Basic travel information
An active and nature trip to Mongolia, the homeland of Tshingis Khan, transports you to the sources of open landscapes and proud nomadic culture.
We explore Mongolia’s diverse, expansive landscapes, vast steppes, and the Gobi Desert on hiking trips in the magnificent nature of the world’s least populated state. On the way to Mongolia, we spend time in traditional yurt camps and get to know traditional Mongolian life. In the camps it is also possible to try e.g. horse riding and camel rides at an additional cost.
DAY 1 – FLIGHTS TO MONGOLIA
Overnight flights to Ulaanbaatar (Ulaanbaatar), the capital of Mongolia.
DAY 2 – ULAANBAATAR
Arrival in Mongolia and Ulaanbaatar. Transfer from the airport to the hotel. Explore city attractions such as Gandan Monastery and Sukhbaatar Square. Sukhbaatar Square is home to Mongolia’s main buildings, such as the Mongolian Parliament House and the Opera House. (I)
IN BAYANGOL HOTEL OR SIMILAR
DAY 3 – ULAANBAATAR – IKH NART
Departure in the morning from Ulaanbaatar southeast towards the Gobi Desert. About a 6-hour drive across the steppes to the Gobi Desert. The last 40km of gravel road will take you to the Ikh Nart nature reserve, where we will stay in a yurt camp. (UNDER)
DAY 4 – IKH NART
We explore the Ikh Nart area on foot. The Ikh Nart Conservation Area has been a sacred place throughout Mongolian history. We see magnificent rock formations, old rock paintings, sand dunes and grasslands, and, where possible, we observe wild animals in the area such as argae, eagles and Siberian mountain deer. (UNDER)
DAY 5 – OROGU MONASTERY
Toune a full day in the Ikh Nart nature reserve. We will take a hike to the ruins of the Orogu Buddhist monastery destroyed by the communist regime in the 1930s, and we will continue to explore the nature and fauna of the area. (UNDER)
DAY 6 – IKH NART – JALMAN MEADOWS
Today, it’s a long drive north of the Gobi Desert, to the Khan Khent Conservation Area, bordering the vast Aro and northern coniferous forest zone, and further to Jalman Meadows Camp. Along the way, we stop to eat lunch. Jalman Meadows Yurt Camp is reached for dinner.
Jalman Meadows Yurt Camp is one of the finest in the country. There is an opportunity to get acquainted with local life, hiking and nature trips, a river trip by kayak or to take part in the construction of a yurt sauna by the river. The yurt camp also has a library. (UNDER)
DAY 7 – KHAN KHENTII
We will take a full day hike to Khan Khent in the nature reserve, in the hills where the mighty taiga of Siberia meets the Aro of Mongolia. The mountain of St. Burkhan Khaldun in the area is said to be the birthplace of Tshingis Khan. Some of the vast conservation area is in traditional pastoral use, but most is uninhabited wilderness. In the area you will find e.g. bears, sable, gazelles and 250 species of birds. During the trip, we visit a local nomadic family to learn about the traditional Mongolian way of life. (UNDER)
DAY 8 – WIND RIVER VALLEY
Another full day in the Khan Khent area. We hiked to the eastern steppe of the yurt camp, the Wind River Valley, where we encounter lush meadows and larch and birch forests. We will return to camp in the afternoon.
At Jalman Meadows Yurt Camp, you can also take a kayak or horseback ride with local horsemen. Extra excursions are not included in the price of the trip but are reasonably priced. The riding trip costs a few tens of euros, a fee of a few euros is paid for the yurt sauna. (UNDER)
DAY 9 – JALMAN MEADOWS – ULAANBAATAR
After breakfast about 3.5h drive back south and to Ulaanbaatar. On the way we stop at the statue of Genghis Khan. In the afternoon free time in Ulaanbaatar. (A, L)
BAYANGOL HOTEL OR SIMILAR
DAY 10 – ULAANBAATAR
A day off in Ulaanbaatar for self-exploring the city or shopping. In the evening, a folk music performance and a joint farewell dinner. (OH)
BAYANGOL HOTEL OR SIMILAR
DAY 11 – RETURN FLIGHTS TO FINLAND
Airport transfers and return flights to the home country.
MEALS: [A] BREAKFAST [L] LUNCH [I] DINNER
We fly to Mongolia on scheduled flights of Turkish Airlines, via Istanbul. The airline has the right to change its schedules, so do not book any connecting flights until you have received your flight tickets.
There are no actual fitness requirements for the trip, but the program is designed for everyone interested in hiking and nature trips. Along the way, you will keep up with normal general fitness and motivation, but the better your physical condition, the more you will get out of the hiking days. Most of our hiking groups consist of first-time and basic Finns, young to retirees.
Typical hiking day:
Luggage is stored in the accommodation, so on hiking days you only need to carry your own daypack with the necessary supplies for the day, such as a bottle of water, sun fat, a camera, a wallet and a small snack. In mainland Mongolia, the weather fluctuates unpredictably and the temperature can drop quite low in the evening. It is good to have warm clothes with you on the trip, although you usually manage to wear summer clothes during the day.
Finnish citizens need a visa to Mongolia. Our instructions for applying for a Mongolian visa are closer to the trip.
Check that your basic vaccinations are valid during the trip. Hepatitis A and B vaccinations are recommended for all travelers to Asia.
The official language of Mongolia is Mongolian. The Mongolian language is written in the Cyrillic alphabet, which fits its pronunciation structure. Russia is spoken relatively commonly in the country. Mongolians working with tourists also generally speak English.
The currency of Mongolia is tögrög (MNT). It is worth reserving cash from Finland. Euros cannot be exchanged at all small-town banks, so the best travel currency is the US dollar. Tögrögs can be exchanged or picked up from ATMs in Ulaanbaatar for travel needs. The most common credit cards are used as payment methods in some of Ulan Bator’s shops and restaurants. When moving in the countryside, cash is the only means of payment.
Yurt camps have full board. However, book the tips of local guides and drivers for about 5 euros / person / day.
The climate in Mongolia is very continental and low in rainfall. Winters are long and cold, while summers are warm and the average temperature is +25 C. Although it rains very little in Mongolia every year, as early as September, early autumn may spread cold air further south and bring snowstorms with it. For this reason, we recommend our customers to bring warm clothing with them on the trip.
Mongolia is a land of nomads. Accommodation and other services remain modest and underdeveloped. Outside the capital, Ulaanbaatar, there are very few settlements and accommodation options. We have tried to choose the best and most comfortable yurt camps.
Typically, yurt or ger camps have a main building or a larger tent where meals and time are spent. The guide and chefs take care of the cooking. We use yurt camps suitable for foreigners with the cleanest facilities and toilets of normal local ger camps. All yurts have fireplaces where staff fire in the evening and heat the living room. There are usually plenty of bedding, but you should bring your own sleeping bag. Many camps have electricity produced by solar panels and lamps in the huts.
The capital and largest city of Mongolia in the central part of the country, at the confluence of the Wind and Selbe rivers. The city of 1.2 million inhabitants is also known as Ulaanbaatar. Ulan Bator is the center of Mongolian culture and economy, where modern influences and communist-era architecture meet traditional nomadic culture and Tibetan Buddhist Monasteries. The city was once founded in the 17th century as a Buddhist monastery center. The most famous sights of Ulaanbaatar, Gandan Monastery and the Choijin Lama Temple are reminiscent of this time. Newer sights in the city are represented by e.g. numerous museums and a large Tshingis Khan equestrian statue.