TRANS-MONGOLIAN ADVENTURE

ULAANBAATAR & KARAKORUM ● IRKUTSK & LAKE BAIKAL ● KRASNOYARSK ● EKATERINBURG ● MOSCOW

TOUR OVERVIEW

DURATION, PRICE, TOUR TYPE & DEPARTURES

20 nights from UK £ 3,670 / US $ 4,960 per person*

*Price based on 2 people travelling in a shared 4 berth second class cabin. Upgrade to your own cabin from UK £ 555 / US$ 750 per person. These prices are based on 2021 rates and are here to give guidance. Final quotes vary by date, exchange rates and are subject to availability.

PRIVATE TOUR - NOT A GROUP TOUR - CAN BE TAILORED 

SEASON - may to september WITH WEEKLY DEPARTURES

TOUR CODE : TS-UB-BT-02

DOWNLOAD THE TRIP DOSSIER

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TSUBBT02 dossier

MAP & DESTINATIONS

THE STOPS VISITED ON THIS TOUR

🇲🇳 ULAANBAATAR & KARAKORUM - 7 nights

Remote capital of Mongolia and the start of your adventure to Karakorum.

🇷🇺 IRKUTSK & BAIKAL - 2 nights

Forward looking Siberian city and gateway to Lake Baikal.

🇷🇺 KRASNOYARSK - 2 nights

Busy Siberian city located on the banks of the mighty Yenisey River.

🇷🇺 EKATERINBURG - 3 nights

City in the beautiful Ural Mountains where the Romanovs met their fate.

🇷🇺 MOSCOW - 2 nights

Russia’s vast and iconic capital and the start of this railway adventure.

ON THE TRAINS - total 4 nights

We use the most comfortable and reliable trains possible for each leg.

TSUBBT02 map

OUR EXCLUSIVE TRIP GUIDEBOOK

This trip includes our exclusive 200+ page guidebook personalised to your trip with sections about the trains, destinations, timetables and emergency contacts and allowing you to be fully prepared for your trip of a lifetime - an invaluable resource!
trip-guidebook

DAY BY DAY ITINERARY

DAILY DESCRIPTIONS OF ACTIVITIES, MEALS & OVERNIGHT ACCOMMODATION

DAY 1 - MONGOLIA

ARRIVE IN MONGOLIA’S CAPITAL TO START YOUR ADVENTURE

Arrival in Ulaanbaatar, the capital of Mongolia and a truly unique destination that is for many a real highlight of the trip. Transfer to your hotel to rest up (or if you arrive early we can arrange city tour on this day).

MEALS: None Today.

OVERNIGHT: Bayangol Hotel ★ ★ ★ ★ click to view hotel.

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DAY 2 - MONGOLIA

ULAANBAATAR ARRIVAL & NIGHT AT COMFORTABLE ELSTEI GER CAMP

Transfer on to Elstei Ger camp located 55 km outside of the city in the open steppe stopping at the 40 meter high Genghis Khan Equestrian Statue (a further 25 km from Elstei) that sees that most famous of Mongols survey the grasslands. Elstei offers comfortable and spacious ger accommodation. Click here to learn more about ger camps in Mongolia.

A range of options are available including visits to local nomads and learning about their way of life and hiking the grasslands. There are also opportunities to for horse riding (payable locally) and, for much of the year, activities such as archery, ger building and even the opportunity to learn how to wrestle Mongolian style! Of course, you can simply relax and take in this extraordinary landscape.

MEALS: Hotel Breakfast and lunch and dinner at the Ger Camp.

OVERNIGHT: Elstei Ger Camp - click to learn more.

DAY 3 - MONGOLIA

DAY TRIP TO TERELJ NATIONAL PARK

Today you have a trip the 40km (each way) to Terelj National Park. At Terelj you visit the 23m tall Turtle rock, hike in the mountains and meadows and see the rock formations. You can also hike the 108 stone stairs to the Ariyabal meditation temple. You will have your own vehicle, driver and guide. There is also the possibility to horse or camel ride (local payment required).

MEALS: Breakfast, Picnic Lunch & Dinner at Ger Camps.

OVERNIGHT: Elstei Ger Camp - click to learn more.

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DAY 4 - MONGOLIA

DRIVE TO BURD WHERE THE GREAT GRASSLANDS MEET THE GOBI DESERT

After breakfast we depart Elstei for Burd on the edge of the Mongolian Gobi where the grasslands mix with small dunes. Along the way we visit a Nomadic family to learn about their life in this amazing landscape, a lifestyle little changed over time. You have plenty of time today to enjoy the other worldliness of the steppe and take in the beauty of your surroundings.

MEALS: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner at ger camps.

OVERNIGHT: Ger Camp - click to learn more.

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DAY 5 - MONGOLIA

VISIT TURKISH MONOLITHS & REMOTE UGII LAKE

Continue driving to Ugii Lake along the way visiting two important monoliths located close together about 60km from Karakorum. The first monument is dedicated to the Turkish prince Kul-Tegin (638-731) and the other to his brother Bilge-Khan (716-734). Arrival at Ugii lake in the afternoon with free time to explore the lakeshore. The lake is a favourite destination for adventure fishermen and relatively shallow with an average depth of 3 meters making it safe to swim in despite the cold and popular with birdlife.

MEALS: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner at ger camps.

OVERNIGHT: Ger Camp - click to learn more.

DAY 6 - MONGOLIA

VISIT THE ANCIENT CAPITAL OF KARAKORUM INCLUDING ERDENE ZUU MONASTERY

Today we visit Mongolia’s ancient capital of Karakorum founded by Chingis Khan in 1220. It quickly became a major trading hub on the silk road attracting merchants from across the Mongolian empire and beyond, prospering until Kublai Khan moved to the capital to modern day Beijing establishing what the Chinese refer to as the Yuan Dynasty. In 1379 much of Karakorum was badly damaged during an attack by the army of the Ming Dynasty.

The highlight of a trip here is Erdene Zuu Monastery, built by Avtai Sain Khan on the ruins of the ancient capital in 1586. It was the first great Buddhist Monastery of Mongolia and is now part of the World Heritage Site. Stones from the ruins of Karakorum were used in the monastery’s construction and its surrounding wall features 108 stupas - the number of beads in a Buddhist rosary. The monastery was damaged by war in the 1680s, but was rebuilt in the 18th century and by 1872 had a full 62 temples inside.

MEALS: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner at ger camps.

OVERNIGHT: Ger Camp - click to learn more.

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DAY 7 - MONGOLIA

DRIVE BACK TO ULAANBAATAR WITH FREE TIME TO RELAX ON ARRIVAL

Drive back to Ulaanbaatar making any stops for photos along the way. The guide will take you to your hotel to check in after which your day is free to explore the city or catch up on email, shopping or just relax.

MEALS: Breakfast at the ger camp.

OVERNIGHT: Bayangol Hotel ★ ★ ★ ★ click to view hotel.

DAY 8 - on the train

CITY TOUR & FREE TIME BEFORE DEPARTURE TOWARDS RUSSIA

Mongolia’s capital is home to around a third of the entire population and has experienced a major boom in the last 10 years. There is much of cultural interest here and the this morning’s city tour includes Gandan Lama Monastery, impressive Sukhbaatar square and the views and Soviet monuments of Zaisan Hill.

Free time after the city tour before a transfer to the station for your onward train through the grasslands up to the Russian border.

Evening arrival at the Mongolia-Russia border at Sukhe-Bator. The stops on each side are long but manageable as Mongolia’s track is the same gauge as Russia so the bogies do not need to be changed.

MEALS: Hotel Breakfast.

OVERNIGHT: On the train - click to learn more.

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DAY 9 - IRKUTSK

PASS ULAN UDE & TRAVEL ALONG THE SHORES OF LAKE BAIKAL & ARRIVE AT IRKUTSK

Today is usually the scenic highlight of the entire journey, a day of lake, forest and mountain views. Early in the morning you reach Ulan Ude before joining the main Trans-Siberian line on to Moscow. Later in the day the train rumbles around the Southern shore of stunning Lake Baikal often passing within a matter of meters of the lake and providing endlessly changing vistas.

Afternoon arrival in Irkutsk, regarded as the modern day cultural capital of Siberia, famed for its traditional wooden architecture, complimented by a vibrant cafe and restaurant culture.

Transfer to your hotel and once settled in have a 2 hour walking tour of the city centre including the park and War Memorial, some of the beautiful churches along the Angara river, the main city centre streets and the statue of Alexander III - the Tzar responsible for the Trans-Siberian railway.

Return to your hotel with a free evening.

MEALS: None today - however the train does have a dining car.

OVERNIGHT: Boutique Marussia Hotel ★ ★ ★ click to view hotel.

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DAY 10 - LAKE BAIKAL

TRANSFER TO BOLSHOE GOLOUSTNOE ON THE SHORES OF BAIKAL

After breakfast a transfer the 2 hour drive through dense forest to the remote village of Bolshoe Goloustnoe located inside Pribaikalsky National Park. The setting is quintessential Siberia with almost all the village's houses made of wood running up to the lakeshore of beautiful Baikal, among the deepest in the world at 1,642 meters. Many of the 700 residents have lived their entire lives in the village which dates back to 1673.

Your accommodation here is in a Siberian house in the heart of the village. Once settled in take a walk with your guide through the village including a visit to the church. We walk along the lakeshore and can also climb into the forests and hills for views of Lake Baikal (good shoes or walking boots advisable). Return to the house for a pre-dinner Banya - the traditional Russian Sauna. Your guide will explain the procedure and after a hearty Siberian homestyle meal should set you up for a great nights sleep!

IMPORTANT NOTES ABOUT THIS LAKE BAIKAL STOPOVER
Bolshoe Goloustnoe is a small village on the shores of Baikal and provides a genuine Siberian experience in beautiful surroundings. The village is far enough from the Irkutsk to keep day trippers to a minimum and has retained it charm. However, this does mean accommodation is in the traditional Siberian style of log cabins, separate, outside buildings for drop (not flush) toilets and a Russian banya (sauna) for washing. For many this is all part of the experience and feedback is overwhelmingly positive. If you would prefer more comfort we can arrange a higher level guesthouse in Bolshoe Goloustnoe or a different stopover in the more built up village of Listvyanka. Ask us for more information.

MEALS: Hotel Breakfast - Lunch & Dinner at the Guest House.

OVERNIGHT: Siberian Guesthouse - click to learn more.

DAY 11 - on the train

A DAY EXPLORING THE LAKE SHORE VILLAGE OF BOLSHOE GOLOUSTNOE & SURROUNDS BEFORE DEPARTURE

There is no rush to wake this morning. Enjoy a hearty breakfast before heading off for a walk up a nearby mountain ascending 400 meters for panoramic views of Baikal (if this is too strenuous or the weather is bad your guide will make other suggestions). A leisurely return to the house for lunch.

After lunch a transfer back to Irkutsk to catch the train on to Krasnoyarsk.

MEALS: Breakfast & Lunch at the Guesthouse.

OVERNIGHT: On the train - click to learn more.

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DAY 12 - KRASNOYARSK

ARRIVAL IN & CITY TOUR OF KRASNOYARSK’S HIGHLIGHTS

Morning arrival in Krasnoyarsk where you will be met at the station to start an half day city tour. This prosperous city located on the Yenisey River is highly regarded for it’s cultural life as well as the beautiful scenery of the Stolby Nature Reserve a short distance from the city.

As a hotel room is unlikely to be ready this early we start with a city tour which begins with the monument to Andrey Dubensky, the founder of the city, which also offers superb views and Karaulnaya Hill where Paraskeva Pjatnitsa Chapel built in 1855 is located. Move on to the Annunciation temple, Intercession Cathedral and Catholic church as well as Mira Avenue, the Drama Theatre, Opera and Ballet House and Yenisey quay.

After the tour continue to your hotel to check-in with free time for the rest of the day.

MEALS: None today - however the train does have a dining car.

OVERNIGHT: Soft Hotel ★ ★ ★ ★ click to view hotel.

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DAY 13 - KRASNOYARSK

DAY TRIP TO STOLBY NATURE RESERVE & KRASNOYARSK’S DAM

Today we head out of the city firstly visiting the Hydro Power Station and Dam, Russia’s second largest. Here you can see the mighty Yenisey river which, at 4,092 km is the longest in Russia. The dam is an extraordinary feat of engineering as it had to be designed to cope with the intense cold and ice pressure of winter. Enjoy a picnic lunch before visiting the Stolby Nature Reserve and make a short walk of about 2-3 km round trip to the centre of the reserve where there are beautiful views and unusual rock formations. Time to enjoy the scenery and nature before returning to the city and a free evening.

MEALS: Hotel Breakfast & Picnic Lunch.

OVERNIGHT: Soft Hotel ★ ★ ★ ★ click to view hotel.

DAY 14 - on the train

FREE MORNING TO EXPLORE THE CITY BEFORE CONTINUING YOUR JOURNEY

Free time until a transfer to the station for your onward train. The scenery this afternoon has many rivers and ponds as you continue westwards.

MEALS: Hotel Breakfast.

OVERNIGHT: On the train - click to learn more.

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DAY 15 - EKATERINBURG

LAST DAY IN SIBERIA BEFORE ARRIVAL IN EKATERINBURG

The scenery today is flat, often swampy or forested and with few major settlements except for Omsk. In the evening you enter the rolling hills of the Ural's before arriving at Ekaterinburg, historic capital of this mineral rich region with a rich and fascinating history and surrounded by beautiful, rolling countryside dotted with traditional Siberian villages. Transfer by private car to your hotel to overnight.

MEALS: None today - however the train does have a dining car.

OVERNIGHT: Chekhov Boutique Hotel ★ ★ ★ ★ click to view hotel.

DAY 16 - EKATERINBURG

FULL DAY COUNTRYSIDE & SIBERIAN VILLAGE EXPERIENCE

Today we drive out of the city to one of the photogenic country villages* that are scattered across the rolling scenery of the Ural mountains. Here we see a traditional Siberian “izba” house - a style suited to the often extreme environment - that can be seen right across Siberia. We also visit the local museum to learn about everyday life in this part of Russia and listen to a concert of local folk music. There will be time to explore the village with your guide and you will also enjoy a traditional Siberian homestyle lunch often using locally produced and seasonal ingredients. Return to Ekaterinburg late afternoon with a free evening.

*Depending on the day of your visit this trip will be to either Koptelovo, Nizhnyaya Sinyachikha or Mironovo village all approximately 150 km from Ekaterinburg.

MEALS: Hotel Breakfast & Restaurant Lunch.

OVERNIGHT: Chekhov Boutique Hotel ★ ★ ★ ★ click to view hotel.

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DAY 17 - EKATERINBURG

CITY TOUR, VISIT THE ROMANOVS SECRET GRAVE & STAND ASTRIDE THE EUROPE-ASIA BORDER

This morning your guide will take you on a 3 hour walking tour of the city’s highlights. Stop at the central square and see statues of Ekaterinburg’s founders and leaders and learn local stories, legends (and a few jokes!) related to them. Continue to the 1905 Revolution square before the most compelling story will be told at the beautiful Church of Spilled Blood located at the Romanovs’ Death Site and Chapel of St Elizabeth. We also see views of the city from the Hill of Ascension and visit the powerful Afghanistan memorial at the Square of the Red Army.

After lunch (own arrangement) drive 15 km north-west to a monastery dedicated to the Romanov’s family located on the spot where the Bolsheviks tried to hide the corpses of the Tsar and his family in a secret grave. Continue on to the continental border of Europe and Asia 20 km west of the city. On the way we make a short stop at the Memorial of Victims of the GULAGs. The Main Obelisk “Between Europe & Asia” allows you to straddle the continental divide and you also get a Certificate with a glass of sparkling wine!

Return to the city with a free evening.

MEALS: Hotel Breakfast.

OVERNIGHT: Chekhov Boutique Hotel ★ ★ ★ ★ click to view hotel.

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DAY 18 - on the train

EARLY MORNING DEPARTURE TOWARDS RUSSIA’S CAPITAL MOSCOW

Morning transfer to the station for your onward train. Shortly after departure you cross the Europe-Asia continental border with the rest of the day on the train passing through a relatively populated region of farms, small towns and villages interspersed with birch forest.

MEALS: Hotel Breakfast.

OVERNIGHT: On the train - click to learn more.

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DAY 19 - moscow

ARRIVAL IN MOSCOW & A WALKING TOUR OF THE CITY

Wake to Moscow’s sprawling suburbs arriving at the city’s handsome Kazanskaya station. Transfer by private car to your hotel. Please note that hotel check-in time is 2pm although if a room is available you can go to it straight away. Guaranteed early check-in is not included. If you would like to add this please ask us.

Later this morning you will have the perfect introductory walking tour of central Moscow designed to orientate and open up its hidden treasures. Your guide will take you along the main streets and less visited back roads to see the diversity of architectural styles from the austere and restrained Russian style to richly decorated Moscow Baroque, elegant Empire, fascinating Art Nouveau and even Pseudo-Chinese and Moorish. Hear stories and legends not found in the guidebooks as well as passing the most important sites in the city including the Bolshoi Theatre, Tverskaya street, GUM Department store, Red Square and St Basil’s Cathedral.

MEALS: None Today.

OVERNIGHT: Budapest Hotel ★ ★ ★ click to view hotel.

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DAY 20 - moscow

FREE DAY TO EXPLORE RUSSIA’S CAPITAL & ITS MANY WORLD CLASS SIGHTS

A free day to explore Moscow. The city has much to offer whatever the weather from the famous museums such as Pushkin Fine Arts and Tretyakov Art Gallery to more outdoor areas including the Park of the Fallen Idols and Novodevitchy Convent. Of course, if the weather is not so good Moscow is one of the few cities where a day spent on the metro is a tourist attraction with many beautiful stations to visit and all for the price of a single ticket! For relaxing we recommend the bars, galleries and cafes of the Red October district or the fabulous Gorky Park.

MEALS: Hotel Breakfast.

OVERNIGHT: Budapest Hotel ★ ★ ★ click to view hotel.

DAY 21 - end of tour

DEPART MOSCOW & RUSSIA AFTER YOUR EPIC TRANS-SIBERIAN ADVENTURE

Today is a free until a transfer to your onward travel from Russia. We sincerely hope that you will have enjoyed your epic journey as much as we have many times already and we look forward to welcoming you back on another one of our trips!

MEALS: Hotel Breakfast.

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INCLUSIONS & EXCLUSIONS

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Train tickets in second class – ask us about upgrades.
All accommodation as specified above.
All private transfers and transport as described.
All meals as specified in the itinerary.
All tours as specified including entrance fees.
24 hour emergency assistance
Visa Paperwork you need in order to obtain the visas.
Financial Peace of Mind as your trip is protected.
Our exclusive 200+ page trip guidebook.
International Airfare to / from the start / finish of your trip – we can book these flights on request.
The Russian and Mongolian visas – we can advise and partner with VisaCentral.
Travel insurance to cover any medical treatment – we canadvise on options.
Discretionary gratuities to drivers and guides.

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