A Mongolian tour: desert, grasslands and lakes

From xxx/person 16 days

A welcoming land

Mongolia seems like this dreamy land of vast hilly grasslands, where men and animals live for one another in yurts and pastures, where travelers are always welcome when they reach a tiny yurt lost in the immensity, where nomadic traditions still overcome the urge of modernity... A trip to Mongolia is that and it is not. It is also Ulan-Bator, the capital city with a fast-growing population and density due to rural exodus; indeed nomadic life hardships also make people want to answer their call for modernity. However, this dreamy Mongolia is still there and we offer you to discover it.

Mongolia south to north

Mongolia isn't only made of hilly grasslands where people herd their cattle on horseback. From Ulanbataar, discover the various landscapes of Mongolia: Gobi desert in the south, grasslands and waterfalls in the centre as well as the historical capital city of Kharkhorin, and the huge alpine blue Khovsgol lake in the north. Everywhere, meet Mongolian people's hospitality and simplicity. However be prepared: paved roads aren't the norm across the country. The charm of a trip to Mongolia also resides in its bumpy tracks!


Upon arrival, wander through Ulan Bator (or Ulaanbataar) before reaching Gobi desert in the south. Discover life at the edge of this hostile environment, and learn how the ride a camel. Then reach the greener lands of Ovorkhangay region: see the beautiful Orkhon waterfalls, and the ancient capital city of Kharkhorin. After some horse riding, you'll drive north to Moron on the shores of Khovsgol lake, in a totally different landscape. Explore the clear waters of this alpine lake surrounded by forests and taiga, before heading back to Ulan Bator.


Day 1: Arrival in Ulaanbataar (D)

This morning, take your flight to Ulaanbataar. Arrival at Ulan Batar airport early in the afternoon.
In the afternoon, you’ll start your trip to Mongolia with a visit of Gandan Monastery, a Buddhist Tibetan style monastery that still hosts hundreds of monks. Tonight spend the night in Ulaanbataar.

Day 2: Ulaanbataar - Baga Gazriin Chuluu (B, L, D)

Today you will drive in the direction of Dundgovi, a town at the edge of Gobi desert (6hrs). Stop at Baga Gazriin Chuluu and admire this surprising beautiful landscape of granitic rocks. You’ll discover the temples nearby and spend the night at a yurt camp.

Day 3: Baga Gazriin Chuluu – Khongoryn Els (B, L, D)

Today, you’ll reach the majestic sand dunes of Khongoryn Els. These “Singing Sands” are the most impressive in Mongolia. Climb up a dune and get a panoramic view on the other side; meet also the nomad family who is welcoming you for the night. You’ll learn about their traditions and spend time at their yurt.

Day 4: Khongoryn Els (B, L, D)

A camel riding day is waiting for you: your trek will take you around the sand dunes and back to the yurt.

Day 5: Khongoryn els – way to Arvaykheer (B, L, D)

Today you will leave the desert, and drive in direction of the north to Arvaykheer. Enjoy the scenery around you, an old hilly volcanic zone. You’ll stop on the way to sleep at a nomads family yurt.

Day 6: Way to Arvaykheer – Orkhon Valley (B, L, D)

In the morning, you’ll hit the road again to finally reach Arvaykheer. Visit the town and stretch your legs in the market, before driving up a few kilometers in the Orkhon Valley, with wonderful views on the Orkhon river. Tonight stay at a yurt camp.  

Day 7: Orkhon Valley (B, L, D)

After breakfast, you’ll discover the beautiful Orkhon waterfall, surrounded by vast grasslands plains and hills. This mythic waterfall is the emblem of Ovorkhangai region. Stay at a yurt camp close to the waterfall for the night, surrounded by silence and nature immensity.

Day 8: Orkhon Valley – Kharkhorin (B, L, D)

Today you will drive to Kharkhorin, also known as Karakorum. On the way, you’ll stop at Tovkhon Khiid monastery that you’ll reach after a short walk on Shireet Ulaan Mountain, at an altitude of 2300m. Then you’ll reach Kharkhorin, medieval imperial city and capital city in the 13th century. However, with Mongol people nomadic way of life, the place didn’t last as a capital and few archaeological remains were found. You’ll explore Kharkhorin and reach a yurt camp for the night.

Day 9: Kharkhorin – Tsetserleg (B, L, D)

Today you will drive to Tsetserleg (2hrs), capital of Arkhangai province and an old cultural, commercial and religious centre in the country. You will reach a nomad family yurt camp and go horse riding for the afternoon. Enjoy the scenery in this very green part of Mongolia (Tsetserleg means “garden”), and learn how to ride a horse in the Mongolian style! You’ll stay with your hosts for the night.

Day 10: Tsetserleg – Terkhiin Tsagaan Nuur (B, L, D)

Keep driving north, and reach Khorgo Uul volcano in Terkhiin Tsagaan Nuur national park. You’ll go for a walk in this very special landscapes, formed with old lava flows and overlooking Terkhiin Tsagaan Nuur beautiful lake. It’s a privileged area for many birds species. You’ll stay tonight in a yurt nearby.

Day 11: Terkhiin Tsagaan Nuur – Shine Ider (B, L, D)

Today you’ll go on a long driving day to the north to reach Shine Ider, a small village where you’ll stay for the night. On the way, enjoy the scenery and the drive in these never-endingly beautiful landscapes.

Day 12: Shine Ider – Moron (B, L, D)

Drive to Moron and visit the town, capital of Khovsgol lake province. Located at the far north of Mongolia, this region owes its name to the country’s biggest lake, also called Baikal lake’s little brother: its Russian counterpart is just across the border and they were formed in a similar way. Different ethnic groups still live in very traditional ways in this remote border region, such as the Darkhas, Buriats and Tsataans. Tonight, enjoy staying at a hotel in town!

Day 13: Moron – Khatgal (B, L, D)

Today you’ll discover Khovsgol lake, known as Mongolia’s blue pearl. You will drive to Khatgal, a small village at the edge of Khovsgol lake that used to be a trading place between Russians and locals. Continue alongside the lake, in these beautiful Swiss-like forests landscapes to reach Toilogt Camp where you’ll stay for the night in a yurt. Enjoy this amazing sceneries surrounding you, going for a walk or just relaxing.

Day 14: Khatgal (B, L, D)

A relaxing day at Toilogt Camp, very well situated near the lake. Soak in the nature for the end of your trip: you can go horse riding (optional), or just enjoy a walk on the hills and in the forests surrounding the lake, to get wonderful points of view on its clear waters. Admire the surrounding mountains, mostly a range of old extinct volcanos. Maybe you’ll eat some fish: they are rare in Mongolia but abundant in Khovsgol lake!

Day 15: Khatgal – Moron – Ulaanbataar (B, L, D)

Today you’ll drive to Moron, where you’ll board a flight to Ulan Bator. Upon arrival, transfer to your hotel and free time at leisure to wander across the city or get some souvenirs.

Day 16: Ulaanbataar Departure (B)

This morning, enjoy some free time to end your trip to Mongolia. Then your driver will pick you up and transfer you to the airport for your flight back home.


  • Hotel or yurt accommodation with breakfast (B)
  • Lunch (L) and dinner (D)
  • Private Jeep driver
  • English-speaking guide
  • Entrance fees for the mentioned visits
  • Camel riding and horse riding when mentioned
  • Domestic flight Moron – Ulan Bator
  • Visa
  • International flights
  • Personal expenses
  • Tips to guide and driver
  • Insurances
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