Trans Mongolian with Naadam Festival


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    Walk along the Great Wall, celebrate Mongolia’s greatest and most colourful festival, traverse the mighty Siberian landscape and explore Russia’s most exciting cities on this grand adventure.

    Itinerary

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Our journey begins in St. Petersburg, the ‘Venice of the North’. This classic city is not to be missed with grand 18th century buildings, even grander palaces, and the greatest art collection of all, at the Hermitage.

    Day 3: St. Petersburg and on to Moscow
    After this morning’s City Tour we wander the gilded halls of the Hermitage Museum hung with the works of Da Vinci, Rembrandt and many other great masters before travelling onto Moscow aboard our first overnight train. (Meals: Breakfast)

    Days 4-5: Hello Moscow!
    Moscow’s eclectic collection of palaces and massive Soviet-style tower blocks that dot the city provide a fascinating set for our exploration of this impressive city. We take in the highlights around Red Square, including the colourful twirled cupolas of the iconic St. Basils Cathedral and further afield to the city’s heart and soul – The Kremlin. Showcasing monumental walls and towers, golden-domed cathedrals and magnificent treasures housed in its Armoury Chamber. (Meals: Day 4 – Breakfast)

    Day 6: Moscow and depart to Yekaterinburg
    After a final day soaking in the sights and lively culture of Moscow this evening we join the Trans Siberian Railway to wake up in the historical city of Yekaterinburg (Meals: Day 5 – Breakfast)

    Days 7-8: Yekaterinburg
    Situated near the Ural Mountains, Yekaterinburg is a vibrant modern city rich in minerals and history. Visit the enormous Byzantine-style church built on the site of the Romanovs’ execution, stand on the boundary line of Europe and Asia, take in the urban panorama from the Vysotskiy Viewing Platform and stroll around an impressive collection of museums and historic monuments. (Meals: Day 8 – Breakfast)

    Days 9-10: Yekaterinburg and on to Irkutsk
    After a final morning soaking in the sights and culture of Yekaterinburg we join the Trans Siberian Railway for the two-night journey in to Siberia.  Leaving Yekaterinburg you begin the journey venturing deep into Siberia, booming over the steel bridges spanning Siberia’s nerve system of five thousand rivers, across the breathtaking landscapes of the Altai Mountains and onto Irkutsk. The train is the best place to mingle with locals and fellow travellers with the dining carriage being the social hub whilst on board – a great opportunity to practice your Russian!

    Days 11-13: Irkutsk and Lake Baikal
    We hop off the train in Irkutsk. Almost in the geographical centre of Asia, Irkutsk made its fame as a stopping place on the caravan route from China.  The next day we will drive to the picturesque village of Listvyanka on the shores of the world’s deepest freshwater lake, Baikal where we will spend the day.  Now we have time to explore Irkutsk. The city today still boasts 18th century churches and is renowned for its brightly painted shutters and log houses decorated with wooden lace work. The sightseeing tour will reveal the city’s major landmarks and historic sites before we spend our final night in Siberia. (Meals: Day 10 – Breakfast & Lunch, Day 11 – Breakfast)

    Day 14: To Ulaanbaatar
    Settle into life on board with your fellow travelling companions. As the train leaves Irkutsk you will skirt the shores of the magnificent Lake Baikal, before entering the mountains that border Mongolia towards our next stop – Ulaanbaatar. (Meals: Breakfast)

    Days 15-17: Ulaanbaatar and Naadam Festival
    We arrive into the capital where the atmosphere is electric as the commencement of Naadam Festival is imminent. We join in the excitement and mix with the crowds at the opening ceremony of the Naadam Festival, a unique spectacle showcasing traditional Mongolian sports and culture and a point of national pride.

    The first rounds of wrestling and archery begin, with horseracing the focus on the second day, out of town on the steppe. These races are the domain of the younger children, who compete for the title ‘Tumnii Ekh’ (‘Leader of Ten Thousand’). Join the crowds, who are often as entertaining as the competitors themselves, in cheering the winners and serenading the losers in song.

    We will take in the incredible panoramic views of the city at Zaisan Memorial before mingling with monks at Gandan Khiid Monastery and taking in the highlights of Ulaanbaatar on our City Tour.(Meals: Day 13 – Breakfast, Day 14 – Breakfast, Day 15 – Breakfast)

    Days 18-19: Khustai National Park
    Today we travel out across the grasslands, through the countryside that was once the home to Genghis Khan and his Golden Horde, to the pristine Khustai National Park. Here we spend the night in a traditional Mongolian nomad ger (felt tent), amongst wild rolling hills. Living among nomadic families and their grazing livestock we can explore nearby valleys or just relax and enjoy the area. (Meals: Day 18 – Breakfast; Day 19 – Breakfast & Lunch)

    Day 20: Return to Ulaanbaatar
    Today we visit one of the last remaining herds of wild horses in Khustai National park before making our way back for one more night in Ulaanbaatar.  (Meals: Day 20: Breakfast)

    Days 21-24: Beijing
    This morning we board our flight to Beijing. Around midday your journey will bring you to China’s bustling ‘Imperial City’, where there are copious amounts of sights to see and thing to do. 

    Immerse yourself in the bustling metropolis of Beijing, exploring the remarkable Temple of Heaven, wandering through Tiananmen Square and stepping back in time amongst ancient Hutongs. Take an excursion out into the countryside to walk the Great Wall of China that stretches 10,000 li (around 5000 km) across the distant hills. On Day 24 it is time to farewell your new friends as your Trans Mongolian journey comes to an end. (Meals: Day 22 – Breakfast, Day 23 – Breakfast, Day 24 – Breakfast)

    SD-TMNS

    Images courtesy of Sundowners