Spiti Valley is one of my favorite places to travel in the trans-Himalayas after Leh – Ladakh. In fact, when people question me about if Leh Ladakh is better than Spiti Valley or not, I do not have an answer 🙂 …
Now that I have covered both Spiti Valley and Ladakh so extensively that I feel I can forever go to Spiti Valley but may skip journey to Ladakh.
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Let's quickly dive into the details:
Spiti Valley or Ladakh?
As of 2018, Leh Ladakh is filled with a crazy rush of tourists, especially in season time from May to September. However, Spiti Valley has also seen a tremendous rise in tourists rush in the last couple of years but still, I will say the situation is not as bad as it has become in Ladakh tourism.
People mostly confuse Spiti Valley with Lahaul Valley or they are more or less restricted to only a visit to Chandratal. However, 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 a hell lot of heavenly beauty to explore in Spiti Valley.
Secondly, a trip to Leh Ladakh will always cost you more than a trip to Spiti Valley while the experience of adventure and thrill is almost equivalent. While you have more vastness in Ladakh region, the valleys in Spiti are much narrow with closer mountains, as if you can touch them. Hence, Spiti Valley has a different but raw nature to offer still amidst the budding commercialization.
Most Common Itinerary of Spiti Valley for 11 – 12 Days
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 travelers planning their trip to Leh Ladakh, similarly, this article too will act as a special guide for all such people who are looking forward to exploring the magical colors of Spiti Valley.
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 Spiti Valley from one Shimla side and exit Spiti Valley from Manali back to Delhi making it the complete circuit.
This detailed day by day Spiti Valley itinerary covers the entire circuit from Shimla to Kinnaur Valley to Spiti Valley to Manali with almost all major tourists places in Spiti Valley including Tabo, Kaza, Losar, Chandratal, Kunzum Pass, Ki, Kibber, Pin Valley, Langza, Hikkim, Komic, Dhangkar, etc.
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
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 for Spiti Tour
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
Why travel to Spiti from Shimla side?
In this article, I started the trip from Shimla side and exit the Spiti Valley from Manali side due to three 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 a 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, there is less chance of getting hit with Acute Mountain Sickness. 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 world’s most treacherous or adventurous (some call deadliest too :)) roads. Riding or driving on Hindustan – Tibet Road is a journey in itself even if you do not visit any places in Spiti Valley 🙂 …
Thirdly, you do not need Rohtang Pass permits when you are not traveling to Spiti Valley from Manali side. Rohtang Pass permit is required to travel beyond Rohtang pass in case you travel to Rohtang Pass from Manali side. Hence, travel to Spiti from Kinnaur helps you avoid the process of getting the Rohtang Pass permit first.
So, with these three reasons in mind, I prefer to travel to Spiti from Shimla side and exit via Manali side. However, you can read my top five reasons to travel to Spiti via Kinnaur Valley.
However, in case you are not interested, we can discuss a Spiti Valley itinerary from manali as well. In fact, you can search my blog for the dedicated itinerary.
Petrol Pumps After Shimla to Spiti Valley
Please note these petrol pumps that comes on the route from Shimla to Spiti Valley and up to Manali. You do not need to worry about fuel or petrol from Delhi to Shimla or Manali to Delhi, but once you enter Kinnaur and further to Spiti Valley, make sure you have enough fuel or petrol stocked up to complete the trip.
- Narkanda Do Top Up Here
- Rampur After crossing the town, the last one on right side is pretty reliable
- Tapri – Do Not Miss
- Rekong Peo
- Kaza – Do Not Miss
Do I need Permits for Spiti Valley?
Foreign Nationals visiting the protected areas of Spiti Valley and Kinnaur Valley are required to get the Spiti – Kinnaur 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.
FAQs – Spiti Valley Travel Plans
Let us look at some of the common questions travellers ask about a Spiti Valley tour from Delhi. I hope you find them useful too.
Well, the detailed travel plan explained in this article is equally applicable for a trip from Chandigarh to Spiti Valley. You can just replace Delhi with Chandigarh in the above plan and most of the day wise plan should remain the same. You may try to do Chandigarh to Sarahan on Day 1 instead of sleeping at Narkanda.
The cost of Spiti Valley tour depends upon the mode of transport you pick. A 8-10 day itinerary of Spiti Valley by public transport may not cost you more than Rs 12000 while a trip to Spiti Valley by car or bike may cost you under Rs 15000. On the other hand, if you go for a rental bike or rental car, the prices increase based on the model of bike or car you rent. Hence, you may not need those costly Spiti Valley tour packages from Shimla or Manali.
Well, a Spiti Valley itinerary of 5 days will look like three days to reach Kaza from Shimla side and then two days to travel back from Spiti Valley via Manali side. Hence, you will just be on road for all 5 days. You may save a day in case you travel from Manali side both ways. However, I will advice you to plan a trip to Spiti Valley with at least 8 days in hand to make some sense of it.
You should at least make a Spiti Valley trip in 8 days as you need 5 days just to reach Spiti via Kinnaur side and come back from Manali side. So, having three more days will help you explore Pin Valley, Langza, Hikkim, Komic, Ki and Kibber Villages around Kaza.
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 questions or doubts that you may have and we can discuss more about your upcoming travel plans for Spiti Valley 🙂
Have a travel question?? 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.
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