Trying to explore Leh Ladakh in 6 nights / 7 days is good plan as it allows you to either be relaxed or include tourist-free and off-beat destinations like Hanle. So, if you have ample time at hand, here is what you can. You can either stick to Leh, Nubra and Pangong lake or skip a day in Leh and include the Eastern town of Hanle.
The first option is as follows:
As you can see, this includes less travel and as many as four nights in Leh. The day wise plan for this version of Leh Ladakh in 5 nights / 6 days is as follows:
Day 1: Transfers from the airport to the Leh accommodation. You are advised to rest completely as the human body takes 24-48 hours to acclimatise to high altitudes. This is necessary to avoid AMS (do learn more via Google) so that the trip goes on well. Do have lots of water and avoid walking, alcohol and tobacco at all costs.
Day 2: The second day starts with mild sightseeing that does not involve too much walk. Drive to the confluence / sangam point of river Indus and Zanskar. Beautiful windy location, apt for selfies. Next, head to the Pathar Saab Gurudwara (dont miss the langar) and later on to the Magnetic Hill. As you return back to Leh, stop over at the Hall of Fame.
If you want, we can arrange a one-way transfer to the main market in the evening. This area is devoid of vehicles and a good place to indulge in local shopping.
Day 3: You head to the lush green Nubra valley today via the mighty Khardung la pass. At over 18,000 feet above mean sea level, this is the highest motorable road open to civilians. The drive takes about 2 hours and once on the top, the euphoria of having reached here sends goose bumps on your arms.
Take a selfie, sip hot tea at the Army canteen and if you are lucky, make a call back home. Post this, head down to lower elevations.
Today you have the option to indulge in rafting, ATV riding as well as double hump camel ride. The visit to Diskit Monastery and statue of Lord Maitreeya can be done today or tomorrow as per convenience.
Sunset is best enjoyed at the sand dunes where you have camels for company.
Day 4: Its a 5-6 hour lazy drive to Pangong lake so you have the liberty to wake up late. However, if you missed the monastery and statue visit, then do leave Hunder early. We take a direct route to Pangong via the villages of Agham and Shyok. The route is isolated and breathtaking at the same time.
Reach Pangong by afternoon and spend rest of the day soaking in the views. Do visit the 3 idiot view point and make sure you enjoy the starry night once it gets dark. Do note this is a harsh place, there is no electricity and we run generators from sunset to 10pm.
Day 5: Head back to the capital city of Ladakh post breakfast. Today you drive via the mighty Chang la pass that can get naughty in terms of weather. The drive lasts 6 hours so you can cover the monasteries of Shey and Thiksey on the way back. If you have time and we strongly recommend, do visit Shanti Stupa during sunset.
Day 6: This acts as a rest / buffer day in Leh. You can cover the Khurpuk monastery, Leh Palace and later chill at the walk-only mall road of Leh. No cars are allowed here.
Day 7: Transfers back to the airport.
The second version of Leh Ladakh in 6 nights / 7 days is to include Hanle.
For this, on day number 5, you do not head back to Leh but drive all the way to Hanle via the ultra scenic route of Man-Merak and Chushul. Half of this route has no road and you end up driving next to the lake itself.
Next day, on day number 6, you head back to Leh and cover some sightseeing in the evening.