HORSE RIDING TRIP IN MONGOLIA
INDICATIVE ITINERARY *
Day 1: Ulan Bator. Welcome to Mongolia ! Your English speaking translator is waiting for you at Ulan Bator airport at midday (arrival of Turkish Airlines flight - private transfer at extra cost if you are flying with another airline). Visit of Gandantegchinlin Monastery and the National Museum of Mongolian History. Dinner downtown and overnight at Dream hotel or similar (2*).
Day 2: Ulan Bator - Kharkhorin (Karakorum). Breakfast and drive to Karakorum, Mongolia ancient capital. Picnic lunch en route. This is a long day on the road (6-7 hours drive - depending on the condition of the roads), but this evening, you will already be in the Orkhon Valley World Heritage Site, ready to start your horse riding tour tomorrow ! Visit of Erdene Zuu Monastery. After the visit, we set up camp in the wilderness at the entrance of the Orkhon Valley for dinner and overnight.
Day 3: Horse riding tour in the Orkhon Valley. After breakfast, meet the nomadic herders and horses who will be your companions during this horseback ride in Central Mongolia. We begin our equestrian adventure in the northern mountains of the famous Orkhon Valley. Picnic lunch brought by our support vehicules, nothing to carry on the horses, so we can enjoy many canters ! After the ride, we set up camp in the wilderness for dinner and overnight.
Day 4: Horse riding tour in the Orkhon Valley (Tovkhon Monastery). After breakfast, we continue our horse ride in the Khangai Mountains. Picnic lunch brought by our support vehicules. In the afternoon, we arrive at Tovkhon Monastery, one of the major Buddhist sites in Mongolia. We reach the monastery with our horses at 2400m. After the ride, we set up camp in the wilderness for dinner and overnight.
Day 5: Horse riding tour in the Orkhon Valley (Orkhon Falls). After breakfast, we ride down the mountains to the Orkhon Valley. The views are astonishing ont the large valley with wooden mountains in the background. This regions is known as the cradle of the nomadic way of life in Mongolia. Picnic lunch. In the afternoon, we ride to the famous Orkhon Falls. After the ride, we set up camp in the wilderness for dinner and overnight.
Day 6: Horse riding tour in the Orkhon Valley. After breakfast, we continue our horse riding tour in the upstream part of the Valley where the landscape becomes wilder and wilder. This region has black ancient lava flows which contrast with the white running water of the Orkhon River and remind us Mongolia's volcanic past. Picnic lunch. We reach on horseback the larch forests with the impressive Naiman Nuur mountains in front of us. After the ride, we set up camp in the wilderness for dinner and overnight.
Day 7: Horseback adventure in Naiman Nuur Park (with pack yaks). For the next 3 days, our horse ride will have a totally different pace: after the wide open spaces, we now ride in very wild and remote landscapes: the Naiman Nuur Natural Park, which means "the 8 Lakes Park". Pack yacks carry the equipment and your personal belongings for these three days as this beautiful and isolated area is not accessible to vehicles. We pack the luggage and camping equipment on the yacks and start our steep ride to the mountains. Picnic lunch. After the ride, we set up camp on a lake shore for dinner and overnight. We will stay 2 nights at this camping site, to avoid having to ride with the pack yacks tomorrow, and therefore enjoy a faster horse riding pace.
Day 8: Horseback ride in Naiman Nuur Park. Today, we ride in beautiful forested mountains, discovering the wonderful scenic lakes of the Naiman Nuur Park, one of the most beautiful sites in Mongolia. Dinner and overnight at the same camping site.
Day 9: Horse riding tour in Naiman Nuur Park towards Orkhon Valley (with pack yaks). Today, we leave the Naiman Nuur Park with our pack yaks, to go back to the Orkhon Valley. We ride through steep mountains, and will appreciate our sure footed horses and the ability of our yak drivers ! We set up camp close to the yak breeder's yurt. Dinner and night under tents.
Day 10: Full day with a nomad family. We spend this last day in the Orkhon Valley with the family of the nomads who guided us during this horse ride in Central Mongolia. They became our friends as we shared so intense equestrian - and human - emotions, and it is always a wonderful experience to discover their wives and children, and the way they live in their yurts with their herds. The day is devoted to the discovery of the traditional lifestyle of the nomads of Mongolia. We can take part to the daily activities of the family. You'll find simple tips to facilitate contact with your host family here. During the day, we can still spend a few hours in the saddle, helping them to round up the herds, or just going for a ride to explore the region. In the evening, our hosts will prepare a traditional specialty, the Khorkhog, the "Mongolian barbecue". This night, we will sleep in a "guest-yurt" close to our nomad family's yurts. The comfort is more simple than in the yurt camps as there are no showers, but you will experience the real nomadic way of life in Mongolia ...
Day 11: Orkhon Valley - Night in a yurt at Khogno Khan Park (mini-Gobi). Breakfast and transfer to Khogno Khan Park (4 hours drive - depending on the condition of the roads). Khogno Khan'landscape is very similar to Gobi Desert, in southern Mongolia. Picnic lunch. Visit of the Ovgon Khiid Monastery and short hike in the Elsentasarhaï sand dunes. For this last night in the steppe, we enjoy the magic of a touristic ger camp (yurt camp) close to the majestic cliffs. Spending the night in a traditional yurt, with Mongolian furniture and hot showers, is also a wonderful experience, not to be missed ... Last dinner in the Mongolian steppe, at the ger camp restaurant.
Day 12: Khogno Khan Park - Ulan Bator. Breakfast and early departure to Ulan Bator where we arrive in the afternoon (5 hours drive - depending on the condition of the roads). Picnic lunch. The rest of the afternoon is dedicated to shopping downtown, where you will find traditional clothing and objects of daily life. In the late afternoon, you will attend a show with traditional dances, music and songs from Mongolia, especially the amazing Khoomei. The dinner is not included, to let you choose among the varied dining opportunities offered by Ulan Bator. Night at Dream hotel or similar (2 stars).
Day 13 - Ulan Bator. Breakfast and transfer to airport on time for Turkish Airlines flight (private transfer at extra cost if you are flying with another airline).