Markha Valley Trek
15 days | From £1,264 | Guided Group Departures
This classic trek takes you through a spectacular high-altitude world with breath-taking vistas, entrancing scenery and the chance to see wildlife. You'll also experience Buddhist culture with visits to remote monasteries, and cross high passes marked by colourful prayer flags.
15 days | From £1,264 | Guided Group Departures
- Stunning view of Kang Yangtse Peak
- Ladakh's famous Hemis monastery
- Walk alongside the Markha River
- Explore famous Buddhist Monasteries such as Hemis, Shey and Thiksey
- All meals included while on trek
Perched high in the mountains on the remote northern edge of India, Ladakh is a truly inspirational destination for a trekking holiday. This classic trek takes you through a spectacular high-altitude world with breathtaking vistas, entrancing scenery and the chance to see wildlife too. You'll also experience Buddhist culture with visits to remote monasteries, and cross high passes marked by colourful prayer flags.
After a few days acclimatising in Leh and seeing the local sights, we set out along the banks of the Indus River.
The long climb up the Ganda La is rewarded with truly breathtaking views before the trail descends into a willow and wild rose-filled gorge to enter the picturesque Markha Valley. Follow the Markha River, passing through lush farmland and traditional villages reaching the head of the valley which is dominated by the glaciated Kang Yatze peak (6,400 metres). Kongmaru La (5,265 metres) marks the highest point of our trek, with excellent views of shimmering peaks that mark the Tibetan border. After a day's descent we'll return by road to Leh and fly back to Delhi.
Lastly, we reward ourselves after a hard holiday trekking with an optional extension to Agra, to see the famous and majestic Taj Mahal.
- Day 1. Depart UK
- Depart the UK on an overnight flight to Delhi.
- Day 2. Arrive Delhi
- Arrive Delhi where you will be met on arrival for single-timed group transfer to the hotel in Delhi. Rest of the day free at leisure to relax or explore the city.
- Day 3. Fly over the Himalayas to Leh
- An early morning start, for a scenic flight to Leh. On arrival, you will be transferred to your hotel to freshen up. Land only clients join the group at the hotel. This afternoon is free for acclimatisation. Explore the colourful bazaars of the area. orientation walk.
- Day 4. Visit Shanti Stupa and the old Royal Palace
- Today is also an acclimatisation day with sightseeing around the Ladakhi capital. In the morning you'll visit the Shankar Gompa, Shanti Stupa and Leh Palace where you can enjoy incredible views over Leh across the Indus Valley. You have the option to walk back to the guesthouse or be driven.
- Day 5. Sightseeing around Leh
- Today youwill be taken to explore Leh and the surrounding area. Visit Thikay, Matho and Shey Palace.
- Day 6. Commence trek
- Having had a good few days to acclimatise to the altitude, it is time to start the trek. You will be driven to Zingchen stopping at Spituk en route to visit the monastery there. The end of our first day of trekking will be at Rumbak (3870m).
- Day 7. Ascend the valley to Ganda La Base
- We have a relatively short day of walking to help us further acclimatise. The trail ascends the valley gradually. Leaving the fields behind, we ascend further towards the Ganda La base where we will camp for the evening.
- Day 8. Walk the mountain path and descend to the Markha River and Siku village
- Follow the path up the mountain side to the top of Ganda La (4970m). The trail is clear as it zigzags towards the pass. As we climb the views become more and more spectacular. Upon reaching the top, surrounded by colourful prayer flags, we are rewarded with panoramic views. A long but easy descent takes us to Shingo. Beyond this hamlet, pass through a wonderful gorge before reaching the Markha River at the village of Siku.
- Day 9. Along the valley to Markha
- A fairly long day lies ahead but with relatively easy walking. The terrain along the valley to Markha is not demanding leaving plenty of opportunity to admire the magnificent scenery. The colours of the barren mountains fo Ladakh are truly spectacular - pastel pinks, blues and greens shine and change colour dramatically with sunrise and sunset. While following the river, we will cross it a few times before reaching the village of Markha. There is time to explore the monastery in the afternoon before relaxing at our camp.
- Day 10. Into the Chacham Valley to Thachungtse
- We have another fairly long day of walking as we cross into the Chacham Valley and walk through Umlung Village to Hankar. Here there are impressive fort ruins and a small gompa. From Hankar the trail turns off from the main valley and follows the stream to Thachungtse where we camp for the evening.
- Day 11. Short day walking to Nimaling
- The trail today climbs steeply to the plateaur where the valley opens out. Ahead there are spectacular views of Kang Yangtse (6400m). Passing shepherds and their flock, we should arrive in Nimaling by lunchtime. In the afternoon there is an optional walk behind the camp towards KAng Yangste - this is highly recommended for impressive views of this peak which is the highest in the Markha valley.
- Day 12. Climb to Gongmaru La
- Our trail today begins witha fairly long and steep ascent to Gongmaru La, zigzagging to the top of the pass at 5265m. This is the highest point of our trek and the views of the Indus Valley below are wonderful. When we are ready to depart, we will take a steep descent entering a spectacular gorge. High up on the barren cliffs you can spot the elusive blue sheep which inhabit this area. Pass through Chuskurmo and Chokdo descending to the village of Shang Sumdo where the trek ends.
- Day 13. Drive to Leh via Shey Palace
- With the hardest and final day of the trek behind us, today we are collected from our camp and driven to Shey Palace. The Shey palace and monastery and palace are complex structures located on a small hill. Step inside to see the huge golden Buddha. Drive back to Leh and enjoy the rest of the day to relax or amble around the local bazaars.
- Day 14. Fly to Delhi to connect with onwards flight
- This morning, we say goodbye to our land only clients. If your are returning via Delhi, we once again can enjoy the flight back to Delhi taking in views over the Himalaya one more time. Connect to onwards flight in Delhi.
- Day 15. Arrive UK
- Depending on the flight schedule, some flights may arrive back in the UK today.
FOR A DETAILED ITINERARY AND MORE INFORMATION PLEASE DOWNLOAD THE TRIP DOSSIER
- Trop grade: D - Challenging
- Duration: 15 days
- Trip code: TIMV
- GROUP SIZE : 4 - 12 (Max)
- Max Altitude: 5,265m
- Accommodation: Hotel x 5, camping x 7
- Meals: 12 breakfasts, 11 lunches and 11 evening meals inc
- Departs: June to September
- OVERSEAS JOINING POINT : Delhi/ Leh
- IMPORTANT : Make sure your chosen holiday is guaranteed to run before you purchase your air tickets and make any other travel arrangements