Roy Chapman Andrews and his exploration team from the American Museum of Natural History found the rst nest of dinosaur eggs. To the trained eye, the red sandstone of the Flaming Cliffs is rich with dinosaur fossils, and paleontological expeditions continue to make signi cant discoveries at this site. Return to the Three Camel Lodge in the evening. (Approx. 5 hours driving)

Day 14
Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia
Shangri-La, Ulaanbaatar Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

ULAANBAATAR

Drive to Dalanzadgad for the afternoon flight to Ulaanbaatar (1.5 hours.) Transfer to the hotel after arriving in Ulaanbaatar in the late afternoon. In the evening enjoy a traditional Mongolian performance featuring khoomi throat singing, followed by a farewell dinner at a fine local restaurant. Overnight at the hotel.

Day 15
Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia
None Breakfast

After breakfast, transfer to the airport for departure.

Tour Features

Experience(s)

Experiences have not been selected at this time

Description

This epic off-road adventure showcases some of the most spectacular, varied, and historically important sites in Mongolia. Your journey will traverse the entire country from north to south using four-wheel drive off-road vehicles. Begin at Lake Hovsgol, situated among some of the world’s most pristine forests, mountains, and meadows.

The journey continues south toward the canyons and sand dunes of the Gobi, stopping along the way at ancient deer stones, dormant volcanoes, and the ruins of a 17th-century temple.

This extensive adventure follows an ambitious off-road route where the rest of the world seems millions of miles and hundreds of years away.

About Us

Nomadic Expeditions is an award-winning tour operator that has been crafting trips of a lifetime to Mongolia, Bhutan, Tibet, Nepal, China, Myanmar, Siberia, Sri Lanka, and India for 25 years. Founded by Mongolian-American Jalsa Urubshurow, Nomadic Expeditions pioneered luxury adventure travel to Mongolia shortly after its democratization in 1990. As developers and owners of the Three Camel Lodge, Nomadic Expeditions continues its commitment to providing exceptional experiences coupled with sustainability in this hidden corner of the world.

Insider Tip

Ask us about the remote luxury private camp in remote corners of Mongolia

Terms & Conditions

Cancellation Policy

All cancellations must be submitted in writing to Nomadic Expeditions. Cancellation charges are based on the number of days from the date we receive the written cancellation notice until the main trip departure date.

Cancellation charges:

  • 90 days or more Full Deposit
  • 89-60 days 25% of land
  • 59-30 days 50% of land
  • 29-0 days No refund
  • After trip departs - No refund

In addition, any unrecoverable charges or fees imposed by suppliers or vendors on advance payments will be assessed. Airfares are refundable in accordance with the policy of the airline carrier being used, subject to a $50 handling charge. If full payment is not received 90 days prior to departure, Nomadic Expeditions reserves the right to consider this a cancellation. A Late Payment Fee will apply to all payments made less than 90 days prior to departure. Nomadic Expeditions reserves the right to cancel or postpone any travel services prior to departure for any reason, including insufficient number of participants. In the event that a trip cannot depart on the dates specified due to unforeseeable events that render the itinerary inoperable or inadvisable, Nomadic Expeditions reserves the right to postpone services until such time as it is deemed appropriate by Nomadic Expeditions. Trip payments will be held by Nomadic Expeditions, and subject to the same conditions as for the original scheduled trip. Nomadic Expeditions is not responsible for any unrecoverable expenses incurred by trip participants due to trip cancellation or postponement, including non-refundable airline tickets, medical expenses and visa fees, or additional arrangements, made either through Nomadic Expeditions or another provider, purchased to coincide with this scheduled departure. This trip is subject to the cancellation, refund, and other policies set forth on our Departure Guide. We urge you to read this information carefully and call us if you have any questions.



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By: CW


Reviewed on: 02 May 2014

The tour group offered helpful advice about Mongolia and organized a VIP immigration service on arrival in Ulaanbaatar. The guide was experienced and very friendly and worked hard to get me to see all the sights I wanted to see (quite a feat as I tend to want to see everything).
Travel Advisor:  Ilana Valo