Ice Age Expeditions

Ice Age Expeditions

Zanskar Valley

Durations

10 Days

Difficulty

Easy

Min Age

0

Enjoy the Adventure

Zanskar Valley, located on the northern flank of the Great Himalayas at a height of 13,154 feet, is a semi-arid region. The beautiful snow-capped mountains, pleasant weather, Zanskar's sparkling water bodies, and a lush landscape are what draw tourists to this area. The valley is located 105 kilometers from Leh and is popular for adventure sports such as trekking, paragliding, and water rafting, among others. You can also choose from popular trekking routes such as the Lamayuru to Darcha, Lamayuru, and Padum treks. Tourists flock to centuries-old monasteries like Zongla, Zongkhul, and Strongdey, and one can even camp at the scenic Penzila pass that separates Zanskar from the Suru valley. During the winter, temperatures can plummet to a chilling -30 degrees Celsius. Travel to Zanskar is only possible between June and September; otherwise, all roads to the valley are heavily covered in snow, preventing access.

Itinerary

We have carefully planned out each day to give you the best possible experience. From exploring historic landmarks to tasting delicious local cuisine, each day is packed with adventure and excitement. Join us as we take you on a journey through some of the most fascinating destinations in the world.

Upon arrival, check into your hotel. Before dinner, we will have a briefing session with stickering of the cars and bikes for the Zanskar Valley Expedition. Dinner and an overnight stay in Manali.

After an early breakfast, we all prepare to begin our journey to Jispa via Rohtang La (13,051 ft.). Take a left as you descend from Rohtang, heading towards Khoksar. You can get a cup of tea or coffee at Sissu. When you arrive in Jispa, check into your campsite and spend the evenin at your leisure. You can explore in and around Lahaul and Jispa. Dinner and an overnight stay at Jispa.

We leave Darcha after breakfast and ride towards Purne. Following the security border checkpoint, the road to Zanskar splits on the left, directing us to Chikka or Chika. The route from Chika to Shinkula Pass rises from 3300 meters above sea level in Darcha to over 5000 meters above sea level at Shinkula Pass (16,703 feet). The descent begins from Shinkula and takes you to 3500 meters above sea level in less than 10 kilometers. The journey from Darcha to Kurgiakh is the most difficult because there is nothing on the way—no villages, no food, no assistance. It will only be an hour’s drive to Purne after lunch. After arriving, check into your hotel and spend the evening at your leisure. Dinner and overnight stay in Purne homestay.

A 3-hour Phuktal Monastery tour takes you through infinitely beautiful landscapes—sharp brown mountains interspersed with lush greenery in the middle of nowhere. The Tsarap River flows crystal clear beneath, and a newly built bridge connects to the monastery across the river! There’s also an old wooden hanging bridge, which is not for the faint of heart.Purne to Padum is a 5-7 hour drive with some steep uphill and downhill sections. The route has almost no water crossings and stays mostly on one side of the valley. We’d stop somewhere around Reru, on Tsarap Road, for lunch because our backup team would be there ahead of us to serve. Today’s drive would be mostly off-road as well. Padum has the only gas station on the entire Jispa-Zanskar-Leh route, so we’ll fill up before we leave. However, because petrol is slightly overpriced in Padum, one can bring their own fuel in jerry cans for their journey (if desired). When we arrive in Padum, check into your hotel and relax for the night. If time allows, visit Stongdey Monastery for a beautiful sunset view after dinner and an overnight stay at the hotel.

We can visit Sheela waterfall and/or Stakrimo Gompa as early as possible in the morning, before breakfast. Following breakfast, we drive to Pensi La. The route will take you to the largest glacier in Ladakh, the Drang-Drung glacier, and the mountain pass of Pensi La (4700 m above sea level). This route is being converted from off- road to tarmac. As you leave Padum, the first 40 kilometers are filled with small villages (one of the largest being Skygam, which also has a couple of homestays) where you can eat and relax. PensiLa Pass (14,400 feet) also has two beautiful lakes that are adjacent to each other. On your way back, you can stop at Sani Monastery for a stunning sunset view. By the evening, return to the hotel. Dinner and a night’s stay at a hotel

We drive from Padum to Zanskar, the ZangLa checkpoint, and Lingshed after breakfast. We will pass through Singge La at 16,590 feet before arriving at Photoksar, where we will have lunch (on your own, – packed). Then we proceed to Sir Sir La, a peak with a panoramic view of Zanskar Valley at a height of 16,370 feet. The roads would be completely off-road and perilous, with few water streams and hairpin turns. Say goodbye to Zanskar as we turn right after Wanle towards Khalsi, from where Alchi is a 37.5- kilometer drive away. Check into your hotel and freshen up. Dinner and a night in a hotel.

We easily drive to Leh after breakfast. Check into one of our Leh hotels and spend the evening at your leisure. You can go to the Leh Market, the Shanti Stupa at sunset, or even the Leh Palace. Dinner and an overnight stay at a hotel.

We leave early in the morning because today’s drive will be long. As we say our goodbyes to Zanskar Valley, we drive along the Leh-Manali highway. Arrive in Jispa by evening and say good-by to the trip with fond memories! Dinner and an overnight stay in Jispa.

Today is the last day of your Zanskar Valley adventure. After breakfast, we leave Jispa with ease and arrive in Manali by afternoon via the Atal Tunnel. As we near the end of this hypnotic journey, enjoy your evening.

After enjoying a leisurely breakfast, begin the journey to your hometown

Included / Excluded

To help you plan your trip, we have put together a list of what's included and what's not included in your tour package. This will give you a clear understanding of what to expect and help you make any necessary arrangements before your journey begins.

Gallery

Each image tells a unique story, inviting us into a world of emotion, beauty, and complexity. Get ready to be moved, inspired, and challenged as we journey through this captivating collection of images.

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