Manali-Leh Himalayan Epic Tour
Beautiful Ladakh is the home of one of cycling’s epic journeys. Riding over some of the highest passes in the world this cycle journey takes us from the forested foothills of the Himalaya to the spectacular lunar landscapes of Ladakh. Our route weaves crosses the Indian Himalaya passing past dramatic monasteries and the timeless beauty of a genuinely untouched land.
Day 1: Arrive Delhi.
4 hour drive to Chandigarh. Overnight Chandigarh
Day 2: Chandigarh-Manali:
7-Hour scenic bus ride to India’s adventure sport capital Manali (2020m). Bike build/ briefing and plenty of time to explore Manali’s famed colourful bazaars and temple. Overnight Manali
Day 3: Manali Ride 32km
Stretch the travel out of your legs with a beautiful acclimatisation ride to the Solang Valley returning via the hot sulphur springs at Vaishisht. Overnight Manali.
Day 4: Manali-Sissu 88km
We start climbing right from our hotel door in Manali through cedar and fir forests on route to the Rohtang Pass. The Rohtang La (3946m) is the dramatic gateway to the stark mountainous desert of Ladakh. From the top we descend almost 1000m to Khoksar and we follow the beautiful Chandra Valley to our camp at Sissu.
Day 5: Sissu-Jispa 58km
Spectacular scenery as we ride through the beautiful Lahaul Valley to the small oasis town of Keylong and along the river to Istingri and Gemur before descending to our hotel in the super scenic village of Jispa.
Day 6: Jispa-Zing Zing Bar 35km
A steady short day in the saddle as we approach the Great Himalayan Range through pastureland to Darcha (3358m) followed by a steep switch back climb for 8km and then a pleasant 12km descent to a small lake of Deepak Tal. From here it’s a steady but stunning climb on to our camp site situated near our favourite named place of all time Zing Zing Bar.
Day 7: Zing Zing Bar- Sarchu 48 km
Another magical day of cycling as we cross the Himalaya to Sarchu. We start with a long ascent to the Baralacha La Pass (4933m) passing the Suraj Kund; an isolated high altitude lake; on the epic climb to the top, the views are breathtaking. From the pass it’s mostly a descent to our stunning campsite at Sarchu.
Day 8: Sarchu-Pang 80km
Today is definitely one for the climbers. It’s a steady 32km across the Sarchu Plains before the climbing starts in earnest at the Gata Loops, a series of 21 hairpin bends, and then on to the top of our first pass, the Nakli La at (4948m) With a short respite down to Whiskey Nallay it’s another pedal spinner up to the Lachalung La crossing the Zanskar Range and down through incredible rock formations to our overnight camp Pang.
Morning starts with a heart thumping 8km climb to the Mori Plains (4778m) and Rupshu, the waterless high altitude desert plain of the Tibetan Plateau, home to the hardy Changpas; yak hair tent dwelling Tibetan nomads who graze flocks of sheep and yaks in this endless landscape. A few more hours pedaling takes us to Tsokar Lake. Which lies at the end of an of-road sandy track and our camp for the night near Pongunagu. Tsokar means ‘white lake’, and there are white salt deposits ringing the water. Look out for the ‘kiang’, the wild asses which roam the surrounding hills.
Day 10: Tsokar Lake-Lato 72km
Another great pass lies ahead as we make our way mighty Taglang La which at 5350m affords unbelievable views of both the Himalaya and the Karakorum Mountains. From the top it’s a belter of a descent through fields of barley and potatoes before reaching our hotel at Lato.
Day 11 Lato-Leh 77km
A super day in the saddle lies ahead as follow the down by the Kyamnar River down to the Indus Valle all the way into Leh. Passing the dramatically located Thikse and the white washed ruins of Shey Palace all the way into our destination Leh.
A well deserved rest day gives us a chance to relax and explore the sights of Leh, from the timeless feel of the bazaars and narrow back streets to the otherworldy ruins of the Old Royal Palace. Leh is a truly unforgettable place.
Day 13: Leh-Khardungla Pass-Leh 78km
Legs refreshed its time for perhaps the greatest challenge of the trip the ride to the Khardung La (5602m) which claims to be the highest motorable road pass in the world. Outlandish views are a constant as we climb and climb again to what feels like the roof of the world
Day 14 Leh-Delhi
An early morning tranfer to Leh airport for the dramatic flight across the Himalaya back to Delhi. Time for a stroll around Delhi and it’s famed historical sites..
Day 15 Return Flights/Onward Travel
Transfer to airport/further travel.
15-Day Manali-Leh Dates (New Delhi)
2019 June 23rd £1345/£1495 AVAILABLE*