The Naadam Festival

The Naadam Festival

11 days

Time to go:
July 4th-14th

Starting at $3200 per person

Full Itinerary Download

Tour Summary

Naadam is Mongolia’s biggest festival, celebrated throughout the entire country every July. This festival spans over several days and shows off Mongolia’s most popular sports: wrestling, archery, and horse riding. The festival, dating back to the times of Chinggis Khaan (Genghis Khan) is now a way for Mongolians to celebrate their prowess, their independence, and the warmth of the summer.

This tour is unique as it will not take you to the crowded, uncomfortable festival of the big city where you must sit far away in stands. On this tour, you will see Naadam up close and intimately in a small town. We will be able to talk with the jockeys and horse breeders, watch the wrestlers up close, mingle with the locals, and enjoy this festival as it is meant to be, without the commercialization.  We will also spend time with a local Mongolian family learning their way of life, as well as glamping (with your own cook) at some gorgeous rivers.

*Visiting a Naadam festival can be incorporated into our other tours that happen in July*

Tour Highlights

Experience the Naadam festival in a small, intimate town

Stay with a nomadic family and learn their way of life

Personal cook for you and your companions

Learn to cook khorkhog, Mongolia’s favorite cuisine

Experience the lush beauty of Mongolia’s northern rivers

Private 4x4 vehicle with a driver and guide.

Experience the Mongolian Gers (yurts) in comfortable lodges

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Itinerary

Day 1 Arrival in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia

Welcome to Mongolia! When you arrive at the airport, your guide and driver will be there waiting for you to transfer you to your hotel where you can freshen up. If you are not too tired, you can then visit the Mongolia Museum of Natural History, The Gandan Buddhist Monastery, and in the evening, you can enjoy a traditional Mongolian folk concert with dance and throat singing followed by a welcome dinner.

Accommodation: Hotel

Travel: None

Meals Included: Lunch, Dinner

Day 2 Flight to Murun, Khuvsgul

After breakfast, your driver will take you to the airport and fly north to the province of Khuvsgul. You will head straight to a nomadic family and you will spend the night in a spacious Bell Tent with raised cots and air mattresses. You will meet with the nomadic family and can go for a short hike and have your first introduction with your hosts.

Accommodation: Bell Tent

Travel: 1.15 hour flight; 600km (372 miles) : Drive to Nomadic family 80KM (50 miles): 1.5 hours

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3 Nomadic Family Day

Today is dedicated to experiencing the nomadic lifestyle. You will have many options to choose from, including: Helping out with daily chores (chopping wood, fetching water), herding in the animals, and trying your hand while learning how to make local dishes.

Accommodation: Bell Tent

Travel: None

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4 Naadam Festival Day

In the morning you will say goodbye to your new family and head towards a small village Naadam festival. Experiencing this festival in a small village allows you to have a more intimate and immersive experience. Today you will enjoy all the festivities: watching horse races with young jockeys, massive Mongolian wrestlers, and Mongolian archery. At night we will stay in a nearby ger camp.

Accommodation: Ger Camp

Travel: Drive 90 KM (56 miles); 2 hours

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Days 5-6 The Five Rivers Confluence

In the morning, we will head towards the five rivers confluence (Olon golin belcher in Mongolian). A wonderful ger camp lies in this beautiful area which has much less tourists than other nearby camps. These two days are designated for relaxing and exploring the area. We can horse ride through a valley along the river, along with fishing and boating on one of the bigger rivers in the evening. At night, we will make a bonfire under the stars.

Accommodation: Ger Camp

Travel: Drive 150 KM (93 miles); 5 hours

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7 Eating Khorkhog with a nomadic family

Today we will have another full day with a nomadic family and you are in for a treat! We will learn about making vodka from yogurt and make Khorkhog, a special pressure cooked mutton. A delicacy and summer food for Mongolians.

Accommodation: Bell Tent

Travel: Drive 50 KM (31 Miles); 1.5 hours

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8 Drive to Uran Togoo Extinct Volcano

In the late morning, we will head to Uran Togoo Volcano. We will take a leisurely drive on a tarmac road across northern Mongolia. Enjoy Mongolia’s ever changing scenery from your vehicle and take plenty of rest stops. We will arrive at the green dead volcano and climb to the top. We will spend the night in Ger camp.

Accommodation: Ger Camp

Travel: Drive 280 KM (174 Miles); 5 hours

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 9 Arrive in Erdenet and Take the Train

In the morning, we will head to the mining city of Erdenet. We will arrive around lunchtime and visit a local carpet and tapestry factory. At night you will get your own cabin and take the night train from Erdenet, back to Ulaanbaatar.

Accommodation: Overnight in the train

Travel: Drive 130 KM (81 miles); 3 hours;Overnight Train 450 KM (280 Miles); 12 hours

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 10 Ulaanbaatar Day

Today you will have time to see more of the sites and museums around the city that you may have missed! Undoubtedly, you will want to do some shopping for Mongolian souvenirs and some of the famous and inexpensive Mongolian cashmere. Let us take you to some of our favorite spots and even a cashmere factory if you would like!

Accommodation: Hotel

Travel: None

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 11 Departure Day

Today, our driver will pick you up from your hotel and take you to the airport several hours before your flight, then you are on your way back home.

Accommodation: None

Travel: None

Meals Included: Breakfast

Pricing

2 Travelers: $5,200 per person

3-4 Travelers: $3,800 per person

5-8 Travelers: $3,200 per person

Our tours are all-inclusive. From the moment you land till the moment you take off.

All pricing is based on twin share rooms. Please be aware that changes in the trip can lower or raise the cost per person. If your group has more than 8 people, please contact us and we will send you updated pricing for your specific needs.

Included

All accommodations based on twin share

Private cook

All transportation and domestic flights

All meals on the expedition

All local staff and field guides

Entertainments as shown in the itinerary

National Park and Protected Area fees

Not Included

International flights

Overweight baggage fees

Gratuities

Travel Insurance