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Spiti valley

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What you need to know about Spiti


Spiti Valley is a great destinations for gigantic mountains and buddhist culture enthusiasts.

It is a unique combination of the two, with wondrous set of scattered villages and buddhist monasteries situated in a high altitude cold desert.
Lahaul Spiti is a district located in the state of Himachal Pradesh, India. With its sparse population and astonishing trekking opportunities, this place is still unaffected by mass tourism.
Each and every village has its own magical experience. It will leave a permanent imprint in your mind as a traveller in search of genuine experience.

The picturesque is breathtaking, even the lowest part of valley is above 3200 metres. There are many monasteries where tibetan buddhism is practiced and thaught to young monks. You can get an opportunity to interact with them and share a bit of their life.

Travelling to Spiti leads us progressively from the 'Green Himalayas' to the 'Himalayas of high altitude deserts'. This is true that you might have limited local resources and so you really need to plan it properly.
We, at Himalayan Ecotourism, help you plan the Spiti itinerary and take care of all your necessities so you don’t have to face any inconvenience. We also offer budget travel for you, all you need to do is to send us an inquiry right away!



How to reach Spiti ?



Your trip to Spiti is only possible by road. The Spiti valley is accessible via either Shimla or Manali. Have a look at the Spiti map in the next section. The way via Shimla is longer but open through the year and it is also better for your acclimatization as you climb gradually, in at least two days. The way from Manali will be an option only when the high passes will be open, Rohtang and Kunzum passes. Kunzum pass will be the most restrictive as it is the highest (4550 m). It will be open depending on the snow conditions, in average from mid-june to end of September.

So you can reach Spiti either with a private car, on a motorcycle (Royal Enfield), by bicycle (you need to be quite fit) or even with local buses (not comfortable). Be aware that the road can be quite dangerous at some points, due to the bad conditions, possibilities of landslides, and even mountain streams crossing the road. The most difficult part streches from Batal to Chhatru in Lahaul. You can't go through this part of the road with any normal car as you need a very high ground clearance.

All our tours to Spiti are a loop that start in Shimla and end in Manali. It is a much better experience to do it that way. The entire loop will take at least 5 to 6 days if you want to visit the most imprtant places. But you should plan at least 8 days if you really want to enjoy your trip to Spiti.
how to reach Spiti

On the way to Spiti valley

Some of the road streches are quite impressive with incredibly steep gorges.




Spiti valley map

Map of the Spiti Valley and how to reach

You can see the entire loop from Shimla to Manali. Don't try to reach Spiti from Shimla in one day. Have at least a night break at Kalpa / Reckong Peo where foreigners will have to make their permit.


Spiti valley map

Map of Spiti - Legend

    Town
    Motorable road
    Trekking trail
    Monument
    Interesting village

    Camping spot
    Noticeable peak
    Mountain pass
    National Park




Spiti inner line permit


For Indian nationals, you don’t need any prerequisite permission but foreigners need to obtain a permit (Spiti inner line permit) from the government. Only a limited number of passes are issued every day, and that's good as Spiti is one of the most pristine locations globally. A limited number of tourists will preserve it form mass tourism.
But actually the real reason behind this need of a permit is the fact that Spiti has a long border with China.
Permit can be arranged at the DC office of Reckong Peo or the one in Manali.
Be aware that you won't be able to make your permit on Sundays and on government holidays. You don't need to worry about your permit when you travel with Himalayan Ecotourism as we arrange it for you. Copy of passport and visa will be required.



Spiti valley weather - Best time to go to


best time togo to spiti Spiti

Typical weather in Spiti

This is the kind of weather you have in July and August.


Spiti is situated at the edge of the Tibetan plateau, at an altitude ranging from 3200 m to about 6500 m.
Hence, Spiti has a continental climate, the winters are extremely cold whereas the summertime can be rather hot at the bottom of the valley.

As the Spiti valley is not affected by the monsoon, it is really nice to escape the rains by travelling to Spiti during the rainy season which is also the most pleasant time of the year.
So the best time to visit would be from mid-June to the end of September. During that time, you can do the entire Spiti loop from Shimla to Manali as the Rohtang and Kunzum passes will be open.
Indeed you can visit Spiti throughout the year, but outside the best time to go, you won’t be able to do the complete loop because the road from Manali closes as soon as the passes are blocked by snow. So, you will have to go and also come back via the road from Shimla and Reckong-Peo that stays open all around the year.

The amount of precipitation received every year in Spiti makes it a high altitude desert. The mountains are dry and barren. Only irrigated fields or even planted forests near the villages appear like green oasis in the middle of arid mountains. That’s what makes Spiti so special.
They are good chances that you will have a dry weather during your trip to Spiti, but you should still be ready for a shower anytime. During summer, this may come in the form of a thunderstorm, and in winter it would rather be a sudden snowfall.
Be aware, unfavourable weather conditions may add days to your pre-planned itinerary. It is advisable to have buffer days in your hand to face occasional delays.

Do let us know when do you want to experience your dream destination to Spiti Valley? Send us an inquiry today!
  • Jan

    Cold

    Snow

    Avoid
  • Feb

    Cold

    Snow

    Avoid
  • Mar

    Cold

    Snow

    Avoid
  • Apr

    Cold

    Snow

    Avoid
  • May

    Temperate

    Changing

    You may go
  • Jun

    Pleasant

    Sunny

    Best time to go
  • Jul

    Pleasant

    Sunny

    Best time to go
  • Aug

    Pleasant

    Sunny

    Best time to go
  • Sep

    Pleasant

    Sunny

    Best time to go
  • Oct

    Temperate

    Sunny

    Good to go
  • Nov

    Cold

    Changing

    Avoid
  • Dec

    Cold

    Sun / snow

    Avoid



Spiti valley tour


Let us organize your tour to Spiti. This will definitely optimize your experience and it save your holiday time from all the stress of arriving in such a secluded area.
Not only we will arrange your vehicle with a driver, all your night stay and meals but we will also provide a local guide who will be your door to discovering all the unique and misterious aspects of Spiti. Although we offer a couple of ready made tours, we can customize your entire trip to match your requirement in terms of duration and experience.

Have a look at our proposed tours to have a fair idea of what can be done in a given time. And also you could have a look at this page where we give you an exhaustive list of what you can do during your trip to Spiti.
All our tours are designed for the best season in Spiti, and they all start from Shimla to end at Manali. But yoou may prefer to visit Spiti in winter or to start from Manali.

Send us en enquiry with your specific requirement and you will get shortly in your mail box a tour itinerary that is excatly what you want.
Spiti tours packages

Spiti tours

Explore our selection of tours in Spiti

Read



Spiti valley stay


Homestay in Spiti

Homestay in Spiti

Lees comfortable than a hotel but such a good experience.


Where to stay when travelling to the Spiti valley ?
Should you stay in a hotel, a cheaper guesthouse, in homestay or even in a monastery ?
That only depends on the kind of experience you are looking for.

If sightseeing in Spiti in a comfortable way is what you are looking for, hotels would be probably the best option for you.
Or perhaps, what you like as a traveller is to meet other people and get yourself easily into discussions with unknow people from across India or the world. In this case, a good guesthouse will be the best choice.
Other travellers would prefer to meet the local people of Spiti at their home ! Homestays are the perfect choice for a real experience of the hospitality, the food and local lifestyle.

If you are not which one of the three options is for you, it probably means that you may like to have a mixed experience with a focus on comfort for some of the nights and life as a local for other nights !
Enquire with us and we will make it best for you !



Spiti valley photos


Spiti valley photo

Enjoying Spiti

You are a family with kids ? No worries, you are welcome !

Spiti valley photo

Buddhist monastery

The entire valley is scattered with beautiful buddhist monasteries.

Spiti valley photo

Traditional village

Here the village of Dhankar just above the Spiti river.

Spiti valley homestay photo

In a homestay

Your guide will help communicating with your host family.

Spiti river photo

Spiti river

The Spiti river before reaching Tabo, the first village of Spiti.

Spiti village photo

Village oasis

All the villages of Spiti appears like oasis in the middle of arid mountains.




Spiti valley video


spiti video

Spiti valley

Video about Spiti valley in French :-)



Recognition of Himalayan Ecotourism

Himalayan Ecotourism Awards

Our awards

Himalayan Ecotourism is the Overall Winner of the Indian Responsible Tourism Award 2019. We are also the Gold winner in the Best Adventure Operator category.
On the international scene, we have been declared winner of the Sustainable Tourism Award 2019 by Skal International and Biosphere.
Our cooperative-based model of social enterprise and our efforts to conserve the Himalayas are the main reasons for winning these awards.
Thank you to all our cooperative members, our customers, our friends and well-wishers !