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Tour 2: Central Mongolia around Naadam Festival

Map with tour itinerary

This tour is full of cultural highlights. We stay a total of four days in Ulaanbaatar. Two during the Naadam festival, and another two at the end of our trip to visit various museums and the great exhibition on "800 years of the mongolian empire".

The driving distances are relatively short, so that we don't need to rush the sightseeing. This also makes it a bit less physically demanding, particularly on the unpaved parts of the road.

Tour Date for 2011

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July         XXXX XXXX XXXX XXX               

Please note that some of our other tours can be booked to also include the date of the Naadam festival (July 11. + 12.). In such a case we will also visit the festival there, just not as extensively and maybe in a different location. (See: Tour 1, Tour 3, Tour 5, Tour 6, Tour 8)


1. Day (July 7.)

Departure of your Flight

In Berlin when travelling from Europe.
2. Day (July 8.)

Welcome to Mongolia!

On arrival, we get acquainted with the capital of Mongolia, which combines old traditions with the modern civilisation of today. The connection to prehistoric times is made by the dinosaur skeletons in the Museum of National History. The museum of mongolian history presents the development of the mongolian culture.
  • Arrival and transer to hotel
  • Cultural program
  • Stay the night in a hotel
3. Day (July 9.)

Massive Boulders

After a short drive we arrive in Terelj. The landscape here is characterized by rocky boulders, which rise out of the steppe in spectacular ways. Those who have the necessary spirit and energy can explore the area on horseback.
  • Transport by off-road vehicle
  • Excursion in Terelj
  • Transport by off-road vehicle back to Ulaanbaatar
  • Stay the night in a hotel.
4. Day (July 10.)

Cultural Program

Several museums and the famous Gandan Monastery offer some first insight into Mongolian history and culture. This program is distributed between this and the last day depending on opening hours and other short-term opportunities.
  • Museums
  • Gandan monastery
  • Evening program
  • Stay the night in a hotel
5. + 6. Day (July 11. + 12.)

Naadam Festival

Naadam ist the national festival of Mongolia. The wrestling and archery competitions are held in the big stadium, together with lots of folcloristic presentations. The track for the horse races is located outside of the city.
  • Enjoy the Naadam Festival
  • Stay the night in a hotel
7. Day (July 13.)

Sand Dunes in the Green

On the way to Kharkhorin, we stop at the sand dunes of Mongol Els. Those are a small "mountain range" made out of sand, which is surrounded by green landscape and looks like it doesn't really belong there.
  • Transport by off-road vehicle (paved roads)
  • Arrival at Mongol Els.
  • Stay the night in a tent.
8. Day (July 14.)

The Old Capital

In Kharkhorin, Genghis Khan ordered to erect the capital of his mongolian empire at the time. The monastery Erdene-Zuu is also located here, which housed more than thousand monks in historic times.
  • Transport by off-road vehicle (mostly paved roads)
  • Visit of Erdene-Zuu
  • Arrival in Kharkhorin
  • Stay the night in a ger camp.
9. Day (July 15.)

Big Waterfall

The lama and sculptor Zanabazar lived and worked in Tuvkhun-Khiid in the 16th century. Parts of the monastery on more than 2000 m over sea level are converted as a museum today. It can be reached in less than an hour by foot. After that we continue our trip along the Orkhon river, to the largest waterfall in Mongolia.
10. Day (July 16.)

Fresh Spring Water

First we visit a family of nomads, to pack our luggage on yaks and ourselfes on horses. Then we ride about a dozen km into the mountains. The destination and quarters for the night is a place with both hot and cold mineral springs.
11. Day (July 17.)

Nomadic life

The next day we descend to the valley again, freshly bathed. We spend the rest of the day with the nomads, enjoy the heartfelt hospitality, and learn a lot about the life of the herders in Mongolia at the same time.
  • Transport by foot/on horseback.
  • Arrival at family of nomads.
  • Stay the night in a tent.
12. Day (July 18.)

Khogno-Khan Uul

The Khogno-Khan Uul is a mountain of almost 2000 m height, located near our route. It is the center of a protected area that is home to ibex, wolves and various pretador birds, among others. There is a small monastery at the foot of the mountain. The ruins of another historic monastery can be reached by foot in less than an hour on a nice and easy path.
  • Transport by off-road vehicle (partly paved road)
  • Arrival at Khogno-Khan Uul
  • Stay the night in a tent.
12. Day (July 19.)

Wild Horses

In the Khustain Nuruu national park, a project has been running for several years to reestablish the original wild horses (Takhi) again in Mongolia. There are several places near the river where the beautiful and normally very shy animals gather for drinking every morning and evening. This offers a great opportunity to watch them and take pictures.
14. Day (July 20.)

Cultural Program

The last day is fully dedicated to culture. Several museums and the famous Gandan Monastery offer an informative and relaxed finale to our trip. In the evening we meet for a farewell dinner, and afterwards there's an opportunity to party mongolian style.
  • Museums
  • Gandan monastery
  • Fare well-dinner and evening program.
  • Stay the night in a hotel
15. Day (July 21.)

Return flight

Please return to Mongolia soon!
All information subject to change without notice.