Spiti Valley | Most Common Itinerary

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Spiti Valley is one of my favourite location to travel after Leh – Ladakh and in fact if someone ask me which one is better of the two (Ladakh or Spiti Valley), sometimes I do not have an answer 🙂 … In fact, covering Ladakh so extensively I feel I can forever go to Spiti Valley but may skip journey to Ladakh ;). Reason??

Well, I feel sooner or later Ladakh will be full of mad rush of tourists, almost you can see the glimpse of this thing happening in season time. However, Spiti Valley is altogether untouched as of now and people mostly confuse it with Lahaul Valley or they are more or less restricted to only a visit to Chandratal (Read my Travel Guide to Chandratal here). The real beauty of Spiti Valley starts beyond Kunzum Pass, towards Losar then to Kaza and then towards Tabo and then towards Nako or Kinnaur Valley… Not to forget the Pin Valley in between and there is hell lot of heavenly beauty to explore in Spiti Valley.

Teaser… Leading us to heaven…
Autumn Colors in Spiti Valley

I will be starting up the most comprehensive Travel Guide to Spiti Valley on the blog with this article in a similar fashion what was done for Leh – Ladakh i.e. with the Most Common Itinerary for Spiti Valley. I am sure as the Most Common Ladakh Itinerary has proved super successful in guiding and helping countless travellers, this article will too acts as a special guide for all such people who are looking forward to explore the magical colours of Spiti Valley. This article covers almost all major places in Spiti Valley including Tabo, Kaza, Losar, Chandratal, Kunzum Pass, Ki, Kibber, Pin Valley etc. There are two routes to enter Spiti Valley viz. Delhi – Manali – Rohtang Pass – Kunzum Pass – Losar – Kaza AND Delhi – Shimla – Narkanda – Kinnaur Valley – Tabo – Kaza. So, you can see that one can enter from one side (say Shimla) and exit back to Delhi from other side (Manali) making it the complete circuit.

In this article, I will be starting from Shimla side and exiting from Manali side due to two basic advantages. Firstly, Spiti Valley is a cold desert situated in Trans Himalayan region at an altitude of 11000+ Feet mostly and hence, your body will require certain amount of acclimatization before you enter the Spiti Valley. Going via Shimla side will help you gradually increase the altitude and your body gets acclimatized properly, hence less chances of getting hit with Acute Mountain Sickness (read more info on AMS here). If you start from Manali side then you reach High Altitude terrain pretty quickly which increases the chances of Mountain Sickness that can spoil the trip. Secondly, you get a chance to traverse the Hindustan – Tibet Highway which is one of the most adventurous (some call deadliest too :)) roads of the world. Riding or Driving on Hindustan – Tibet Road is a journey in itself even if you do not visit any places in Spiti Valley 🙂 … So, with these two reasons in mind lets start below from Shimla side and exit via Manali side.

Most Common Itinerary of Spiti Valley for 11 – 12 Days

Day 1 | Delhi – Shimla / Narkanda

  • Shimla sightseeing includes Famous Ridge, Mall Road, Lakkar Bazaar, Jakhu Temple
  • Narkanda is about 60 KMs from Shimla takes about 2 Hrs
  • About 8 Hrs drive to Shimla
  • Overnight at Shimla or Narkanda, which ever suits your timings

Day 2 | Shimla / Narkanda – Sangla / Chitkul (Kinnaur Valley)

  • Leave early, if from Shimla and enjoy the vistas en route
  • You can plan for lunch at Rampur
  • About 8 – 9 Hrs of beautiful drive through Kinnaur Valley
  • Overnight at Sangla

Day 3 | Sangla – Chitkul – Sangla – Kalpa

  • Leave early to spend some time at beautiful Chitkul Village
  • Visit Kamru Fort at Sangla as well before going back to Kalpa
  • Watch the lovely sunset and sunrise (next day) at Kalpa over Mount Kinner Kailash
  • About 4 – 5 Hrs of total drive on this day
  • Overnight at Kalpa

Day 4 | Kalpa – Nako – Nako Lake – Geyu Mummy – Tabo

  • Start your day early and watch the vistas en route over Hindustan Tibet Highway
  • Check Out Khab, Confluence of Spiti and Satluj Rivers
  • See the Leo Purygal Peak from Khab Bridge
  • Have your lunch at Nako Lake
  • Meet the dreaded Malling Nalla ahead of Nako
  • After Chango – Sumdo you will enter Spiti Valley.
  • After Sumdo police registration, detour towards Geyu Village to visit the 500 Year old Mummy
  • About 8 – 9 Hrs drive, depending upon the breaks you take in between
  • Overnight at Tabo

Day 5 | Tabo – Dhankar – Dhankar Lake – Pin Valley (Mud Village)

  • Visit Dhankar Monastery and Dhankar Lake and leave after early lunch
  • Enjoy the magnificent vistas all day
  • Traverse the Pin Valley | Kungri – Sagnam – Mud – Tailing
  • About 4 – 5 Hrs of drive in the day
  • Overnight at Mud Village in Pin Valley

Day 6 | Pin Valley – Kaza – Ki – Kibber – Gette – Tashigang – Kaza

  • Head for Kaza, headquarters of Spiti Valley
  • Have lunch at Kaza and check in to Hotel
  • Visit Ki – Kibber – Gette – Tashigang in the second half of the day
  • Ki is a famous monastery and others are places to explore as a lovely drive
  • Tashigang is where the road ends but again beautiful drive
  • About 4 – 5 Hrs of drive in the day
  • Overnight at Kaza

Day 7 | Kaza – Hikkim – Komik – Langza – Kaza / Losar

  • Today visit the road less travelled or off beat places near Kaza
  • Great view of Chau Chau Kang Nelda peak from Langza
  • Statue of the Buddha near Langza looking down the valley
  • Tanggyud monastery at Komik, is one of the most important and the highest monastery in the Spiti Valley
  • You can move to Losar if you would like to stay away from hustle bustle of Kaza
  • About 2 – 3 Hrs of drive in the day excluding Losar
  • If planning to go to Losar, Enjoy the most scenic drive of entire Spiti Valley between Losar and Kaza at an easy pace
  • About 2 – 2.5 Hrs drive between Losar and Kaza, depending upon the breaks you take in between
  • Overnight at Kaza or Losar

Day 8 | Kaza / Losar – Kunzum Pass – Chandratal / Battal

  • Visit Chandratal via Kunzum Pass and enjoy the day there
  • Camps are about 2.5 KMs from the lake, either stay there or back to Battal where there is a PWD rest house now though without electricity. But, no point going back a painful ride to Losar over Kunzum Pass unless you want to stay in guest house with electricity. Better stay at Battal and save time as well as energy for next day.
  • About 4 – 5 Hrs drive minimum
  • Overnight at Battal or Chandratal Camps

Day 9 | Battal / Chandratal – Kunzum Pass – Rohtang Pass – Manali

  • Head back to Manali via Rohtang Pass
  • Drive through Battal – Chattru – Gramphu towards Rohtang Pass is out of the world
  • About 7 – 8 Hrs drive easily if you do not get messed up Rohtang Pass
  • Overnight at Manali

Day 10 | Manali – Delhi

  • If there is time explore Manali, that is if going by overnight Volvo which starts around 5.30 PM
  • Manali Local sightseeing which includes Hadimba Temple, Manu Temple, Mall Road, Local Monastery, Old Manali, Vashisth Hot Water Springs (never found it interesting) etc.
  • About 12-14 Hrs drive, depending upon the breaks you take in between
  • Back Home

Day 11-12 | Buffer days to be kept in case of road closure due to landslides or snowfall or perhaps you want to enjoy more 🙂

Add On Days

If you have more days then perhaps you can choose any of the days to explore more beautiful places within Spiti Valley…

  • Spend a Day to explore more of Kinnaur Valley, may be after Shimla stay at Sarahan before reaching Sangla or at Chitkul/Sangla itself.
  • Spend a Day to explore Rama Valley and Lingti Valley that includes Demul, Lallung
  • Spend a day to explore Mane Village in Spiti Valley
Petrol Pumps After Shimla
  • Theog
  • Narkanda Do Top Up Here
  • Rampur After crossing the town, the last one on right side is pretty reliable
  • Jeori
  • Tapri – New one, not sure if one can rely on it
  • Powari – Mostly Closed
  • Rekong Peo
  • Kaza – Do Not Miss

Foreign Nationals visiting the protected areas of Spiti Valley and Kinnaur Valley are required to get the inner line permits or ILP. Domestic (Indian) tourist do not require any permits. If you are Indian, then just carry a valid photo ID proof of your nationality to be on safe side. You can get all the details for these permits and its process at the article linked here

Conclusion

I am sure the above itinerary if not help you 100% with planning a trip to Spiti Valley but can certainly act as a starting point for your upcoming Spiti Valley trip. Do share your valuable thoughts or queries or doubts you have and we can discuss more about your upcoming Travel Plans for Spiti Valley 🙂

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About Author

You can call me an avid traveler, a day-night dreamer and a passionate lover of the Himalayas who has a high zest for driving whilst exploring new places in the Himalayas & sharing back those Himalayan travel experiences with the other fellow travelers... I am in love with Spreading Smiles in Himalayas through DoW Causes & currently enjoying life as Happy Traveling Soul at DoW Community. You can read more about me in detail at the link here ...

1,636 Comments

  1. Comments section gets closed in 90 days. You can follow me on Instagram and ask your travel questions in a direct message on Instagram too. I also conduct a weekly Q&A session every Saturday evening on Instagram, so see you there !!

  2. Planning a solo spiti circuit from 2nd october for 12 days using public transport. Please advice a itinerary

  3. Hi Dheeraj,
    Planning a winter spiti in Dec end between 22 to 29. Is it advisable to go during that time in winter and would we be able to cover all places ?? Given that i can plan only for 7-8 days…can you let me knlw what could be covered in that time frame as intenerary you have suggested is for 10-12 days..
    Request your advice..

  4. Ankur Garg on

    Hi Dheeraj,

    Thanks for your continous efforts for enlightening us with your experiences. Based on your suggested itinerary, i am planning the trip in my 2014 model i20. Would I be able to complete the journey in my car? Any ground clearance issues? Any sugestted changes in itinerary/vehicle?

    We are only 2 people planning for this trip.

    Thanks,
    Ankur Garg

    • Hey Ankur,

      Thank you, glad it is helpful to you. Definitely the car will struggle especially after reaching towards Kunzum Pass and then all the way up to Gramphu. So, you will have to drive with utmost caution and care in that stretch.

      For hatchback/sedan taking on Manali – Kaza road and Spiti Valley, I will say Possible = Yes, Difficult = Yes, at quite a few places especially on Manali – Kaza road:

      You will indeed face few tough challenges on the route. The hatchback/sedan will increase the level of every challenge even further, sedan is the worst candidate. My suggestion will be to go via Kinnaur Valley route as it will help you feel comfortable with the driving, provide more acclimatization and then once you have done Spiti Valley, then come back via Manali side. Secondly, since you are in hatch/sedan, then you need to drive with extra care as well. There will be some sections on the Manali – Kaza road in which you might need to sacrifice some scratches on the underbelly. Just make sure you do not bump the engine sump (know it before where it is placed in your car). You need to protect it all around the trip. Thirdly, whenever in doubt do not rush into the section rather park aside and feel the section with your foot, see how other vehicles are crossing it and make a planned route in your mind to cross that section. You should carry some important essential things for a self drive trip to Spiti Valley and for it, do read reference my 40 Must Have Things to Carry on Spiti Valley Self Drive Trip

      Also do check the article on 7 Useful Tips for a Self Drive to Spiti Valley or Leh – Ladakh

  5. Hii Dheeraj
    Thank for sharing all this wonderful information about Spiti. We are planning to travel only Spiti Valley for 6/7 days from Delhi via Narkanda in the month of November.
    We have already covered kalpa , Kinnuar and chitkul in our previous trip.
    Can u suggest which are the best halt option.

    • Hey Dev,

      7 days for Spiti valley trip from Kinnaur side is going to be tough:

      Day 1: Delhi – Shimla / Narkanda
      Day 2: Shimla / Narkanda – Kalpa
      Day 3: Kalpa – Nako – Nako Lake – Tabo
      Day 4: Tabo – Dhangkar – Dhangkar Lake – Pin Valley – Kaza
      Day 5: Kaza – Ki, Kibber, Komik, Hikkim
      Day 6: Kaza – Tabo – Nako – Kalpa – Rampur/Jeori (very long day)
      Day 7: Rampur/Jeori – Delhi (again a long day)

  6. Sanchit seth on

    Hey Dheeraj, first of all thanks for this wonderful article!! This was the most helpful piece i could find over the internet 😉

    Now i need your suggestions for my travel plan:
    I am reaching Delhi on 8th Sept. morning, i plan to take a overnight bus to Manali and rent a bike from there. I have my flight from Delhi on 16th night so i need to return before that. I think i have enough days in hand but i just can’t decide the best itinerary to cover most of the areas as i would love to cover areas that fall in the way if i start from Shimla instead. Could you help me here please?
    I am flexible with any itinerary as i am travelling solo, my only constraints are my dates which are 8th morning to 16th evening (September)

    • Thank you Sanchit, I am glad it was helpful.

      You seem to have 8 days in hand,

      Day 1 : Reach Manali by overnight volvo of and stay overnight at Solang Valley as preferred for acclimatization
      Day 2 : Manali / Solang – Kaza
      Day 3 : Kaza – Dhangkar – Tabo
      Day 4 : Tabo – Pin Valley
      Day 5 : Pin Valley – Kaza. Do Ki, Kibber in the evening.
      Day 6 : Kaza – Langza – Komik – Hikkim – Kaza / Batal / Chandratal
      Day 7 : Kaza / Batal / Chandratal – Chandratal – Manali
      Day 8 : Reach Delhi by overnight Volvo from Manali on Day 7

  7. Hi Dheeraj, We are planning a trip during mid of Sept. What should be the possible journey plan? Is it possible to rent a bike/car from Shimla or Manali?
    Are there any chances of finding snow in the route?

    • Yes, you can rent the car from Shimla. You can get connected directly to some drivers in Himachal or Spiti Valley or Kinnaur Valley at the link: List of Taxi Drivers for Spiti Valley & Kinnaur Valley. These drivers can come and pick you up from Manali / Shimla / Delhi / Chandigarh too, of course with a price of the pickup as well.

      The rates of the taxis are about Rs 3200-3500 per day depending on the number of days you plan to travel, more the days, less the price. If you are 2-3 in the group, you can opt for sedan taxi cars as well which charges around Rs 2200 per day.

      Otherwise, taxis, in general, are also available on the spot from Shimla or Manali from respective taxi stands. These drivers can help you with finding local stay options too.

      For stay options in Kinnaur and Spiti, check the link: Some Good Options of Stays in Spiti Valley / Kinnaur Valley.

      You can keep an average of 900-1200 per person per day for food and stay on the tour to Spiti Valley.

      Snow is not possible

  8. Hi Dheeraj,

    Thank you so much for sharing all this wonderful info. Your blog is so full of great insights.
    Me & my friend are planning travel to spiti valley in month of September. We are planning to travel by public transport. Is it possible to complete above itinerary in 11 days ?

    Thank You.

  9. Hi Dheeraj,

    Thank you so much for sharing all this wonderful info. Your blogs are so full of great insights.
    Me & my friend are planning travel to spiti valley in month of September. We are planning to travel most of our journey by public transport. Is it possible to cover above tour plan in 11 days via public transport?
    Thanks You.

  10. Hi Dheeraj,
    Traveler friendly itinerary i would ever come across. Thanks for the valuable inputs. Much appreciated.

    I’m planning to travel Spiti Valley and Kasol for 8 days from Delhi starting 7th Sptember. Could you please provide best possible itinerary. Areas/activities of interest Buddhist monastery, camping, trekking, landscapes, weed, party.

    Eagerly anticipating our reply.

    Thanks in advance.

    • Day 1 : Reach Manali by overnight volvo of and stay overnight at Solang Valley as preferred for acclimatization
      Day 2 : Manali / Solang – Kaza
      Day 3 : Kaza – Dhangkar – Tabo
      Day 4 : Tabo – Pin Valley – Kaza. Do Ki, Kibber in the evening.
      Day 5 : Kaza – Langza – Komik – Hikkim – Chandratal
      Day 6 : Chandratal – Manali
      Day 7 : Manali – Kasol
      Day 8: Kasol – Delhi

  11. Do I need to carry petrol cans/jerry cans for 8-9 day spiti valley tour or I will get petrol without any problem.

  12. Hi, Can you please suggest the best itinerary for 11-19 August from Delhi Via Shimla route? We need to be back in Delhi by 19th evening.

    • Suggesting the plan for both the routes

      Day 1 | Delhi – Narkanda
      Day 2 | Narkanda – Kalpa
      Day 3 | Kalpa – Nako – Nako Lake – Geyu Mummy – Tabo
      Day 4 | Tabo – Dhankar – Dhankar Lake – Pin Valley (Mudh Village) – Kaza
      Day 5 | Kaza Local Sightseeing
      — Ki, Kibber, Gette, Tashigang in the second half of the day
      Day 6 | Kaza Local Sightseeing (Hikkim, Komik)
      — Hikkim, Komik, Langza circuit
      Day 7 | Kaza – Kunzum Pass – Chandratal
      Day 8 | Chandratal – Manali
      Day 9 | Manali – Delhi

      Day 01 : Reach Manali and stay overnight at Solang Valley as preferred for acclimatization
      Day 02 : Manali / Solang – Kaza
      Day 03 : Kaza – Pin Valley – Tabo
      Day 04 : Tabo – Dhangkar – Dhangkar Lake trek – Kaza
      Day 05 : Kaza – Ki – Kibber/Kaza
      Day 06 : Kibber/Kaza – Langza – Komic – Hikkim – Kaza
      Day 07 : Kaza – Chandratal
      Day 08 : Chandratal – Manali
      Day 09 : Manali – Delhi

      • Thanks buddy! Appreciate the prompt reply!!
        Just one more query!

        Do we need beyond Rohtang Pass permit or any other permit if taking the route Delhi-Narkanda-Kaza-Manali-Delhi?
        PS: No Foreigner is with us.

  13. please tell me whether the following itinerary is doable in mid june?
    all distances and timings are from Google map…
    whether I ll get snow anywhere or not.. please tell me…

    day 1 kol to chandigarh – night
    day 2 chandi to sarahan 275 km 8-9 hrs /night
    day 3 sarahan to nako 175 km 5.30 hrs
    day 4 nako to tabo 64 km 1 hr
    day 5 tabo to pin valley 65 hm 2.30 hrs
    day 6 pin to kaza 50 km 1 hrs
    day 7 kaza to losar 58 km 1 hr
    day 8 losar to batal/chandratal 31 km / 1/2 hr
    day 9 chandratal to manali 115 km/ 3 hrs (we have to cross Rohtang pass right? is it doable?)
    day 10 Manali to Chandigarh
    day 11 chandigarh to kolkata

      • actually I want to skip the kinnaur part as much as possible… that is why I made this plan based on your suggested itinerary…

        • I was suggesting because you were missing Kinnaur and rushing through it but you want to avoid Kinnaur. Then better do opt for one of the below:

          Day 01 : Reach Manali and stay overnight at Solang Valley as preferred for acclimatization
          Day 02 : Manali / Solang – Kaza
          Day 03 : Kaza – Dhangkar – Dhangkar Lake trek – Tabo
          Day 04 : Tabo – Lingti Valley (Lallung) – Pin Valley
          Day 05 : Pin Valley(Mud) – Kaza – Ki – Kibber – Kaza
          Day 06 : Village trek/trip – Kaza – Langza – Komic – Hikkim – Demul – Kaza (Stay at Langza at homestay)
          Day 07: Village trek/trip – Kaza – Langza – Komic – Hikkim – Demul – Kaza (Stay at Komic at homestay)
          Day 08: Village trek/trip – Kaza – Langza – Komic – Hikkim – Demul – Kaza (Stay at Demul at homestay)
          Day 09 : Kaza – Chandratal
          Day 10 : Chandratal – Manali
          Day 11 : Manali – Delhi

          OR

          Day 1 | Chandigarh – Sarahan
          Day 2 | Sarahan – Nako / Chango
          Day 3 | Nako / Chango – Geyu Mummy – Tabo
          Day 4 | Tabo – Dhankar – Dhankar Lake – Lallung
          Day 5 | Lallung – Demul – Pin Valley
          Day 6 | Pin Valley – Kaza
          Day 7 | Kaza Local Sightseeing (Ki, Kibber, Tashigang, Gette)
          Day 8 | Kaza Local (Hikkim, Komik, Langza)
          Day 9 | Kaza – Chandratal
          Day 10 | Chandratal – Manali

  14. Pranay Mohapatra on

    Hello Dheeraj,
    What places can one visit in 4-5 days excluding the 2 days to and from Delhi?
    Chandratal is mandatory.
    Will there be acclimatisation issues if I opt to travel by bus, since they reach Kaza in 12hours? I am fairly fit and have completed Delhi-Leh (thanks to DOW) on my bike.
    I have limited time , so I wanted to visit only the most scenic areas in the shortest amount of time.
    Please let me know.
    Thanks a lot

    • Pranay, you can plan like below:

      Manali – Kaza
      Kaza – Tabo covering Pin Valley
      Tabo – Dhangkar – Dhangkar Lake – Kaza, do Langza, Hikkim, Komic in second half
      Kaza – Ki Kibber – Kunzum Pass – Chandratal
      Chandratal – Manali.

      As you are traveling from Manali side, you may face AMS issues.

      • Pranay Mohapatra on

        What about entering from Shimla side? There wont be any issues with permit, plus no risk of AMS. What would be the best plan from shimla?

        • Yes, that is true but with just 5 days in hand, I will not suggest that. You will need minium 7 days to make some sense of Spiti Valley trip while traveling from Shimla – Kinnaur side.

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