7 Day Road Trip
AUGUST - SEPTEMBER 2020
Road Trip Highlights
Cost per person
Spiti Valley, with an average height of 12,500 feet above sea level, is a desert mountain which lies nestled between India and Tibet. With clear blue skies, snow-capped mountains piercing up and turquoise green streams as your companions, this 7 day Spiti Valley and Kinnaur round trip on the Hindustan-Tibet highway and the Manali – Kaza highway is by far the most unforgettable drives you’ll take in your life.
Starting in Shimla and ending in Manali, this 7 day Spiti Valley tour is designed for travellers looking for an authentic and comprehensive Spiti Valley holiday. Shared by a small group of co-travellers, this Spiti Valley tour goes through the lush green valleys of Kinnaur and, into the brown badlands of Spiti Valley and descends into Manali.
Come travel with us – the most experienced local Spiti Valley tour operator, and explore the native culture, food, and thousand-year-old heritage by interacting with the effervescent, warm, and extremely gregarious locals.View Full Itinerary
On the first day of this Spiti Valley Tour, from Shimla, we drive through Narkandha and head towards the apple-orchard dotted town of Kalpa. Foreigners entering Spiti Valley through this route need a permit which can be obtained through a quick twenty-minute procedure in Reckong Peo from Monday to Saturday.
After a 7 kilometer winding road through pine forests, Kalpa is a splendid gem. According to legends, this is the winter abode of Lord Shiva. With the majestic views of the Kinner Kailash and Jordan Peaks, this enthralling village has spectacular sunrises with the crimson sunlight glowing on the snow-capped peaks. 3 kilometers away from Kalpa at Kothi, is a temple dedicated to the goddess Chanadika. An exquisite image of the goddess is enshrined in this sanctum.
Overnight at a hotel in Kalpa.
On the second 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.
After a quick refueling stop at Puh, we proceed to Nako – the last hamlet of Kinnaur, before we enter the gates of Spiti Valley. After lunch at Nako, we drive through Sumdo, the first village of Spiti Valley on this side of the road, to Tabo, which would be our first stop in the glorious, mystical Spiti Valley.
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 other monasteries in the Spiti Valley, the Tabo monastery is located at the bottom of the valley.
Overnight at a hotel or a Homestay in Tabo.
On the fourth day of this Spiti Valley tour, we drive to the charming and high villages of Dhankar and Lhalung.
Dhankar, the former capital of the Spiti Valley, 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 45-minute trek to the stunning turquoise coloured Dhankar Lake.
After the trek, we drive to the nearby village of 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. Visit the Lhalung Monastery famous for its statue of the three-cornered Buddha which symbolizes the Buddha looking in all directions at one time.
From Lhalung, we drive through the enchanting 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.
In Pin Valley, 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.
Overnight at a guest house in Mudh.
On the fifth day, we drive to Kaza, the commercial capital of Spiti Valley.
After a quick stop for refreshments, we drive to the renowned 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.
Then we will move farther up 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 higher up to the secluded village of Gette where we absorb stunning aerial views of Kaza and tie a prayer flag.
Overnight at a local homestay in Kibber.
On the sixth day of this Spiti Valley tour, we continue our 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 might 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.
We return to Kaza in the evening for an overnight stay at a comfortable hotel.
On the eighth day of this Spiti Valley tour, we drive to one of the most photogenic places in 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's known. 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-coloured lake is set at an altitude of 4,300 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 2 km away from Chandratal Lake.
On the ninth 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.
Here, we bid goodbye to your driver who’d have been your friend and guide for the last nine days.
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…
31 years of experience in organising tours within the Himalayas
The only local Spiti travel company to be Recommended by Lonely Planet
The best local prices minus any middle man or commissions.
Drive from Shimla to Kalpa
Drive from Kalpa - Nako - Tabo
Drive from Tabo - Dhankar - Lhalung - Pin Valley - Mudh
Drive from Mudh - Kaza - Ki - Kibber
Drive from Kibber - Komik - Hikkim - Langza - Kaza
Drive from Kaza - Losar - Kunzum La - Chandratal Lake
Drive from Chandratal Lake - Rohtang Pass - Manali