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Overland Ladakh: off road travel maps & tips

Why a moto trip travel to Ladakh in India?

Ladakh is a wild land, known for having some of the highest roads in the world. This Indian region nestled in the Himalayan range, between Tibet and Pakistan, is the ideal terrain for an unforgettable road trip (yes, it is!).

Surrounded by vertiginous peaks (some of them, more than 8000m of altitude), you will drive through magnificent green valleys with abundant fauna. Then, as you reach higher altitudes, landscapes get more arid and there is nothing but a few camels and Buddhist monasteries perched on the mountains. Huge lakes rise from the mountains… In short, you will get it, we fell in love with this place.  The terrain is particularly suitable for motorcycle exploration and there are many motorcycle rentals in Leh, the capital city. It is also possible to rent a 4×4, but it is rarer. Once there, you can also add to your journey outdoor activities (horse trekking, hiking, rafting…) and cultural activities (monasteries visits).

How to plan your motorcycle trip in Ladakh? Our travel map

There is currently no book on motorcycle travel in this region. Only a few agencies in Leh can tell you spots or offer you a guide to ride with you. Since we do not wish to depend on any guide, we improvised everything locally up there, using a topographic map of the region. This trip moved us to write by ourselves a collection of the most beautiful trails in the region because an article or a map could never be enough!

A brief overview of our on-site itinerary (15 days by motorbike) on the map below: 

Our book of Ladakh: between a guide and a road book

Halfway between the tourist guide and the “road book”, this book will be a collection of photos and detailed maps of the twelve most beautiful motorcycle trails in the region. It differs from traditional formats because it does not list good addresses and tourist sites. You will be able to improvise your trip according to people you meet on the way while knowing the terrain thanks to our detailed maps.

Each road will spot on a satellite map on which we will display our GPS routes, the main sites of interest (lake, glacier, hot springs…), viewpoints, camping sites, and key points (e.g. gas station, water point). These maps will be provided with a text as a complement of the map data (field data, surrounding landscapes or villages encountered). The book will also contain informative texts on the peculiarities/traditions of each region, fauna and flora as well as a part of all the necessary equipment to head off in safety and autonomy (camping equipment, basic mechanics…). 

You will have the opportunity to go through varied landscapes (valleys, rivers, lakes, mountains, steppes, deserts…). This type of road trip is close to nature and people!

Book’s release is expected for April 2019 in e-book format. To get pinged when its release happens, subscribe to our newsletter!

 Get in touch!

Our best places to see in Ladakh

Practical information before heading off to Ladakh

Spoken languages

Indian
Some english

Tip: have a small lexicon with you

VISA

E-visa: €44, valid for 60 days

Should be requested at least 4 days before arrival and only on this site: indianvisaonline.gov.in

A permit of passage is obligatory for certain places: 800 rupees (10 euros) for one week (the second week costs 400 rupees). Only a tourist agency can issue this document.

Flight tickets

Paris – Delhi : 350-400€ round-trip

Delhi – Leh : 70-120€ round trip

We preferred getting to leh by plane: we save time and the views of the Himalayas are just breathtaking!!

Season: June to September

Motorcycle rental

There are numerous motorcycle rental agencies in Leh. Prices are not negotiable as they are regulated by the authorities. For the circuit we did, only the Himalayan 410cc of Royal Enfield, which is good enough in off-road, will be able to bring you anywhere. You can use a normal Royal Enfield for some roads, but you will be quite limited! As you know, we prefer (unpaved) roads rather than asphalt, and Ladakh is an incredible playground: staying on the route would have been a huge frustration as there are small paths to be discovered!

Price of a Himalayan 410cc: 2000 rupees/day (around 25 euros). Expect to spend also2 euros/day for the baggage rack with 2 5-liters cans for gasoline (essential).

If you have any questions about our equipment, the renter or any other topic, please, join our Facebook group: “Voyage Off-Road 4x4 & Moto”

COST OF LIVING

– Food: €1 – 5 for a meal at the restaurant

– Airbnb Leh: 20-30€

– Wild camping allowed, except in some border areas that are clearly marked by signs.

– Fuel: 0,5€/L

4x4 Rental

We did not find any 4x4 rental in Leh. Or maybe the rental can be done only with driver, what is called (an occasional) “taxi”… No, thanks!

If you have information about a possibility of renting a 4x4 in free driving, we would appreciate you share the info with us so we can update this article! Possibility to rent the 4x4 in Delhi.

Our budget for a motorcycle road-trip to Ladakh

Our budget for our group: 17 days and 3 people (13 motobike days + 2 days in Leh + 2 days in Delhi (September 2018)

 

Prix Jour Total Groupe Total Indiv
Motorcycle rental (Himalayan)  27 € /day 13 1053 € 351 €
Accomodations (3 nights) 30 € /night 3 90 € 30 €
Food 8 € /day/p 15 360 € 120 €
Fuel 35 € /day 13 455 € 152 €
Passage permit(*2 for 2 weeks) 15 € /p 45 € 45 €
Flight ticket Paris – Delhi 350 € 1050 € 350 €
Flight ticket Delhi – Leh 90 € 270 € 90 €
Accomodation in Delhi (2 nights, 3 hotels) 105 € 105 € 35 €
Restaurant Delhi (3 fois) 60 € 60 € 20 €
Other (taxi, activity, etc..) 150 € 150 € 50 €
TOTAL 17 jours 3638 €  1212 €/pers

 

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