Mongolia Winter Tours

A celebration of Mongolian tradition and culture for winter 2020/2021.

Yes, winter in Mongolia has a bit of a reputation. And you’re right – it is cold, freezing in fact, but the cold is an integral part of what makes Mongolia and its landscapes extraordinary at this time of year. Winter is a quintessential Mongolian season and a remarkable experience – it will show you how good Mongolians are at adaptation and how they work in relation to their changing (and challenging) environment.

We offer experiences that provide what we consider a celebration of Mongolian culture and tradition. We look at what Mongolians do in the low season – either now or as part of their cultural history – or their traditions and festivals.  Fewer travellers allow you a more intimate experience and exclusive access into the lives and culture of these places. Low season in Mongolia offers what we consider more ‘real-life‘ experiences –  those unexpected moments when you know something special is happening.  

What To Expect

Our Mongolia winter tours are shared adventures in that you stay alongside the families we work in long-term local community partnership with which gives you a more personal insight into life in Mongolia. However, it means an adjustment on your behalf. This is not luxury travel. There are no planned or contrived experiences.  This is real life. 

However, we take care of the small details including providing traditional felt boots, our hand-made sheepskin winter deels as well as our hand-made goat skin blankets. All accommodation has been prepared for winter and our tour vehicles are also adapted for the winter months.

Yes, there will be challenges but only the challenges faced on a daily basis by local Mongolians themselves. The night skies more than makeup for the challenge of the temperatures. And of course, you’ll receive the warmest of hospitality as the local Mongolians you meet will be very proud to welcome foreign visitors that face the challenges of their wintertime.

Why We Promote Low Season Travel

We don’t ‘close’ for the winter months – we still offer local Mongolia winter tours and experiences to the adventurous few who find themselves coming to Mongolia. In fact, we promote low season travel. Why? It’s a more sustainable approach and is a major part of our responsible tourism philosophy but this isn’t a case of lip service or ticking boxes. Our philosophy helps create positive social change in Mongolia. We are keen to make tourism less concentrated around peak season in Mongolia (summer) and to help the income of the people we work with – both our immediate Mongolian team and the network of Mongolians we work in long-term local community partnership with – be more evenly distributed. For those travelling at this time of year, we reward you with a 15% discount.

Photo from one of our recent Mongolia winter tours to Khovsgol Ice Festival

We are aware of the impact that the coronavirus is having on our daily lives including financially as well as on world travel and holiday plans. For more on the impact of the coronavirus on travel to Mongolia and what measures we are putting in place as a team and community see our dedicated coronavirus webpage (link). The same page also has details of our updated (until end of 2021) flexible booking conditions. For those interested in travelling with us in winter 2020/2021 we are receiving bookings (the flexible booking conditions apply). We are also putting in place our ‘Everyone Travels Safely’ strategy which we will publish when ready. Please do get in touch with any questions. We look forward to the day we can remove this note from our website. Jess & the EL team

Small Group Mongolia Winter Tours 2020/21

Tsagaan Sar Insight - Lunar New Year - Middle Gobi - Central Heartland - 7 Days - February 10th

Sunrise on Tsagaan Sar - experience Mongolia's Lunar New Year on one of our Mongolia winter tours
Why not consider visiting Mongolia during its Lunar New Year Festival – known as Tsagaan Sar – White Month? It is one of the most important and traditional of celebrations in Mongolia. Travel with us and you’ll experience Tsagaan Sar through the eyes of two of the rural families we work in long-term local community partnership with in the central heartland. This is our own personal insight into local life in Mongolia.

Khovsgol Ice Festival - 3 Day Horse Sleigh Expedition - 12 Days - February 23rd

Photo from one of our recent Mongolia winter tours to Khovsgol Ice Festival
The wild landscapes of Khovsgol Nuur National Park form the stunning backdrop to this adventure. Yes, Khovsgol is considered a ‘highlight’ of Mongolia but we’ll show you a more local and hidden side to Khovsgol during this experience that we have researched and designed together with Baasanchuluun a member of the Darkhad ethnic group and head of a young herding family in the rural community of Khatgal.

Thousand Camel Festival - Gobi Desert - Three Day Camel Trek - Local Homestays - 11 Days - February 28th

bactrian camels walking in a the winter landscape of northern Mongolia
The ultimate road trip through Mongolia’s Gobi Desert where you’ll explore, discover and understand the diversity of landscapes that form the Gobi as well as meet some of the people that make their home in this remarkable region. Culminates with the Thousand Camel Festival.

Altai and Eagles - Western Mongolia - Kazakh Eagle Hunters - Two-Day Eagle Festival - Nauryz - 11 Days - March 13th

Kazakh eagle hunter - Mongolia small group tours 2021
Experience first hand the life of a Kazakh eagle hunter as you spend time living alongside a hunter and his family witnessing and being part of their daily lives. It also combines the traditional festival of Nauryz – the Kazakh celebration of the coming of spring as well as he two-day Nauryz Eagle Festival.

Tailor Made Mongolia Winter Trips

Our tailor-made ideas for 2020/2021. All include the option of a free (informal, relaxed & local) city walking tour of Ulaanbaatar

Dog Sledding - Gorkhi Terelj National Park - Flexible lengths

Dog sledding trips in Mongolia is where nature dominates - from the wolf tracks we’ll come across in the snow to the sound of the ice moving on the frozen Tuul and Terelj Rivers. Yes, the word adventure is fashionable and overused in the tourism industry but this really is a true adventure.
Dog sledding in Mongolia’s Gorkhi-Terelj National Park is a trip where the power of nature dominates – from the wolf tracks you’ll come across in the snow to the sound of the ice moving on the frozen rivers. Yes, the word adventure is fashionable and overused in the tourism industry but this really is a true adventure – living together with your team of dogs, and staying alongside herding families that make their home in the area. There’s also the freedom, the solitude and the space. LIMITED AVAILABILITY SO PLEASE EMAIL JESS FOR DETAILS.

Modern Nomads - Central Heartland - 8 Days

Mongolian gers in the snow. Notice the traditional 'ulzii' pattern on the nearest door - a symbol of protection and longevity.
Explore, discover and trek three of Mongolia’s iconic landscapes – open steppe, sand dunes and a river valley – being hosted by the rural families we work in long-term local community partnerships with within the central heartland. Includes a two-day camel trek and a two-day horse trek.

Riding With Eagle Hunters- Western Mongolia - 8 Days

We work closely with a number of Kazakh eagle hunters - Kazakh families we have personally built up relationships with over the past 12 years. We use no agents or tour operators - we work directly with all the families as this leads to a more personal insight for you as our guest.
Amid the arid yet strikingly beautiful landscapes of western Mongolia, the Kazakh eagle hunters have a way of life that has been shaped by history, geography and political change. Out here, all schedules go out of the window. You’re on nomad time, and the daily activities depend on your host family, the eagle hunter, and the weather conditions. Days are spent trekking in the mountains on foot, or heading out on horseback. You’ll witness the eagle hunt, and the close relationship and communication needed between hunter and eagle. But leave your preconceptions behind.

Horse Sleigh Expedition - Khovsgol Nuur National Park - 8 Days

A horse sleigh in northern Mongolia during one of our low season Mongolia trips
Khovsgol Nuur is known as Dalai Ej – Mother Sea – to Mongolians. It is a spiritual place for Mongolians and in the winter it is frozen. Deeply frozen. It is Khovsgol Nuur that forms the centrepiece to our three day horse sleigh expedition. Horse sleighs are a common form of transport for the Darkhad at Khovsgol in the winter months and it is the the local knowledge of our Darkhad host that guides and leads this trip.

Winter Camel Trek - Southern Gobi Desert - 3 Day Camel Trek - 8 Days

bactrian camels walking in a the winter landscape of northern Mongolia
A winter camel trek through the Gobi Desert is an adventure true to local traditions. For centuries, up until the 1920’s, the Gobi was traversed by camel trains – typically travelling in the winter months – allowing the camels the summer months to recuperate when grazing is best. This is experiential travel where you’ll be hosted each evening of the trek by local herding families.

Living With The Tsaatan - Horse Trek - Mongolia's Reindeer Herders - 13 Days

A reindeer belonging to Mongolia's Tsaatan reindeer herders. Part of one of our Mongolia winter tours
This Mongolia winter tour allows you to live alongside Mongolia’s Tsaatan reindeer herders (the Dukha). As you travel to the far north of Mongolia – the Darhad Depression, home to several thousand square kilometres of natural habitat classified as taiga – it is a journey on which you must be prepared to step outside your comfort zone. During your time with the Tsaatan, nothing is contrived or planned. You live each day side by side with your host family.

Note on Riding With Eagle Hunters

Our Philosophy

The Kazakh eagle hunters only hunt in the winter months (early November through to February) as they hunt specifically for the winter coat of the prey of their eagles. We do not arrange contrived experiences where live prey is pre-captured, held and then released on purpose for our guests to be able to photograph the experience. We will never arrange any artificial experiences as they damage the culture, the way of life or wildlife itself.

For those concerned about the welfare of the eagles, the Kazakh eagle hunters have a respectful yet practical approach to their eagles – they have a close connection with their eagles – they are virtually family members although it is sometimes hard for outsiders to recognise this. The eagles are released back into the wild after about ten seasons so that they can breed. Once released, the birds are observed to make sure they successfully reintegrate back into the wild.

We Would Love To Hear From You!

Call: +44 (0) 7810280403     Mail:

If you’re in Ulaanbaatar why not pop in to our office. We love receiving guests.
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Just call Tuya to arrange +976 88011476.
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