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Mongolian Odyssey

12 Nights 13 Days, 6th - 18th July 2020

Mongolian Odyssey

Starting from $680 / per day

Designed as a fascinating introduction to the people and culture of Mongolia, this journey traverses from edgy Ulaanbaatar to the pristine beauty of the Mongolian countryside, and the cliffs and canyons of the Gobi Desert. Explore ancient cities and temples while discovering the fascinating nomadic culture and tribes of Mongolia.

Signature Experiences:
• Witness the celebrations and traditions of Naadam Festival
• Interact with local nomadic tribes
• Stay at traditional nomadic ger camps

12 nights- 13 Days, 6th- 18th July 2020

The Journey

1

6th July- Ulaanbaatar

Summer is a great time to visit Ulaanbaatar, otherwise known as the coldest capital in the world. The city is an intriguing mix of modernity and age-old traditions – commercial yet boho, vibrant yet tranquil. You will be welcomed by your Mongolian guide at the airport and transferred to a centrally located hotel within walking distance of various museums and shops. Stay: Shangri-La Hotel
2

7th July- Ulaanbaatar

Begin the day with a visit to Gandan Monastery, the seat of Buddhism in Mongolia. Next, drive through downtown Ulaanbaatar to the National Museum for an excellent overview of Mongolia’s history and culture. You will also visit the Zanabazar Fine Arts Museum, which contains one of the best collections of Buddhist art and artifacts in the world, including many of the original works of Zanabazar, the first Buddhist leader of Mongolia and a renowned sculptor, artist, and politician. In the evening, drive to Zaisan Memorial, built by the former Soviet Union to commemorate fallen soldiers of World War II. Climb the 300 steps for a beautiful panoramic view of the capital city, the Tuul River, and the surrounding countryside. In the evening, enjoy welcome dinner at a fine local restaurant. Stay: Shangri-La Hotel
3

8th July- Lake Hovsgol

In the morning, fly north to Murun and continue overland to Lake Hovsgol (3 hours). This crystal-clear alpine lake, known as Mongolia’s “dark blue pearl,” remains untouched among some of the most pristine forests, mountains, and meadows in the world. You will also stop on route at Uushgiin Deer Stones, one of the best-preserved monuments of its kind in Mongolia.   Signature Experience: Stay a local ger camp on the lakeshore. Stay: Local Ger Camp
4

9th July- Lake Hovsgol

Spend the day exploring the lakeshore and surrounding mountains and meadows. There are several ways to explore the area – nature walks, kayaking on the lake, or Mongolian-style horseback riding. Dinner and overnight at the camp. Signature Experience: You will have the option of visiting local nomads’ dwellings and experience the ancient nomadic culture first-hand. Stay: Local Ger Camp
5

10th July- Ulaanbaatar

In the morning, return by flight to Ulaanbaatar and spend the rest of the day at leisure. Your hotel’s central location is ideal for exploring the city’s shopping and cultural pursuits. Stay: Shangri-La Hotel
6

11th July- Ulaanbaatar

Wake early in the morning to attend the Naadam Festival, the most popular festival in Mongolia. Observe as the celebrations begin with a colourful parade of marching soldiers, athletes, musicians, and people dressed as ancient warriors. The festival is dedicated to three games – Archery, Wrestling and Horse Racing – traditionally used to measure the courage and strength of nomads and warriors. Signature Experience: A chance to participate in the celebrations of Naadam, Mongolia’s national games. Stay: Shangri-La Hotel
7

12th July- Gun Galuut Nature Reserve

After an early breakfast, head east from Ulaanbaatar to Gun Galuut Nature Reserve (2.5 hours). The reserve contains a beautiful river valley and mountain range surrounded by rolling steppe. Here, you can spot the endangered Argali sheep; meet horse wranglers and horse trek to a nomadic herder family in their summer pasture. In the evening, drive to Gorkhi Terelj National Park (1.5 hours) which provides habitat for a variety of bird and plant life including the endangered musk deer and moose, brown bear, roe, elk, wolf, fox, and badger. Signature Experience: Experience the warm hospitality of one of the last remaining horse-based nomadic cultures in the world. Stay: Terelj Hotel
8

13th July- Gorkhi Terelj National Park

Embark on an adventurous hike towards the Aryabal Monastery passing the wooden suspended “bridge that leads to wisdom” and then climbing 108 steps to reach the temple. The monastery is special for its spectacular views of the surrounding green valley. Next, stop at Turtle Rock, a natural rock formation that resembles a turtle in its shell. You have the opportunity of exploring the national park on foot or on horseback before we head back to Ulaanbaatar. On route, stop at the Chinggis Khan Equestrian Statue in Tsonjin Boldog, where you can see a replica of the legendary golden whip and take the elevator to the top for a beautiful view of the Mongolian steppes. Return to Ulaanbaatar and enjoy dinner independently. Stay: Shangri-La Hotel
9

14th July- Gobi Desert

Set off in the morning across the vast steppe to the Gobi (1.5 hours) – a fascinating and diverse region that includes the sites of some of the most important paleontological discoveries of the 20th century. On arrival, drive to the award-winning Three Camel Lodge for dinner and overnight stay. In the evening, we can arrange for a visit to the Havtsgait Petroglyphs where you can hike up the side of a local mountain home to hundreds of stone carvings from the Bronze Age. Please note, this is a steep hike on loose gravel and takes about 20-25 minutes. Stay: Three Camel Lodge
10

15th July- Yol Valley National Park

Drive to Yol Valley National Park (1 hour), cradled in the foothills of the Altai Mountains. An ancient river carved this surprisingly green valley, and its remnant streams create ice formations at the base of the valley. After your exploration of Yol Valley, drive back to the Three Camel Lodge (2 hours). In the evening, if time permits, drive to the Havtsgait Valley, site of ancient rock drawings left by early Gobi settlers. Stay: Three Camel Lodge
11

16th July- Moltsog Els and Flaming Cliffs

Today, you will get to explore the dunes at Moltsog Els, where you can also ride a Bactrian camel. In the evening, drive to the legendary Flaming Cliffs (1 hour), named for the red-orange sandstone that glows brilliantly at sunrise and sunset. This is where the first nest of dinosaur eggs in the world were ever seen. Paleontological expeditions continue to make significant discoveries at the site. Return to the ger camp for dinner and overnight. Stay: Three Camel Lodge
12

17th July- Ulaanbaatar

After breakfast, transfer to the airport for the return flight to Ulaanbaatar (1.5 hours). In the afternoon, visit Bogd Khan Winter Palace museum, home of Mongolia’s last theocrat. The museum displays elaborate ceremonial robes and other personal effects of “Mongolia’s 8th Living Buddha.” Signature Experience: A performance featuring traditional Mongolian dancers and khoomi throat singers. Stay: Shangri-La Hotel
13

18th July- Ulaanbaatar

After breakfast, transfer to the airport for departure.

  • Accommodation based on twin occupancy
  • Daily buffet breakfast
  • Sightseeing tours
  • Transfers
  • Bilingual guide throughout your stay
  • Internal airfare
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