Mongolia: The Nomad’s Journey
Travel to the heart of Mongolia to discover the pleasures of isolation and remoteness in an itinerary with just the right blend of action and leisure.
"Andrea did a wonderful job designing an itinerary to suit three generations of diverse interests, and was flexible and responsive to last minute changes and requests. He showed us many hidden treasures of this beautiful region that would have missed we're it not for him."
- Heather on her journey in Italy
A possible, beautiful itinerary for you
Ulaanbaatar: Gateway to the Steppes
Arrival in Ulaanbaatar. It is Mongolia’s largest city, nested in a river valley. The capital is quickly becoming a vibrant cultural hub, where you can find entertainment and gastronomy, and where westernised lifestyles are becoming increasingly common. However, it is awash in Mongolian tradition and this means a passion for nomadic life. After all, it is the freedom of the great open spaces that lured you to Mongolia! You waste no time and head out to the steppes, through the Khustai Nuruu National Park, where you get a glimpse of herds of Przwalski’s Horse, the last remaining wild horse.
You continue on your path to the steppes, where features are so vast, even getting your bearings is impossible. Infinite hills roll on every direction, snow-capped mountains shimmer in the distance when the all-encompassing sky bares its blue mantle. This is the heart of Mongolia, and you never thought there could be so much space on Earth. Your glimpse white dots in the distance and as you come closer you realise it's not giant sheep, but gers, the traditional Mongolian yurt. You are welcomed by a family of Mongolian herders, your hosts.
You freshen up in your ensuite room with its own bathroom. Following the call to dinner you enter the main ger, where every amenity you could have expected from a 5-star hotel is readily available, with exception to those that most often prevent you from truly enjoying your time away: phones, TV’s, radios, are nowhere to be found. Instead, there are books, delightful traditional stoves where delicately decorated tea services are steaming with hearty infusions. There is even a telescope to aim at the stars. After dinner, you make yourself at home for a truly relaxing everything. Away from everything, but close to yourself. It was about time!
A Herder’s Morning, a Fantasy Afternoon
As you wake up and meander about the camp, you become familiarised with the details that make nomadic life possible and enjoyable. You join your hosts for the morning activities. They welcome you and invite you to participate: herding, milking, feeding. Life at the steppes is hard but wholesome. After lunch, you hop onto your horse and head towards the hills. As the sky turns golden, you find yourself cantering across a sea of grass and light. It’s not a fantasy. You will revisit this moment in your dreams, because this moment is completely yours. Read more
The Camel Dunes
You travel to a camel caravan that will venture into the dunes. This is how Mongolians have been travelling for centuries, trading raw materials, connecting with trade routes and, in the days of the Khan, keeping their empire well stocked. All you need is packed on the camel train, including your camp. As the evening darkens, as if out of nowhere, a beautiful camp is set in no time. As you prepare to enjoy some rest after a tiring day, you appreciate just how lovely it is to sit by the fire, outside your tent, enjoying a sip of tea and a million stars above. This is the nomad way. This is how to make the wilderness your home.
Some Epic Hiking
The camels are packed and its time to go. As the train gets going you turn back to have a last look at the place where you had such a lovely night, and some of the best sleep in your life. To your surprise, everything has disappeared, the camp has faded, ephemeral, and somehow, because of it, more precious. After a long day of hiking you arrive at another camp, it is a bit more settled and has amenities not usually found out there in the wilderness.
In the City of the Khan
Kharkhorin served as the ancient capital of Mongolia, when the Great Khans ruled. Nearby is the magnificent Erdene Zuu Monastery, one of the few to survive the communist era. After your visit, you return to your camp for an afternoon of traditional archery, and a last magical evening beneath the bright Mongolian stars.
The drive back to Ulaanbaatar takes you across the vast steppes until you finally begin to notice more signs of a sedentary life. Permanent structures become more frequent until you find yourself back in Ulaanbaatar. Remoteness is not only measured by the distance from one place to another. It seems to you, you have also emerged from a different time altogether.