Spiti Valley in 2 Weeks – How to Plan your Trip and Explore?

by Vargis.Khan

When I get asked about the minimum time required to visit Spiti valley, my answer is always 9 days. When someone asks me what number should be sufficient to see it all, I always tell them to plan for 11 or 12 days. But what if you have lesser than 9 or more than 12 days in hand? In that case, you will either be rushing through the journey or spending too much time in the valley. Rushing through sounds a little hectic but having more time is no hassle at all. Spiti valley is a magic; an enchantment that will leave you wishing for more. Whether you were traveling to Spiti valley in 2 weeks or even more; you will still either want to stay a little bit longer or come back again.

If you too were planning to visit Spiti in near future; and have a good 2 weeks time to explore it completely; then in this article I will provide details on how you can do so. I will suggest a few set of itineraries that you can follow, completing the journey in different ways. If after reading the article you have any other questions or need my help with your own itinerary, then you may comment and ask towards the bottom of this page.

spiti valley in 2 weeks

How to reach Spiti valley and when to go is usually the first question that comes to mind; so let me first cover this part. Contrary to common belief, Spiti valley remains open for tourism throughout the year. Yes, that is correct. You can plan a trip here anytime, even in peak winters. So when to go will actually depend on what exactly are you looking for.

If you wanted to see a white snow-covered Spiti then Jan or Feb will be best. Month of August and September will be best if you want to see the lush green hills of Kinnaur and around Shimla and Manali.




If you want to see a bit of snow but not too much then April or May will be good enough. For someone wanting to travel on the entire circuit then any month from June till early October will do. If you want to have the fun of trailing down on extremely bad roads with numerous water crossings and rain beating down on you then July or August is the time to go. So in the end, it will really be your own personal choice or convenience that will count.

Also read: How to Plan a Trip to Spiti Valley

Now let us talk about how to go. Spiti can be accessed two ways. You can either reach here via Shimla or Manali. The road from Shimla remains open all 12 months except for occasional temporary roadblocks caused by extreme weather. However, even if that happens, authorities start restoration work immediately and clear the road just as soon as they are able to. Depending on your itinerary and places you want to cover; total distance traveled from Shimla to Kaza will be well over 500 kilometers; and will take you at least 2 days to cover.

On the other hand, the road from Manali is the shorter of the two. It is a distance of about 200 kilometers that you can easily cover in about 8-9 hours; hence reaching Kaza from Manali on the same day. This short distance however will also take you through some extremely bad roads and across two high altitude passes; Rohtang La and Kunzum La. Both these passes are notorious for receiving high amounts of snow each year due to which this road is open only from June till September. For rest of the time, it remains blocked and snowed out.

Also read: Lahaul Spiti Road Map and Route Details

Spiti Valley in 2 Weeks

So keeping the above in mind, I will suggest three different type of itineraries. The first one will be covering the entire circuit but can only be done from June till early October. Second itinerary will start at Shimla and then end at Shimla only. This travel plan can be followed the entire year, irrespective of the month of your travel. Third itinerary will be for someone who just want to cover the Manali Kaza route and spend time only in Spiti valley; skipping the Kinnaur side of the journey.

For the sake of this itinerary, I will assume that you are starting from Delhi. If you were coming from a different city, then only the travel for first and last day will be different. Rest of the plan will remain the same.

Spiti Valley 2 Weeks Itinerary
  • Delhi to Shimla / Narkanda – Day 1
  • Shimla / Narkanda to Sarahan – Day 2
  • Sarahan to Sangla – Day 3
  • Sangla to Chitkul – Day 4
  • Chitkul to Kalpa – Day 5
  • Kalpa to Nako – Day 6
  • Nako to Tabo / Dhankar – Day 7
  • Tabo / Dhankar to Mudh Village – Day 8
  • Mudh Village to Kaza – Day 9
  • Kaza – Day 10
  • Kaza to Chandratal – Day 11
  • Chandratal to Keylong / Jispa – Day 12
  • Keylong / Jispa to Manali – Day 13
  • Manali to Delhi

I will provide a brief description of the itinerary below. For a list of places that you should visit at all these places, I will recommend that you read Tourist Attractions in Spiti Valley and along the Circuit.

Spiti Valley in 14 Days

Below is a day by day breakdown of the journey.

Delhi to Shimla / Narkanda

There is not much to write about this day really. It will be a long and monotonous journey of about 9 to 10 hours; depending upon your speed and breaks. Total distance traveled will be slightly over 400 kilometers; and the only good part is that the road conditions will be smooth. There is some road widening work going on between Shimla and Chandigarh so you may face some slow traffic in between. Then of course, you will be stuck in the crowded city of Shimla and its traffic.

I personally prefer staying at Narkanda because I find Shimla a bit too commercialized these days. It does not really give the feeling of a tourist destination anymore. You can chose to either stay at Shimla or Narkanda but I will recommend the latter. If you reached well in time then you can also visit Hatu Peak at Narkanda before sundown. There are good amount of hotels at Narkanda and you will easily find a place to stay.

Shimla / Narkanda to Sarahan

Journey from today onward will not be too long until the last day when you go back home so you may take your own time leaving the bed every morning. Destination for today is Sarahan which is about 100 kilometers from Narkanda and will take 3 to 4 hours to complete. Before leaving Narkanda however, you may want to visit the nearby Hatu Peak. A visit to Hatu and back to Narkanda will take you a couple of hours at most.

Also read: Why you should travel to Spiti via Shimla?

From Narkanda, drive down to the banks of Sutlej River and continue to Jeori via Rampur. At Jeori main chowk, you will notice a narrow road climbing up to your right. This is the one you need to take to reach Sarahan. Ask around if you do not find this road there. From Jeori, you will drive up 16 kilometers to reach Sarahan and stay there for the night. Before hitting the bed though, do not forget to visit the famous Bhimakali temple. There is also a bird sanctuary at Sarahan that you may visit if it was open at your time of arrival. Road conditions for most part of this day will be good.

Sarahan to Sangla

Destination for today will be the beautiful Sangla valley and you will be staying for the night at the small town of Sangla. From Sarahan, you will have to drive back down to Jeori. That’s right, there is no direct road from Sarahan to Sangla and you must drive 16 kilometers down to Jeori; back to the spot where you took the right turn yesterday. From Jeori,  drive to Karcham and when you are at the dam, leave the main highway and cross the bridge to the other side. Sangla and Chitkul too are not on the main highway and you will have to drive about 40 kilometers in another direction.

Total distance from Sarahan to Sangla will be 90 kilometers and travel time will be about 3 to 4 hours. Roads from here on will be a mix of good, bad and ugly. There are several hotels at Sangla and you will have no problem finding a place to stay. At Sangla, you can visit the local Kamru fort.

Also read: Best Hotels in Spiti Valley

Sangla to Chitkul

There are a few ways that you can spend this day. Chitkul is merely about 25 kilometers from Sangla. So you can either start in the morning, drive to Chitkul and return to Sangla for the night. Or you can just drive to Chitkul and stay at any of the hotels there. At Chitkul, you can either just spend the day relaxing; or you can go on a shot 4 to 5 hours trek to Rani Kanda. Talk to any of the locals around and you will easily find a guide to take you out on this trek. We are talking about the trek here that goes from Chitkul to Gangotri via Rani Kanda, Dumti and Lamkhaga Pass. You will only however trek till Rani Kanda which is about 9 to 10 kilometers away from Chitkul.

It is completely your choice. You can either just relax and enjoy the beauty around you because you have sufficient time for Spiti trip. Or you can be a bit adventurous and head out to explore more.

Chitkul to Kalpa

On this day, you will travel only about 65 kilometers and the destination will be Kalpa. Road conditions will be mostly OK and travel time will be no more than 3 at most. Travel all the way back to Karcham, cross the bridge again and continue towards Reckong Peo. Now like Chitkul, Reckong Peo and Kalpa as well are not on the main highway.

A few kilometers after Powari, there will be a petrol pump where you should tank up as the next petrol pump will be in Kaza. A little after this petrol pump, there will be a road going uphill to your left. Take this road and you will first reach Reckong Peo and then another 10 kilometers to Kalpa. This is a steep climb and very steep at some places in Kalpa; but the majestic view of Kinner Kailash that you will get from Kalpa makes it all worth it.

Also read: How to Prepare your motorcycle for Spiti Trip?

There are a lot of hotels in Kalpa and you will easily find a place to stay. In order to get to the hotels though, cross the main Kalpa chowk and keep climbing up. There will be a couple of very narrow roads in between but keep moving up and you will start seeing all the hotels.

Kalpa to Nako

The journey for this day as well will be not too long but will be on some really bad roads. You will travel slightly over a 100 kilometers but because of the road conditions, it can very well take you up to 5 hours. I have been to Spiti multiple times and on this particular section of the road, there is always restoration work going on; that is how bad it gets here. This area is mostly all “shooting stones” region so if you were on motorcycles, be careful about where you stop. Even a small stone falling from the hill above could kill you if it hit your head.

From Kalpa, drive down again to the main highway via Reckong Peo. Last petrol pump as I mentioned is at Peo and after this, the next one is at Kaza so don’t forget to tank up if you did not the previous day. From Peo, continue towards Khab and then climb up to Nako via Ka. Hotels in Nako as well these days are in ample amount so you will have no problem finding a place to stay.

Also read: How to Prepare your Car for Spiti Trip?

Nako to Tabo / Dhankar

For this day, you can chose to stay at either Tabo or Dhankar. Both of the places have hotels to stay but Tabo is a little better in terms of options. Staying at Dhankar however will give the opportunity that you can use this day to trek to Dhankar lake; which takes about an hour to two. If you stayed at Tabo then you also have the choice of staying at the Monastery there. It is completely your choice and both of the places are equally good.

Tabo is about 63 kilometers from Nako and Dhankar is about 90. Roads will be mostly average and travel time will not be any more than 3 hours.

Tabo / Dhankar to Mudh Village

If you stayed at Dhankar on the previous day then today you can head straight to Mudh Village in Pin Valley. If however you stayed at Tabo; then another thing you can do is to start early from there and reach Dhankar Monastery. Spend some time at the monastery, leave your vehicle there and trek to Dhankar Lake. Be back in an hour and then be on your way towards Mudh Village.

In order to reach Mudh Village, you will have to reach Attargo bridge which is about 16 kilometers from Kaza. It is a huge bridge and there is a board marking it as an entrance to Pin Valley; so you will have no trouble spotting it. Cross the bridge and drive through the beautiful Pin Valley for 35 kilometers to Mudh Village. At Mudh, you can either stay at Tara Guest House or Ibex Guest House. If both of these were full then there are several other hotels there where you may stay.

For more details on the road that goes to Pin Valley and you can travel on it, please read How to Plan a Trip to Pin Valley?

Mudh Village to Kaza

Destination for today will be Kaza, headquarters of Spiti Valley. Distance traveled will be just about 50 kilometers so you are in no rush to start early. From Mudh, drive back to Attargo Bridge, turn left and then continue 16 kilometers to Kaza. Goes without saying, there is no shortage of hotels in Kaza and no matter what your budget is, you will easily find a place to stay. I will recommend staying at Hotel Spiti Valley, right opposite Kaza Monastery. It is on the main road itself so you won’t even have to enter the narrow streets of Kaza. Contact person is Tanzin and his number is 9418927312. Give my reference and he will take good care of you at discounted rates.

Kaza

You will spend this day at Kaza itself  and explore the nearby villages of Komik, Kibber, Langza, Hikkim, Tashigong and Chicham. On the way, you will also visit the famous Kye Monastery which is the largest and oldest monastery in Spiti; and is one of its prime attractions. For more details on how to visit these villages and a road map, please read How to Plan a Trip from Kaza to Kibber, Gette & Tashigong AND How to Plan a Trip from Kaza to Komik, Hikkim and Langza

While you are in Kaza town, do not forget to visit the beautiful Kaza Monastery. If you were staying at Hotel Spiti Valley, then the monastery will be right in front of the hotel, on the other side of the road. You should also take a walk at the local Kaza market at evening.

Kaza to Chandratal

Next destination in the itinerary is the famous Chandratal Lake which is also the star attraction of this entire journey. Spending a night here at the camps is must for everyone. In my opinion, a journey to Spiti valley is incomplete if Chandratal is not a part of it.

With that being said, after Kaza, you will truly understand the definition of the term “bad roads”. The entire stretch until Manali is a joy ride; but the 14 kilometers long road to Chandratal will have your heart jumping to your mouth if you were in a car. This entire stretch is extremely bad and is barely wide enough for a car.

After Kaza, you will take the road towards Losar and then climb up to Kunzum Pass. After crossing the top, as you climb down and about 2 kilometers before Batal, you will notice a narrow road towards your right. This is the road you need to take to reach Chandratal. There is also a board there marking this road.

Also read: How to Plan a Trip to Chandratal?

Chandratal to Keylong / Jispa

Towns of Keylong and Jispa are not really a part of Spiti valley. This part of Himachal actually falls under Lahaul district. But since you are not short on time and have another day to spare, spend this time exploring a little bit of Lahaul valley as well. From Chandratal, drive back 14 kilometers towards Kunzum Pass; back to the point where you took the turn yesterday. Continue then towards Batal. After Batal, it is one nightmare of the road for the next 60 kilometers, all the way till Gramphoo. You will be traveling through a completely broken road; full of boulders and numerous water crossings. The fun will end when you will exit on Manali Leh highway near Gramphoo; just after Rohtang top.

From Gramphoo, continue on Manali Leh highway towards Keylong. Now in terms of accommodation, Keylong has far better number of hotels; but when it comes to scenic beauty, Jispa is far more beautiful. There are a couple of hotels and camp sites at Jispa where I will recommend that you stay. If you would rather prefer a cemented hotel than you can stay at Keylong.

Also read: What Clothes to Pack for Spiti Trip?

Keylong / Jispa to Manali

Today you will reach Manali after crossing Rohtang Pass. But before you do that, I will recommend that you do a bit of more exploring and add another pass to your trip. This will be the notorious Baralacha La. While going to the pass, you will also be seeing two more lakes on the way, Deepak and Suraj Taal.

In order to reach Baralacha La, from Jispa you will have to drive towards Sarchu and then further to Leh. Drive al the way to the top of Baralacha La. Suraj Taal is located at the top of the pass. Spend some time there and then start your return journey. You will again reach Jispa, then Keylong and then back to Gramphoo. After Gramphoo, climb up to Rohtang Pass and then reach Manali by evening.

Manali to Delhi

Once again, nothing much to say about this day of the trip. It will be a long and tiring journey of 14 – 15 hours of driving back to Delhi; unless you are really lucky and live in a closer city like Chandigarh.

Also read: How to Handle Acute Mountain Sickness in Spiti Valley

And that will bring to an end to your amazing 14 days long trip to Spiti valley. The journey can of course be done in several other ways. You have plenty of time in hand and you can explore any way you want. You can add or remove destinations per your own preference; but I will suggest a few other alternate ways of the journey.

Spiti Valley 14 Days Itinerary
  • Delhi to Chail – Day 1
  • Chail to Narkanda – Day 2
  • Narkanda to Sarahan – Day 3
  • Sarahan to Sangla – Day 4
  • Sangla to Chitkul – Day 5
  • Chitkul to Kalpa – Day 6
  • Kalpa to Nako – Day 7
  • Nako to Tabo / Dhankar – Day 8
  • Tabo / Dhankar to Mudh Village – Day 9
  • Mudh Village to Kaza – Day 10
  • Kaza – Day 11
  • Kaza to Chandratal – Day 12
  • Chandratal to Manali – Day 13
  • Manali to Delhi – Day 14
14 Days Itinerary for Spiti Valley
  • Delhi to Narkanda – Day 1
  • Narkanda to Sarahan – Day 2
  • Sarahan to Chitkul – Day 3
  • Chitkul to Kalpa – Day 4
  • Kalpa to Nako – Day 5
  • Nako to Mudh Village – Day 6
  • Mudh to Kaza – Day 7
  • Kaza to Kibber – Day 8
  • Kibber to Komik / Langza / Hikkim – Day 9
  • Hikkim / Langza to Kaza – Day 10
  • Kaza to Chandratal – Day 11
  • Chandratal to Manali – Day 12
  • Manali to Delhi – Day 13
  • Buffer Day – Day 14

If you have an alternate plan in your mind and want my advice on it then you may ask in the comments section below.

Also read: Mobile Network and Data Connectivity in Spiti Valley

Shimla to Spiti Valley 14 Days Itinerary

Now all the above itineraries will have you starting from Shimla and ending the trip at Manali. But what if the Manali Kaza road was not open? In that case, you will start the trip from Shimla and then circle back to Shimla only. You can then plan your itinerary like this.

  • Delhi to Narkanda – Day 1
  • Narkanda to Sarahan – Day 2
  • Sarahan to Chitkul – Day 3
  • Chitkul to Nako – Day 4
  • Nako to Tabo / Dhankar – Day 5
  • Tabo / Dhankar to Mudh – Day 6
  • Mudh to Kaza – Day 7
  • Kaza to Kibber – Day 8
  • Kibber to Komik / Langza / Hikkim – Day 9
  • Langza / Hikkim to Kaza – Day 10
  • Kaza to Kalpa – Day 11
  • Kalpa to Shimla – Day 12
  • Shimla to Delhi – Day 13
  • Buffer Day – Day 14

On a few days, I have recommended staying at the villages of Hikkim, Langza, Kibber and Komik. These are remote villages that you will have to reach from Kaza. The benefit however is that these villages are way more scenic than Kaza town and will actually give you a true taste of Spiti life.

There are no hotels at these villages really and you will be staying as a paying guest. For this, you will have to walk around in the village and talk to a few people about letting you stay as a paying guest. In a 14 days long trip, I will highly recommend that you spend some time living at these villages with the locals; and explore the area around. Do not get lost somewhere though while wandering around.

Spiti Valley 14 Days Travel Plan from Manali

IF you would like to plan this trip from Manali side only; and are not interested in exploring Kinnaur valley then the itinerary can be changed to something like below.

  • Delhi to Manali – Day 1
  • Manali – Day 2 (Arrange permits for Rohtang Pass and local sightseeing)
  • Manali to Kaza – Day 3
  • Kaza – Day 4
  • Kaza to Mudh Village – Day 5
  • Mudh to Nako – Day 6
  • Nako to Kaza – Day 7
  • Kaza to Kibber – Day 8
  • Kibber to Komik / Hikkim / Langza – Day 9
  • Komik to Kaza – Day 10
  • Kaza to Chandratal – Day 11
  • Chandratal to Manali – Day 12
  • Manali to Delhi – Day 13
  • Buffer Day – Day 14
By Public Transport

If you were not traveling to Spiti by your own vehicle and were going to rely on public transport; even then you can follow the itineraries mentioned above. All the places mentioned are very well connected by regular bus service or shared taxis. For more details on how you can plan this journey by public transport; the bus schedules and timings, shared taxis etc, please read How to Travel to Spiti by Public Transport. At this article, I have explained the same itineraries but while relying on buses and shared taxis.

Another article I will recommend reading is Bus Service in Spiti Valley – Timings and Schedules.

Conclusion

I hope the information above on visiting Spiti Valley in 2 weeks was of help. As I mentioned, these were just a few sample itineraries but should at least give you an idea on how you can plan your journey. If neither of these itineraries look right to you; then feel free to ask in the comments section below; or at our Community Forum; and I will be happy to suggest something different.

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2 comments

Avatar
Tirthankar July 8, 2018 - 4:42 am

I will be travelling Spiti in September, Mostly using public transport and shared car.
Here is my plan-
5/09/18 Delhi(overnight)
Recongpeo
Nako
Dhankar
Kaza
Key Monastery
Hikim
Kaza (Rest / Back-up Day)
Chandratal
Manali
15/09/2018 Delhi(over night)

Any suggestion?

Reply
Avatar
Vargis.Khan July 8, 2018 - 7:40 am

Yes it is definitely doable if that is what you are asking.

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