London • Delhi • Leh • Nurla • Lamayuru • Dha Hanu • Lamayuru • Dha Hanu • Khardung La • Nubra • Leh • London
Hidden Ladakh Valleys of the Himalayas
Best time to travel - July to October
Meal Plan: B Breakfast / L Lunch/ D Dinner
Departure London Heathrow or a regional UK airport for Delhi by a scheduled overnight flight.
Morning arrival in Delhi. Transfer to Hotel Shangrila Eros. Rest and relax by the pool or take an afternoon leisurely tour of Old and New Delhi visiting the most important and famous historcial monuments including a afternoon short walk in Chandani Chowk. Overnight at the hotel.
Leh is the largest town in Ladakh, and the early morning flight from Delhi, which swoops like an eagle through the Himalayas, is one of the most exhilarating, beautiful journeys you will ever take. At an altitude of 10,000 feet, Leh is considerably higher than the north Indian plains, so you will then have the afternoon to acclimatise, and perhaps take a leisurely afternoon stroll, before spending the night at Hotel Grand Himalaya. L,D
Leh is a lively place, with plenty of sites to see. After breakfast you’ll take a tour of the Old Town, which includes the impressive Leh Palace (a miniature version of the Potala Palace in Lhasa), the bustling bazaaar, Tsemo Fort, and Leh Monastery. The tour continues by car along Changspa to see the chortens (small stupas, or domed reliquaries), Sankar Monastery, and the ancient ruins of the mud brick Tisseru Stupa. Overnight stay at Hotel Grand Himalaya. B,L,D
Leaving Leh behind you, you will travel out along the Indus River for an excursion to Shey Palace, built as a summer retreat for the King of Ladakh in the mid 17th century. Highlights here include a gold-capped stupa and a two-storey high Buddha covered in copper and gold. The nearby Thiksey Monastery has its own stunningly painted and gilded Buddha, and both here and at your next stop, Hemis Monastery, you’ll meet monks going about their daily business of studying, chanting, and teaching. The monasteries are exceptionally atmospheric, and give rich insight into Tibetan Buddhist life in Ladakh. Overnight stay at Hotel Grand Himalaya. B.L.D
Travelling north from Leh, hugging the banks of the Indus River, you will drive to Nurla, stopping en route at Likir and Alchi Monasteries. Alchi is famed for its extraordinary murals, many of them nearly 1,000 years old and uniquely well preserved. Your hotel, the Apricot Tree, is perched in a spectacular location overlooking the roaring Indus, and the lush orchards which surround it are an ideal spot to sit and read or to take a wander. B.L.D
Lamayuru is one of the largest and most impressive monasteries in Ladakh. But it is the strange lunar landscape on the approach to Lamayuru — a naturally occurring geological phenomenon — which is most intriguing. You’ll wonder which planet you are on! Other sites to visit today include the smaller, secluded monasteries at Timosgam and Resong, and also the nunnery at Chulichen. Stay at Apricot Tree. B,L,D
Dha and Hanu are twin villages which lie at the confluence of the Indus and Shyok Rivers. Due to the proximity with the Chinese border, this area was until recently restricted for foreigners, but now it is once again permitted to visit. Unlike other parts of Ladakh, the people here are members of the Brokpa or Drokpa tribes, with a distinct language, dress, and culture. They claim descent from Aryan speakers who migrated here, and their continuity of ancient traditions draws anthropologists as well as tourists. You will return to the hotel at Nurla for the night.
After an early breakfast in Nubra, you will travel to the castle at Basgo, one of the most picturesque spots in the valley. From here you will continue to Leh, then climb higher and higher through the mountains to Khardung La, which at an altitude of 17,582 ft is the highest motorable road in the world. The top of the pass is strewn with Buddhist prayer flags and small shrines, as well as a tea shop, so it’s a good place to get out, stretch your legs, and take pictures before you begin your descent into Hunder. This is a long day of travel to enjoy spectacular mountain scenery. Stay at Mystic Meadow. B,L,D
The landscapes of the Nubra Valley are truly diverse, from riverside flood plains to sand dunes, and with jagged peaks rising above. After breakfast today you will have a day trip to a number of fascinating sites, including the quaint villages of Sumur and Kyagar, the naturally occurring hot spring baths at Panamik, and the Samasthanling monastery. The Nubra Valley was part of the Silk Road, and in the afternoon you can travel like a merchant in times of old by taking a ride on a double-humped Bactrian camel! Stay at Lchang Nang Retreat. B,L,D
The village of Turkuk is as far along the valley as it is permitted for tourists to go: if you travelled any further you’d reach the international border. Turkuk opened to foreigners for the first time only in 2010 and so it’s yet to be adversely influenced by outsiders. It’s a pretty place with small monasteries and a former royal house, gently decaying, but it is most important because of the Balti culture of the local people. Almost all other Baltis are on the other side of the Line of Control in Gilgit-Baltistan. You will return to Hunder by early evening, and stay overnight at Himalayan Eco Resort. B,L,D
Today you will visit the Diskit and Hunder monasteries. Diskit was built into a defensive position in the cliff, to protect the monks and idols from invaders, and the site is now guarded by a vast golden statue of the Buddha. If you stand alongside it, you’ll scarcely come up to its ankles, and it is visible from a great distance away. It is time now to leave the Nubra Valley and return over Khardung La to Leh. Stay at Grand Himalaya Hotel
On your penultimate day in Ladakh you will visit Stok Palace and museum, the 19th century royal residence where members of the Namgyal dynasty still reside. It’s a gorgeous building with many of its original features, and in the rooms are exhibited numerous artefacts, including weapons, manuscripts, and items relating to everyday Ladakhi life. You will return to Leh, stopping briefly at the SOS Tibetan Refugee village at Choglamsar, and then have the rest of the day at leisure for shopping in the bazaar, drinking tea, and watching the world go by. Stay at Grand Himalaya Hotel. B,L,D
You will depart from the hotel in the early morning in order to board flight for Delhi to connect your onward home bound flight from Delhi in the afternoon.
- How to Book this Tour
- Travel Insurance
International flights in economy class from London Heathrow or a regional UK airport in economy class.
Economy class flights from Delhi to Leh and back to Delhi inclusive all taxes.
Accommodation with private facilities as mentioned in the itinerary.
All transfers and sightseeing arrangements by a private chauffeur driven car.
Sightseeing tours and monastery visits with a local English speaking guide.
Entry fee to all monuments and places of interest mentioned in the itinerary.
Services of Mr Richard Baines professional nature expert
Complimentary mineral water while driving or on sightseeing.
Full ATOL Bonding.
Cost does not include:
Visa fee. British passport holders can no apply on line for an E-toursit visa. We will send essential information and a step by step guide on booking the tour.
Travel Insurance. You can obtain a comprehensive travel insurance from Travel & General click here
Gratuties and any expenses of a personal nature.
- To book this tour , please compete the booking form, sign and e-mail it to us. A non-refundable deposit of £500.00 per person is needed at the time of booking. Balance payments will be due 8 weeks before departure. You can make the deposit payment by debit card or electronic transfers to our bank. Credit card payment will be charge at 2% extra. Our Bank details are on the booking form. Bookings are confirmed on first come first served basis. When the tour is full we will take about 5 additional names on the waiting list to replace their booking with any cancellations etc.
- If you wish to join the tour and fly from any country other than United Kingdom please contact us for land only arrangements.
It is essential to have adequate insurance in place before your departure. This should be appropriate for your age, health and destination you are visiting.
- It includes comprehensive medical and repatriation cover.
- It provides cover for your whole trip (whether one day or over a year).
- It covers you for all activities.
- Disclose pre-existing medical conditions.
- Take your policy number and the 24-hour emergency contact numbers with you.
- If you are making multiple trips we recommend that you take a yearly travel insurance policy.