14 Days Spiti Valley Road Trip
JUNE - OCTOBER 2018
Spiti Valley Road Trip Highlights
Cost per person
14 days. It’s less than forever. But way more than never. End saying no to your travel dreams, and start this epic road trip, filled with exciting activities, into the heart of the Himalayas, as we take you through the mystical lands of Spiti Valley and Kinnaur.
With an average height of 12,500 feet above sea level, Spiti Valley is a desert mountain nestled between India and Tibet. This epic 14-day Spiti Valley and Kinnaur Round Trip on the Hindustan - Tibet highway and the Manali – Kaza highway is by far the most unforgettable drive you’ll take in your life.
Spiti Valley will enchant you, as you move through these mountains, soaking in all the sights, sitting under starry skies, spotting the milky way, listening to the sounds of the Spiti river and losing yourself to the freedom of this far-flung land.
From Yak Safaris and riding tractors to hiking up to the blue glacial lakes, riverside dinner, and bonfires, to local alcohol tasting sessions, this beautifully curated 14-day Spiti Valley experience is designed for those who believe in the true art of travelling, and travelling comfortably.
With over 28 years of experience in the Spiti Valley, we understand Spiti Valley best. Being the only tour operator in Spiti to be recognized by Lonely Planet, be assured that your comfort and safety is our priority on this highly memorable Spiti Valley tour.
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Your fourteen-day Spiti Valley Comfortable Tour begins as you leave New Delhi for the Himalayan town of Shimla. Enjoy the comforts of a luxurious Toyota Innova, as your driver takes you from the plains into the mountains at Shimla where you get your first taste of the Himalayas.
Shimla is an attractive blend of a hill town and holiday resort. With its distinctive retro style, hand-painted signs in bazaars, cars banned in the main town, Shimla has an old world charm to it which feels as if the British left just yesterday. Here, we recommend spending a night in Shimla as the body gets acclimatized to the mountainous terrain that awaits us in Spiti Valley
While you get awed by the beauty of this town, remind yourself that this is just the beginning of a magical ten-day journey ahead. As there is no sightseeing scheduled for this day, you are free to rest at the hotel or you can explore the town on your own.
Overnight in a hotel in Shimla.
On the second day of this Spiti Valley tour, we start our epic Himalayan road trip today and start driving to Sangla. With the Baspa river magically weaving itself through the forested slopes, this exquisite 95-kilometer stretch of the Sangla Valley is a sight to behold. Known predominantly for its agriculture, almost every house in Sangla will have cultivations of apples, pears, walnuts, apricots or potatoes.
Overnight in camps at Sangla.
On the third day of this Spiti Valley Tour, after having breakfast while basking in the first rays of the sun, we head towards Chitkul.
Chitkul can be described as one of the most scenic settlements in the valley and the last inhabited village before the India-China border. This short drive from Sangla to Chitkul will be one of the most scenic drives you’ll take with plenty of opportunities to take stunning photographs. Walk around the Baspa river and pay tributes to the Mathi Goddess at the temple in the village. After spending time in Chitkul, we turn around and head to Kalpa.
Legend has it that Kalpa was the winter home of Lord Shiva. If it’s true, he couldn’t have found a more remarkable abode for himself, with enthrallingly majestic views of the Kinner Kailash and Jorkandan Peaks looming right above the village.
Overnight at a hotel in Kalpa.
On the fourth day of this Spiti Valley tour, from Kalpa, we continue driving on the famous Hindustan – Tibet Highway or the NH 22 – This stretch is famously known as one of “most adventurous roads of the world” by the lonely planet in a visual spectacle. Don’t let that little piece of information deter you because your local drivers are highly skilled and experienced while driving on these roads. As you begin embracing the jaw-dropping views, watch the mountains change their colours from the lush greens of the Kinnaur valley to the many hues of brown of Spiti Valley.
After a quick refueling stop at Puh, we proceed to Nako – the last hamlet of Kinnaur, before we enter the gates of Spiti Valley.
Nako – originally known as ‘Kyangoh’ or ‘Gateway to the Holy Place’, is a village in Western Himalayas, situated at 3600 meters. This village is the embodiment of Buddhist culture and traditions – evident in the various monasteries and practices of the charming locals.
The village is exquisitely beautiful with an oval shaped lake, protected on all sides by adjoining mountains. Overnight at a guesthouse in Nako.
On the fifth day of this Spiti Valley Tour, after breakfast in Nako, we drive through Sumdo, the first village of Spiti Valley on this road, to Tabo, which would be our first stop in the glorious, mystical Spiti Valley. Before reaching Tabo, we take a pit stop to explore Gue.
Gue is famous for a monastery that houses a 500 year naturally mummified monk. If legend is to be believed, the lama named Sangha Tenzin mummified himself to free his village from the plague of scorpions.
Later, we drive to Tabo. The second largest village of the Spiti Valley, Tabo is known worldwide for its 1020-year-old Tabo Monastery. Walk around this UNESCO world heritage site and gain a deeper insight into Buddhism. Unlike any other monastery in Spiti Valley, the Tabo monastery is located at the bottom of the valley.
Overnight at a hotel in Tabo.
Today, on the sixth day of this Spiti Valley tour, one of the first things that’ll strike you, as you move up the road after crossing Spiti River and arrive at Mane Gongma, is the sheer amount of greenery that decks the barren Spitian landscape in these parts, and far ahead in the backdrop, a snowclad Manerang
Mane is another of the agricultural village, with white coloured mud houses decking up the mountains, with crop fields all around them. There are small streams flowing through Mane Yongma, with school going kids usually standing by the tiny lanes and waving at you.
Sopona/Yangcho Lake is formed by the melting glaciers of Manerang mountains and is a sacred spot for the villagers. A moderate 90 minutes of hiking will take you to this lake, with its peaceful surrounding becoming a perfect place for travelers looking to spend some alone time since it’s rarely visited by anyone, and also for trekkers who wouldn’t mind exploring the region on foot. Along with the lake trail, another trail from the Yongma part of the village will take one to the springs from which Mane stream emerges.
Gain a better understanding of the Spiti culture as you spend this night in a homestay here in Mane. Enjoy authentic, freshly prepared cuisines and sleep in the comforts of a clean, warm and comfortable bed. We spend the night at an authentic local homestay with a local family, listening to stories of life at this altitude.
Overnight at a homestay in Mane.
On the seventh day of this Spiti Valley tour, we drive towards the beautiful Pin Valley.
Imagine a national park with an abundance of animals and birds, with some rare plant varieties, a river that gushes when it isn’t frozen and trekking opportunities for the adventure-seekers. The Pin Valley promises all this and more.
We first visit the Kungri Monastery and then the beautiful hamlet of Mudh – the last motorable village of the Pin Valley. Declared a national park in 1987, Pin Valley has altitudes ranging from 11,000 to 20,000 feet and is home to at least 12 endangered snow leopards. In addition, other animals indigenous to the region and park are the Siberian Ibex, Bharal, Weasel, Red Fox and Marten. Birds such as the Pika, Griffon, Golden Eagle, Bearded Vulture, Chukor and Raven paint the skies a pretty picture.
We spend the night in the lap of Pin Valley, in a guest house at Mudh – run by a local family.
On the eighth day of this Spiti Valley tour, we drive to the charming and high villages of Dhankar and Lhalung. Literally translating to the “Land of God”, Lhalung is located at the foot of the Tangmar Mountains. The locals believe their God lives in these mountains and the mountain changes its colors through wide arrays of reds, yellows, browns depending on the mood of their God. Visit one of the oldest gompas in the Spiti Valley which the natives say was built by angels one night. Bear in mind not to touch the walls of this monastery for people believe that it will make the angels go away.
In Lhalung, visit the Lhalung Monastery famous for its statue of the three-cornered Buddha which symbolizes the Buddha looking in all directions at one time. If time permits take a short, traditional Yak safari or learn how to make steaming hot momos with the locals.
Later, we drive to Dhankar, the former capital of the Spiti Valley. Dhankar offers panoramic views of Spiti Valley. Dhankar stands perched above the confluence of the Spiti and Pin river. Perhaps there must have been a fort here once, but today Dhankar is renowned for its 1200-year old monastery balanced precariously on a rocky precipice. If time and energy permit, we do the easy 60-minute trek to the stunning turquoise coloured Dhankar Lake.
We then drive to Kaza and spend the night in a comfortable hotel.
On the ninth day of this Spiti Valley tour, we drive to some of the highest inhabited regions of the world.
The highest village in Asia, Komik, which literally translates to ‘eye of a snow cock’, is situated at a height of 4513 meters. This farming village has a population of 84 people, living in utter isolation, cut-off from the rest of the world for most parts of the year. This little hamlet ensures to bring you thousands of miles away from your familiar settings to a place of soft brown pastures and snow-white mountain peaks. Some of the common animals of the region are the Tibetan wolf, blue sheep, red fox, hare, snow cock, Himalayan griffin, rock pigeon etc.
Later, we drive to Hikkim where we visit the world’s highest post office in the world. If possible, you can even meet the post-master and hear his stories.
After sending out a postcard, we drive to Langza. Langza village is situated at an altitude of 4400 meters and belongs to the Sakyapa sect of Tibetan Buddhism. Langza houses a population of 137 in 33 households. Once you are here, you can walk around the village and visit the ancient Lang (Temple) which is estimated to be around 1000 years old. At Langza, walk back to the prehistoric era when Spiti was submerged by the Tethys Sea, as you explore a land very rich with fossils of Marine animals and plants which were here millions of years ago.
This day, indulge in a Yak Safari ride between Langza and Komik and take a local alcohol brew tour, conducted by a local villager and get to know what it takes to make something that gives a high, at such high altitudes.
We drive back to Kaza and spend the night in a comfortable hotel.
On the tenth day of this Spiti Valley Tour, we visit the world famous Ki Monastery. The car will first stop at the base of the monastery hill for the ultimate photo opportunity of this remarkable structure. With over 1000 years’ worth stories to tell, the Ki Monastery situated at a height of 13,668 feet was founded by a disciple of the famous Atisha, in the 11th century CE. Belonging to the Yellow Hat or Gelugpa sect of Tibetan Buddhism, this monastery is famous as a prominent center of learning as well as a refuge for Tibetans. Being remotely located atop a hill overlooking endless plains, the Ki Monastery is an obvious choice for those seeking peace and calm.
We explore Ki Monastery with a monk, who would show us around. We also get our prayer flags blessed here. From here, we drive higher up to the secluded village of Gette where we absorb stunning aerial views of Kaza and tie a prayer flag. Later, we go to Tashigang where we meet a local fortune teller.
We move down the valley to the picturesque village of Kibber. Located at a height of 4205 meters and 18 km from Kaza, this formerly highest permanently inhabited village in this region, is also a popular base camp to embark on adventure and treks to adjoining mountains of high altitude. The expanses of beautiful landscapes and immeasurable beauty of the snow-tipped mountains make the place a haven for nature-lovers and photographers alike. From Kibber you can trek to Chicham Village, located across a sharp and precipitous canyon traversable only by a suspended wire cable basket system known as a Jula.
We drive back to Kaza in the evening and spend the night in a comfortable and warm Kaza hotel.
Today, we relax and explore the town of Kaza.
Kaza is the largest township in Lahaul and Spiti Valley and is also the district capital of the latter. It boasts of high mountains with snowy crowns, crystal clear river and streams and barren splendour interspersed with patches of green. All this, along with modern facilities such as ATMs, comfortable hotels accentuated with western facilities and multi cuisine restaurants, petrol pumps, etc. Kaza is home to colourful festivals and the ancient Sakya Tangyud Monastery.
This would be a fun and relaxed day as we learn how to ride a tractor, and then spend the evening by the Spiti River, enjoying a hot dinner, listening to the crackles of a warm bonfire.
Overnight at a hotel in Kaza.
On the twelfth day of this Spiti Valley tour, we drive to one of the most photogenic places in the Spiti Valley – the Chandratal Lake. Before that, we pass through the high altitude pass of Kunzum La. Stop by at the stupa and pay tribute to the local goddess, “Kuzum Mata” as she is called. At 15,000 feet above sea-level, the Kuzum Pass connects Kullu and Lahaul to the Spiti Valley.
From there, we head to Chandratal Lake – A visual marvel, this stunning blue Lake is set at an altitude of 4300 meters above sea level in the heart of high Himalayas and is a must see on a full moon night. It derives its name, “Chandra” (Moon) and “Taal” (Lake) from the crescent shape of the lake. Watch the lake change colours from crystal clear shades of blue to emerald greens by dusk.
Otherwise barren and bereft of any human settlement, the blue lake bordered by carpeted green meadows couple with the pristine white of the Chandra Bhaga mountain range makes this an ideal camping ground.
Live your dream of camping comfortably in state-of--the-art tents in the Himalayas as you spend your evening gazing at the Milky Way and the millions of stars on a clear night.
Overnight at a camp away from Chandratal Lake.
On the second last day of this Spiti Valley tour, drive from Chandratal Lake towards Manali. We take a quick stop at Batal for a cup of tea at a small tea-shop run by a beautiful old couple. From there, we continue driving on the Kaza – Manali highway and stop at Chatru for lunch. Drive through the famous Rohtang Pass and return to Manali to end your breath-taking Spiti Valley sojourn.
Since there is no sightseeing included in your schedule in Manali, you are free to explore Manali on your own.
Overnight at a hotel in Manali.
On the final day of this Spiti Valley experience tour, you start early at 4 AM for the last leg of your journey which takes you from Manali back to Delhi. If time permits, halt along the way to appreciate the unspoiled beauty of Himachal for the last time on this trip.
As the trip ends in New Delhi, take home a bag full of unforgettable memories and friendships to cherish for life.
The 6 day Spiti holiday we had in the month of August 2016 was one of the most exciting, hassel-free and filled with enriching experiences.Big Thank you goes to each and everyone in Spiti Holiday Adventure for the amazing time we had.It was indeed a pleasure to meet Rahul Mansur who organised the trip for us at a very short notice.Special thanks to Team at Hotel Spiti Serai, Rangrik for their hospitality and our driver Tilak.Would definitely love to experience more off-beat destinations organised by you guys.
Do yourself a big favour and visit Spiti Valley using this company. The whole team is extremely professional and just a lovely bunch! We did 7-day jeep ride which provided a great itinerary to see a lot of what this amazing place has to offer. Spiti Valley is a once in a lifetime experience and totally worth the effort to go!
Thank you for an amazing "Spiti" experience. This was one of the well arranged and managed travel experience that I have been part of. Still missing the hospitality of all the people who hosted us at all places be it Khansar at kaza, Home-stay at Kibber or Mountain Trail Hotel at Manali. Once again a thank you very much and of course hope to travel with you guys once again. As JRR Tolkien says... Home is behind, The world ahead; And there are many paths to tread…
28 years of experience in organising tours within Spiti valley
The only local Spiti travel company to be Recommended by Lonely Planet
The best local prices minus any middle man or commissions.
Drive from New Delhi – Shimla
Drive from Shimla – Sangla
Drive from Sangla – Chitkul – Kalpa
Drive from Kalpa – Nako
Drive from Nako – Gue – Tabo
Drive from Tabo – Mane – Hike to Yangcho Lake
Drive from Mane – Pin Valley – Kungri – Mudh
Drive from Mudh – Lhalung – Dhankar – Hike to Dhankar Lake – Kaza
Drive from Kaza – Langza – Hikkim – Komik – Kaza. Yak Safari and Alcohol Brew Tour included
Drive from Kaza – Kaza – Ki Monastery – Gette – Tashigang – Kibber – Kaza. Explore Ki Monastery with a monk, tie prayer flags at Gette
Explore Kaza’s market / Kaza Sightseeing. Ride a tractor, riverside dinner with bonfire included.
Drive from Kaza – Losar – Kunzum La – Chandratal Lake
Drive from Chandratal Lake – Chattru – Rohtang Pass – Manali
Drive from Manali – New Delhi