Learn about Mongolian culture and their traditional way of life
Cycle to your hearts content in the massive valleys of Mongolia
Spend a few nights in unique and comfortable yurts
Explore Mongolia with kindred spirits of adventure seekers
Step back into the past and witness a lifestyle that hasn't changed for years

Nomadic Mongolia Bike Tour

Duration
13 days
Site savings
$52
From
$2,528 USD

An exciting fully guided and supported cycle tour that will bring you to hidden corners of the Khangai mountain range. The bike pace allows you an unobstructed experience of the nomadic way of life. Just like hundreds of years ago, Mongolian nomads still exist in harmony with the natural environment living off yaks, goats and horses.

  • Category
    Adventurous
  • Type
    Fully Guided
  • Duration
    13 days
  • Culture Level
    Adventurous
  • Skill Level
    3 - Intermediate
  • Activity Level
    3 - Active
  • Elevation
    3 - Intermediate
  • Terrain
    Mixed
  • Distance
    232.4 miles
  • Avg. Daily Distance
    26.1 miles
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Quick Stats

  • Duration
    13 days
  • Main Destination
    Mongolia
  • Distance
    232.4 miles
  • Avg. Daily Distance
    26.1 miles
  • Elevation
    3 - Intermediate
  • Terrain
    Mixed

Itinerary Details

  1. Day 1Arrival in Ulaanbaatar and group meeting at welcome dinner

    Arriving in Ulaanbaatar, meet with your guide and transfer to the group hotel. Depending on your arrival time you may enjoy an opportunity to explore the capital city where nearly half of Mongolia’s 3 million inhabitants reside today. You will certainly feel the vibrancy of recent changes towards modernity. Meet with the rest of the group at welcome dinner and get an informal introduction to the great cycling tour ahead of you. Overnight at the group hotel.

    • Hotel in Ulaanbaatar
    • Dinner
  2. Day 2Ulaanbaatar city tour and overnight train journey to Northern Mongolia

    The introductory city excursion starts with a visit to the country’s main Buddhist monastery. The awe-inspiring gigantic gold-plated Buddha statue is the principal object of worship. You will also observe local believers busy with various worship rituals and generally praying, many of them wearing colorful traditional overcoats.  Then visit the central square adjacent to the parliament building with a facade adorned by marble statues of Genghis khan and his successors. Rightfully, the city’s signature photo point, it is always busy with newlyweds, reunification parties and public in general.

    Consider hearing an overview of Mongolia’s history from stone age period to modern era at the National Museum and seeing a few but remarkably important dinosaur fossils such as intact nests containing eggs, carnivores fighting herbivores and embryos still in the eggshell in the Paleontology Museum of Mongolia. A panoramic view of Ulaanbaatar from an elevated hill on the city’s edge gives an idea of its size and topography.

    Finally, having enjoyed a show of traditional music, songs and famous throat singing, board a train to northern Mongolia. It will be a chance to meet some local passengers and see Mongolia’s wheat producing region through the windows of the coal fuelled soviet era train.

    • Overnight train
    • Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner
  3. Day 3Acclimatization cycling day

    Arrive in Erdenet just in time for breakfast and meet with your support team. The Erdenet town sitting on Asia’s largest copper deposit deserves a special story told by your guide. Having made last adjustments to the bikes you will start your mountain biking adventure by riding through the suburbs and a few crop fields on the outskirts of the town.

    Out in the wild leisurely pedal across wooded hills and a wide open valley dotted by nomadic tents and huge herds of livestock. It is an easy day with plentiful stops for familiarizing to your new environment and cycling routine. By early evening you will arrive at the first campsite on a small hill overlooking the open valley with some time left for exploring neighbouring ridges.

    On most of the nights on this trip you will sleep in a comfortable tent camp erected every afternoon upon finishing the day’s biking. It provides all amenities of a good wilderness camp including tents designated for dining, showering and bathrooms, not to mention great meals cooked by a chef.

    • 19.3 miles
    • Tented Camping
    • Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner
  4. Day 4Cycle to Dundat valley taking in authentic nomadic culture

    Every day start the morning by taking in the cool and invigouratingly fresh air. The day's ride starts with a 400m (1312ft) gradual ascent to the top of a rocky pass through lush meadows and mixed forest dominated by larch and birch. The following long descent brings views of more wooded mountains alternated by wide open grassy valleys.

    A couple of more easy climbs and you free-wheel through the Dundat valley, passing in just a few yards by many nomadic encampments and massive animal herds. Horses get particularly agitated on seeing cyclists and excitedly run alongside your way. You can certainly stop to chat with nomads and sample milk tea and dairies.

    Tonight you will camp at a base of a wooded mountainside in knee-high grass.

    • 24.9 miles
    • Tent camping
    • Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner
  5. Day 5Descend to grasslands, home of galloping horses

    Continue cycling while enjoying idyllic scenery of the traditional herding life. This part of Mongolia is famous for producing fermented horse milk of exceptional quality and taste and today you will notice many mares and foals separately tethered outside of nomadic homes. Making of the airag, as it’s locally called, is a continuous and labour consuming process: mares are milked every two hours throughout the day and thousands of times of churning is required in order to boost the fermentation in large barrels or ox hide sack.

    Compared to the previous day, cycle through even wider grasslands with the classical landscape associated with Mongolia. Finish the day at your campsite that's nestled in a flat grassy valley surrounded by distant mountains.

    • 34.2 miles
    • Tent camping
    • Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner
  6. Day 6Lush riverside cycling with views of migratory birds

    Start the day with a couple of passes by climbing them on grassy tracks before arriving at a typical county center resembling a wild west movie town. You might buy an ice-cream or a drink while entertaining yourself with scenes of the rural town.

    After lunch, ride along the Khunui river valley and soak up spectacular scenery of mountainsides strewn with rock formations and covered in standings of pine. A few small lakes with reeds on their shore and the Khunui riverside are an important nesting and breeding ground for a number of migrating birds, some of them rare and strictly protected.

    Tonight you will camp in the vicinity of a few gers, the felt covered homes of herding nomads, and their many animals.

    • 28 miles
    • Tent camping
    • Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner
  7. Day 7Visit Bronze Age megaliths, burial sites and nomads

    Continue cycling at a leisurely pace and soak up pretty views of wooded mountainsides and rocky ridges. A group of Bronze Age ritual site markers decorated with images of flying deer lies on the way, a suitable place to get introduced to Mongolia’s rich historic heritage.

    Visiting nomads in their summer camp can become a first-hand experience of a lifestyle that has not changed from a couple millennia. After lunch, cross the day’s high point and finish the ride with a 25km (15.5mi) fast spin to our campsite.

    • 32.3 miles
    • Tent camping
    • Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner
  8. Day 8Cycle to foothills of the Khangai Range and to Tsetserleg Town

    It is a challenging day compared to all previous riding. This morning you will reach the Khangai mountain foothills and make your way to Tsetserleg town, a pretty provincial capital located in the shelter of a spectacular granite ridge. After crossing the Tamir river, the road twists and turns following narrow grassy valleys and through dense woods. You will finish at the lunch spot which is nearly 2000m (6,561ft), the day's highest point.

    A fast downhill and a brief climb finally opens an interesting view of traditional residential districts, geometrically aligned and with a lot of bright rooftops. You will have ample time for exploring the town including its busy market where local people sell pine nuts, various wild berries and other natural produce of the Khangai region. In just half an hour’s pedaling, you will settle in a traditional style guest accommodation with relative comforts of a conventional hotel such as running water, showers and bathrooms. For a guest room you will be allocated a real Mongolian ger.

    • 28 miles
    • Yurt camp
    • Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner
  9. Day 9Cycle to Tsenker hot springs

    It's a half day of  riding to negotiate 3 short but steep passes that have excellent descents on packed soil. You'll soon arrive in Tsenkher, a lush valley popular for its mineral hot spring. Although somewhat crowded with both local and foreign travellers during the short summer season, it certainly feels good to soothe your muscles with beer in your hand.

    The night will be spent in traditional Mongolian tents where relaxing massage services and laundry service are available.

    • 15.5 miles
    • Yurt Camp
    • Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner
  10. Day 10Cycle to Orkhon River

    Today is a fast day on great soils with a few steep passes. Relish in the great views of the immense wilderness where the tops of extinct volcano craters can be seen from the last pass. 

     A breathtaking 20km (12mi) downhill to the Orkhon Valley floor completes today’s ride. A designated UNESCO historic heritage site, the Orkhon Valley contains an overwhelming wealth of historic data such as burial mounds, deer stones and prehistoric settlements.

    Tonight will be your last tent camping but this time it will be riverside where you can take a dip in its cool waters.

    • 46.6 miles
    • Tent camping
    • Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner
  11. Day 11Cycle to Karakorum, Genghis Khan’s ancient capital

    Cycle downstream along the Orkhon River and lose altitude throughout the day. Your destination is the town of Karakorum - the site of the Mongol Empire capital in the 1200s. Largely an experiment of city building by nomadic people, Karakorum never became a fully functional capital before it was destroyed by invading Chinese armies in late 14th century. Today the main attraction here is the monastery museum of Erdene Zuu established in the 16th century by a Mongol khan as part of the introduction of Buddhism as the main religion. The monastery almost suffered a complete destruction during the anti-religion campaign in the 1930s with just a dozen temples surviving till present.

    There will be a visit to the monastery and the local museum for the opportunity to see a few surviving artifacts of the old capital before heading to a ger camp to celebrate the ride. Take it easy for the night at a nomadic style tourist resort.

    • 44.7 miles
    • Yurt Camp
    • Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner
  12. Day 12Transfer back to Ulaanbaatar and farewell dinner

    The journey back to Ulaanbaatar is rather uneventful with a picnic lunch stop at a scenic spot along the way. You'll arrive at your hotel in the afternoon with some time left for showers and rest before a good-bye dinner.

    • Hotel in Ulaanbaatar
    • Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner
  13. Day 13Departure transfer

    You will be transferred to Chinggis Khaan International Airport for your onward travel.

    • Breakfast