Spiti Valley Hike and Bike Tour

Long Duration Tour
From₹ 68,000
Long Duration Tour
From₹ 68,000
Fixed Departure
Private/Custom Tour
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July 11, 2020
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  • 14 Days
  • 450 kilometres
  • Chandigarh
  • Delhi

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Tour Overview

The Spiti Bike and Hike Tour

The term “Spiti” means, the middle land and its called rightly so as it is the land between Tibet and India. This high altitude desert valley in the Trans-Himalayas is one of the most stunning, graphic, and rugged regions in the Himalayas. The road to Spiti meanders alongside river Sutlej that then becomes the river Spiti. The people in the region seem to live in isolation to the rest of the world. Although the region is predominantly Buddhist, there is a distinct Himachali influence that permeates from the Kinnaur valley and further up from the Shimla and Narkanda region into the Lahaul and Spiti regions.

The cultural richness, well-preserved Buddhist heritage, old monasteries, simple happy way of life, distinctly different food, challenging terrain, unique high altitude ecosystem, and natural beauty that transcends the barriers of time puts Spiti, high on any traveller’s bucket list.

Who can do this tour?

This is a tour for anyone who seeks adventure, wishes to go off the beaten path, be part of an immersive local experience, and interact with the locals in this untouched Tibetan influenced region.  This is a tour for an experienced rider who has done long-distance cycling and is physically fit. While the Spiti tour treads through the Himalayan mountain ranges it is less enduring than the Manali to Leh since there are only 2 high passes you will ride through on this journey.

 The ascents are fairly gradual and not intensely steep. You can expect long days of climbing up hills. Gradients vary between 5-10%.

Itinerary

Day 1 : Meet and greet at the Airport and Drive to Shimla

On arrival in Chandigarh, you will be met by the team at the airport. We will drive for 4-hours in a comfortable van/bus to Shimla. Stay in Shimla overnight. You can interact with the rest of the participants and we call it an early night.

Drive distance: 120 kilometres

Accommodation type: Hotel

Highlights:

• You will meet and greet our fellow riders on the tour.
• Enjoy the comfortable drive to Shimla.
• Stay overnight in Shimla.

Day 2: Drive out to Sarahan and then post lunch do a bike fit and prep for the tour

After an early breakfast, we get into our tour bus and take a 4-hour steep drive up to Sarahan, a beautiful village tucked high up in the mountains. You’ll be staying in the premises of a beautiful old temple complex in Sarahan. Take a moment to marvel at the intricate architecture of the place. You’ll meet and greet with your support team and get out on an acclimatization ride in the hills that surround the village.

Drive distance: 163 kilometres

Accommodation Type: Hotel/Lodge

Highlights:

• Make sure you check your bike thoroughly during the bike fit and gear check.
• Take a ride to acclimatise around the hills.
• You’ll be briefed about the tour.

DAY 3: The ride to Spiti begins

We begin the day with a long downhill ride into the valley and ride along the river before we climb up to Sangla. You’ll be greeted by spectacular views of alpine trees dotting the mountains. The final leg of 20 kilometres has an uphill ascent to 3,300 metres, with breathtaking views of the valley as we go higher. We will then drive out to our accommodation.

Ride distance: 65 kilometres

Accommodation type: Homestay

Highlights:

• You’ll ride downhill in the morning and climb uphill in the evening climbs
• Take a breathtaking ride through quaint valleys.
• Enjoy the stay at a campsite with good food.

DAY 4: Cycling through pine forests and back down the valley towards Kalpa

You’ll wake up to beautiful views of the mountains and pine forests. We drive out early morning towards Chitkul and ride the downhill back soaking in the picturesque views all the way towards Kalpa. The village of Kalpa is known for being a vantage point to view the misty mountains across the valley. In the evening, we’ll take a walk to the Himachali temple and a monastery.

Ride distance: 75 kilometres

Accommodation Type: Lodge/Homestay

Highlights:

• You’ll ride downhill in the morning and climb upwards in the evening.
• Enjoy the breathtaking views of quaint valleys around you.
• Relax at the campsite in the evening with good food and stay.

DAY 5 : Transitioning from the Greater Himalayas to the Trans Himalayas

We start the day driving from Kalpa to Spello since the terrain is bad. Once near Spello, we unload and cycle the quaint roads through narrow passageways in the valley and begin the climb up to the quaint village of Nako. In the evening, we take a walk through the narrow alleyways of the village, make friends with the locals and learn of life in Nako.

Ride distance: 60 kilometres

Accommodation type: Lodge/Homestay

Highlights:

• Ready yourself for the climb through a narrow valley.
• Take a walk around a quaint village in the evening.

DAY 6 :Crossing our first pass and travelling into the Spiti Valley

Start the day with a short climb and then cycle downhill with beautiful views of the valley below and the mountain ranges that surround the region. Roll alongside the wide-open riverbed towards Tabo. We stay overnight at the Tabo monastery that dates back to 996 CE, stay and visit one of the oldest and most significant monasteries in the region.

Drive distance: 65 kilometres

Accommodation type: Lodge/Homestay

Highlights:

• Ensure you are safe on the long ride downhill.
• Travel on dusty roads and take in the surreal views of the valley.
• You’ll visit the oldest monastery in the region.

DAY 7 : Ride into the agricultural belt of Spiti

We’ll get off the highway and take a detour to Mudh, a start point to some interesting treks across the Himachal region. Tucked away amidst the Mudh Valley, the village consists of 50 odd homes and farms which are self-sufficient to support a livelihood. You’ll get to ride past green mustard farms and villages to reach Mudh the gateway to the Pin Valley National Park.

Ride distance: 65 kilometres

Accommodation Type: Lodge/Homestay

Highlights:

• You will ride along the river’s edge.
• Take in the view of lush green fields along the route to Mudh.
• You can interact with the locals and understand how they survive in isolation.

DAY 8 : Free Day/Hike in the Valley

Take the day off from riding, but take one of the many hiking trails into the Pin Valley National park. If you are lucky you’ll get to spot red foxes, the Ibex and perhaps even a snow leopard. Enjoy a packed lunch of Tibetan bread and local spiced vegetables or jam.

Hike distance: 7 kilometres

Accommodation type: Lodge/Homestay

Highlights:

• You can rest today and hike up the valley.
• Hike out to look for mountain wildlife
• Enjoy a quiet walk into a village in the evening

DAY 9 : Ride into civilization to the capital town of Kaza and onward to the fossil village of Langza

You’ll take a half-day ride to Kaza, the headquarters of Spiti for a stopover in a quaint cafe for a good cup of coffee and a relaxed lunch. We’ll then drive back towards the main highway and onwards to Langza, popularly known as the fossil village, we will hike around looking for interesting pieces of fossils. Stay overnight at a homestay with a local family.

Ride distance: 45 kilometres

Accommodation type: Homestay

Highlights:

• You can enjoy a morning ride.
• Eat a sumptuous meal in Kaza and take an afternoon drive to Langza.
• Go fossil hunting in the evening

Day 10 :Exploring the villages of Langza, Hikkim, and Komik

Khibber is a small village nestled in the mountains and is a day’s ride away from Langza. Enroute, we will stop by at the highest post office to send postcards to family and friends. We visit the famed Key monastery, an iconic place of worship and the largest monastery in Spiti valley. Its high vantage point makes for a great view looking down into the wide river bed and valley that disappears into the horizon.

Ride distance: 35 kilometres

Accommodation type: Homestay

Highlights:

• You’ll climb uphill for half a day.
• You’ll get to Visit the enchanting Key monastery
• Evening at leisure walking the market or interacting with the locals in the homestay.

Day 11 :Ride into Losar through villages, monasteries, and beautiful landscapes

With just about 200 odd people in the village, Losar is situated by the confluence of the streams and adjacent to the Indo-Chinese border. Our ride is a mix of climbs and flat terrain, its cold desert like landscapes are a treat for shutterbugs. Today is our last day of the ride, we’ll take time to enjoy the views and ride our way into a beautiful little cottage amidst the mountains.

Ride distance: 55 kilometres

Accommodation type: Homestay

Highlights:

• Cross Asia’s Higest bridge
• Take in the beauty of quaint villages as you ride through them.
• Catch up on some rest in the evening.

Day 12 :Hike to Chandrataal

We hike to Chandra Tal from Kunzum Pass, a scenic hike taking the route the shepherds take. At Chandra Tal, also known as the Enchanted Lake or moon lake, we spend some time at the lake and we’ll check into a tented campsite. Our tented campsite here will be very basic with an attached toilet tent but no bathing facilities.

Hike distance: 10 kilometres

Accommodation type: Tented campsite

Highlights:

• You’ll drive across KunzumLa Pass.
• Enjoy the hike to Chandratal lake.

Day 13 :Long drive to Manali

Get ready to go on a long bumpy and a very picturesque drive to Manali. We’ll drive alongside the Chenab river in the valley between the mountains and take the road leading up to the Rohtang Pass. Across the Rohtang and in the valley below is the town of Manali. Check into our hotels for some much-needed rest and a fun evening.

Drive distance: 125 kilometres

Accommodation type: Hotel

Highlights:

• Get ready for the long drive to Manali.
• Enjoy your stay at a nice hotel at Manali.
• Rest through the evening.

Day 14 :Rest Day/Free day until noon - Overnight bus to Delhi

You will have a free day to explore Manali town at leisure. Go shopping or just take a walk around Old Manali. You will need to be ready and packed to leave for Delhi by 4:00 PM in the evening. You will be taking an overnight bus to Delhi and back home.

Drive distance: 550 kilometres

Accommodation type: Overnight bus

Highlights:

• Visit the Old Manali market areas.
• Check out of the hotel by noon.
• Take the your bus back to Delhi in the evening.

Day 15:Arrive in Delhi and take onward journey

We arrive in Delhi today and take the onward journey back to our home destinations

Drive/Hike Distance: 0 kilometres

Accommodation type: None

Tour Inclusions

Our tour cost is inclusive of:

  • Transport from Chandigarh to Chandigarh
  • Accommodation and food on all days (14 days starting with dinner on Day 1 and until breakfast on Day 13)
  • Good quality cycles and helmet (Mountain Bikes)
  • Filtered clean drinking water
  • Mechanical and medical support through the tour
  • Services of a local guide

Excludes

  • Personal expenses
  • Alcoholic/Aerate beverages
  • Camera charges (Still and video)
  • Evacuation charges
  • Expenses incurred beyond our control (bad weather, natural calamity)
  • Anything not mentioned in the includes section

The Spiti Valley Bike and Hike Experience

The Spiti valley is the lesser-known Tibetan influenced region of the Himalayas. The region is still untouched and has its natural beauty intact. The people are hospitable and will love to welcome you into their homes and teach you their unique culture. We aim to offer a wholesome experience that combines local interactions, visits to monasteries, learn of the way of life in the region, hike in the hills, go fossil hunting and even have the time to watch a documentary of Tibetan influences in Spiti valley. On our tour, we’ve put a good mix of local experiences like staying at a local home-stay in a village where you can walk around and make conversations with the locals, visit monasteries, hike up valleys looking for wildlife and get to try some local Tibetan cuisine.

Difficulty Level: High Intensity (Challenging due to the high altitude and long days of riding)

Preparedness – Physical & Mental

The Spiti cycling tour is a challenging tour and will have you cycle on broken roads and dusty plains. There will be some steep climbs but in general, you don’t have high altitude passes to climb on this tour. Hot dusty days and cold evenings are what you can expect on this tour.

Over the years, our closely monitored training regime has helped participants not only to endure the tour but also enjoy every moment along the way. We’ve had instances where participants (men & women) who were new to cycling trained and practiced, to pedal almost all the way and completed the tour.

Cycling Support

Your tour will be supported by good quality bicycles, a well-trained mechanic a full repair kit with essential spares. However, we strongly encourage participants to carry their basic bike maintenance kit along. We will also be carrying a backup cycle along the expedition; just so that nobody misses out on the riding experience should their bike have a serious breakdown.

Accommodation

Accommodation will be in local homestays with good hygienic shared or attached bathrooms offered on a twin-sharing basis varying by each location. In a remote region like Spiti, one can only expect local accommodations and basic facilities.

Transport

A team of 10-12 riders will be supported by 2 support vans with a carrier that will transport both the riders and bikes along with a spare cycle, lunch packs and water, and camp equipment and gear. Through the day one vehicle will trail with the riders.

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