Ice Festival
(7 days)

Ice Skating
Ice Festival
nomad landscape

Detailed description

Celebrate Mongolia’s mighty winter on an ancient frozen lake. The Ice Festival is one of the main attractive winter festivals which offers a unique chance to sense and explore the fascinating and mysterious corner of the world during winter and is held on Khovsgol Lake. Measuring about 130 km long and up to 40 km wide, the dark blue lake is at the base of the permanently snow-capped Khoridol Saridag mountains and offers a mesmerising view.  Being the country’s largest freshwater reserve (70 % of the country’s total) believed to be over a million years old and affectionately called “Dalai Eej” or Mother sea by Mongolians. Braving brutal temperature and winter freeze that sometimes falls below -20 degrees’, early March locals gather on Khovsgol lake to celebrate the long, cold season. For two days exciting activities unfold such as horse sleigh race, ice sumo, archery competition, ankle bone shooting game, elaborate ice sculpture contest, ice skating, tug of war, dog sledding and many more.

Rare occasion to witness the tradition and lifestyle of Mongolian reindeer herders who descend from taiga to lake, while the local shamans perform ritual with fire-burning ceremony.

Travelers on this tour will be given the opportunity to purchase traditional clothes and boots. The temperature in March can be below freezing and travelers will need to bring heavy winter jackets, gloves and hats to keep warm. Dressing in layers is highly recommended.

Winter Mongolia
Ice Festival
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Arrival in Ulaanbaatar (February 27)

Our crew will greet you upon your arrival at the airport. We will transport you to a convenient, centrally located hotel. A city tour can be arranged depending on your arrival time. Ulaanbaatar is a fast-growing modern city with more than 1.3 million habitants. City sightseeing includes Bogd Khan’s Winter & Summer Palace, a series of beautiful traditional buildings in which the eighth Living Buddha and the last king lived. It is now a museum displaying fascinating artefacts and costumes associated with the last king as well as his collection of stuffed animals.

We will stop at the Gandantegchinlen Monastery. It is the largest and most important monastery of Mongolia. We will scroll through the different monasteries and see the magnificent statue of Migjid Janraisig, an 82-foot high statue gilded in gold and covered with silk cloth.

We will finish the city tour with Zaisan hill to have a view of the whole Ulaanbaatar. The city sightseeing tour takes about 4 – 5 hours.

(Hotel D)

Nomad man
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Moron, Northern Mongolia (February 28)

Today we will have a long drive to the northern Mongolia province town. We will experience Mongolia’s mountain region landscape under snow. We will pass several provinces and major industrial towns such as Darkhan, Erdenet and Bulgan.

After arriving in Moron we will have a rest and enjoy an evening in our hotel. 

(Hotel B, L, D)

Khovsgol lake
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Khovsgol Lake (March 1)

The Khovsgol Lake, Mongolia’s blue pearl, is a massive 2.760 square km alpine lake (130 km long and 40 km wide), surrounded by more than 2.000-meter-high mountain chains, dense pine forests, and green meadows with grazing yaks and horses in summer. The lake receives crystal clear water from over 100 small rivers and streams. Just one river, the Egiin, drains the lake, and its waters gradually meet Baikal Lake. We will spend the afternoon hiking along the lake shore, skating on the thick ice of the lake. Optional activities such as horse riding, horse-drawn sledding, dog sledding and visit to nomad families will be organized. Locals dressed in thick fur, colorful traditional costumes on dark blue ice of lake with magnificent backdrop of snow covered mountains will be a lifetime opportunity for photographers.

(Family stay B, L, D)

Dog Sled on Khovsgol Lake
Tsagaan Sar Festival
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Ice festival (March 2)

After breakfast we will attend the ice festival opening ceremony (beautiful, colorful traditional dresses representing all different tribes and ethnic groups of Mongolia) followed by a skating event. You can take part in a skating competition. Non skaters can enjoy competition of horses’ sleighs driven by local nomads. Before the start, horses will exhibit in front of people and guests have possibilities to bet on the winner. Other activities are organized such as ice creation competition, ankle bone shooting. We will witness local shaman rituals and traditional performances by local singers and dancers. Elaborate ice sculptures are on display.

In the afternoon we will drive to the mountains to visit reindeer breeding families and see their unique nomadic traditional lifestyle. Evening bonfire. 

(Family stay B, L, D)

Mongolia winter
Ice Skating
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Ice festival (March 3)

After breakfast you will see different competitions and activities organized on the ice. Ice sumo wrestling, horse sledding, reindeer sledding, and driving jeeps on ice, rope pulling on ice, skating and a lot more.

Hear the sound of cracking ice under your feet. Closing ceremony and winners of completions will be announced and awarded. After the closing ceremony, we will be driving back to Moron.

(Hotel B, L, D)

Ice Festival on Khovsgol Lake
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Ulaanbaatar (March 4)

After breakfast we will set off on the road to Ulaanbaatar. In the evening we will share memories of our trip over a final farewell dinner at one of the city’s best restaurants. 

(Hotel B, L, D)

Frozen lake
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Departure (March 5)

You may depart anytime. Time to say final goodbye to the land of blue sky. Or extend your stay to nearby national parks such as Gorkhi Terelj National Park and Khustai National park.


Frozen lake


February 2024