The Markha Valley Trek
India, Trek & Walk, 14 days - from £1,095 (land only) - from €1,370 (land only) - from $1,915 (land only)
Day 1: Rendezvous at the group hotel in Delhi. Airport transfers are provided for all clients arriving on Day 1. KE Land Only package services begin with lunch. Afternoon at leisure, with the chance to enjoy the gardens and pool at our airport-accessible hotel.
Day 2: We make an early transfer to the domestic airport and take the 1-hour flight northwards, across the Indian Himalaya to Leh, where we transfer to the group hotel. The afternoon is free, with the opportunity to take it easy at the hotel or to take a leisurely stroll around the town.
Day 3: A full day's sightseeing tour. We visit some of the area's most important Buddhist monasteries at Shey and Thikse, for example. This is a great opportunity to meet the monks who live here. There are great views across to the Zanskar range of peaks throughout the day. We spend a second night at our hotel in Leh.
Day 4: Today, we drive up to the Khardung La (5380m) the gateway to the Nubra Valley. North of Leh, this is one of the world's highest road passes and allows us great views of the Karakoram peaks. We descend to spend a third night at the hotel in Leh.
Day 5: It is just a short drive via Spituk Monastery and the start of our trek at Lato. We have an easy first day of walking via the Jingchan Gorge to our first camping place at Rumbak (3800m).
Day 6: Another short day of trekking as we pass through the village of Yurutse and continue to our camp at the foot of the Ganda La (4380m). There are good views from camp back to the Ladakh Range and the location of the Khardung La.
Day 7: Today, we make the steep hike up to the Ganda La (4900m), followed by the long descent to the green fields and mud-brick houses of the villages of Shingo and then Skiu in the Markha Valley. We set up our camp at Skiu.
Day 8: A long day of trekking beside the Markha River leads through several isolated hamlets to Markha Village (3800m). The simple monastery here is one of the oldest in the area and if we can find the caretaker we may be able to take a peep inside. We camp at Markha.
Day 9: Still following the river and crossing it on a couple of occasions, we trek by way of the highest village in the valley at Hangkar and set up our camp beside the river at Thachungtse.
Day 10: We leave the last of the settlements behind today and trek up onto the Nimaling Plain, to a camp opposite the peak of Kang Yatze at an elevation of around 4600 metres. Look out for blue sheep and the iconic bearded vulture or lammergeier.
Day 11: Trekking on a zig-zag trail, we cross the Kongmaru La (5100m) where we have fantastic views back to Kang Yatze and onwards towards the Chang Tang and the peaks of distant tibet. From the pass, we decend through a rocky gorge to our camp at Chuskyurmo (4000m).
Day 12: Descending the steep, rocky valley to Hemis, there is time to explore this important monastery, before driving back to the hotel in Leh.
Day 13: We have an early start and go to the airport to catch our flight to Delhi. Arriving in Delhi, we transfer to our airport accessible hotel in time for lunch. In the afternoon, a city sightseeing tour is provided. Alternatively, you may choose to take it easy at the hotel.
Day 14: KE Land Only package services end after breakfast at the hotel. Airport transfers are provided for all clients departing on this day.
This holiday involves going to very high altitude. During the course of your trip you will be spending at least one night above 4000 metres and/or trekking to 5000 metres or above. This is not something that you should worry about; the human body is quite capable of adapting to a very wide range of altitudes, but it is important that we follow some simple rules in order to acclimatise successfully. Before coming on this holiday you should read the advice on trekking at high altitude.