Essential Mongolia tour

Essential Mongolia tour

Classic tours

Essential Mongolia tour

In the 14th century Kharkhorum city was the centre of world power, the capital city of Chinggis Khaan’s Mongolian Empire was home to a wide range of people from a variety of different religious and ethnic backgrounds gathered from all corners of the empire. The city was divided into districts by occupation and social status with the palace and legendary silver fountain in the very centre. Today the city is mostly in ruins but the Erdenezuu temple complex survives in tact and is an astonishing place to visit. This tour takes travellers around the region to visit various places of interest as well as the city and temple itself.

Length: 9 days / 8 nights
Price: from $2250 per person
Transport: comfortable 4x4 vehicles
Difficulty: Moderate - No hard physical requirements.

Day 1 Arrival in Ulaanbaatar

When you arrive in Ulaanbaatar, the Mongolian capital city, you will be met by your personal guide and driver who will take you straight to your hotel. Once you have checked in and had a chance to relax after your journey we will organise a short walking tour of the city before supper at a local restaurant.


Day 2 Amarbayasgalant Monastery

The following morning you will start your journey to Amarbayasgalant monastery, one of the most beautiful cultural heritage in Mongolia. Your personal guide will help you to explore the grounds of the monastery and will teach you about Mongolia's unique Lamaist religion. In the evening you will be taken to a nearby ger camp where you will eat and spend the night.


Day 3 Uran togoo

After breakfast your driver will take you on the short journey to Uran Togoo, an extinct volcano in Bulgan province. The drive will take in some of Mongolia’s most beautiful pastureland with rolling green hills, meadows filled with wildflowers and fragrant sage all beneath an endless blue sky. At the mountain you will have the option to go horse riding, hike on the volcano with a guide, or simply relax in this stunning location. You will spend your 3rd night in a local ger camp within view of the mountain where you will enjoy a beautiful sunset and traditional Mongolian hospitality.


Day 4 Ugii lake

On this day you will drive to the crystal clear Ugii Lake in Arkhangai province. This lake is the setting for the annual Mongolian triathlon and is an excellent location for swimming. It is also situated directly in the path of a major migratory flight path for wild birds so is a bird watcher’s paradise. You will spend the day here before retiring for the night to a ger camp right on the shore of the lake.


Day 5 Kharkhorum/Erdenezuu

After breakfast you will drive to Karakorum, the 13th century capital of Chinggis Khaan's Mongolian Empire. The ruins of this ancient city are still clearly visible and you will be able to walk around the site with your guide explaining some of the history attached to the city. This is also the site of Erdene Zuu Monastery, the first and formerly one of the largest in Mongolia. Unfortunately much of the temple was destroyed under the socialist government in the previous century but significant sections still stand and are home to practicing Lamas. You will visit the remaining complex and enjoy a guided tour throughout its picturesque courtyards and small temples where you will see unique 16th Century Mongolian Buddhist art and icons. Afterwards you will be taken to the Kharkhorum museum before retiring to a nearby ger camp for the evening.


Day 6 Ongi Monastery

Today you will be visiting the ancient Ongi Monastery in the Gobi Desert. This was formerly the largest University for Lamas in Mongolia with up to 800 students at any one time but was razed to the ground between 1937/ 38 by the socialist General Choibbalsan with all of its lamas either executed or conscripted into the army. The temple is now in the process of being rebuilt and there are 5 lamas resident in the new temple building working to restore the monastery’s former glory and international standing. We will visit the site, walk throughout the haunting ruins, visit a monument to the fallen lamas and talk with the monks in the new building. Following on from this you will have the chance to relax and enjoy a range of activities and services including a full body massage at our award winning Secret of Ongi Tourist camp at the foot of the hill beneath the complex. Supper and overnight stay in the camp.


Day 7 Baga gazariin chuluu

After breakfast you will drive north to a uniquely beautiful rock formation called Baga gazariin chuluu. Baga Gazriin Chuluu in Bayantsog soum, Dundgobi province is an area covered by 50km2 of solid granite. You will be able to take in the amazing scenery and visit another ruined temple nearby. Supper and overnight stay in a local ger camp.


Day 8 Ulaanbaatar tour

On this day you return to Ulaanbaatar. After lunch and once you have checked into your hotel your guide will take you for a full tour of Ulaanbaatar. This will include Sukhbaatar Square, the National Historical Museum, The Zanabazar art museum and the 976 modern art gallery for a glimpse of how Mongolian art has evolved since the installation of democracy. Additional highlights include Gandan Monastery and the Mongolian artist’s exhibition hall if time allows. In the evening you will attend a traditional art concert in the national theatre.Dinner and overnight stay in a hotel.


Day 9 Departure

Your guide and driver will take you to the airport or train station and wish you well on your departure and future travels!

Included in the price: All of your Mongolian accommodation in hotels and ger camps; all breakfast, lunches and dinners whilst in Mongolia; bottled drinking water is also provided throughout the tour; Mongolian local transport, personal guide, translator, driver and entrance to all attractions mentioned in the itinerary.

Not included in the price: International flights, train tickets, travel insurance, international phone calls, alcoholic drinks, laundry service, souvenir shopping,

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