Polny MB5 (EIU)

20 days / 3 stops – €3,430 (per person, twin share)

20 day itinerary with tours in Ekaterinburg, Irkutsk / Lake Baikal and Mongolia

Tour Introduction
A well-balanced 20 day trip showcasing the cultural riches of Ekaterinburg, along with the natural beauty and splendour of Lake Baikal and Central Mongolia.

Moscow — Ekaterinburg — Irkutsk / Lake Baikal — Ulaanbaatar — Beijing

Departure dates
Several departures each week. Take a look at the Trains and Schedules page for the specific details regarding departures and onward travel.

Tour includes
√  Monkey info pack, local support, visa invitation documents
√  Train tickets in standard second class (4-berth) cabins
√  Moscow: 1 night centrally located 3* hotel; guided city walking tour; departure transfer
√  Ekaterinburg: station transfers; 2 nights central 3* hotel
√  Ekaterinburg: guided city walking tour; guided excursion in Ural Countryside
√  Lake Baikal: all transfers; 2 nights guesthouse accommodation in Listvyanka village
√  Guided tour of Listvyanka tour and Lake Baikal Museum
√  Listvyanka guided hiking excursion
√  Irkutsk: 1 night 3* Marussia hotel, guided city tour
√  Mongolia: 4 nights Central Mongolia guided tour program
√  Mongolia: 1 night centrally located 3* hotel; departure transfer
√  Beijing: arrival transfer: 2 nights 3* hotel; guided city tour
√  Guided city walking tour, including: Temple of Heaven, Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City, Houhai Hutong rickshaw; English speaking guide, entrance fees, lunch (public transport or taxi at guests’ expense)
√  Meals as listed in the itinerary (B – breakfast | L – lunch | D – dinner)

Prices (per person)
€4,855 – based on solo travel
€3,430 – based on two people travelling together
€2,910 – based on three people travelling together
€2,685 – based on four people travelling together

»  Ekaterinburg: excursion to traditional village in Ural Countryside
»  Days by the shore of Lake Baikal
»  4 nights guided tour program in central Mongolia
»  Moscow and Beijing city tours

Flexibility and further considerations
Upgrade to first-class or private second-class cabin.
Add an extension from Saint-Petersburg to Moscow with accommodation in Saint-Petersburgovernight or express day train and extra nights accommodation in Moscow, along with a number of additional tours in Saint-Petersburg and Moscow.
Consider alternative tour programs and excursions in 
Ekaterinburg or Lake Baikal adding or subtracting days to coordinate with your interests, time frame and budget Add two nights in Central Mongolia to visit the Orkhon Valley. 
Add extra nights in Beijing and additional tour excursion, such as: The Great Wall, The Summer Palace or to the Olympic of the 798 Art Districts

Day 1
Moscow arrival and city tour
Arrive Moscow___ (optional arrival transfer can be added). Staying at a centrally located 3* hotel, 1 night.
We can book extra accommodation and tours in Moscow, along with an extension from Saint Petersburg.

Enjoy a guided orientation tour of Moscow (usually at 2pm or switch to following morning – 3 hrs). The Moscow guides have their own personal touch, while of course visiting the main sites and introducing you to the diversity of Moscow’s architectural styles from Russian-Moscow Baroque and Art Nouveau to the Pseudo-Chinese and Moorish influences.
The three-hour walking tour generally includes: Tverskaya street and it’s important buildings, Manezhnaya square, Marshal Zhukov monument, Lubyanka (former KGB building), Aleksandrovsky Gardens and of course the Red Square, St. Basil Cathedral and the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour.

Day 2
Moscow departure
Free morning before transfer to station and board train #56 or 92 for departure at 4:50pm to Ekaterinburg, your first of several Russian trains along the Trans-Siberian Railway. (B)

Day 3
Train | Ekaterinburg
Arrive in Ekaterinburg in the evening around 9pm. Meet your guide at the platform and transfer to the centrally located 3* Chekhov hotel, where you will stay for two nights.

Day 4
Ekaterinburg  | Ural Mountains
Full day excursion to the city of Nevyansk (80km from Ekaterinburg), the one time capital of the Demidov dynasty, a very successful family of factory owners. The trip includes a visit to the famous and recently restored Nevyansk “leaning tower”, and the Transfiguration Spaso-Preobrazhensky Cathedral, plus the traditional craft center and famous Nevyansk icons. 
You will stop at Byngi village on the return trip for lunch. (B|L) 

Day 5
Ekaterinburg  | Train to Irkutsk
After breakfast, enjoy a 3 hour guided tour of the historical center with a local guide. Visit 1905 Revolution Square, Church of Spilled and the Chapel of St. Elizabeth, the Hill of Ascension, the Ural Museum of Minerals, statues of Ekaterinburg founders and communist leaders.
Free afternoon to explore further on your own before evening transfer to the train station. Depart a little before 10pm to Irkutsk.

Day 6
On train
The train stops around ten times per day, at cities such as Omsk and Novosibirsk, continuing on to traverse the ‘mid Siberian railway’, which was built between 1893 and 1898, and crossing the great rivers Ob and Yenisei.

Day 7
On train
All day on board the day to gaze out of the window and see the landscapes of eastern Siberia with its mountains, crystal-clear rivers and verdant slopes.

Day 8
Irkutsk | Listvyanka Village
Morning arrival around 8:24am into Irkutsk where you will meet your guide on station platform.
Transfer to Listvyanka (70km), around one hour journey. Introductory tour of village and visit the Limnological Museum. You will stay for two nights at the comfortable wooden UD guesthouse overlooking the shores of Lake Baikal.

Day 9
Lake Baikal | Listvyanka
Enjoy a moderate hiking excursion (5 hrs) in Baikal National Park, navigating the taiga forests surrounding Listvyanka and skirting the high cliffs looking over Lake Baikal. Excursion includes a stop by the foreshore to enjoy a picnic lunch. (B|L)
For alternative excursions, take a look at the Lake Baikal tour programs.

Day 10
Return to Irkutsk, staying overnight in a boutique hotel in the interesting District 130, an restaurant and shopping area refurbished to showcase the unique wooden architecture of the city.
Enjoy a 2-hour 
guided city walking tour of the main sites in the city center, including: Karl Marx Street, the Church of the Transfiguration, the Epiphany Cathedral and the former Polish Cathedral.
Explore further on your own. The main part of Irkutsk is easy to navigate by foot. (B)
Hint: The Decemberists homes are definitely worth visiting, so remember to ask your guide for directions. 

Day 11
Irkutsk | Train to Ulaanbaatar
Breakfast and early transfer to station. Depart on train #306 at 08:16 (Monday, Tuesday, Friday departures only).
Passing southern shore of Lake Baikal during the day, and Ulan-Ude in the afternoon, the train meanders along the Selenge River to the Russian border. Cross the Russian – Mongolian border in the evening, spending time in Naushki (Russia) and Sukhebaatar (Mongolia) for immigration and customs formalities. Custom and immigration procedures are carried out on board the train before continuing on and travelling alongside the Orkhon River and the open plains of Northern Mongolia. (B)

Day 12
Ulaanbaatar | Central Mongolia – Karakorum
Arrive Ulaanbaatar 06:50; meet driver on platform. Transfer to Zaya’s Guesthouse. Chance for breakfast and to freshen up before beginning the four day trip.
Travel west of UB (approx. 260km) to Elsen Tasarkhai, known as the ‘mini-Gobi’ sand dunes. Enjoy a picnic lunch or at a local ger camp. Opportunity to ride a camel or horse ride.
Travel on to Karakorum (85km). Staying overnight at local hotel or guesthouse. (B|L|D)

Day 13
Tsetserleg hot springs
Visit Erdene Zuu monastery, and the Karakorum history museum. Travel (130km) to the beautiful are of the Tsetserleg hot springs. Hike or horse ride with your guide or at your leisure, and when the day is done, relax in the soothing hot springs.
Staying overnight at tourist ger camp. (B|L|D)

Day 14
Ugii Lake
Travel to Ugii Lake, either directly (120km) on back-country roads, or (190km) via Karakorum. Enjoy lunch at ger camp before exploring the fabulous lake environs at your leisure (boating on the lake can be arranged).
Staying overnight at tourist ger camp. (B|L|D)

Day 15
Hustai National Park
Travel (250km) to Hustai National Park. Introduction to the national park’s work in re-introducing the wild Takhi horses, a subspecies of the Przewalski. Lunch in the park. Spend the afternoon searching for the horse within the national park.
Travel on from the park (70km) to spend the evening and overnight at a local nomadic family ger. (B|L|D)

Day 16
Spend the early morning with the local family, learning after nomadic life. Finish the tour with your return to Ulaanbaatar (55km).
Staying at 3* Hotel Nine, 1 night. (B)

Day 17
Train to Beijing
Early transfer to station. Thursday departure on train #24 at 7:30am. (B)
The southern plains of Mongolia are very flat and the green grasslands slowly give way to the barren open landscape of the Gobi desert. The Mongolian – Chinese border crossing takes around five hours for immigration and customs procedures and for changing the bogies to accommodate the different gauge railway lines between China and the rest of the Trans-Mongolian / Siberian network. Following the formalities, the train continues its journey through the mountains north of Beijing.

Day 18
Beijing arrival
Passing the Yanshan mountains and sections of the Great Wall before arriving in Beijing Main Station around 14:35. Meet your driver at the exit of the station and transfer to a central 4* hotel, staying 2 nights.

Day 19
Beijing city tour
Guided city sightseeing tour, including: The Temple of Heaven, Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City and Houhai Hutongs (incl. lunch). (B|L)

Day 20
Continue to explore Beijing on your own, or add on additional nights in Beijing and guided tours, such as: The Great Wall, The Summer Palace, 2008 Olympic district, 798 Art District or elsewhere. (B)