Mongolia

Orkhon comfort tour

A trail ride in the renowned Orkhon valley in Mongolia. You will be staying exclusively in gers (yurts) at night, making this a more comfortable alternative to our camping trails. On horseback, explore Khogno Khan natural reserve, the Orkhon falls, Uurt Canyon and the clear waters of the Hujirt. You will also look for the Przewalski wild horse in the Khustain Nuruu natural reserve. An action-packed riding holiday in Mongolia.
Book now Print the details for this ride
Trail Riding
14 days / 9 days riding
From £1,850
Open to non-riders

Itinerary

Highlights

- Accommodation in yurts, a more comfortable alternative to our camping trails
- A combination of riding and cultural highlights: museums, natural parks, heritage sites and religious landmarks
- The perfect balance between comfort and adventure.
- Follow in the footsteps of Genghis Khan across the wide open steppes and big sky country.
- Look for the Przewalski wild horse in the Khustain Nuruu natural reserve
  • Day 1 1: EUROPE - ULAANBAATAR

    Flight from Europe to Ulaanbaatar - it is likely that you will have to change planes at least once. Flights are not included but can be booked upon request, please contact us.
  • Day 2 2: ULAAN BATAAR

    Your English-speaking translator will meet you at Chinggis Khan airport. You will be taken to your hotel to drop off your bags and, depending on your arrival time, you may have time for a quick nap. At lunchtime, you will meet your guide in the lobby and head out for lunch. In the afternoon, you will visit Gandantegchinlin Monastery and the National Museum of Mongolian History.

    Dinner (not included) and night at a hotel (2* – twin or triple room).
  • Day 3 3: Ulaanbaatar – Orkhon Valley - 5hrs drive + 1-2hrs riding

    Touristic yurts camp
    Early morning start. After breakfast, you will start the 5-hour drive to Khogno Khan, a natural reserve home to the "Bayan Gobi", a semi-arid area known for its sand dunes, Mongol Els in the south and Khugnu Tarnyn Els in the north.

    You will meet your riding team and horses and go for a short introductory ride around the area, before visiting the Ovgon Khiid Monastery.

    Dinner and stay overnight at a yurt camp (4/5 people per yurt, showers in a separate building).
  • Day 4 4: Bayan Gobi - 4-6hrs riding

    Touristic yurts camp
    For your first full day in the saddle, you will travel across the semi-arid steppes of the Bayan Gobi. The landscapes are remarkable, and riding through the sand dunes is a different type of experience from the grassy steppes. Picnic lunch en route.
    You will arrive at your yurt camp in the desert. Dinner and stay overnight at a yurt camp (4/5 people per yurt, showers in a separate building).
  • Day 5 5: Khogno Khan – Orkhon Valley - 5 hrs drive

    Touristic yurts camp
    Drive to the Orkhon valley - around 5 hours. The Orkhon Valley can be considered the “cradle” of the Mongol people and is a UNESCO world heritage site. The area is well-known for the incredible variety of its landscapes and its sumptuous colours. It is also one of most densely populated regions of Mongolia, as the fair weather still attracts many families who make their living from breeding livestock.

    You will meet a nomadic family and will stay with them tonight. The yurts are more simple than at the yurt camps but they are more authentic as well. Lunch and dinner with the family. Overnight in yurts (4/5 people per yurt).
  • Day 6 6: Orkhon Valley - 4-6 hrs riding

    Touristic yurts camp
    Today marks the beginning of a new adventure as you head towards the 8 Lakes Nature Reserve. The lakes are located inside the immense crater of a dormant volcano: the crystal-clear lakes are sure to astound you. The reserve lies in the Khangai mountains (Mongolia second largest range) and is not easily reached unless if you are travelling on horseback or hiking. This a tranquil and peaceful place, where nature is still untouched.

    Dinner and stay overnight in yurts
  • Day 7 7: Orkhon Valley - 4-6 hrs riding

    Touristic yurts camp
    In the early morning light you ride out towards the Ulaan Tsutgalan falls, born 20 000 years ago from an earthquake and volcanic eruption. The Ulaan Tustgalan reaches the Orkhon and spills into the river, forming the impressive falls that you will see today – late July and August are the best times to see the falls, after the seasonal rains.

    Dinner and stay overnight at a yurt camp (4/5 people per yurt, showers in a separate building).
  • Day 8 8: Orkhon Valley - Uurt Canyon - 4 to 6 hrs riding

    Touristic yurts camp
    Today's ride will take you to Uurt Canyon, one of the most scenic places in the valley, where the river has dug deep over the years to create the canyon. After lunch, you will ride across wider landscapes, between two mountain ranges. Herds are roaming free and you will likely meet local shepherds along the way.
    You will arrive at the yurt camp that will be your home for the next two days.

    Dinner and stay overnight at a yurt camp (4/5 people per yurt, showers in a separate building).
  • Day 9 9: Uurt canyon - 4 to 6 hrs riding

    Touristic yurts camp
    Ride up higher in the mountains to enjoy views of the Orkhon valleys. From your vantage point, you will be able to appreciate just how far does the valley stretch.

    Dinner and overnight at camp.
  • Day 10 10: Hujirt region - 4 to 6 hrs riding

    Touristic yurts camp
    You ride to the Hujirt region, famous for its crystal clear waters. You are still in the heart of the Orkhon Valley. In the afternoon you will arrive at a special eco yurt camp. You won't find showers there but instead you will be given warm towels to get clean - a bit of a different experience, but not the worst way to get cleaned!

    Dinner and stay overnight at a yurt camp (2-3 people per yurt).

  • Day 11 11: Orkhon Valley – Karakorum - 4-6 hrs riding

    Touristic yurts camp
    On horseback, you reach Karakorum, capital of the Mongol Empire, at the crossroads of the Silk Road in the 13th century. It was also the legendary city of Gengis-Khan, erected in 1220.

    The road to Karakorum is a scenic one with varied landscapes from wide rivers, grassy plains, and steppes dotted with yurts and herds.
    Dinner and stay overnight at a yurt camp (4/5 people per yurt, showers in a separate building).
  • Day 12 12: Karakorum – Khustai National Park - 4 hrs transfer

    Touristic yurts camp
    You will have the opportunity to visit the ErdeneZuu monastery, built at the end of the 16th century and thought to be one of the finest monasteries in the whole country. After a picnic lunch, you hit the road in search of the Przewalski wild horse, also known as “Takhi", in the Khustain Nuruu natural reserve. You will learn that this horse was never domesticated by humans, but was instead exhibited in zoos, which almost led to their extinction. The Khustain Nuruu natural reserve was created in 1993 with the primary goal of reintroducing the Mongolian horse to its natural wild state. Five years later, in 1998, it was declared a national park. You will then hit the road and head towards the Khugnu Khaan natural reserve.

    Dinner and stay overnight at a yurt camp (4/5 people per yurt, showers in a separate building).
  • Day 13 13: Khustai National Park - Ulaanbaatar - 2 hrs transfer

    Departure for UlaanBataar: after a few days in the wilderness, it can be a bit of a shock to get back to civilization and the busy streets of the capital! You arrive in the afternoon, and after a last picnic lunch you will be offered to go shopping (cashmere and souvenir) with a guide for the rest of the afternoon.

    Dinner not included. You can choose from the wide range of choices of Ulaanbaatar cuisine.
    Night at a hotel (2* – twin or triple room).
  • Day 14 14: Ulaanbaatar - Europe

    You will be transferred to Ulaanbaatar airport for your flight back. You may arrive home this evening, or early tomorrow, depending on your flight routing.

Dates & prices

Price details

- International flights are not included but we can add this your quotation upon request.

- Price per person based on riders sharing communal yurts and twin/double bedrooms in Ulaanbaatar.

- Groups are made up of 4 to 10 international riders max plus guides.

- Please note: the ride will also confirm for 3 riders on payment of a supplement of c. €250/£225 per person. Once the group has reached 4 people, we will remove this supplement from your invoice and refund you if you have already paid it.

- Single supplement for hotels in Ulaanbaatar, if not willing to share: €120/£105.

- A visa is required and is your own responsibility

- Please note that there is a weight limit of 100 kilos / 15.7 st / 220 lbs
Please Note
The itinerary may be modified at anytime for security reasons, meteorological or events beyond our control such as blocked roads, rivers in flood, drought, strikes and local holidays. Equus Journeys, our local partners and their local guides will always strive to find the best solution and will alter the itinerary as needed.
The names of the hotels and accommodation are given for information only and depending on availability, they may be modified without notice and replaced by another of a similar standard.

Price includes

Support Team

1 English speaking tour leader
1 local interpreter

Logistic

1 vehicle and driver
Cook and horsemen
1 horse per rider

Inland transports

Transfers mentioned in the itinerary
Airport transfers

Accommodation

Nights in yurts during the trail
2 nights at an hotel in UlaanBataar

Meals

Full board with picnic lunches and hot dinners from breakfast on day 3 to lunch on day 13

Extra

Museum and temple fees in Ulaanbataar

Price doesn't include

Meals

Beverage and personal extra
Meals in UB on day 2, Dinner on the last day

Transports

International flights bookable on request

Extra

Tips to local team at your discretion
Visa fees
Small group supplement - see above for the details

Insurance

Cancellation and travel insurances are not included. Please note that insurance is mandatory. We recommend to take out an insurance policy as soon as your travel is booked in case of cancellation.
  • May - June 2020

    Departure Return Price without flights Price including flights Status
    30/05/2020 12/06/2020 £1,850 Open Book now
    06/06/2020 19/06/2020 £1,850 Open Book now
    13/06/2020 26/06/2020 £1,850 Open Book now
    20/06/2020 03/07/2020 £1,850 Open Book now
    27/06/2020 10/07/2020 £1,850 Open Book now
  • July - August 2020

    Departure Return Price without flights Price including flights Status
    04/07/2020 17/07/2020 £1,850 Open Book now
    11/07/2020 24/07/2020 £1,850 Open Book now
    18/07/2020 31/07/2020 £1,850 Open Book now
    25/07/2020 07/08/2020 £1,850 Open Book now
    01/08/2020 14/08/2020 £1,850 Open Book now
    08/08/2020 21/08/2020 £1,850 Open Book now
    15/08/2020 28/08/2020 £1,850 Open Book now
    22/08/2020 04/09/2020 £1,850 Open Book now
    29/08/2020 11/09/2020 £1,850 Open Book now
  • September - October 2020

    Departure Return Price without flights Price including flights Status
    05/09/2020 18/09/2020 £1,850 Open Book now
    12/09/2020 25/09/2020 £1,850 Open Book now
    19/09/2020 02/10/2020 £1,850 Open Book now

Equestrian info

Horses

The Mongolian horse is legendary. They are small, energetic and tough but gentle and perfect for trail riding on all types of terrain. The horses are sociable and live happily in a herd. They are not difficult to ride but some will be more spirited than others.

Minimum riding ability

Minimum riding ability

You need to be a rider of at least an intermediate level who is used to riding outdoors across varied terrain for several hours. Mongols ride differently than we do in Europe and stand in their stirrups a lot.

Please note that there is a weight limit of 100 kilos / 15.7 st / 220 lbs

Pace

The main paces are the walk and the trot, with opportunities for unforgettable gallops across the steppe. The horses are not especially difficult, although some can be more spirited than others.

Tacking ability and participation

Your horse will be tacked and untacked for you by your Mongolian team.

Trip conditions and Requested experience

Previous experience of riding a trail for several days is an advantage but is not required. Riders who do not ride regularly are requested to get riding fit before the holiday.

Visiting a new country offers the opportunity to meet other cultures with different mentalities, therefore it is important to accept these differences and respect the local way of life. Be prepared to adapt to a different style of riding and accept that Mongols relate to their horses in a different way to us.

All your belongings are carried by a back-up vehicle.

Equestrian equipment

Kazakh/Russian saddles.
Tall riders may want to bring their own stirrup leathers.
You may also want to bring a seat saver.

Helmets are mandatory and not provided.

Travel info

Comfort

- In Ulaanbaatar (first and last night) you stay in a hotel with private bathrooms and wifi
- Most nights on the ride are spent at touristic yurt camps (4/5 people per yurt, showers in a separate building). One night with a Nomadic family, and one night at an eco-yurt camp (no shower but you will be provided with warm towels to wash).

Bedding and towels are provided.

Meals

The food is simple, abundant and based on fresh products prepared by a local cook and adapted to western tastes. Meals are served on small camping tables with stools, except for some picnic lunches.
Breakfast is usually hearty.
Picnic lunch.
Dinner is a full hot meal (soup, main course, dessert) and may well include lamb/mutton purchased from local nomads.

Water:
Do not to drink water from unknown sources. The cook will boil water each day for you to fill up your water bottles but you should also bring water-purification tablets such as Micropur.

Climate

Mongolia has over 260 days of sunshine a year! Generally there is very little rain - the annual average in the north is 200-350mm and this decreases in the south. Mongolia is located in the heart of a high pressure system which leads to clear skies and Mongolia is sometimes known as the "Land of Blue Skies".
Winters are long and cold (October - April) and so rides run during the summers months of May - September. There is a short rainy season during mid-July - September but rainfall is usually short and scanty in the late afternoon. Temperatures are mild in the north and hotter in the south. Because of the altitude, nights can be cold even in summer.
Winds can be strong, particularly in spring and autumn and the weather can change quickly, so take layers and be prepared!

Guide and local team

You will be accompanied by local horse guides. There will also be a cook to prepare meals and a vehicle driver.

Tips

If you are happy with the service you receive from your local guides and driver then you may wish to leave a tip. In order to remain consistent with their standard of living, we would recommend something in the region of £50-55.

Packing list

When packing please remember that the region can be cold and it would be wise to bring layers!

Head
- Equus Journeys strongly recommend that you wear a riding helmet and that you take your own to ensure a correct fit. There are many lightweight options available nowadays
- Sunhat for when not riding
- Sunglasses - with a cord attached so they don't fly off when riding
- Buff or bandana
- Warm hat for cold nights when camping

Upper body
- Thermals (long or short sleeved)
- Long sleeved shirts provide protection from the sun and are an extra layer
- T-shirts
- Lightweight fleece or jumper
- Warm fleece or jumper (and a spare in case one gets wet)
- Warm and waterproof jacket - it can rain at any time of year and the evenings can be particularly cold

Legs
- Lightweight, comfortable riding trousers or jodhpurs - we recommend riding in them at home before taking them on holiday to ensure they don't rub
- Thermals
- Casual trousers for the evenings, such as jeans or tracksuit bottoms
- Waterproof over trousers

Hands and Feet
- Comfortable riding boots. We recommend short boots with half chaps but you may wish to take long chaps as an extra layer against inclement weather. We don't recommend taking your favourite long leather boots in case they get damaged
- Waterproof shoes/boots can be useful for abundant dew in the mornings or when it rains
- Trainers or equivalent light shoes for moving around the camp in the evenings
- Several pairs of warm, thick socks
- Gloves - your hands are particularly exposed to the sun, cold or rain whilst riding. Waterproof gloves can be particularly useful

Nightwear
- Pyjamas or tracksuits or thermals for sleeping in
- For more comfort and extra warmth you can bring a sleeping bag liner if you wish.

Other useful items
- Water-purification tablets
- Swimsuit - for swimming/bathing in rivers
- Towels - camping ones will both dry and pack more easily
- Small backpack for accessing items required during the day (carried by support crew)
- Camera and high capacity memory card. Spare battery
- Bumbag for carrying your camera and small items whilst riding
- Headtorch or small torch for moving around camp at night - bring spare batteries and bulbs
- Water bottle (2 litres or 2 x 1 litre)
- Wet Wipes or equivalent (for when washing facilities aren't available)
- Toilet paper and a lighter to burn it with
- Small plastic bags for rubbish
- Ear plugs (for light sleepers)
- Spare batteries (there will be no electricity)

In your hold luggage
- Any liquids, such as shampoo, moisturiser, deodorant unless they are less than 100ml and all bottles can fit in a small, clear, plastic ziplock bag. We recommend biodegradable washing products where possible.
- Swiss army knife (or equivalent)

In your hand luggage
- Any valuables, such as your camera, ipod, ipad etc.
- Your riding hat

Medical kit
- Micropur tabs
- Sunscreen and lip balm - should be high factor
- Insect repellent, preferably containing deet
- Any medication you regularly take
- Blister plasters in case of any rubs
- Antiseptic cream, plasters, aspirin, anti-histamine, insect-bite salve etc...
- Spare prescription glasses/contact lenses
- Eye drops
- Imodium or similar anti-diarrhoea medication
- Re-hydration sachets
- Water purification tablets
- Antiseptic wipes
- Handwash gel

Our Recommendations
- Please don't take a hard sided suitcase. Your luggage should be soft sided with a capacity of 60-80 litres. We recommend taking a backpack or similar. The luggage limit on the ride is 15kg per person.
- Backpacks cannot be worn whilst riding. We recommend a small bumbag or a coat with pockets so that you can carry small items with you during the day (camera, sunscreen, lipbalm etc)
- We recommend travelling in your riding boots and carrying your hat and some riding clothes in your hand luggage - then if your luggage goes astray you are still able to ride!
- Tall riders may benefit from taking a pair of long stirrup leathers with them (the local stirrups are adjustable but are sometimes limited in length)
- We recommend taking a copy of your passport and insurance documents with you in case you lose your originals
- Please take your rubbish home with you. There are no recycling facilities in Mongolia, so take your used batteries, aerosols etc back home and dispose of them appropriately. Try to leave excess packaging material at home before travelling
- You may wish to take some photographs or postcards of your home with you to show your hosts. You may also wish to take some crayons, colouring books etc for the children

Visa & Health

Formalities

To travel to Mongolia, a passport valid for at least six months is required by all nationals of Australia, Canada, USA, UK and other EU countries.

Visas:
To visit Mongolia, you will need to organise a visa. A Mongolian visit visa is usually valid for a stay of up to 30 days within six months from the date of issue. You can find more information by following the link: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/mongolia/entry-requirements

Nationals of the USA do not require a visa if entering Mongolia as a tourist for stays of up to 90 days.

When travelling to Russia or China from Mongolia, the UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office advises you to get visas before travelling - seek advice from the Chinese and Russian Embassies in London BEFORE travelling. There have been issues with getting Russian visas in Ulaanbaatar.

Types and cost:
Single-entry transit visa: £35; double-entry transit visa: £55; single-entry tourist/business visa: £40;
double-entry visa: £55;
multiple-entry visa: £70.

Validity:
Single-entry visa: 30 days within three months of issue;
double-entry visa: 30 days within three months of issue;
multiple-entry visa: six or 12 months.

Online visa:
As of 1 May 2019, companies and individuals who are inviting foreign citizens to Mongolia can request entry permissions online for visa on arrival. This is for single or multiple entry visas for tourism (J) and business visit (B) categories only.
You should remember that at the entry point, the immigration authority might interview you and they can refuse your entry to Mongolia. It is important for the inviting individual or company to provide full and true information about the person.

More information: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/mongolia/entry-requirements

Addresses of consulates

  • Agence de l'immigration, de la naturalisation et des etrangers
    Buyant Ukhaa
    Khan Uul District
    Oulan-Bator
    Tél. : +1900-18-82 / +976-7
    Fax :
  • Ambassade de France en Mongolie
    3, avenue de la Paix
    quartier 1 - district de Chingeltei PO Box 687
    Oulan Bator
    Tél. : +976 (11) 32 45 19
    Fax :
    contact@ambafrance-mn.org
  • Ambassade de Mongolie en France
    5, avenue Robert-Schuman
    92100 Boulogne-Billancourt
    Tél. : 01.46.05.28.12
    Fax : 01 46 05 30 16
    info@ambassademongolie.fr
  • Ambassade de Mongolie en Belgique
    Avenue Besme 18
    Foret
    1190 Bruxelles
    Tél. : +32 (0) 2 344 69 74
    Fax : +32 (0) 2 344 32 15
    brussels@embmongolie.be

Health

There are no vaccinations legally required to travel to Mongolia. It's a good thing to get your vaccinations in order before travelling to Mongolia. The general vaccination against Diphtheria, Tetanus and Polio (DTP) is recommended. Also a hepatitis A vaccination is recommended and when travelling longer than 2 weeks also typhoid.
If you are staying longer than 3 months or have a particular risk (travelling by bike, handling of animals and visits to caves) you might consider a rabies vaccination. Vaccination against Tuberculosis as well as hepatitis B is also sometimes recommended for stays longer than 3 months. It is also recommended to have a vaccination against tick borne encephalitis when you go hiking and/or camping for several days or more in the north of the country in the period of March to November. A vaccination against meningitis is recommended when travelling for more than 6 months, in combination with close contact with the local people.

Insurance

It is a condition of your booking with Equus Journeys that you have travel insurance which covers you for the riding activities to be undertaken. Your travel insurance should cover you for medical expenses and repatriation. Your guides will require your travel insurance details before they allow you to ride and may refuse to let you ride if you cannot provide them. You should take your insurance documents with you.

Our recommendation:
Cancellation and travel insurances are not included. Please note that insurance is mandatory. We recommend to take out an insurance policy as soon as your travel is booked in case of cancellation.

Voltage

220 volts AC, 50Hz. Round two-pin plugs are used

Budget and money

Tugrik (MNT; symbol ₮). Notes are in denominations of ₮20,000, 10,000, 5,000, 1,000, 500, 100, 50, 20, 10, 5 and 1. Coins are in denominations of ₮500, 200, 100, 50 and 20, but are not widely used.
Credit cards:
Accepted by main commercial banks, large hotels and a few shops and restaurants in Ulaanbaatar. ATMs are available in Ulaanbaatar and most Mongolian province (aimag) capitals. Both Visa and Mastercard are widely accepted.
ATM:
ATMs are available in Ulaanbaatar and most Mongolian province (aimag) capitals.

Telephone and jetlag

Mongolia Country Code 976

Central and Eastern Standard Time +0800 GMT
Western Standard Time + 0700 GMT