LADAKH ACTIVE TOUR IN MARKHA VALLEY

You can expect an incredibly fascinating landscape with open-minded, hospitable and lovable people.

The Markha Valley Trek is considered a classic among the treks in Ladakh. With two scenic passes and beautifully situated villages, it offers you the opportunity to discover the uniquely beautiful landscape of the Indian Himalayas. In addition, you will get to know the hospitality of the local Ladakhi people as well as their living space and everyday life up close and authentically.
Tour-Code: IND01
Trekking tour
People & nature
21 days/ 20 nights
Including the days of arrival and departure
Number of participants
Small groups: 4 - 10 participants
Accommodation
Lodges, hotels, with local families in guest houses
Features
incl. 3 days for acclimatisation
meals
Full board: 19x breakfasts, 19x lunches, 19x dinners
Transfer
All transfers and all excursions from day 2
Travel Guide
German-speaking tour guide
ITINERARY
DAY 1
DAY 2
DAY 3
DAY 4
DAY 5
DAY 6
DAY 7
DAY 8-9
DAY 10-11
DAY 12-14
DAY 15
DAY 16
DAY 17
DAY 18
DAY 19
DAY 20
DAY 21
INCLUDED SERVICES
NOT INCLUDED INTO THE SERVICE
CONDITIONS
Arrival
Today you arrive in the metropolis and capital of India. It is the second largest city in the world with almost 32 million inhabitants. Here you can let the big city life work its magic on you..
Highlight: Spectacular panoramic flight to Leh
This spectacular flight is one of the most beautiful flights in the world. If visibility is good, you can see as far as K2 in Pakistan. In Leh we move into our beautiful lodge. Acclimatization and relaxation are the focus today and the following two days! Maybe we can still walk to the nearby Shanti Stupa. From up here we have a fantastic view over Leh and the Indus Valley.

Overnight in a lodge in Leh (3600m)
Highlight: Royal Palace of Ladakh
After a hearty, relaxed breakfast in our beautiful quarters, we hike to the former royal palace of Ladakh. This looks very similar to the Potala Palace in Lhasa/Tibet. Then we have our first encounter with Leh, its colourful, lively market and the lovable inhabitants, ranging from Tibetan, Mongolian, Arabic and Muslim to Eurasian. Here it quickly becomes clear that Leh was once an intersection of old caravan routes. Some things from back then have given way to modern times, the business acumen and the hustle and bustle typical of Asian / Oriental markets and cities has remained. We stop for lunch at a local restaurant. The rest of the day is at leisure.

Overnight in a lodge in Leh (3600m)
Highlight: Panoramic Mountain and Shanti Stupa
Today is our last calm and relaxed acclimatization day. We hike to a beautiful panoramic mountain in the high valley above Leh. On the way back we pay a visit to the beautiful Shanti Stupa. From here there is repeatedly a wonderful view over Leh and the Indus Valley.

Overnight in a lodge in Leh (3600m)
Highlight: Likir and Lamayuru
This morning we leave Leh in a private jeep for another highlight of the trip, Lamayuru. In the Indus Valley, however, we first head west to Likir. Here, outside the monastery, stands a huge gilded Maitreya Buddha dedicated by the 14th Dalai Lama. A uniquely beautiful photo motif! On the way we often have the opportunity to stop to admire the fantastic landscape and plant diversity of Ladakh up close. Of course, there is still enough time to take photos here. In the evening we enjoy the magnificent view from our quarters of the red hat monastery of Lamayuru with the bizarre valley of the moon behind it, a wonderful photo motif in the evening light!

Overnight at the inn in Lamayuru (3750m)
1. Highlight: Valley of the Moon
After breakfast we hike through the valley of the moon. This spectacular crater and cone landscape will inspire you. This excursion is an insider tip! The complete tranquility with fantastic views of the valley and Lamayuru with its imposing monastery quickly compensate for the sometimes steep climb. After that we drive back to Leh.

2. Highlight: Monastery of Alchi
On the way there we visit the monastery of Alchi, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and differs significantly from the other monasteries in the Indus Valley in terms of its appearance and furnishings.

Overnight in a lodge in Leh (3600m)
Option: Rafting on the Zanskar River
If you want, you can take a rest day today or take part in a rafting tour on the Zanskar River. After breakfast we drive from Leh to the confluence of Zanskar and Indus to Nimmu. Then, 30 km upstream along through a wild rock and mountain world, we arrive at the starting point of the rafting tour. After a briefing by our professional guides, it takes about 3 h to return to the Indus River. We drive through some lively passages but also let ourselves drift through very calm, slow waters. Here we have time to observe and enjoy. However, there is also the possibility to get off / get off halfway, or to take our bus along the river to the end point. Helmet, vest, wetsuit and shoes are of course provided. Afterwards we eat lunch together not far from Nimmu in a very beautiful garden area.

Overnight in a lodge in Leh (3600 m)
Price per person: 50€

Beginning of the Markha Valley Trek

Day 8
Leh - Spituk - Yurutse (4120 m/ca.11 km/ca. 5 h)
After breakfast we leave Leh and after about a 1 h drive we reach Zinchen, the starting point for our trekking tour. Here we are greeted by our escort team, distribute the luggage and food to the pack animals and begin our trek. At the beginning of Hemis - National Park is a chorten (Buddhist monument) with prayer flags. From here we have impressive views of the Indus Valley. We set up our first camp in the small village of Yurutse (3 houses) or in the nearby base camp of the Ganda - La Pass.

Overnight in tents

Day 9

Yurutse - Skiu (3180 m/ca. 21,5 km/ca. 8 h)
We climb to the 4870 m high Ganda La pass, which we reach, quickly gaining altitude, after a few serpentines about 3.5 h later. Here we take a break with great views of the peaks of the Stok and Zanskar mountain ranges to the Karakorum and Tibet. Those who wish can climb the 5050m high ridge peak Ganda Ri, just above the Ganda - La pass. This is followed by a long, easy descent to the village of Shingo (4150m), which with its green barley fields forms an attractive contrast to the harsh high mountain landscape of Ganda La. In order to gain strength again, we have lunch in Shingo. After some small river crossings we later reach the Markha valley. Our tents are already set up at the end of the small town of Skiu.

Overnight in tents
Day 10
Skiu – Markha (3600 m/ca. 20,5 km/ca. 7 h)
Today's stage is less exhausting, but very varied and is considered one of the most beautiful of the Markha Valley Trek. We go upstream through the high valley, which is characterized by many meadows and trees. Climbing higher and higher, there are wonderful views back into the valley and later on to the 6400 m high Kang Yatze directly in front of us. We stop for lunch in the small village of Chalak. In the village of Markha, our tents are near the river. With almost 20 houses, a school and a small gompa, it is the largest village in the valley and is well worth seeing.

Overnight in tents

Day 11
Markha – Tahungtse (4000 m/ a. 16 km/ca. 7 h)
At the beginning the path in the riverbed of the Markha River is a bit tedious. Later, you will pass the village of Umlung with its small gompa and finally reach the village of Hankar. After Hankar we leave the Markha valley and head north-east following a well visible path. After crossing a bridge to the right side of the river, we arrive at the "summer village" of Tahungtse.

Overnight in tents
Day 12
Tahungtse - Nimaling (4878 m/ca. 10 km/ca. 4 h)
The first pleasant, short stage of our trek awaits us today. The path leads slightly uphill through the beautiful high alpine steppe landscape of the Nimaling plateau. Here we are sure to see marmots and the mighty Himalayan Golden Eagle. After about 3 - 4 h this place is reached at about 4900 m. The imposing Kang Yatze (6400 m) with its mighty glaciated mountain flanks clearly determines the scenery. Nimaling (dt: "sun place) serves us to relax and recover. Nomads who live up here in the summer raise pashmina sheep, which are famous for their prized wool. By the way: a pashmina scarf requires around 4 kg of raw wool, for which up to 60 sheep have to be shorn.

Overnight in tents

Day
13
Nimaling – Chuskirmo (4200 m/ca. 13 km/ca. 6 h)
After crossing the Markha River, it's a nearly two-hour climb, which only gets a bit steep at the end, to the highest pass of our trek, the Kongmaru - La (5274 m). Gaining height, countless mountain ranges become visible on the horizon. On one hand we see the mountains of the Karakorum and Tibet, in the south the well-known Kang Yatze dominates over Nimaling. Cairns and prayer flags mark the top of the pass. Here we have enough time to enjoy the fascinating view and to take pictures. Then we start descending into the Martselang valley. The way to Chukirmo leads through a very narrow, bizarre gorge in which we often have to change the side of the river. Here the colors of the rock and its texture, but also the variety of plants, are completely different from those of the past few days.

Overnight in tents

Day 14
Chuskirmo - Shang Sumdo - Hemis (3650 m/ca. 7 km/ca. 3 h)
From our camp in Chuskirmo, after breakfast, we hike comfortably out of the valley to Shang Sumdo (approx. 3 h). Our jeeps are already waiting here and we drive to Hemis. Here we move into our quarters with a local family.

Overnight with locals or in tents
End of the Markha Valley Trek
Highlight: Buddhist monastery festival

Today is all about the famous festival of Hemis. Early in the morning, the Ladakhis, who have traveled from far away, crowd into the courtyard of the festively decorated monastery. Dancing llamas wear expressive, painted, large wooden masks. In addition, the deep, rumbling sounds of the long horns, shells and drums can be heard from afar. It is a unique encounter with the Buddhist culture and religion and a culmination of our trek.

Filled with feelings of happiness and so many different impressions, we drive back to Leh around noon.

Overnight in lodge in Leh (3600m)
This day is completely at your disposal for individual use! Your guide will be happy to answer any questions you may have at any time and provide valuable tips and information. In the evening we have dinner together.

Overnight in lodge in Leh (3600m)
Option: Mountain bike tour from Khardung La - pass
After breakfast we drive by jeep to the highest road pass in the world, the Khardung La. During the drive up we often have the opportunity to admire the fantastic view. At the highest point (5602 m), with a bit of luck we can see planes flying clearly below us, a truly unusual sight! Then we ride on comfortable mountain bikes for about 2.5 h, more than 40 km downhill to Leh in the Indus Valley. The road is mostly paved. A jeep with a mechanic and spare bikes will accompany us at all times and equipment such as a helmet, repair kit, pump and lock will be provided.
On this day, the rented bikes can be used individually until the evening.

Overnight in lodge in Leh (3600m)
Price per person: 45 €
1. Highlight: Morning prayers of the monks
Early in the morning we drive to the Thiksey Monastery. Together we watch how two monks on the monastery roof announce the new day and the following prayer ceremony, Puja, in the old tradition. The wake-up call sounds through shells and long horns.
Being able to attend this spiritual, millennia-old morning ceremony is an experience of a very special kind! Dozens of lamas and monks recite their prayers. During the breaks, little novices bring huge pots of butter tea.

2. Highlight: Amchi
Afterwards we can look over the shoulder of an Amchi (Tibetan medical practitioner) and also get an examination and advice. We hike to Shey through an idyllic landscape of fields and meadows. Our jeeps are waiting here and will take us to Leh in the early afternoon. Here you have the opportunity for any small purchases.

Overnight in lodge in Leh (3600m)
Highlight: Spectacular panoramic flight to Dehli and Baby Taj
After our flight we drive directly to Agra. Depending on the time we visit the so-called Baby Taj, which is a tranquil miniature version of the world-famous big brother, the Taj Mahal. After checking into the hotel, a short walk follows. Afterwards we enjoy our dinner together in a small tranquil garden restaurant.

Overnight at hotel in Delhi
1. Highlight: Taj Mahal - Golden Temple of the Sikh religion
Early in the morning we go to the Taj Mahal for the sunrise. Truly a building of superlatives! Be enchanted by one of the seven wonders of the world! Afterwards, a breakfast buffet awaits you at the hotel and in the afternoon we drive back to Delhi.

2. Highlight: Golden Temple of the Sikh religion and Bazaar
We visit the Golden Temple of the Sikh religion. Furthermore, here is the last opportunity to buy a few small things at the Main Bazaar. Whether tea, spices or clothing - your guide will show you where to find it! A last dinner together in a South Indian vegetarian restaurant ends our last day.

Overnight at hotel in Delhi
Your return flight ends this impressive and exciting journey.

See you on a new journey!
19x overnight stays in lodges, inns, homestays & hotels
Full board: 19x breakfasts, 19x lunches, 19x dinners
Domestic flights Delhi - Leh - Delhi
All transfers in taxis, jeeps, public transport, private van
All described excursions
Entrance Tickets
Community and toilet tent
2 and 3 person tents, 5 cm thick foam mattress
All-day German-speaking tour guide
English speaking trekking team: cook, helpers, horse guides & transport horses
Tips
International flights
Overnight stay and meals on the 1st day (we can organize a hotel for you on request)
Transfer from and to the airport
Rafting tour (+ 50 €) incl. transport, equipment, lunch buffet
Mountain bike descent from Kardung-La Pass (+ 45 €) incl. transport, permit, support vehicle with spare wheel and mechanic, equipment
Meals & drinks not listed
Insurance (health insurance abroad = prerequisite for participation)
Possible additional costs for mountain rescue or trip interruption
Visa
Good physical fitness, team spirit and a certain degree of flexibility are essential, but you do not need any trekking experience. With the exception of Leh, there is only a limited infrastructure for tourism.
The Markha Valley Trek should not be underestimated with its 2 passes and a maximum altitude of 5274 m. It can get hot in the summer in the Markha Valley which challenges the body with walking times of up to 7-8 h.
Thomas Böhm works as a magazine author and freelance photographer for various international agencies. For almost 30 years he has mainly been traveling to North America and Asia. Ladakh ("Little Tibet") in the Indian Himalayas became his second home during this time. He often spends the majority of the year here. He is considered to be an absolute connoisseur of this very familiar region. Nobody in German-speaking countries led more winter expeditions "Chadar" on the frozen Zanzkar River. Whether in Nepal, Burma, China or Ladakh, his positive nature is contagious and motivating at the same time. He likes to pass on his photographic knowledge and experience.
Guide Haiqi Liao-Böhm
Haiqi Liao-Böhm met her husband in Yunnan, her home province in south-central China. Both have a passion for photography, diving and a curiosity for everything unknown. As a freelance photographer, she is a recognized member of the "Chinese National Geographic Society". She gained further international experience on various individually organized trips of several months through Asia. Haiqi organized and led the tour on the Silk Road independently with great success.
Guide Thomas Böhm
DATES & PRICES
We will be happy to prepare other appointments for you on request!
In addition to the trip already created on our website, we would be happy to work out an individual program for you according to your wishes.
1. Fill out the form
2. A member of our team will call you to confirm the booking
3. You pay a deposit and receive confirmation of payment via email
4. After the final payment you will receive all the necessary documents for your tour. Take a trip with us at the appointed time!
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Note for people with reduced mobility: This product is generally not suitable for people with reduced mobility. When booking, please ask whether it still meets your individual needs.