Selena Travel

The Gobi & Gun – Galuut with Naadam festival tour


Tour grade: Easy

From: US$ 1,000

Style: Traveller

  • Experiencing authentic nomadic culture, endless photography opportunity
  • Nomads’ festival at its best – The Great Naadam festival, wrestling, horse racing and archery
  • The Gobi desert – Khongor, Bayanzag and Yoliin Am and Gun-Galuut nature reserve.
  • Meet people and make friends! You will be part of a group of 4-8 people during the tour as it is a group departure.

Tour Overview

Travelling overland in safari style, you will visit the vast expanses of the Gobi Desert, via Ongi monastery ruins where a three day circuit explores the lofty sand dunes of Khongoriin Els, the glacial canyon of Yolyn Am, and the red cliffs of Bayanzag, where the world’s richest deposits of dinosaur fossils are found.
One of the highlight of this tour is attending the exciting “Great Naadam Festival of the Mongols” that the nomads have cherished for thousands of years. Naadam Festival originates from the era of the Hunnu state, the first nomadic state in Central Asia and the ancestors of the Mongols. The Festival is comprised with the world’s second old Olympic Games “Three Sports of Men” namely the Archery, Horse racing and Wrestling.

Amazing Gun-Galuut Nature Reserve - a home to endangered wildlife and many other sites on the way.

Landscape and cultural sightseeing blend easily in Mongolia - you will have the chance to visit families of nomads, remote Buddhist monasteries and traditional events, and to take part in horse-riding or guided walking if you wish - there are also endless opportunities for photography. 

Brief itinerary

  • Day 1: Ulaanbaatar, city sightseeing tour
  • Day 2 – 4: Ulaanbaatar to the Gobi Desert. Bayanzag, Khongor sand dunes & Yoliin Am
  • Day 5 – 6: The Gobi to Ulaanbaatar, Gun – Galuut nature reserve
  • Day 7: Gun-Galuut to Ulaanbaatar
  • Day 8 – 9: July 11 – 12.  Great Naadam festival days in capital Ulaanbaatar
  • Day 10: Departure from Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia
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Tour images

Full Itinerary

Day 1:

Ulaanbaatar, city sightseeing tour

Transfer to centrally located hotel. Visit the Gandan Monastery housing a 26 m gilded Buddha, and discover the treasures of the National museum of Mongolia.  Centrally located excellent hotel 3* B+L+D

Day 2 – 4:

Ulaanbaatar to the Gobi Desert. Bayanzag, Khongor sand dunes & Yoliin Am

Take a flight to the Gobi desert. A three day circuit will enable us explore the hidden treasures of the mysterious Gobi: Mongolia’s largest and most beautiful sand dunes at Khongor, the Flaming Red Cliffs at Bayanzag – where the first nest of dinosaur eggs were unearthed, and the glacial gorge of Yoyliin Am. Ger camp B+L+D

Day 5 – 6:

The Gobi to Ulaanbaatar, Gun – Galuut nature reserve

Take the flight back to Ulaanbaatar, and transfer to amazing Gun-Galuut nature reserve by the legendary Kherlen River with a stop at the impressive 46 m Giant Genghis Monument on the way. Spend the day visiting a nomadic family and experiencing their lifestyle and relaxing in the Great Mongolian steppes. Ger camp B+L+D

Day 7:

Gun-Galuut to Ulaanbaatar

Return to Ulaanbaatar for the big festival next two days and visit the Mongolian last king Bogd Khan’s Palace Museum and see a traditional folklore performance by magical Tumen Ekh ensemble. Ger camp B+L+D

Day 8 – 9:

July 11 – 12.  Great Naadam festival days in capital Ulaanbaatar

Take part in one of the 10 biggest festivals of the world, so called the 2nd old Olympic games the “Great Naadam Festival” that features the Grand Opening ceremony, wrestling, archery and horse racing competitions as well as lots of music and dances. Centrally located excellent hotel 3* B+L+D

Day 10:

Departure from Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia

You are transferred to the airport/train station after breakfast. End of service.  B

Date & Price

Single Supplement charge US$440


Included Services 

  • Full-time services of your English speaking local guide throughout the tour
  • Sightseeing and entrance fees according to the itinerary
  • Ticket to the Giant Genghis Monument Complex
  • Private transfers (4WD Japanese minivans + Experienced drivers)
  • Twin/double share in a good hotel***, twin/triple share at good tourist camps
  • Meals as listed (B-breakfast, L-lunch, D-dinner)
  • 0.5 day Camel riding fees in Bayanzag
  • 0.5 day horse riding in Gun – Galuuta
  • Gobi – ULN one way domestic flight ticket + 15 kg luggage free, government taxes
  • Naadam Festival tickets and arrangements
  • 0.5 l x 3 bottled water per day
  • Visa support invitation letter where applicable
  • Exclusive Naadam & Gobi and Karakorum explorer souvenir!

Not Included in the price

  • International Airfare/train ticket
  • Travel insurance.
  • Items of a personal nature such as laundry, drinks, camera or video fees at any sites etc.
  • Tips for your guide and driver (discretionary).
  • Optional activities such as camel riding, archery, fishing etc


Tour Background

The Naadam festival is the biggest and most joyful celebration of the Mongols. It takes place on the 11-12th July annually. 

Why to take a Naadam festival tour? Naadam festival tour includes the Mongolia Great Naadam Festival Holiday that takes place in mid July once a year. Naadam festival tours are the highlight of Mongolia and the Naadam festival itself is a fantastic event. We invite you to our Naadam festival trips in Mongolia. Naadam Festival 2007 is a special one!
More info about Naadam festival: Mongolian Naadam Festival is the highlight of all these festivals and events that this country holds. The Naadam festival is held in mid July annually and the Mongols show off with this festival. The Naadam festival, or eriyn gurvan nadaam, is the biggest festival of the year for Mongolians. Usually occurring in July, it runs for three days in all parts of the country and highlights the greatest athletes in horse racing, archery, and wrestling: Mongolia's most popular sports. During the festival women participate in all but the wrestling category. The word Nadaam means game or competition in Mongolian. Competitions take place days on the first two and merry-making is reserved for the third.
The Naadam festival has been held for centuries as a form of memorial celebration, as an annual sacrificial ritual honoring various mountain gods or to celebrate a community endeavor. The festivities kick off with a colorful parade of athletes, monks, soldiers marching in perfect uniformity, musicians performing powerful military tunes, and Mongolians dressed in Chinggis-style warrior uniforms. It is the most widely watched festival in the country, and is believed to have existed for centuries in one fashion or another.
The Great Naadam festival is lots of music, dances and sports and very colorful. Naadam festival's competitions were originally called "the three manly sports" and, thus, restricted to men. But over time, and under the influence of the former communist rulers' insistence on female equality, the horse races and archery were opened to all comers. Only wrestling remains a "manly sport". The best parts of the Naadam festival are the Naadam festival opening ceremony, Mongolian wrestling, Traditional Mongolian archery and Mongolian horse racing. Naadam wrestling, archery and horse racing are very famous as hundreds of participants participate in them.
The Mongols wear their colorful clothes on the Great Naadam Festival day and go to the Naadam stadium to take part in it. Selena Travel organizes wonderful Naadam festival tours and we invite you to spend your holiday in Mongolia taking one of our Naadam festival trip. Travel to Mongolia and see Great Naadam festival of Mongolia!
The Gobi Desert
The Gobi desert is the most mysterious place on earth The Gobi invites you to reveal its secrets. This region is famous for its unique natural formations, many places where you can dig and find real dinosaur fossils, flora and fauna not found anywhere else in the world. Ride the 2 humped Bactrian camels and discover the Gobi!
Bayanzag (Flaming Cliffs) is internationally famous for its fossilized dinosaur remains. Dinosaur nests with eggs were found here as well as whole fossilized skeletons.
The Khongoriin Els sand dunes extend along the northern side of Sevrei and Zuulun mountain ranges. These dunes are 180 km long, 15-20 km wide and up to 200m high. There is a small oasis near Khongoriin gol stream, which flows along the northern edge of the dunes. The scenery here is simply spectacular.
Yoliin Am (Vulture's Gorge) is a narrow valley located in the Zuun Saikhan Mountain range, with thick pieces of ice almost all year around hidden in its depths. This area is home to rare animals such as the Argali (wild sheep) and Ibex as well as Vultures and other large birds.
Gun-Galuut Nature Reserve is truly the marvellous combination of high mountains, colourful flowers, pretty lakes, rivers and wetland waters with full of waterbirds including some rare and endangered species like the Argali wild sheep, Siberian White Cranes, Hooded Cranes, White-Naped Cranes, Whooper Swans etc. Argali Wild Mountain Sheep is rare, endangered species in the world. You can photograph herds of Argali from the closest distance in Baits & Berkh mountains.

Tour Map

Tour Reviews

May 24, 2024.  The Gobi & Karakorum Explorer

Aug 10, 2012. Gobi & Karakorum Explorer tour Our recent "The Gobi & Karakorum Explorer" tour with you was excellent, everything exceeded our expectations! It was a super trip in our lives and we loved our Mongolia holiday so much. Our guide Joe was kind, well organised, accurate and informative, polite and caring and always provided us with timely information. And our driver Jack is super, very friendly, professional and always on time. We are wild travelers, having been to many places in the world - but Mongolia is still truly unspoiled and uncontaminated. Selena Travel's services were perfect right from the very first email. We would like to thank Selena Travel, our guide and our driver for having made this Mongolia experience a truly beautiful one with so many wonderful memories.

by Rafaella, Benedetta, Lidia

Aug 08, 2012.  Gobi & Karakorum customized 11 days tour

Sending you some of our nicer pictures. Some are chosen for their beautiful scenery while the rest are just us happily playing and goofing around. There are a couple of shots of us doing some Mongolian wrestling, as suggested by Oyuna since we missed out on the mini-Naadam festival. She said since we missed it, we might as well organise our own festival by playing some Mongolian games. Haha... We had so much fun playing those games!!! :)OK, I hope you like the pictures we send you. Best regards to everyone at Selena Travel and thank you once again for all your assistance.

by Margaret Suganda

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