An adventurous 18 day trip (or 19 days with Monday Beijing departure) showcasing central Mongolia and the natural and cultural riches of Krasnoyarsk and Ekaterinburg.
Beijing — Ulaanbaatar and central Mongolia — Irkutsk and Lake Baikal in Siberia — Krasnoyarsk — Ekaterinburg — Moscow
Several departures each week. Take a look at the Trains and Schedules page for the specific details regarding Beijing departures and onward travel.
√ Monkey info pack, local support, visa invitation documents
√ Train tickets in standard second class (4-berth) cabins
√ Beijing: 1 night 4* hotel; departure transfer: hotel to train station
√ Mongolia: arrival and departure station transfers; 1 night centrally located 3* hotel;
√ Mongolia: 3-night trip to Karakorum, Ugii Lake and Hustai National Park, transfers, guide, excursions, 3 nights ger camp with full board
4 nights with Tuesday Beijing departure (adding Tsetserleg hot springs)
√ Lake Baikal: all transfers; 2 nights guesthouse accommodation
√ Listvyanka guided hiking excursion
√ Irkutsk: 1 night 3* Marussia hotel, guided city tour
√ Krasnoyarsk: station transfer; 2 nights 3* boutique hotel
√ Krasnoyarsk guided city tour and full day hiking excursion in Stolby Nature Reserve
√ Ekaterinburg: station transfers; 2 nights 3* hotel
√ Ekaterinburg guided city walking tour; guided excursion in Ural Countryside
√ Moscow: arrival transfer; 1 night centrally located 3* hotel, guided city walking tour
√ Meals as listed in the itinerary (B – breakfast | L – lunch | D – dinner)
Prices (per person)
€4,565 – based on solo travel
€3,050 – based on two people travelling together
€2,775 – based on three people travelling together
€2,605 – based on four people travelling together
» 3 night guided program in central Mongolia, including Elsen Tasarkhai dunes, Karakorum, Ugii Lake and Hustai National Park
4 nights with Tuesday Beijing departure (adding Tsetserleg hot springs)
» Days by the shore of majestic Lake Baikal, guided tour of Listvyanka Village and Lake Baikal Museum + hiking excursion
» Krasnoyarsk: Hiking among the unique rock formations in Stolby Nature Reserve
» Ekaterinburg: excursion to traditional village in Ural Countryside
Flexibility and further considerations
Upgrade to first-class or private second-class cabin
Add extra nights in Beijing and a guided city tour or excursion to the Great Wall
Expand the tour program in Mongolia to explore Central Mongolia
Make the most of your time at Lake Baikal with a three-night tour program on Olkhon Island
Consider alternative tour programs and excursions in Krasnoyarsk or Ekaterinburg, adding or subtracting days to coordinate with your interests, time frame and budget
Add an extension from Moscow to St Petersburg with extra nights accommodation in Moscow, overnight or express day train and accommodation in Saint-Petersburg, along with a number of additional Moscow tours and Saint-Petersburg
Staying one night at a centrally located 3* hotel.
We can book additional accommodation and tours in Beijing, as well as domestic train tickets around China in advance of your Trans-Mongolian train journey.
Morning transfer to Beijing Main Railway Station for the start of your Trans-Mongolian adventure.
Depart on train #23 around 7:30am. The train meanders through the Yanshan mountains north of Beijing and past the Great Wall, before arriving at the Chinese border town of Erlian. (B)
The Chinese – Mongolian 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.
Wake up to the Gobi and cross central Mongolian steppe.
Arrive to Ulaanbaatar (locally called UB) early afternoon around 2:30pm. Meet your driver on the station platform for a transfer to a centrally located 3* hotel. Free evening to explore Ulaanbaatar on your own.
Central Mongolia tour – Elsen Tasarkhai dunes and Karakorum
Meet your guide at hotel after breakfast (suggested start time: 8am). 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.
Travel on to Karakorum (85km). Staying overnight at local hotel, guesthouse, or tourist ger camp. (L|D)
The following extra day is possible with Saturday Beijing departure
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)
Morning in Karakorum, once the capital of the great Mongol Empire. Visit Erdene Zuu monastery, and the Karakorum history museum.
Travel to Ugii Lake (65km). 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)
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 from the park (70km) to spend the evening and overnight at a local nomadic family ger. (B|L|D)
Ulaanbaatar / Train to Irkutsk
Spend the early morning with the local family, learning about nomadic life. Finish the tour with your return to Ulaanbaatar (55km).
Afternoon transfer to train station. Depart on train #305 mid-afternoon. (B)
On train | Irkutsk arrival – Listvyanka, Lake Baikal
Cross the Mongolian – Russian border in the middle of the night, stopping in Sukhebaatar (Mongolia) and Naushki (Russia) for immigration and customs formalities. Travel through Siberian Russia, passing Ulan-Ude and the eastern shore of Lake Baikal in the early morning.
Travel along the southern shore of Lake Baikal before arriving in Irkutsk a little before 3pm; meet your local guide / driver on station platform. Transfer to Listvyanka, the main village on the shore of Lake Baikal (70km from Irkutsk). Staying two nights at a comfortable guesthouse. Guided tour of Limnological Museum (time permitting).
Listvyanka, Lake Baikal | Excursion
A moderate hiking excursion that takes you into the hills surrounding Listvyanka and along the cliffs overlooking Lake Baikal (5-6 hrs). The hike is normally conducted by Sasha or one of his guides, who speak basic English and have developed many tracks as self-appointed park managers of the area. They will instruct you on the different fauna, flora and habitats of the area. Altogether, a fantastic way to experience the natural beauty of Listvyanka and Lake Baikal. (B|L)
Note: for alternative excursions, check out the Lake Baikal tour programs.
Listvyanka | Irkutsk
Free morning before transfer to Irkutsk. Staying at a boutique hotel in a district showcasing the wooden architecture of the city.
Enjoy a guided city walking tour (2 hrs), including Karl Marx Street, the Church of the Transfiguration, the Epiphany Cathedral and the former Polish Cathedral.
Irkutsk is an important staging post on the Trans-Siberian Railway and during the walking tour you will see how the railway influenced and developed this city. Irkutsk has an old center very easy to navigate on foot with lovely Siberian wooden architecture and an amazing history of fires and rebuilding. (B)
Irkutsk | Train to Krasnoyarsk
Free day in Irkutsk before afternoon transfer to station. Depart a little after 4pm. (B)
Morning arrival into Kranoyarsk around 9:30am; meet guide on platform. Transfer to a centrally located boutique 3* hotel, staying two nights. Enjoy an afternoon guided city tour, including: downtown Mira Prospekt, the Chapel of Saint Paraskeva Pyatnitsa, Communal Bridge, Victory Memorial, and the local Ethnographic Museum, learning some fascinating stories along the way.
Krasnoyarsk | Excursion – Stolby Nature Reserve
This is a full day excursion to the beautiful countryside of Siberia, and a strenuous but exhilarating day. (There are alternative options if you prefer a more relaxed tour).
Crossing the Yenisey River you head out to Stolby Nature reserve and hike 4km to the first outcrop of Stolby rocks. There are a number of peaks offering views throughout the reserve, how many you visit will depend on your level of fitness, time and the weather.
Enjoy a picnic lunch during the outing. Return to city for free evening. (B|L)
Krasnoyarsk | Train
Morning transfer to the train station. Depart around 10:30am. (B)
Train | Ekaterinburg
Spend the day relaxing in your comfortable cabin, enjoying the view of the Siberian taiga forest. You will pass cities such as Novosibirsk and Omsk on the ‘mid Siberian railway’, which was built between 1893 and 1898.
Arrive to Ekaterinburg late evening around 11pm; meet guide on station platform. Transfer to the 3* Chekhov Hotel, where you will stay for 2 nights.
Ekaterinburg | Excursion – Nevyansk
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 and the traditional craft center and the famous Nevyansk icons.
You will stop at Byngi village on the return trip for lunch. (B|L)
Ekaterinburg | Train to Moscow
Guided city walking tour before transfer to station. Depart from Ekaterinburg on train #37 a little after 2pm. (B)
Arrive Moscow (Yaroslavsky station) a little after 2pm; meet driver on station platform. Transfer to centrally located 3* hotel, staying one night. (B)
Moscow city tour / tour extension
Meet your guide after breakfast and enjoy a great orientation tour of Moscow city centre. All our guides have their own personal itineraries and will visit many of the main sites, including: 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. (B)
You have a free afternoon to continue your exploration of this exciting and vibrant city and delve into the long and turbulent history of Russia, adding on extra nights and additional Moscow tours or a tour extension to Saint Petersburg.