Enjoy a unique cycle tour exploring the landscapes of Mongolia
Feel the intrepid spirit within as you cycle tour a land like no other
Journey across a fascinating landscape with others in a guided group tour
One of the delights of this unique cycle tour is the traditional accommodation you will stay in along the journey
Ride supported through the wilds of the country
Enjoy feeling like a pioneer as you cycle the tracks and trails of this mysterious and magical place
No light pollution or buildings to distract your viewing pleasure as you camp under the big sky

Cycling in Mongolia

Duration
15 days
Site savings
$88
From
$4,287 USD

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.

  • Category
    Adventurous
  • Type
    Fully Guided
  • Duration
    15 days
  • Culture Level
    Out There
  • Skill Level
    3 - Intermediate
  • Activity Level
    3 - Active
  • Elevation
    3 - Intermediate
  • Terrain
    Rugged
  • Distance
    366.6 miles
  • Avg. Daily Distance
    32.9 miles
operated by
Exodus Travels
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  • 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 neighboring 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.

    Conditions

    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 traveling 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 organize medical care and liaise with your insurance provider. In the unlikely event that your tour leader contracts COVID, they will be replaced immediately.

    Returning home
    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 travelers to limit physical contact with others where possible.

    Exodus COVID-Clear Policy
    For extra peace of mind, Exodus requires all those traveling 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 Traveler for how to obtain your certificate

    2. A negative Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) taken within 72 hours of travel.

    If you are traveling 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 traveling 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 support@roaradventures.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.

    Approved Destinations

    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 travelers with additional assurance that we have adopted health and hygiene global standards designed to keep your travels as safe as possible.

Overall Rating:
5.0/5
An incredible, stunning, strange and wonderful experience
Stephen Yaxley
(Review obtained from Tour Operator)

The organization and support from the entirely local team running the trip was absolutely exceptional. NK, the group leader, was faultless - calm, fun, supportive, organized, knowledgeable, entertaining. He led an exceptional team of drivers, cooks, mountain bikers/mechanics/guides, who all made the trip utterly fantastic. Breathtaking scenery, well maintained bikes, a good variety of routes - grassy Steppes, mountains, lakes and rivers. Gorgeous camp locations. Fascinating visits to a nomadic family, the capital and the ancient capital. It was a wonderful trip.

The land that time forgot
Steven Gittens
(Review obtained from Tour Operator)

This was simply a magnificent holiday in a wonderful country. Cycling eleven days in a row is a bit tough and the terrain can be challenging, but it is worth the effort. The landscape is vast and photographs cannot do it justice. I never tired of seeing herds of horses, running free in this never ending scenery. On the practical side, the tents were of top quality, the bikes were of equally good quality, the crew of 8 were brilliant and the group of cyclists were great company. The meals were well balanced and a credit to our cook. NK our leader was probably the best group leader I have experienced in my many [tour operator] adventures. We even had a shower tent with warm water when possible. September brought us varied weather conditions, with cold mornings, some rain, snow on the mountains, hail, high winds and plenty of sunshine. I would recommend this holiday especially if you want to get away from busy cities and experience real peace and quiet.


What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?
I never tired of the horses running alongside us. The herds of yaks and cows and enormous flocks of sheep and goats are equally impressive. Large birds of prey can be seen regularly. The night skies are incredible.


What did you think of your group leader?
NK was magnificent. His organizational skills, his pleasant manner and his love of Mongolia is inspirational. My luggage failed to arrive when we landed at Ulaan Baataar, but NK assured me that the luggage would arrive before we boarded the overnight train. He arranged this and my luggage arrived. The excellent Gala Dinner on our last night was a very pleasant surprise. Our team consisted of NK, two other cyclist guides, three drivers, a cook and cook's assistant.


Do you have any advice for potential travelers?
Take a good quality sleeping bag. The camping is very good and nothing to fear. We all became very slick at erecting our tents and taking them down.


Is there anything else you would like to add?
When wild camping, toilets can be a bit of a worry. In Mongolia we had a western style toilet in a tent.

Big skies and teeming herds
Steve Hall
(Review obtained from Tour Operator)

A great trip in stunning landscape. A good mix of easy riding with time to enjoy the views and more challenging ups and downs. It is quite something to see herds of horses running beside you while you ride, to watch eagles soaring above you as you camp by a pristine stream. If you are happy on a bike and in a tent I can think of no better way to see Mongolia than this.


What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?
Hard to pick just one, but all these are great memories: watching the sunset over lake from our camp site, running herds, herdsmen on horseback, the "performance of contortion by springy girls" in Ulan Baatar.


What did you think of your group leader?
Our trip leader was young but very good, with excellent communication skills, thoughtful and engaging. This was his first trip as leader, though he had assisted on many more. The rest of the support team were clearly experienced and very good at keeping the trip on track, both on the road and at the overnight stops.


Do you have any advice for potential travelers?
Compared with our only previous [tour operator] cycling trip (Myanmar in 2014, level 3) this trip had much more cycling and less sightseeing. When we booked it was level 3 but has since been re-graded from level 3 to 4. We found the trip notes were pretty accurate, but beware the short days - less distance but plenty of height gain. The trails were generally pretty good, but variable surface conditions (slippery mud, sand, rocky descents) added an extra element of challenge in places, and a strong headwind made for slow progress at times. Expect wet feet - there are lots of river crossings. The general description of "undulating with a few short steep climbs" is fair, but before the short steep climbs there is often a long not-so-gentle climb. The tents and bikes were very good, both in terms of specification and condition. We were happy to see that, having read about issues with bikes and tents in a review of an earlier trip. The support team checked all our group's bikes over regularly, most if not every evening. The sleeping mats provided were OK but not fantastic. If you have a good one that you trust, then bring it.


Is there anything else you would like to add?
Bugs were not a major problem in the evenings but bug spray is essential, and we found a solar charger handy for keeping our cameras, etc. in service.