Selena Travel

When Should You Visit Mongolia?

Posted by Selena Travel / 06 26, 2019

With four seasons, and located north of China and south of Russia, travelers may wonder what the weather in Mongolia is like. There are four seasons, and each of them bring an interesting new vibe to the country.

In a country as large as Mongolia, there are bound to be variations in the Mongolian climate. Each region and season can have variations, but in general there is always something to do no matter when you decide to visit Mongolia. Here are some tips to help you to choose the best time to visit Mongolia.

Summer

The summer is probably the easiest time to come to Mongolia. The weather is warm and dry in much of the country and there is plenty to do. You can do a tour on mountain bike, car, or horseback and camp out under the stars each night.

Outside of Ulaanbaatar, the night sky is a wonder, you can easily lay out in a chair near your ger and watch the stars pass by; you will probably even see a shooting star. During the day you can hike the country’s hills and mountains. By the summer, the fishing season has started, and you can take advantage of some of the good fishing in the local rivers. The authorities are strict about foreigners fishing, so be sure to get a license.

One huge reason to visit during the summer is for the Naadam Festival. There are Naadam Festivals held all over the country, but Ulaanbaatar’s is the largest. They usually happen in mid-July and are like the Mongolian Olympics. There are three main events for the “three manly sports” – archery, horse racing, and wrestling. Each one is practiced in a uniquely Mongolian way. Book Naadam tour now, as limited seats are available.  

The festival is also an excuse for people to come together and hang out. Make sure you get some naadam khuushuur, which is basically a deep-fried hot pocket. The ones made during naadam are different than the ones made the rest of the year.

If you go down to the Gobi Desert, be sure to bring plenty of water. The temperatures can reach up to 40 degrees Celsius. If you’re more into mountain lakes, Khuvsgul is a great destination. While swimming is discouraged, you can get a chair and relax out on the water. The Mongolian climate can vary, and the lake area gets considerably more water than the rest of the country. Just don’t go too early, there can be ice still in the lake in early June!

Autumn

Starting in September, the autumn in Mongolia is short, but a real treasure. The larch trees are one of the few deciduous conifers. This means they’re like a pine tree, but their needles change color and fall off before winter. This is really one of the best times to visit Mongolia, as whole valleys covered in larch go from green to brilliant yellows and golds, and forest floors are covered in yellow pine needles for weeks after that. The hiking is particularly amazing at this time.

If you’re interested in camping, check the Mongolia weather before you go, as it can get quite cold at night as soon as September. There are many outfitters where you can rent extra camping equipment though. You’ll also get the best food, as the local farms have harvested and are eager to sell their fresh produce to hungry customers.

Winter

Winter may be the best time to go to Mongolia. Between the cold, but manageable temperatures, and the lack of tourists, it’s a time when you can really experience the culture of Mongolia. You’ll also be welcome to many fun activities that don’t happen anytime else.

One big event is Tsaagan Sar. It literally means White Month, and traditionally started the New Year. It’s part of the Lunar Calendar, so it moves around. People visit family and friends and eat a ton of traditional dumplings. It’s a quiet time, but if you can visit and help a family, they would definitely appreciate the extra hands to make the dumplings.

Another event in the winter is the Ice Festival in Khuvsgul. There you can see ice sculptures and walk on the largest lake by volume in the country. There are a number of camps that cater to tourists, and they’ll be sure to keep the gers nice and toasty for you.

Wherever you are in the country though, the snowfall isn’t usually very deep, except in the far north and west. There is ample ice skating, movies to see, and malls to shop in. You can ice skate in a number of places in Ulaanbaatar alone, even in a couple malls here. If you wanted to do an ice-skating tour, the frozen rivers are a great chance to test your mettle. There is also dog sledding along the river as well, for those in need of an adrenaline rush.\


 

If you’re worried about flying in, you can always take the Trans-Siberian Railroad from either Moscow to Ulaanbaatar, or from Beijing to Ulaanbaatar. This is a comfortable alternative, with cozy cabins at a modest price.

Spring

Spring can be one of the tougher times to travel to Mongolia. The herds of animals are holding on to make it through until the grasses grow some more. There can be little food on the shelves, especially in the countryside. Spring rain can cause floods that could leave a traveler stranded.

That said, it may be one of the most rewarding times to visit. The spring flowers are beautiful, and the days get dramatically longer every week. There are a growing number of spring festivals, and the Ulaanbaatar Marathon happens in the spring. The Gobi Desert is also a pleasant temperature during this time, and if you’re lucky you can get there after a spring rain to see the special blooms.

May, June, July, August, September are the best time to visit Mongolia. Any kinds of tours are available including cultural, historical, trekking, hiking, mountaineering, horse riding, fishing, and nature tours etc. Book your trip now while spots are still available.

Due to weather condition, most of ger camps work from 15 May till Sep 30. So, tours in Mongolia in October, November, December, January, February, March & April are available but limited due to accommodation supply. Click here for amazing winter tours.

Whether you’re going to the Gobi Desert, or Lake Khuvsgul, spring, summer, and fall all offer exciting activities to tempt a traveler! Anytime is a great time to go to Mongolia!


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