Selena Travel

Blue Pearl Baikal & Golden Gobi tour

12days/11nights

Tour grade: Easy

From: US$ 2,960

Style: Traveller

  • Lake Baikal & Siberian Highlights: Lake Baikal, Irkutsk, Decembrist Museum, Museum of Lake Baikal, Trans Mongolian Train
  • Southern Mongolian Highlights: Khongor sand dunes, the Bayanzag – Flaming Cliffs and Yoliin Am Gorge
  • Ulaanbaatar sightseeing & the Giant Genghis Monument, famous Terelj & Hustai national parks
  • 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

Stretching from the Black Sea across the vast expanses of Siberia to Kamchatka and the Bering Straits, Russia is truly a country of epic proportions. A land long closed by the Soviet era has now opened to reveal a fantastic diversity of experience. Cross the Urals to Asia and the great lakes and Taiga forest of Siberia await - magnificent untouched landscapes ideal for exploration. Mongolia, the ‘Land of Blue Sky’, home of the greatest empire the world has ever known and Asia’s last undiscovered wilderness. Awesome expanses of rolling steppe, home to Mongolia’s famous horses and herdsmen, meet high glacial mountains, impenetrable forests and deep, crystal lakes. To the south the great Gobi Desert stretches to the horizon; empty save for deep canyons and sweeping dunes. Across much of this vast land little has changed since the days of Genghis Khan, and your visit here will truly be an experience beyond imagination.

Tour map

Brief itinerary

  • Day 1: Arrival in Irkutsk, City Tour including Decembrist museum
  • Day 2: Lake Baikal. Taltsy open-air museum. Baikal museum. Chersky viewpoint
  • Day 3: (Thu, Sat and Sun) Famous Circum Baikal train trip - Lake Baikal
  • Day 4: Irkutsk - Train To Ulaanbaatar
  • Day 5: On The Trans-Siberian Train
  • Day 6: Arrival In Ulaanbaatar, City Sightseeing
  • Day 7: Ulaanbaatar – The Gobi - Yoliin Am Gorge
  • Day 8: Bayanzag- Moltsog Sand Dunes - Bayanzag
  • Day 9: The Gobi – Ulaanbaatar – Hustai national park
  • Day 10: Hustai national park - Terelj national park via Genghis monument
  • Day 11: Terelj national park – Ulaanbaatar
  • Day 12: Departure
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Tour images

Full Itinerary

Day 1:

Arrival in Irkutsk, City Tour including Decembrist museum

Arrive Irkutsk, your guide and driver will meet you at the airport/railway station. Lunch in a café (or late breakfast depending on the time of your arrival). City tour around all of Irkutsk major historical sights. Guided tour to the Decembrist museum in Prince Volkonsky Mansion. Check in to your hotel. Good Hotel 3* L

Day 2:

Lake Baikal. Taltsy open-air museum. Baikal museum. Chersky viewpoint

This morning we take a private transfer to the village of Listvyanka by the Lake Baikal with visits to the Wooden Architecture Museum and the Museum of Lake Baikal. Local lodge  B+L

Day 3:

(Thu, Sat and Sun) Famous Circum Baikal train trip - Lake Baikal

Breakfast. Ferry from Listvyanka to port Baikal. Train trip along the historical Circum-Baikal Railway track to the southern extremity of the lake. During excursion you will have 4 stops to visit old galleries, tunnels, and bridges, walk in the forest and at Lake Baikal shoreline. The train runs along the shore while everyone can admire beautiful views of the lake’s expanses. Packed lunch is provided. Return from Sludyanka to Irkutsk with the same train. Meeting at the railway station. Transfer to a hotel in Irkutsk.  Local lodge  B+L

Day 4:

Irkutsk - Train To Ulaanbaatar

After breakfast we are transferred to Irkutsk, enjoy a half day city sightseeing including the Znamensky Russian Orthodox Church, Historical museum and the Central food market, then transfer to the train station in the evening for the train to Ulaanbaatar. On the train B+L+D

Day 5:

On The Trans-Siberian Train

We enjoy a day of viewing the endless forest of Siberia and the views of the Lake Baikal with plenty of stops at small Russian villages. On the train

Day 6:

Arrival In Ulaanbaatar, City Sightseeing

Arrival in Ulaanbaatar, our guide and driver will meet us at the train station and aid with check-in at the central hotel. After checking in, we rest. Meet in the afternoon and we take a tour of the city, including the Gandan Monastery, Mongolian National Museum and Genghis Monument on the Sukhbaatar Square. Centrally located excellent hotel 3* L

Day 7:

Ulaanbaatar – The Gobi - Yoliin Am Gorge

In the morning, we catch flight to the Gobi desert. After landing we visit the Yoliin Am gorge in the stunning Gobi Gurvan Saikhan National Park. Hiking on the Gobi glacier and viewing the wildlife. Drive to Bayanzag, the Flaming Cliffs. Ger camp B+L+D

Day 8:

Bayanzag- Moltsog Sand Dunes - Bayanzag

This morning we explore the Flaming Cliffs for dinosaur remains. Visit a nomadic camel breeder’s and see their lifestyle. We drive to the Gobi airport via the Moltsog Els sand dunes. Transfer to camp. Ger camp B+L+D

Day 9:

The Gobi – Ulaanbaatar – Hustai national park

This morning we take the flight back to Ulaanbaatar, upon arrival we drive for 2 hours to the Hustai national park, one of the most popular national parks of Mongolia through the rolling steppes.  Arrive in Hustai view the wonderful Takhi wild horses and other wildlife. Optional hiking around the hill. Ger camp B+L+D

Day 10:

Hustai national park - Terelj national park via Genghis monument

Drive to Terelj NP, on the way to the Terelj NP visit the Giant Genghis Statue, arrive in Terelj and transfer to Ger camp. Lunch. Then enjoy seeing Turtle Rock, overnight in Ger camp.  Ger camp B+L+D

Day 11:

Terelj national park – Ulaanbaatar

We drive back to Ulaanbaatar for 1 hours on paved road and transfer to the hotel. Then we visit the Bogd Khaan’s Palace Museum – the residence of the last king of Mongolia and the Buddha Park. Farewell dinner. Centrally located excellent hotel 3* B+L+D

Day 12:

Departure

Transfer to the airport after breakfast for departure flight for home.  B 

Date & Price

Single Supplement Charge US$400  

 


Included services
 
  • Full-time services of your English speaking local guide throughout the tour (no guide in train & domestic flight)
  • Sightseeing and entrance fees according to the itinerary
  • Ticket to the Giant Genghis Monument Complex
  • Private transfers and transports
  • Twin/double share in hotel***, twin/triple share at good tourist camps, local lodges 
  • Meals as listed (B-breakfast, L-lunch, D-dinner)
  • Train ticket(s) from Irkutsk to Ulaanbaatar (4 persons in 1 second class of cabin)
  • Gobi – ULN RT domestic flight tickets + 15 kg luggage free of charge, taxes
  • Circum-Baikal train ticket 
  • Ferry ticket 
  • 0.5 day of camel riding in Bayanzag of the Gobi Desert
  • 0.5 day of horse riding in Terelj national park 
  • 0.5 l x 3 bottled water per day
  • Visa support invitation letter where applicable
  • Exclusive The Asian blue Pearl & Golden Dunes tour souvenir!
Not Included in the Price
 
  • International Airfare/train ticket
  • Travel insurance.
  • Visa fees 
  • 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

Luggage allowance on Selena Travel tours 
When you travelling overland in a vehicle (minivan & jeep), it would be suitable if you have 20kg luggage per person (max). However, please kindly note that domestic flight luggage allowance per person is 15 kg (10 kg for the check in luggage and 5 for the carry on luggage). For 1kg extra luggage you pay US$2 - 5. 
 

DESTINATION & ATTRACTIONS BRIEF INFO

Irkutsk: The town of Irkutsk was established as a fortress on the banks of the Angara in 1651, and from humble beginnings developed into the administrative center of Eastern Siberia. The town initially grew rich and prospered on the profits of the fur trade, and then boomed following the discovery of gold in the area. Though much of the fine, classic Russian architecture of these boom-times was lost during the Soviet era, old gingerbread log houses remain in areas, and this atmosphere, combined with the Asiatic influences of neighboring Mongolia and China, serve to make Irkutsk one of the most interesting places to visit in the area.

Lake Baikal, the “Pearl of Siberia”, is a place of breathtaking beauty and mind-boggling statistics: at 1637 meters it is the world’s deepest lake, containing an incredible fifth of the world’s fresh water resources. At 636 kilometers long the lake is bigger than Belgium, and has water of such crystal clarity and visibility extends to a depth of 40 meters. Baikal has been home to various ethnic groups for millennia, and the shamanistic Buriat people still reside in settlement of wood cabins around the lake shore. This is one of the most magnificent natural sites on earth, and offers lovers of the outdoors fabulous opportunities for hiking, horse trekking, fishing and boating. 

Yolyn Am - the Vulture’s Gorge Yolyn Am, 'The Vulture's Gorge’, commonly called Eagle Canyon by travellers, is a striking gorge in the deep desert, remarkable for the microclimate that its formation creates. Sheer rock walls, up to 660 feet high, keep out the light and the heat, whilst four waterfalls pour into the canyon, chill as they leave the sun, and freeze. Yolyn Am is lined with ice almost year-round and at its narrowest point only two people (or animals - the canyon is a favored haunt of the wild Ibex and Argali) can pass abreast. Descent into the canyon is on foot or on horseback if you'd prefer. 

Bayanzag, which in Mongolian means 'a place of many saxaul bushes', was first called 'The Flaming Cliffs' by Roy Chapman Andrews, the American dinosaur hunter and adventurer who made vital finds of dinosaur eggs and skeletons at the base of the vivid red bluffs, which stand alone in a vast empty expanse of land and sky. Chapman himself was something of a rogue - said by some to be the man on whom the film character 'Indiana Jones' was based. He lived an adventurous, self-aggrandizing life across much of this part of the world. At Bayanzag it is the landscape, in addition to the rich dinosaur history, which is very impressive - an intense evocation of Mongolia's great emptiness.

Mongolian Bactrian Camel: People can travel almost anywhere by camel. In olden days, camel was the biggest and strongest form of transport. Camel may look imposing but they are actually very calm and easy to ride. One of the most interesting parts of this journey will be to ride a camel over the sand dunes for a panoramic view the natural beauty of the Gobi.

More information about Mongolia and Russia tour: This fantastic multi-country tour takes you to Russia and Mongolia in one Mongolia Russia trip. You will travel to the Asian Black Pearl lake Baikal and Siberia and the Gobi desert and Gun-Galuut steppes in Mongolia. You can sail with boats, ride camels or horses or trek during the trip. 

Tour Map

Tour Reviews

Jul 19, 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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