Ladakh is remote, off the usual tourist track and packed with hidden gems. After the colonial sophistication and big city bustle of Delhi you’ll be whisked off to the tiny village of Nimmu to experience an untouched village complete with a caravan serai, orchards and historic monastery. You’ll trek across the Indus River and an alluvial desert to far flung places like Zingchen, Yurutse, Rumbak Valley, Skiu and the 4900 metre high Gand-La pass. You’ll also explore Chiling Village, Leh and the Nubra Vlley to complete an unforgettable journey.
London – Delhi
Leave London in the evening and you’ll be landing in Delhi early the following morning. You’ll be met at the airport and taken to your award-winning hotel, where you’ll have a day of leisure – perfect for wandering around the seven acres of landscaped gardens, walkways, courtyards and water features. Or taking a swim or being pampered in the elegant spa.
Stay: One night in a superior garden view room at the Trident Hotel.
Early the next morning you’ll fly to Leh and drive on to Nimmu Village. Here you’ll have guided tours of the charming old village with its ancient monastery, caravan serai, luxuriant gardens and orchards. You’ll the visit Alchi Gompa to see a collection of rare frescoes, sculptures and Kashmiri art. Nimmu also gives you the opportunity to tour the surrounding countryside with a trip to Lamayuru, stopping at Nurla village to walk towards Tar village, crossing a foot bridge on the Indus River. Your 4×4 vehicle will then take you on to Lamayuru to visit Ladakh’s most historic monastery.
Stay: Three nights at Nimmu House.
Spituk Village – Zingchen – Yurutse – Skiu
Your trekking days begin with a drive to Spituk Village and the local monastery, before you meet your trekking team and cross the Indus River. Your first walk takes you through a stunning alluvial desert to the town of Zingchen. From Zingchen an easy walk takes you to Yurutse, giving you ample time to admire the rich scenery of the valley of Rumbak with its agricultural pastures, beautifully decorated houses, monasteries and quaint schools.
Skiu is your destination today, but along the way you’ll pass over the 4900 metre high Gand-La and be treated to outstanding views towards the southerly Zanskar Mountains and beyond to the Himalayas. You’ll criss-cross a picturesque stream before finally arriving at Skiu, standing at the confluence of the rivers of the Markha Valley and Shingo. You’ll camp in an idyllic, riverside spot overlooking an ancient clifftop fortress, and have time to explore the nearby village.
Stay: Three nights in a trekking camp.
Skiu – Chiling Village – Leh
On your final day of trekking you’ll walk west for around three hours, before arriving at the banks of the Zanskar River. You’ll cross the water by cable car then follow its course until – after a couple of scenic hours – you arrive at Chiling Village. It’s time to take your farewell of your trekking crew and travel by 4×4 back to Leh.
Stay: One night in a deluxe room at the Grand Dragon.
Leh – Nubra
Now you’ll travel at a slightly faster pace. You’ll be driven to Tegger Village in the Nubra Valley, a journey of up to six hours through some staggeringly beautiful countryside. On the way to the ‘Forbidden Valley’ you’ll cross the world’s highest driveable pass – Khardung at 5602 metres – and stop to take photographs of a soaring landscape that includes Ladakh and the distant Karakoram Mountains. The Numbra Valley itself is the place where the Shyok and Nubra meet, and is dotted with pretty villages and numerous opportunities for keen landscape photographers. You’ll visit Yellow Hat Buddhist Monastery that seems to be climbing up the nearby hillside, and drive to the region’s largest village, Hunder. At Samstanling Gompa, the following day, you’ll be able to gain an insight into the monastery’s schools and listen to Buddhist monks chanting their prayers.
Stay: Three nights in a luxury tent at Ultimate Travelling Chamba Camp.
Nubra Valley – Leh
It’s time to return to Leh, check into a luxury resort in nearby Saboo Village, then go on a sightseeing tour. You’ll be guided around the Royal Palace that dominates the town of Leh – stylishly similar to Lhasa’s Potala and various Tibetan Buddhist monasteries – whilst Leh’s impressive chortens, quaint mud brick houses and prayer flags provide you with great photo opportunities, rivalled by the colourful Tibetan market.
After breakfast the next morning you can indulge in a guided village walk before taking an excursion into the Indus valley to visit places like Shey Palace, Thiksey and Hemis Gompa.
Stay: Two nights in a deluxe room at Saboo Resort.
Delhi – London
Your flight to Delhi leaves Leh early in the morning. Your connecting flight departs from Delhi in the afternoon, landing you back in London just after teatime.