A visit to Ladakh will take you deep into Northern India, home to some of the most spectacular scenery on the planet. High altitude lends itself to beautiful and remote landscapes. Explore the terrain and meet the Tibetan Buddhists who have settled here, gaining an insight into monastic life, whilst staying in local villages and possibly a royal palace. Spend 10 days travelling through the mountain kingdom,which never fails to impress.
- Try your hand at white water rafting on the Zanskar River
- Enjoy the views during the spectacular flight to Leh
- Visit the key monasteries of Ladakh, including Hemis and Lamayuru
- Travel Ladakh accompanied by your own personal guide throughout
This holiday to India begins in Delhi where you have time to explore before travelling up to Ladakh. The capital, Leh, is a delight, and a day or so wandering the streets is highly recommended and in some part, essential, for acclimatisation. Stay as a guest of the Ladakhi royal family at Stok Palace, an 1820 residence, and visit the famous Leh Palace, a former royal palace overlooking the city. Leh will be your base for three nights from where you can visit the many monasteries, chortens and gompas in the surrounding valleys. The monasteries put on a great display during the call to prayer, a spectacle that should not be missed.
Venturing outside of the city limits, travel the highway alongside the mighty Zanskar River. White water raft downstream and jump out at Nimmu village, home to 200 families, providing a green oasis in the desert. Travelling further east to the Sham Valley, explore the ancient monasteries dotted throughout the Sham trek route, which include Lamayuru with its dramatic mountain setting, the oldest monastery in the region.
There are opportunities for soft trekking in the Ladakhi countryside such as the circular trek to Basgo fort - the most impressive of Ladakhi citadels despite its ruined state. We recommend a buffer day in Delhi at the end of your trip to allow for any flight delays or cancellations on leaving Ladakh.
Is Ladakh accessible to everybody?
Ladakh is without doubt high, with the lowest lying land around 3,100 metres and an average height a little less than 5000 metres. It lends itself to clean living, slow travel and an easy pace throughout your holiday. Contrary to belief, Ladakh is not full of trekkers. All the important historical sites can be reached by car, thanks to good roads, and as a safe destination Ladakh offers a great experience for a family holiday. Perhaps not for babes in arms, but certainly a fabulous destination for school age children. The golden rule to mitigate the effects of altitude is to get your first night right - avoid alcohol, and take time to acclimatise in Leh.
What is the accommodation like?
It is now possible to explore this compellingly beautiful and remote region of India while staying in superb accommodation where previously it has barely existed. Accommodation is in elegantly converted, traditional Ladakhi homes such as Nimmu House. The house is set in established orchards of apricot, apple and walnuts, providing a stunning backdrop to the al fresco dining on the terraces. Where else in the world can you stay as a guest of the royal family – a night or two at Stok Palace in the company of the Namgyal dynasty, is a must do – and with just six rooms you need to book early. All meals are provided by your hosts whilst in Ladakh.
When to go
The annual monastery festivals are in full swing during our summer months, whilst the Hemis Festival is well documented, there are other festivals offering unique experiences throughout Ladakh. We will do our best to source a local festival during your stay and ensure you attend with our compliments.
Nubra Valley Two Night Extension
A visit to Turtuk village takes you across the infamous Khardung la Pass, the highest driveable road in the world and not for the faint hearted. The Nubra Valley, often referred to as the Orchard of Ladakh is a sea of colour in the summer months with the green villages creating an oasis effect against the extreme stark landscape. Whilst here find time to ride a Bactrian camel, visit Diskit Monastery and spend an entire day at Turtuk village – the gateway to the Siachen Glacier and the last accessible village accessible by permit holders. Extend your trip by two nights to experience this adventurous drive.
Supplementary cost from £250 per person.
For a more detailed itinerary with great ideas on what to do and where to stay, please get in touch with our experts.