Cycling in Mongolia - Naadam Festival

Cycling in Mongolia - Naadam Festival

17 Days



Cycling in Mongolia - Naadam Festival

17 Days Starting and ending in Ulaan Bataar

Visiting: Ulaanbaatar, Erdenet, Bugat, luugiin lager, Uubulan, Chingeltei, Zaankhushuu, Tsetserleg, Khangai Mountains, Öndör Khairkhan Mountain, Kharkhorin, Erdene Zuu Monastery, Mongol Els, ሀመር።

Tour operator:


Tour code:


Guide Type:

Fully Guided

Group size:

4 - 14

Physical rating:

Moderate / Challenging

Age range:

16 to 99

Special diets catered:

Please inform Exodus of specific dietary requirements

Tour operated in:
Trip Styles:

Active, Special Events

$4624 (USD) BLACK FRIDAY SALE @ Tourhub: $155
See local operators tour description
- Sign In

This tour is no longer available, please see similar tours below or send an enquiry

Tour Overview

Mongolia remains a mysterious presence in the heart of Central Asia, a traditional country where visitors are still an unusual sight. Nomads wander the grasslands, setting up their white gers (tents) where the pasture is lush for their horses. On our bikes, we follow good trails across wide, open steppe, into expansive mountain scenery and through larch and pine forests. Camping wild under the wide skies adds an adventurous edge to what is certainly one of our most intrepid cycle tours. Adding to the experience this special departure spends two days taking in traditional wrestling, archery, horse-riding, bone flicking and Mongolians dressed in their best clothes at the Naadam Festival in Ulaan Baatar.


  • Variety of landscapes as we cycle through open steppe and larch and pine forests

  • A visit to Erden Zuu Monastery and Genghis Khan's ancient capital

  • Attend Naadam Festival and witness traditional games 

  • Wild camping and overnight at hot springs

  • Variety of landscapes as we cycle through open steppe and larch and pine forestsA visit to Erden Zuu Monastery and Genghis Khan's ancient capitalWild camping and overnight at hot springsAttend Naadam Festival and witness traditional games 

  • — Variety of landscapes as we cycle through open steppe and larch and pine forests — A visit to Erden Zuu Monastery and Genghis Khan's ancient capital — Wild camping and overnight at hot springs — Attend Naadam Festival and witness traditional games


Expand All
Day 1 : Start Ulaan Baatar.


Arrive in Ulaanbaatar, transfer to the group hotel. Those not on the group flights will meet the group at the hotel. Bayangol Hotel or similar, Comfortable Hotel

Day 2 : Morning Sightseeing Followed By A Free Afternoon; Overnight Train To Erdenet.


Meals Included:


This morning we start the day after breakfast with the trip briefing and then strike out on an introductory tour of Ulaanbaatar, including Sukhbaatar Square, the National Museum and Gandan Monastery. In the afternoon you will have some free time in the city before boarding the overnight train to Erdenet in the early evening. Erdenet being Mongolia's third largest city and home to one of the largest copper mines in the world. Overnight in comfortable sleeping compartments on the train.Sleeper Train

Day 3 : Ride To Tal Tolgoi Well Via The Small Township Of Bugat; Camp.


Meals Included:


Our train arrives early in the morning and our support vehicles and crew meet us and we leave town. After breakfast, we set up the bikes and head out towards the wilderness. The small township of Bugat makes a convenient lunch stop. After lunch, our route takes us over Chuluutiin Davaa, a long pass on which care must be taken as the surface is loose in parts. With a steep descent, we arrive at a long plain leading to tonight's camp near Tal Tolgoi Well. Cycle approx. 50km.Wild Camping

Day 4 : Cross Tuluugiin Pass; Camp.

luugiin lager

Meals Included:


After our first night near local herding families, we cycle through undulating country before descending to a bridge over the Altaan (Golden) River. Rock formations in the area hint towards a volcanic past. The riverbanks make an idyllic spot for a picnic lunch. It is a long steady climb to Tuluugiin Pass where the scenery changes dramatically as the forests give way to open steppe, at least for a while. Today is our longest cycling day on the trip. Cycle approx 70km.Wild Camping

Day 5 : Arhangai Steppe Ride Through Undulating Country To Open Green Valley Below Mt. Khairkhan (1862M); Camp.


Meals Included:


Today we pass through rolling hills, past small lakes and herds of horses. Steppe eagles can be seen in this area. We stop for lunch with views across the steppe. After lunch we continue on tracks around the southern side of Mt Khairkhan (1862m) and make camp in an open green valley beneath Kholbooriin pass (1649m). Cycle approx. 60km.Wild Camping

Day 6 : Short Climb To Cross Kholboogin Pass (1649M) Before Descending To Khairkhan Lake Camp.


Meals Included:


The day begins with a bit of exertion as we make the short climb in the morning up to the pass, giving us far-reaching views across the countryside. Down the other side we wind along gentle river valleys before emerging at the township of Khairkhan. After lunch on the outskirts of town we pass a series of small lakes before choosing a camp for the night. Cycle approx. 50km.Wild Camping

Day 7 : Cycle Up Khunjiin River Valley To Camp Beneath Mt. Chingeltei.


Meals Included:


Today we follow the Khunjiin River as it rises gently towards its headwaters. River valleys like this provide fertile pasture for grazing livestock and are popular campsites with local herders. Wetlands near the river attract birdlife, including demoiselle crane. Overnight in the upper reaches of the river valley, beneath Mt Chingeltei. Cycle approx. 60kmWild Camping

Day 8 : Short Climb Past The Headwaters Of The Khunjiin; Descend Into Tamir River Valley; Camp Near Great Rock Of Ikh Tamir.


Meals Included:


After a short climb to the headwaters of Khunjiin River at Uran Khutul pass, it is downhill to the Tamir River where we have lunch on the banks. Near the river we will pass burial grounds dating back to 8th Century AD. We camp tonight on the banks of the Tamir, not far from Ikh Tamir, or 'Great Rock'. Locals say that if you can throw a rock over the rock, it will bring you good luck for the rest of the journey. Cycle approx. 60km.Wild Camping

Day 9 : Half-Day Ride To Tsetserleg; Capital Of Arhangai, Afternoon Free.


Meals Included:


Today is a half-day and we make a good start to make the most of the afternoon for a chance to rest. Gurviin Dava Pass is a long but steady ascent through forest for the most part, with a short steep climb at the end. Arriving at the provincial capital of Tsetserleg makes the effort well worthwhile. Tsetserleg means 'garden' and this township has one of the most attractive settings of any in Mongolia, nestled in a cul-de-sac of mountains. We pitch camp by the Tsetserleg River. The afternoon is free to relax, enjoy a hot shower and experience staying in a traditional Mongolian ger. Cycle approx. 45km.
Ger Camp

Day 10 : Morning Ride In Foothills Of The Khangai Mountains.

Khangai Mountains

Meals Included:


We are now close to the Khangai Mountains and a short ride takes us to the foothills. The rolling country of Arhangai has been replaced by forested hills of larch and pine with dramatic alpine peaks in the distance. There are three short passes today, with lunch on the third before descending to tonight's camp. Ride approx. 40km.Wild Camping

Day 11 : Cycle Across Undulating Steppe To Mt. Ondor Khairkhan (2312M).

Öndör Khairkhan Mountain

Meals Included:


Our route now takes us into the heart of the Khangai Mountains, following well-marked 4WD trails. Herders still inhabit the valleys, yet yaks have replaced cows as the milk-producing animals. We follow picturesque valleys and camp beneath Mt Ondor Khairkhan (2312m). A relatively long day that can be challenging if conditions are windy. Cycle approx. 60km.Wild Camping

Day 12 : Ride The Khangai Mountain Range On Good Jeep Tracks; Descend To Orkhon River Valley.


Meals Included:

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Today we cross the Khangai Mountain range on good jeep tracks and drop down to the Orkhon River on the longest, smoothest descent of the journey. This Orkhon River flows to the ancient capital, Karakorum, then on to Lake Baikal in Russia and further northwards to the Artic Ocean. After lunch we continue downstream to our overnight camp on the river banks. Overnight camp by the Orkhon River. Cycle approx 60km.Wild Camping

Day 13 : Ride To Karakorum And Erdene Zuu Monastery; Overnight In Traditional Ger Camp.

Kharkhorin, Erdene Zuu Monastery

Meals Included:


We ride out from camp following undulating terrain, crossing and recrossing the Orkhon River as we make a beeline for the fertile plain chosen by Genghis Khan as the location for the capital city of his empire. 'Karakorum' is derived from a Turkic language and means black rock, and shares this name with mountains in Pakistan. Arriving in the ancient capital in the early afternoon, we check into the Karakorum ger camp for hot showers and a well-earned rest. This afternoon we head out to explore Erdene Zuu Monastery, the largest and most famous monastery in Mongolia. Built in 1586 under the direction of Abtai Khan on the ruins of the ancient capital, much of the monastery was destroyed during Stalinist purges of the 1930's, but an impressive wall with 108 stupas and a number of temples still remain. We spend the night in traditional Mongolian gers.Cycle approx. 35km.Ger Camp

Day 14 : Drive To Ulaan Baatar, Visit Sand Dunes At Mongol Els; Enjoy A Traditional Mongolian Show.

Mongol Els, Ulaanbaatar

Meals Included:


We make a good start this morning for the 400km drive back to Ulaanbaatar. Travelling at an easy pace, we stop at the Mongol Els to view the sand dunes. Picnic lunch along the way. Check into our hotel on arrival in Ulaanbaatar - hot showers and cold beers! This afternoon we enjoy a performance of traditional Mongolian song and dance by the world famous Tumen Ekh troupe.Bayangol Hotel or Similar, Comfortable Hotel

Day 15 - 16 : Naadam Festival


Meals Included:


The Naadam Festival celebrates the ‘three games of men’ (or Erin Gurvan Naadam) which are wrestling, horse racing and archery. More recently a fourth game, knuckle-bone flicking was added to the competitions. The festival is celebrated throughout the country but the biggest festival is in Ulaan Baatar. Over the next two days, we attend the Naadam Festival horse racing, Deeltei Mongol Naadam (Mongolia National Costume Festival) and the Grand Opening Ceremony before we watch Mongolians compete in all four sports. We also get to mingle with hordes of Mongolian spectators as the grounds around the stadium (where wrestling, archery and bone-flicking takes place) and the horse races are filled with stands selling food, games, flags and various other things. The atmosphere is a big part of the experience and many Mongolians dress in their best traditional clothes for the occasion. In 2010 the festival was entered into the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage list and is great celebration of the Central Asian nation’s culture.Bayangol Hotel or similar, Comfortable Hotel

Day 17 : End Ulaan Baatar.


Meals Included:


Those on the group flights will be taken to the airport early for their flight back. For other travellers the trip ends after breakfast.

What's Included

  • Local bike hire

  • All accommodation (see below)

  • All breakfasts, 13 lunches and 15 dinners included

  • Tour leader throughout

  • All transport and listed activities

  • Flights from London (if booking incl. flights)

  • Arrival & departure transfers

  • Meals

    14 breakfasts, 13 lunches, 14 dinners.

  • All breakfasts, 13 lunches and 15 dinners includedAll accommodation (see below)All transport and listed activitiesTour leader throughoutFlights from London (if booking incl. flights)Arrival & departure transfersLocal bike hire

  • — All breakfasts, 13 lunches and 15 dinners included — All accommodation (see below) — All transport and listed activities — Tour leader throughout — Flights from London (if booking incl. flights) — Arrival & departure transfers — Local bike h

What's Not Included

  • Airport transfers for land only passengers

  • Visas or vaccinations

  • Single accommodation (from £155)

  • Travel insurance

  • Internal flights for land only passengers

  • Travel insuranceSingle accommodation (from £155)Visas or vaccinationsInternal flights for land only passengersAirport transfers for land only passengers

  • — Travel insurance — Single accommodation (from £155) — Visas or vaccinations — Internal flights for land only passengers — Airport transfers for land only passengers


Most of the trip is spent wild participatory camping and you will be asked to put up and take down your own tents. A toilet tent is put up at lunch and in the evening and a shower tent is put up when not camping near a stream (you should bring bio-soap for washing in streams and wet wipes). Ger camps are comfortable yurt-type felt tents with beds inside and shared bathrooms. The hotel in Ulaanbaatar is comfortable with private bathrooms. The sleeper trains have four berths per compartment.

There may be occasions when we replace a night camping with a ger stay should local circumstances, such as the weather, dictate it.

Single supplement

If you prefer to have your own room, please request a single supplement at the time of booking. Availability is limited and these cannot be guaranteed; however, when available a single supplement covers all nights of the tour with the exception of the sleeper train, which is shared with four berths per cabin.


All meals are included.

In the countryside our support vehicles will carry the kitchen, food supplies and kitchen staff including a professional chef. Meals are western style with a strong Asian influence. Breakfasts are typically cereals, toast and a hot dish. Lunches on the road are sandwiches, cheese, meats and salad. Dinners are a variety of vegetables, meat, rice, potatoes and pasta dishes. Filtered or purified drinking water is supplied on all cycling days, as are tea, coffee and fruit drinks. Dining in Ulaan Baatar is excellent and includes Mongolian, Indian, French, Chinese and Mexican restaurants. If you follow a vegan diet you should expect that variety of food may be limited whilst on this trip. As this kind of diet is relatively uncommon in this region we cannot guarantee that the hotels and restaurants will provide meals that have the necessary variety to be considered satisfying when on a more restricted diet.


Check out our Q&As

  • Can you assist with pre or post tour accommodation?

    We are happy to assist with pre and post tour accommodation. Please enquire for detailed information.

  • Are flights included in this tour?

    International flights are not included with this tour.

  • Are the local guides on the tour English speaking?

    Yes, our local guides are English speaking.

  • Are children permitted to take part in the tour?

    The minimum age for this tour is 16 years old.

  • Who is Exodus Travels?

    At Exodus Travels, we've been exploring the world for nearly 50 years. From Walking and Trekking, Cultural and Cycling, Responsible Wildlife, to Polar and our new Premium Adventures, we are proud to offer award-winning small group and self-guided tours to 100+ countries worldwide.

  • Is there a supplement for solo travellers?

    If you would like to be paired with a tour member of the same gender, there is no additional charge. A single supplement can be requested if you would like your own room.

  • What happens if I need to change my holiday date once I’ve booked?

    If you wish to make any changes to your booking, particularly if you need to alter any flights booked through us, please let us know as soon as possible. There is a booking or flight amendment fee of £40 per change and flight amendments often incur extra airline costs depending on the changes to be made and if the ticket has been issued or not.

  • How long has the tour company been trading?

    Exodus has been trading since 1974

  • What documents will I receive before I travel?

    Your final joining instructions and flight details, if booked with us, will then be sent out 2 to 3 weeks before departure. If you would like a hard copy posted, or if you require these any earlier, please contact the customer operations team. We advise that if you are booking connecting travel before receiving these, please ensure you leave plenty of time.

  • Do you operate a “single share” option and how does it work?

    Travellers are welcome to opt to share a room with a tour member of the same gender for no additional charge. If you'd like your own room, we can request a single supplement so that you will have your own room throughout.

  • Can I join the tour once it has departed?

    You are welcome to meet the group after the tour has departed however there is no reduction in rate for joining a tour after the departure date.

Reviews From Travellers On This Tour

Perfect Adventure

I can not recommend this adventure enough: Mongolia is a special country and Exodus provided the ideal adventure to highlight all aspects of Mongolia and Mongolian life. We aren’t really mountain bikers but the biking was superb - not particularly easy - but truly enjoyable in terms of terrain, scenery and fun riding. We aren’t really campers - but have to admit it was kinda enjoyable in the end 😎. Food on the trip was exceptional - we were v well fed: breakfast, elevenses, lunch, afternoon snack, substantial dinner. Ghana and her assistant certainly kept us well fed. We even had a shower and a proper sit down toilet on camp 😎. The whole Mongolian support team were superb and NK - our guide - was a special guy. Knowledgable, funny, kind and considerate - he really made our adventure special.

Dates & Availability

Nadaam Festival Departure

Thursday - Saturday

Jun 27, 2024 - Jul 13, 2024
$4779 $4624 (USD)

BLACK FRIDAY SALE @ Tourhub: $155 (USD)

Book with Confidence

  • Transfer as credit to Future Tours

    Exodus allows you to transfer existing payments to a future tour to avoid cancellation fees if you can't travel and inform exodus, 43 days before departure.

  • Low Deposit

    Exodus requires a minimum deposit of 25% or the full booking value, whichever is less, with the final balance not due until 90 days before departure.

  • Cancellation Policy

    We don't charge a cancellation fee, here is a summary of exodus charges.

    Up to 42 days before tour starts: Forfeit 100% of deposit.

    At 20 days before tour starts: Forfeit 100% of booking price.

Why book with tourhub?

Safe & Secure

Your money is protected in an external trust until you travel.

pts logo

100% Guaranteed Refunds if your trip is cancelled.

The safest way to make overseas, multi-currency payments.

Guaranteed Best Value

Industry leading discounts, we won't be beaten on price.

No cancellation or amendment fees from tourhub.

(Operator terms may apply)

Expert Knowledge

Reliable & unbiased advice from travel experts.

Direct contact with the tour operator via our messaging service.

Inspiration & advice from a community of 6000+ real travellers, influencers & content creators.

Trusted Service

Official partners & licensed agents of 1000+ tour operators worldwide.

Don't just take our word for it...

"Tourhub: Friendliness, Professionalism & Integrity I would happily give tourhub a 6* review if I could..."

Similar Tours

Travel Guru Features

Our Reviews