Best of Mongolia or Golden Circuit tour
Duration: 15 days, 14 nights
Dates: 18th June – 2nd July; 20th Aug – 03th Sep
Group size: Min – 3 pax, Max – 15 pax
Destination: Middle Gobi, South Gobi, Karakorum, Tsenher Hot Springs, Khuvsgul Lake, Khorgo – Terkhiin Tsagaan Natural Park
Highlights: Baga Gazriin Chuluu, Yolin Am, Flaming Cliffs, Khongor Singing Sand Dunes, Ruins of Ongi Monastery, Erdenezuu Monastery, natural hot springs, Khorgo extinct volcano crater, Khuvsgul Lake, Amarbayasgalant Monastery, Uran Togoo extinct volcano crater;
Accommodation: Tourist standard ger camps / 12 nights
Total driving distance: 3060km
Price from: 1 pax 1950 USD
The best of Mongolia trip will give you a chance to glimpse into majestic Gobi desert and central part of Mongolia. Gobi is a desert like a treasure chest of adventures and culture. Central Mongolia is a unique place to discover Mongolian culture, religion and tradition. Valleys, cliffs, rocky mountain, lakes, Buddhist temples, extinct volcano crater, all these are included in “Best of Mongolia” (Golden circuit tour) trip.
Day 1. Arrival
Upon arrival in Ulaanbaatar, our English speaking professional local guide will warmly welcome the travellers at the airport оr train station, and transfer to hotel (hotel stay not included). Free time after check-in.
Day 2. Baga Gazryn Chuluu (260 km)
Your guide will pick you up at your hotel lobby after breakfast. Today you begin your journey heading to Baga Gazryn Chuluu, a unique formation of rocks in the Middle Gobi province. Visit ruins of an ancient temple and explore the area. Lunch is on the way, dinner and overnight in a ger camp. (L/D)
Day 3. Tsagaan Suvarga (250 km)
After breakfast, drive further heading magnificent Tsagaan Suvarga. Meaning “White Stupa”, it is a deep escarpment formed over time due to erosion of a sedimentary mud in the sea bottom and looks like a stupa from far distance. From far-east it looks like a city ruin or a settlement, but from west it looks like a flat steppe. This escarpment is 60m high, about 400m wide, and believed to have almost 900 steep banks. After rainfall, torrents of water flowing down the banks looks like a massive waterfall. Lunch is on the way, dinner, and overnight stay in a ger camp near Tsagaan Suvarga. (B/L/D)
Day 4. Yolin Am – Vulture Valley (220 km)
Drive further south. Arrive at the Three Beauties of the Gobi National Park. Spend the day on an excursion to Yolin Am (Vulture Valley) – a deep and narrow gorge that cuts a path through the foothills of mountains and is covered by snow and ice for most time of the year for hiking and stunning photograph opportunities. Lunch is on the way, dinner and overnight in a ger camp. (B/L/D)
Day 5. Khongor – Singing sand dunes (200 km)
After breakfast drive to Khongor sand dunes, known as Singing Dunes. A good climb up to the sand dunes will be challenging, but will reward you with a breath taking panoramic view. In the evening observe a spectacular sunset, please prepare your cameras. Lunch is on the way, dinner and overnight in a ger camp. (B/L/D)
Day 6. Bayanzag (200 km)
Drive to the world famous Flaming Cliffs and Bayanzag (forest of the Gobi). Discover the area of the first paleontological finding in Mongolia by following footsteps of Roy Chapman Andrews. Visit a nomadic camel breeding family and experience hospitality of nomads. It is possible to enjoy a short camel ride (optional). Lunch is on the way, dinner and overnight in a ger camp. (B/L/D)
Day 7. Ongyn Khiid (150 km)
After breakfast start to north heading Ongyn Khiid. It is a sight worthy monastery ruins on Ongi River, formerly one of the largest monasteries in Mongolia which was completely destroyed by 1930’s communist purge. A large number of ruins including a tall stupa, can be seen on the river and on the surrounding hills. Explore the ruins of Ongy Monastery and photograph mysteriously beautiful surrounding area after visiting a small temple which was built on its destroyed grounds. Dinner and overnight in a ger camp near the ruins. (B/L/D)
Day 8. Karakorum (320 km)
After breakfast, travel to Karakorum, the 13th century capital of the Mongol Empire. Visit Erdene Zuu Monastery, which was once one of the largest monasteries in Mongolia, and then was mostly destroyed in the 1930s. Tour the monastery grounds and visit several chapels with excellent examples of Buddhist iconography dating from the 16th century. Visit the symbolic ruins of Karakorum. Dinner and overnight in a ger camp. (B/L/D)
Day 9. Tsenkher Hot Springs (120 km)
Drive to the Tsenkher hot springs. Spend the day relaxing in natural hot springs and walking in the surrounding forest. Please do not forget to pack your swimsuit for this day. Your may have a small hike to a nearby mountain, a stunning view will await you there. Optional massage and beauty services are available. Enjoy the hot springs again after dinner. Lunch, dinner and overnight in a ger camp. (B/L/D)
Day 10. Great White Lake (240 km)
Today, travel further west to Lake Terkhiin Tsagaan. On the destination, fishing, bird watching, and swimming activities are available as the lake supports plenty of fish including Pike, some rare birds and migratory waterfowls. The lake was formed as a result of volcanic eruption about 9000 years ago, where upper and lower Therkhiin rivers had been bordered by the Khorgo volcano’s burning lava. Khorgo extinct volcano crater is also an interesting spot where you hike up and look down to it. Lunch, dinner and overnight in a ger camp by the lakeshore. (B/L/D)
Day 11. Hatgal village – Khuvsgul Lake (340 km)
After breakfast, start to Khuvsgul Lake. Have lunch on the way and arrive lakeshore in the afternoon. Check-in to a ger camp by the shore. Khuvsgul Lake is the biggest fresh water lake in Mongolia, second in Asia, only after Lake Baikal (Russia). During the day, explore the area and take optional activities if desired such as horse trek through the lake. Dinner and overnight in ger camp. (B/L/D)
Day 12. Khuvsgul Lake
Early in the morning, a walk by the lakeshore is highly recommended. Usually the mist takes off from water by sunrise, when you get a chance to see the beautiful mystical environment. After breakfast, visit a reindeer herder’s family and learn about their distinct culture and lifestyle. Optional rafting and kayaking activities are available. Dinner and overnight in a ger camp. (B/L/D)
Day 13. Bulgan province / Uran Togoo extinct volcano crater (350 km)
After breakfast drive to Uran Togoo, an extinct volcano in Bulgan province. You will have a scenic drive with endless green pastures and deep blue sky. Lunch is on the way or in a ger camp upon arrival. The volcano crater is of a humble but noteworthy design which has a round shaped deep black lake in the middle of it. Dinner and overnight stay in “Unit” ger camp. (B/L/D)
Day 14. Ulaanbaatar (410 km)
After breakfast drive back to Ulaanbaatar and arrive by evening. Lunch is on the way. Upon arrival in Ulaanbaatar, we welcome you to a farewell dinner accompanied by Mongolian traditional songs and dances. Then check–in to hotel and prepare for next day’s departure. (B/L/D)
Day 15. Departure
Today we transfer you to your international departure point and tour is concluded.
Price does not include accommodation in UB.
Please contact us for prices of children (3-12 years old).
Package price includes:
Airport or train station transfers in Ulaanbaatar
Accommodation in ger camps * – twin sharing
English speaking professional local guide
Chauffeured tour couch during the tour
Entrance fees to National Parks and protected areas
Tickets to museums and art performances
Meals as mentioned in itinerary
Two bottles of 0,5 litre drinking water per day
Sightseeing as per itinerary
Package price excludes:
Hotel in Ulaanbaatar;
Ger camp single supplement 25 USD per person/per night;
Visa application fee;
Hotel extras (phone calls, laundry, minibar,. etc);
Gratuity to local guides and drivers;
Optional excursions unless stated in the itinerary;
How to get a visa?
If you are a citizen of one of the 46 countries that has been granted “visa-free access” to Mongolia, or 41 countries covered in a 30 day visa-free visit regime until 31st December 2016, you do not need to present a visa when entering Mongolia for tourism purposes. With exception of those, visitors are required to have a valid visa issued by Mongolian diplomatic missions or honorary consuls abroad. The following materials are required to obtain a visa under grounds of tourism:
- Passport, valid for at least six months from the end of intended period of stay in Mongolia
- One passport size photo
- Completed and signed Visa Application Form for Tourists
- Invitation from Mongolia (Either an invitation of the receiving entity, or an official request of the sending country and the organization).
- Transit visa processing requires visa for next destination, and copy of onward tickets.
How to get to Mongolia?
By airways: Providing you with comfort flights, Mongolian national flag carrier MIAT – Mongolian airlines operate scheduled and chartered flights to Ulaanbaatar from Berlin, Frankfurt, Moscow, Hong Kong, Seoul, Tokyo, Osaka and Beijing. The Chinggis Khaan international airport, conveniently located 18 km southwest of the capital, hosts following carriers apart from MIAT:
- Hunnu Air
- Aeroflot Air
- Korean Air
- Turkish Airlines
We will always be happy to help arrange your international flights to Mongolia. By railways: If your holiday duration and plan allows, another great way to get to Mongolia is via trans-Mongolian train. This is possible either from Moscow or Beijing. The journey takes 4 nights and 5 days from Moscow, and 1 night and 2 days from Beijing. It is a magical journey which takes you from the heart of buzzing downtowns of metropolises into nomadic Mongolia, past the Great Wall of China through the Gobi desert, or Russian countryside villages through the Baikal Lake. Also trains to border cities run every day, as the cities of Ulaan-Ude (Russia) and Erlian (China) are both popular get-away destinations for locals, for a little cultural sightseeing and a bit of shopping. You can let us handle your international railway tickets, to make your travel plan even smoother.
What to bring? What to wear?
Yes, you would want to pack a few additional things to make your travel more comfortable.
- Your personal toiletries
- Summer hat, sunglasses and sunscreen
- Earplugs to use when camping in the countryside
- Small headlamp or a flashlight
- Portable battery charger for your phone, tablet, camera etc.,
Small first aid bag including following:
- Small adhesive bands
- Blister plasters
- Medicine to treat occasional diarrhea
- Lip balm
- Wet tissue
- Mosquito repellent cream
- Sleeping bag or sleeping sack
- Mosquito net
- After sun cream when possible
- Trekking shoes
- Weatherproof jacket
- Wool hat, gloves, scarf
- Spare pairs of socks and underwear
- Bathing or swimming suit
- Other casual clothing
Foreign currency can be exchanged at . commercial banks and Mongolian national currency “Tugrug” are in notes of 1, 10, 20, 50, 100, 500, 1,000, 5,000, 10,000 and 20,000. The US dollar is preferred currency. Credit cards are also accepted at major hotels, restaurants and tourist shops. UB and major cities have ATMs.
Mongolian nationwide electricity output is 220V/50HZ in a European style plug. Most likely all the wall sockets will feature 2 widely spaced round pins. But no worries if your device is different, because universal plug converter is commonly found at relatively cheap price here in Mongolia.
Mongolians have several national holidays and celebrations, and when we talk about celebrating holidays, we mean to do it nationwide. Believe us, celebrations take festive forms in most cases, and some certain are