The rural landscapes of Siberia and Mongolia are gems hidden within Central Asia. This part of the world is enveloped by the remote wilderness, where some of the most naturally stunning and pristine scenes stretch out to the horizon. Yet to be fully explored, this area has much to offer to the passing explorer, from breathtaking scenery to ancient treasures. Starting off in the Siberian city of Novosibirsk, you will have the opportunity to uncover a number of alluring charms with trips to rustic villages nestled amidst the soaring peaks of the Altai mountains and ancient rock-paintings and carvings at the Sogoog River Basin. Nights will be spent camping in a tent or chalet under a stunning star-lit canopy before finishing the tour in Mongolia’s superb capital city of Ulaanbaatar.
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After an early morning arrival at Novosibirsk airport, you will be met by your guide and taken to a city hotel to recuperate over breakfast and have a rest. At 2pm, meet for lunch in a traditional Siberian tavern and embark on a city tour, where some of the main attractions include Novosibirsk Railway Station, the magnificent Ascension Cathedral and Lenin Square, home to the world’s largest opera house. At the end of the tour, you will have some free time to explore and dine in the city.
Start with breakfast in the hotel before you commence a 4.5-hour drive to the beautiful Altai mountains, an extensive mountain range in southern Siberia that forms the watershed between Central Asia and the Arctic Ocean. This expansive region features alpine meadows, large glacial zones, mountain taiga and high-altitude shelves, all within a great range of altitudinal variation. Along the way, there is a stop off at the rustic but ever-developing city of Biysk for lunch. Tonight, you will dine and sleep in a unique eco-chalet.
Start with an early breakfast before departing on a 3-hour drive to Chibit Settlement via the Chuysky Tract Highway. Basking in stunningly picturesque surroundings, this stretch of road that connects Russia and Mongolia is ranked as the fifth-most scenic road on the planet by National Geographic. There will be several stops en-route to passes with surreal panoramic views, including Seminsky pass at 5,705 feet and Chiket-Aman Pass at 4248 feet. After arriving into Chibit, you will have the evening to yourself at Kochevnik camp to have dinner and spend the night in a charming wooden chalet.
Wake up in sensational surroundings and enjoy an early morning breakfast before embarking on the 90-minute drive to Tashanga Settlement. A friendly Mongolian guide will greet you en-route to bring you over the border, where the journey will continue onto Dayan Lake. Upon arrival, you will be welcomed with a hot lunch at Hargan River, near to the traditional ger yurt of Kazakh Eaglehunter’s family. Hit the road again, this time onto the mysterious black waters of Lake Karagul and spend a serene night in a tent, just off the shores of the lake.
A two-hour drive will take you from Lake Karagul to Dayan Lake, where the lake’s waters are brimming with biodiversity, making for a great fishing opportunity. A popular catch is the Mongolian Grayling that is easily fished here. Visitors can opt for an afternoon of exploring by taking a hike around the lake’s shores and up the slopes of the nearby Tsengel Khairkhan mountain. Enjoy a freshly-prepared dinner and a deserving rest under the stars on the lake’s shores.
Passing through TsagaanGo Valley and over Mongolia’s highest mountain range, you will embark on a trip to Bodg National Park. A backdrop of snow-capped mountains with forested slopes make up the wall between China and Mongolia for picturesque views along the way. A stop at Shivet Hairhan, or the ‘Sacred Mountain’, will give you the chance to catch a rare glimpse of a large rock painting site that dates back to around 200 BC. A number of ancient Turkish stones can also be seen along the way. Tonight, enjoy a peaceful overnight stay in a tent ahead of the trek tomorrow.
Today is reserved for a six-mile trek through awe-inspiring landscapes towards the base camp, located at the foot of the significantly beautiful, snow-capped Tavanbogd massif. Select solid ground for your tent as this is where you will be spending the next two nights, near the 12-mile long Potanina glacier, the largest of 20 glaciers in the whole Altai range. You can opt to take a trek on horse-back or foot to explore the idyllic scenes of this region.
Rise in the beautiful surroundings of TavanBogd Massiv and start the day with an early breakfast. After, you will commence a five-hour trek to the tip of Malchin peak. Set at an altitude of 4,025 feet, this point boasts panoramic views over the Altai mountains that stretch out as far as the eye can see. The climb is a rewarding one and refreshing alpine air will awaken your senses. You will have some time to marvel over the stunning views before starting the descent back to the camp for a well-deserved dinner and rest.
Your penultimate day in Mongolia starts with a trek to the road end to be picked up by private transport and drive to Ulaanhuis through dramatic landscapes. This area is rich in archaeological remains and ancient petroglyphs and Turkish stones line the Sogoog river basin. There will be a stop at Khar Yamaat, one of the most popular archaeological sites of the region, where you will have some time to explore and enjoy a traditional picnic lunch. From here, continue up the road to Ulgii, where you will spend the night in an authentic-style Kazakh ger camp where a short concert of local folk singers are guaranteed to keep you entertained during dinner.
After breakfast, it’s time to say goodbye to the hospitable and culturally-proud local Mongols and head towards the domestic airport. From here, catch a flight to the Mongolian capital of Ulaanbaatar to embark to your next enticing destination.
This five-star contemporary hotel is situated in the city’s business district and more interestingly in Ulaanbaatar’s tallest building. The hotel, decorated in a classic European style, has many top quality facilities including an indoor pool, gym, wellness centre, sauna and a business centre. There are many services on offer to make your stay as comfortable and convenient as possible such as 24-hour room service, car rentals, currency exchange, laundry services, luggage storage, safety deposit boxes and a 24-hour front desk. Diners will be spoilt for choice with the Cantonese, Japanese, Korean and western food on offer at the hotel’s restaurants. The rooms feature free WiFi, flat-screen TVs with cable channels, en-suite bathrooms with a bathtub and shower facilities as well as a minibar luxury toiletries, hairdryers and slippers.