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.This itinerary is an example. It’s designed to inspire you and provide you with thoughtfully curated ideas. You can choose to do this exact itinerary or completely personalize it. All trips are 100% bespoke.
• Ultimate Road Trip: The Chuysky Tract winds for 621 miles from Novosibirsk to the Altai Territory through to Mongolia. Traveling over Seminsky Pass at 5,705 feet, travelers will enjoy panoramic views of the most striking scenery in Siberia all the way to the border.
• Eagle Hunters: Cross the border into Mongolia and visit with a Kazakh eagle hunter to learn about one of the most amazing traditions in all of the Altai and Central Asia. These hunters raise majestic golden eagles and train them to hunt game for fur.
• Glaciers of Bodg National Park: Passing over Mongolia’s highest mountain range, travelers will enter a land of holy mountains, snowcapped peaks, and glaciers. It's a six-mile trek to the base camp of Tavanbogd massif, after which it's a hike to the 12-mile long Potanina Glacier, the largest of 20 glaciers in the Altai.
• Sleep in a Ger: Luxury accommodations are hard to come by in the mighty Altai, but travelers can have comfort in the form of a ger, or yurt. These circular, wooden tents keep travelers safe, heated, and comfortable from the winds and wild weather of the Mongolian Altai.
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 yurt, 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 yurt 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 yurt 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 yurt 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 luxurious five-star hotel was only opened in 2014, and now stands as one of the top places to stay in the central Russian city of Novosibirsk. Marriott really is a global name you can trust, and this Novosibirsk branch is no exception; expect a great location, stylish and spacious rooms and a whole host of onsite facilities and amenities. Located in the heart of the city, Marriott Hotel Novosibirsk is just steps away from the metro, shops and major attractions in the city such as the popular Novosibirsk Opera and Ballet. The hotel caters for many different types of guests, such as travelers making their way through Siberia on the train, and this is also a popular choice for business guests with its conference room facilities. In terms of leisure opportunities, Marriott Novosibirsk boasts an excellent rooftop bar with great views across what is Russia’s third-largest city. There’s also a large, all-day international restaurant that serves a buffet breakfast in the morning and a varied menu throughout the rest of the day.
The Altai Mountains present some of the most stunning scenery in the whole of Russia, and this quaint wooden lodge-style hotel takes full advantage of the surrounding natural beauty, situated near the banks of the River Katun, 20 miles from Gorno-Altaisk city. There’s a flexible range of accommodation options here, from large shared cabins to private double and twin rooms. This unique hotel offers an excellent combination of modern facilities and nature. Each room is well-furnished, coming with large and comfy beds, heating, electricity, en-suite bathrooms and a range of other home comforts to make for a pleasant stay. The grounds, set around a delightful pine forest near the river, consist of several wooden lodges and a main restaurant building where breakfast is served every morning alongside a daily menu catering for local and foreign visitors.
While exploring the remote landscapes of Mongolia, do as the nomads have for thousands of years, and bunker in a Mongolian ger or yurt, a circular, wooden tent structure covered with layers of fabric and sheep's wool felt for weatherproofing and insulation. These portable homes are warm enough to keep the coldest winter temperatures at bay and strong enough to withstand strong winds, while also being easy to take apart, transport, and reconstruct.
In order to pursue a full immersion into the majesty of Siberia and its sweeping, dynamic landscapes, one must venture away from the beaten path. Travelers to these remote areas can rely on basic guest houses where the accommodation may not be luxurious, but the welcome is warm.
Camping is the best accommodation option in this remote region. These ger tents typically have en-suite western-style bathrooms, king size or twin beds, wooden furniture, heaters and air-conditioning. The low-impact campsites are basic and some may feature various facilities such as a restaurant, communal baths, and laundry service. Alternatively, if you are looking for something a little more indulgent, Remote Lands can arrange for a luxury ger to be set up for your trip.
Price is based on double or twin hotel room occupancy and includes accommodation, transfers, car/driver, English-speaking guide, activities and entrance fees, breakfasts and some casual lunches while touring. Flights and optional special activities will be quoted separately. Most personal expenses, including dinners, alcoholic beverages, spa treatments and gratuities can be paid on the spot while traveling. Prices may vary depending on season, choice of accommodation and other factors.
With Remote Lands you'll travel with people who have made Asia the solitary focus of their own lifelong adventure. As our guest, you'll discover Asia on a journey that is completely, authentically your own, adapted from our own remarkable experiences and adventures over the years.
With Remote Lands you'll travel with people who have made Asia the solitary focus of their own lifelong adventure. As our guest, in the continent that our north American founders Catherine and Jay have adored and explored for decades, you'll discover Asia on a journey that is completely, authentically your own, adapted from our own remarkable experiences and adventures over the years.
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