Tailor-Made Holiday

Highlights of Ladakh

Visit Leh, Stok, Nimoo and Ulley

13 days

from $3,550pp (excluding flights)

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.

Price Excluding Flights $Flight cost from 
$ 4792.5 $ 877.5

Itinerary at a glance

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Day 1

Fly London to Delhi overnight

Day 2

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.

Tour of Old and New Delhi
Take a rickshaw ride through Old Delhi and enjoy its chaotic charms. See the different ingredients that make up paan, betel leaf stimulant, and meet the pigeon fancier and experience a truly unique activity kabootar baazi.

Visit New Delhi, built as the imperial capital of India by the British and laid out according to the master plans of the great colonial architect Lutyens. In contrast to Old Delhi, it is a city of wide boulevards, formal parks, magnificent Parliament Building, the Rashtrapati Bhawan (the official residence of the President of India in the 330 acres of land and designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens) and India Gate. Also visit Humayun’s Tomb, built in the 16th century and creating a precedent for subsequent Moghul architecture such as the Taj Mahal.

You will be staying at The Claridges, Bed & Breakfast

Day 3

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.

Remainder of Day at Leisure for Acclimatisation
Spend the remainder of the day at leisure. Minimal exertion is recommended to enable acclimatisation to the rarefied oxygen levels in this high-altitude region.

You will be staying at Stok Palace, Full board

Day 4

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.

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 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.

Explore the village
Explore the village of Stok on foot accompanied by local families who will provide lunch in the comfort of their own homes.

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, which include costumes, jewellery, armour, weapons and jade carvings. There is an opportunity to watch the evening prayers at Stok Palace later today.

You will be staying at Stok Palace, Full board

Day 5

Early Morning Prayer Ceremony at Stok Monastery
Stok Gompa is a Buddhist monastery in Stok, it is 15 kilometres south of Leh and was founded by Lama Lhawang Lotus during the rule of King Takpa Bumlde. This monastery is a secondary of Spituk monastery and it was once the residence of the royal family.

Visit to Gangles Village
Known for its green vistas and local farming, Gangles is a small village on the outskirts of Leh. In spite of being a part of Leh, it still has the flavours of village life. Return to the hotel for lunch and relax for the rest of the day.

You will be staying at Stok Palace, Full board

Day 6

Drive from Stok to Nimmoo (Road Journey)

Drive from Beauly to Glen Strathfarrar, which should take around 20 minutes.

A great oasis in the desert, Nimmu is a traditional village now home to about 200 families. Explore the village with your guide & traditional meal with a local family.

Nimmu's location at the confluence of the Indus and Zanskar Rivers, at an altitude of 3,100 m which is relatively low for Ladakh with an exposure to sun, which leads to an abundance of wheat, barley, fruits and vegetables, allowing villagers to lead a comfortable life. The village has two small monasteries, many ancient caravan serai and each house is surrounded by a flower garden in summer.

Rafting the Mighty Zanskar River
Starting from Chilling, raft the Zanskar River ending in Nimoo, where the Indus and Zanskar Rivers meet.

You will be staying at Nimmu House, Full board

Day 7

Explore Nimmoo Village
Accompanied by your guide, explore the village and meet a local family to share a traditional meal.

You will be staying at Nimmu House, Full board

Day 8

Nimmoo to Uleytokpo by Road including a visit to Likir Gompta
Today drive to Uleytokpo located in the Sham Valley, home to ancient monasteries built in the 11th century and famous for trekking, rafting and the best yield of apricots in Ladakh. En route visit the Likir Gompa situated on top of a windy cliff overlooking the beautiful village of Likir. The Likir Monastery or Gompa is one of the oldest and well-maintained monasteries in Ladakh. After Likir the drive continues to Uleytokpo. On arrival check in at the lodge.

Half Day Visit to Ridzong Nunnery and Monastery
Explore the nearby Ridzong Nunnery, the only nunnery in Ladakh, and try to understand the role of women in Buddhism. Also known as Chomoling, a small group of nuns live here and spend their time studying a religious curriculum, as well as working to support their way of life.

Afterwards visit Ridzong monastery, which is a short drive further up the hill. Beautifully situated in a gorge, this 19th century monastery is renowned for its particularly strict rules and standards.

You will be staying at Ule Ethnic Resort, Full board

Day 9

Day trip to Lamayuru Monastery
Lamayuru Village is a overshadowed by the mighty Lamayuru Monastery. At a height of 3,510 metres and located on a steep hillside between Bodhkharbu and Kha-la-che, Lamayuru is among the oldest monasteries in Leh. This beautiful ancient monastery is the main seat of Drikung Kagyu tradition in the lower part of Ladakh.

You will be staying at Ule Ethnic Resort, Full board

Day 10

Drive from Uleytokpo to Leh (Road Journey)

Drive from Beauly to Glen Strathfarrar, which should take around 20 minutes.

Take a gentle stroll this evening to the down town markets of Leh and find a local cafe for dinner

You will be staying at The Grand Dragon Hotel, Full board

Day 11

Half Day Sightseeing Tour of Leh
Spend time exploring Leh, the capital of the historic kingdom of Ladakh. Highlights include the city's bustling market and its grand palace.

This famous market, once a melting pot of Central Asian cultures, remains a lively place. Despite Leh's role as a trading town having diminished over the years, the winding alleys and traditional stalls endure.

Leh's impressive 17th century palace, built by King Sengge Namgyal, has lain unoccupied since the royal family left in 1846. This nine-storey palace is Leh's most imposing building.

Visit to a Soothsayer
Visit a local Oracle for a personal interaction, and your future told if you dare! Ladakh has many interesting and mysterious aspects and one of the most well known institutions among the local population is the Oracle, "Lha-mo" (female) or "Lha-pa" (male). It is a type of spiritual healers. The oracles also divine one's future. Oracles (Shriek) are considered very sacred in the whole of Ladakh and locals visit them to know answers to most difficult questions of their life and well being.

You will be staying at The Grand Dragon Hotel, Full board

Day 12

Fly Leh to Delhi

You will be staying at Holiday Inn New Delhi International Airport, Bed & Breakfast

Day 13

Fly Delhi to London


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

The Claridges

The Claridges

Built in 1952, The Claridges remains one of New Delhi’s most iconic hotels....

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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....

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Stok Palace

Stok Palace

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

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Nimmu House

Nimmu House

Nimmu House, the biggest house in the village, has 30 rooms including two Buddhist temples....

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

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

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

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