Epic Mongolia with Naadam Festival (July)

Marvel at incredible displays of horsemanship, archery and wrestling from your seat at Mongolia's National Naadam Festival. Enjoy an exclusive stay in traditional felt gers in the Gobi Desert. Experience some of the most stunning landscapes on this epic journey of discovery. 

HIGHLIGHTS

Experience a 2 Day spectacle of the Naadam Festival

Experience the spiritual landscape of the Gobi-Altai

Stay in the Three Camel Lodge - a National Geographic Unique Lodge

Witness stunning wonders in Gobi, Hustai, and Terelj

ITINERARY

DAY 1: ARRIVE  ULAANBAATAR

Meet and greet at Ulaanbaatar Chinggis Khaan Intl Airport and transfer to the Shangri-La Hotel for check in. Spend the rest of the day at leisure. 

Overnight: Shangri-La Hotel, Ulaanbaatar

Meals: NIL

DAY 2: ULAANBATAR

The contrast between ancient traditions and 21st Century democracy is most visible in Ulaanbaatar where traditional gers and Buddhist monasteries sit side by side with modern skyscrapers. We begin our excursion with a visit to the Gandan Monastery, the seat of Buddhism in Mongolia. We then continue to visit the National History Museum for an overview of Mongolia's history and culture showcasing artefacts and relics since the Stone and Bronze Ages. We end the day with a visit to the Zaisan Memorial, built by the former Soviet Union to commemorate fallen soldiers of WWII. Climb the 300 steps and be rewarded with a panoramic view of the city and the Tuul River

Overnight: Shangri-La Hotel, Ulaanbaatar

Meals: Breakfast & Lunch

DAY 3: ULAANBAATAR / GOBI / YOL VALLEY NATIONAL PARK

In the morning, be met and transfer to the airport for your flight to the Gobi, Mongolia's southernmost province of semi-arid desert. Contrary to the sameness that the word "desert" suggests, the Gobi is a fascinating and diverse region, including sites of some of the most important paleontological discoveries of the 20th Century. Over the next few days, explore stunning landscapes of the Gobi, home to some of the most endeamic animals such as the Bactrian camel, snow leopard, golden eagle and more. We take an hour's drive to the Yol Valley National Park, cradled in the foothills of the Altai Mountains. We take a hike through the ancient valley, home to animals such as Altai snowcock, ibex, yaks and Argali mountain sheep before visiting the local natural history museum for an understanding of the fauna and flora of the area. We then check in at the stunning Three Camel Lodge Ger Camp, a National Geographic Unique Lodge. 

 

Overnight: Three Camel Lodge

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 4: FLAMING CLIFFS & MOLTSOG SAND DUNES

Following breakfast, we will drive to Bayan Zag, popularly called "The Flaming Cliffs" for its glowing orange rocks. It was here in 1923 that Dr Roy Chapman Andrews and his team of paleontologists made astounding discoveries of the first nest of dinosaur eggs and fossils. After Bayan Zag, we head to Moltsog Els, one of the few regions of the Gobi covered by sand dunes. Visit a camel herder's family and have an opportunity to ride a Bactrian camel. 

 

Overnight: Three Camel Lodge

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 5: BACK TO ULAANBAATAR / TERELJ NATIONAL PARK

We return this morning from Gobi to Ulaanbaatar by domestic flight and on arrival, transfer to the Terelj National Park. Our exploration today takes us through unique rock formations, scenic valleys, winding rivers and spectacular landscapes where many nomads live in the park, where they find lush grazing land for their animals. We visit the Terelj National Park stopping at notable rock formations such as the "Turtle Rock" and "Monk Reading a Book". We will also visit the Aryabal meditation center located inside the mountains to learn more about Mongolian Buddhism. 

Overnight: Terelj Hotel, Terelj National Park

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 6: TERELJ NATIONAL PARK / HUSTAI NATIONAL PARK

Today, we travel to Hustai National Park - site of a unique re-introduction scheme of Przewalskii's Horse, called "takhi" by Mongolians. It became extinct in the wild in 1969 and since 1992, has been successfully re-introduced to Hustai from zoos around the world. Hustai National Park is also home to a wide diversity of animals such as the Mongolian gazelle, Red deer and more as well as remarkable landscapes in solitude. 

Overnight: HS Khaan Resort Hotel, Hustai National Park

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 7: HUSTAI NATIONAL PARK / NAADAM FESTIVAL OPENING CEREMONY

Return to Ulaanbaatar today as we make our way to the Opening Ceremony of Naadam Festival, an annual celebration promoting the traditional sports of wrestling, archery and horse racing as well as a spectacle of locals in their most colourful and stunning traditional costumes. Mongolia celebrates its independence and its rich cultural heritage with wonderful flair and intrigue as colourful ceremonies and parading soldiers kick off the celebrations followed by quick succession of competition. A festival not to be missed!

Overnight: Shangri-La Hotel, Ulaanbaatar

Meals: Breakfast & Lunch

DAY 8: NAADAM FESTIVAL

We spend another day to capture the full spectacle of the annual games of the Naadam Festival, fully immersing ourselves into understanding the cultures and ancient sports that made Mongolia such a dominant force during the days of Genghis Khan. Both men and women compete in archery games using the traditional Mongolian compound bow that terrorized Europe when Genghis Khan and his Golden horde moved their empire west. The quintessential Mongolian art of horse racing follows, where up to 800 horses compete, jockeyed by children so that the skill of the horse, and not the rider is tested. This evening, enjoy a performance featuring traditional Mongolian dancers and khoomi throat singers followed by a farewell dinner at a fine local restaurant

Overnight: Shangri-La Hotel, Ulaanbaatar

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 9: DEPART ULAANBAATAR 

After breakfast, be transferred to Ulaabaatar Chinggis Khan Intl Airport for your flight departure. 

 

Meals: Breakfast

 

HOTELS

Situated in the heart of Ulaanbaatar, the Shangri-La Hotel is a 5 star luxury hotel equipped with the most modern amenities including free Wi-Fi, a spa center, air-conditioned rooms and flat screen tv. 

Shangri-La Hotel, Ulaanbaatar

Against the backdrop of the Mongolian Gobi Altai mountains, a scattering of felt-covered gers or traditional Mongolian tents - dots the wild expanse of the Gobi, their brightly decorated doors all pointing south. This is the Three Camel Lodge, remarkable ecolodge in the heart of the desert that celebrates the traditions of Mongolia's nomads. 

Three Camel Lodge

Set on the banks of the Terelj River in a remote spot surrounded by wild, tree-covered mountains in the Gorkhi-Terelj National Park, Terelj  Hotel is a comfortable sanctuary with a rejuvenating spa, a stunning heated indoor pool surrounded by columns, two restaurants and a cafe all within 50km of Mongolia's capital city, Ulaanbaatar. 

Terelj Hotel, Terelj National Park

A luxury hotel with vast prairie surroundings under the beautiful starlit skies, HS Khaan Resort Hotel is born amongst the continuous, boundless peaceful grasslands with open rooms which enlights dramatic scenic views of the prairie horizon from the panoramic window placed right in front of your room. 

HS Khaan Resort Hotel, Hustai National Park

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