7 Day Road Trip
DECEMBER - APRIL 2020
Road Trip Highlights
Cost per person
Winter, which embraces Spiti Valley in the first week of November, and stays on until the fourth week of March, is a cold, harsh and tough time in the valley. While it may not be the easiest time to travel through Spiti Valley valley, it certainly is the most rewarding time to come visit.
Everything – every house, hamlet, road and village – dons a cloak of white. The cottony snow is constant - stretching on for as far as the eye can see. The horizon is a myth, for you can never tell where land ends and the skies begin.
As winter sets in, Spiti Valley assumes a timeless nature – like an enchanting postcard waiting for you to dive right in. With temperatures going below -20 degrees centigrade, the Spiti river has more or less frozen up. A few defiant streams tirelessly cut through the ice, giving a surreal glazed feel to the basin.
During these months, the famous Manali – Rohtang Pass – Kunzum La – Kaza road closes due to heavy snowfall. Hence, the only way of reaching Spiti Valley is through the Hindustan – Tibet Highway (Shimla – Kalpa – Kaza). You will be using this road both ways – to enter and exit Spiti Valley.
This curated seven-day Spiti Valley Winter Expedition is designed for travellers for an authentic Spiti Valley tour through the winter months. Shared by a small group of travellers, this Spiti Valley Winter Expedition includes travelling in comfortable and safe Force Traveler to some of the most popular villages of Spiti Valley including Asia’s highest villages – Komik and Kibber. Marvel at the wondrous structures of the Ki Monastery and Tabo Monastery shrouded in snow.View Full Itinerary
We begin this Spiti Valley Winter Expedition by hitting the road from Shimla. We pass through popular towns of Sarahan and Rampur-Bushahr before entering the spectacular Kinnaur Valley. Before entering Kalpa at 7549 feet, we catch a glimpse the famous Kinner Kailash Peak – said to be the summer adobe of Lord Shiva.
At Kalpa, you will warm up with a piping cup of tea before checking into your warm hotel room.
Overnight at a hotel in Kalpa.
After a comfortable night’s rest at Kalpa, we set off on the famous Hindustan-Tibet Highway. Famed for its spectacular views and proximity to Tibet, this road snakes north into Nako, the last hamlet of Kinnaur district.
We have a steaming hot lunch at Nako, before entering the magical Spiti Valley. Here, we spend the night at a comfortable and authentic homestay in Tabo.
Overnight at a homestay in Tabo.
We start the day with a visit to the 1021 – year old Tabo Monastery, UNESCO World Heritage Site. Walk around this sacred site and gain a deeper understanding of Buddhism. Unlike other monasteries in Spiti Valley, the Tabo monastery is located at the bottom of the valley.
From Tabo, we drive to the spectacular Pin Valley. Imagine a national park with an abundance of animals and birds, with some rare plant varieties and a river that is frozen. Pin Valley promises all this. 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 homestay in Kaza.
We begin the fourth day, with a drive to renowned Ki Monastery. The car will first stop at the base of the monastery hill for the ultimate photo opportunity of this remarkable structure amid white snow. 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 snowy 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 traversible only by a suspended wire cable basket system known as a Jula. We drive back to Kaza for the night.
Overnight at a homestay in Kaza.
On the fifth day of this Spiti Valley Winter Expedition, 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, mostly cut-off from the rest of the world during this part of the year. If accessible during this tour, we will make the drive to Komik. 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 frosty-white 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.
Overnight at a homestay in Kaza.
The sixth day marks the beginning of the end of this expedition. We make our way south towards Kinnaur Valley. Along this journey, you can get to capturing some scenic visions that you might have missed out on your camera. After a scenic and memorable drive, we will end the journey at Kalpa.
Overnight stay at a hotel in Kalpa.
The last leg of this 7 Day Winter Expedition is here. We drive for Shimla with a bag of delightful memories and exciting stories to recount.
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 - Pin Valley - Mudh - Kazza
Drive from Kaza - Ki Monastery - Kibber - Kaza
Drive from Kaza - Komik - Hikkim - Langza - Kaza
Drive from Kaza - Kalpa
Drive from Kalpa - Shimla
It was an awesome experience with Spiti Holiday Adventure. Some lovely bunch of people organising tours for you. The entire staff is friendly, jolly, committed, sincere and treat you very special. Big heart to Ramesh Lotey and Rahul to make this Spiti Winter Expedition an everlasting, irreplaceable memory for me. The entire arrangement including stays at various locations, travel, meals and snacks was copacetic throughout. Grateful to have been a part of this grand reality.
I have had a very good experience with them. They are very accommodating and allow us the flexibility if we want to make our own bookings at some places. I would highly recommend them for Spiti valley tour. They have really good experience in it.
The trip to Spiti in Winters with Spiti Holiday Adventure was brilliant. I had the most amazing time over the entire week. Although the weather and terrain were so harsh, every tiny detail was taken care of so well by the team- be it comfort in the vehicle, the hospitality in the homestays or the sightseeing. Special shout out to Ramesh ji and Sonam ji who were such brilliant hosts all through the trip. We chatted a lot and got to know so much more about them and life in the valley. They would never say 'no' for anything. In fact on the morning of Holi, Sonam and I went in search of holi colours in the almost shut Kaza market. Small things like these were what made the trip so special and memorable.