Himalaya adventure - Himalayan hostess

Himalayan Homestay

Route: Leh - Himalayas - Leh

Experience the feeling of a real and yet relaxing trek amongst high mountain peaks and ancient monasteries with this Himalaya adventure. This module involves gentle trekking in the spectacular Himalayas, making it accessible to almost everyone. The treks last no more than 4 hours on average and the differences in altitude are only slight, so anybody reasonably fit can join in with this Himalaya adventure tour. While you are trekking, there’s plenty of time to sit on a stone in the sun and enjoy the snow-capped peaks and plush green valleys that surround you.

For the ultimate Himalaya adventure, you’ll stay with local Indian people as guests in their homes, and witness their hospitable mountain way of life. Throughout the trip, you’ll be accompanied by an english-speaking guide with impeccable local knowledge. Before you tumble into your bed each night, you’ll enjoy hot meals cooked on traditional open fires and cinnamon-rich cups of chai.  

If you'd like to start building your India trip, take a look at our unique bite-sized India tours. Alternatively, you can choose from one of our suggested holidays to India. Need some more advice or inspiration? Have a chat with one of our India travel specialists on 01273 322044.

Duration 5 days / 4 nights
Daily from Leh, between the end of June and the middle of September

Accommodation

Homestays, and a comfortable guesthouse in Leh, category 1-2 (see accommodation)

Price

£575 per person - based on 2 people sharing

Includes

Accommodation, meals, guide, transport by private car

Transport

Hiking and private car

Excludes

International flights

Day 1: Leh - Hemis Shukpachen

(Travel time approx. 2-3 hours by car, approx. 4 hours hiking)

On the first day of your Himalaya adventure, you’ll make an early start for your 4-day trek. From Leh you’ll travel by car to the village of Yangtang, and from here you’ll continue on foot. You don’t need to bring much along for your India trip through the Himalayas – just enough to keep you comfortable and warm. We can advise layering your clothes, as the day you’ll be walking in the crisp mountain sun. However, when the sun disappears behind the mountains it really gets very chilly, very quickly, so keep something warm handy at all times.

You’ll hike for around four hours, passing through little villages where time seems to have stood still. Donkeys wander through the streets laden with goods and children will stop their games to come and take an inquisitive look at you as you hike past. Quite often, the friendly people will invite you in for a cup of tea. Over the course of the day, you’ll see the landscape change from murmuring streams and fields of barley into barren, rugged mountains, where the narrow path at the end rises steeply. When you arrive in Yangtang, a car will be waiting for you and you'll continue your Himalaya adventure on a short journey to your host family in Hemis Shukpachen.
Himalaya adventure - Himalayan children
Himalaya adventure - Life in the mountains

Day 2: Hemis Shukpachen - Tingmosgang

(Travel time approx. 4 hours hiking)

It's the second day of your Himalaya adventure and don’t be surprised if your muscles ache a little this morning - they’ll soon loosen up during your 4-hour hike today. As these hikes are not so long, you’ll have time to take some photos along the way. After all you don’t come here every day – so enjoy it while you can. Look for a spot in the sun, stick your sweater under your head and bask in the scenery around you. The lush green area you are hiking through today is full of apricot and apple trees, and you can freshen up in the fast-flowing streams and waterfalls. Today, the hiking is really relaxed as the route follows level ground with very few differences in height. You’ll soon arrive in Tingmosgang, with a stunning genuine monastery perched on the mountainside above the village. In the afternoon, you are free to do your own exploring or snooze in the sun. Tonight you’ll stay in a simple but authentic Himalayan guesthouse. In addition to your hearty evening meal, lunch en route is also provided.

Day 3: Tingmosgang – Khalse – Lamayuru - Alchi

(Travel time approx. 4 hours hiking, approx. 2-3 hours by car)

On the third day of your Himalaya adventure, you’ll cover substantial ground, and you’ll cross the longer distances by car. After breakfast, you’ll wave goodbye to your host family and begin your last hike. Your path passes by the remote village of Tian and continues through barley fields. Gradually, you’ll start climbing up to higher regions and traverse a mountain pass at 3630 metres (11900 feet). From this vast plateau, you’ll have a magnificent sweeping view of the surrounding mountains.

Finally, you’ll descend to meet the main road and a car will be waiting to take you to Lamayuru, where erosion has created some spectacular rock formations in the white mountains. Right in the centre of this area, on some rather wobbly, steep rocks stands one of the most famous and most spectacular monasteries in Ladakh. With the mountain peaks in the background, this monastery looks truly spectacular and is sure to be a real highlight of your Himalaya adventure.

You’ll continue your India trip as you head towards the monastery with your guide and then drive on to your accommodation in Alchi, where your host family go out of their way to make you feel at home. They are very warm, hospitable people. If you would like to return the hospitality, you could bring along some coloured pencils and colouring books for the children. They're not used to being given such gifts and would beam with happiness at your offering.
Himalaya adventure - Lamayuru monastery
Himalaya adventure - Snow-capped mountains

Day 4: Alchi - Monastery visit

(Travel time approx. 2-3 hours)

Day four of your India trip is a quiet day of rest and relaxation. There are no long hikes or car journeys and in the morning, you’ll visit the Alchi Monastery. Unlike many other monasteries in the region, it is not built on a mountainside and is much easier to reach. UNESCO has designated the monastery as a World Heritage Site, due to its exquisitely carved wood decorations, gigantic statues and imaginative murals in traditional Kashmiri style.

In the afternoon, you’ll drive back to Leh (approx 70km)and the rest of the day is free for you to do as you wish. You’ll spend the last night of your Himalaya adventure trip in a cosy guesthouse in this town.

Day 5: Leh - End of the module

Today your Himalaya adventure sadly comes to an end, and you’ll continue on with your India trip. If you like, we can arrange an extra night in Leh, or you can fly back to Delhi and move on from there.

If you're heading towards the end of your trip, you could finish off your journey with our Wonders of the World tour from Jaipur to Agra, featuring a visit to the Taj Mahal. Equally, if you fancy some hammock time after your hike, you could now head to Goa, Kerala or the Maldives on our South India tour packages.

Himalaya adventure - Your hosts

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