Are you looking for an insider’s adventure travel guide for the best outdoor activities in Leh in India?
As part of our Adventure City Guide series, Karen shares with you her expert insider tips on the top adventure and outdoor activities to do in Leh.
Outdoor Activities in Leh, Ladakh
Willing to put on your adventure shoes once again? Trying to experience the impossible and still get a kick out of it? The Himalayas offer some of the most stunning landscapes in the world and its deep ranges give adventure lovers a wide plethora of adventure activities to indulge in.
Ladakh, the highest plateau of the northern state of Jammu and Kashmir offers an excellent opportunity for adventure tourism. Bound by mountains on all sides and with scarce human habitation, this is one of the most well preserved Buddhist cultures of the world.
Getting to Leh, Ladakh
Getting there in itself is no less than an adventure. During winter, November to May, the area is completely cut off from the outside world. In summer, June to August, is the ideal time to visit this region.
Leh, one its main cities, has excellent connections with flights from Delhi, as well as cities in Jammu and Kashmir like Srinagar and Jammu. You can even travel by road in jeeps. Once there, transport in the valley is by local buses, taxis or rented motorcycles.
For foreign travellers, making international calls is no big hassle as you get local pre-paid connections and even a few Internet hotspots, if you are lucky. If you’re looking for luxury hotels in India, then this might not be best the spot!
Trekking in Leh, Ladakh
The breath-taking landscapes are best experienced when on foot. Trekking the Himalayan mountain ranges is a fantasy for all trekkers across the world. But lying above 3000m, Ladakh can give you a hard time on arrival. Do not over exert yourself for the first 24 hours and take lots of water.
Prepare for steep ascents, acclimatise yourself and ensure that you have the proper travel gear.
You can plan short hikes up and down the mountains in, and around Leh, while exploring the nearby villages and monasteries. For seasoned trekkers, long trans-mountain treks involve weeks of walking and camping in the valleys.
For example, the trek from Lamayuru, which houses the oldest monastery, in the Indus Valley to Darcha in Lahoul across Zanskar, could take over 2 weeks. Markha valley is also a popular trekking destination not far from the Ladakhi heartland. This established route traverses the Zanskar range which separates the Indus valley from Zanskar.
When to go trekking
The traditional trekking season extends from the beginning of June until mid-October. However, localized treks within the Indus valley can be arranged for May.
A few popular tour operators like DreamLand Trek and Tour and Overland Escape who offer good packages and local guides. Likely to cost an average of 350 to 500 euros for an 8 day trek tour per person.
Motorbiking in Leh, Ladakh
If you wish to experience the ultimate challenge that entails a road trip, Manali to Leh is one of the best driving routes in the world. It passes through some of the highest mountain passes with spectacular views of snow clad peaks and landscapes.
This expedition could take you about a week as you cross a lot of mountain passes, lakes and monasteries on the way.
However, the Leh to Khardungla Pass is the most exciting one. This is the highest drivable road in the world, at 5600 m above sea level, and features in the Guiness Book of World Records.
What it costs
There are also a lot of local motor bike tours from Leh that can be arranged. Expect to pay between 850 to 1000 euros for a 10 day motorbike tour per person. The cost will drastically come down if you travel on your own but do take in account the risks involved.
River rafting in Leh, Ladakh
The Indus and her major tributaries are a hotspot for white water rafting enthusiasts.
The best stretch is between Spituk and Saspol. The waters get a little nasty after Saspol and you need to be a pro to indulge in this section.
One of the easiest stretches lies upward of Spituk upto Karu where basic training can be taken. Zanskar on the other hand is quite difficult to scale and needs better organisation and participants need to be trained rafters.
What it costs
A day trip costs around 50-100 euros per person. There are also package tours available from 4 to 11 days costing between 300 to 900 euros.
Wildlife spotting in Leh, Ladakh
This isn’t really an adventure activity, but something you can do along the way.
Ladakhi wildlife is very exciting and interesting to spot. Some of the most exotic birds and mammals can be seen here. Including raptors like the black necked Crane, the brown headed Gull, the Tibetan Snowcock and the Golden Eagle.
Snow leopards treks can be arranged and cost between 600 to 800 euros for a week for one person.
Popular vs. Underrated Destinations:How To Avoid The Crowd?
The biggest dilemma you have to face as an enthusiastic holidaymaker is whether to embrace popular destinations or to find lesser known regions for your vacations. Popular destinations have the advantage that they are experienced with tourists. You can be sure that you will find someone speaking your language and that hotel receptions will be open 24/7. But they are likely to be crowded to the point where it can be impossible to find a free spot on the beach or to walk down that famous avenue you’ve read about in your guidebook. Underrated destinations, in comparison, offer freedom of movement and peacefulness that you associate with a quiet pace of life. But they may not have all the necessary facilities to welcome tourists. You may struggle to find someone who speaks your language or even to get a decent hotel room, let alone direct flights to get there. In short, what’s the best answer to this dilemma?
Popular destinations with a twist
When you pick a destination that is familiar to the tourist industry, it’s both a blessing and a curse, as the available facilities and attractions are likely to attract hundreds if not thousands of same-minded tourists. However, these destinations are popular for a reason, so it would be a pity to avoid visiting marvels of the world just because you want to stay away from the crowd. Dubai, for example, receives every year a growing number of tourists, with estimations for 2020 to top 20 million. Needless to say, you’ll need to find things to do in Dubai that avoid the main entrance to their attraction area. But, looking for concierge services in famous cities like Dubai, Paris or Hong Kong can get you access to a privileged network to avoid tourists.
The perfect mix: Destinations that are about to get trendy
There are some destinations that are getting the necessary infrastructure to welcome tourists without having yet become popular. They are destinations in the making, areas that are about to go big and that you can visit while they’re not yet famous. The rising stars of the holiday industry are places such as José Ignacio in Uruguay – where you can meet the likes of Shakira among other celebrities – and Sofia in Bulgaria, which is Europe’s cheapest city destination. In those places, you can enjoy quality visits, beautiful landscapes, and architectures, without forgetting the exquisite hotel services too.
Beautiful and underrated destinations offer peace
Finally, there are places that simply don’t attract tourists for a reason or another. They are not specifically growing in popularity, but they remain hidden gems across the world. You will need to plan your holiday in advance, as some of these areas provide minimal comfort, such as the Basque Country which is a humble and quirky location. The Canary Islands, while being a highly popular spot in summer, is almost deserted in spring. There, you don’t need to worry about holiday attractions.
In short, picking the best destinations for you demands a little bit of logistics juggle at first. Nobody likes a crowded place, so you can avoid other tourists either by choosing a different tile in a popular area or by working directly with a privileged service. If you are not keen on a famous destination, visit rising holiday stars or forgotten jewels. You’ll have fewer tourists but still a lot of fun!
Five Of The Best Ways To Soak Up Scotland
Rugged scenery, historic landmarks and a rich heritage – Scotland is a fantastic place to explore. With walking routes dotted between quaint cosy pubs, cities full with culture, and miles of beaches and scenic drives, there’s really no excuse not to embrace the tartan. Here are some of the best ways you can explore and soak up Scotland’s rich heritage.
Tour famous film locations
Scotland’s landscape is stunning, so no wonder its dramatic scenery has been captured on the big screen. Explore the picturesque film locations, such as Glen Coe for James Bond’s Skyfall moments. Visit Gairloch for the Billy Connolly classic, What We Did On Our Holiday where you can see views of the Isle of Skye from the expansive Red Point beach. Explore the Glenfinnan Viaduct in Lochaber for the iconic arched bridge that the Hogwarts Express chugs down in Harry potter.
Take the leisurely route around Scotland and travel by train. It’s a much needed break from walking routes, with stunning views from the window that look out across the ever-changing landscape. Scotland’s rail routes connect its seven cities with stops in many towns and villages across country, so you’ll find it easy to delve into the West Highlands from Glasgow, traveling through the scenic Fort William, or roll past the battlefields of Robert the Bruce through Dumfries.
Walk, trek, stroll
Discover all the wonderful wildlife and nature on foot. Trek through the rugged countryside for unbelievable sights of the towering mountains, shimmering lochs, golden beaches and lush farmland. Find Lochan Urr in Glen Etive for a spot of paradise, stroll along Applecross Bay, or scale new heights for stunning views of Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park. For longer routes head to Fort William and Glen Coe for miles of green countryside.
Castle to castle
You’ll find castles on top of, near enough, every rolling hill in Scotland. From pretty fairy tale castles to robust medieval fortresses, you can visit the most spectacular buildings all around Scotland. Enjoy strolling around the floral gardens looking up at the enchanting French design of Dunrobin Castle, on the northern coast near Dornoch. Explore Culzean Castle for dramatic scenes, or, Kilchurn near Dalmally in Argyll to gaze over the Loch Awe. Visit the royal stronghold, Fyvie Castle near Turriff for rich decor and 13th century furnishings. For something completely different, head to Kelburn Castle in Ayrshire for a colourful mural of unusual cartoons.
Cruise the Scottish waters
Take a look at Scotland from a different point of view by travelling Scotland’s shores on a boat cruise around the islands. Visit the Isle of Skye, Stornoway, Port Ellen, Montrose and the picturesque Holy Loch Port. For something even more adventurous, canoe in the lochs and rivers around Fort William.
Sound good? There’s so much to see in Scotland that you’re bound to be mesmerised!
Top things to do in Cleveland
Cleveland, Ohio may not be a well-known city like the Big Apple or the sunny beach cities of California, yet there is still much to do in this small but very vibrant city. If you have been planning on heading out to this wonderful city, then you’re in luck as there are numerous activities, attraction, and reservations that will be sure to educate as well as entertain the family.
Here is a small list of places and activities for the family and visitors to enjoy.
# 1 Hard Rock Rocksino
The Hard Rock Rocksino offers people a Las Vegas-esque kind of vibe and feel for the citizens and tourist of Ohio. If you love games, racing, elegant cuisine and just an overall fantastic night out on the town, the Hard Rock Rocksino is the place for you.
# 2 Outdoor Activities
If you are someone who isn’t too much into the nightlife and the whole city feel then Ohio still has you covered. Ohio indeed is one of the most aesthetically pleasing states to see and visit. Boasting and offering its residents and visitors sights and environments such as the Cuyahoga River in Lake Erie where people can go kayaking to The Townpath Trail where people can go jogging, hiking or horseback riding.
If you are an outdoor’ kind of person than this is the place for you. Beautiful atmosphere, surrounded by nature and overall a sight that is awe-inspiring to look at – what more could an outdoors person as for?
# 3 Education – Family friendly Orientated Places
Now, ask yourself what type of family trip it would be if you just visit and didn’t walk away learning something new and different? Well, in Ohio there are a plethora of places where you can take the family for an educational trip for the day.
There is the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo which boasts a wide array of animals from all around the world. There really is nothing more splendid for kids to see the animals that they love to imitate in person.
If the Zoo were fascinating and intriguing then the next destination, Greater Cleveland Aquarium would be sure to be as equally entertaining as the Zoo. When Visiting the Greater Cleveland Aquarium enter into an under that is akin to the Atlantis. Experience the aquatic lifeforms in such proximity.
Lastly, Ohio offers its residents and visitors many museums. There is the International Women’s Air and Space Museum which educates the populace about the story of aviation and how much women had their part in history. And let’s not forget the famous Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
If you are deciding to visit this fantastic state, then be prepared for a wonderful visit and many cultural aspects that will be learned and offered. Make this trip a trip to remember with these places in mind.
Meet Cole and Adela
We have been wearing out our jandals (Kiwi for flip-flops) on our travel adventures around the world since 2009. We think our blog is thought provoking and a little witty. But we have been proven wrong before. Find out more about us here...
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