Tailor-Made Holiday

Nomadic Explorations - Camping in Remote Ladakh

10 days

from £4,345pp (excluding flights)

Experience a nomadic journey in mystical Ladakh, in a mobile camp beyond the ordinary - in a land where luxury accommodation is limited. The only limits will be your imagination. The camp gives you  access to great destinations not yet on the tourist map.

  • Spend seven days in the mountain kingdom of Ladakh
  • Stay as a guest of the Ladakhi Royal Family at Stok Palace - an 1820 residence
  • White water rafting on the Zanskar River
  • Time in the company of David Sonam - a guru on Ladakhi culture
  • Visit a local shaman for wise words to take home with you
  • Drive over the Khardung La Pass - the highest motorable road in the world
  • Visit the ancient sculptures at Digar - few tourists have ever seen
  • Mobile camping offers a comfortable base in the Nubra Valley allowing exploration away from the crowds

Arriving into the high-altitude city of Leh, a few days of acclimatisation is recommended. What better place to do so than as a guest at the 1820 Royal Residence of Stok Palace. Recently renovated into a six-room guesthouse - a restoration success story conducted under the auspices of Jigmed Namgyal himself. His family ruled Ladakh from AD900 until 1834 and still the family reside on the palaces first floor.

Whilst based in Stok take the opportunity to spend time in Leh. Speak with some of the descendants of the old merchant families trading with Tibet and China. There is still a lively Tibetan market in Leh. Arrange a sitting with a local shaman or even arrange an impromptu meet with the Rinpoche to the Royals himself, if in residency - and luck is on your side. The early call to prayer in Thiksey Monastery is a spiritual experience, and a great way to start the day - even if it requires an early morning wake up call.

A-days driving the switchbacks of the Khardung La Pass brings you to the Nubra Valley. A vast contrast to the irrigated strips of land alongside the Zanskar River.

Accommodation is basic at the best of times in the Nubra Valley. Kaafila mobile camp gives you access to areas of Ladakh not yet on the tourist map. The benefit of this nomadic style camp ensures that you are just where you want to be at the right moment - to catch a festival or witness wildlife -  whilst staying in relative comfort. Accompanied by David Sonam - a walking encyclopaedia of knowledge - renowned in Ladakh for knowing the right people to ensure your experience is enriched and original.

There are now a number of  luxury mobile camping options available in Ladakh, ranging from Kaafila Camp, Shakti Village House to The Ultimate Travelling Camp. Please enquire with our Indian Experts who have first-hand knowledge of Ladakh  and have been a guest at each of these camps.

 

For a more detailed itinerary with great ideas on what to do and where to stay, please get in touch with our experts.

Price Excluding Flights £Flight cost from 
£ 4345 £ 650
  Click here to see what is included/excluded

what is included

  • All accommodation
  • Internal flights
  • International flights as detailed
  • Sightseeing with private guide as per the itinerary
  • Transfers as detailed

what is excluded

  • Gratuities
  • Travel Insurance
  • Visas

PLEASE NOTE THE COST SHOWN INCLUDES INTERNATIONAL FLIGHTS DEPARTING FROM THE UK, BASED ON AN APPROXIMATE AIR FARE. PLEASE ASK YOUR TRAVEL EXPERT FOR AN ACCURATE INTERNATIONAL FLIGHT QUOTE. INTERNATIONAL FLIGHTS DEPARTING FROM THE UK ARE ATOL PROTECTED.

Itinerary at a glance

Collapse all
Day 1

Fly London to Delhi


Delhi may be one of the world's largest metropolises, but architectural wonders - new and old - fill the city, hidden beneath Delhi's urban sprawl. Mughal treasures, including the Red Fort and Jama Masjid, are complemented by more recent additions to Delhi's architectural heritage, such as the stunning Lotus and Akshardham Temples. Meanwhile, contemporary Delhi thrives in Connaught Place, which - with its colonially-designed buildings, - is the most westernised part of the centre. Globalisation is in evidence, with brand names splashed across every storefront.


You will be staying at Trident Gurgaon, Bed & Breakfast

Day 2

Fly Delhi to Leh


Once the capital of the Himlayan Kingdom of Ladakh, Leh lies on edge of the Tibetan plateau at a height of more than 3,500 metres. Closer geographically, culturally and anthropologically to Tibet than India; the city's dominating palace - with its clear architectural similarities to Lhasa's Potala Palace - highlights this connection.

Surrounded by irrigated barley fields and overlooked by rocky peaks, the city sits in the fertile Indus River Valley. In this idyllic location, modernity has only just started to take hold. Traditional Ladakhi buildings, with their flat roofs and solid walls, still fill the area surrounding the city's age-old bazaar.


On this journey you will be joined by David Sonam, your personal guide.


Visit Leh From Stok
Take a gentle orientation tour of Leh. Leh is a fascinating labyrinth of winding streets and quaint bazaars. The main street is open and airy, with rows of shops on either side. Leh is very Tibetan; the national dress with 'stove-pipe' hats and felt boots with turned-up toes are much in evidence. The Royal Palace, which dominates the town, is very reminiscent of the Potala in Lhasa and Tibetan Buddhist monasteries, large chortens, prayer flags and mud brick houses with flat roofs, are a dramatic culture change from the hot, teeming, frenetic rush of Delhi

Located 14 km from Leh, Stok was the seat of the rulers of Lakadh. Also renowned for the 14th century Buddhist monastery, Stok is gateway to several high altitude trekking trails. Situated in a beautiful locale surrounded by Stok Kangri range, Markha and Indus valleys, Stok is utterly beautiful. The Stok palace is an interesting place to visit with descendents of the royal family still residing in the palace.


Visit Stok Palace and Museum
Head to the impressive Stok Palace, still home to descendants of the Ladakhi royal family. Slightly reminiscent of Lhasa's imposing Potala Palace, this photogenic building is notable for its whitewashed walls and colourful window frames.

Inside, a museum displays a variety royal treasures. These include costumes, jewellery, armour, weapons and jade carvings.


You will be staying at Stok Palace, Bed & Breakfast

Day 3

Visit Thiksey Monastery
Built around 600 years ago, Thiksey monastery is one of the finest examples of Ladakhi religious architecture. The monastery consists of twelve levels ascending the hillside crowned by the current lama's private residence. Below the monastery are chapels and houses stretching down the hillside where one hundred monks of the Yellow Hat Buddhist sect reside.


Hemis Monastery
Proceed to Hemis monastery (3,500m/11,480ft) which is an hour away. Belonging to the Red Hat sect, Hemis was built in 1630 and is Ladakh's largest monastery. It is an impressive and intriguing experience. Your guide will show you around providing you with an insight into Buddhism and a glimpse into the monks' way of life. Take a short walk around the monastery and drive back.


You will be staying at Stok Palace, Bed & Breakfast

Day 4

Travel from Stok to Nubra Valley


A days driving the switchbacks of the Khardung La Pass (one of the world's highest motor-able roads) brings you to the Nubra Valley. A vast contrast to the irrigated strips of land alongside the Zanskar River.


Known for its orchards, scenic vistas, Bactrian camels and monasteries; Nubra Valley is the northernmost part of Jammu and Kashmir. Situated about 150 km from Leh, Nubra Valley is known as the Orchard of Ladakh and was originally called Ldumra which meant the valley of flowers.

Surrounded by snowcapped Himalayan ranges, Nubra valley lies sandwiched between Tibet and Kashmir. The view of the valley is picturesque and breathtaking. During winter, the whole valley looks like landscape of the moon (reason for calling it Moonland) and in summer full of greenery.

To reach Nubra valley, you will have to cross the awe-inspiring Khardung La, the highest motorable pass in the world. Winding channels of the Shyok and Nubra Rivers crisscross the wide and flat Nubra valley. From a distance, the valley seems parched and dry. However, the valley mainly consists of prime farm land. It is not just scenic natural beauty of Nubra which attracts visitors. The valley is predominantly Buddhist and boasts of several centres of Buddhist learning. Ensa, Samstemling, Diskit and Hunder monastery are famous Buddhist monasteries.

The cold desert between Diskit and Hundur are another attraction. Vistors come to the cold desert to see the sand dunes and take a camel ride. Native to the steppes of central Asia, the Bactrian camel has two humps, in contrast to the single-humped camels found in Rajasthan and other parts of India. The Bactrian camels, found only in Hunder, were the main mode of transport when Ladakh was an important stopover on the ancient trade routes with Central Asia.

A major stopover on the ancient Silk Route, Nubra is still important as it is a major trade centre for woolen textiles made of Pashmina wool and horticultural crops. Locals produce fruits like apples, walnuts, apricots, almonds and staple crops like wheat, barley, etc.


You will be staying at Kaafila, Full board

Day 5

Day Trip to Panamik
About 150 km from Leh, Panamik in the Nubra valley is known for its hot water spring. The Panamik hot water spring is situated at an elevation of 10442 ft above sea level. The spring water contains high amounts of sulphur and is believed to be very good for curing rheumatism and other ailments.

Surrounded by snowcapped mountains, the green valley of Panamik is a sight to behold. The village stands on the banks of Nubra River. The scenic beauty, sulphur springs and the proximity to Siachen glacier make it a must visit destination. Panamik is also famous for its Bactrian camels and Pashmina goats.


You will be staying at Kaafila, Full board

Day 6

Day Trip to Hunder
Beautiful but remote, Hunder village sits like an oasis in the middle of the cold desert in the Nubra valley. The high altitude desert, with a rolling expanse of sand dunes and barren landscape is the USP of Hunder village. Camel safaris in the cold desert are mostly started from here.

Camel safari takes around two hours. Hunder is also the place where you can find forests of sea-buckthorn, a medicinal plant rich in bio-molecules, vitamins and nutritive properties and popularly known as ‘Leh Berry’.

Though the area surrounding Hunder is arid and desolate, the village, however, is a vast expanse of green and abounds with cultivable land. Horticulture products, including, apricots, walnuts, almonds, apples and various fruits and flowers, from Nubra are much sought after. Because of its remote location, tourist facilities are limited in Hunder.

Hunder is also famous for its Buddhist monastery known as Hundur gompa situated close to the Diskit monastery. It is one of the oldest monasteries of Nubra valley.

Festival of Hundur is a chance to see the ancient culture of Hunder people. It is celebrated jointly with Diskit monastery every year. Display of Cham dance and traditional arts and sports are the highpoint of the festival.


You will be staying at Kaafila, Full board

Day 7

Diskit Monastery
Diskit is the administrative centre of the Nubra valley. The 350 year old Diskit Monastery is the main reason to visit Diskit. A beautiful example of an ancient Buddhist monastery.


You will be staying at Kaafila, Full board

Day 8

Drive from Nubra to Leh (Road Journey)


The drive back to Leh from Nubra takes the route of the Kardung-La Pass. A scenic and high altitude drive.


You will be staying at The Grand Dragon Hotel, Bed & Breakfast

Day 9

Fly Leh to Delhi


You will be staying at Claridges, Bed & Breakfast

Day 10

Fly Delhi to London

Accommodation

Below you can see some of the wonderful places we recommend you stay on your journey.

The Grand Dragon Hotel

The Grand Dragon Hotel

Located in the heart of the ancient city of Leh, the Grand Dragon Hotel's design takes inspiration from traditional Ladakhi architecture....

View Accommodation

Stok Palace

Stok Palace

Now you can stay in the residence of the Royal Family....

View Accommodation

Kaafila

Kaafila

Kaafila, the name derived from an Urdu word meaning convoy or caravan, is India's newest and most exciting luxury mobile camp....

View Accommodation

For a more detailed itinerary with great ideas on what to do and where to stay, please get in touch with our experts.

Destination Experts

Our experts have unrivalled firsthand knowledge of India

Joe Parkes, Travel Expert

"It was extremely helpful to work in conjunction with Joe and his much more up to date knowledge of India and arrive at an itinerary which we were happy with. We enjoyed the whole trip and probably what made it special for us was the fact that all the arrangements worked so well and we really didn’t have to worry about anything at all. Even when we decided to make a small change it was dealt with efficiently and promptly. We can't think of anything that would have made our trip more enjoyable."

"The service from start to finish has been excellent. Joe was very quick to respond to any queries and put together an excellent itinerary at short notice."

"A pleasure to deal with Joe. Efficient, helpful, knowledgeable and fun!"

Read More

Kate Hitchen, Travel Expert

"Kate was calm and bent over backwards to accommodate my jitters about going to Kashmir in the light of tighter FCO guidelines just a few days before our departure. She was absolutely correct in advising against what I thought we should do. Several times during the holiday we said that, 'Kate was dead right about that!'."

"We asked for a rather particular kind of Indian holiday. You delivered it in full. Highlights? Honestly, each day was a highlight in itself. "

Read More

For a more detailed itinerary with great ideas on what to do and where to stay, please get in touch with our experts.

Enquire about this holiday:
Speak to an India holiday expert:

Tailor-Made Holiday Ideas

Booking a Tailor-made holiday gives you the flexibility to customise your journey, travelling when and where suits you.

Holiday Ideas in India

You are unique, so we believe your holiday should be too.

We listen to what you want and create a personalised itinerary tailored around you.

Your holiday. Your experience. Your way.

Can’t find what you’re looking for?

Call our Travel Experts on +01285 880 980
Start Your Journey
 

Expertise

  • Established for over 25 years creating journeys across 100 destinations worldwide
  • Exclusive access to the best private guides

PRICING

  • We negotiate the best rates with hotels and expert guides
  • Be protected from fluctuations in exchange rates

RESPONSIBLE STEPPES

  • Each time you travel with us we donate £5 to a local charity in the UK and £10 to an international charity

Fully Protected

  • Your monies are financially protected
  • 24/7 Emergency UK contact whilst abroad
 

Featured in the Press

Financial Times
The Telegraph
Sunday Times logo
CNT
Wanderlust

Our Partners

African Parks
Galapagos Conservation Trsut
OF_Primary_Logo_Tan
Restless Development
Save The Rhino
Tusk Trust
World Land Trsut
Gorilla Doctors
 

© Steppes Travel, 51 Castle St, Cirencester, GL7 1QD, United Kingdom