A Taste of the Gobi by Air - a Short Acquaintance with the Desert (MN-08)

The Gobi Desert is a legendary place. Feared as uninhabitable yet attracting travellers with its myths and folklore. It is a massive swathe of land, covering one third of Mongolia, and it is as fascinating as it is forbidding. Here, geography, history and pre-history mix with plants, animals and human society. Mongolians list no less than 33 types of ‘gobi’, depending on soil colour and composition – it is a surprisingly complex place. There is a lot of variety within the Gobi Desert, from wildlife parks and mountains to canyons with dramatic rockfaces. This tour is suitable for any one wishing to explore the main highlights of the Gobi desert during a short period of time.

Day 1. Ulan Bator - Dalanzadgad - Khongor Els Sand Dunes
Transfer to the airport for a domestic flight to the Gobi. Upon arrival we depart for the remarkable Khongoryn Els sand dunes. In the afternoon we will visit a camel breeding family and go on a camel ride to explore the dunes. Overnight in a ger camp.
Day 2. Bayanzag
We will visit Bayanzag, the Flaming Cliffs, and explore the Cemetery of Dinosaurs. We will enjoy an evening of the silence of the Gobi by overnighting in gers.
Day 3. Yol Valley - Dalanzadgad - Ulan Bator
Visit to the fascinating Yol Valley National Park where we’ll have a morning trek and plenty of opportunity to photograph the stunning landscape. Late morning flight to Ulan Bator. Transfer to your hotel.
Click here to view detailed day-by-day itinerary of this tour

Quick Facts
  • Season: Summer
  • Days: 3
  • Group Size: 2-12
  • Tour Grade:   Gentle

Day 1. Ulan Bator - Dalanzadgad - Khongor Els Sand Dunes
We begin with a hearty breakfast at the hotel, before we are transferred to the airport for a flight to the Gobi base camp. First we depart for the remarkable Khongoryn Els sand dunes, that stretch 180 km (110 miles) at the foot of the striking Gurvan Saikhan Mountain range. We will stop for lunch on arrival. A fascinating afternoon awaits us – including a visit to a camel breeding family and camel riding to explore the dunes. Dinner and overnight in ger camp. Driving distance – 200 km (125 miles). (L/D).
Day 2. Bayan Zag
We will breakfast at the base camp, then will gradually backtrack to our main camp with a packed lunch. On the way we will visit Bayan Zag, the Flaming Cliffs, and explore the Cemetery of Dinosaurs, following in the footsteps of the explorer Roy Chapman Andrews. We will enjoy an evening of the silence of the Gobi Desert by overnighting in Mongolian gers. Driving distance – 80 km (50 miles). (B/L/D).
Day 3. Yol Valley - Dalanzadgad - Ulan Bator
Breakfast at the base camp. We will conclude today with a visit to the fascinating Yol (Lammergeyer) Valley National Park (50 km, 32 miles) where we’ll have a morning trek and plenty of opportunity to photograph the stunning landscape, including the Gobi Glacier and intriguing wildlife. Late morning flight to Ulan Bator. Transfer to your hotel. (B).

Want to travel on different dates?
Please see below for our group tour dates, if you would like to travel on a different day, please let us know and we will come back to you with an offer. There might be additional surcharges for a private tour but all depends on the number of people in your party and your travel preferences.


Park Hotel 4*
Address: Park Hotel, Lhagvasuren street-32, 4th Khoroo, Bayanzurkh, Ulan Bator, Mongolia
Telephone: +976 7015 9900

Park hotel is a newly opened 4* hotel in Ulan Bator, located in the south – eastern part of the Mongolian capital, about 8 kilometres from the central train station and 19 kilometres from the international airport.

Park hotel has 52 rooms, including comfortable and spacious standard twin, king, superior rooms and deluxe junior suites. All rooms are equipped with individually controlled air-conditioning, 32’ LCD television, high speed internet access, mini bar, hairdryer. Deluxe junior suite has a bar and extra bathroom for guests.

Park hotel offers 24 hour room service, luggage storage, spa and fitness facilities, currency exchange and business centre services. There is also park restaurant, tequila lounge and a coffee shop. Visa and Master card are accepted.


Typical Mongolian Ger
In the countryside your accommodation will be in a typical ger camp located in scenic areas. Every couple or a single traveller are allocated a private ger unless you are willing to share with other travellers. All ger camps are very similar in their set –up, facilities and services.

A “ger” or a yurt is a traditional, portable dwelling structure used by Mongolian nomads in the countryside, it is their link with the past, future and spiritual world. The central pillar – the smoke hole on the top of the tent is directly directed to cosmic axis and represents highway for spirits as according to Mongolian traditions, the universe is full of invisible spirits and humans have to develop good relationship with them, win them over and not to offend them.

Ger camps we use on our tours are slightly modified for Western travellers, however they do offer a genuinely authentic experience and most of them are situated in picturesque areas. The gers are made of a wooden frame that is covered with felt. Inside they are generally brightly painted and feature two or four single beds, a small table, stools, a lamp, electricity sockets and a stove for heating. You can ask a member of staff to start the fire in your ger at a specified time to make it warm, for example early in the morning before you get up.

Toilet and shower facilities are outside in a separate block, they are basic but are kept very clean. There is both hot and cold water available. Restaurants and bars are located in separate blocks or quite often in larger gers.

Staying in a typical ger really adds to your travelling experience.

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