Motorbike tour through the Kinnaur & Spiti valley
|Two cities, two Worlds: this motorcycle tour transports you to another culture, that of Tibetan Buddhists for whom spirituality is part of everyday life. From Kinnaur to Spiti, we gradually move away on our 500cc Royal Enfield from the small roads weaving in and out of the lush valleys to follow the rocky trails along the banks of rivers flowing down the high mountains. After crossing the passes, we reach the snow capped peaks which sometimes send glaciers sliding towards our motorbikes. We halt near turquoise blue lakes nestled in the infinite steppes of the high Himalayan plateau.||
We chose the trip "To the Gateway of Tibet" proposed by Alex. I thought I had experienced everything on a motorcycle, in fact I still have much to discover! We found another way of traveling with a super nice bike and a great team in a very endearing country. In short, well done guys, we'll get right back! Eric & Veronica
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(Subject to change depending on circumstances)
DAY 1 : Arrivée à DelhiReception at the airport and transfer to the hotel in the heart of Delhi. Overnight stay at the hotel.
DAY 2 : Delhi – Nalagarh (300 m)Early morning departure for Nalagarh by private vehicle, across the green landscapes of Punjab, the most fertile province of the country. Arrival at Nalagarh, small village in the Himalayan foothills. Overnight stay at Nalagarh Fort.
DAY 3 : Nalagarh - Shimla (2000 m)[160 Km - 5 H by road] We get our first glimpse of the Royal Enfield 500cc. First stage of riding uptil Shimla, on mountainous and hilly roads. Arrival at Shimla. A charming, hill station and former, summer capital of the English empire in India. Overnight stay at the hotel.
DAY 4 : Shimla – Sarahan (2700 m)[140 Km - 5 H by road] The road winds across the Himalayan foothills until Sarahan and its old fortified Kali temple. Sarahan is the gateway to mystical Kinnaur. Overnight stay in a guest-house.
DAY 5 : Sarahan – Sangla (2700 m)[170 Km – 6/7 H by road] We climb up Sutlej Valley taking the famous Hindustan-Tibet road, an ancient route linking Lhassa and Punjab. We leave the main valley and take a track which winds its way deep into a vertiginous gorge, ultimately opening up into a scenic valley. We ride with the Baspa river flowing on one side till we reach Sangla, a beautiful fortified village. We will visit traditional Kinnauri villages of the Baspa Valley, including the genuine and remote Chitkul village. Overnight stay in a guest-house. The village architecture, especially that of Chitkul, is magnificent: a beautiful fusion of carved stone and wood. The Hindu temple and the Buddhist monastery face each other in the central area of the village, and no competition exists between the priests from both sides. In Chitkul, we are just few hours on foot from Tibet.
DAY 6 : Sangla – Nako (3100 m)[150 Km – 6/7 H by road] We ride through the Sutlej Valley, with Tibet right in front of us. As one rides towards the north-east, the green landscapes vanish and a more stark and naked scenery meets the eye. We visit the traditional village of Moorang, built on the mountain side. As the Spiti valley approaches, the Sutlej Valley gets narrower. We are now in the heart of the Great Himalaya's, just few kilometers away from Tibet. The road is winding and the landscape gets arid. We arrive at Nako, typical Tibetan village, built around a small lake. The legend says that Padmasambhava, the Indian master who brought Buddhism to Tibet, left his foot print in this place. Overnight stay in a guest house.
DAY 7 : Nako – Pin Valley (3600 m)[120 Km – 4/5 H by road] We will visit a small monastery, reminiscent of the setting of Zurlini's "The desert of the Tartars ". Departure towards the north of the Spiti Valley. We will visit few villages before arriving at Tabo. Tabo monastery, one of the most ancient Buddhist Tibetan sites (founded in 999 A.D), is no less mystical than its Tibetan contemporary, the Töling-Tsaparang. The tantric frescos, of cachemiry tradition, show a finesse rarely seen in Tibetan world. Still facing North, we shortly arrive at Dankhar, where we fork towards the west, towards the remote Pin Valley. Overnight stay in a guest house. The Pin Valley is famous for its wild fauna: fox, wolf, ibex and snow leopard. We are at "one end of the world".
DAY 8 : Pin Valley – Kaza (3600 m)[90 Km – 2/3 H by road] Short stage today. We get back into the Spiti Valley, and before reaching Kaza, Spiti's capital we will visit Dhankar's impressive Gompa (monastery), which seems to be perched high up on a ridge. In the afternoon, we take a stroll in the town. This is the opportunity to bargain for jewellery, apricots and prayer wheels… Overnight stay in a guest house.
DAY 9: Kaza – Kibber - Kaza (4200 m)[100 Km – 3 H by road] Today again is a short riding day, which leads us to the high altitude village of Kibber. Visit of the wonderful Kye monastery, a few kilometers away from Kaza. We make our way upto Kibber, one of the highest villages of Himalayan Range (4200m), on a winding mountain road. Visit of the village, surrounded by mountain tops more than 5500m high. Overnight stay in a guest house.
DAY 10 : Kibber – Lac Chandra Tal (4200 m)[180 Km – 6 H by road] We head down to Kaza and head towards the north-west. We cross the Kunzum pass (4800m), which separates Spiti and Lahaul. We make a pitstop at the pass covered with colourful Tibetan flags fluttering in the wind and take in the breathtaking beauty of the glaciers surrounding us. We head on to discover Chandra Tal – "The Moon lake"- surrounded by breathtaking landscapes. At this point we feel like we can touch the stars. If we are lucky, we might get the chance to meet the Gaddis, shepherds that move up from the lower valleys with their sheep every season. Camp on the edge of the lake.
DAY 11 : Lac Chandra Tal – Manali (2000 m)[170 Km – 6/7 H by road] Last day of the ride: we go back down in the Chandra Valley, in the Lahaul province, before taking the Leh-Manali road. We cross the Rothang pass (3900m), which forms a barrier between two worlds: on one side, the stark beauty of the Tibetan culture, and on the other side, the gorgeous Kullu Valley. The way down to Manali is impressive with its incredibly serpentine road. Be on the lookout: The roadsides are home to huge bearded vultures! Overnight stay at the hotel.
DAY 12 : Manali (2000 m)[80 Km – 3 H by road] By motorbike, we visit the green and charming Kullu Valley. We will visit the fort and the Naggar temple. And on the way back we will stop at a few villages. Overnight stay at the hotel. Historically, known as "Kulanthapitha" which means « the end of the inhabitable world", the Kullu Valley is famous for its gods, the hospitality of the local people, its beautiful pine and cedar forests, its rich orchards and its excellent hashish. The valley is today named "Gods valley" because of the numerous divinities and temples to be found in the villages.
DAY 13 : Manali – DelhiFree day in Manali (extra day in case of any delays). Volvo "deluxe" night bus for Delhi.
DAY 14 : Delhi – Aeroport internationalEarly morning arrival at Delhi. Transfer to the hotel. Free day in Delhi. In the afternoon, we will retain only one or two hotel rooms (according to the number of participants) for storing luggage or taking a shower before the late night transfer to the airport. End of trip. NB: The given schedules are only a rough guide. The itinerary is subject to change depending on the condition of the roads and the availability of fresh water spots.
Standard ClassHost homes or hotels, constructed in Tibetan style are enough to immerse you in the Buddhist culture. The rooms are simple, but highly comfortable; they are all that is required to get in touch with your inner self. Awaiting you is a special and homely welcome.
Superior ClassWake up in the idyllic environment of the Himalayan ranges. The selected accommodations and hotels offer very comfortable and spacious rooms. These enchanting places will seduce you with their calm and tasteful decor.
Camping GroundsA night in a Canadian tent or an Igloo. That's adventure! You will be sleeping on the banks of Lake Chandra (the moon lake), situated in a breathtaking backdrop, where one feels as if one could touch the stars.
Fixed Departure Trips
Join other bikers keen on doing the same trip, with a maximum of 12 people per group and leave on a fixed date.
|From 24/08/2013 To 06/09/2013|
Pilot: $2850Passanger: $2350
Trips A la carte
Choose from amongst our many trips one that appeals to you the most and leave with a group of your choice on dates that are convenient for you. The tariffs decrease as the number of participants increases.
More than 10
Price / Rider
pillion: $500 less
Plan a trip to your satisfaction with the advice of our specialists and choose the destination, dates and accommodation that suit you best.
- A Royal Enfield 500 (2009 model depending on availability) with full mechanical assistance and spare parts.
- Ground transfers as planned in the private vehicle program.
- An English speaking tour leader and an expert mechanic of Royal Enfield motorbikes.
- Fuel expenses.
- Assistance by a local team: mechanic, cook, truck driver, support vehicle driver, English speaking local guide and assistants.
- A support vehiclefor groups of more than 4. Lateral luggage racks for less than groups of 4.
- Lodging: in comfort and luxury hotels, in double bed rooms, on a twin sharing basis.
- If you wish to stay in a single room (extra charges apply), please inform your travel advisor when you register.
- Meals: Half board (breakfast and lunch, except on days of ground transfer D1, D2, D15) and main meal in Delhi.
Prices do not include :
- Compulsory insurances, such as repatriation assistance which covers you in case of a motorbike accident in India and legal assistance.
- Visa fees
- International Flights. Contact your travel advisor for cheaper rates.
- Optional insurances for flight delays, lost luggage, journey interruption…
- A reimbursable security deposit of $500 for the motorbike. In case the bike is damaged, the amount required to fix the damages shall be deducted at the end of the journey.
- International Airport Taxes.
- Drinks and personal expenses.
- Entry fee for various monuments, temples etc. thereby leaving you an option to visit or not. Entry fees ranges from $40 to $60 per person for the whole journey
- Dinners (about $4-$20 per person and per meal)