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TransMongolia Trail

Overview

If you cannot choose between the different Mongolian itineraries, then this incredible three week horseback trail traverses all the landscapes as well as extra routes along the way! There are fourteen days on horseback as you journey in two main locations: your first week being in Bayan Gobi and ar…

Highlights

  • Full 14 days in the saddle
  • Experience sleeping in a yurt with a nomadic family
  • Ride into an area rarely visited by tourists
  • Visit Karakorum, the ancient Mongol capital
  • Camping in remote regions with your horse

Essential Facts

  • 1 itinerary available
  • Max 10 riders per group
  • Average of 4 - 6 hours riding per day
  • Weight limit: 95kg / 15st / 209lbs

Description

If you cannot choose between the different Mongolian itineraries, then this incredible three week horseback trail traverses all the landscapes as well as extra routes along the way! There are fourteen days on horseback as you journey in two main locations: your first week being in Bayan Gobi and around Khogno Tarna sacred mountain, whilst your second week is in Arkhangai. Additional days include visits of monasteries and scenic sites as well as allowing time to transfer between the different locations.

There are many highlights to mention on this amazing three week adventure. Ride camels in the Bayan Gobi desert and discover the traditional lifestyle of Mongolian nomads. Ride across ancient lava fields and through canyons carved by volcanic lava rivers; and ride through forested mountains where some of the trees are more than 300 years old. Discover the White Lake (Lake Terkhiin Tsagaan Nuur) and Lake Dzuun Nuur, as well as the sacred mountain of Khogno Tarna.

Each night of the riding trail will be spent at a new location and many nights are spent camping, so this is a trail for adventurous riders who want to go far off the beaten track and discover areas few tourists visit.

Your spirit of adventure should not be dampened by the logistics of getting to these remote areas - roads are no more than tracks and can make journeys slow but immerse yourself in the landscape and hospitality of your hosts and let this holiday just unfold before you.

Horses & Riding

Tack

A hybrid of a Russian treed saddle which has been adapted for visitors. English/Western saddles are too long for the horses short backs. These saddles have a deep seat and a comfortable cushion strapped to the top. They are simple but functional.

Horses

Mongolian.
The Mongolian horses, whilst small in stature are huge in strength and resilience. They live out all year in harsh conditions in almost wild herds, but are still docile and obedient when caught for riding. They do still retain an element of "wildness" however and these rides are for competent riders only. Nothing beats cantering across the endless steppes on your Mongolian horse, alongside your nomad hosts and guide.

Riding

There is 1 itinerary:

  • TransMongolia Trail is a trail ride

Health

You should be fit and in good health as these rides are in remote locations and far from medical aid.

Weight

95kg / 15st / 209lbs

Food & Accommodation

Food

Mongolian food is essentially based on animal products - meat (red food) and dairy (white food). Traditionally these are eaten at different times of year with summer months being dedicated to white food and winter months the red food. During the summer months the females are breeding and therefore lactating, producing milk for cheese, butter, yoghurt etc. The nomads' energy requirements are lower during the summer months as well, as the temperatures are stable. During the winter months they consume a lot of meat as they require much larger quantities of calories to bear the extreme cold.

On these trails the traditional Mongolian diet has been adapted to accommodate western tastes.

Accommodation

Traditional Mongolian accommodation on the steppes are yurts or gers - circular structures with a lattice framework which contain 2-5 beds. Nomadic families live in these gers which can be dismantled and moved on yak carts.

During the trail you will spend a few nights in yurts - either touristic camps which are set up specifically for visitors, or staying with nomadic families.

On the other nights you will camp in 1 or 2 person tents. These are more rustic but you can camp in some very remote locations away from other groups.

Itineraries

TransMongolia Trail Basic / Tented accommodation.

Other Activities

There are some non-riding visits included, such as to monasteries and special sites, but the trails are predominantly riding tours and non-riders cannot be accepted.

Travel

There is a choice of airlines flying to Mongolia but none are direct. Popular choices include Air China (through Beijing) and Turkish Airlines (through Istanbul) as well as Aeroflot (through Moscow). However, if you wish to arrive early/stay longer, then any flights are ok.

Airport transfers are included provided you arrive/depart at set times:
Arrival: You must arrive by 7am for the transfer which departs once the Aeroflot flight has landed
Departure: Your flight must depart after 07:00am to allow time for the transfer (everyone is transferred together so if you book a late flight you will have a long wait).

Itinerary & Pricing

Day 1

Riding: No riding.

You will be met at Ulaanbaatar airport on arrival (usually 07:05am) and transferred to your 2-star hotel in the city (Dream hotel or similar). Lunch is to your own account today.

During the afternoon you will be taken to visit the Gandantegchinlin Monastery and the National Museum of Mongolian History. Dinner with the group in the evening will be taken downtown before overnighting at your hotel.

Day 2 - Ulaanbaatar - Khogno Khan

Riding: No riding.

After breakfast at your hotel, you are transferred by road to Khogno Khan and the Bayan Gobi national park with lunch taken along the way. You will arrive to a family ger camp and meet your riding guide. You sleep in a guest yurt close to the family yurt (up to five riders per yurt, showers available).

Days 3 to 7 - Khogno Tarn - Ugii Lake

Riding: 4 - 6 hours

After breakfast you start your epic riding adventure. For the next five days you will ride between cliffs and dunes along the Khogno Tarna Sacred Mountain. This region is rarely visited by tourists who tend to stay in the southern part of the Bayan Gobi where roads and tourist ger camps make it easier. However, you are heading north, keeping the cliffs of the mysterious Khogno Tarna mountain to your right.

This mountain is full of historic legends - it hosted the large Ovgon Khiid Buddhist monastery which was destroyed and all the monks killed by the troops of Galdan Boshigt Khan in 1640. The temple was later rebuilt but destroyed again during the communist regime in 1937. In the mid 1990's it was again rebuilt and you will have the chance to visit it on your first riding day. 

Your five days of riding are full of variety as different ecosystems meet here - steppe, taiga, desert, rivers and impressive granite formations. During the week you will also have the chance to ride camels in the dunes of Bayan Gobi.

Eventually you end this part of the ride close to Ugii Lake which is famous for its migratory birds (there is a short transfer to the lake from where you leave the horses). 

All nights are camping in tents, with a shower to share.

Day 8 - Ugii Lake - Arkhangai

Riding: No riding.

After breakfast, you drive east to the departure point for the second part of your horseback trail in Arkhangai. A picnic lunch is taken en-route as you cross the Khangai mountains. In the afternoon you will arrive at the yurts of the nomadic family who will guide you and have bred the horses you will ride. The exact arrival time will depend on the road conditions and so the afternoon is left free for you to discover the traditional lifestyle of Mongolian nomads. You can involve yourself in their daily activities and talk to family members.

Tonight you sleep in a guest yurt close to the family yurts - these yurts are more simple and there are no showers, but you experience the true Mongolian way of life.

Days 9 to 17 - Arkhangai

Riding: 4 - 6 hours

After breakfast with the family, your riding adventure begins. Over the next nine days, you will journey northwards through the Arkhangai region until reaching Lake Terkhiin Tsagaan Nuur (White Lake). Each night will be spent in tents as you sleep in a different location each day. The Arkhangai is a very wild region which is covered by forest - the valleys are narrower than in the Orkhon Valley and the steppes gradually give way to larch forests. The rivers and valleys are aligned perpendicular to your direction of travel and so you will cross many rivers and mountains over the coming days.

Your first day of riding follows the banks of the Tamir river, which is mighty during the spring and summer. The Tamir valley is very green and wooded, with some of the poplar trees being more than 300 years old.

Continue riding across densely forested mountain ranges which are virtually uninhabited. You are immersed in a very wild Mongolia which is very different to the steppes of the Orkhon Valley. As your ride continues and the landscape opens up onto grasslands you may meet many yurts and herds belonging to the nomads. These open spaces offer many opportunities to canter.

The last few days are particularly beautiful as you ride along the Chuluut Canyon which was formed by the lava flow from Khorgo volcano. The basalt canyon is 100 miles long and offers spectacular scenery.

Day 18 - Arkhangai - Karakorum

Riding: No riding.

After breakfast you are transferred by road to Karakorum, the ancient capital of the Mongolian Empire. Here you can visit the Erdene Zuu Montastery. 

Dinner and overnight at a yurt camp (2-4 riders per yurt with showers in a separate building)

Day 19 - Karakorum - Ulaanbaatar

Riding: No riding.

After breakfast, it's a long drive (6-7 hours) back to Ulaanbaatar where you are transferred to your 2-star hotel (Dream hotel or similar). In the late afternoon you attend a show with traditional dances, music and songs from Mongolia, especially the amazing Khoomei. No dinner is included tonight so that you can choose from the many options on offer. The hotel is situated 200m from Peace Avenue between Sukhbaatar Square and the State Department Store which offers you a large choice of restaurants and shopping opportunities.

Day 20

Riding: No riding.

After breakfast, you are transferred to the airport for your flight home (which must depart after 7:00 am).

Accommodation

14 nights camping (one or two person tents with inflatable sleeping mats)
1 night in a tourist yurt camp (2-4 people per tent and showers available in separate building)
2 nights in a yurt with a nomadic family (rustic but authentic)
2 nights in a 2 star hotel in Ulaanbaatar (twin or triple rooms with private bathrooms)

Experience Experienced

You should be an experienced rider who is competent in all paces across varied terrain. There are technical sections which are slow paced as well as open sections which invite long canters. You need to be fit for many days of riding with few creature comforts.

Minimum group size 2
Maximum group size 10
Departure windows

May 31, 2021 - June 19, 2021

May 10, 2022 - May 29, 2022

May 17, 2022 - June 5, 2022

May 24, 2022 - June 12, 2022

May 31, 2022 - June 19, 2022

June 7, 2022 - June 26, 2022

June 14, 2022 - July 3, 2022

June 21, 2022 - July 10, 2022

June 28, 2022 - July 17, 2022

July 5, 2022 - July 24, 2022

July 12, 2022 - July 31, 2022

July 19, 2022 - Aug. 7, 2022

July 26, 2022 - Aug. 14, 2022

Aug. 2, 2022 - Aug. 21, 2022

Aug. 9, 2022 - Aug. 28, 2022

Aug. 16, 2022 - Sept. 4, 2022

Aug. 23, 2022 - Sept. 11, 2022

Aug. 30, 2022 - Sept. 18, 2022

Sept. 6, 2022 - Sept. 25, 2022

Pricing

2021
Sharing
£2090 $2890 €2480
2022
Sharing
£2175 $3005 €2580
Included 19 nights accommodation, all meals from dinner on arrival day to breakfast on departure day (except dinner on the final night in Ulaanbaatar), water, tea and coffee, set-time airport transfers, riding and sightseeing as described.
Not included Flights, dinner on the last night in Ulaanbaatar, drinks, insurance, visa, tips & other personal expenses.

Extras

2021/2022 - Extra Hotel night pre/post ride (shared room) £51 $70 €60
Paid to Far and Ride
During Naadam prices are higher - please enquire.
2021/2022 - Extra Hotel night pre/post ride (single room) £67 $93 €80 per night
Paid to Far and Ride
During Naadam prices are higher - please enquire.
2021/2022 - Single Supplement £67 $93 €80
Paid to Far and Ride
Single rooms are possible in Ulaanbaatar only and the single supplement is payable for those who request a single room - there is no supplement if willing to share.
2021/2022 - Small Group Supplement £250 $345 €300
Paid to Far and Ride
To confirm if there are only 2-3 riders in the group. This is removed/refunded when the group reaches 4 riders.
Note: All programmes and itineraries are weather dependent; in the face of adverse, or unexpected, weather conditions reasonable attempts will be made to provide equivalent riding. All programmes are accurate at the time of writing. However, the team may adapt or modify details, whilst aiming to provide a similar experience.