Mongolian route in 18 days

Polny MB4 (IU)

18 days / 2 stops – €2,755 (per person, twin share)

18 day itinerary with tour programs in Moscow, Irkutsk / Lake Baikal, Mongolia and Beijing

Tour Introduction
A 18 day trip, with stopovers and tour programs in the two most popular destinations on the Trans-Siberian / Mongolian route. Spend a couple of days by majestic Lake Baikal, and explore the captivating landscapes of Central Mongolia.

Route
Moscow — Irkutsk / Lake Baikal — Ulaanbaatar — Beijing

Departure dates
Take a look at the Trains and Schedules page for the specific details regarding Beijing 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
√  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 night 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)
€3,740 – based on solo travel:
€2,755 – based on two people travelling together:
€2,350  – based on three people travelling together:
€2,200  – based on four people travelling together:

Highlights
»  Days by the shore of Lake Baikal
»  4 night 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 at
 Lake Baikal adding or subtracting days to coordinate with your interests, time frame and budget
Add two nights in Central Mongolia or substitute the open steppe tour for a less adventurous program in Gun Galuut or Terelj National Park
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 the 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 | Train to Irkutsk
Breakfast and free morning in Moscow before transfer to station. Depart a little before 2pm (B)

Day 3
On train
On board the train all day, passing cities such as Perm and Ekaterinburg as you cross the Ural Mountains and the geographic border of Asia and Europe. You will notice the land become less populated as you leave the developed west and travel through the provinces of the Urals and ultimately Siberia.

Day 4
On train
Stroll along to the dining car or buy fresh produce from local vendors as you stretch your legs on the platform.  The train stops around ten times per day, at cities such as Omsk and Novosibirsk.

Day 5
On train
This is the ‘mid Siberian railway’, which was built between 1893 and 1898 crossing the river Yenisei at Krasnoyarsk. It is the half way point on the Moscow to Beijing Trans-Siberian / Mongolian line. Enjoy endless views of Siberian taiga forest, as the train passes north of the Sayan Mountains. 

Day 6
Irkutsk | Listvyanka Village
Arrive in Irkutsk around 6:30am. Meet your guide on the station platform and transfer to Listvyanka (70km from Irkutsk). Staying 2 nights at comfortable UD Guesthouse (incl. early check-in). Enjoy a tour of Listvyanka village and the Lake Baikal Museum (B).

Day 7
Lake Baikal | Listvyanka
Enjoy a moderate hiking excursion (4-6 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. Free evening in Listvyanka (B|L)
Note: for alternative excursions, check out the Lake Baikal tour programs.

Day 8
Irkutsk
Return to Irkutsk, staying overnight in a 3* 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 9
Irkutsk | Train to Ulaanbaatar
Early transfer to station. Depart on train #306 at 08:08 (Monday, Wednesday, Friday departures only).
Passing southern shore of Lake Baikal during the day (B)

Passing 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 plans of Northern Mongolia.

Day 10
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 tour. 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 11
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 12
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 13
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 14
Ulaanbaatar
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 15
Train to Beijing
Early transfer to station. Depart Ulaanbaatar 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 (B)

Day 16
Beijing arrival
Passing the Yanshan mountains and sections of the Great Wall, arriving in Beijing Main Station around 14:35. Meet your driver at the exit of the station and transfer to a central 3* hotel, staying 2 nights.

Day 17
Beijing city tour
Guided city sightseeing tour, including: The Temple of Heaven, Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City and Houhai Hutongs (incl. lunch) (B|L)

Day 18
Beijing
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)