Day 1, Saturday, August 13th: flying to Mongolia
International flight from Italy to reach the Mongolian capital Ulaanbaatar.
Departure from Italy and arrival in Ulaanbaatar at 7 am of the following day. Night flight.
Day 2, Sunday 14th: Ulaanbaatar
Arrival in Ulaanbaatar, welcome by the local guide and by an Italian co-ordinator at the airport. On this day you will have time to familiarize yourself with the environment, to relax, visit to the the city and the National Museum of History. In the evening, dinner in a restaurant in the city and overnight at the hotel.
Day 3, Monday 15th: Ulaanbaatar – Khogno Khan
about 250 km (220 paved road)
Breakfast at the hotel and departure of off-road motorcycles and service vans, heading south following the new paved road. The Mongolian Steppe reveals itself to our eyes: starting from today, we will get views and contacts with the nomadic people and their lifestyle. We will spend the overnight in a spectacular gher camp, just at the bottom of the Khogno Khan mountains.
Day 4, Tuesday 16th: Khogno Khan - Kharkhorin
about 130 km (120 on paved road)
Breakfast at the ger camp and visit at the sand dunes fo Mongol Els. In the afternoon visit to the old Mongolian capital and to the Erdene Zuu Khiid, the first Buddhist monastery built in Mongolia 420 years ago. The monastery is surrounded by 108 magnificent stupas, which once counted almost 100 temples, 300 gers and almost 1,000 monks. Dinner and overnight in a tourist camp.
Day 5, Wednesday 17th: Kharkhorin - Orkhon Valley
Day 6, Thursday 18th: Orkhon Valley – Arvaikheer
about 130 km (30 on paved road)
Breakfast at the hotel and then we will head to the Orkhon River Valley, an area of fascinating beauty and of great importance, which is part of the UNESCO world heritage. We will spend the entire day travelling across the Orkhon Valley; along the route, we will stop at Uyanga for a break, to admire the unbelievable deeds of the gold diggers. Dinner and overnight in a ger camp.
Day 8, Saturday 20th: Ongii Khiid – Bayanzag
about 190 km
Following one of the most adventurous itineraries, we will came through an area rich in saxaul shrubs, looking for abandoned archaeological excavations, up to the places where Roy Chapman spent his life looking for dinosaur fossils, the world famous “Flaming Cliffs”. Dinner and overnight in a ger camp.
Day 9, Sunday 21st: Bayanzag - Khongoryn Els
about 140 km
Breakfast at the ger camp and … are you ready? On this day we will enter the very heart of the Gobi Desert! We will move on crossing a canyon and a river bed, until we will reach the sand dunes. There will be the possibility to climb the dunes before sunset. Dinner and overnight in a ger camp.
Day 11, Tuesday 23rd: Yolyn Am - Dalanzadgad
about 100 km (50 on paved road)
Breakfast at the ger camp. Today, on a 3-hour trip, we will visit the Valley of Yolyn Am (“vulture’s mouth”, in Mongolian), a valley among the rocky mountains of the Gobi Desert, which is usually covered with ice during the whole year. Then moving forwar the city of Dalanzadgad, dinner in a restaurant in the town and overnight in an hotel.
Day 12, Wednesday 24th: Dalanzadgad - Tsagaan Suvarga
about 180 km (150 on paved road)
Breakfast at the hotel. The trip continues north: the gers are numerous in the endless Steppe, while herds of horses and camels are to be seen on the horizon, we keep riding till we reach the colourful sandstones of Tsagaan Suvarga.
Dinner and overnight at the ger camp.
Day 13, Thursday 25th: Tsagaan Suvarga - Baga Gadzriin Chuluu
about 230 km (170 on paved road)
The last day in the Mongolian Steppe; we will reach the plain of Baga Gadzriin Chuluu, surrounded by rocks, modelled during the centuries, and by the ruins of old monasteries. It is said that Genghis Khan watered his horses here before spurring them into a furious battle. Dinner and overnight in a ger camp.
Day 14, Friday 26th: Baga Gadzriin Chuluu - Ulaanbaatar
Day 16, Sunday 28th: Ulaanbaatar - Italy
Breakfast at the hotel and goodbyes to the Mongolian and Italian guide.
Departure from the capital with the flight scheduled at 7.20 am. Arrival in Italy early in the afternoon on the same day.
The program might vary both as far as the itinerary and the accommodation are concerned. Such amendments might be determined by the temporary unavailability of the hosting community or due to social, environmental and climatic conditions arising at the moment of the trip.
A minimum adaptability is required as far as accommodation is concerned: this might be sometimes basic, but still decent. Moreover, Mongolian tracks are often very damaged by “tôle ondulée” and mud in case of rain. Riding might be rather challenging. Therefore, the journey is suitable for riders with a minimum experience of off-road driving.
The itinerary is planned to be gradual: some of the legs are rather long at the beginning, but always on easy tracks, so to let you better enjoy the shorter legs which will follow. After the first 2 days, the stages will be of a normal pace (that is of about 210 km daily average), a thoroughly appropriate mileage for this type of route. Shorter legs have been planned in correspondence of places of interest, in order to give you the time to better appreciate the places and sites we will visit!