Ladakh in 7 Days – How to Plan a Ladakh 7 Days Itinerary

A 7 days trip to Ladakh is one of the most common time frames that people opt for. While it may not be sufficient for a road trip, it is still ample time to execute an enjoyable trip to Ladakh. In the post below, I will provide a few itineraries to cover Leh Ladakh in 7 days. To begin with, I will first explain an itinerary that I recommend, followed by a few other ways to complete the journey. Your final travel plan will depend on several factors like your mode of travel, trip budget, and places you want to cover. But the itineraries below can still get you started and give you enough information to comfortably plan and execute your journey. While explaining the itineraries, I will also include details like the sightseeing places and accommodation choices. For more information on visiting Ladakh, please take a look at How to Plan a Trip to Leh Ladakh – A Complete Travel Guide. Quick Navigation How to Visit Leh Ladakh in 7 Days Let me first talk about a few important things that you must consider while planning a Leh Ladakh 7 days trip. After that, I will move on to the itinerary part. Plan by Air The most important thing to remember here is that Ladakh in 7 days will have to be an air trip. You will have to catch a flight in and out of Leh. It would be extremely difficult to make this journey by road. If you only have 7 days in hand and you want this to be a memorable experience, then I strongly advise that you use this time to only explore Ladakh. You should leave Manali to Leh or Srinagar to Leh highway for another vacation, at another time. The reason why I advised against making this a road trip is because the time, even though a week, is still not sufficient. Think of it this way. Manali to Leh is a journey of a minimum of 2 days. Jammu to Leh is a minimum of 3 days journey. And then you will need at least a day from your hometown to reach either Manali or Jammu. This really leaves no time for sightseeing in Ladakh. Making this a road trip would mean that you just reached Leh and started on your way home. Acute Mountain Sickness The biggest concern for anyone reaching Ladakh by Air is of acute mountain sickness. A slow gain in altitude is the best prevention against mountain sickness. But this doesn’t really happen in the case of a 7 days trip to Ladakh. Within a matter of hours, altitude increases by a considerable amount. You bring your body to heights that it is not accustomed to, which may trigger altitude sickness. It then becomes of utmost importance that you allow sufficient time for acclimatization after you land in Leh. Not stressing your body and an ample amount of rest become the key factors here.  For more details on altitude sickness, please take a look at How to Handle Acute Mountain Sickness in Ladakh. For most people, their first day after landing in Leh is usually difficult. There is no other way around it but to allow your body some time to adjust. It is highly advised that your first day should be spent in the hotel, waiting for the symptoms to subside. You should not plan anything for this day and if you feel better by evening, you can take a stroll through the market or visit Leh Palace and Shanti Stupa in Leh city. Inner Line Permit Please note that an Inner Line Permit is mandatory to visit places like Nubra Valley, Pangong Tso, and Tso Moriri. This permit is issued at DM office Leh and can also be applied for online. Please read How to Obtain Inner Line Permit for Ladakh for more details on applying and related charges. Arrange your Stay After you land in Leh, it will become very hard to run around looking for a hotel, arranging permits, and making travel arrangements. You will be suffering from AMS and it is not advised to stress your body any further. A better way around this would be to arrange all this in advance. Almost all the hotels in Leh can arrange permits on your behalf in exchange for a small fee. Before you leave home, call a few hotels and ask if they can arrange the permits. If they agree then scan and send your ID proofs, transfer the money and book your stay with them. This will take care of both the permits and accommodation in Leh. Once you land there, you just need to reach an already decided and booked hotel, collect your permits, and take a rest the entire day. Arrange Transport For travel arrangements, it is best to book a private taxi for the tour. You can use public transport as well but that will strongly limit you only to certain places and can become a bit of a hassle too. Renting a motorcycle is also a choice but only if you are an experienced rider and know how to handle a bike on the mountains and bad roads. If you are in a group of 5-6 people, then book a private cab and have the driver pick you from the airport itself. If you are however alone or just 2-3 people, cannot really afford the taxi cos, then you should opt for rented motorcycles but do it only after you land in Leh. Test a few motorcycles before final

Ladakh in 7 Days – How to Plan a Ladakh 7 Days Itinerary

A 7 days trip to Ladakh is one of the most common time frames that people opt for. While it may not be sufficient for a road trip, it is still ample time to execute an enjoyable trip to Ladakh. In the post below, I will provide a few itineraries to cover Leh Ladakh in 7 days.

To begin with, I will first explain an itinerary that I recommend, followed by a few other ways to complete the journey. Your final travel plan will depend on several factors like your mode of travel, trip budget, and places you want to cover. But the itineraries below can still get you started and give you enough information to comfortably plan and execute your journey.

While explaining the itineraries, I will also include details like the sightseeing places and accommodation choices.

How to Visit Leh Ladakh in 7 Days

Let me first talk about a few important things that you must consider while planning a Leh Ladakh 7 days trip. After that, I will move on to the itinerary part.

Plan by Air

The most important thing to remember here is that Ladakh in 7 days will have to be an air trip. You will have to catch a flight in and out of Leh. It would be extremely difficult to make this journey by road.

If you only have 7 days in hand and you want this to be a memorable experience, then I strongly advise that you use this time to only explore Ladakh. You should leave Manali to Leh or Srinagar to Leh highway for another vacation, at another time.

The reason why I advised against making this a road trip is because the time, even though a week, is still not sufficient. Think of it this way. Manali to Leh is a journey of a minimum of 2 days. Jammu to Leh is a minimum of 3 days journey. And then you will need at least a day from your hometown to reach either Manali or Jammu.

This really leaves no time for sightseeing in Ladakh. Making this a road trip would mean that you just reached Leh and started on your way home.

Acute Mountain Sickness

The biggest concern for anyone reaching Ladakh by Air is of acute mountain sickness. A slow gain in altitude is the best prevention against mountain sickness. But this doesn’t really happen in the case of a 7 days trip to Ladakh.

Within a matter of hours, altitude increases by a considerable amount. You bring your body to heights that it is not accustomed to, which may trigger altitude sickness.

It then becomes of utmost importance that you allow sufficient time for acclimatization after you land in Leh. Not stressing your body and an ample amount of rest become the key factors here.  For more details on altitude sickness, please take a look at How to Handle Acute Mountain Sickness in Ladakh.

For most people, their first day after landing in Leh is usually difficult. There is no other way around it but to allow your body some time to adjust. It is highly advised that your first day should be spent in the hotel, waiting for the symptoms to subside.

You should not plan anything for this day and if you feel better by evening, you can take a stroll through the market or visit Leh Palace and Shanti Stupa in Leh city.

Inner Line Permit

Please note that an Inner Line Permit is mandatory to visit places like Nubra Valley, Pangong Tso, and Tso Moriri. This permit is issued at DM office Leh and can also be applied for online. Please read How to Obtain Inner Line Permit for Ladakh for more details on applying and related charges.

Arrange your Stay

After you land in Leh, it will become very hard to run around looking for a hotel, arranging permits, and making travel arrangements. You will be suffering from AMS and it is not advised to stress your body any further. A better way around this would be to arrange all this in advance.

Almost all the hotels in Leh can arrange permits on your behalf in exchange for a small fee. Before you leave home, call a few hotels and ask if they can arrange the permits. If they agree then scan and send your ID proofs, transfer the money and book your stay with them. This will take care of both the permits and accommodation in Leh.

Once you land there, you just need to reach an already decided and booked hotel, collect your permits, and take a rest the entire day.

Arrange Transport

For travel arrangements, it is best to book a private taxi for the tour. You can use public transport as well but that will strongly limit you only to certain places and can become a bit of a hassle too.

Renting a motorcycle is also a choice but only if you are an experienced rider and know how to handle a bike on the mountains and bad roads.

If you are in a group of 5-6 people, then book a private cab and have the driver pick you from the airport itself. If you are however alone or just 2-3 people, cannot really afford the taxi cos, then you should opt for rented motorcycles but do it only after you land in Leh. Test a few motorcycles before finalizing one. Do not book this over the phone in advance.

ladakh in 7 days

7 Days Itinerary for Leh Ladakh

The journey can of course be planned in multiple ways. In the end, however, it is more or less the same places that you will visit with exception of a few.

I will start with an itinerary that I recommend.

  • Arrive in Leh – Day 1
  • Sham Valley Tour – Day 2
  • Leh to Nubra Valley – Day 3
  • Nubra Valley to Pangong Lake – Day 4
  • Pangong Tso to Leh – Day 5
  • Leh to Tso Moriri – Day 6
  • Tso Moriri to Leh – Day 7
  • Flight Out of Leh – Day 8

Most of the flights to and out of Leh are early in the morning which really works in your favor here. It means that you will land in Leh early morning on Day 1. This will give you the entire day to make other arrangements. For a return flight too, you will catch a flight in the morning and return home early in the day.

This itinerary can however only be followed if you were traveling by private taxi or a rented bike. If you were planning to move around by public transport, it would have to be changed a little bit and I have covered that later in the article.

Day 1 – Leh

You will arrive in Leh on Day 1. I am assuming that you would have booked a hotel and arranged the permits in advance. This will give you the entire day to just rest and adjust to high altitude.

If you did not make prior arrangements then arranging permits will be the first task of the day, after you have checked in to a hotel. For names and the numbers of some budget hotels in Leh, please take a look at Good Budget Hotels in Leh with Tariff Details.

If you are planning to rent a motorcycle, then you will have to move around Leh City, check out a few rental agencies or mechanics, and finalize a bike for your local sightseeing. You can take a look at Leh Ladakh Bike Rental Rates to get an idea of how much it will cost you.

In the evening, you can go for a walk in the local market or visit Leh Palace or Shanti Stupa. The sunset view from Shanti Stupa is really good and you can get some amazing pictures from there.

leh palace

Day 2 – Sham Valley Tour

There are a few different ways that you can spend your second day in Leh. The idea is to no approach a high-altitude pass and to remain in and around Leh for this day as well. This will help with acclimatization and subsiding the symptoms of AMS.

Sham Valley tour is a term used for going out on a drive on the Srinagar Leh highway towards Kargil. A little after Leh, you will see Magnetic Hill, Indus-Zanskar Rivers confluence, and visit Gurudwara Patthar Sahib.

After that, you can continue driving into Sham Valley or you can also go towards Lamayuru. The monastery in Lamayuru and the moonland are definitely worth a visit.

Either way, you need to plan this in a way that you return to Leh by evening. If you do not wish to go towards Sham Valley, you can visit the local attractions in Leh like Leh Palace, Shanti Stupa, Thiksey Monastery, Shey Monastery, and Palace, etc.

lamayuru

Day 3 – Leh to Nubra Valley

On Day 2, you will start your journey from Leh to Nubra valley. If you are traveling by private taxi or rented motorcycle, then you should start early in the day so that it gives you ample time for sightseeing.

The first stop of the day will be Khardung La which is about 35 kilometers from Leh. There is an Army-run canteen at the top where you may have some tea if you would like.

After crossing Khardung La, you will descend into Nubra Valley. There are several towns here where you can find accommodation like Sumur, Panamik, Hunder or Diskit. Of all, I would recommend staying at Diskit because it has the most options in terms of hotels and guest houses.

If you reached well in time, you may visit the monastery in Diskit, or go to Hunder to see the sand dunes and Bactrian camel. Roads are mostly good except for a rough patch around Khardung La top, between South and North Pullu.

For accommodation in Nubra Valley, Please read Hotels and Guest Houses in Nubra Valley.

If you were traveling by public transport, then you will have to go to the Leh bus stand in the morning. Check if there is a bus available to Diskit on the day of your travel. If there is none, then there will definitely be shared taxis available going to Nubra valley.

nubra valley

Day 4: Nubra Valley to Pangong Lake

On the fourth day, you will proceed to Pangong Lake via Shyok road. For this, travel all the way back to Khalsar and from there, take the road towards Agham Village. Do not go back towards Khardung La because then you will reach back Leh town.

At Agham, the road will bifurcate again and you need to take the left turn towards Shyok village. A little later, you will arrive at Durbuk, then Tangtse and from there, it is a straight run to Pangong Lake.

The travel time on this route will be about 5 hours. Before you go to Pangong, you can also take the road towards Panamik and explore the other side of the Nubra Valley. In Panamik, you can see the hot water springs and even take a dip in the warm water if you want to. From Panamik, return to Khalsar and continue on your way to Pangong.

The problem is that there is no public transport available on this road. There is no bus that travels directly between the two places. If you were traveling by public transport, your only option is to look for a shared cab in Diskit or hitchhike. If nothing worked, you will have to return to Leh.

Accommodation at Pangong can be campsites, guesthouses, wooden huts, chadar tents, or homestays in Spangmik, Man, and Merak village.

pangong

Day 5: Pangong Tso to Leh

You will return to Leh on Day 5 from Pangong. If you came by Bus, then board it again for your return journey or else, look for a shared taxi which you will easily find.

The route for the return journey will take you across the Chang La Pass, famous as the third highest motorable road in the world. If you were traveling by rented bike or a private cab, then you can also visit Thiksey Monastery on your way back if you didn’t already go there on the first two days of the trip.

Day 6: Leh to Tso Moriri

Your next destination on Day 5 will be Tso Moriri. This will be the longest journey so far so an early start is a must. Roads will be a mix of good, bad and ugly.

You will once again take the Manali Leh highway until Upshi. From there, take the road towards Karzok via Chumathang, Polokongka La, and Sumdo. The ugly part of the road will be around Polokongka La and between Sumdo and Karzok. Travel time will easily be around 7-8 hours.

For public transport, you will once again have to ask for a bus at the Bus stand and if none is available, board a shared taxi. At Karzok, you will easily find several guest houses, campsites and there is the choice of homestay as well.

tso moriri

Day 7: Tso Moriri to Leh

This will be the last day of your trip. Take a walk near the lake in the morning and leave for Leh a little early. I would recommend that you try reaching Leh town by 4 pm at most. This will still leave you with a few hours in the evening for a last leisurely walk around the town before you go home the next day.

The bus service for Tso Moriri is only 3 times a month. So you will have to mostly rely on shared cabs if you were traveling by public transport.

If you however rented a bike or a private cab in Leh, I will recommend taking a different route for the return journey. After Sumdo, rather than going to Chumathang, take the road towards Tso Kar lake and visit that as well. This way, between Tso Kar and Leh, you will also be able to cover Tanglang La Pass.

Day 8: Fly Home

On the 8th day, you can catch a return flight in the morning, marking an end to your 7 days Ladakh trip.

ladakh in 7 days

By Public Transport

The above-mentioned itinerary can be a little difficult to follow because of the lack of public transport on Agham Shyok road. This will make it difficult for you to go straight to Pangong lake from Nubra Valley.

If you were able to find a shared cab, then follow the itinerary above. Otherwise, your plan will change to the following.

  • Arrive in Leh – Day 1
  • Leh to Nubra Valley – Day 2
  • Nubra Valley to Leh – Day 3
  • Leh to Pangong Tso – Day 4
  • Pangong Tso to Leh – Day 5
  • Leh to Tso Moriri – Day 6
  • Tso Moriri to Leh – Day 7
  • Flight Out of Leh – Day 8

This is probably the most common and easiest of all 7-day itineraries for Ladakh. It can be followed irrespective of how and when you travel.

The roads to Nubra valley, Pangong Tso and Tso Moriri remain open throughout the year, contrary to common belief. So even if you were planning your trip in winter, you can still follow this itinerary. It does not involve any roads that you may find closed at the time of your arrival.

If you chose to travel by public transport, this itinerary too will be the best one. In peak tourist season, there is a regular bus running from Leh to all these locations. Even if you couldn’t find a bus, you will still be easily able to board a shared taxi.

Also Read: Clothes for Ladakh Trip – What to Pack

Ladakh 7 Days Itinerary # 3

Let us now take a look at another travel plan that you can follow.

  • Arrive in Leh – Day 1
  • Sham Valley Tour – Day 2
  • Leh to Nubra Valley – Day 3
  • Nubra Valley to Pangong Lake – Day 4
  • Pangong Lake to Hanle – Day 5
  • Hanle to Tso Moriri – Day 6
  • Tso Moriri to Leh – Day 7
  • Fly Out – Day 8

This itinerary is by far is my favorite as it covers the maximum areas. The problem however is that you cannot follow this by public transport.

For the first 4 days, the journey will remain the same as explained in the first itinerary and you will reach Pangong Lake. From Pangong, you will then take the Chushul route, cross Tsaga on the way and reach Loma. At Loma, you will register yourself at the check post and take the diversion towards Hanle.

There is a guest house at Hanle where you can stay for the night. If there was no vacancy at the guest house then you can stay as a paying guest with one of the villagers.

On Day 6, you will backtrack from Hanle till Loma and then take the road via Nyoma, Mahe, and Sumdo to reach Karzok, Tso Moriri. On Day 7, you will return to Leh.

For the return journey, you can choose to take a different route. While you reached Karzok via Upshi and Chumathang, while returning, take the road towards Polokongka La from Sumdo.

This will take you on the road towards Tso Kar and More plains after which you will exit on Manali Leh highway slightly after Pang, near Debring. From there you will cross Tanglang La and reach Leh.

ladakh in 7 days

Leh Ladakh Bike Trip in 7 Days

If you were thinking of a motorcycle trip to Ladakh in 7 days then one thing is for sure. It cannot be from your home unless you were living either in Srinagar or Manali.

Manali to Ladakh is 2 days of travel at least. The same is the case from the Srinagar side as well. So 4 days are spent right here.

Then you will need at least 2 more days to get to either Srinagar or Manali from your home and then the same for the return journey. So 6 days of the trip are gone leaving you with just one day in Ladakh (that too I doubt). Your itinerary will then look something like this.

  • Delhi to Jammu – Day 1
  • Jammu to Srinagar – Day 2
  • Srinagar to Kargil – Day 3
  • Kargil to Leh – Day 4
  • Leh to Sarchu – Day 5
  • Sarchu to Manali – Day 6
  • Manali to Delhi – Day 7

Not the journey you thought about, right? This way you will cover only the two highways leading to Leh. You will reach Ladakh for sure but won’t have any time to spend there.

A 7 days bike trip to Ladakh is best from Manali only. You reach Manali first, rent a bike there and make a journey to Ladakh for 7 days. The itinerary will look like below.

Also Read: Manali Leh Highway Travel Guide & Itinerary Planning

7 day Ladakh Itinerary for Bike Trip from Manali to Leh

  • Manali to Sarchu – Day 1
  • Sarchu to Leh – Day 2
  • Leh – Day 3
  • Leh to Diskit – Day 4
  • Diskit to Pangong via Shyok – Day 5
  • Pangong to Pang / Sarchu – Day 6
  • Pang to Manali – Day 7

ladakh in 7 days

Leh Ladakh Itinerary 7 days – Conclusion

While the first and second itinerary can be covered irrespective of what your mode of travel is, the third itinerary is best advised to be completed by a private cab.

If you are renting a motorcycle for the third itinerary, then please ensure that you pick the best one, and ensure that it is running smoothly. You will be traveling some very remote areas and there is no mechanic for miles. So in case of a breakdown, you will definitely be in trouble.

Apart from the condition of the motorcycle, you will also have to make serious arrangements to carry spare fuel. Once you cross Leh, there is no petrol pump at all anywhere. So you will have to calculate the total distance and carry fuel to last for 5 days until you return to Leh.

 

I hope the information above on visiting Ladakh in 7 days was helpful. You can follow either of the above-mentioned itineraries but I would recommend keeping the places in the same order.

The reason why I have Sham Valley and Nubra Valley in the first couple of days is because of acute mountain sickness. You will visit these areas and they are all mostly at the same altitude as Leh.