OT Travel Itinerary: How To Spend The Perfect 7 Days In Spiti Valley

From the major monasteries to other key landmarks, native food and much more, explore every nook and cranny of Spiti Valley with this 7-day itinerary
A view of the Key Monastery, Spiti Valley
A view of the Key Monastery, Spiti ValleyShutterstock

Spiti Valley, located in the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh, is a beautiful conflation of natural beauty and cultural heritage. Surrounded by the Himalayas, this remote region offers stunning landscapes, ancient monasteries, and charming villages. The barren, dry terrain contrasts with vibrant Buddhist monasteries such as Key and Tabo. Spiti's high-altitude desert environment, clear rivers, and peaceful lakes provide a perfect setting for trekkers and adventure lovers. The valley's unique fusion of Indian and Tibetan cultures and its secluded nature make it a must-visit destination for those seeking peace and a break from city life's hustle and bustle. Towards this end, we have curated a perfect 7-day itinerary to the mountainous region, which will take you to all its major offerings.

Day 1

Morning: Drive to Spiti Valley from Manali

Beautiful Chandratal Lake in the Lahaul and Spiti district
Beautiful Chandratal Lake in the Lahaul and Spiti districtShutterstock

Get an early start from Manali to Spiti Valley. The drive will be quite long, approximately 8-10 hours, but it will treat you to stunning views of the Rohtang Pass and Kunzum Pass. Make sure to keep your camera handy to capture the breathtaking landscapes, snow-capped mountains, and pristine rivers along the way.

Afternoon: Visit Key Monastery

Key Monastery near the town of Kaza, Himachal Pradesh
Key Monastery near the town of Kaza, Himachal PradeshShutterstock

After you arrive in Spiti, visit Key Monastery, one of the most iconic landmarks in the valley. This ancient Tibetan Buddhist monastery is located on a hilltop, offering breathtaking panoramic views of the valley. Take some time to explore the monastery's unique architecture, ancient murals, and scriptures. Also, don't miss the chance to interact with the monks and learn more about their way of life.

Evening: Dinner at a Local Eatery in Kaza

Settle in Kaza for the night and savour a traditional Tibetan dinner. Enjoy local delicacies such as Thukpa (Tibetan noodle soup), Momos (dumplings), and Butter Tea. Rest well while acclimating to the high altitude.

Day 2

Morning: Visit Dhankar Monastery and Dhankar Lake

A view of Dhankar Monastery
A view of Dhankar Monastery Shutterstock

Start your day with a visit to Dhankar Monastery, which is perched precariously on a cliff. This ancient monastery offers stunning views of the confluence of Spiti and Pin rivers. After exploring the monastery, you can trek to Dhankar Lake, about 1.5 hours away. The lake, surrounded by majestic mountains, is perfect for some tranquil moments and photography.

Afternoon: Lunch at Sakya Abode Hotel

Return to Kaza and enjoy a delicious lunch at Sakya Abode Hotel, savouring authentic Spitian cuisine made from local ingredients in a cosy setting.

Evening: Explore Kaza Market

Street view of main market of Kaza
Street view of main market of KazaShutterstock

In the evening, take some time to visit the local market in Kaza. You can purchase souvenirs such as traditional Tibetan jewellery, prayer flags, and local handicrafts. Take the opportunity to engage with the locals and gain insight into their daily life in this secluded valley. Finally, conclude your day with a light dinner at a local café.

Day 3

Morning: Visit Hikkim Village

A bird's eye view of Hikkim Village
A bird's eye view of Hikkim VillageShutterstock

On your third day, drive to Hikkim, which is home to the world's highest post office. You can send postcards from here to your friends and family, creating a unique memento of your trip. Take some time to explore the village and interact with the friendly locals to learn about their high-altitude lifestyle.

Afternoon: Lunch at Langza Village

A statue of Lord Buddha overlooking the valley at Langza Village
A statue of Lord Buddha overlooking the valley at Langza VillageShutterstock

Head to Langza Village, known for its ancient fossils and the magnificent Buddha statue overlooking the valley. Have lunch at a local homestay, savouring traditional Spitian dishes like Chana Madra and Tsampa.

Evening: Stargazing in Komic Village

Head to Komic, one of the highest villages in the world. As night falls, enjoy a spectacular stargazing experience. The clear skies of Spiti offer an unparalleled view of the Milky Way and countless stars. Return to Kaza for the night.

Day 4

Morning: Visit Tabo Monastery

A view of stupa at Tabo Monastery
A view of stupa at Tabo MonasteryShutterstock

Drive to Tabo and visit the Tabo Monastery, which is over a thousand years old. Known as the "Ajanta of the Himalayas," this monastery is renowned for its ancient murals and stucco sculptures. Spend the morning exploring its nine temples and meditation caves.

Afternoon: Lunch at Tabo

Have lunch at a local restaurant in Tabo. Sample traditional dishes such as Tingmo (steamed bread) and Chhurpi (dried yak cheese). Take a leisurely stroll around the village and soak in its peaceful atmosphere.

Evening: Explore Tabo Village

In the evening, explore the charming Tabo village. Engage with locals at the shops and immerse in the tranquil ambience of Tabo, perfect for unwinding and reflecting. Spend the night in Tabo.

Day 5

Morning: Trek to Pin Valley National Park

Inside the Pin Valley National Park
Inside the Pin Valley National ParkShutterstock

Begin your day early with a trek to Pin Valley National Park. The park is home to a variety of wildlife, including the elusive snow leopard and Siberian ibex. Take in the pristine natural beauty and observe the diverse flora and fauna of the park.

Afternoon: Picnic Lunch in Pin Valley

Have a picnic lunch amidst the stunning landscapes of Pin Valley. The tranquillity and the panoramic views make it a perfect spot for relaxation and enjoying nature.

Evening: Return to Kaza

Return to Kaza in the evening. Relax at your accommodation and have a quiet dinner. Try local dishes like Churpe (dried cheese) and Thenthuk (noodle soup).

Day 6

Morning: Visit Kibber Village

On your sixth day in Spiti, visit Kibber Village, which is one of the highest motorable villages in the world. You can explore the village, its ancient monastery, and the surrounding Kibber Wildlife Sanctuary, home to several rare species, including the blue sheep and the snow leopard.

Afternoon: Lunch at Kibber

Have lunch at a local homestay or guesthouse in Kibber and savour homemade Spitian cuisine while learning about the traditional lifestyle of the villagers.

Evening: Visit Chicham Bridge

A view of Chicham Bridge
A view of Chicham BridgeShutterstock

In the evening, visit Chicham Bridge, Asia's highest bridge. The bridge offers breathtaking views of the gorge below. Spend some time taking in the scenery and capturing photographs. Return to Kaza for the night.

Day 7

Morning: Drive Back to Manali

Start your journey back to Manali early in the morning and savour the scenic drive while taking in the last views of the stunning landscapes of Spiti Valley.

Afternoon: Lunch on the Way

Stop for lunch at a roadside café or dhaba along the way. Enjoy simple yet delicious North Indian food while reflecting on your incredible journey through Spiti.

Evening: Arrive in Manali

Arrive in Manali in the evening. Check into your hotel and relax after the long drive. Enjoy a leisurely dinner at a local restaurant and reminisce about the wonderful experiences and memories you've made in Spiti Valley.

Getting There

Air: The closest airport to Manali, which is the easiest juncture to reach Spiti Valley, is Bhuntar in Kullu, which is 50 km away from Manali.

Rail: The closest train station to Manali is Ambala Cantt, which is 200 km away.

Road: Buses are a good option if you want to travel to Manali on a budget. The distance is 570km from Delhi, the capital of India, and there are buses connecting the two cities with very good frequency.

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