30 days
Duration
Asia and the Orient
Destination
Level 3 - Moderate
Activity

Journey Through Mongolia and Russia small group tours for retirees

This fully escorted Journey Through Mongolia and Russia small group tours  program takes the active senior, with an interest in experiencing something different, into Mongolia and Russia. It includes a journey on the Trans-Siberian Railway. This 29 day tour is designed for the senior traveller, whether traveling alone or with company. You will be able to enjoy the experience secure in the knowledge that you always have a program leader with you to make sure that all runs smoothly.

Itinerary

Join the tour in Ulaanbaatar, the capital of Mongolia, and spend the first seven days in Mongolia with a side trip to Russia’s Lake Baikal. The tour then traverses the world’s largest landmass, the Euro-Asian Continental Plate, taking the traveller from Ulaanbaatar to St Petersburg via some of the world's most remote areas. The small group travels across the Mongolian Steppes to the vast expanse of the Siberian taiga and tundra; over the Ural Mountains (the divide between Asia and Europe) to Moscow and the waterways of Russia's mediaeval Golden Ring. Our tour uses two of the great rail journeys of the world. Firstly  the Trans Mongolian and then the Trans Siberian trains. The tour concludes with a cruise on the waterways between Moscow and St Petersburg.

Highlights

During your time in Ulaanbaatar you will have the chance to experience Mongolia’s famous Naadam Festival. This centuries old festival, once used for training warriors, involves competitions in horse riding, archery and Mongolian wrestling. While at Lake Baikal learn about the world’s deepest lake and experience Siberia’s traditions and culture while in Irkutsk. Finally, you enjoy an eleven night cruise between Moscow and St Petersburg. While travelling along the mighty Volga river, wonder at the splendid architecture of Russia’s Orthodox onion domed churches. This fully escorted tour offers the opportunity to travel with a small group of like- minded adventurers through Mongolia and Russia. For more details, click the ‘Top 5’ or ‘Itinerary’ buttons above! If you’re keen to experience this tour, please call or send an email. Or, to book, simply fill in the form on the right hand side of this page.Tour Notes
  • Singles are NOT available during our nights in Mongolian yurts/gers or onboard any of the rail journeys.
  • Singles are available in hotels in Ulann Baatar, Irkutsk/Lake Baikal, Moscow and on the Russian cruise only
  • Meals are not provided on the Trans- Mongolian Train but chance is given in Ulaan Baator to purchase suitable provisions.
  • Group size is limited to a maximum of 15 participants.
  • Travellers should not that facilities on these public trains my be of a basic standard

PDF of Tour PDF of Reading List

1
Travel on The Mongolian Express and The Trans-Siberian Express.
2
Cruise the waterways of the Tsars between Moscow and St Petersburg to see the quintessential towns and villages of Russia’s Golden Ring.
3
Experience Mongolia’s Naadam festival in the capital Ulaan Baatar and its countryside in traditional gers.
4
Learn about Lake Baikal, the world’s deepest lake and experience the traditions and culture of Siberia in Irkutsk.
5
Visit Moscow and St Petersburg.

Overview: Arrive in Ulaan Baatar and make your own way to the accommodation. Dinner tonight will be at your accommodation.  

Accommodation: Ulaan Baatar Hotel to be confirmed

Overview: Ulaan Baatar is the world's coldest capital situated in a basin surrounded by 4 mountains on the southernmost border of the great Siberian Taiga and Steppe. When Mongolia achieved independence from China in 1911, the city had become an important trading centre on the route between China and Russia, populated by Chinese, Russians and Mongolians. The Mongolians are active followers of the Buddhist faith; one of the 3 incarnations of the living "Buddah" or "Dalai Lama" resided in Ulaan Baatar. Visit Nomadic families for demonstrations of ger raising, horse catching, felt making and mare-milking. Dinner tonight is a traditional Mongolian barbeque.

Accommodation: Temple ger camp, or similar for 2 nights

Traveller Experience: In Ulaan Baatar we are introduced to Mongolia and will observe the Mongolian people during the colourful Naadam festival and during a visit to the nearby Temple Ger Camp in the beautiful valley of Ar Bulagtai, some 60km to the east of Ulaan Baatar where we stay in traditional gers. We will learn about the nomadic lifestyle of a 13th century Mongolian at the Chinggis Khaan Statue complex.

Overview: An introductory talk by a local guide about the Naadam Festival followed by a full day’s field trip to experience the opening ceremonies of Mongolia’s Naadam Festival in the main square and at the city’s central stadium to view dressage and traditional Mongolian wrestling and archery. In the afternoon we enjoy horse racing at Hui Doloon meadow. Dinner at our hotel tonight.

Accommodation: Hotel Ulaanbaatar, or similar.

Overview: We return to the stadium this morning to see wrestling matches, before lunch at a local restaurant. Later we visit the Winter Palace, residence of Mongolia’s eighth re-incarnation of the Living Buddha and last king. Dinner at our hotel tonight.

Accommodation: Hotel Ulaanbaatar, or similar

Overview: Travel to the nature reserve near the Khentii Mountains where there is a chance of sighting rare big horngali sheep. Learn about the local herders who manage to keep about 200 argali sheep, as well as many other rare animals and birds in close proximity of the large coal mining city of Ulaanbaatar. Dinner at the camp tonight.

Accommodation: Stay: 1 night Gun Galuut ger camp, or similar

Overview: This morning we drive to Hustai Nuruu National Park, home to the last remaining species of wild horse, the Takhi, commonly known as the Przewalski’s Horse. Learn about the current conservation efforts and the status of herds found within the park. Dinner tonight will be at the camp.

Accommodation: 1 night Hustai ger camp, or similar

Overview: En route to Ulaanbaatar we stop for lunch at a local restaurant. There will be time to stroll through the local fairs at Sukhbaatar and this evening we will enjoy a traditional Mongolian performance.

Accommodation: 3 nights Hotel Ulaanbaatar, or similar

Overview: A visit to the traditional Buddhist Gandan Monastery, the seat of Buddhism in Mongolia, this morning and later we visit the Natural History Museum to see an excellent collection of traditional arts & crafts and tools. See some of the best dinosaur fossil collections in the world. This evening we board the Trans Mongolian train for our journey across Mongolia to Irkutsk. The train crosses the extensive Mongolian countryside. There is limited catering on board the train and we plan a shopping trip in the morning to ensure that we have provisions.

Accommodation: 2 nights on board Trans Mongolian Express train in 2 berth compartments. Single compartments are not available on train journeys and participants will be required to share Twin berth cabins with other participants of either sex.

Overview: Irkutsk, is now the regional and administrative capital of Siberia. It came to prominence in 1651 as a Cossack garrison and in the 1700's was an important trade centre for furs and ivory. Later it became the administrative centre and industrial and scientific centre during the Soviet era. With the coming of the railway in 1898, Irkutsk was linked with the rest of Russia and became an important strategic outpost. It is an ideal base to explore the world’s deepest Lake, Baikal. Arrive in Irkutsk and commence with a tour of the Siberian city visiting the local museum.  Dinner in a local restaurant this evening.

Accommodation: Courtyard Hotel City Centre, Irkutsk (or similar).

Traveller Experience: Here we will be introduced to the history and culture of Siberia. During our stay we will learn about the similarities and differences between its people and its Mongolian neighbours.

Overview: Travel to Lake Baikal this morning and take a walking tour of Krestovka and visit the Ethnographic Museum.

Accommodation: 1 night Krestovka Pad, or similar

Overview: We take a boat ride on Lake Baikal, the world’s deepest lake. During our stay in the region we visit the Lake Museum as well as the Museum of Traditional Wooden Architecture and enjoy some Siberian folk music. Learn about the similarities and differences between its people and its Mongolian neighbours. We return to Irkutsk and have dinner at a local restaurant this evening.

Accommodation: 2 nights Courtyard Marriott City Centre Hotel, or similar

Overview: Full day in Irkutsk to explore the city in your own time. Dinner this evening is at your hotel.

Accommodation: Courtyard Marriott City Centre Hotel, or similar

Overview: A free morning before we board the Trans-Siberian train for our epic rail journey through the Siberian forests and across the rural mountains to Moscow. Meals, including local style breakfast, lunches and dinners  can be purchased in the train’s restaurant car.

Accommodation: Single compartments are not available on train journeys and participants will be required to share twin berth cabins with other participants of either sex.

Overview: We arrive early in the morning and transfer to a hotel for some rest and to freshen up before our half day tour of Moscow. In the afternoon we transfer to the port to board our cruise. Moscow regarded as Europe's most "eastern" capital boasting Saint Basil's Cathedral, Red Square and the mysterious Kremlin. It contains some of Russia’s most outstanding architectural monuments from the fifteenth to seventeenth centuries, as well as great constructions from the Stalinist period including one of Europe’s most outstanding metro systems. The first 3 nights the boat will be moored in port in Moscow and then sail to Uglish, Yaroslavi, Goritzy, Khizi Island, Mandrogi-Ladoga and finish with 3 nights moored in St Petersburg. We will visit the heritage mediaeval cities of the Golden Ring including Uglich, Kizhi, Yaroslavl and Goritsy. The history, heritage and culture of Russia are epitomised in the glorious, quintessential Russian cities and countryside visited during our Golden Ring cruise. In St Petersburg, one of the grandest cities in the world. We experience Palace Square, the Nevski Prospect, St Isaak's Cathedral, the imposing Peter and Paul Fortress.

Accommodation: 11 nights on board of MS Chicherin or similar (single or twin share cabins available)

Overview: Today we have a tour to Peterhof lower park after which your time is free. There is an opportunity to take an optional excursion on the canals of St Petersburg. We then transfer to our hotel in St Petersburg for our last night on tour and farewell dinner.

Accommodation: 1 night St Petersburg Hotel or similar

Overview: Tour concludes in St Petersburg hotel after breakfast.

What's included in our Tour
  • 9 nights hotel ensuite accommodation.
  • 4 nights in traditional Mongolian yurts or gers (felt tents).
  • 2 nights aboard the Trans Mongolian from Ulaan Bator to Irkutsk in 2 berth compartments.
  • 11 nights accommodation onboard cruise vessel in en-suited share twin rooms.
  • 3 nights travel aboard the Trans Siberian in 2 berth compartments.
  • 24 breakfasts, 14 lunches and 24 dinners.
  • Transport, lectures and field trips as indicated.
  • Applicable entry fees and services of local guides.
  • Gratuities and necessary tips.
  • Services of a study / group leader.
  • Detailed Tour Information Booklet.
What's not included in our Tour
  • International airfares and departure taxes
  • Cost for Mongolian & Russian Visas. Odyssey will assist in obtaining the invitation letters for both visas.
  • Items of a personal nature, such as telephone calls and laundry.
  • Meals not specified in the itinerary.
  • Comprehensive Travel Insurance.
Mongolia and Russia small group tours

Tour Reviews

January 23, 2017

We did this tour in 2011. Wonderful, extraordinary experience.
Loved every minute.

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