Travel number: 2
The Manali-Leh Highway -One of the Highest Motorable Roads in the World
16 days Bicycle Tours / MTB
Number of participants: from 1 participant
Requirements: 8 von 10
The route is never steep, but always goes continuously uphill or downhill, nevertheless the climbs are sometimes very long and you need good endurance. Due to the altitude, the tour will be particularly difficult for you. The "thin air" is clearly felt and symptoms such as mild headaches and deep breathing can occur. In case of more severe symptoms of altitude sickness, measures such as cancellation of the tour must be considered.
The descents can sometimes be quite fast and you should exercise caution. This tour is suitable for anyone who enjoys safe, enjoyable and persistent cycling. Knowledge of mountain biking is not necessary.
The king tour for all cyclists in India is probably the nine-day trip from Manali to Leh!
From the green Kullu Valley, the 478 km long Manali-Leh Highway leads us into dry high mountain deserts, to clear salt lakes, past Buddhist monasteries and through tiny mountain villages. Until we reach the Buddhist capital of Ladakh, Leh, we have 5 passes to cross, two of them over 5000 meters altitude! The sporty highlight of our tour is the ride high on the Khardung La Pass. The highest motorable road in the world, the 5606 meter pass still demands a high level of performance and rewards with a gigantic view of the surrounding 6000 to 7000 meters of snow-capped peaks and with a magnificent descent down to Leh!
Day 1 Departure from home country and arrival in Delhi, India
Pick-up service from the airport to our hotel (overnight stay at the hotel).
Day 2 Sightseeing Delhi, in the evening drive to Manali by Volvo bus 585 km
In the morning we will explore Old and New Delhi by metro, rickshaw and on foot. In the evening we set off for the overnight drive to Manali. (Overnight on Volvo Bus) -/-/-
Day 3 Manali Recreational Day and local sightseeing tour 2050 m
In the morning we reach Manali and check into our hotel. Today, recovery is on the agenda. We enjoy the green mountain landscape of Manali and later go on a small sightseeing tour. (Overnight stay at the hotel) B/-/-
Day 4 Manali
Today we distribute and check our bikes . We take a day trip with our mountain bikes through the apple orchards and villages of the Kullu Valley. (Overnight stay at the hotel) B/-/-
Distance: approx. 30 km Altitude: 2550 meters Ascent: 500 m
Day 5 Manali to Marhi
Today marks the start of our nine-day tour up to Leh. We cycle through the Kullu valley to the foot of the Rothang Pass. On serpentines it goes through coniferous forests up to Marhi, a small settlement. (Overnight in tents.) B/L/D
Distance: 38 km Altitude: 3320 m Ascent: 1490 m
Day 6 Marhi to Tandi
Today we climb the last 12 km on the 3980 meter high Rothang Pass and enjoy the wide view of the surrounding peaks and glaciers. Now we leave the lush green area and set off for Khoksar. It always goes along the Bagha River, first a little downhill, then there are always a few ascents, as far as Tandi in the Lahaul valley. We set up our camp near the Bhaga River. (Overnight in tents) B/L/D
Distance: 72 km Altitude: 3150 m Ascent: 1240 m
Day 7 Tandi to Patseo
First we go to the district capital of the Lahaul valley Keylong. Here is the last permanent market on this tour. As things get around today, the area becomes more and more deserted. As far as Darcha (a police checkpoint) we cross the last villages on partly fortified, partly unpaved road. From here the ascent to Patseo starts through the dry mountain landscape. Only a few flocks of sheep meet us. (Overnight in tents.) B/L/D
Distance: 56 km Altitude: 3820 m Ascent 1550 m
Day 8 Patseo to Sarchu
Today we climb our second pass on a long ascent: the 4894 meter high Baralacha La. The ascent is continuous, but not very steep and on paved road. We get higher and higher and have fantastic views of the wild landscape. It goes down to Barathpur, here we have lunch. Then we continue downhill, on an unpaved path and through rough mountains to Sarchu, the centre on the way from Manali to Leh. (Overnight in tents.) B/L/D
Distance: 59 km Altitude: 4253 m Ascent: 1480 m
Day 9 Acclimatization Day
Today we take A rest day and enjoy the silence of the mountains. (Overnight in tents.) B/L/D
Day 10 Sarchu to Whisky Nallah
The day starts with easy cycling through flat terrain until we reach the “Gata Loops”. In the zigzag it goes on 21 curves up to the next pass: the Nakee La Pass ( (4910 meters). On the way down to Whisky Nallah we have the chance to spot the famous “blue sheep”. (Overnight in tents.) B/L/D
Distance: 48 km Altitude: 4750 m Ascent 970 m
Day 11 Whiskey Nallah to Lake Tsokar
We start with the ascent on the second highest pass to Leh: the 5065 meter high Lachalung La. The climb is short, but hard. On the one hand because of the height, on the other hand because of the unpaved road. The long descent down through a gorge to Pang is gigantic. A spectacular nature! Here the road is the worst, there are many loose stones and caution is called for! After a break in Pang, we head up briefly on serpentines to the flat Morray plain. On a brand new road, you can now continue straight through the flat mountain desert to Debring. The last kilometers are a bit difficult, because the path is unpaved and very sandy. After about 3 km, we reach our campsite near the salt lake Tsokar, which we will visit a little later after a break. (Overnight in tents.) B/L/D
Distance: 77 km Altitude: 4830 m Ascent: 1100 meters
Day 12 Lake Tsokar to Rumptse
Today is a real challenge. For 26 km it goes up to the 5360 m high Tanglang La, mostly on unpaved road. The 40 km downhill from the pass on a well-developed road are the reward. Rumtse is our first village in several days. We explore the Buddhist settlement with its whitewashed houses and Monasteries. (Overnight in tents.) B/L/D
Distance: 65 km Altitude: 4260 m Ascent: 1050 m
Day 13 Rumptse to Leh
Our last day after Leh. It goes continuously downhill through pretty mountain villages to Upshi, the next police checkpoint. Here we meet the river Indus and follow it as far as Leh. It goes downhill, sometimes up until we reach Leh. The landscape is dry, the mountains are colored in all sorts of shades and the road is now much fuller. We cross larger villages with famous monasteries. The last kilo-meters up to Leh are hard, also because of the heavy traffic, but finally we reached our destination, after 478 hard, but still wonderful kilo-meters! (Overnight stay at the hotel) B/L/-
Distance: 84 km Altitude: 3500 m Ascent 950 m
Day 14 Rest day in Leh with city walk
Today we leave the bike and explore the surroundings. We visit the old town, the Leh Palace and the Shanti Stupa by foot. (Overnight stay at the hotel) B/-/-
Day 15 Leh To Khardung – La Pass
Today is the day of the greatest physical challenge! We start early in the morning up to Khardung La Pass. The highest motorable road in the world, the climb is still a challenge today. On 39 km you go over 1800 meters of altitude up to the 5300 meter high pass! A hard climbing tour, which is rewarded with an intoxicating feeling of happiness and a great descent! (Overnight stay at the hotel) B/L/-
Distance: 39 km + 39 km Altitude: 3300 m Ascent 1800 m
Day 16 Departure from Leh and further departure to Home country
In the early morning, take the Spectacular Flight from Leh to Delhi. From here you travel independently to your home country B/-/-
Cycling: 10 days
Total kilometres: 550 km
Total ascents: approx. 12000 meters
- Transfer to and from all airports within India
- Sightseeing Tours in Delhi, Manali and Leh
- All entrance fees during sightseeing tours
- Transport within India in acclimatized Innova, Volvo bus from Delhi to Manali
- Before and after the bike tour (Delhi, Manali, Leh) typical middle class hotel with breakfast (for single rooms extra 200 €)
- All accommodations during the bike tour (always in a comfortable two-man tent)
- During the bike tour full catering
- Accompanying vehicle
- local guide, driver, cook, helper during the bike tour
- Kitchen tent and dining tent
- filtered water during the bike tour
- Flight Leh-Delhi
- English Speaking Tour Escort
- Mountain bike Scott or Trek, you can also take your own bike: 150 € Discount
- international flight
- unmentioned meals and drinks
This tour can also be done privately according to your own date preference and in variation!
1 participant from 2299 € per person
2 -3 participants from 2199 € per person
from 4- 16 participants 1949 € per person
200 € single room and one-man tent surcharge (not applicable for only 1 participant)
Information about our bike tours in the Himalayan region
- Guide and team
On all our bike tours we have at least one (for larger groups of 6 participants two) mountain bike guide and mechanic with us, who take care of our guests and their bicycles.
Our all guides speak English.
In addition, there is a local team consisting of a chef, helpers, drivers.
All our team members have been working with us for years, are very friendly and always strive to prepare our guests for a great Himalayan experience. Their English is rather mediocre or non-existent, but this is not necessarily a hindrance to communicating with them.
2. Bicycle routes
The bike routes are designed for the skills of our guests and are all feasible for a person with a good fitness level, unless otherwise mentioned. The daily routes are between five and eight hours long (with breaks) and an average increase of around 500-800 metres of altitude is completed.
In between, rivers may have to be crossed or crossed. The roads range from well-developed tarmac roads to stony jeep slopes. The ascents are moderate, but long, with the long descents up to 50 km one should exercise caution. The roads are connecting roads and are also used by tourists in cars, motorcyclists and trucks. Traffic is moderate, but you should be careful. In India, the left-wing driving commandment applies. So it would be better to give priority to all other road participants.
We provide you with our own trek or Scott bikes. These bicycles are rental bicycles. We have bicycles in the sizes “Small” and “Medium” and also some bikes with a large frame. All bikes have hydraulic brakes and nine-speed gear. Otherwise, you can also use your own bike. Helmets are mandatory.
4. Daily routine
7: 00 Get up with tea
7:00-9:30 Dismantling of the camp
8:00- 9:30 Start Tour
13:00 Lunch on the way
15:00-17:00 Arrival at the camp and camp construction
5. Altitude and altitude sickness
This is a very important topic that should not be underestimated, especially during our bike tours in the Indian Himalayas. At altitudes above 3500 m, our body has to slowly get used to the low air pressure, which also causes less oxygen to enter our lungs. The first signs of altitude sickness are headaches, which are accompanied by dizziness, nausea, insomnia and loss of appetite. It becomes problematic when water accumulates in the lungs and brain and edema occurs. Then only the immediate descent to lower altitudes will help. In order to prepare for the heights on our tours, we will either spend a few nights at high altitudes before the tour or slowly climb up during the tour to acclimatize. If we notice that there are problems with our guests (each person is otherwise able to acclimatize, regardless of age, gender and fitness level), either the entire tour group or the participant returns with a team member. In addition, it makes sense to take an emergency drug for altitude sickness. For this, it is best to get advice from the pharmacy or the travel doctor. We will also have oxygen with us.
Each tour participant is responsible for taking personal clothes and items with him. We are travelling with escort vehicles and the luggage will be transported with it. A small day backpack for the camera and something to cover can make sense. The escort vehicle will always be close to us. Click here for the packing list for our bike tours in the Himalayas.
During the tour there will be a vegetarian full catering. Water is either boiled or we have a water filter with us.
Breakfast (daily selection):
- Oatmeal porridge/muesli/cornflakes/Indian porridge
- Indian Breakfast/Toast/Eggs/Jam/Butter/Cheese/Honey/Chocolate Spread
- Sliced fruit/vegetables
Lunch (mostly lunchbox), sometimes warm in the camp
- Sandwiches/Indian (rice, chapati, vegetables)/eggs/potatoes
- French fries/Indian snacks
Dinner ( Mix of Indian/Chinese/Continental)
- Vegetable dish
- Lentil dish
8. Accommodation and Camp
We have very comfortable and spacious two-man tents. Our mattresses are real bed mattresses and about 20 cm thick. Our sleeping bags are freshly washed and have a very good quality with comfort zone up to -5°C (extreme zone -20°C). It is recommended to bring personal indoor sleeping bags.
In addition, we have a spacious dining tent with tables and chairs, a kitchen tent for the team, a toilet tent, and a shower tent.
In the Himalayas, temperatures fluctuate widely. While it can get warm up to 25°C during the day and the sun is not only warming but also very intense (sun protection is a must), it can also cool down significantly below the minus degrees at night, especially in the months end of September and October, as well as in June. There may also be weather changes with snow on the passes. Sometimes it can also get very windy.