Villages & Monasteries of Ladakh

Summer family adventure holiday in the Indian Himalaya







From $2,260 Land only

Book this holiday

Holiday Overview


  • Whitewater rafting on the River Indus
  • Charming Ladakhi people and colourful Buddhist Monasteries
  • Scenic and easy paced 5 day trek in India with the family
  • Visit the incomparable Taj Mahal, Agra

North of the main ranges of the Indian Himalaya, the remote province of Ladakh is beyond the influence of the monsoon and perfect for trekking during the summer holiday period. Experienced travellers will find this a great place for an adventurous family holiday. Our super, family-specific itinerary starts out by way of the exciting flight to the Ladakhi capital of Leh, where we spend 5 days acclimatising, taking things nice and easy whilst exploring some of the colourful Buddhist monasteries of the upper Indus Valley. We visit a Tibetan Refugee Centre and enjoy a rafting trip on the Indus. We then set off on an easy-paced 5-day trek into the scenically splendid foothills of the Ladakh Range, with lots of opportunity for interaction with the friendly local people in the many villages we pass through. Throughout our trek and especially from the several 4000 metre passes on our route, there are wonderful views of the Zanskar Mountains to the south. After our time in Ladakh, this excellent holiday is topped off with a visit to Agra and the magnificent Taj Mahal.

Is this holiday for you?

Suitable for children from 11 yrs old

This is a real Himalayan trek for families, set amongst the high valleys of Ladakh at around 4000 metres. After 5-days of acclimatising in and around Leh, the trek is short and easy on good trails, involving just 3 or 4 hours walking on most days and frequent stops. Even on the crossing of the highest passes on the trek, we will find good trails, which are the main routes between the villages on our route. Comfortable accommodation and fully supported camping whilst on trek, this is an ideal family holiday in India for the summer break.

Brief Itinerary

View in full
  • Meet at the group hotel in Delhi. Delhi Airport transfers are provided.
  • Fly to Leh (3500m). Rest of day to relax and acclimatise.
  • Sightseeing in the Indus Valley. Afternoon at leisure for further acclimatisation.
  • Short, easy valley walk above Leh to the Shanti Stupa.
  • Visit the Stok Palace and the Tibetan Refugee Centre at Choglamsar.
  • Easy whitewater rafing on the Indus River.Transfer to Uleytokpo.
  • Start the trek at Ridzong. Trek to Yangtang (3720m).
  • Continue the trek to the village of Hemis Shukpachen (3596m).
  • Trek across the Meptek La (4000m) to Ang Tingmosgaam.
  • Longest trek day passing Teta to Skindiyang.
  • Walk out to Khalsi, drive back to Leh.
  • Fly back to Delhi. Drive to Agra and visit the Mughal Red Fort.
  • Morning visit to Taj Mahal. Train to Delhi.
  • Departure day. Delhi Airport transfers are provided.
Mon 25 Jul - Sun 07 Aug Code FAL /01/16/ Adult$2,260 Child$1,780 Status Guaranteed Book now
Mon 08 Aug - Sun 21 Aug Code FAL /02/16/ Adult$2,260 Child$1,780 Status Available Book now
Mon 22 Aug - Sun 04 Sep Code FAL /03/16/ Adult$2,260 Child$1,780 Status Available Book now
The dates shown are for the LAND ONLY itinerary, joining in Delhi. For clients making their own flight arrangements, Delhi airport is the most convenient for transfers to the group hotel. Please refer to the 'Joining arrangements & transfers', and 'Flights' sections in the trip dossier for further details.

Flights SHOULD NOT be booked until you have received your booking confirmation and the trip is showing 'Guaranteed to Run' or 'Limited'.

Pricing Notes
Internal Flights: The cost of the internal flights between Delhi and Leh are included in the holiday price. To allow us to pay for these flights as soon as the trip is guaranteed, a higher than normal deposit is required for this holiday which includes the internal flight payment.

BOOK WITH KE CONFIDENCE - No surcharge guarantee*

* Against Land Only services.

Map & Itinerary

The Route

  • airport
  • pass
  • point
  • peaks
  • trip direction
  • pass
  • transfer
  • trek

Holiday Itinerary

  • Meet at the group hotel in Delhi. Delhi Airport transfers are provided.

    Meet at the group hotel in Delhi. Complimentary Delhi Airport transfers are provided. KE Land Only package services begin with lunch at the hotel. In the afternoon / early evening, there is a sightseeing tour to include the bazaar area of Chandni Chowk, the Red Fort, India Gate.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Meals ld

  • Fly to Leh (3500m). Rest of day to relax and acclimatise.

    After an early breakfast, we return to the airport (this time to the Domestic Terminal) for the early morning internal flight to Leh. The hour long flight is simply spectacular and provides close-up views of the 7000 metre massifs of Nun and Kun. Arriving at Leh (3500m), we drive by jeep to our hotel. The rest of the day is free to either rest in the shade of the hotel courtyard, or for those not phased by their long air journey, there is the option to take a lazy walk into Leh’s colourful bazaar to check out the roadside stalls selling Tibetan artefacts. Flying straight into the high altitude of Leh can take your breath away and it is best to concentrate on acclimatising for the first few days.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Meals bld

  • Sightseeing in the Indus Valley. Afternoon at leisure for further acclimatisation.

    After a restful start to the day and a leisurely breakfast, we will set off on the short drive to Thikse Monastery which is arguably the most impressive in the area. Sitting astride a low hill, the numerous, mostly white-painted monastery buildings present a remarkable sight. We will be able to explore the temples and courtyards of the monastery and meet the red-robed monks who live here. We may be lucky enough to be present at a ‘puja’ or ceremony, or see the monks blowing their ceremonial horns from the rooftops. There is a 15 metre high golden statue of Buddha at Thikse. To assist with the acclimatisation process and to enable us to stretch our legs, we will walk from Thikse to the nearby Shey Monastery. This level 2 kilometre walk follows a good trail which is lined with white-painted and decorated chortens in places. Shey is also built on a ridge-top and it offers remarkable views across the Indus Valley. Returning to Leh, we check into our hotel and spend the remainder of the afternoon at leisure.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Meals bld

  • Short, easy valley walk above Leh to the Shanti Stupa.

    Running down from the hills above Leh is a broad tributary valley which has scattered settlement and tidy fields edged with poplar and willow trees. At the far side of this valley, just a kilometre or so away is the Shanti Stupa. Following village paths, we will hike across to visit the stupa, which is accessed by around 500 shallow steps – a good test of your acclimatisation - take it easy. There are good views from the stupa across the valley of the Indus to the Zanskar Range and the peak of Stok Kangri. We will then walk across to Gyamsa Village, stopping off en route at a riverside site for a picnic lunch. Returning to Leh via Tsemo Gompa and Leh Palace, we will have time to relax in the afternoon.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Meals bld

  • Visit the Stok Palace and the Tibetan Refugee Centre at Choglamsar.

    Today we will drive out of Leh to visit the museum at Stok Palace, home of the Ladakh royal family. The museum is a great place to get a taste of Buddhist life and culture and contains artefacts including ancient royal crowns, copper coins, prayer instruments and some 16th century Thangkas which are beautiful and intricate paintings illustrating the life and teachings of the Buddha. Thereafter we will visit the Tibetan refugee centre at Choglamsar, a project funded by the office of the Dalai Lama, where there is a thriving community of Tibetan people, schools, a handicrafts vocational centre and an agro-nomadic farm. In the late afternoon we return to our hotel in Leh.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Meals bld

  • Easy whitewater rafing on the Indus River.Transfer to Uleytokpo.

    Today we will have a change of activity as we take to the river for a spot of easy whitewater rafting on the Indus. The rafting starts at a point called Phey which is about 5 minutes from Spituk Monastery. This is not full-on whitewater, but there are some sections of rapids which are graded 2 to 3 on the whitewater grading system. This means that novice rafters will find it to be exhilarating and not too scary. All appropriate safety equipment is provided and there will be a briefing prior to setting off. The river runs through an impressive gorge, as far as the confluence with the Zanskar River. After 3 hours or so, the rafting ends at Nemo, where we have lunch on the beach. From here, it is just a short transfer to the cosy cabins of the comfortable fixed camp at Uleytokpo. Situated amongst orchards above the Indus, this will be our home for the night.

    • Accommodation Fixed Camp

    • Meals bld

    • Time 3 - 4 hrs trekking

  • Start the trek at Ridzong. Trek to Yangtang (3720m).

    We start the trek at Ridzong, with a visit to the monastery and nunnery. This monastery is known for the strict discipline of its monks who have no possessions other than their books and robes. From the monastery, it is an easy 3-hour walk beside the Uley River to our camp in the village of Yangtang (3720m).

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Meals bld

    • Time 3 - 4 hrs trekking

  • Continue the trek to the village of Hemis Shukpachen (3596m).

    Continuing our journey westwards across a low pass, we have another short and easy day, as we descend to the village of Hemis Shukpachen (3596m). We set up camp near the village, which is a good place to meet the local people.

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Meals bld

    • Time 3 - 4 hrs trekking

  • Trek across the Meptek La (4000m) to Ang Tingmosgaam.

    A longer day today, as we trek across the Meptek La (4000m) and descend through the village of Ang to Tingmosgaam, the ancient capital of Ladakh. The ruined castle here has some interesting temples.

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Meals bld

    • Time 4 - 5 hrs trekking

  • Longest trek day passing Teta to Skindiyang.

    This is the longest walking day of the trip, as we cross the Phocha river to the ancient village of Teta. Then trek upstream and across a low pass, before descending to the village of Skindiyang.

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Meals bld

    • Time 5 - 6 hrs trekking

  • Walk out to Khalsi, drive back to Leh.

    It is just a short walk of around 2 hours to the village of Khalsi, where we meet our transport and drive back to Leh. The afternoon is free for exploration of the Ladakhi capital.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Meals bld

    • Time 2 hrs trekking

  • Fly back to Delhi. Drive to Agra and visit the Mughal Red Fort.

    Today we take the short and spectacular flight southwards across the main chain of the Indian Himalaya to Delhi, where we meet our transport for the 5 - 6 hour drive south to Agra. Arriving in the early afternoon, we check into our hotel before heading out for our visit to the splendid Mughal Red Fort in Agra with sneeky views of the Taj Mahal. The hotel in Agra has a swimming pool for those keen to take a dip!

    • Accommodation Hotel with swimming pool

    • Meals bld

  • Morning visit to Taj Mahal. Train to Delhi.

    This morning we have a guided sightseeing tour of the world-famous Taj Mahal. It was built by the Emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his wife Mumtaz Mahal. Construction started on the Taj in 1631 and it took 22 years to complete. One of the most beautiful buildings on earth, the Taj is also incredibly impressive close-up. Its walls are decorated with inlaid marble and set with precious stones. The Taj is one of those rare places whose image is so familiar and yet the reality is so much more than can be conveyed in a photograph. After lunch the rest of the afternoon is free for further independent sightseeing or bargain hunting in the bazaars. We can also choose to return to the Taj Mahal to catch the sunset light. After dinner we have an evening transfer to Agra station where we catch the super fast Shatabdi Express train which takes just 2 hours to reach Delhi. On board we are accommodated in aircraft-type seats in an air conditioned carriage and refreshments are served during the journey. Arriving in New Delhi station, we are met by our KE representative who will arrange the short transfer to the group hotel.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Meals bld

  • Departure day. Delhi Airport transfers are provided.

    KE Land Only package services end after breakfast at the hotel. Complimentary airport transfers are provided on this day.

    • Meals b

Holiday Information

  • An experienced professional English speaking local guide
  • Internal flights and transfers
  • Delhi Airport transfers on Day 1 and Day 14
  • All accommodation as described in the trip dossier
  • Visit to Taj Mahal
  • All meals
  • Once on trek a full service including food and all equipment (excluding personal equipment)

  • Travel insurance
  • Tips for porters and other trek staff
  • Indian Visa
  • Entrance fees to monuments in Agra & Fatehpur Sikri
  • Miscellaneous expenses - drinks and souvenirs etc

On arrival in Delhi we overnight at a centrally located tourist standard hotel in the city. We use a good standard of hotel accommodation for our 5 nights in Leh. Returning to Delhi after the trek, the group will transfer to Agra and spend 1 night at a conveniently located tourist class hotel in that city with a swimming pool. On the return to Delhi, we overnight at a hotel. All hotel accommodation is based on twin sharing, but extra beds can usually be arranged to allow children to share mum and dad's room. There are 5 nights camping and 2 persons will usually share a 3-person tent. Of course, children can share a tent with their parents if required. If your flight schedule requires that you spend an extra night in Delhi on this day, please contact the KE office.

View the gallery below for images of the style of accommodation used

All meals are included in the holiday price from lunch on day 1 to breakfast on day 14.

Indian food offers a wide variety of dishes – much more than the curries we are used to in Indian restaurants at home - but there are also familiar international dishes available throughout the holiday. The food served during the trek is a mixture of local and Western, mostly purchased in India and cooked for us by highly trained trek cooks. The emphasis is on providing a high-carbohydrate and largely vegetarian diet, which we have found to be easily digestible at high altitude. While staying in Delhi, Leh and in Agra, meals will be taken in the hotel or in local restaurants where a wide range of oriental and western cuisine will be available. All meals are included in the trip price.

All clients arriving in Delhi on Day 1 of the Land Only itinerary will be met at the airport by a KE representative, who will arrange the transfer to the group hotel. Clients should let us know if Delhi Airport transfers are not required. Independent Delhi Airport transfers can be arranged to meet clients arriving prior to Day 1 at an additional cost. Hotel contact details and an emergency number will be provided with your booking confirmation.

This trip will be led by an experienced English speaking local guide. In addition the group will be accompanied by a full trek crew, including a cook and a team of pony men and their pack-animals. During the day’s rafting there will be one raft for 6 to 8 group members and one experienced river guide for each raft. The group will also be accompanied by safety kayakers.

Approximately £500 (or equivalent Euros, US dollars etc.) should be allowed per family (mum, dad and 2 kids) for miscellaneous expenses. You should allow approximately £50 per family member for porter and trek crew tips, and around £30 - 40 per family member for drinks, etc.. There are opportunities for buying souvenirs on this trip. India’s unit of currency is the Rupee. It is not necessary to purchase Indian currency before you travel. Money can be changed at a reasonable rate at the airport or at your hotel on arrival in Delhi. Since you will be changing the majority of your spending money into local currency on the day of arrival, we recommend taking this in cash. Sterling and US dollars are readily exchanged in Delhi. Credit and debit cards can be used to purchase many goods in Delhi and Agra and are particularly useful for more expensive souvenirs. It is possible to withdraw cash (rupees only) from cash machines in certain banks in Delhi using credit and debit cards. ENTRANCE FEES TO SIGHTS. All prices subject to change. Current exchange rate 1GBP = approx 100Rs DELHI Red Fort: 250Rs Qutab Minar: 250Rs Humayun's Tomb: 250Rs AGRA Taj Mahal: 750Rs Agra Fort: 300Rs Fatehpur Sikri: 260Rs Sikandra: 110Rs

Tips are the accepted way of saying ‘thank you’ to your local guides and porters. They do not form part of their wages. KE always pays local crews the best rates of pay, no matter what country they are in and any tips they receive are seen as a personal thank you from group members. For our part, we advise local teams that tips are not a duty or a prerequisite but are a bonus and entirely dependent on the service that was given. For your trek crews we recommend that you give a tip if you feel that their services have met your satisfaction. These tips are best given at the end of your trip and by the group as a whole rather than from individuals. Although the level of tip is at your discretion we understand that you will want some guidance on this. As a rough guide we suggest you allow a total of £50 (or equivalent in Euros / US dollars etc.) changed into Indian rupees for tipping your trek and rafting crews and the local guides.

Your baggage on trek will be carried by pack animals. The packed weight of your trek bag whilst trekking should be no more than 15 kgs.

All KE clients will receive a FREE KE trek bag.  These have been specially made to stand up to the rigours of adventure travel.  Your KE bag will be posted to you when your trip is guaranteed to run or on receipt of your booking if the trip is already guaranteed.  If you have travelled with us before and already have a KE trek bag you can select an alternative free gift in the booking process.

This holiday involves going to high altitude. During the course of your trip you will reach altitudes in excess of 3500 metres. 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 on our website which can be viewed via the link below. You can also talk to one of our trekking experts if you have any concerns about altitude.

The following checklist should help you with your packing. As a general rule, you should always try to keep the weight of your equipment to a minimum. The packed weight of each family member’s trek bag (including sleeping bag and camping mat) during the trekking section of the trip should be no more than 15 kgs. Items not required on trek can be left at the group hotel.

You must bring the following items:

  • Hiking boots
  • Socks
  • Trekking trousers / pants
  • Waterproof overtrousers / rainpants
  • Underwear
  • Baselayer shirts
  • Casual shirt and/or T-shirts
  • Fleece jacket or warm jumper/sweater
  • Waterproof jacket
  • Sunhat
  • Warm hat
  • Eyewear - Sunglasses
  • Thermal gloves
  • Headtorch/Headlamp with spare batteries
  • Sun protection (including total bloc for lips, nose etc.)
  • Water bottles 1 Litre (1 Quart) x2
  • Washbag and toiletries
  • Antibacterial handwash
  • Small towel
  • Selection of dry bags (to keep trek bag contents dry)
  • Small padlock (to lock trek bag)
  • Daypack 30 litres / 1800 cu in.
  • Sleeping bag - comfort rated to 0 C*
  • Thermarest or similar sleeping mat*
  • Basic personal first aid kit, including: A broad spectrum antibiotic, antiseptic cream, throat lozenges, diarrhoea treatment (Imodium), painkillers, plasters (band aids) and blister treatment, Insect repellent (DEET), and re-hydration salts (Dioralite). Glucose tablets and multi-vitamin tablets are also a good idea.

The following items are optional:

  • Trekking poles
  • Training shoes /Sneakers or similar for camp use
  • Spare laces
  • Shorts
  • Long johns (thermal underwear)
  • Warm jacket (down)
  • Sleeping bag liner
  • Scarf or buff
  • Nailbrush
  • Wet wipes
  • Swimwear
  • Travel clothes
  • Camera, media, spare batteries
  • Penknife (remember to pack sharp objects in hold baggage)
  • Repair kit – (eg. needle, thread, duct tape)
  • Toys / games / books / a football etc.


  • *Available for hire/rental through KE Adventure Travel
  • Please make all requests at least 6 weeks prior to the trip departure date. Please note all hire / rental equipment is issued in Delhi. Please remember to allow room in your trek bag for these items.
  • Remember when outfitting your family that KE clients are entitled to a 15% discount at Cotswold Outdoor shops and online.

For each holiday there is a minimum number of participants required to enable it to go ahead. Once the minimum number is reached, the trip status will change from 'Available' to 'Guaranteed to run'. You can check the trip status for each departure in ‘Dates and Prices’ table. Other than in exceptional circumstances, we will not cancel a trip once it has achieved this guaranteed to run status and so you are free to proceed with your international flight booking and other travel arrangements.

A passport with 6 months remaining validity at the end of your stay is generally required. The information that we provide is for UK passport holders. Please check the relevant embassy or consulate for other nationalities. It is your responsibility to ensure that you have the correct travel documents and visas for your holiday. Visa requirements and charges are subject to change without notice. If you are travelling outside the EU you should have at least 2 blank pages in your passport.

Visa India

All nationalities require a visa. The visa fee is $60 and you need to apply for this online prior to departure at Please download the detailed information document: Visa PDF India

You should contact your GP or travel clinic to check whether you require any specific vaccinations or other preventive measures. You should be up to date with routine courses and boosters as recommended in the UK e.g. diphtheria-tetanus-polio and measles-mumps-rubella, along with hepatitis A and typhoid. Malarial prophylaxis is not usually required for trips in the mountains, however if you are visiting rural and remote low lying areas then they might be necessary. On holidays to more remote areas you should also have a dentist check up. A good online resource is Travel Health Pro.

We recommend you check if you require an adaptor for your electrical items at:

Our family adventures are specifically aimed at families who are experienced travellers and who are used to the outdoor environment. Although children will quickly adapt to new and unusual surroundings, they will be less happy if mum and dad are completely phased by the experience. It is a good idea for the family to learn about the place they are going to visit and this can be all part of the fun of planning your trip. There are certain things which you should expect on your family adventure.

As a reputable tour operator, KE supports the British Foreign & Commonwealth Offices ‘Know before you go’ campaign to enable British citizens to prepare for their journeys overseas, and we recommend that all KE travellers take a look at the FCO Travel Advice for their chosen destination on the official FCO website: North Americans can also check out the U.S. Department of State website: for essential travel advice and tips.

KE treat the safety and security of all clients as the most important aspect of any trip we organise. We would not run any trip that we did not consider reasonably safe.  Should the FCO advise against travel for any reason, we will contact everyone booked to travel to discuss the situation.  We receive regular updates direct from the FCO and are in constant touch with our contacts on the ground.  If you have any questions about government travel advice, please call our office.

Your Child’s Health Abroad. Matthew Ellis and Jane Wilson-Howarth, (Bradt publications). Travel With Children. Maureen Wheeler (Lonely Planet). India. Lonely Planet guidebook. Leh and Trekking in Ladakh. Charlie Loram. Trekking in the Indian Himalaya. Weare. (L.Planet). The Trekkers Handbook. Tom Gilchrist.

India - 150K Ladakh and Zanskar Trekking Maps Editions Olizane. Scale: 1:150,000

These are excellent topographic trekking maps of the Ladakh - Zanskar region from the Geneva based Editions Olizane. Printed on light, waterproof and tear-resistant plastic paper, each map is double-sided, covering a large area of 90km x 240km. The maps have exceptionally clear cartography with contours at 100m intervals, enhanced by relief shading, additional spot heights for peaks and passes. The legend is in English and French. Three sheets cover Ladakh and Zanskar. For this trek you will need the following sheet:: Ladakh and Zanskar Centre: Indus - Zanskar - Pangong

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