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Cycling in Mongolia
Cycle across the vast expanse of the Mongolian steppeland on a 15 day intrepid adventure. Mongolia remains a mysterious presence in the heart of Central Asia, a traditional country where visitors are still an unusual sight. Nomads wander the grasslands, setting up their white gers (tents) where the pasture is lush for their horses. On your bike, you will follow good trails across wide, open steppe, into expansive mountain scenery and through larch and pine forests. Camping wild under the wide skies adds an adventurous edge to what is certainly a most adventurous cycle tour into a fascinating country.
- TypeFully Guided
- Duration15 days
- Culture LevelOut There
- Skill Level3 - Intermediate
- Activity Level3 - Active
- Elevation3 - Intermediate
- Distance366.6 miles
- Avg. Daily Distance32.9 miles
Where does the tour start and end?
The tour starts and ends in Ulaan Baatar, Mongolia. Fly in/out of Chinggis Khaan International Airport (formerly Buyant Ukhaa Airport) (ULN).
How long is the tour? How many cycling days?
The tour is 15 days long with 11 days of cycling. Note that one departure is 17 days long as there is the added extension of a festival event - see the dates page for more information.
What's the tour like?
This is a moderate/challenging cycling trip and is classified as off-road. You are advised to be reasonably fit and a confident cyclist, with some off-road cycling experience. Please also take the number of nights camping into consideration; hotels are only used while in Ulaanbaatar. The tour operator believes that camping allows you to experience the wonderful remoteness of Mongolia.
Average daily distance: 50km (31 miles)
Vehicle Support: 100%
Terrain and route: good quality, vehicle width, hard-pack dirt tracks across undulating forest and steppe. Roads vary from being tarmacked to rocky in places with some short steep passes.
Two vehicles will support the trip (depending on group size) including a 4WD minivan for people and a separate one for bikes and equipment. You may ride as much or as little as you like. The only things you need to carry with you on the bike are your valuables, sun cream, extra top, camera and water bottle, etc. One vehicle will travel at the front and one at the rear of the group. The bikes will return from Karakorum with the support vans at the end of the trip.
The terrain is best described as undulating, as the rolling steppe grasslands of Mongolia are. The route mostly follows jeep tracks along river valleys and over ridgeline mountain passes, with some better quality sealed tarmacked roads in the early stages of the trip. Trails are mostly hard-packed 4WD dirt tracks, however, mountain passes often have loose gravel on the descent, requiring extreme caution. Sandy patches are hazardous in places, particularly at the base of small dips in the road. The route passes through some more mountainous areas where roads follow rivers upstream and occasionally cross up and over into the neighbouring watershed. The passes referred to in the itinerary are universally low - usually requiring just 100-200m of vertical rise/descent. Some of the descents can be rocky. Typically there are 4 to 6 hours' riding each day.
This trip will appeal to anyone who is physically fit, enjoys riding off-road and who is happy to camp in beautiful and wild places (we use good quality camping equipment, but home comforts are not a feature of this trip). The tented camps include a kitchen tent, communal dining tent, wash tent and toilet tents. Mongolia is a country with just 1500km (932mi) of sealed roads and these tend to be heavily trafficked and in poor condition. By far the most appealing travel is away from the main transit corridors and this is where the route takes us.
Is a bike included?
Giant TCX mountain bikes with front suspension are included in the tour price.
Alternatively, you can bring your own bike (BYO) but this is on a request basis and additional charges may apply to cover the transportation of your bike during the tour.
1. The equipment remains the property of the supplier and you may not sell, hire out or part possession with the equipment.
2. You must not misuse the equipment and must return it in the same condition as when received (ordinary wear and tear excepted). The supplier is entitled to charge for any damage caused to the equipment during the period of hire.
3. You must ensure that the equipment is adequately secured when not in use. In the event of the equipment being lost or stolen, you may be liable for the replacement value of the equipment
4. You must not use the equipment whilst under the influence of drink or drugs and should immediately notify the Supplier in the event of breakdown or loss.
Extra Bike Bits
You may like to bring your own pedals and saddle (excluding the seat post) or gel saddle cover to fit to the hire bikes. The tour operator encourages this, if it is your preference. However, please note that you are responsible for your own equipment, and removing your saddle/pedals at the end of the trip. They cannot guarantee the return of any bike parts left behind.
Should I have travel insurance?
Yes. It is a condition of joining this holiday that you must be fully insured against medical and personal accident risks (to include repatriation costs and air ambulance or helicopter rescue services where appropriate). On arrival in destination for your trip, you will be asked to present details to your leader or local representative of your policy.
Can I have private room? What is the single supplement cost?
A single supplement is applicable if you are travelling alone or wish to have your own room. The price varies depending on the dates chosen with minimum price starting at AU$349.00.
If you would like to book a single room please contact us.
Please read here for the tour operator's message regarding Covid-19:
Before you travel
We recommend that your travel insurance policy includes COVID-cover so that your costs will be covered until you are able to return home should you test positive (subject to conditions). When comparing travel insurance providers, please ensure you read each PDS carefully so you know exactly what you are and aren’t covered for.
On your trip
Your tour leader will provide the latest local guidance, and let you know if any extra safety precautions such as face coverings may be needed in certain locations.
Should you fall ill, our team knows the most suitable medical care facilities for each point on the trip and will work in tandem with your leader to get you any medical attention, should you need it. If official travel advice changes during your trip, your leader will work closely with our customer operations team to reroute or help with repatriation if required.
In the unlikely event that your group needs to self-isolate, your local team will offer support throughout. We will help arrange accommodation and food and help to organise medical care and liaise with your insurance provider. In the unlikely event that your tour leader contracts COVID, they will be replaced immediately.
Should there be a requirement to show proof of a negative COVID test on arrival back to your home country, we have built time into our itineraries for this. On guided trips your leader will assist with this and if needed, will take you to the most appropriate local testing facility.
If, through no fault of your own, your test result is delayed, we will cover your accommodation costs until you are able to travel and rearrange your flights (for flight inclusive customers).
Small Healthy Groups
We keep group sizes small to maintain a low risk ‘small group bubble’, with an average of 10 guests in each group. It may not always be possible to socially distance, but as a precautionary measure, we encourage travellers to limit physical contact with others where possible.
Exodus COVID-Clear Policy
For extra peace of mind, Exodus requires all those travelling on group holidays to have had a vaccine or negative COVID test – known as ‘COVID-Clear’ status. Please ensure that you understand this policy and can comply with it before you travel with us. All customers will need to have one of the following in place prior to travel:
1. Be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 with the last dose having been administered no less than two weeks prior to travel. The total number of doses must have been given, as required by the vaccine manufacturer (in most cases this is two doses).
• You will need to obtain the Australian-issued International COVID-19 Vaccination Certificate (ICVC). Please visit Smart Traveller for how to obtain your certificate
2. A negative Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) taken within 72 hours of travel.
If you are travelling to a country where one of these is an entry requirement, you do not need to provide Exodus with proof of your COVID-Clear status prior to travel; you can expect this to be checked by your airline and by immigration officials when you arrive in the destination country.
If you are travelling within your home country, or there are no entry requirements of this nature in the destination country, please email a copy or photo of your documents to email@example.com at least 2 weeks before departure.
With our COVID-Clear policy in place, we will no longer require you to complete a ‘self-declaration’ prior to travel, which was required for travel during 2020. Your tour leader however will remind you of any regional or national COVID rules or guidelines which apply, and as needed, the latest policy requirements from Exodus.
All of our destinations will be required to pass a 5-stage approval process, which includes all relevant government authorities advice and assessment of additional destination information by Healix, a leading independent Global Travel Risk Management company.
Our 5-stage approval process
We will only travel to a country where the following criteria has been met:
• The Australian Government does not advise against travel to your chosen country.
• COVID infection rates are under control.
• Entry requirements are reasonable and local restrictions do not significantly impair the itinerary.
• We have access to a list of approved emergency medical services.
• Our local partners can meet our COVID safety requirements.
We use Healix, a leading Global Travel Risk Management company to ensure we have correct, consistent and up-to-date information about all destination risks.
How do I know if my trip is going ahead?
We review all upcoming departures on a rolling, week-by-week basis, to assess whether we can safely travel to the destination country.
11 weeks before you depart: At this point we will either confirm that we believe there is a good chance of the trip running, or we will cancel the departure. All clients will be written to in either case.
7 weeks before you depart: We will make a final decision on running the tour and will contact you to advise if your trip is scheduled to travel or not. We will issue updated Trip Notes and ask you to read and confirm you understand the requirements to protect yourself and other group members, including our ‘COVID-Clear’ policy.
Up to the date of travel: We will continue to monitor all destinations and will notify clients immediately should the status of their departure change.
Clean & Safe
Enhanced cleanliness and hygiene safety measures have been introduced in our accommodation, transport, meal locations and venues, and our local teams will visit each one in advance of travel.
Exodus Travels has received the World Travel and Tourism Council’s Safe Travels stamp, which provides travellers with additional assurance that we have adopted health and hygiene global standards designed to keep your travels as safe as possible.