(7 nights 8 days)
A compact trip, that serves only what a connoisseur would order from the veritable Smorgasbord of travel delights that Leh & Ladakh have to offer; this journey is particularly well suited for those who don't really fancy driving into Leh from Manali or Srinagar.
- Day 1: Reach Leh (3505 M) Board a morning flight from Delhi to reach Leh by mid-morning. It is critical for acclimatization that those flying in spend the first 24- 36 hours without physical exertion. So the rest of the day is reserved for rest & relaxation. However, in the evening a short acclimatization walk around your hotel is recommended for enhancing the acclimatization process. Stay overnight in a hotel/resort in Leh or its outskirts.
- Day 2: Leh - visit select gompas, monuments & villages in Leh Valley Visit Shey, Thiksey & Hemis Gompas. Later enjoy a Ladakhi meal at a traditional home in Stok Village. Late afternoon and evening at leisure in Leh – see the palace & walk around in the bazaar.
- Day 3: Leh - Nubra Valley at Deskit/Hunder (avg. alt. 3048 M) 140 km / 5 hrs A stunning drive over the mighty Khardung La (5602 M) brings you to the verdant Nubra Valley. Do a ride on the double-humped Bactrian Camels in Hunder and spend sunset at a vantage point near Deskit Gompa. Stay overnight in a hotel in Deskit or in tents at a campsite on the sand dunes of Hunder.
- Day 4: Deskit / Hunder - Turtuk 90 km / 3 hrs Post breakfast drive further north, past the Thoise airstrip to Turtuk - a part of the Balti region of Pakistan till it was annexed by India during the 1971 war. Have a traditional Balti lunch and spend the rest of the day walking around in the village and interacting with the warm & hospitable locals with cherubic European looks- the kids are especially adorable. Overnight in tents at a campsite.
- Day 5: Turtuk - Leh 220 kms / 8 hrs Post breakfast retrace you route past via Hunder- Deskit and over Khardung La to reach Leh by early evening. Spend sunset at Shanti Stupa for great views.
- Day 6: Leh - Pangong Tso (4260 M) 150 km / 5 hr Leave post breakfast on a great drive over Chang-La (5,475 M / 17950 ft) to reach the grand Pangong lake by late afternoon. Enjoy spectacular views of the mountains of the Changchenmo range to the north, their reflection shimmering in the ever changing blues and greens of the lakes brackish water. Stay overnight in tents at a campsite bang on the lake shore.
- Day 7: Pangong Tso - Hemis - Leh 165 km / 5 ½ hrs Enjoy your early morning cuppa by the lake shore. On the drive back to Leh, take a detour at Karu to see Hemis Gompa. Spend sunset at Shanti Stupa for great views.
- Day 8: Leh - Fly Back Morning transfer to the airport in time for your return flight.