It is often said that travelling to Spiti valley is like visiting another planet.
The fruit belts of Kinnaur and Sangla valleys in Himachal Pradesh are no less beautiful with their sprawling apple orchards.
Within the Kinnaur, Sangla and Spiti valleys, you will see a vast shift in culture, food and languages, there are about 9 dialects spoken in this area itself.
You will also see a shift in religious beliefs. While Hinduism is prevalent in most of the Kinnaur and Sangla valleys, Buddhism is practised in Spiti valley.
Dress CodeCasual, comfortable athletic clothing, hat and light jacket.
IncludedAirport pick up and drop offApplicable permits and park feesExperienced guideMealsSupport staff
Not Included8 nights accommodationAirplane transportDaily 90-minute yoga classEmergency evacuation and reroutingLand TransportationManta and whale shark snorkelingPersonal expensesSnorkeling with turtlesSoft and hard drinksSunset dolphin cruiseTippingTravel insuranceWater Transport
March to May is one of the best times to travel with lots of flowers in bloom, especially rhododendrons in the mountains. While the sky may not be crystal clear as during the autumn months, it is the second busiest season for travelling.
June to August is wet but the land and hills are covered with lush, full green forests and vegetation. The daily cloud coverage means that mountain views are not guaranteed but as very few people travel during this time it can present the perfect opportunity for people to explore the trails and nature in quiet.
September to November are the busiest months due to predictable weather and mostly clear skies. The landscape and mountain views are spectacular but the most popular trails can become quite busy.
The winter months of December to February are good to travel due to the clear skies and the reduced number of travellers. However, you should be prepared for cold temperatures.
We support you right from your first mail to us, to the planning stage till the time you arrive at the airport in India. Although it’s a custom-designed tour the planning usually does not take more than 2-3 exchange of emails.
Be assured that we will take care of you completely so that you can spend time doing what you are really here for – To enjoy your holiday in India.
Once you arrive at the airport, we will receive you and be with you at various stages of this tour. It will be not just a guide but a person from the local village who has good knowledge, passionate about his work and is friendly.
We will provide comfortable accommodations which will include hotels or homestays. All the accommodations will have sufficient clean bedding, warm water, and either family or staff to take care of you.
The food is vegetarian or non-vegetarian, hygienic and safe.
You will have clean western washrooms. WiFi or TV may or may not be available at most of these places are away from city life. However, you can always depend on the 3G connection.
5% of the money is directly given back to the community.
Our guides and custodians of knowledge are from the local community, thus we support their families.
We are discouraging use of plastic bottles on our trips.
We urge you to refrain from giving gifts or money to children or young adults in the village.
All the raw material for meals is sourced from local markets and villages thus reducing the carbon emission by transporting it from a distant city.
The taxis you use will be BS-IV carbon emission standard.
The performing artists and singers are handpicked from the local community rather than being invited from another city.
Your trip has been designed as per the international standards of responsible tourism – Cape Town Agreement 2002. Therefore it ensures that the money you pay has a direct social, economic and environmental benefit locally.
The cold and barren mountain desert of Spiti valley is an adventure in itself. Tiny picturesque villages, glacier-fed blue rivers and magnificent monasteries that dominate the landscape are what you can expect during this tour. Majority of the people of Spiti valley follow Buddhism.
For centuries traders have been using trading routes in Spiti valley to travel between Nepal, India, Tibet and China. Eventually, some of them started to settle here, and villages were formed.
Those who were once traders then ventured into farming and cattle rearing. Spiti valley is difficult to reach, which makes it so pristine and beautiful.
Many animals like Blue sheep, Ibex and Snow Leopard who have adapted to high altitude cold desert live in Spiti valley in their own habitats.
Within the Kinnaur, Sangla and Spiti valleys, you will see a vast shift in culture, food and languages. There are about 9 dialects spoken in this area itself. You will also see a shift in religious beliefs.
While Hinduism is prevalent in most of the Kinnaur and Sangla valleys, Buddhism is practised in Spiti valley.
We look forward to hosting you in our beautiful land soon. Spiti valley has many ancient trading routes that connect India with Nepal, Tibet and even China.
Over years, the tribes have settled in villages and started practising farming along with crafts. Spiti valley is in the rain shadow area of the Himalayas. As a result, it receives scanty rainfall, and most of its rivers are fed by Himalayan glaciers. The facilities in high altitude Himalayan Pin valley will be basic.
This tour is essentially a road trip through Kinnaur, Sangla and Spiti valley. It is designed to be executed in a way that you can experience the local culture but also spend significant time on adventurous road journeys.
From May onward, the mornings are pleasant with adequate sunshine and a little chill in the air. Nights are usually cold and you will require warm clothes. We will provide you with the necessary heating and adequate checklist during the planning of your tour.
Most of the tour will involve regular walking, hiking or travel by SUV. The tour is suitable for any age group including children and senior citizens.
Day 1 - 2: Shimla
The day will be available for you at leisure to acclimatize and explore the town while we get your permits processed. Shimla used to be the summer capital of British in northern India.
Therefore, it still has remains of many colonial buildings. Since the altitude of Spiti is as high as 4,500 mtr., we strongly suggest acclimatizing and travelling slowly.
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner | Stay: Homestay/ Hotel
Day 3 - 6: Kinnaur & Sangla Valley
These valleys are dotted with little fairytale mountain villages where we will stop each night. Apart from Apple, Pine nuts, Millet, Potato and Buckwheat are also grown in this region which gives the landscape its natural pink colour.
Follow the Sutlej River till the Jeori, from where we ascend further to Sarahan. We will visit the wood carved Bhimakali temple situated in Sarahan. We descend back to the Satluj Valley and follow the river into the Kinnaur region, which is again world famous for its own variety of apples.
We drive to Kharcham, where we bid adieu to the Satluj and head up into the spectacular gorge of the Baspa (Sangla) river and onwards into the fabled Sangla valley. The first outsiders to set foot in the Baspa Valley in early nineteenth century found it to be the most charming of all Himalayan valleys they had visited.
Spend the night slightly ahead of the Sangla town in more pristine villages. Visit Chitkul, which is the last village in the valley very close to the border of Tibet. From here we head to Kalpa and further to Tabo. The journey takes us from the lush Satluj Valley into the stark desert landscape of the Spiti valley.
On the way, you will also see a confluence of rivers where the colours of two different colours are clearly visible. You will be travelling on one of the World’s Most Dangerous Roads before entering Spiti valley.
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner | Stay: Homestay/ Hotel
Day 7 - 10: Spiti Valley
The monastery of Tabo is also known as the Ajanta of the Himalayas that celebrated 1000 years in 1996. We head on further to Dhankhar which was the erstwhile capital of Spiti. Dhankhar houses an ancient Monastery perched precariously between unique eroded structures eroded by wind.
It still has remains of the Dhankar Fort where the royal family once lived. The monastery has interesting wall murals and Thangkas, which are in urgent need for restoration.
The Dhankhar Monastery was recently declared as one of the 100 Most Endangered sites in the World, by ‘The World’s Monument Fund’.
One can trek to the Dhankhar Lake as time permits. Visit the Pin valley and further to the buffer of the Pin Valley National Park to a unique village of monks and nuns. During these few days, we also visit the Kungri monastery in Pin valley and head onto Demul village, the greenest villages of Spiti valley.
Demul is tucked safely between high mountains, and might have got its name from a local folklore. Travel across the alpine grazing pastures of the village livestock and hunting ground of Himalayan snow leopard. Visit the Komic monastery and Komic village which is Asia’s highest village.
Walk across the fields to understand the irrigation systems and agricultural practices in the highest villages of Asia. You can also participate in many activities like learning to make local yak cheese, ancient Tibetan medicine and more.
Visit the Hikkim village which has Asia’s highest post office where one can send off a postcard to family back home. We will visit Langza village which is known for its deposits of fossils that were formed when Himalayas were rising from the sea.
On our way back to Kaza we will take a short detour and visit Kee and Kibber villages as well.
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner | Stay: Homestay/ Hotel --
Day 12: Manali / Shimla
This journey is long but one of the most adventurous in the region and changing landscapes will keep you busy.
If time permits, we will also take a short detour to Chandratal before heading further to Manali.
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner | Stay: Homestay/ Hotel
The Folk TalesThe Folk Tales India's travel experiences in rural India are handcrafted with special emphasis on making a positive social, environmental and economic impact.
When you take one of our travel experiences, you contribute to local communities in preserving their cultural and environmental heritage, and in living a better life.
Through our storytelling, you experience a deep connection with the place and its people. We do not provide a sightseeing tour, but a culturally immersive experience through the hands-on activities and meaningful conversations.