Ladakh to Kashmir Ride
- A classic Himalayan mountain bike journey
- Visit the cliff-side Lamayuru Monastery
- Spend 2 nights on a houseboat on Dal Lake
- Mountain biking holiday across the Fotu and Zoji passes
- Acclimatise in Leh and visit the monasteries of the Indus Valley
After 20 years in isolation, travellers are now returning to India's remote northern district of Kashmir, well-known for its dramatic landscape and for tranquil Dal Lake and its colourful houseboats. By far the most exciting way to get to the Kashmiri capital of Srinagar is to ride the 422 kilometres of National Highway 1 from the town of Leh in neighbouring Ladakh. This former mule-track trade-route was upgraded during the 60's and 70's and is now one of the world's great mountain roads. Crossing high passes that include the Fotu La (4108m) and the Zoji La, the road is closed for 6 months each year by snowfall. During the summer, however, this route presents an excellent challenge, with long, zig-zagging ascents and descents amongst 6000 metre peaks. Generally much lower than the Leh to Manali ride, we spend just 3 days acclimatising in Leh, before setting off. Highlights of the route include the spectacular monastery at Lamayuru, the old market town of Kargil and our day in the beautiful valley of Sonamarg where we have the chance to bike off-road to the Thajawas Glacier. Arriving in Srinagar, what better way to celebrate the completion of this great adventure, than to spend 2 nights on a houseboat on Dal Lake!
Is this holiday for you?
SEMI-SLICK ADVENTURE. A mountain bike fitted with semi-slick tyres or a cyclocross bike is ideal for this trip, which offers a technically straightforward ride on a mix of tarmac and hard-packed dirt roads. Three acclimatisation days in Leh is sufficient, before we set off on a route that is generally at around 3000 metres elevation. Riding approximately 60kms on most days, with some long ascents and descents, this is classic Himalayan biking and you'll need a good level of stamina and fitness to enjoy it fully. The support vehicle is nearly always available. BIKE HIRE AVAILABLE LOCALLY.
As of November 2012, the British Foreign Office has relaxed its advice relating to Kashmir and is no longer advising against travelling to the main town of Srinagar. However, this itinerary does involve visiting areas that the FCO have not yet cleared. We will continue to keep a close eye on this situation.