Mongolia is well known for its nomadic traditions. The nomadic way of lifestyle is still practiced today in the rural areas of the country. Nomads follow a seasonal routine raising and breeding the five main types of stock – goat, sheep, cattle (including yaks), camel and horse, migrating from place to place following the most favorable pastures and campsites.
Throughout this 13 days tour, you follow in the footsteps of the Eurasian nomads of the steppes to discover theirs secrets. Museums in monasteries, through the famous Orkhon Valley, the cradle of the Mongolian people, Karakorum the ancient capital of Mongolian Empire, or incredible archaeological sites, you recompose, step by step, the fascinating history of Mongolia.
You wil meet with Mongolian herders to overwhelming hospitality and learn more about their strong culture of authentic and living traditions.
Arrive in Ulaanbaatar the capital city of Mongolia. Transfer to your hotel. The city tour of Ulaanbaatar takes you through some of the principal sights of this unique city. You visit the Gandan Monastery. Your tour also takes you to the Chinggis Khan monument on the Chinggis Khan square and the Museum of National History. In the evening, you will enjoy a Mongolian folk Music and Dance Performance. Then welcome lunch in a Mongolian restaurant.
This morning we living the hotel and heading to the north for discovery the first landscapes of steppes. After the lunch on the way, in the afternoon we getting to the Amarbayasgalant monastery. Visit this magnificent monastery with the name “Monastery of Tranquil Felicity”. It was built by Manchu Emperor between 1727-1736 with more than 40 temples in honor of Saint Zanabazar, the first Bogd and the great artist. The architectural construction of the monastery is amazing. The main style is Chinese while it combines little Tibetan and Mongolian architecture.
This morning after breakfast at ger camp, we drive to the direction of the Uran Togoo Volcano. On the way, we pass through the city Erdenet. This city is the third-largest city in Mongolia and the capital of Orkhon–Uul province. Erdenet, one of the youngest settlements in Mongolia, was founded in 1974 in an area where large deposits of copper had been discovered in the 1950s. After lunch in the city, we will continue our way to the north. On the way pass through the Bulgan city, the capital of Bulgan province. Further, in the distance it begins to be seen the silhouette of an extinct volcano Khorgo where we are heading. The two sides are seen as a prehistoric grave, stone structure. This is an extinct volcano whose crater reaches 1686 metres above the ground, has 500 metres in diameter and 50 metres in depth. It’s the most beautiful and the most famous volcano of Mongolia. It was active 60 to 65 millions of years ago. We can find an exceptional and plenteous fauna and flora. In effect, the lava that flowed there many thousands of years ago gave way to a very fertile environment. A hike along a footpath through the Siberian larches will lead you to the crater. A surprise awaits you!
Today our road to the village of Olziit, along the Orkhon River. You stop at the site of a lovely Tibetan monastery, now abandoned. Further west, you are in front of the stelae in cervids (deer stones) and khirigsuur (stone mound surrounded by a circular or rectangular enclosure). These khirigsuur are archaeological monuments dating back to the Bronze Age and certainly having a funeral and cultural purposes. In these places were buried high-ranking deceased and practiced sacrificial rituals in their honor.
Road to the valley of Ikh Tamir. Now, you are in the heart of typical Mongolian landscape of the Arkhangai province or “North Khangai” on the northern foothills of the mountain range of the same name. Images of sight of forested mountains, plains dotted with gers smoking and basaltic rocks, horses and yaks at large s’abreuvant the edge of a river. Observation many scenes of nomadic life. You install your camp on the shore the Tamir River. You are close to the exceptional archaeological site Tsatsiin Ereg, a major site of the early first millennium. Over 26 “deer stones” and hundreds of petroglyphs were discovered in the last three excavation campaigns. You take the time to explore on foot this site and understand the fascinating history.
In this morning, after breakfast drive to the Tsetserleg. Tsetserleg or “Garden” is capital of Arkhangai province. One of beautiful city in country was founded in 1631, when the Zaya Gegeen’s monastery was built with the initiative of Zaya Gegeen just in front of the huge granite massif known as Bulgan Uul (1950 m). You will visit this monastery, now is local musieum. Also, you walk through the city, local market, photography as you wish. Then lunch in the city. Then continue to the hot springs of Tsenkher. After having a rest you can hike along the surrounding forested mountain and in the evening enjoy taking a hot spring bath. His curative water and amazing nature featured by wooden mountains make this an excellent place for relax. Night bath is great. Sitting in the pool drinking while seeing stars at the dark sky is one of the favorite activity in here.
The Orkhon Valley Cultural Landscape lies in the central part of Mongolia. The archaeologically rich Orkhon River basin was home of successive nomadic cultures which evolved from prehistoric origins in harmony with the natural landscape of the steppes and resulted in economic, social and cultural polities unique to the region. Home for centuries to major political, trade, cultural and religious activities of successive nomadic empires, the Orkhon Valley served as a crossroads of civilizations, linking East and West across the vast Eurasian landmass.
In the afternoon, arrive and visit the famous waterfalls of Orkhon. The waterfall formed by combination volcanic eruption and earthquakes some 20.000 years ago cascades down from a height 24 meters.
After breakfast we will drive to the buddhist hermitage Tövkhön, nestled on the wooded foothills of the Khangai. This small temple with the name “Tovkhon” or “Duvkhen” by Tibetan, and “Temple of Creation Work” by Mongolian was built by Zanabazar in 1654, the first religious leader of Mongolia. Walk through the wild forest with beautiful landscape.
In the afternoon, drive to the Kharakhorum. This ancient capital of Mongolian Empire was built as far back as the 8th century, and was the city of Khyatan with the name “Takhil Shivee”. Only in 1220 Chinghis Khaan declared it as the capital city of his Empire. Until 1235, Karakorum seems to have been little more than a ger town, and Ogedei Khan gave the decree to build the Karakorum. After the collapse of the Yuan dynasty, in 1388, Ming troops took and destroyed the town. Visit the Erdene–Zuu, the first buddhist monastery in mongolia. Abtai Sain Khan, ruler of the Khalkha Mongols and grandfather of Zanabazar, ordered construction of the Erdene Zuu monastery in 1585 after his meeting with the 3rd Dalai Lama.
Road to the site of Khoshoo Tsaidam monuments or the Orkhon inscriptions. There are site are two memorial installations erected by the Gokturks written in old Turkic alphabet in the early 8th century in the Orkhon Valley in Mongolia. They were erected in honor of two Turkic princes, Kul Tigin and his brother Bilge Khagan. The inscriptions, in both chinese and old Turkic, relate the legendary origins of the Turks, the golden age of their history, their subjugation by the chinese, and their liberation by Bilge Khagan. In fact, according to one source, the inscriptions contain “rhythmic and parallelistic passages” that resemble that of epics.
In the afternoon, road to the lake Ogii. Ogii Lake is a freshwater lake and designated as a Ramsar Site of International Importance, is known for its fish and for birdlife. It is a stopover point for migrating waterbirds. Almost half the lake is less than 3 m deep. Camping on the shore thr lake.
Road to the site with the name ruins of Chintolgoi. Near the hill of the Chin Tolgoi was the city which called Zhen Zhou, which was an military barrack with 20,000 troops. This is city of the Liao dynasty, also known as the Khitan Empire. The Liao Empire, was an empire in east Asia that ruled from 907 to 1125 over present-day Mongolia and portions of the Russian far east, northern Korea, and northern China.
Then arrive in Elsen Tasarkhai or “Little Gobi”, erected in the middle of the plains. The ecosystem of this park is particularly interesting, because the steppe and the taiga meet here. So, we can find a fauna and a flora that are characteristic of these two ecosystems, and also some wonderful landscapes, with the granite formations of Khogno Khan. In there you can have an optional camel riding on the sand dunes.
Drive to the Khustain Nuruu. It’s our last stop on the way. Khustain Nuruu National park is famous for the successful reintroduction project of the Takhi or Przewalski’s horse. Walk through the forests of larch and observation of these semi-wild horses in their pasture in the evening.
Drive back to Ulaanbaatar. Shop at cashmere and souvenir shops.
Farewell dinner with your interpreter and driver in a Mongolian restaurant.
Transfer to the airport