Cycling & mountain biking vacations in Mongolia


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Vacation type
Small group vacations
Small group travel is not large group travel scaled down. It is modelled on independent travel – but with the advantage of a group leader to take care of the itinerary, accommodation and tickets, and dealing with the language. It’s easy to tick off the big sights independently – but finding those one-off experiences, local festivals, traveling markets and secret viewpoints is almost impossible for someone without the insider knowledge gained from years in the field. If you’re heading off on a gap year your, perhaps – but for those with a two-week vacation, a small group tour will save valuable planning time.

The leaders are not guides – they’re not there to shepherd you around. Instead, they’ll let you know which local restaurant serves great value food – without running the risk of travelers’ tummy. They’ll allow you to avoid hour-long queues at train stations and attractions.

We like to think of small group travel as the Goldilocks option. It is independent travel without the fuss, worry and bunk beds – and organised travel without the coaches. And it’s cheaper than a tailor made tour. It’s sits somewhere in the middle – and we think it’s just about right.
What are the main benefits?
Big experiences
Have big, life-enriching experiences that would be impossible to organise without lots of time and insider knowledge.

Make the most of your vacation time by letting someone else do the hard work and boring logistics!

Peace of mind
Small group tours take care of the security aspects – and provide a safety net should anything unexpected happen.
Who is it ideal for?
Travelers who are short of time
If you don’t have three months to spend exploring, small groups trips let you cover more ground in less time. Your days are not spent queuing for tickets or finding hotels – so you can squeeze more into your vacation.

Solo travelers who’d like company
Likeminded travel companions plus peace of mind for those traveling alone. Single supplements are usually available – providing privacy if you want it.

Less confident travelers
Stray from the tourist trail without worrying about getting lost, and meet local people without dealing with the language barrier.
“I won’t get any privacy!”
Couples and friends have private rooms, and you can choose to eat alone or not. Single supplements give solo travelers their own room.

“There won’t be any free time”
Free mornings or afternoons let you explore on your own, or just relax.

“The accommodation will be basic”
Trips are as high or low end as you like. Though off the beaten track destinations won’t have luxury hotels, this is all part of the adventure.

“I won’t like the other travelers!”
Tour operators try to create groups with a similar demographic – age, families, activity levels... Chances are, you’ll even make new friends.

“Will we be following an umbrella?”
Meet a group leader
As well as taking care of all the day-to-day practicalities, your group leader is the one who will turn your trip into an adventure. Leaders are extraordinary characters – the kind of person who has spent 14 Christmas days on the slopes of Mount Everest, runs marathons wearing tiger suits to raise funds for their conservation and thinks nothing of leading an overland trip in Sudan or Afghanistan. Fearless and inspiring, group leaders are as important as the destination itself.

Meet a local guide
No matter how experienced your group leader, they can never make up for the knowledge gained from a lifetime in the destination. That’s why many of our trips work with local guides around the world – who invite you into their homeland with pleasure. As well as doing crazy things like climbing Kilimanjaro 100 times, they also donate their time to local projects supported by travelers – such as rebuilding Sri Lankan villages following the 2004 tsunami.

Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Cycling & mountain biking vacations in Mongolia


Transport: What better way to support the environment and lower our carbon footprint... than by cycling. Traveling by bike is not only a great way to see and experience a culture, but this means we use less vehicles, less oil and less carbon.

Water: We request that all passengers bring biodegradable soaps as we often wash in or near rivers.
We also provide purified drinking water for the duration of the cycling component for all passengers and staff, using 20 litre, reusable water drums. This prevents you from needing to buy plastic bottles that add to landfill.

Waste: We collect all rubbish from our campsites and dispose as requested by our local staff – this is either using designated areas for disposal in townships that we pass through.

Wildlife: We do not take part in or promote any activities that involve the display or use of animals in captivity for tourism or entertainment. Our leaders and guides are versed in and happy to discuss wildlife issues in Mongolia, such as threats to the Mongolian wildlife through illegal hunting, climate change and drought.

Energy: The style of this trip, with a predominance of camping, we experience life with limited sources of energy. Whilst in the other accommodations, we encourage guests to conserve energy and maintain the use of air conditioners, lights and other electrical equipment to a minimum. This doesn't mean we don't want you to use it, but be conscious of your usage and turn off everything whilst you are not in your rooms.

Suppliers: We support the communities where we travel. Our accommodations, restaurants, guides, drivers, mechanics and cooks are all Mongolian and we encourage everyone we meet to treat our environment with care and respect. We hope at the least, that we lead by example.


This trip supports the 'Lotus Children’s Centre' in Ulaanbaatar. This organisation provides support and education of homeless Mongolian children. They welcome us to visit the kids at the Centre, donate equipment and to support their small cafe by going there for a meal. If passengers are willing to bring equipment with them from their home country (like speakers, art supplies) please let us know when booking this trip.

We send out trip specific information booklets to all passengers on our trips before the trip has started to encourage participants to start reading and learning about the country and region that they will be traveling through.

The areas we travel in all have strong, rich and unique cultures. We love to explore, listen and learn about these cultures from the minority people themselves, we manage this by encouraging local interaction and supporting minority and locally run businesses and suppliers. We facilitate exchanges between local Mongolians and our travelers in a mutually beneficial manner; for example organising a family ger visit.

The maximum group size for this trip is 12. This helps to preserve the experience as a more personalised for you and also makes it less intimidating for locals.

Discovering new foods, dishes and flavours is an integral part of traveling, and we love to eat! For breakfast, lunch and dinner we will take you to all manner of local eating establishments, eating fresh, regional produce cooked by the people who know best – the locals!

On this adventure, all of our guides, drivers and mechanics are from Mongolia. We only stay at locally owned guest houses and encourage people to support local businesses and smaller shops, as opposed to bigger supermarkets and chain stores.

Reviews of Cycling & mountain biking vacations in Mongolia

You can trust Responsible Travel reviews because, unlike many other schemes, reviews can ONLY be written by people who we have verified have been on the vacations.

I am reborn! Simply the best vacation I have ever been on
Some great stories to tell the grandchildren. Would recommend to a friend
Very enjoyable
It was OK
A bit disappointing really

Reviewed on 13 Mar 2010 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

Excellent trip but the highlight has got to be the stunning country side. Wasn’t sure what to expect but the mountains were tough to cycle up but fun to come down. Hiding out from the rain in a local families nice warm ger being given homemade yaks cheese and yak yoghurt vodka. The locals were so friendly

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

Take plenty of warm clothing and a warm sleeping bag as the temperature really drops at night and it can get really cold despite the temperature during the day. Don’t try the local Arag! A local weak alcoholic drink made from mares milk but it is an acquired taste - tastes like gone off milk!

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

Yes. They don’t light fires (no matter how cold it is!) as wood is rare and should be left for the locals. All rubbish is taken away and empty water bottles are given to locals for reuse to sell their Arag.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

Fantastic - fully recommend it.

Reviewed on 10 Aug 2008 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

Fantastic scenery, wide open unspoilt countryside which was very sparsely populated. Great terrain for mountain biking as there is no traffic apart from the odd inquisitive yak on the path. A total contrast to central London. We met a great group of people from Australia, US, NZ and the UK with a mix of ages from about 30 to late 60's which all added to the experience.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

Key tips are:
1) take your own toilet paper as it isn't provided (very necessary item).
2) take your own bike seat, the first 3 days are all on river rocks and your butt knows all about it.
3) other essentials - pack enough sunscreen for the whole trip (the villages do not sell it), bio-degradable soap and shampoo as the river is the only washing facility, diarrhoea tablets are a must (7 out of 12 people on the trip got the runs/vomits).
4) If you're a novice mountain biker this might not be the trip for you. We were lucky that the more experienced members of the tour party helped us out but, the crew didn't seem willing to help or advise in this respect.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

Other than the tour leader all staff on the trip (drivers, cooks, mechanic etc) were local Mongolians & some provisions were bought from the local community during our trip e.g. goats milk, cheese etc... There were a few areas where the operator could improve and ensure that they continually comply or exceed the guidelines they set e.g. toilets were positioned too close to rivers (within 5-10m when 50m was meant to be the minimum), a few local crew disposed of rubbish out of the window of the truck, ensuring only bio-degradable soap is used at all times. Some of the campsites (those near to towns) were not really suitable (broken glass, rubbish etc...) and no effort was made to clear this up or improve it for the community. It was not made obvious to us what other efforts the tour operator was undertaking to support the local community.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

Mongolia was a great destination & the scenery and culture is a great experience for all travelers, the freedom that a bike provides is an added bonus. One downside on our trip was that over half the Group got food/water poisoning & given all food and water is provided by the tour operator this was very disappointing.

Read the operator's response here:

Compliance with issues such as the toilet position in the camp and staff attitudes to rubbish disposal is, on the whole excellent. Our staff generally excels themselves in these regards, not because they like to follow rules but because keeping the environment clean is important to them and their culture. We will ensure that the staff is fully informed on these issues... particularly new staff. Regarding the use of bio-degradable soap, we do encourage its use, mentioning it in the Trip dossier, the Trip Information Booklet sent to passengers before the trip and in the group meeting upon arrival. Any further involvement on our part could be construed as inappropriate.

The company efforts in supporting the local community and local charities are something that we are happy to discuss with passengers. I am pleased to say that from providing some materials for auction (i.e. a bicycle among others) to raise money for the Lotus Children's Foundation, we were able to raise over US $7000 that was directly given to the foundation on mid-July 2008. This money is going towards a community centre that will be built in Ulaanbaatar.

On one other issue was passengers getting sick. This is as unfortunate issue with most travel. However, there did seem to be more problems on this trip than usual. We have been using a water filter this year, in order to reduce our amount of plastic bottles. After reviewing the feedback, we have decided that confidence in the drinking water supply is critical to people's enjoyment of the trip, and we believe that this is not possible using a filter. We have therefore decided to return to the use of plastic bottles until a suitable alternative can be found.

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