Basics of Ladakh
A cultural tour with day hikes
The beginner program for people who don’t have that much time to come to Ladakh, but still want to see the main highlights. Within two weeks you will visit the most important monasteries, the monastery festival in Hemis or Thaktok, the most impressive landscapes of Ladakh and do some nice and easy hikes.
But also with insider tips was not spared on this trip – hermitages and hidden villages were built in to show you also the beauties off the classic itineraries.
The highlights at a glance
- Visit of a monastery festival
- Lonely villages and mystic hermitages
- The lunar landscape of Lamayuru
- Nubra: The north of Ladakh with picturesque oasis villages
- Beautiful day hikes almost every day
Basics of Ladakh
- June 25 to July 8, 2023 with Hemis-Festival
- July 25 to August 7, 2023 with Thathok Festival
Departure from home
Arrival in Delhi and onward flight to Leh.
Once in Delhi, depending on your onward flight, you will be transferred to the other terminal or stay at the same terminal and just go up one floor. The flight of just over an hour from the plains of northern India over the foothills of the Great Himalayas into the Trans-Himalayas is a beautiful experience in itself. Flying over the Himalayas and landing in Leh is an adventure in itself and even if you are tired from the long journey, the experience will quickly wake you up. In Leh, your guide will already be waiting for you at the airport and will take you to your accommodation, where you will ONLY relax on the first day for better acclimatization. (We have deliberately not planned any activities on the first day, as this is absolutely necessary for the adaptation to the altitude!)
BF,-,- Overnight stay in a guesthouse in Leh.
Please note: Flights are not included, but we will be happy to book them for you if you wish.
In focus: Leh
The first day of sightseeing is entirely dedicated to Leh. At first glance, the capital of Ladakh appears chaotic and uninviting, but if you take a closer look, you will discover many exciting sides. You will visit the central city monastery – the Gonpa Soma -, the bazaar of Leh with its market women selling fresh vegetables from their gardens and the Polo Square, where polo was played long before the British arrived. After lunch at the hotel, there will be some time to relax, as the second part of the program does not begin until later in the afternoon. In the car we go up to Tsemo Monastery, then on foot past green fields and beautiful Ladakhi houses, laughing children and friendly Leh-pas (the people of Leh) to the hidden Samkhar Monastery. The day ends at the Shanti Stupa, built in the 1980s, overlooking all of Leh and the Indus Valley. BF,-,-
Hemis Monastery Festival (or Thathok Monastery Festival)
After breakfast we drive in about 1 hour to Hemis Monastery (45 km) and spend the day watching the monks in monk robes and wooden masks performing various sacred dances depicting peaceful and wrathful deities.
We return to Leh in the late afternoon, and if we are still interested, we can visit another monastery on the way back to Leh. BF,-,-
Overnight stay in Leh.
After breakfast we leave Leh for Ule Tokpo. On the way we will visit the 15th century temples of Basgo, located on a hill overlooking the valley of the same name. Most parts of the palace, which was once the capital of Ladakh, are almost in ruins, except for the three temples that are still standing and defying the vagaries of time.
The three temples, the last of their kind, are dedicated to the Buddha of the Future and house beautiful frescoes depicting the life of the Buddha, saints and sages, Dharma guardians and others who contributed to the implementation of the Buddha’s teachings.
Later, we will drive to Likir village and visit its monastery, which stands on an elevated point above the village. We will have our lunch with a family below the monastery before continuing our hike towards Saspotse rong (Saspotse Gorge) in about 2 hours.
The last leg of the day is to descend into the Indus Valley, visit the 11th century temples of Alchi and then continue west to our resort (the oldest resort in Ladakh) above the Indus River.
Overnight at Ule Ethnic Resort 3070m. BF,L,D
After a leisurely breakfast, we drive 16 kilometers westward along the Indus River to the bridge over the Indus between Farkethang and Nurla and hike up through a beautiful gorge, also considered sacred by the locals, to the hidden village of Tar. Lunch will be prepared by our hostess, whom we have known for more than a decade. Enjoy the food and the solitude of this beautiful village before returning to the bridge where our vehicles will be waiting to take us to Lamayuru, the Moon Land. Visit the monastery in the late afternoon.
Overnight stay in Lamayuru 3520m. BF,L,D
Lamyuru – Wanla – Shila – Leh
After breakfast (the earlier the better) we hike a few hundred meters down the valley and gradually ascend to Prinkiti la 3700m and descend to Shila valley 3220m in about 4 – 5 hours. This trek used to be the beginning of the famous Lamayuru – Darcha trek (22 days).
In Shila our vehicles will be waiting for us and we will drive back to Leh in about 3 hours. On the way we will have our lunch in Khalatse. Overnight stay in Leh. BF,L,-
Drive to Nubra via the Khardong-la.
The first part of the day, after an early breakfast, is to drive the 55 kilometers to North Pullu via South Pullu and the Khardong-la Pass (5370m) in about three and a half hours, depending on traffic and various stops for nature calling, photos, etc.
North Pullu (Pullu = open stone-built stable for animals, traditionally used by sheep and yak herders as shelter for their animals, especially in the summer months) is the second checkpoint on the way to Nubra near Spangchenmo (Wide Pastureland).
After North Pullu, there are several options to hike down the valley and our guide will choose a suitable route depending on the acclimatization of the group, enthusiasm and the weather of the day. We can descend from North Pullu (4657 m) to Khardong Farka Bridge (4131 m) or hike from Farka Bridge via Farka village, Kharig Bridge and Thakle (3900 m) to Khardong Rildan village (3980 m) before descending another 33 kilometers down the valley to Tirith in the Shayok Valley via the Shayok crossing point and the T-point junction at Shayok. Overnight stay in Tirith. BF,L,D
We will drive about 2 hours to Entsa and visit the remains of the ancient hermitage (much revered by the people of the Nubra Valley and other believers throughout Ladakh) and the temples that are still active and used by the monks. Later, walk along the traditional path used by the inhabitants of the upper Nubra Valley for centuries to the beautiful village of Kubet in about 2-3 hours. The hermitage and the village of Kubet are located on the westernmost Saltoro Mountains. Our lunch will be prepared by a friendly Nubrapa family in their home.
On the way back we will visit the beautiful Samstanling Monastery and if time permits, we will walk down from the monastery through Sumur village.
Overnight stay in Tirith. BF,L,D
Cultural hiking day
After an early breakfast, we head west into the valley where the Shayok and Nubra rivers meet. We pass through the village of Deskit, which is also the administrative village of the entire Nubra Valley. The next village is Hundar, where we will return after our cultural day hike in the upper valley, called Hundar dok.
After leaving the village of Hundar, we will enter a narrow gorge that widens as the valley continues along the Hundar Tokpo (stream). In the gorge we will find traces of the abandoned village and its farmland, including a temple in the rock face. The first village where the gorge widens consists of a single family, and we will hike to the last village in the upper part of the same valley. We will visit a family and have our lunch and explore this beautiful valley, usually seen by few trekkers and climbers. If we are all fit, we can also hike beyond the last village before returning to our cars and driving back to Tirith.
Overnight stay in Hundar. BF,L,D
Return to Leh via Warila.
Today we leave the Nubra Valley at its eastern exit via Warila (5310m).
After breakfast, we first drive up to Deskit Monastery, perched on a rocky spur above the river valley. Later we drive along the Shayok River to the village of Agyam, where we leave the valley in a southerly direction and gradually ascend to the Warila Pass, passing the small hamlets of Lhababs, Tangyar and Amdi. From the pass we hike down to Sakti Taknag in about 2-3 hours before continuing to Leh.
Overnight stay in Leh. BF,L,-
Free day. BF,-,D
Flight to Delhi, sightseeing in the afternoon and in the evening transfer to the airport.
Pricing and Date
More infos about Basics of Ladakh
- Date: 25. June – 08. July 2023 with Hemis-Festival
- Date: 25. July – 07. August 2023 with Thaktok-Festival
- Min/Max Participants: 4/10
- Price: 1.190 EUR/Person
- Single Room Supplement: 320 EUR
This tour can also be booked as an individual trip.
- Prices on request.
- Services from Leh / to Delhi, airport transfers
- Accommodation in Guesthouses, hotels, ressorts, deluxe camps / Accommodation in double room
- English speaking local guide
- Food as per programme
- All transports mentioned in the programme
- All entrance fees and permits
- Flights (on request we can arrange appropriate flights for you)
- Insurance (we recommend getting travel insurance)
- Beverages other than usual
- Visa for India
- relevant vaccinations
- Additional costs incurred due to illness, accident, change of route due to force majeure, etc.
- Additional costs incurred due to flight cancellations or postponements