Descendants of Genghis Khan Steppe into the Future

Mongolia

Mongolia’s endless grassland and desert steppe make a dramatic backdrop for the tiny round gers of lone nomadic families.  Buddhist monasteries mark the vague tracks across the steppe and the annual festival, Naadam, still showcases nomadic skills.  But times are about to change:  All over the country, 21st century geologists and miners quest for riches under the ground.  Get here soon.

 

 

Why Travel with MIR to Mongolia
  • Over two decades of Mongolia travel experience
  • Travel programs such as Princeton and Dartmouth have chosen MIR to guide them to Mongolia
  • Twice named one of National Geographic Adventure’s “Best Adventure Travel Companies on Earth”
  • MIR’s Mongolia travel expertise recommended by Forbes.com
  • On-the-ground support and quality you can trust
  • Personalized travel planning from start to finish
  • Guides and tour managers that clients rave about
Signature Experiences

We regularly garner raves from our travelers for the inspired opportunities we provide to help them get to know the local people.  Below is just a sampling of the Mongolia experiences MIR has designed to take our clients far from the familiar.

Ways to Travel to Mongolia with MIR

We design every one of our Mongolia trips to help you discover for yourself why the sound of horses galloping across the open steppe haunts our dreams.

Take a look at your options, from small group escorted tours to independent trips, from luxury rail journeys to custom and private travel:

Small Group Tours
Siberia & Mongolia: Spirits & Nomads

Siberia & Mongolia: Spirits & Nomads

The Gobi Desert, A Country Naadam Celebration, Lake Baikal

Travels to: Mongolia, Russia, Siberia and the Russian Far East

16 Days / Departures in June 2017

Small Group land tour from $8,295, plus $630 internal air

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Mongolian Explorer: The Gobi & Beyond with Naadam Festival

Mongolian Explorer: The Gobi & Beyond with Naadam Festival

Overland Expedition Across the Land of Nomads

Travels to: Mongolia

14 Days / Departures in June 2017

Small Group land tour from $7,695, plus $600 internal air

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Mongolia to Moscow:  A Trans-Siberian Railway Adventure

Mongolia to Moscow: A Trans-Siberian Railway Adventure

Landscapes and Cultures of Mongolia, Siberia and Western Russia

Travels to: Mongolia, Russia, Siberia and the Russian Far East, Trans-Siberian Railway, Western Russia

16 Days / Departures in July, September 2017

Small Group land tour from $7,295

See Trip

Rail Journeys by Private Train
The Trans-Siberian Express Between Moscow & Beijing: Eastbound

The Trans-Siberian Express Between Moscow & Beijing: Eastbound

From Russia to China Aboard the Tsar's Gold

Travels to: China, Mongolia, Russia, Siberia and the Russian Far East, Trans-Siberian Railway, Western Russia

16 Days / Departures in May, June, July, August, September 2017

Rail Journey by Private train land tour from $8,795

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The Trans-Siberian Express Between Moscow & Beijing: Eastbound

The Trans-Siberian Express Between Moscow & Beijing: Eastbound

From Russia to China Aboard the Tsar's Gold

Travels to: China, Mongolia, Russia, Siberia and the Russian Far East, Trans-Siberian Railway, Western Russia

16 Days / Departures in May 2018

Rail Journey by Private train land tour from $8,495

See Trip

The Trans-Siberian Classic Route: Eastbound

The Trans-Siberian Classic Route: Eastbound

Moscow to Vladivostok Aboard the Golden Eagle

Travels to: Mongolia, Russia, Siberia and the Russian Far East, Trans-Siberian Railway, Western Russia

15 Days / Departures in May 2018

Rail Journey by Private train land tour from $15,895

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The Trans-Siberian Classic Route: Eastbound

The Trans-Siberian Classic Route: Eastbound

Moscow to Vladivostok Aboard the Golden Eagle

Travels to: Mongolia, Russia, Siberia and the Russian Far East, Trans-Siberian Railway, Western Russia

15 Days / Departures in June, July, August 2017

Rail Journey by Private train land tour from $16,995

See Trip

The Trans-Siberian UlaanBaatar Express Route

The Trans-Siberian UlaanBaatar Express Route

Moscow to UlaanBaatar Aboard the Golden Eagle

Travels to: Mongolia, Siberia and the Russian Far East, Trans-Siberian Railway, Western Russia

11 Days / Departures in May 2018

Rail Journey by Private train land tour from $11,895

See Trip

The Trans-Siberian UlaanBaatar Express Route

The Trans-Siberian UlaanBaatar Express Route

Moscow to UlaanBaatar Aboard the Golden Eagle

Travels to: Mongolia, Siberia and the Russian Far East, Trans-Siberian Railway, Western Russia

11 Days / Departures in June, July, August 2017

Rail Journey by Private train land tour from $12,995

See Trip

The Trans-Siberian Express Between Beijing & Moscow: Westbound

The Trans-Siberian Express Between Beijing & Moscow: Westbound

From China to Russia Aboard the Tsar's Gold

Travels to: China, Mongolia, Russia, Siberia and the Russian Far East, Trans-Siberian Railway, Western Russia

15 Days / Departures in May, June, July, August, September 2017

Rail Journey by Private train land tour from $8,695

See Trip

The Trans-Siberian Express Between Beijing & Moscow: Westbound

The Trans-Siberian Express Between Beijing & Moscow: Westbound

From China to Russia Aboard the Tsar's Gold

Travels to: China, Mongolia, Russia, Siberia and the Russian Far East, Trans-Siberian Railway, Western Russia

15 Days / Departures in May 2018

Rail Journey by Private train land tour from $8,395

See Trip

The Trans-Siberian Classic Route: Westbound

The Trans-Siberian Classic Route: Westbound

Vladivostok to Moscow Aboard the Golden Eagle

Travels to: Mongolia, Russia, Siberia and the Russian Far East, Trans-Siberian Railway, Western Russia

15 Days / Departures in May 2018

Rail Journey by Private train land tour from $15,895

See Trip

The Trans-Siberian Classic Route: Westbound

The Trans-Siberian Classic Route: Westbound

Vladivostok to Moscow Aboard the Golden Eagle

Travels to: Mongolia, Russia, Siberia and the Russian Far East, Trans-Siberian Railway, Western Russia

15 Days / Departures in June, August, September 2017

Rail Journey by Private train land tour from $16,995

See Trip

The Trans-Siberian Mongolian Route with Naadam Festival: Eastbound

The Trans-Siberian Mongolian Route with Naadam Festival: Eastbound

Moscow to UlaanBaatar Aboard the Golden Eagle

Travels to: Mongolia, Russia, Siberia and the Russian Far East, Trans-Siberian Railway, Western Russia

13 Days / Departures in July 2017

Rail Journey by Private train land tour from $15,895

See Trip

The Trans-Siberian Mongolian Route with Naadam Festival: Westbound

The Trans-Siberian Mongolian Route with Naadam Festival: Westbound

UlaanBaatar to Moscow Aboard the Golden Eagle

Travels to: Mongolia, Russia, Siberia and the Russian Far East, Trans-Siberian Railway, Western Russia

13 Days / Departures in July 2018

Rail Journey by Private train land tour from $15,895

See Trip

Trans-Siberian Winter Wonderland Route: Eastbound

Trans-Siberian Winter Wonderland Route: Eastbound

Moscow to Vladivostok in Winter Aboard the Golden Eagle

Travels to: Mongolia, Russia, Siberia and the Russian Far East, Trans-Siberian Railway, Western Russia

15 Days / Departures in February 2018

Rail Journey by Private train land tour from $15,895

See Trip

Trans-Siberian Winter Wonderland Route: Westbound

Trans-Siberian Winter Wonderland Route: Westbound

Vladivostok to Moscow in Winter Aboard the Golden Eagle

Travels to: Mongolia, Russia, Siberia and the Russian Far East, Trans-Siberian Railway, Western Russia

15 Days / Departures in March 2018

Rail Journey by Private train land tour from $15,895

See Trip

Trans-Siberian BAM Explorer with Naadam Festival

Trans-Siberian BAM Explorer with Naadam Festival

Vladivostok to UlaanBaatar via the BAM Aboard the Golden Eagle

Travels to: Mongolia, Russia, Trans-Siberian Railway

15 Days / Departures in June 2018

Rail Journey by Private train land tour from $15,895

See Trip

Custom and private travel is our specialty. We’ve been designing unforgettable custom itineraries under the blue bowl of the Mongolian sky for over two decades; a majority of our guests travel on custom itineraries.

For ideas, peruse one of our Regional Travel Planners, a roundup of the must-sees from our savvy staff.

Take a look at our suggested Private Journeys or read more about how to design your own trip.  Also, consider this: You can customize our Mongolian Explorer: The Gobi & Beyond with Naadam Festival small group tour or other MIR small group Mongolian tours to match your preferred dates of travel.

Design Your Own Custom Trip

Traveling privately on a custom program means flexibility:

  • You set the dates, the focus and the level of accommodations.
  • You are met on arrival and seen off at the end of your trip.
  • Your in-country transportation is pre-arranged hassle-free.
  • Your own expert local guides ensure that you get the most out of your visit.
  • And the best part? You travel at your own pace on an itinerary exclusive to you.

Check out just a handful of our Mongolia signature experiences below and then get in touch with a MIR Private Journey Specialist to craft an itinerary that suits your travel goals, budget and style.  Or get started planning now.

Suggested Itineraries for Private Travel

Whether you’re looking for a compact trip with all the highlights or something a little roomier with some of the extras, MIR’s Private Journeys department can suggest places to see and things to do based on our local knowledge, and design a one-of-a-kind itinerary for you, your family or your group of friends.

Find out more about our custom & private travel expertise or connect with a Private Journey Specialist to get started.


Weather
Our Favorite Places in Mongolia
Mongolia

UlaanBaatar

UlaanBaatar is the political and cultural heart of Mongolia, and the country’s largest city. Located on a high plateau, surrounded by towering mountains and bathed in brilliant sunshine much of the year, it is home to the country's most extensive cultural, historical and archeological collections. Mongolians were traditionally nomadic people, and the concept of a settlement or city is fairly new. UlaanBaatar, or Red Hero, was established only 350 years ago, when the trade routes between St. Petersburg and Beijing made it an important trade and commercial center.

Among our favorite sites in and around Ulaan Baatar are the Gandan Monastery, Mongolia’s first sedentary monastery, built in 1838 and Gorkhi-Terelj National Park, located on the country’s high steppe and boasting 4,600 square miles of alpine terrain.

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Mongolia

Gobi Desert

Fly over vast steppe land to Mongolia’s southernmost province of semi-arid desert. The Gobi harbors sites of some of the most important paleontological discoveries of the 20th century. Explore the open landscapes dotted with hardy desert plants that serve as forage for wild Bactrian camels, Argali mountain sheep and goitered gazelle. This part of the Gobi is also home to golden eagles, saker falcons, jerboas (similar to kangaroo rats), many endemic reptiles and some of the Northern Hemisphere’s rarest mammals, such as the dhole, snow leopard, and Gobi bear.

Of note are the Flaming Cliffs, where Roy Chapman Andrews discovered a nest of dinosaur eggs in 1922; the shaded Yol Am canyon, where snow sometimes remains all year and hikers and indigenous species alike come to rest; and Khorgyn Els, called the "singing sands" by local inhabitants, the largest dunes in the Gobi Desert, stretching 60 miles in length and eight miles at their widest.

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Mongolia

Hovsgol Lake

Alpine Lake Hovsgol in northern Mongolia is the country's second-largest – and its oldest – lake. The southernmost lake in the 25-million-year-old Baikal Rift Zone, Hovsgol is probably more than two million years old. Set amidst some of Mongolia's most beautiful scenery, where the steppe meets the taiga forest of Siberia, the lake is surrounded by a national park. The cold, pristine waters remain clear up to 50-75 feet, and abound with species of fish and plankton found nowhere else on earth. The lush meadows of the park support moose, elk, deer and the reindeer herds of the Tsataan nomads, and shelter thousands of migratory birds on their way north to Siberia.

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Mongolia

Kara Korum

Visit the ruined city of Kara Korum, Genghis Khan’s capital. This UNESCO-listed 13th century city served as the seat of power for an empire that stretched across two continents. At its zenith Kara Korum was visited by delegations from all over the world. Legend says that in the central square there once stood a beautiful fountain in the shape of a tree. Built by a French master, the tree was entwined with snakes made of gold and silver, and from their mouths poured all manner of intoxicating beverages. An image of this fountain can be found on the backs of some Mongolian banknotes.

Kara Korum had served as capital for only 40 years when Kublai Khan moved the capital to Beijing. The city was later destroyed by invading Manchurians. All that visibly remains today is the enigmatic Turtle Rock, made of stone and weighing several tons. It is thought the turtle sculpture stood at the corner of this once vast city and served to protect the city against evil forces.

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Mongolia

Hustaii Nuruu National Park

The Hustaii Nuruu National Park is the home of the Przewalski horse, the last remaining species of truly wild horse in the world. They were reintroduced into the wild in 1994 by the Foundation for the Preservation and Protection of the Przewalski Horse in the Netherlands, which flew 16 horses to Mongolia, their historic homeland, 25 years after they had become extinct in the wild. Though the horses are better known by the name of the Polish scientist who first classified them, the local Mongolians call the horses by their Mongolian name – takhi (pronounced “ta-hee”). Please note horse sightings are not guaranteed.

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Mongolia

Erdene Zhu Monastery

Erdene Zhu (Thousand Treasures) Monastery near Kara Korum has remained intact since its construction in 1586, and is the first Buddhist center in Mongolia. Built from the stones of the ruined capital, it stretches nearly a quarter of a mile in either direction, and is surrounded by a brick wall with 108 stupas, or shrines. At one time there were a thousand monks in residence. During the purges of the 1930s many of the temples were destroyed and the monks were imprisoned or killed. Since the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, the monastery has returned to life as Mongolians rediscover their Buddhist heritage. The monastery is included in the UNESCO Site of the Orkhon Valley Cultural Landscape.

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Journeys that travel to Erdene Zhu Monastery

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Mongolia

Gorkhi-Terelj National Park

Named after an alpine plant related to wild rosemary, Gorkhi-Terelj National Park abuts the 4,600-square-mile Khan Khentii Strictly Protected Area, where very few humans live. At over 5,000 feet, Terelj is a sweeping alpine landscape of temperate grassland and small pines dotted with rustic gers and grazing livestock. Horses are available for hire, and huge rock formations crop up at intervals through the rocky soil. This is the high steppe of Mongolia, and here the traveler can get a feel for the huge distances and enormous sky that nomads have contended with for eons.

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When to Travel to Mongolia

Naadam Festival, throughout Mongolia (July)

The Naadam FestivalThe annual Naadam Festival is Mongolia’s favorite celebration, showcasing Mongolia’s best in wrestling, horse racing and archery as well as uniquely Mongolian sports such as “ankle-bone shooting.”  It originated many centuries ago, but in the 20th century this celebration of courage, strength, dexterity and marksmanship acquired new content and became more national in character. The festival now commemorates July 11th, the anniversary of Mongolia’s independence from China.

 Golden Eagle Festival, Bayan-Ulgii (October)

Attend the annual Golden Eagle Festival in remote Ulgii, where the Altai Mountains unite Western China, Russia, Mongolia and Kazakhstan. Here on the rocky ridges overlooking the snow-dusted steppe, a dwindling number of ethnic Kazakhs carry on a 6,000-year-old tradition, hunting with magnificent Golden Eagles, one of the world’s largest predatory birds. The eagle hunters, called berkutchi, display their birds’ speed, skill and training as well as the deep bond that forms between bird and man.