Mongolia - 17 days
Mongolian Highlights
Prices from £2,499

Mongolia is synonymous with the remote and mysterious, a giant landlocked nation that is home to foreboding deserts, jagged peaks and endless steppe – a visual feast of awe-inspiring landscapes combined with the strong traditions of nomadic life. A great introduction to the country, this comprehensive Mongolia tour shows you the incredible diversity to be found within its borders. Starting in Ulaan Baatar we visit the impressive monastery of Amarbayasgalant, testimony to the strong Buddhist traditions that Communism never managed to completely suppress. From here we hike around the crater of the extinct volcano of Uran Togoo, then continue north to the mighty Lake Khovsgol, one of Mongolia’s most beautiful areas where we have plenty of opportunities to explore. This area is also home to the Tsataan people, a small ethnic group with a lifestyle based around reindeer herding, and we meet a local family to learn a little more about their age old customs. Continuing through pristine landscapes of huge lakes, dense forests and imposing mountains we reach Khorgo volcano, hiking along its rim, then explore the dramatic scenery of the Chuluut River Canyon. Before we leave the north of the country, we also stop at the monasteries of Ongi and Erdene Zuu, and see the remains of Genghis Khan’s old capital at Karakorum.

The south brings a striking change of scenery as we head into the Gobi Desert, Asia’s largest. Some of its most striking sights are the ‘flaming cliffs’ of Bayanzag and the canyon of Yolyn Am, a reminder of the sheer variety of desert landscapes, and as well as these we spend time looking for the Gobi’s rare and unique wildlife. All throughout the trip we take as much time as possible to meet the people of Mongolia, from camel herders in the Gobi to the nomadic horsemen of the steppe, to gain as much insight into the country as possible. Mongolia is one of Asia’s hidden gems, a land of endless horizons and some of the most breathtaking scenery you’re ever likely to see. None who visit fail to be impressed.