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Definitive Guide On Planning The Perfect Ladakh Road Trip

Ladakh Road Trip is definitely one of the best road trips in the world. The kind of landscape one witnesses is unparalleled, add to it the uncertainty of weather in this high altitude region. The road conditions have changed dramatically since 2009, the first time I drove to Ladakh. But still, it’s one holiday that will remain firmly etched in your memory.

If you are smart, you will take advantage of my experience of over 10 years of driving in this high altiude terrain. The region which still blows my mind with its beauty and warm hearted people.

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Incredible Ladakh In Winters

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Ladakh in Winters will blow your mind with mesmerizing landscapes. An incredible overland journey through the winter wonderland of India Cultural activities is also at their peak during winters along with the opportunity to view the high altitude wildlife. 

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Roof Of The World – Manali to Leh Road Trip

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Mesmerizing Delhi to Leh Self Drive Road Trip

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Sublime Ladakh Family Trip

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Zanskar Road Trip Blog

Key Planning Tips

Should I take the Manali Leh Route or Srinagar Leh Route ?

The Roads from Srinagar to Leh opens by May while the Manali Leh Section only opens by June 

So the first question is which route should I take ?

  • Should I take the Manali Side or the Srinagar side ?
  • Or should I fly to Leh ??

If you are taking only one route then Manali side wins for people who love wilderness as after Jispa you enter high altitude area where hardly anyone lives till you descend down from Tanglung La. Some travellers feel nausea because of the altitude. Its recommended that you

While if you like comfort then choose Srinagar side over Manali. Its because the journey from Manali to Leh is quite bumpy, road conditions are poor when compared to Srinagar side and and there are various elements of nature which can provide additional challenge. Manali – Leh has very few villages and town en route giving you a complete feeling of isolation and with nature.

Manali – Leh section is best for adventure / wilderness lovers

Srinagar side on the other hand, the road conditions are mostly good ( Except Zoji La ), the roads are mostly wide as well, chances of river streams crossing are remote , chances of snow fall is negligible, tricky section is just limited to crossing Zoji La and then mostly it is a smooth ride.

Srinagar – Leh side is best for people leading a sedentary life Or want more comfortable ride Or you are traveling with small kids

If you plan to cover both Srinagar and Manali side, then it doesn’t matter which side you choose first

Choose to fly to Leh, if you don’t like road journey or you are short of time

Another key factor is the number of days you have for your holiday. Ladakh holiday is unique and must be done at a slow pace for best experience. If you try to fit too many destinations and go at a fast pace, you will not enjoy your holiday.

Suraj Tal
Suraj Tal in July / Aug

The drive is best done at a leisurely pace, taking stops at where ever you like and just soaking in the nature, have a tea break or just stop by the stream.

Besides, the terrain is such that there is uncertainty due to elements of nature and one needs to keep some buffer in hand. I’ll elaborate that later but right now, am just providing key summary for your planning.

Ladakh holiday must be done at a slow pace for best experience.

When is the best time to go to Ladakh ?
  • If you like to experience snow then go in April / May & June
  • If you want more water crossing go in July & August
  • If you like more peace and calm, go in Sept & October
  • If you want extreme snow adventure travel in Jan & Feb

The experience also varies with Season i.e. in May / June when there is more snow in the high passes, it is more challenging to drive with narrow roads/ traffic and melting snow creates an additional challenge. You need higher skills to drive during this time. Where as when you drive later in the season say in Aug & Sept, then the ride is much smoother and dry, there is little traffic on the road and conditions are generally quite benign. So it is perfect for first time and less adventurous people.

I’ll just conclude for Ladakh Holiday

Reaching destination is not the goal rather enjoying the drive is the goal. The drive is the holiday.
It makes for the wonderful corollary in real life as well, enjoy each day of life because Life is a journey too. If you are not enjoying each day of your life chances are you would not like your destination as well.

Check Self Drive Road Trip Packages

Incredible Ladakh In Winters

34,000.0043,500.00

Ladakh in Winters will blow your mind with mesmerizing landscapes. An incredible overland journey through the winter wonderland of India Cultural activities is also at their peak during winters along with the opportunity to view the high altitude wildlife. 

SKU: LRT1000 Categories: , , Tag:
Read more

Roof Of The World – Manali to Leh Road Trip

24,000.0069,500.00

The 8 Day Manali to Leh Road Trip covers the most dramatic Manali Leh Highway which will simply leave you awestruck. Its ideal for families and groups who want a blend of comfort and adventure

SKU: N/A Categories: , ,
Read more

The Great Himalayan Road Trip

53,000.0063,750.00

This 18 days Self Drive road trip to Ladakh and Spiti covers the two Trans Himalayan Region in India.  The Great Himalayan road trip covers the best of the two giants of the Himalayan region while taking the most scenic routes.

SKU: N/A Categories: , ,
Read more

Mesmerizing Delhi to Leh Self Drive Road Trip

34,500.0089,500.00

The Self Drive Delhi to Leh Road Trip (9 days) is a one way trip through the mesmerising landscape of the Manali Leh Highway. Ideal for those who are short of time and are looking for a blend of comfort and adventure

SKU: N/A Categories: , ,
Read more

Sublime Ladakh Family Trip

23,000.0041,600.00

This 6 day Ladakh family Trip begins with your arrival at Leh airport and ends with sweet memories of experiencing one of most stark landscape and the warmth of Ladakhi people

SKU: LRT200-1 Categories: , , Tag:
Read more

Thrilling Delhi to Leh Round Trip by Road

31,500.0063,900.00

This Round Delhi to Leh by Road covers both Srinagar Leh as well as Manali Leh highway in 12 days. It is perfect for those who love being on the road and enjoy long road journeys

SKU: N/A Categories: , ,
Read more

Whats Next DIY Trip to Ladakh

19 thoughts on “Definitive Guide On Planning The Perfect Ladakh Road Trip

  1. Jitendra kumar says:

    I want to go for a self drive trip in my own suv renault captur with my wife to leh ladakh via manali and return via srinagar.
    So how can you help us.
    Kindly sent a reply.

    • Sunil says:

      Hello Jitendra,

      Sure, you can easily drive around .. We will be happy to arrange the entire trip for you and provide you support in case of any emergency situation … Please feel free to email us at info@unwindoutdoor.com

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