The country of blue sky meets at best its reputation as well in winter when the azure sky seems eternal. The sceneries are still magnified in a country deserted by travelers.
In winter, a cold and dry climate strikes Mongolians steppes with a thin layer of snow. Yet life continues here, and the heat is deep inside a yurt among a nomadic family inhabiting the steppes. The season is then ideal for exploring the traditional lifestyle of Mongolian nomads: an extraordinary human experience that Horse...
Day 1Arrival in UlanBator and visit of the city
Arrival at the airport, meeting with our driver. Transfer to your hotel, settling in, and rest.
Appointment at 12 o'clock at your hotel with your guide. He will take you to the restaurant of your choice.
Let’s go to the well-known Naran tuul market, called also "black market", a place where anything can be found such as traditional winter Mongolian clothing protecting from the cold at best: lined boots, chapkas made from animal skin and long warm coats.
Day 2 - 3Ride in the park of the wild horses
Ulan Bator - Khustai national park
Visit of Gandantegchinlen Monastery. In the morning, lamas get together to pray. They will answer your questions at the Mongolian Buddhist Centre.
Let’s hit the road for a longer ride today, which will take us on the banks of the Tuul river. A warm meal will be awaiting for us in a familiy of farmers settled in there. After the lunch time we’ll head back to our ger camp for the night.
- 2, 3
We will spend 2 nights in a ger camp (heated!), offering warm showers. Take good advantage of it!
Day 4Visit of the former Mongolian capital
Khustai national park - Kharkhorin
Journey to Kharkhorin, the former capital of Mongolia. The legendary city of Genghis Khan was founded in 1220 and was one of the stages of the silk road. The Mongolian Empire was governed from this city until Kubilai Khan set up the capital in Beijing. Today, there are only a few vestiges left of the former capital.
Visit of Erdene Zuu Monastery, built in 1586 by a nomad prince. The Chinese and Tibetan-inspired buildings are surrounded with 108 sacred stupas. Visit of the Museum of Kharkhorin.
Overstay in a family of the village, who would have beforehand prepared and heated up a ger for you.
Day 5 - 8Among nomads in Orkhon Valley
Kharkhorin - Orkhon valley
Journey to Orkhon Valley. Inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List, the valley is a land of nomadism and many breeders set their summer camp there.
- 5, 6, 7, 8
Stay at herders' from the valley. During your stay, you will discover their way of life and you will be proposed many activities, such as milking, making traditional dairy products, or rounding up the animals with a horse.
You will also attend the preparation of a Mongolian barbecue that you will enjoy with yours hosts.
- 6, 7, 8
During our stay in the breeders family, horses will be at our disposal to go discovering the different sites of Orkhon Valley : Ulaan Tsutgalan waterfalls, Mogoit hot springs or even Tovkhon Monastery. The rides will be organised according to the weather conditions. We will spend mornings with the family to get to know more about their life style, and get lunch with them before leaving for a ride in the afternoon.
Day 9 - 10Change of scene in the Mini-Gobi
We arrive at the splendid rocky formations of Khogno Khan. Discovery of the park : semidesert steppes, taiga, stunning rocky formations, 80-kilometre (49,71 miles) long sand dunes, are characteristic of this arid area nicknamed "Mini-Gobi".
Pony trek until Erdene Khambiin Monastery. "Monk Erdene's Monastery" dates from 17th century and was built in the mountain. Zanabazar built it in honour of his teacher, monk Erdene.
Total change of scenery for this last horseback riding, since it is in an arid landscape along the sand dunes of Elsen Tasarkhai, which also can be snow-covered, that you will ride.
Day 11Back to Ulan Bator
Khogno Khan - Ulan Bator
Back to Ulan-Bator. Last herds of wild horses crossing the road outside our dumbfounded eyes, last yurts smoking far away, the steppe will be with us until the last moment.
Arrival in town and settling in at your hotel, where you can rest a few moments.
Let's immerse ourselves in the heart of the Mongolian history, in the wonderful National History Museum. Three floors of a rich, glorious, violent and noble past, from prehistory to Soviet period, including the creation of the great Mongolian Empire by Genghis Khan.
Rest of the day free. With our guide, you can go and shop in the centre of the city.