A simple itinerary for a happy explorer!
Day 1- Drive to Alchi which is one of the route to Leh (Takes a full day to reach Alchi from Srinagar)
On the way stop at the Kargil War Memorial.
Day 2- Stay a day & night a the lovely Alchi town. Head to Zanskar Indus (Spend the morning till afternoon rafting ) Enjoy an evening at Alchi.
See the confluence of the Indus and Zanskar. There is a marked difference in the colours of the two rivers, and you can actually see the point where they merge.
Day 3- Head to Leh.Spend the evening at Leh
Day 4,5 & 6 -Head to Nubra Valley;
Spend about a night and day at this beautiful place.( it takes about hakf a day to reach Nubra Valley from Leh)
On the way you see the lovely snowy Khardung La Pass (the disputed highest motorable road in the world).
The beautiful 515 year old Diskit Monastery
Sand dunes to get a nice ride on the Bactrian camels.
Hot springs in Panamik.
There is also a holy lake, hidden in between two mountains, where no one really knows about. ( a must visit )
Day 7 -Head back to Leh & spend the night there
Day 8 & 9-Leh to Pangong; Spend at least 2 nights on this gorgeous lake,
Enroute, you cross Chang La Pass.
Spend the night in a camp at Pangong. I would recommend everyone must spend at least two nights to let the place grow on you. Beautiful clear skies with stars so bright, the water so cold ,simply a blissful experience.
Day 10- Head back to Leh- En route drop into the beautiful Thiksay Monestary.Night at Leh.
Day 11- Head to Srinagar
Always keep half a day to reach any of these detentions- spend at least a day and a half to enjoy the essence of every place,
How to get there?
There are couple of ways to reach Leh
Air: Take a flight from your city to Srinagar which is (cheaper) than directly flying into Leh. Since there aren't to many flightsDrive from Srinagar to Leh by bus/car. Please keep in mind only registered vehicles of J&K are allowed. So don't take a local cab from any other state ( for example a Delhi cab/taxi won't be allowed to enter this route).Reason being the locals need to make their living!Ride it from Manali to Leh ( Many bikers take this very exciting & challenging route)Nearest airport: Kushok Bakula Rimpochee Airport (Leh)
Railway and Bus: Kalka is the nearest railway station to Leh. Buses or taxis can be hired to reach Manali via Shimla. There are regular taxis and bus services from Manali to Leh. Driving to Leh is considered as an adventure. Bus and taxis are frequently available to plan a road trip to Leh. The road trip/driving to Leh by bus, taxi or motorcycle, bikes, Jeep and SUV which many travellers drive on to, will be a lifetime adventurous experience for the travellers.
Best time to visit
April to June: April to June is one of the best times of the year to visit Leh. The sun shines bright and keeps the day temperatures warm. Leh has beautiful clear blue skies but do remember that the sun here has the intensity to carve out brand new noses for travellers who fail to wear a few layers of strong (with a 50+ SPF) sunscreen.Leh showcases a different kind of frozen beauty in April in the form of snow-capped mountains, and frozen lakes that you can walk upon. Leh renders a different kind of feel as it recovers from the freezing winters.July to August: The monsoon months, i.e. late July till end of August sometimes experience landslides and cloud bursts.September to October: Starting September a kind of chill sets in Leh but the sun keeps shining. This is also a great time to go trekking.November to February: People don’t prefer to travel to Leh during the winter months from November to February. The winters on the “roof of the world” can get unbearable. With the exception of the Liker to Kahltsey (Sham) trek, most trekking routes close down after November due to heavy snowfall. The Chadar trek is best conducted between January and mid-March
Travel tips (Some points gathered from Google)
Temperature: When it comes to temperature and climatic conditions, the summers have a pleasant temperature. In winters, the temperature touches the extreme level. In winters, the temperature can go as low as -30 degrees in Leh & Ladakh and -60 degrees in Drass. Almost all the feasible water resources get frozen. During July and August the maximum temperature can rise up from 20 to 35 degree Celsius.
Clothing: The peak summer months from mid June to August have a pleasant temperature and therefore single T-shirts or shirts can do. In winters (from November to February), one needs heavy woolen clothes and warm jackets. However, in most parts of the Leh- Ladakh region, there is a drastic fluctuation in the daily temperature. Therefore, tourists should carry woolen clothes and sweaters while packing their bags for the trip.
Languages Spoken: The main language spoken in Ladakh is Boti. Other languages spoken in this region include Brokshat, Changshat, Balti and Shina. Use of English and Hindi languages can be seen in schools, offices and restaurants.
Permit & Passport: For traveling in Leh, tourists do not require permits. On the other hand, all foreign travelers are required to get themselves registered at Drass, Serchu and Rumste if they are traveling through the land. For some restricted areas such as Tsokar & Pangong Lakes and Tsomoriri, Nubra Valley and Dhahanu, tourists require permits. It can be obtained from the District Magistrate of Leh through travel agents.Altitude Sickness: Anybody can fall prey to acute mountain sickness at an altitude of 10,000 ft above sea level. Therefore, it is necessary to take full rest on the day of arrival and get yourself acclimatized. People with high blood pressure and heart ailments should refrain themselves from planning a trip to Ladakh. A common medicine use "diamox"
Money and Currency: There are a very few hotels and tour operators which accept credit card (aka plastic money) but charge 2% service tax. In the main Leh city, various private banks such as State Bank of India, Jammu and Kashmir Bank, Punjab National Bank and Axis Bank have placed their ATM machine.
Communications: Since most of the markets and STD booths in Leh Ladakh region gets closed before 10 PM, it is better to get in touch with your near and dear ones before evening time. The General Post Office and Telegraph Office available in the Leh town also helps in communication. The state tourism board has its own wireless radiophone network that connects its offices at Leh, Kargil and Padum with those in Jammu, Srinagar and Delhi.Intra-City
Transport: Leh offers a large fleet of tourist transport facilities with more than 2000 vehicles. Their taxis include Innova, Mahindra, Scorpio, Xylo, Toyota, Tata Grande and Maruti Van. There are several mini deluxe buses that are available in excellent conditions. The local drivers are well mannered and well acquainted with all the tourist sites in the region.Ladakh can be done in 1.5 weeks covering all these places-one must spend a minimum of two days at each place to feel the essence of each place & its charm.
Food: Maggie/chinese wont cost you more than 150/200 per meal.Alcohol is availble at very few places. Namely chopsticks.Beer is served in a tea cup.
Transport:Local transport varies depending on if you're in a group/individuals. Many people bike various parts from Leh. Renting a bike from Leh wont cost more than 2k a day without fuel.
Air tickets: Fly to Srinagar and then either bus/car/bike it from Srinagar.(within 15k per head for the air tickets)
Flying from Delhi to Srinagar is cheaper than other metro cities.
Accommodation: About 2k for 2 people per night at any recommended hotels/resorts.
Look up trip advisor for some good options.
In Leh;Try & stay not very far from the main town area, as getting a cab back at night would take some time ( there are cabs available, one needs to negotiate well,depending on the distance)- but walking around the town would be the best thing to do.)