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Adventure Ride through the valleys & hills of Mongolia

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Horse Riding Cultural Adventure

Arkhangai Ride Travel Expedition

Mongolia, Asia
14 Days
€ 3,232 combadi price

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Holiday Type
Fixed date
Running Period
Departs: 14 July 2013

The Combadi Insight:

A person very close to me told me a few years ago that her dream was to go on a horse riding adventure in Mongolia.... You can't blame her! This journey through the landscapes of this rough & remarkable country is really unique. Ride through Mongolia’s nomadic heartland & experience its cultural highlights every gallop of the way.

Holiday Code: V3

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A unique and exhilarating horseback expedition into the awe-inspiring landscape of the Arkhangai Mountains of Central Mongolia. Magnificent valleys nestle between rolling hills and rugged mountains, with crystal clear lakes and rivers meandering through the landscape - a stunning backdrop for your remarkable adventure. Your journey through Mongolia’s nomadic heartland is complemented by cultural highlights before and after the ride.

After a brief introduction to Ulaanbaatar begin your journey west into Mongolia’s heartland. See the wild ‘takhi’ prehistoric horses at Khustai, walk in the foothills of Khogno Khaan mountain and visit Chinggis Khaan’s original capital, Kharkhorin. Then head westwards to the lush valleys of Tsenkher where you will stay before striking out on your trek. The ride takes you into remote areas of the Arkhangai with spectacular scenery shared only with nature, wildlife and the occasional nomadic herding families.

You will average about 5-6 hours riding per day, and each night will pitch camp at our preferred idyllic spots. After the trek, visit the dunes of Bayangobi before heading back to UB to spend time in the capital before you leave, enjoying its excellent temples, museums, shops and restaurants.

Day 1

ULAANBAATAR Ulaanbaatar, meaning 'Red Hero', is the capital city of Mongolia. Situated on the Tuul River, it is a mixture of traditional, soviet and modern. The ornate flowing eaves of the monastery temples stand beside communist planned courtyards and modern sky scrapers.

Arrive in Ulaanbaatar (time tbc), where you will be met by guide and driver. Transfer to hotel and settle into your room. In the afternoon visit the excellent Museum of National History and gain an understanding of Mongolia’s remarkable past - a worthwhile introduction to your stay in this fascinating country. In the early evening you will see an intimate performance of traditional music and dance. You'll end the evening with dinner at one of our favourite Mongolian restaurants where you can sample the delicious local fare.

Accommodation - Standard Twin Room, Ulaanbaatar Hotel

Day 2

ULAANBAATAR - KHUSTAI Khustai - In the 1990's, the world's most primitive horse, the Takhi (Przewalski's Horse), was reintroduced into Khustai Nuruu National Park after thirty years of extinction in the wild. This desert/steppe environment is also home to maral deer, steppe gazelle, boar, wolf and lynx.

After a leisurely breakfast, visit Gandam monestary the most important monestary in Mongolia. In the afternoon head out to Khustai and settle into your first ger! After an early dinner, take an evening jeep safari into the park to see the Takhi prehistoric horses. You may also spot deer, ibex, marmots - and if you're lucky, a wolf.

Accommodation - Standard Ger, Khustai Ger Camp

Day 3

KHUSTAI - KHOGNO KHAAN The red rocky mountain of Khogno Khaan (1967m) rising from the steppe is part of a 46,500 hectare natural reserve. Nestled in the foothills is the small monastery complex of Uvgun Khiid - the current monastery down on the valley floor was reopened in 1992, 70 years after the purges which had destroyed the previous buildings. The area is a perfect place for walking and horse riding and good for spotting ibex, wolves and many varieties of hawk. The ruins of the older Uvgun monastery, destroyed by the western Oirat Mongols in the 17th century, are hidden in one of its numerous valleys in the southern slope. The buildings are located in a serene bowl shaped valley and a walk up the steep valley sides offers grand views across the plains.

Continue west to Khogno Khaan. Arrive after lunch at your destination and, once settled into the homely ger camp in the foothills of this mountain range, visit the small restored monastery complex of Uvgun Khiid. Enjoy a walk around the later monastery complex perhaps with one of the three generations of Buddhist women who have organized the rebuilding and running of the temples. These wonderful women are the descendents of one of the lamas who suffered here during the Stalinist purges of the 1930s.

Accommodation - Standard Ger, Monastery Ger Camp

Day 4 - 5

KHOGNO KHAAN - TSENKHER VALLEYS - REFUGIO HOMESTAY Nestled in the foothills of the Khangai mountains, the Tsenkher Valleys contain some of the lushest green forested countryside of mountains and rivers in Mongolia. The local people are yak and sheep herding families and it is here that you will begin your ride south accross the mountains to to Kharkhorin.

In the morning take a 45-minute hike up into the mountains to explore the magnificent ruins of the first Uvgun Monastery before driving west through Kharkhorin and on through fertile valleys to a remote countryside spot where we have our own rustic camp consisting of our own gers maintained by our nomadic family friends. The facilities at our refugio are homely but basic - the gers are equipped with beds and washbasin, but washing facilities will be limited to the river and/or a bowl of hot water in your ger. We do however have a loo tent available with a portaloo. Enjoy a walk in the surrounding hills - or visit the nearby hot springs at a local ger camp, where you can also have a shower. Return to the refugio before tucking into some homecooked food.

Accommodation - Standard Ger, Refugio

Day 6 - 12

TSENKHER - ORKHON FALLS - TOVKHON MONASTERY - KHARKHORIN Mongolian horses are not big, averaging around 13/14 hands, but they are quick, strong and surefooted. They are incredibly resilient, surviving the bitterly cold winters and perfect for the varied terrain you will cover on your expedition. It was upon these brave mounts that the Mongol warriors won the largest land empire in history in the 13th C. The horse is central to Mongolian culture, a symbol of prestige and national identity as well as a means of transport. At present there are 2.2 million horses for 2.7 million people in a sparsely populated wilderness of 1.5 million square km. Kharkhorin, formerly known as Karakorum, was the once the capital of the Chinggis Khaan's Mongol empire in the 13th century. The remains of the city, destroyed by the Manchurians, were used to help build Erdene Zuu (Hundred Treasures), the first Buddhist monastery, in the 16th century.

Today your guides bring your horses to the camp. Spend a short time selecting suitable mounts for each rider and making adjustments before riding south on well watered routes used by the Khalkh herdsmen. Over the next six days you will ride for approximately six hours a day - along the Tsetserleg river to near Burd village, over Oliyn pass to Bayan Zurkh mountain, to the Orkhon waterfall and to Tovkhon monastery before reaching Kharkhorin (once capital of the largest land empire in history). Along the way visit nomadic families and experience traditional Mongolian hospitality at their camps. Pack horses will carry tents and camping equipment - evenings will be spent enjoying good company and delicious rustic fare, with nights spent under canvas.

Accommodation - Camping (2 per tent); Standard Ger, Anar Ger camp (Thu)

Day 13

ERDENE ZUU MONASTERY - ULAANBAATAR Erdene Zuu is a striking and important historical site - 108 stupas are spaced evenly along the walls which enclose an area of 1,600 square metres and several temples which escaped the communist purges of the 1930's. In the morning visit Erdene Zuu Monastery in time to hear the young monks calling the other monks to prayer - or perhaps you will have done this the previous day, as you do have a long drive back to UB today.

If you get back in time you may want to stock up on some of the things that have caught your eye during your stay and other items that can be purchased at very reasonable prices. We'll be on hand to guide you around the State Department Store and Gobi Cashmere shops. In the evening enjoy a farewell dinner at one of our favourite restaurants.

Accommodation - Standard Ger, Standard Twin Room, Ulaanbaatar Hotel

Day 14

DEPART Transfer to the airport for your journey home.

  • International train tickets (if applicable/as specified above)
  • Domestic flights (if applicable/as specified in itinerary)
  • Accommodation (based on shared twin rooms/gers/tents – see single supplement prices below)
  • Meals as specified in right-hand column in itinerary (B=breakfast, L=lunch, D=dinner)
  • Activities as specified in itinerary
  • English speaking guide
  • Surface transportation
  • Park & museum entrance Fees
  • Airport transfers

Prices Exclude

  • International flights
  • Travel insurance
  • Passport
  • Visa & vaccination charges
  • Private excursions
  • Bar Bills · Laundry
  • Telephone calls & items of a personal nature.

Itinerary Overview

Day 1 Arr. Ulaanbaatar- Tumen Ekh Music Ensemble

Day 2 Khustai National Park

Day 3 Khogno Khaan

Day 4 - 5 Tsenkher Valleys; Nomadic Homestay

Day 6 - 11 Horse Trek

Day 12 Kharkhorin; Erdene Zuu Monastery

Day 13 Ulaanbaatar

Day 14 Depart

Maximum Group Size: 8 People

Suitable for people of competent fitness & hardiness. Includes 6 days horse-riding. Overland journey, no flights involved.

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