A thousand years ago, the steppes of Central Asia were ruled by a nomadic people governed by nature. Blood ties were the corner stone of every relation and the animals were the source and end goal of all wealth. The bond between man and his horse was so umbilical it went without the mediation of a saddle and even preceded every child’s first steps, while the eagle that hunted wolves was just another family member. The gentle and unconditional hospitality was only seconded by the unmerciful protection of family wealth. And the cities never gained roots, in a perpetual movement dictated by the Sun, the Moon and Mother Nature.
A thousand years ago, like today, in the Mongolia we defy you to explore. More than the journey of a lifetime, it’s the journey you have never dared to dream of!
As no one goes in search of the desert hoping to find company, we’ll arrive in Mongolia when the flux of tourists is almost exclusively made on the way around and the climate allows one to know it in all its dimensions.
Our journey starts with a visit Ulan Bator, though our stay in the capital will be a rather short one, as the magnificent Gobi awaits. On board of an old 4x4 soviet van of rough looks and with a soul of a desert animal, we head south. Through the lands once inhabited by dinosaurs and nowadays filled with a complete void connecting the earth and the sky. We’ll get lost on the Gobi wilderness, discover the canyon where the ice hides from the unmerciful desert’s sun and dive in the endless Khonroiin Els sand dunes. Riding a native Bactrian camel, we’ll recreate ancient commercial routes in a caravan crossing the sand dunes. An experience through which you’ll grasp the uniqueness of the bond between the sun and the eternal desert skyline.
After the arid Gobi, the Orkhon’s river valley follows. A UNESCO World Heritage site and core of the ancient Mongol Empire, dreamt and shaped by the lengendary Genghis Khan. The impressive Orkhon’s waterfall, formed over 20.000 years ago, Erdene Zuu’s monestary, the first, and the most important Buddhist temple in the country to this day, and the ruins of Karakorum, ancient capital of the largest empire the world has ever known. In between, challenge the cold nights of the steppes in a bath in Tsenher’s thermal waters under a show of falling stars.
Further north, by the magnificent Therkiin Tsagaan and Khövsgöl lakes, we will embody the ancient nomadic spirit of the Mongol people. We will share the Ger (the typical white round tent) of traditional Mongol families, itinerant houses where the eagles guard your sleep. We will lend our hands to the daily chores of the household, herding and eagles training for the upcoming hunting season. We will sit at their table to enjoy a Khorkhog (the traditional Mongol barbecue) and we share rituals as old as the time itself. And, as true Mongols, we will ride on a horse back for days by the lake shores and the surrounding mountains in search for the finest grasslands and the most spectacular landscapes in the land of the eternal blue sky!
September 16 to October 4
Can't find your dates? Looking for a tailor made experience?
type. Adventure / Nature / Cultural
Ulan Bator, the traces of the recent economic boom contrast with a distinctly soviet structure and its suburbs almost entirely made of Gers (traditional Mongol tents);
Travel through the endless central-Asian steppes, a void that fulfills us, a total absence that complete us and redefines the concept of wilderness;
Bayanzag (Flaming Cliffs), an impressive rock formation, which is one of the most important paleontological sites in the world;
Yolyn Am, a narrow and deep canyon, which depths the Sun is unable to reach and where the ice hides and manages to survive the all year, right in the hearth of the desert;
Khongoriin Els, an impressive 12km wide and 100km long area of sand dunes, reaching as high as 300mt from where watching the sunset if an unparalleled experience;
Endure the desert’s unforgiveness and fascination while camel trekking across the sand dunes;
Orkhon’s river waterfall, water as a genuine source and power of life;
Erdene Zuu’s monastery, the temple of the 100 Treasures, the most important and striking Buddhist temple in the country;
Karacorum, the ruins of the capital of the largest continuous land empire in history, which once stretched from Eastern Europe till the Sea of Japan, occupying more than a 1/5 of the world’s land area;
A night bath in the Tsenher’s thermal waters, under a darkness “turned off” by the moon and the thousands of stars shining in the endless sky;
Therkiin Tsagaan’s lake (The Big White Lake), with its crystal clear, sweet and cold waters and spectacular views over the surrounding mountains;
Embody the ancestral / ancient Mongolian spirit and live the day-to-day life of a traditional nomadic family. Attend to their household chores, learn to prepare the typical airag (mare’s or camel’s fermented milk) and the Boortsog (local cookies), help with animal herding and milking. Gather the wood for the fire that will cook the Khorkhog (Mongol’s barbecue) and then share an evening of traditional games and millenary traditions;
Khövsgöl’s lake, the dark blue pearl of Mongolia, whose crystal clear waters extend amidst the mountains throughout 136km of a unique scenery;
Travel the mountains and the shores of never-ending lakes on the back of an horse for 2 full days, an experience which will redefine your sense of freedom;
Amarbayasgalant’s monastery, the monastery of peacefulness and happiness, arguably the most genuine Buddhist temple in all Mongolia. Watch the Morning Prayer, make an offering to the mountain Gods and be captivated by the serenity of this temple and its surrounding landscape.
number of participants
airport Pick up and drop off
camel trekking (6 to 8 hours)
day spent with a local traditional nomadic family
access to Tsenher’s thermal waters
2 days horse expedition (Note: this activity doesn’t require previous equitation practice)
entry in the natural parks and monuments mentioned in the program
accommodation in a Guesthouse (2)
accommodation with breakfast and dinner in traditional local tents (Gers) with local families or touristic camps (16)
transportation in a private vehicle with a local driver during the all trip
outlines leader in charge of the organisation and escorting the group
meals not mentioned in the program
other activities and places not mentioned in the program
flights to and from the destination (about 1.000€)
Uvs’ lake and Tsagaan Suvarga extension
trans-Mongolian and Trans-Siberian Lines extension
visits to museums and other monuments not included in the program
hiking and trekking
photographic report of the whole trip
single supplement (only available in part of the program)
population. 2,6 million
capital. Ulan Bator