Holidays & Sabbaticals to Mongolia – In a Nutshell
Mongolia is a land shrouded in mystique and majesty, founded as an empire by Genghis Khan in 1206, yet still largely a desolate wilderness.
It spans the harsh Gobi Desert, rugged ice-capped mountains, roaring rivers, glacial lakes and the vast, barren steppe, where enormous shaggy yak and hoofed ibex roam.
Adventurers come to ride horses out to remote ice fields, explore the Khongor sand dunes atop a two-humped camel and sleep overnight in a traditional ger.
You’ll receive the warmest welcome from the locals, and immersion in their truly fascinating culture. Watch the legendary eagle hunters, meet nomadic tribespeople, learn about a life extraordinary in this inhospitable terrain.
Visit stunning Buddhist monasteries, explore the ruins of Genghis Khan’s capital, Karakorum, admire ancient petroglyphs and the UNESCO-listed Orkhon Valley, home to the fabled palaces of Xanadu.
It’s a simple country with few modern luxuries, and the most sparsely populated country in the world. Mongolia is a raw, utterly unique adventure you’ll never forget.
How to Get to Mongolia
Unless you come overland from China or Russia, you’ll fly into Ulaanbaatar, the country’s only international airport. There are no direct flights from the UK or USA; stopovers are generally in Seoul or Istanbul.
Once here, you can zip about by light aircraft or helicopter. But for the real experience we’d recommend hiring a car with a driver and embracing some long road journeys as part of the Mongolia journey.
When & Weather – Mongolia
The climate is continental with long, freezing winters and short warm summers. The steppe can be very windy, dusty and harsh, and much of northern Mongolia is in permafrost. The best time to visit is summer, June to August, though this is also the rainiest period.
Temperatures vary wildly, ranging between -33°C (-27°F) and 28°C (82°F).
Who will Mongolia Appeal To?
The country’s fascinating culture and vast wilderness make it perfect for adventurous travellers.
In particular, it’s suited to:
- Culture lovers
- Adventure lovers
- Active travellers
- Keen photographers
- Solo travellers
We can arrange stays in traditional gers, simple guesthouses, lakeside lodges, desert lodges and upmarket city hotels.
Off The Beaten Path
- Visit Erdene Zuu, the oldest Buddhist Monastery in Mongolia.
- Ride horses with nomads through Khustain Nuruu National Park and sleep in a traditional yurt village.
- Marvel at the ancient petroglyphs and mysterious Turkic Standing Stones of Olgii, thought to be 12,000+ years old.
- Climb the dormant Khorgo volcano for breathtaking panoramas over Khorgo Terkhiin Tsagaan Nuur National Park.
- Ride a 2-humped camel into the Gobi Gurvansaikhan wilderness to visit the singing dunes of Khongoryn Els.
- Dine at traditional Mongolian cookhouses in Tsetserleg.
- Visit the Khövsgöl Nuur lake – the ‘blue pearl’ of Mongolia.
- Shaggy yak mow the shoreline of Lake Khovsgol.
- Snow leopards slink and hoofed ibex roam through the Altai Tavan Bogd National Park.
- Uber-rare wild Dzungarian horses gallop through Khustain Nuruu National Park.
- Marsh deer and chitals live on the shores of Lake Terkhiin Tsagaan Nuur.
- Spot the endangered Saiga antelope and Mongolian gazelle in the eastern provinces.
Mongolia Experiences you shouldn’t miss:
- Camping in Gorkhi-Terelj National Park, and visiting the glacial Khagiin Khar Lake and nearby hot springs.
- Visiting the serene Gandantegchinlen Monastery, home to 150 Buddhist monks.
- Saluting the Genghis Khan statue on the banks of the Tuul River.
- Gazing at the flaming cliffs of the Gobi Desert at sunset.
- Riding horses along the ice-filled Yolyn Gorge.
- Walking around the Winter Palace, home to the last king of Mongolia.
- Riding a two-humped camel.
- Searching for the fabled palaces of Xanadu in the Orkhon Valley.
- Watching the legendary eagle hunters of Olgii.
- Exploring the ruins of Genghis Khan‘s capital, Karakorum.
- Tasting traditional milk products, including salted tea with camel milk, sour milk curds and fermented horse milk.
Stay with a nomadic family in Hövsgöl, the northernmost province of Mongolia, where the Mongolian Artisan Cheesemakers Union (MACU) runs a cheese making project which supports the local community.
Our experienced team will guide you through a number of ideas based on how you would like to experience Mongolia.
Consider visiting Mongolia in combination with neighbouring China, or perhaps Nepal.
Browse our gallery for inspiration and read the sample itinerary below to whet your appetite.
No matter how long you wish to travel, we’ll guide you through the planning process to ensure a trip is carefully pieced together to suit your interests, pace of travel and budget.
Contact us to start planning a holiday or sabbatical to Mongolia.