Spiti Valley in 7 Days – How to Plan Your Trip

by Vargis.Khan

When it comes to visiting Spiti Valley in 7 Days; the first question that comes to mind is whether or not the entire circuit can be completed.  Even though the duration is a little less and the journey will be a bit rushed; the answer is that yes, this trip can be done in a week’s time. Based on my own experience though, I would recommend adding at least 2 more days to the journey and make it for a total of 9 days. The most important thing we need to remember here is that a trip to Spiti is not really an everyday affair. You wouldn’t know when you will be here next; so while you are, ensure that you make the most out of your time and cover as many places as possible.

Also read: How to Plan a Trip to Spiti Valley – Complete Travel Guide

With that being said, being away for way too many days from our regular lives and jobs is not really an option for everyone. If 7 days is all that you can manage for your trip to Spiti valley, then in this article I will suggest a few ways how you should plan your journey.

spiti valley in 7 days

Contrary to common belief, Spiti Valley actually remains connected and accessible by road through out the year. There are two ways that you can reach Kaza. The longer but the easier route is from Shimla via Reckong Peo, Pooh, Nako, Tabo and Dhankar. The shorter but tougher route is from Manali via Rohtang La, Gramphoo, Batal, Kunzum La and Losar.




When you travel from Shimla to Spiti Valley, there is not even a single high altitude pass on the way. So even in the months of peak winters, the road never truly gets blocked. There are of course exceptions if the weather turned extreme and it snowed heavily. Even in this case though, authorities clear the road just as soon as they are able to.

Also read: Spiti Valley Road – Opening and Closing Times

The route from Manali however takes you across two high altitude passes, Rohtang and Kunzum; both of which are known for receiving high amount of snow each year. Due to this, the road between Manali and Kaza remains open for just 4 months a year; from June till September. So if you are keen on completing the entire Spiti circuit, then apart from the number of days from the trip; you will also have to be very careful about the month that you want to plan the trip in.

How to Visit Spiti Valley in 7 Days?

Keeping this in mind, I will suggest3 different itineraries for the trip; which in my experience can be considered as an ideal way to travel. First itinerary will take you across the entire circuit but can only be followed when Manali Kaza route is open. Second itinerary is from Shimla only. You will reach Kaza via Shimla and go back the same way in case Manali Kaza route is closed. Third itinerary will be from Manali only. This plan too can only be followed in the months of June till September. You will reach Kaza via Manali and return home the same way.

For the sake of this article, I will assume that you are traveling from Delhi. If you are traveling from a different place, then the travel details for first and last day would be different, rest would remain the same. Second assumption for the first 3 itineraries is that you are traveling by your own vehicle, either a car or a motorcycle. If you were however thinking of journeying by public transport; then I will suggest a different travel plan for that towards the end of this article.

Also read: Spiti Circuit Route Details with Road Map

Spiti Valley 7 Days Itinerary

The below mentioned first itinerary is for completing the entire Spiti circuit in 7 days.

  • Delhi to Narkanda – Day 1
  • Narkanda to Kalpa – Day 2
  • Kalpa to Kaza – Day 3
  • Kaza to Kibber / Komik / Langza / Hikkim to Kaza – Day 4
  • Kaza to Chandratal – Day 5
  • Chandratal to Manali – Day 6
  • Manali to Delhi – Day 7

In the first three days of the journey, you will reach Kaza from Delhi; 1 Day you will spend in Kaza for local sightseeing; and then travel back to Delhi in last three days of the trip. Travel time on all these days will remain close to 7-8 hours a day (except for Manali to Delhi) depending upon your speed and breaks. But since we are short on time, there is really no way around this.

Delhi to Narkanda

Start early from Delhi on Day 1, possibly by 4-5 AM to avoid the morning Delhi traffic. Take NH1 then to travel all the way till Ambala. About 20 kilometers after Ambala and just before Chandigarh, turn right and take Himalayan Expressway to avoid Kalka and reach Shimla. After Shimla, continue another 60 odd kilometers to reach Narkanda and stay there for the night. I personally prefer staying at Narkanda because it is not crowded like Shimla and it also reduces your travel time on Day 2. If you made it to Narkanda before 4 PM, I will recommend that you continue traveling and halt for the night at Rampur, another 65 kilometers ahead. Road conditions for entire day will be a mix of good and average; total distance traveled will be around 400 kilometers till Narkanda.

Also read: Top 10 Things NOT to do in Spiti Valley?

Narkanda to Kalpa

On Day 2, continue towards Rampur from Narkanda. Most of your  traveling on this day will be right along River Satluj. Road conditions will remain good until Jeori but will start to deteriorate after that. Total kilometers traveled will be only around 170 kilometers but will take you around 6 hours easily due to bad roads.

Kalpa to Kaza

I will recommend starting early on this day because it could be a long journey because of bad roads again. Between Reckong Peo and Pooh will be a really bad section of the road but will improve after that. Between Pooh and Nako is mostly good; and just about average between Nako and Kaza. Total distance traveled will be around 200 kilometers but will take you 7-8 hours at least.

Also read: Kaza – Sightseeing, Accommodation and Other Facilities

Kaza to Kibber / Komik / Langza / Hikkim to Kaza

For this day, you will stay in Kaza and make a day trip to the nearby villages of Spiti Valley.  Do not check out of the hotel and leave all your luggage there as you will be returning back to Kaza by evening. Start early from Kaza so you can cover maximum places. If you covered all the 4 villages of Kibber, Komik, Langza and Hikkim, it will be around 100 odd kilometers in total. The entire journey however will be on dirt trails as there is no road up here. For completed details on how to visit these villages and a road map of the areas, see the two articles below please.

Kaza to Chandratal

From here on, you will start your return journey home while visiting Chandratal on the way. From Kaza, continue towards Losar and climb up Kunzum Pass. Once you reach the top of the pass, start descending down towards Batal and a couple of kilometers later, you will notice a board on your right pointing towards a narrow road that goes all the way to Chandratal. This is a narrow 14 kilometers road barely wide enough for one car so please be careful while driving on it. There are several camp sites at Chandratal that you can stay at of which, I will recommend Jamaica’s camps the best. For details on these camps and other tips on traveling to Chandratal, please see the article below. Distance traveled will be around 115 kilometers but will easily take you 6 hours at least.

Chandratal to Manali

Today you will be traveling on one of the worst roads you ever encountered in your life; the notorious Batal Gramphoo stretch. Entire distance between Chandratal and Manali is just around 120 kilometers but it is bound to take you around 8 hours to complete it; that’s how slow you will go at several places. You will cross so many water streams that you will lose the count. Once you reach Gramphoo, climb up to the top of Rohtang Pass and then down to Manali.

Manali to Delhi

Nothing much to say about this day except for that this will be one long and monotonous journey. Distance traveled will be around 540 kilometers that can easily take 14-15 hours depending upon your speed and breaks so start early from Manali.

Spiti Valley 1 Week Itinerary

The above itinerary however can only be followed between the months of June till September when Manali Kaza road is open. In all other months, you will not be able to complete the circuit and will have to take Shimla route for journey home as well. In that case, Itinerary followed can be as mentioned below.

  • Delhi to Narkanda – Day 1
  • Narkanda to Kalpa – Day 2
  • Kalpa to Kaza – Day 3
  • Kaza to Kibber / Komik / Langza / Hikkim to Kaza – Day 4
  • Kaza to Nako – Day 5
  • Nako to Sarahan – Day 6
  • Sarahan to Delhi – Day 7

This of course is just a sample itinerary and the journey can be done in several other ways. How much distance you can cover in a day will also depend on whether you are on a bike or a car; how experienced at the wheel you are and how early you started but the itinerary above is ideal way to cover as many places as possible.

Also read: Clothes for Spiti Trip – What to Pack?

Details

Following the itinerary above, the first 4 days of the journey will be same as I explained above. For the return journey however, you will keep the travel on Day 5 and 6 a bit less and more on the last day of the journey. From Kaza, return back to Nako and spend the night here. There is a lake in Nako that you can spend some time at or can go for a short trek to the top of nearby hills. On Day 6, come back to Sarahan from Nako and stay there for the night. There is a Bhimakali temple and a bird sanctuary in Sarahan that is definitely worth a visit. On Day 7, start as early as you can from Sarahan and travel 500 kilometers back to reach Delhi by late evening.

7 Days Itinerary for Spiti Valley

A third version of the itinerary can be if you reached Kaza via Manali and return the same way. Traveling this way has its own set of advantages and disadvantages which I will discuss further in the article but let us first discuss the itinerary.

  • Delhi to Manali – Day 1
  • Manali to Kaza – Day 2
  • Kaza to Kibber / Komik / Langza / Hikkim to Kaza – Day 3
  • Day trip to Pin Valley and back to Kaza – Day 4
  • Kaza to Chandratal – Day 5
  • Chandratal to Manali – Day 6
  • Manali to Delhi – Day 7

The biggest benefit this itinerary has is that it gives you ample of time to explore Spiti Valley only. You reach Manali from Delhi on Day 1 and then reach Spiti valley on Day 2 itself. On Day 3 you will travel to the nearby villages of Kibber and Komik. On Day 4 you will explore Pin Valley. For details on Pin Valley and a road map, please read How to Travel to Pin Valley from Kaza. You will then reach Chandratal from Kaza and take the same route back home via Manali. This all your time is spent in Spiti valley itself.

Second benefit is that the long traveling hours are limited to Day 1 and 7 only. For rest of the days, you are traveling 6-7 hurts still but all this is actually spent in exploring the valley; not to get there.

Challenges

There are of course several challenges to this plan, some of which are as below.

  • 14-15 hours of travel on Day 1 and 7
  • You will have to arrange Rohtang Permits without which you will not be able to cross it on Day 2. It is a time consuming task and can even eat your entire day. For further details, please read How to Obtain Rohtang Pass Permits
  • Acute Mountain Sickness will be another great challenge. The only chance of suffering from altitude sickness in Spiti is if you reached there via Manali. To know what AMS is, what its symptoms are and how you can avoid it; please read How to Handle Acute Mountain Sickness in Spiti Valley.
  • This itinerary can only be followed between June and September when Manali Kaza route is open.
Spiti Valley Itinerary by Bus

Last but not the least, let me suggest an itinerary to travel to Spiti by Bus.

  • Delhi to Shimla
  • Shimla to Kalpa
  • Kalpa to Kaza
  • Kaza
  • Kaza to Chandratal
  • Chandratal to Manali
  • Manali to Delhi

There are several buses between Shimla and Delhi from ISBT and you will have no trouble finding one. From Shimla, there is a daily bus to Kaza with a night halt at Reckong Peo which you will board. You will reach Kaza on Day 3 by this bus. You will spend Day 4 in Kaza and I will recommend that you rent a bike here for the day for local sightseeing. From Kaza, there is a daily morning bus to Manali which you will catch on Day 4. By this bus, you will reach Kunzum Pass top and deboard it near Chandratal diversion. From here, you will either walk 14 kilometers or hitchhike to Chandratal.

Also read: How to Travel to Spiti Valley by Bus and Shared Taxis

On Day 5, you will again walk back to this point from Chandratal to catch the daily Kaza to Manali bus. Make sure you make a note of the time on Day 5 so you can get here in time on Day 6.  On Day 7, you will board a bus from Manali to Delhi.

In case you Manali to Kaza route was closed, then you will board the daily Kaza to Shimla bus on Day 5; and take the same route back to Delhi the way you reached Kaza.

Conclusion

I hope the information above on how to visit Spiti Valley in 7 Days was of help. If you have any further questions, please feel free to ask in the comments section below; or at our Community Forum; and I will be glad to answer.

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32 comments

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Sauvy April 26, 2020 - 5:03 am

Hi brother. I hope you good. My itinerary is from Chandigarh to Spiti valley.
1. Chandigarh to Kalpa
2. Kalpa to Kaza (Spiti Valley)
3. Back to Kaza to kalpa
4. Kalpa to Chandigarh
Is it possible brother..
Many thanks to you

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Mahua March 13, 2020 - 4:54 am

Which is the best time to perform this tour?? Can igo in 2nd week of june

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Vargis.Khan March 13, 2020 - 9:42 am

Yes. June is a good time to go.

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Rakesh August 6, 2019 - 2:37 am

Hi Vargis !
We are four friends who ll be traveling to spiti valley on 28 September for a week.
So kindly guide is it the right time to explore spiti to its best !

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Vargis.Khan August 6, 2019 - 5:13 am

Yes Rakesh, it is a good time to go but do not delay any further than this

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Santosh Kumar July 22, 2019 - 3:28 am

Hi Vargia
First of all, thanks for such detailed blog on Spiti. This is one stop shop for me to plan my Spiti trip this Aug.
We’re 4 friends strating our trip from Delhi on 17 Aug. We’ve return flight to catch from Delhi on 24th night.
We’re good to drive 24 hrs at stretch and had completed Srinagar – Leh – Manali circuit in2017.
Below is our tentative plan, pls have a look and let us know, if it is Ok.
Aug 17: start 4AM: Noida – Chitkul
Aug 18: chitkul – kaza
Aug 19 – Kaza
Aug 20: Kaza – Chandrataal
Aug 21: chandrataal – Kullu
Aug 22: Kullu – Delhi via parashar lake
Even if we keep 1 day as buffer, we have 1 extra day.
Is it possible to cover Delhi- Chitkul is 16 hrs?
Should we stay at Nako also?

Thanks
Santosh

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Vargis.Khan July 22, 2019 - 4:33 am

Hi Santosh – Noida to Chitkul is nearly impossible if you started at 4. To do this you will have to start at 1-2 AM from Delhi.
Kullu to Delhi via Prashar Lake will also be a very long drive so start accordingliny.

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Sagar Harwani June 22, 2019 - 9:13 pm

Hello Vargis, my question is Can i come back to Manali by 2PM if I leave from Chandratal by 6.30 AM as I am doing the trip using my bike and then head to Delhi the same day in evening from Manali as I am running short of time. My plan is in mid august.

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Vargis.Khan June 23, 2019 - 3:32 pm

Hi Sagar – It is doable but all depends on the traffic jam at Rohtang. If you were stuck there, you may get delayed.

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Soumitra April 15, 2019 - 11:39 am

Hallo Mr.Vargis , first i am very much thankful to you for sharing of your rich experience regarding the entire himachal jammu kashmir which help the common people for their trip rathar encourage them to come out from the safe (?) corners of the rooms….and to get the little bit essence of the nature of their own..and me too are not much away from these group…and really feel that i can also reach there to receive the same aroma of the nature. Dear khan i need your help as i have decided that on 11th of july i have started my journey to manali via kalka fro kolkata.i will reach manali by 13/7/19. I want to complete the lahul-spiti trip by19.7.19 .i have prepared one itinerary .please suggest me whether the itinerary is alright or any changes required…..and to complete the trip i require one good local driver from your known list.the itinerary is as follows: 11.7.19-started from hwh,12/7-transit, 13/7-reach at kalka &from kalka to manali by cab (stay at manali), 14/7- manali to kaza(stay at kaza), 15/7-kaza to ki/kiber/hikkim/komuc/langza back to kaza(stay), 16/7-kaza to pin valley(stay),17/7- pinvalley to chandratal(stay), 18/7- chandratal to manali(stay), 19/7- manali to dalhi by bus after 6pm , 20/7- rajdhani to hwh., 21/7- at hwh. Please help me for this trip .

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Vargis.Khan April 15, 2019 - 3:09 pm

Hello Soumitra Ji – Thank you so much for your kind words. I am glad that the information posted was of help. Your plan looks great. For cab, please contact Binny Thakur @ 9816300804

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Avinash February 23, 2019 - 1:58 pm

Hey Vargis,

I want to do Spiti Circuit in 7 days from Delhi by bus. Please look into the itinerary.

Day 1,2. Delhi – Reckong Peo/Kalpa (will reach by 3 PM)

Day 3. Reckong Peo/Kalpa – Kaza(how to spend time in Kalpa bcz there is an early morning bus for Kaza)

Day 4. Kaza – Kibber – Komik – Langza – Kaza

Day 5. Kaza – Chandratal

Day 6. Chandratal- Manali

Day 7. Manali – Delhi

I am confused about the time we reach Kalpa and take early morning bus from Reckong Peo to Kaza. There will be no time to spend in Kalpa.

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Vargis.Khan February 23, 2019 - 7:27 pm

Hi Avinash – There is no way around this brother. You will arrive at Kalpa by late afternoon and will be gone next morning. You will just get one evening to spend there unless you extend your stay by a day.

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Sanjeev Mohandas January 7, 2019 - 4:20 pm

Hello Vargis.. loved reading your article. Is there a way we can connect over a call.. pls do let me know.. will really appreciate the same.

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bhaskar September 6, 2018 - 9:45 am

hi sir me and my friend planed to visit spiti valley September 16th to 24th. we starts tour from manali.we will take a private jipsy with driver. we have interested to cover chandratal first day. plz give a itinerary

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Vargis.Khan September 6, 2018 - 12:03 pm Reply
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Akhil July 31, 2018 - 2:17 am

Hi Vargis, we are a group of 5-6 and will start from Manali on 17th August. We have time till 21st when we need to catch a night bus to Delhi either from Shimla/Manali. Will we get Innova or some other SUV from Manali for this type of an itinerary and with the current weather situation there?

Thanks

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Vargis.Khan July 31, 2018 - 3:33 pm

Hi Akhil – Yes you can get a taxi at Manali easily. Another choice would be to rent motorcycles if you are comfortable riding around.

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Akhil July 31, 2018 - 3:50 pm

Thanks Vargis. Would riding motorcycles not be a problem with the road and weather conditions? And what about permits, etc.? I think then we can think of that option, would be more flexible.

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Vargis.Khan July 31, 2018 - 4:38 pm

Road conditions are always bad in Spiti irrespective of the month you go. But yes, rain could be a problem so you will have to look at the weather and make that call. Rohtang permit will be needed to cross over to Spiti that you will have to get from DM office Manali. See the post below for more details on it.

https://vargiskhan.com/log/rohtang-pass-permits-details-charges-apply/

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Akhil July 31, 2018 - 4:56 pm

We were also thinking of may be taking a bus from Batal/Chhatru to Kaza on 16th. And then booking taxi from Kaza to nearby places for the next 3-4 days. Then bus/cab back to Manali via Chandertaal. Is this a feasible option?

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Vargis.Khan July 31, 2018 - 5:52 pm

That is even better. You won’t even have to worry about the Rohtang Permit as well then. Catch a bus to Kaza, rent a taxi there (or you can even get bikes there) and board a bus back to Manali.

Try talking to Tanzin Rabgay in Kaza @ 9418927312. He runs a hotel in Kaza and can help get a taxi there. You can also stay at his hotel if it works out.

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Akhil July 31, 2018 - 6:03 pm

Thanks. I will check with Tanzin.

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Vargis.Khan July 31, 2018 - 6:14 pm

You are welcome !!!

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Saena July 5, 2018 - 1:29 am

Hi..no problem..I went through all your posts and planned the trip. Traveling in the last week of August

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Vargis.Khan July 5, 2018 - 2:50 am

That is great. I totally missed that comment of your earlier. Do let me know how your trip goes.

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Saena May 15, 2018 - 5:29 am

Hi I want to do the Spiti circuit in 7 days but from Manali and not Narkanda. What challemcha can I face? We are a group of 5 and will be driving. Date are end of December.

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Vargis.Khan May 15, 2018 - 4:43 pm

You cannot do Manali to Spiti in December. The roads will be all closed.

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Saena May 15, 2018 - 5:11 pm

That’s a typo..sorry..I meant August..last week

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Vargis.Khan July 4, 2018 - 1:35 am

Hey … Sorry I missed replying on your comment. Please let me know if you still need this information.

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Alok August 24, 2019 - 8:34 am

Hello Vargis.
I am planning Shimla – Kaza. – Manali trip between 8-15 Sept this year.
The weather prediction shows light rain or drizzle, so is it a good time to go?
Also, I might skip Chandrataal due to my parents, so can I put Chitkul I’m my itinerary?

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Alok August 24, 2019 - 8:40 am

Hello Vargis.
I am planning Shimla – Kaza. – Manali trip between 8-15 Sept this year.
The weather prediction shows light rain or drizzle, so is it a good time to go?
Also, I might skip Chandrataal due to my parents, so can I put Chitkul I’m my itinerary

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