Central Mongolia combined Naadam festival tour /8 DAYS/

Short description

Experience the fascinating nomadic culture of Mongolia, enjoying the summer Naadam festival with horse racing, wrestling and archery competitions. Naadam, literally means “games” and takes place from 11th to 13th July every year. It’s believed to be celebrated since the early Middle Ages, being already held during Chinggis Khaan times, presumably with a different format than it’s now. Its origins probably come from the ancient military parades, wedding assemblies, hunting competitions and old sporting activities. Now, the dates have been fixed to celebrate the 1921 revolution, which marked the independence of Mongolia.
The biggest celebration is held in capital of Mongolia – Ulaanbaatar, in the National Sports Stadium and its surroundings, but most of the cities and towns across Mongolia have their own Naadam celebrations, evidently smaller. It’s a time when Mongols get dressed with their finest deel, their traditional colorful silken robe, the typical boots and the touch of a hat. Like all the valued festivities, it all begins with a ceremony. Dancers and musicians make the delights of the public while athletes and horse riders march across the National Sports Stadium in Ulaanbaatar, something like the Olimpic Games Opening Ceremony, but in the genuine to Mongol style. And after the ceremony, the competitions begin. 

Naadam was inscribed on the List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity of UNESCO in 2010.

Tour itinerary
  • Day 1/July 9/ - Ulaanbaatar capital city of Mongolia
    Pick you up our driver and guide from Chinggis Khan international airport. Drive to Your hotel. Visit local outdoor market /bazaar/, Gandan Monastery and Mongolia national museum. Evening Leisure day in Ulaanbaatar city. Over night at Hotel
  • Day 2/July 10/ - Khui Doloon Khudag
    We will pick you up from your accommodation and drive to Khui Doloon Khudag (20kms from Ulaanbaatar), to see the glorious horse races with young jockeys. The horse race takes place on the open steppes by age category (6 ages), from two-year-old horses to full-grown stallions. The racing distance depends on horse’s age. For example: two-year-old horses race 15 km, while the full-grown horses race 30 km in the open field. Surrounding areas of the horse race finishing point are full of people who have arrived from every corner of Mongolia with their fastest horses, put up colorful tents and the festival trade. In the afternoon we come back to town to see archery competitions in the Naadam festival stadium.
  • Day 3/July 11/ - Naadam Festival
    Today is the opening day of the Naadam Festival. After having breakfast we will drive to the central stadium of Ulaanbaatar to see the delightful opening ceremony of the Naadam Festival. The Festival starts with a transferring ceremony of the nine white banners from the government house to the Naadam stadium followed by a horse parade. Chingghis Khaan used to use the nine banners during festivals and in peaceful times. Next, magnificent opening ceremony takes place. Traditional wrestling, archery and horse race are main highlights of the festival. As well as, you will see anklebone shooting, traditional performances.
  • Day 4/July 12/ - Elsen Tasarkhai sand dunes
    Drive to beautiful Elsen Tasarkhai Sand Dunes. Elsen Tasarkhai is one of the most picturesque places of Mongolia and is part of the 80 km long Mongol Els Sand Dunes. This place is a wonderful combination of pretty sand dunes, majestic granite mountains, grassy green land, a clear fresh spring and a tiny lake. Indeed, here you can enjoy seeing the combination of Gobi and Khangai Natural Zones. Visit to the Elsen Tasarkhai Sand Dunes and Erdene Khamba Temple in picturesque Khugnu Khan Mountain. Enjoy riding a two-humped camel, walking and climbing on the sand dunes. Stay overnight in Ger camp.
  • Day 5/July 13/ - Karakorum city and Erdene Zuu monastery
    Today we will drive to Karakorum, the ancient capital of Mongolia. Karakorum (Kharkhorin) was the capital of Great Mongolian Empire of Chinggis Khaan in the 13-14th Centuries. Visit one of Mongolia’s largest monastery “Erdene Zuu”, Museum of Karakorum and surrounding sites of Karakorum: the Great Khaan’s monument, the legendary Turtle of Karakorum and the Phallic Rock statue. Erdenezuu Monastery has a complex of 108 stupas and over 10 temples that contain rich displays of Mongolian Buddhism. The Erdene Zuu Monastery and ruins of Karakorum were registered as UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 1996. Dinner will be Mongolian barbecue Khorkhog. Stay overnight in Ger camp.
  • Day 6/July 14/ - Khustai Nuruu national park
    Drive to Hustai National Park, where re-introduction of the wild takhi horses (Przhevalsky’s horses) has taken place since 1992. Takhi is last wild horse subspecies surviving in the 21st century. It was discovered in western Mongolia in the late 1870s by the Russian explorer N.M. Przhevalsky. Spend rest of the day hiking around in the surrounding mountains and evening visit to the wild horses while they come to drink in the evening. Stay overnight in Ger camp.
  • Day 7/July 15/ - Gorkhi-Terelj national park
    This morning we will drive to the beautiful Terelj National Park. Terelj National Park is a picturesque place with high granite cliffs eroded by natural forces creating a wonderful landscape of granite rocks as if carved by some giant sculptor. Visit to the Turtle Rock formation, the symbol of the national park and “Aryabal” meditation temple where you will enjoy the best view of the park. Visit to local nomad family, experience their daily lifestyle; enjoy some horse riding through the beautiful park area. Stay overnight in Ger camp.
  • Day 8/July 16/ - Ulaanbaatar city via Chinggis Khan statue complex
    Drive to the Chinggis Khaan Statue Complex. The 40 meter high stainless steel statue of Chinggis Khaan on the horseback is the largest of its kind in the world. View the surrounding area from the open balcony on Chinggis Khaan’s horse’s head. Continue driving back to Ulaanbaatar. Arrive in Ulaanbaatar, and you will be transferred to your accommodation. End of tour.
  • Day 9/July 17/ - Home sweet home
    Leave Ulaanbaatar. Our driver drop off to Chinggis Khan international airport. Thank you for visiting our country
Essentials
Tour route
  • Day 1 - Ulaanbaatar
    Distance: n/a
    Time: n/a
  • Day 2 - Ulaanbaatar > Khui Doloon Khudag
    Distance: 20km
    Time: 1 hours
  • Day 3 - Naadam Festival
    Distance: 460km
    Time: 6 hours
  • Day 4 - Ulaanbaatar > Elsen Tasarkhai
    Distance: 280km
    Time: 4 hours
  • Day 5 - Elsen Tasarkhai > Karakorum
    Distance: 80km
    Time: 1 hours
  • Day 6 - Karakorum > Khustai nuruu
    Distance: 260km
    Time: 4 hours
  • Day 7 - Khustai Nuruu > Gorkhi-Terelj
    Distance: 160km
    Time: 2 hours
  • Day 8 - Gorkhi-Terelj > Chinggis Khan statue
    Distance: 20km
    Time: 30 minute
  • Day 8 - Chinggis Khan statue > Ulaanbaatar
    Distance: 50km
    Time: 1 hour
  • Day 9 - Home sweet home
    Distance: n/a
    Time: n/a
Photos
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