• The Himalayas

The Himalayan Sanctuary of Ladakh

A vast sequence of mountains, valleys and glaciers - stretching from Pakistan, across India, Bhutan and Nepal, to China - the Himalayas are one of the world’s most majestic and awe-inspiring mountain ranges. On our eight-night Himalayan Sanctuary of Ladakh tour, you’ll reach incredible heights, roam astonishing landscapes and have myriad unforgettable experiences.

The Himalayas are one of nature’s most extraordinary - and enormous - masterpieces. Ladakh - ‘Land of the High Passes’ - is a magical region high in the Indian Himalayas. Sky-high mountains rise dramatically in every direction, arid ground bristling beneath, snow-white tips winking in the distance. Small villages cling to the sides of valleys, colourful prayer flags fluttering in the breeze. Everywhere gompas (Buddhist monasteries) and scarlet-clad monks add to the serene and surreal scenes.

On this magnificent Himalaya tour, you’ll visit Leh, Ladakh’s remote, mountain-encircled capital; stroll through lush valleys to ancient monasteries; ride along the world’s highest motorable road to the far-flung and dramatic reaches of Nubra Valley; and discover sand dunes in the midst of snow-tipped mountains. Follow trails far-off-the-beaten-track through small mountain villages and find yourself taken aback by the magnificent settings of this part of the world.

On this tour, you will stay at incredible hotels, whether it’s luxury in Delhi or a spectacularly beautiful desert camp in the high ranges of India’s Himalayas. If you’re looking for adventure and an experience unlike any other, this is the tour for you.

Duration
9 days
Options
Private basis, Escorted
Start your journey
The Taj Mahal

Trip highlights

  • Visit the spell-binding Ladakh and its capital Leh, encircled in snow-tipped mountains
  • Observe a beautiful morning prayer session of the resident monks at the historic Thiksay Monastery
Humayun's Tomb

Arriving in Delhi, you’ll be met at the airport, welcomed by your Himalaya tour guide and taken to your hotel. Your hotel in Delhi is the Taj Palace Hotel, one of the city’s finest. A sanctuary of calm amidst the bustle of India’s capital, you’ll have your first day and evening to relax before the tour begins in earnest. Enjoy a good night’s rest in your deluxe suite ahead of your day discovering Delhi.

Suggested Accommodation

  • Taj Palace Hotel

Morning and afternoon of this day of the tour will be spent exploring Delhi and the city’s fascinating fusion of cultures and pasts. In Old Delhi, you’ll find an abundance of ancient grandeur; a centuries-old capital built by the mighty Mughal emperor Shah Jehan. Highlights include the spectacular Jama Mosque, iconic Red Fort where the Indian Prime Minister addresses the nation on Independence Day, the sprawling Jama Masjid mosque and Raj Ghat, Mahatma Gandhi’s shrine.

Continuing the city tour in New Delhi, you’ll learn about the early 20th century British colonial capital. Here, you’ll find wide avenues, impressive government buildings and the imposing Rashtrapati Bhavan, the President’s residence. In New Delhi, the great arch of India Gate serves as a war memorial to those slain in WW1 and the Indo-Afghan War. Vying for grandeur with the Taj Mahal, wander the exquisite Humayun’s Tomb and embracing gardens, built by the widow of the second Mughal emperor, Hazrat Nizamuddin. Finish the day at the twelfth-century Qutab Minar - one of Delhi’s most famous monuments and the city’s first Quwat-al-Islam (Light of Islam) mosque - and stunning Lakshmi Narayan temple.

Suggested Accommodation

  • Taj Palace Hotel

This morning, your Himalaya tour leaves Delhi for the high reaches of India’s remote Himalayan mountain ranges. You’ll be taken to the airport to board a flight for Leh, Ladakh’s far-flung, high altitude capital. Once landed, you’ll be greeted and taken to your Leh hotel, the Grand Dragon. The landscape of Leh is other-worldly in its beauty, and the Grand Dragon offers breathtaking views of the surrounding snow-capped mountains.

You’ll have the first day to acclimatise to the altitude and soak in Leh’s spellbinding settings. Leh is a high-desert city in the Ladakh region of the Himalayas, a clutch of buildings embraced by a ring of jagged mountains that soar from burnt-orange to snow-white. Spend your evening strolling through Leh’s Old Town, discovering the city’s ancient heritage in the clifftop Leh Palace, forgotten forts and beautiful monasteries. Return to the hotel for dinner with a spectacular view.

Suggested Accommodation

  • Grand Dragon Hotel

Arising early, the day begins with an exceptional experience at Leh’s most historic monastery. A drive will take you to the Tibetan Buddhist, Thiksay monastery, perched on a hilltop above Leh. Here, you’ll witness a beautiful morning prayer session of the resident monks. Thiksay monastery is also home to the vividly painted, impressive Maitreya Buddha Statue.

After breakfast at the monastery cafe, soaking in the serenity of the monastery and surroundings, you’ll walk through the rolling landscape to Shey Village (two hour walk). Weaving through remote mountain villages, you will have the chance to glimpse local life in the far reaches of India’s Himalayas. Shey Village is one of Ladakh’s most picturesque villages, home to the old summer palace of the Ladakh King, built more than 555 years ago - Shey Palace. White-washed ruins rise on a hillock above the village; within the Palace complex, you’ll climb cobbled stairs to the Shey Monastery and golden Buddha statue. Soak in magnificent vistas of the landscape from the top. Later, the Himalaya tour travels on to Stok Palace, the residence of the current King of Ladakh.

Suggested Accommodation

  • Grand Dragon Hotel

A last breakfast on the hotel verandah with a view of Leh’s mountains, and the Himalayan Sanctuary of Ladakh tour journeys to Nubra Valley (six hour drive) through Khardungla Pass, the world’s highest motorable pass at 18,000 ft. Find yourself mesmerised on this drive, winding around steep mountains and along snow-beaten roads.

You’ll reach Nubra in the afternoon, a deep enclave surrounded by rugged mountains, thin ribbons of rivers running far below. Settle into your luxury tent at the camp - Desert Himalaya Resort - nestled in the lush expanses of Nubra Valley, with tinkling natural springs and mountains on every side.

A guide will take you up to Diskit Monastery, the oldest and largest Buddhist monastery in Ladakh’s Nubra Valley. Atop the monastery sits an enormous, colourful statue of Buddha, behind which the magnificent Nubra Valley dips and curves. Later, you’ll join a two hour hike to Hunder Sand Dunes, an unearthly and incredibly beautiful desert set amongst snow-tipped peaks. Spend the evening beneath the star-dazzled night sky.

Suggested Accommodation

  • Desert Himalaya Resort

After breakfast, you will travel to Sumar Village (two hour drive) to visit the gold-gilded Smasthaling monastery, followed by a hike up to the ruins of Ensa monastery, resting high above Nubra Valley (one hour trek). The day’s expedition continues with a hike from the monastery to the hidden, high altitude lake, Yarab Tao (one hour walk). Wind down from your day of trekking at Panamik sulphur hot springs, recharging in the warm spring water.

Another beautiful evening will be spent in your Nubra Valley camp, with a blazing bonfire and music, followed by a delicious al fresco dinner under the stars.

Suggested Accommodation

  • Desert Himalaya Resort

This morning, the Himalaya trip drives back to Leh, again crossing the mighty Khardungla Pass (six hour drive). Once you arrive in Leh, you may have the chance to visit His Eminence the eighth Chokyong Palga Rinpoche of Ladakh for a special spiritual experience. For this night in Leh, you’ll have another spacious suite in the Grand Dragon hotel. Enjoy your final dinner in the Himalayas with incredible views from the restaurant.

Suggested Accommodation

  • Grand Dragon Hotel

Today, a transfer will take you to Leh airport, where you’ll board a flight to Delhi. Once you check in to the Taj Palace Hotel, you’ll have your final day to enjoy as you like. 

Suggested Accommodation

  • Taj Palace Hotel

Included

  • Room with daily breakfast in Delhi & Leh as part of full board basis
  • Accommodation - On single/twin sharing basis for a total of 8 nights
  • Transport - Services using AC transport in Delhi & Non-AC Xylo, Scorpio, Innova during Leh travel
  • Assistance & Porterages - Meeting and assistance on arrival and departure at airports and hotels by le passage to India representative
  • Guide - Local English-speaking guide for sightseeing in Delhi & English-speaking accompanying guide in Leh
  • Guided heritage walk of Leh
  • Private audience with H.E. Palga Rinpoche (subject to his availability in Leh)
  • Ladakh Environment Fee
  • Mics. charges inclusive, such as Monastery and Monument entrance fees
  • Service tax currently applicable on all package tours
  • International airfare

Not included

  • Expenses of personal nature such as table drinks, telephone calls, laundry and camera fees Tips to drivers, local guides and hotel staff
  • Visa costs