Essential Center - 12 Days

Accessible to the whole family, this tour brings you the opportunity to meet nomadic people, the history and spirituality of the country, as great and diverse as the landscapes it covers! This 12-day journey in an all-terrain vehicle will give you a broad overview of the countless riches of Mongolia.

Day 1
Arrival in Ulaanbaatar

As you arrive at the Chinggis Khaan international airport in Ulaanbaatar, the capital city of Mongolia, your guide-interpreter and driver will welcome you at the airport and lead you on to the city tour. The capital has plenty to offer. You can walk around the National History Museum and the Chinggis Khaan Square in front of the Mongolian Parliament house to help you get a general knowledge and information about the Mongolian history and culture. at the end of today’s tour we invite you on your first dinner of the tour with your guide.

FB, Night in a tourist hotel

Day 2
Ulaanbaatar – Khustai Mountains

You will begin your journey in the steppes by taking the road to the protected natural park of Khustai Mountains to the west of Ulaanbaatar, which shelters the last wild prehistoric horses, called “Przewalski horses”. Upon your arrival, you leave accompanied by a ranger, first to discover the astonishing “stone-men” of the Turkish era (6th – 9th century), while remaining on the lookout for animals that roam the park freely. You will end the day hoping to approach these wild horses near the waterhole where they come to drink at dusk. Finally, you will return to the tourist camp of the park to spend your first night in a yurt.

FB, Overnight in yurt

Day 3
Khustai Mountains - Ogii lake

Early in the morning you will go a little further west to reach the Ogii lake. Along the route, in the middle of endless steppes, you will have plenty of time to visit authentic nomad families who greet you, and enjoy their hospitality. Upon your visit, you may have a taste of “White food” and notably Airag, a strong traditional drink made from fermented mare’s milk.

Continuing, you will arrive in Ogii freshwater lake, which attracts anglers and bird watchers from everywhere. The Lake Ogii is part of the RAMSAR conventions (spaces that include wetlands of great importance for their richness in avifauna). When you arrive, you can walk around the lake and observe the birds that migrated to the area around late April and habit there – cranes and ducks, to name a few species. Swan Goose, White Spoonbill and Dalmatian Pelican have also been recorded before!

FB, Overnight in a yurt camp

Day 4
Ogii Lake - Karakorum – Orkhon Valley

Today, you will meet the history of the Mongol Empire in the ancient capital of Genghis Khan: Karakorum, built in the 13th century. In the city you will visit Erdene Zuu, the first Buddhist monastery built on Mongolian ground (16th century), and the largest in the country. You continue your journey through the Orkhon valley, classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, before reaching Ursa Major geolodge. As the day comes to an end, you can relax or explore the beautiful surroundings on foot or on horseback before your night in a charming yurt.

FB, Overnight in yurt at “URSA MAJOR” geolodge

Day 5
Orkhon Valley – Tuvkhun Monastery

After breakfast, with your team you will take off in the direction of Shireet Mountain. Arriving at the parking area, you can start hiking through the conifer forest to reach the monastery located at 2.300 metres high. The temple was built in 1654 to serve as a refuge for Zanabazar, the 1st Bogdo Gegeen (spiritual and political leader) of Mongolia. A refuge where, in the hectic 17th century, he drew his strength to govern the country and preserve it from Manchu; but also, a refuge where he drew his inspiration as a religious leader and lavish artist. It was in this monastery that Zanabazar created the Soyombo alphabet, which later became a national symbol of Mongolia, and has been on the national flag since 1921.

The afternoon will be devoted to learning about the nomadic lifestyle through meetings with the locals. Back to Ursa Major, you will end the day with a delicious traditional “barbecue”: the Khorkhog!

FB, Overnight in yurt at “URSA MAJOR” geolodge

Day 6
Orkhon Valley – Orkhon Falls

After breakfast, you will head for the famous Orkhon waterfall. Located in the heart of the valley, it is one of the best sights in central Mongolia. The waterfall was formed by a unique combination of volcano eruptions and earthquakes. The fall is naturally most impressive after heavy rain, but getting there allows you to pace around the beautiful area. At about fifteen meters high, it offers a nice walk along the banks of the river and, after a difficult descent, at the bottom of canyon! The most daring ones can even do some kayaking down the river!

Finally, after returning to the geolodge, you can look forward to the nightfall to be able to watch the starry sky in a special way. At night, when the sky is clear you can stargaze by MEADE LX-200, the most powerful telescope in Mongolia. You can observe the stars, planets and galaxies from the steppes of the Orkhon Valley…

FB, Overnight in yurt at “URSA MAJOR” geolodge

Day 7
Orkhon Valley – Arvaikheer

You leave the green valleys of the Orkhon, journeying through other, more desert like landscapes, but just as breathtaking! You move forward at a quiet pace, while meeting nomads, who warmly invite you in the intimacy of their yurt to share some home made “aarul” (small dried cheeses). You will finally reach the small town of Arvaikheer, famous for its felt crafts. Here, the most curious may be willing to try the sidecar taxis!

FB, Overnight at a local hotel

Day 8
Arvaikheer – Elsen Tasarkhai

Today, a one of a kind “Gobi Desert” awaits you!

After breakfast, you will take off to see one of the 33 “Gobi” (a local word for “Desert”), the Central Gobi. After you settle in at the Sweet Gobi geolodge camp, you can freely set off to the sand dunes of Elsen Tasarkhai, one of the most picturesque places of Mongolia, where you can see a wonderful combination of sand dunes, majestic granite mountains, grassy green land, a clear fresh spring and a tiny lake. Make your experience even better by walking and climbing on the sand dunes or opt to riding a two-humped camel. The proximity of the Tara Lake also allows you to ride a bike around and watch birds with a telescope! At the end of your day, spend the night peacefully lodged between a lake and a desert.

FB, Overnight in yurt at « Sweet Gobi » geolodge

Day 9
Elsen Tasarkhai – Khogno Khan

In the morning, you leave from this small central Gobi to spend the day in the National Park of the Khogno Khan holy mountain. Take this opportunity to discover the ruins of the Erdene Khamba Buddhist temple, and once more to enjoy the friendliness of the nomads who live in these very contrasting landscapes. Back to Sweet Gobi for one last night in a yurt surrounded by the quiet nature.

FB, Overnight in yurt at « Sweet Gobi » geolodge

Day 10
Elsen Tasarkhai – Ulaanbaatar

After breakfast you will calmly return to the capital Ulaanbaatar. On your way back, we hope you take hold of the bliss feeling that is experienced in the Mongolian steppes. You finally get into the bustle of the city, parted between comfort and nostalgia. As you arrive at your hotel after a long journey, take this time to have a little rest.

FB, Overnight in tourist hotel

Day 11
Ulaanbaatar, City tour

Today will be spent on a city tour. You will visit the Gandan Monastery, a historical and spiritual Buddhist temple in the city; the Bogd Khan Palace Museum of the last spiritual leader of the Country from the 20th century, the Zaisan monument, dedicated to the fallen heroes from the numerous wars in the 20th century alike.

Afternoon, you can go shopping in the State Department Store, the largest shopping mall in Mongolia, a leftover of the Soviet occupation. There, you can find cashmere, leather, and whatever you want for souvenirs, presents and gifts.

In the evening you’ll indulge in Mongolian culture with a folklore show, concert of traditional music and contortion. You’ll hear performances with the Traditional Mongolian instrument Morin Khuur, a two-string fiddle adorned with a carved horse’s head; overtone singing, previously only used by shamans to enter into communication with the spirits.

At last, a farewell dinner with your team to wrap up an excellent journey full of memories.

FB, Overnight in tourist hotel

Day 12
Departure from Ulaanbaatar

After having breakfast in the hotel, your team will drive you to the “Chinggis Khaan” international airport 2 hours before your departure.

Have a safe journey back!

Included services

  • Sightseeing and attractions entries
  • English speaking guide
  • Driver
  • Private vehicle
  • Gasoline
  • Superior hotel in UB
  • Tourist camp
  • Geolodge
  • Full board / stay
  • Transfer to airport

Not Included

  • International transport (flight, train)
  • Visa
  • Insurance
  • Optional activities (Horse, Camel riding, etc.)
  • Sleeping bag (for guest yurt and tents)
  • Tips
  • Personal expenses
  • Extra drinks and food

You can personalize this trip, for you and your companions, on the dates of your choice in complete freedom.

Depending on the number of people accompanying you the price then can be calculated in accordance with the rates below.

Rates for this tour:

Number of tourists2 pers3-5 pers6-7 pers8-10 pers
Price per person1850€1570€1430€1390€

Price From EUR  1,390/per person
Group Discount Available
Group Discount Guide
Cost Per Adult Traveler:
1390 EUR
1390
Total 1,390 EUR

Trip Facts

  • 12 days / 11 nights
  • 2-10 persons
  • Moderate
  • Tourist hotel
  • Geolodge
  • 4x4 vehicle

Would you like to arrange your trip by your preference?

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