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Naadam Trans-Mongolian East-West: Beijing - Ulaanbaatar - Baikal - Yekaterinburg - Moscow

This Trans-Mongolian tour is designed to coincide with the famous Naadam Festival.

This Mongolian spectacular dates back centuries. Originally a test of a nomad’s aptitude, each July these games are held requiring strength, stamina, accurate marksmanship and of course, skillful horsemanship - given the equine nature of nomadic life, much importance is placed on the horse races. Watching the games will definitely lead to a better understanding of the history, uniqueness and peculiarities of this country. Beginning in Beijing and ending in Moscow, this tour also takes in some of the unmissable highlights of Mongolia's neighbors, Russia and China.

Type: Small Group Tours
Duration: 18 days

Itinerary Hide all details

Day 1: Beijing

Arrival in China. Exploring Old Beijing (Hutong Area)

After you arrive in Beijing, look for our driver who will be waiting to transfer you to the hotel. Once refreshed, we'll visit one of the city's ancient hutongs by rickshaw. These 13th Century districts are a maze of narrow alleyways and those that remain are now preserved. We'll move on by rickshaw to Shichahai Lake. You'll find former princes' houses in the area around this lake as well as the famous Drum Tower.

Day 2: Beijing

Tiananmen Square. Forbidden City & Summer Palace

Notorious after events in 1989 when government troops stopped pro-democracy protesters, Tiananmen Square is our first stop today. It's the largest city square in the world but you'll have to stand in it to appreciate it. At the far end, the Forbidden City's, ringed by a most, is a UNESCO Heritage Site. Once home to 24 of China's emperors, it now houses the largest collection of preserved ancient wooden structures anywhere on the planet. Lastly today we'll leave the city centre and head to the outskirts to admire the beautiful Summer Palace in its tranquil lakeshore setting.

Day 3: Beijing

Badaling Great Wall. Visit to the Olympic Green

China's most famous monument, the Great Wall stretches for thousands of miles. We'll visit the most easily accessible section of the wall from Beijing which is also the best preserved, at Badaling. Afterwards, it's off to the Olympic Green to see for ourselves the iconic Bird's Nest stadium built for the 2008 Olympic Games as well as some of the other venues in the park.

Day 4: Beijing

Departure to Mongolia

Our driver will collect you from the hotel and transfer you to the railway station for your trip to Mongolia. We'll use the fast train K3, popular with foreign visitors. Choose from 1st class (2 berth compartment) and 2nd class (4 berth compartment with two lower and two upper berths) on this train. Hot boiled water is available in all compartments via your train attendant. The train has a dining car and a bar with reasonable prices.

Day 5: Ulaanbaatar - Terelj

Arrival in Mongolia. Enjoy Terelj National Park

Reaching Mongolia this morning, our guide will meet you at the railway station. Transfer to Terelj National Park. En route, stop at the imposing Chinggis Khaan monument. Constructed in 2008 from gleaming metal, it's the largest equestrian statue in the world. The statue is symbolically pointed east towards his birthplace, with 36 columns representing the 36 khans from Genghis to Ligdan Khan. You can walk to the head of the horse where you can have a panoramic view of the surrounding landscape. We move on to explore the Terelj National Park, famous for its unique granite rock formations, pristine alpine scenery and diverse flora and fauna. Tonight you'll sleep in a ger or a cosy wooden lodge.

Day 6: Terelj - Ulan Bator

Naadam Festival Opening Ceremony

Transfer to Ulan Bator in the morning. Today, you'll attend the opening ceremony of the Naadam Festival. At the Central Stadium for Sports and Cultural Performances, we will have a unique chance to witness wrestling and archery contests. Watch the Naadam performances in the evening and you'll see why this is the highlight of the Mongolian calendar and then enjoy a sumptuous Gala dinner.

Day 7: Ulan Bator - Hui Doloon Hudag - Ulan Bator

Naadam Festival. Enjoy Horse Racing. Ulan Bator City Tour. National History Museum

Our guide will meet you at the accommodation to transfer you to Hui Doloon Hudag. There, we'll watch the horse racing, an atmospheric and memorable occasion. We'll then return to Ulan Bator. There, you'll take a city tour of the Mongolian capital, visiting Gandan Hiid Monastery, the country’s largest remaining monastery. UB has some interesting museums also, especially the Museum of Natural History in which you'll find dinosaur bones dug up from the Gobi Desert and the National Museum of Mongolian History which specialises in the country's cultural heritage.

Day 8: Ulan Bator

Transfer to the Railway Station. Departure to Russia

On-board the Train to Russia

Day 9: Irkutsk - Listvyanka

Lake Baikal

Our guide will meet you with a sign board upon your arrival in Irkutsk ready for your transfer to Listvyanka village. You will have the chance to enjoy this charming village which occupies a prime lakeside setting. Perhaps you'll decide to visit the St. Nicolas Russian Orthodox Church or the Baikal Lake Museum where you will learn Siberian traditions, history, flora and fauna of the deepest freshwater lake in the world?

Day 10: Listvyanka

At Leisure at Baikal

One day isn't sufficient at Listvyanka so we shall have more free time here today. There's lots to do, including the chance to take a boat trip out on Lake Baikal, browse in the village market and take in a seal show at the Nerpinarium.

Day 11: Listvyanka - Irkutsk

Wooden Architecture Museum in Taltsy. Exploring Irkutsk. Departure to Yekaterinburg

Our guide will meet you at your accommodation to drive you to the open-air Wooden Architecture Museum in Taltsy. It's located in a beautiful forest setting on the bank of the Angara River and comprises an impressive collection of traditional wooden houses and tents. You'll be able to explore all aspects of old village life in this region and better understand the lifestyles of the local Buryat and Evenk people. In addition, step inside a shaman's yurt or a Russian fort and watchtower. Later we reach Irkutsk, nicknamed the Paris of Siberia as it shares those wide boulevards. It also has a clutch of wooden cottages featuring the fretwork designs common to this area. After we've finished our sightseeing programme in Irkutsk, it'll be time once more to head for the railway station. This time, our train will be taking us to Yekaterinburg on a journey that will last two days.

Day 12: On-board

On-board the Train across Siberia

Day 13: Yekaterinburg

Transfer to the Hotel

Our driver will meet you at the carriage with a sign board and you'll transfer to the hotel.

Day 14: Yekaterinburg

Ganina Yama & Cathedral on the Blood. Europe-Asia Border

Our sightseeing begins in earnest today with a visit to the majestic Memorial Cathedral on the Blood in the name of all Saints, built on the site of the execution of the last Russian tsar Nikolay II and his family. Next, we'll pay our respects at Ganina Pit, an orthodox monastery built where the Imperial remains were initially buried. We visit seven wooden churches in the heart of a centuries-old pine forest. Given Yekaterinburg's proximity, we can't miss the opportunity to see the obelisk marking the border between Europe and Asia.

Day 15: Yekaterinburg

Departure to Moscow

It's time to board our train for Moscow, so we'll arrange for our driver to deliver you to the train station in good time to catch the overnight fast train.

Day 16: Moscow

Exploring Moscow. Red Square, St. Basil’s, Lenin Mausoleum

On arrival in Moscow, our driver will meet you with a sign board at the platform. Once we've dropped our bags into the hotel, it's time to stretch our legs on a walking tour of central Moscow. We shall stroll at a leisurely pace, taking in sights such as Lubyanka Square, the world-famous KGB centre of the Soviet epoch, Teatralnaya Square next to Bolshoi Theatre and Tverskaya Street, the main drag, busiest street in Moscow. Last, saving the best of course, it's Red Square. Each building here is a legend: you will see brightly-domed St. Basil's cathedral, the world-renowned Lenin Mausoleum, the expansive facade of the GUM department store, Kazan Cathedral and the Kremlin towers.

Day 17: Moscow

Kremlin & Armoury

On this, our last day, we will concentrate on the splendours hidden inside the Kremlin. Now the residence of the Russian president, it was once the home of the Tsars. Its Armoury Museum functioned as a storehouse for weaponry before being transformed into the museum you see today. A plethora of exhibits includes such exhibits as the armour of Boris Godunov, the chalice of Yuri Dolgorukiy, Faberge eggs and other works made of precious metals and stones. Modern day treasures are on display in the very fabric of the Moscow Underground. We'll explore this working transit system with its many decorative mosaics, stained glass panels and bronze sculptures which some say give it the appearance of an art museum.

Day 18: Moscow

Departure for the Airport

Transfer to the airport. Our driver will meet you with a board at the hotel lobby.

What's included

  • Accommodation
  • Breakfasts in the hotels
  • Full-board in Mongolia & China
  • Train travel (overnight)
  • Guided tours & entrance fees
  • Airport & railway transfers
Not included in the price
  • Personal travel insurance
  • Optional excursions and services
  • Meals on the train
Additional expenses
  • Optional excursions
  • 1st class train upgrade
  • Theatre and circus tickets

Single supplement - $395

Solo supplement - $1095

First Class train upgrade - $645

Additional info
  • Single supplement goes towards single room (cabin for cruises) accommodation.
  • Solo supplement is payable in the unlikely event when you are the only person on the tour. It will be refunded if other people join the same tour.

Price

Price packagePrice per person
Excluding flights

Price per person

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Visa

Russian visa support (Russian visa invitation letter) is included.

Sights included in program

Moscow : The Kremlin
The Moscow Kremlin, the beautiful and ancient ensemble stands high on the hill towering over the left bank of the Moskva river. The Kremlin has always been perceived as a symbol of power and might of the Russian state, the national idea expressed in stone. It is the oldest part of the city, its political, historic and cultural centre, and the seat of the country's highest bodies of power. The Kremlin contains unique specimens of Russian metal cas... Read more
Moscow : Red Square
The famous Red Square is located in the heart of Moscow. Of course, no trip to Russia would be complete without a visit to Red Square, perhaps Russia's most well known place, and possibly the most famous city square in the world. It is Russia’s most recognizable landmark and is usually tourists first stop in Moscow. It is surrounded by Saint Basil’s Cathedral, the State History Museum, Lenin’s Mausoleum and the Kremlin. Visitors... Read more
The Bolshoi Theatre is a symbol of Russia for all time. It is one of the leading ballet and opera companies in the world. It was awarded this honor due to the major contribution it made to the history of the Russian performing arts. This history is on-going and today Bolshoi Theatre artists continue to contribute to it many bright pages. The Bolshoi building, which for many years now has been regarded as one of Moscow's main sights, was opened on... Read more
The Armoury Chamber - a treasure-house, it is a part of the Grand Kremlin Palace’s complex, and is one of the oldest museums of Moscow, established in 1808. The museum collections were based on the precious items that had been preserved for centuries in the tsars’ treasury and the Patriarch’s vestry. Some of the exhibits were made in the Kremlin’s workshops, others were accepted as ambassadorial gifts. The Armoury Cha... Read more
The St. Basil’s Cathedral Moscow just that this fascinating church at the heart of Moscow, is an exemplary work of art, which touchingly and glamorously traces back the history of Russia in an encompassing and solemn manner, that no other tourist attraction can ever surpass. It is an interesting milestone and a great leaping step towards world tourism and the interesting pieces of history in its courageous, attractive and worth reading whol... Read more
Moscow : GUM
The GUM shopping mall is a landmark in Moscow's Red Square. It occupies the majority of the historic square's east side with a facade stretching the length of two and a half football fields. The Gum (pronounced as 'goom') department store was built over a hundred years ago and is a testament to the expertise of late nineteenth century Russian architecture. With the looks of a royal palace this mall is a fitting addition to the numerous gems surro... Read more
Kazan Cathedral Russian: Казанский собор, formally known as the "Cathedral of Our Lady of Kazan", is a Russian Orthodox church located on the northeast corner of Red Square in Moscow, Russia. The current building is a reconstruction of the original church, which was destroyed at the direction of then General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, Joseph Stalin, in 1936. Read more
The name is first mentioned in 1480, when Ivan III settled many Novgorodians in the area.They built the church of St Sophia, modelled after St Sophia Cathedral in Novgorod, and called the area Lubyanka after the Lubyanitsy district of their native city. Read more
This elegant square is named Theater Square because three of the surrounding buildings are theaters and several others are located nearby. Until the 19th century this was Petrovskaya Square, since Petrovka Street traversed it and the Royal Peter Theater sat on the site of the Bolshoi Theater. Briefly, it was known as Tsvetochnaya (Florist) Square, because the flower sellers did a roaring trade here. Read more
Baikal : Irkutsk
An unique old city, Irkutsk was known as «Paris of Siberia» in the middle of the 19th century. It plays a remarkable role in the Russian history and it's not accidentally called the city-museum. Irkutsk saves many ancient monuments, romantic look, church cupola's lighting upon the blue current of Angara River. This incredible city is called the midst of the Earth, since it's equidistant from the three world's oceans: the Arctic, the P... Read more
Listvyanka is perhaps one of the oldest Russian settlements on the shore of the great Lake Baikal, the deepest lake in the world. It is a charming village dotted with traditional Siberian wooden houses, with a main road that runs right along the shore of fantastic lake, making it the perfect base to explore this picturesque region. This old-style Siberian village is one of the most visited places in Siberia. Everything about it impresses our imag... Read more
Baikal Limnological museum is located at the beginning of Listvyanka, beautiful old-style Siberian village, on the shore of fabulous Lake Baikal. The museum is engaged in collecting and storage the materials and analysis of the information bound with the lake.The unique exhibits tell about the origin and the history of the lake, its fantastic flora and fauna, geological structure, climate and tectonics of Pribaikalye. All scientific activities of... Read more
Taltsy Museum of Wooden Architecture is an unique storage of history and culture of the peoples of Eastern Siberia. This incredible open-air museum consists of several fabulous exhibit areas which hold interesting ethnographical collections and show life of the Siberians. The variety of amazing Siberian wooden izbas, churches, living houses and Buryat wooden yurts were brought together from different parts of Siberia. The museum is conveniently l... Read more
St. Nicholas Orthodox Church is one of the few preserved architectural monuments in Listvyanka. The building dates from the middle of the century before last. Such buildings in Russia were called the "octagon on the quadrangle". A wooden two-tiered church with belfries is very beautiful and majestic. St. Nicholas Church has its own interesting story. Read more
1/7th of the World : Baikal
Lake Baikal in Siberia is listed as a Unesco World Heritage site and was also voted as one of Russia's Seven Wonders. It's not hard to see why. Baikal is one of those rare spots on the earth where nature has still remained genuine and untouched. The magnificent landscapes – the lake is surrounded by high mountain chains - and the unique clarity of the crystal-clear water, which runs into a darkness teeming with fish. Siberians believe that ... Read more
1/7th of the World : Ulaanbaatar
If Mongolia's yin is its pristine countryside, then Ulaanbaatar conforms nicely to its yang. Located in north central Mongolia, fabulous Ulaanbaatar is the cultural, industrial, and financial heart of the country. The city was founded in 1639 as a movable (nomadic) Buddhist monastic centre, and in the twentieth century, Ulaanbaatar grew into a major manufacturing centre. Mostly described, as sunny, peaceful and open, Ulaanbaatar is a city of cont... Read more
1/7th of the World : Yekaterinburg
Yekaterinburg is a beautiful and well developed city with many fabulous historical buildings in classicism style, with one of the world's biggest collection of constructivist architecture buildings and with several modern high-techs skyscrapers. It is situated in the central part of Russia, on the eastern slopes of the amazing Ural mountains and almost on the border between Europe and Asia. Yekaterinburg was founded in 1723 and named i... Read more
Explore : Moscow
Moscow can be an overwhelming experience for visitors - there's just so much to see in this vast and vibrant city, from the truly sublime to the ever-so-slightly ridiculous. Moscow has been one of the world's ballet capitals for almost two centuries. It is home to the Bolshoi Ballet, founded in the late 18th century and based at the Bolshoi Theatre. It is called the "world capital of museums". It's no surprise, considering that there are over a ... Read more
Beijing : Drum Tower
The Drum Tower was built in1272 during the reign of Kublai Khan, when it stood at eh very heart of the Yuan capital Dadu. At that time it was known as the Tower of Orderly Administration (Qizhenglou). In 1420, under the Ming Emperor Yongle, the building was reconstructed to the east of the original site and in 1800 under the Qing Emperor Jiaqing, large-scale renovations were carried out. In 1924, the name of the building was changed to the Tower ... Read more
Forbidden City, Chinese (Pinyin) Zijincheng or (Wade-Giles romanization) Tzu-chin-ch’eng, imperial palace complex at the heart of Beijing (Peking), China. Commissioned in 1406 by the Yongle emperor of the Ming dynasty, it was first officially occupied by the court in 1420. It was so named because access to the area was barred to most of the subjects of the realm. Government functionaries and even the imperial family were permitted only limi... Read more
Beijing : Great Wall
A Chinese saying goes that He who has never been to the Great Wall is not a true man. If we laid the bricks and rocks used in the Great Wall of Ming to form a wall one meter (1.1 yard) wide and five meters (16.4 feet) high, it could circle the earth at the equator with great ease. It is such a spectacular and formidable architectural feat that anyone who comes to China should not miss it under any circumstances. Read more
Beijing Olympic Forest Park was built for the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games. It was the leisure site for athletes, coaches, and official staff to get relaxed from tense competitions. The tennis, shooting, and hockey competitions were held there. After the closing ceremony, it has been transformed to the city's back garden for sightseeing, recreation and sports. As the largest urban green landscape in Asia and the largest park in Beijing, one can str... Read more
Beijing : Shichahai Lake
Shichahai is a famous scenic area in the northwest part of Beijing, which includes three lakes (Qianhai, meaning Front Sea; Houhai, meaning Back Sea and Xihai, meaning West Sea), surrounding places of historic interest and scenic beauty, and remnants of old-style local residences, Hutong and Courtyard. Read more
Beijing : Summer Palace
The Summer Palace, northwest of Beijing, is said to be the best preserved imperial garden in the world, and the largest of its kind still in existence in China. It is only a short drive (15 km) from central Beijing but seems like another world. Read more
Tiananmen Square, Chinese (Pinyin) Tiananmen Guangchang or (Wade-Giles romanization) T’ien-an Men Kuang-ch’ang, open square in the centre of Beijing, China, one of the largest public squares in the world. Read more
The Gandantegchinlen Monastery is a Mongolian Buddhist monastery in the Mongolian capital of Ulaanbaatar that has been restored and revitalized since 1990. The Tibetan name translates to the "Great Place of Complete Joy". It currently has over 150 monks in residence. It features a 26.5-meter-high statue of Avalokiteśvara. It came under state protection in 1994. Read more
The Natural History Museum was created in 1924 and was called “National Museum”. In 1956, it becomes the “Central State Museum” and, later, in 1997, expands and becomes “Natural History Museum”. The Natural History Museum recounts 4,7 billion years of evolution and shows 800 objects dating back from the palaeolithic period. Read more
Mongolia’s wonderful National Museum sweeps visitors from the Neolithic era right to the present day. It’s UB's only genuine blockbuster sight, offering an unparalleled overview of Mongolian culture, ranging from stone-age petroglyphs and exquisite gold ornamentation to, arguably the highlight, the full gamut of traditional ceremonial costume – which unmistakably inspired the look of characters from the Star Wars prequels. Read more
In 2008, a gigantic statue of Genghis Khan riding on horseback was erected on the bank of the Tuul River at Tsonjin Boldog, 54 km east of the Mongolian capital Ulaanbaatar, where according to legend, he found a golden whip. The statue is 40 meters tall and wrapped in 250 tons of gleaming stainless steel. It stands on top of the Genghis Khan Statue Complex, a visitor center that itself is 10 meters tall, with 36 columns representing the 36 khans f... Read more
Ulaanbaatar : Terelj National Park
Terelj National Park is the most popular destination and the third biggest protected area in Mongolia . Visitors can take leisurely strolls on meadows carpeted with edelweiss and a dazzling variety of other wild flowers, view fascinating rock formations against a backdrop of pine covered mountains and wander along the wooded banks of a mountain stream. The park is located 80 km away from Ulaanbaatar and is one of the most beautiful places in Mong... Read more
The Church on Blood in Honour of All Saints Resplendent in the Russian Land is a Russian Orthodox church built on the site of the Ipatiev House in Yekaterinburg, where Nicholas II, the last Emperor of Russia, and his family, along with members of the household, were shot by the Bolsheviks during the Russian Civil War. The church commemorates the Romanov sainthood. Read more
Yekaterinburg : Ganina Yama
Ganina Yama is a relatively new monument constructed out of wood and the story of its erection is full of tragic accounts. It is visited by orthodox people from all over the country to pay homage to the late Romanovs – the emperor dynasty of Russia. Found at the location where the given temple complex was built were the remains of the royal family. It is the also where their bodies were buried after they were shot to death. Read more
Border between Europe and Asia is one of the features of the Ural area. Read more
US$ 3795
per person, based on 2-people group
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06 - 23 Jul 2019
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Price for persons:

Our flexible payment options allow you to pay 20% of a deposit first and the remaining 80% in 14 days prior to your tour date - payment can be done both online or over the phone. This gives you the peace of mind knowing your spaces are booked on the tours and that you do not miss out on making the most of your time in Russia.

Also you get the best, top-rated and most experienced and knowledgeable hand-picked tour guide appointed on a priority basis.
In our experience, exceptional travel experiences are almost always delivered by exceptional people. With that in mind, we utilize a comprehensive approach to select and employ the best tour guides only. Multilingual and well travelled, each possesses deep insight into the diverse attractions and cultural patterns throughout the region. With us guides undergo a rigorous selection process, achieving outstanding knowledge of local culture and language. Rest assured that the best tour guides only will be working on the tours to give you excellent opportunity to explore the best of the sights during both short and long-term stay in Russia.

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