Spiti Tour2021-03-28T16:41:48+00:00
Golden Himalaya motorcycle tour map

Seven Valleys of Spiti Motorcycle Tour

Ride to the “Valley of Gods”, the Gateway to Tibet & the Golden Temple

One of the highlights of our tour program is the “Little Tibet” motorcycle tour through the Seven Valleys of Spiti and Sutlej (Kinnaur). The Spiti region, one of the most impressive high valleys in the world, is the destination of our spectacular “Little Tibet” Spiti Motorcycle Tour. Deep in the Himalayas in the state of Himachal Pradesh, Spiti is close to the border with Tibet (China) and one of the remotest corners of India. Rugged mountain ranges and high passes have helped protect its millennia-old culture like no other in the world. Who could ask for a better setting for a unique adventure in the saddle of a motorcycle?

Literally translated, Spiti means the “middle country”, the land between Tibet and India. It is also known as “Little Tibet” – locals and Tibetans in exile live together here in harmony and freedom. Both ethnic groups are followers of Tibetan Vajrajana Buddhism, and outsiders can hardly tell the difference between them. Tibetan monasteries such as Kye Gompa adorn landscapes that, with their endless expanse, beauty and snow-capped mountains, can easily hold their own with Tibet.

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The Spiti motorbike tour starts in Dharamsala, the home away from home of the Dalai Lama. Dharamsala has been the seat of the Tibetan government in exile since 1960 and has become a center of Tibetan culture and Buddhism. Thousands of Tibetans still live there today, especially in Upper Dharamsala, which is home to numerous monasteries and Tibetan teaching institutions.

From Dharamsala, we’ll follow the Sutlej River to the very top in Kinnaur, one of the more scenic districts of the Himalayas in Himachal Pradesh. The Sutlej River, which rises on the southern slopes of mount Kailash near Mansarovar Lake in Tibet, flows through the Kinnaur Valley. With the great range of main Himalayas in the background, this green sweep of the country is exceedingly beautiful and refreshing. We continue and reach the highlight of our tour: Spiti Valley. The ride through the Himalayan desert mountain valley is stunningly breathtaking – and can be challenging at times.

We’ll wind our way higher and higher, from dense primeval evergreen forests to the 4,551-meter Kunzum La Pass and the 3,980-meter Rohtang Pass. It’s a ride through an unreal landscape, marked by the ruggedness of the Himalayas, unique wildlife and the beauty of untamed nature, a part of the world almost forgotten by civilization. Our tour ends in Kullu Valley near the picturesque town of Manali.

Spiti Valley Motorcycle Tour Highlights

  • 1.500 kilometers of fantastic and unforgettable rides through the seven remote Himalayan valleys of Kangra, Kullu, Banjar, Kinnaur, Sangla, Spiti and Lahaul
  • Visit to the Dalai Lama temple in Dharamsala
  • Riding in the unique region of the Spiti Valley “Little Tibet”
  • High Passes of Jalori (3,120m), Kunzum (4,551m) and Rothang (3,980m)
  • Campfire at the wild river Tirthan
  • Visit the more than 1000 years old monasteries Kye, Lalung and Dhankar
  • Visit of the Bhimakali Temple of Sarahan, Mummy monk at Giu
  • The old seat of the kings of Kullu Valley in Naggar
  • The Sutlej River through the Kinnaur valley

2021
27.09. – 11.1o. 
 
2022
03.09. – 17.09.
Royal Enfield
Himalayan 411: 2.980€
Enfield Bullet 500: 2.980€
Pillion: 2.580€
Single Room: +580€
 
RE Himalayan only on request, please specify.

16 days / 15 nights / 13 riding days

Overnight stays in resorts and selected middle class hotels and guesthouses

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Seven Valleys of Spiti Motorcycle Tour Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival in Delhi, connecting flight to Dharamsala

Early morning flight to Dharamsala. During the day there will be time to relax or visit the Norbulingka cultural centre. The Norbulingka Institute was founded in 1995 to preserve Tibetan culture, art, crafts and literature. Today, it is home to numerous workshops of artists and craftsmen, as well as a gallery. Buying the beautiful handicrafts for sale is a great way to support Tibetan culture and Tibetans in exile. In the evening, we’ll get together for a welcome dinner at the Roof Top Bar. Night in Dharamsala.

Dharamshala

On the road to Bir

Day 2: Warming-Up-Tour

Today, we’ll start with a warm-up ride on our Royal Enfield motorcycles. In the afternoon we visit McLeod Ganj, in the upper reaches of Dharamsala. Thousands of Tibetans in exile and monks have been living here since the 1950s. The town features a wealth of small bookstores, cafes and restaurants offering authentic Tibetan food. It houses also the Dalai Lama’s residence. After dinner we return to our hotel which is located in Dharamsala in a peaceful location, 12 km away from a rather congested McLeod Ganj.

Distance covered: approx. 50km

Day 3: Hidden valley of Barot

The start of our motorbike tour; we leave Dharamsala for Barot, a hidden village located deep in cedar forest and famous for trout farming. We ride through terraced rice fields and thick cedar forest, rising to the hilltop at Jhatingeri, where once the summer rest house of the king of Mandi was located. Some sections of the river Uhl is popular for angling. We stay the night at a comfortable river side camp. Enjoy the campfire under the stars…

Distance covered: approx. 100 km

 old royal residence of Naggar
wild Tirthan valley

Day 4: Across Kandi Pass to Thirthan valley

Crossing the 2,100 meter Kandi Pass, we’ll cross Kullu Valley and ride on to Thirthan Valley in the Great Himalayan National Park, where we’ll spend the night in a unique riverside farm stay.

Distance covered: approx. 140 km

Day 5: Ride to Tirthan Valley

The highlight today is the Jalori Pass with a height of 3,120 meters.The road narrows and turns partly into a gravel road offering some impressive views while Sharp turns and hairpin bends are waiting on the way up to the pass.
This picturesque village Sarahan, 175 km northwest of Shimla (capital of Himachal Pradesh), is set in a beautiful location. The interesting Bhimakali Temple, built in the Indo-Tibetan style, is definitely worth visiting. It has shrines dedicated to Lord Shiva, Lord Raghunath and Lord Narasimha and it also has a small museum.

Distance covered: approx. 160 km

Enchanted Landscapes in Sutlej Valley
Kinnaur, Kailash – Shiva’s mountain

Day 6: Ride from Sarahan to Chitkul via Sangla

This brings us through beautiful nature with great views and good insight in local life.  Sangla village has a temple dedicated to Lord Nagesh. In the village of Kamru, 2 km from Sangla village, there is a wooden five-storey fort. It also has a temple dedicated to Goddess Kamakshi.

Stay at Riverside Resort in nature at Chitkul.

Distance covered: approx. 120 km

Day 7: Chitkul to Kalpa

We ride from Chitkul to Rekong Peo, where we have lunch and get our Inner Line Permits from local authorities to ride further through restricted border area with Tibet, into the Spiti valley. Rekong Peo is headquarter of Kinnaur Valley. We spend the night in Kalpa, which lies 7 km above Peo, with amazing view on Kinner Kailash Mountain.

Night in a comfortable hotel.

Distance covered: approx. 80km

Sangla Valley
Chitkul, Himachal Pradesh

Day 8: Ride from Kalpa to Nako

The whole day leads us through the beautiful Kinnaur valley along the impressive Sutlej river. Nako is the last village of Kinnaur Valley on the Indo Tibet “highway” and is famous for its lake which forms the lifeline of the village. We will notice the landscape changing gradually into high desert region.

Spend the night in a guest house in Nako village.

Distance covered: approx. 110 km

Day 9: Ride from Nako to Tabo via Giu

Giu is the furthest and most isolated village of Spiti, lying close to the border of Tibet (China). Giu village is also famous for its old mummy of a monk sitting in meditation, still intact today.

Tabo (3.050 meter) is the largest monastic complex of Spiti. It is famous for its more than 1.000 year old Monastery. In 1996, the Tabo Monastery celebrated its thousand years with a Kalachakra ceremony, which was presided by His Holiness the Dalai Lama.  We explore the Monastery and its numerous temples. Overnight in a comfortable hotel near the famous Tabo Monastery.

Distance covered: approx. 90 km

Road to the hot springs of Tatapani
artists’ village of Andretta

Day 10: Ride from Tabo to Kaza via Dhankar, Lalung Monestaries and Pin Valley (3.890m)

Dhankar village (the ancient capital of Spiti), also houses an ancient Monastery. Remnants of the Dhankar Fort, which housed the royal family of Spiti, still remain. A visit to the Monastery, Fort and other subsidiary temples leaves one spell bound at the traditional architectural marvels. The Monastery has some interesting wall murals and Thanka paintings.

We continue riding to the remote and hidden pearl Lalung, one of the earliest Monasteries of the region. If time permits, we’ll venture deeper into one of the sub-valleys of Spiti, the Pin Valley, famous for its unique culture and its Wild Life Reserve, home to the snow leopard. At the end of the day, we check into a comfortable Hotel in Kaza

Distance covered: approx. 130 km

Day 11: Around Kaza (3.686m)

Today we visit Kye monastery, the largest in Spiti. We then ride up to the remote Chicham village at the other side of the deep gorge, recently connected with a very unique hanging bridge, the highest in Asia (4,200 meter). It’s a spectacular, breath taking ride over it. The surreal looking tiny villages dotted all over this area are known for the famous Spiti horses, bred for trade with the nomads of Ladakh in exchange for the valuable Pashmina wool.

The late afternoon is reserved for visiting the remote town of Kaza and for some souvenir shopping.

Distance covered: approx. 80 km

Motorcycle ride to Dharamsala
McLeod Ganj

Day 12: To the end of the world at 5,000 meter… Best of Spiti Valley!

After breakfast, we ride to Langza village, located in a large high mountain meadow with a beautiful mountain peak, the Chau Chau Kang Nilda, towering over this village. Here we find evidence of the Tethys Sea before the Indian mainland collided with the Tibetan plateau and formed the Himalayas (still rising today). Sea fossils can be found while walking around. Thereafter we continue to Asia’s highest villages connected by road, Komik village houses a legendary monastery, worth a visit. We then ride deeper into this remote plateau abundant with wildlife; yaks, wild blue sheep and if lucky, we might even spot some snow leopards. No stopping us, we continue to the most remote and mystical village of Demul, connected by road only 2 years ago. The day provides a fascinating insight into the Spitian way of life.

Return to Kaza for the night.

Distance covered: approx. 110 km

Day 13: Kaza to Keylong, the headquarters of Lahaul Valley

Today is an early start. We ride over the Kunzum pass, 4.551 meter (separating Spiti from the Lahaul valley) and will then descend into the magnificently beautiful valley of the Chandra River. We will ride through the most scenic and unspoilt part of the Western Himalayas, as there are no villages or settlements anywhere to be found. You will agree that this part of our roundtrip is mind blowing, no words can describe it…

Stay in a well-deserved comfortable hotel after a long day ride.

Distance covered: approx. 200km

 Dalhousie hill station
On the road to Punjab

Day 14: Keylong to Naggar

Over the Rohtang pass, “the toughest pass”, back into the lush green Kullu valley. For lunch, we’ll divert to the ski slopes of the Solang Valley, from where it will take us an hour and a half to our base in Naggar. Spend the night in our Home Base in Naggar.

Naggar is a traditional and peaceful Hindu village in Himachal Pradesh, 500 km from Delhi. It lies in the heart of the Western Himalayas, in the Kullu valley. Because this area is so beautiful, the Gods – according to the Hindu belief – chose this valley to be their home. That’s why it is still called “The Valley of the Gods”. Naggar was once the capital of the region, hence the picturesque Naggar Castle. You feel immediately at home in Hotel Ragini and Cottages, your homely stay. In and around Naggar, at 1760 meters, thousand-years-old Hindu temples lie scattered around. The view on the valley, the rice fields, the forests and the villages around with their unique culture is breathtaking.

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We stay overnight at Rangini Cottages. Our homestay there offers you a home with a rooftop restaurant with view on the eternal snowy peaks and serves local and western cuisine. Ragini lies in the middle of the village but far away from the modern and hectic life. Let the impressions from the riding days sink in and kiss our bikes goodbye. Farewell dinner around the campfire.

Distance covered: approx. 120 km

Day 15: Kullu to Delhi

Early morning flight to Delhi for our connecting international flight home. Or stay on for more relaxing days in peaceful Naggar.

Don’t Miss Out On a Wonderful Experience

Book your Tour Now – Seven Valleys of Spiti Motorcycle Tour

We can accommodate only 14 motorbikes on this tour.

Since our tours get filled up fast, please book our Seven Valleys of Spiti Motorcycle Tour now to avoid disappointment.

Our Next available tours are as follows:

2021
27.09. – 11.10.

2022
03.09. – 17.09.

Book Now

Included Services

  • All airport transfers
  • Domestic flights Delhi – Dharamsala and Kullu – Delhi
  • All accommodations in double/twin rooms, with en-suite bathroom. Mid range options and guesthouses (always best possible hotels at the destinations).
  • Breakfast, lunch snack, dinner (without beverages)
  • Drinking water in the service vehicle
  • Rental motorcycle Enfield Bullet 500 cc with comprehensive insurance with a retention of EUR/US$ 500, motorcycle touring kit, electronic starter Bullets
  • Seats in the service vehicle for pillions
  • Experienced English speaking tour guide on own motorcycle
  • Experienced motorcycle mechanic (spare rider who can ride your bike in case of need)
  • All road and bridge tolls, entrance admission fees for sights for the entire program

Excluded Services

  • International flights from/to Delhi
  • All beverages (beside drinking water which is always carried in the service vehicle)
  • Optional tips for guide and mechanic, souvenirs, shopping
  • India tourist e-visa (around € 65)
  • Travel rescission costs and repatriation insurance

Questions & Answers

Do I need a visa for India?2019-12-18T06:33:21+00:00

Visitors to India need a tourist visa, which you must obtain in advance.
Visas are not issued on arrival.
Your passport must be valid for at least six months beyond the period of your stay.
The e-Tourist Visa costs around 20 to 80 euros and you can apply for it online.
Important note: The terms for the e-Tourist Visa can be found here: https://indianvisaonline.gov.in/visa/tvoa.html
The visa application itself can be found here: https://indianvisaonline.gov.in/visa/info1.jsp

What do I need to bring along for a motorcycle tour?2020-01-06T11:30:46+00:00

You will definitely want to bring your riding suit with protectors and a helmet. You will also need motorcycle boots or lighter riding shoes and gloves. While your gear should be breathable in hot climates, you need to be ready for anything at high altitudes and in the Himalayas. We recommend winter gloves, warm socks, liners for jackets and trousers, a scarf and face protection. Rain gear is a good idea if your riding suit is not waterproof.
Please note that we do not hire out clothing. We believe that your own riding gear will fit best and thus give you the best protection. If you forget anything, we’ll find a solution, however. We often have spare gear with us, or we can point you in the direction of a shop.

Do I need travel insurance and travel health insurance?2019-12-18T06:24:21+00:00

We always recommend that you take out travel insurance to cover costs incurred if you need to cancel the trip due to illness or other reasons. When shopping for travel health insurance, make sure the policy covers the potentially high cost of medical evacuation to your home country. Both forms of insurance can save you a lot of money in an emergency and we recommend them unreservedly. In many countries, your national motoring organization can provide the coverage you need.

What should I keep in mind when riding with a passenger?2019-12-18T06:24:20+00:00

Riding two-up is almost always possible. In difficult terrain or on rough tracks, every passenger has a guaranteed seat in the support vehicle to keep things relaxed for both rider and pillion.

Do pillion passengers have a guaranteed seat in the support vehicle?2019-12-18T06:24:16+00:00

Yes, all passengers have a guaranteed seat. In bad weather or challenging riding conditions, they can switch to the support vehicle at any time – and back to the bike when conditions improve.

How big are the groups? What’s the minimum number of participants?2019-12-18T06:24:15+00:00

Groups generally consist of 8 to 14 riders and 2 to 6 passengers. The minimum number of participants is 6 riders.

What’s the Classic Bike Adventure travel team like?2019-12-18T06:24:12+00:00

Our European tour guides are skilled motorcyclists and inveterate travelers who love India. They’re resilient in the face of stress and know the history and culture of the regions they cover. Our Indian mechanics are experienced Enfield specialists who all speak English and are happy to help with any technical problem, great or small.
A stand-in rider is always available. More information on our travel concept is available here.

What kind of bikes will we ride?2019-12-18T06:24:12+00:00

We ride 500cc Royal Enfield Bullets manufactured from 2014 to 2017 that feature electric starters, 5-speed gearboxes with the gearshift on the left, front disk brakes, roomy and rugged leather saddlebags, crashbars, 19” tires and twin horns.

What do I need in the way of documents?2019-12-18T06:24:09+00:00

You will need your passport, national driving license, international driving license and flight ticket. Please be sure to make photocopies of all of your important travel documents and carry them separately. They can be invaluable in an emergency.

What are the import regulations for India?2019-12-18T06:32:08+00:00

Up to 200 cigarettes and 2 liters of alcohol may be imported duty-free. All international cigarette and spirits brands are available in India. Customs checks of arriving tourists have become considerably less strict in recent years.

Do I need a driving license?2019-12-18T06:24:05+00:00

All riders must have a valid motorcycle driving license issued in their home country. An international driving license is also required. Be sure to contact the relevant authorities in your home country well in advance for more information on obtaining an international driving license.

Will I need maps?2019-12-18T06:31:37+00:00

Simple street maps are often available locally. The best road maps are available from the German publishers Reise Know How and Nelles. These are only available in specialized bookstores or online.

Where can I stow my bags?2019-12-18T06:24:02+00:00

Your baggage will be carried by the support vehicle. Please don’t pack too much – remember: less is more. From time to time, we’ll have to carry our baggage over short distances to the hotel. Baggage is not insured, so please be sure to purchase your own baggage insurance for the trip if necessary. Your personal items for the day are best kept in the saddlebags or your daypack. Tank bags – including magnetic ones – can be used on the Enfields, but we don’t provide them.

Do I need to buy an Indian SIM card for my phone?2019-12-18T06:30:59+00:00

European SIM cards now work almost everywhere in India. You’ll need patience if you want a local SIM card, as the registration takes a minimum of three days, and in some regions it is not possible at all.

How much is the deposit for the bike?2019-12-18T06:24:00+00:00

Riders must make a deposit of USD/EUR 500.00 in cash for their bikes. The deposit will be refunded when the bike is returned in good condition. The deposit corresponds to the comprehensive insurance deductible for damage to the rented bike and damage or injuries to third parties caused by the rider.
(The deductible is payable in such cases!)

Important note: The deductible also applies to damage or injury to third parties. In practice, the rider is initially liable for the full damages. The costs are later refunded by the insurance company, minus the deductible.

What are the specs of the bikes?2019-12-18T06:23:59+00:00

Technical specifications: Single-cylinder four-stroke, 499 cc, 16 kW (28 bhp) at 4,600 rpm, 178 kg, 80 cm seat height, 123 kph max.

Our Enfields were manufactured from 2013 to 2017 and are well-maintained. Naturally, some of them bear the minor battle scars typical of touring motorcycles. Technically, they are all in top shape and perfectly suited to the planned tours. They’re tremendous fun to ride, and their handling is safe and predictable after a brief familiarization period. Our average speeds on the tour range from 40 to 60 kph, depending on the road conditions and traffic.

On which side do you ride in India?2020-01-14T22:21:09+00:00

Indians drive on the left. The flexible and generally considerate driving style of the locals makes it easy to adjust to riding on the “wrong side” and coping with traffic conditions that initially seem chaotic. The behavior of pedestrians and cyclists, and the frequent presence of animals on the road call for considerably more attention, however. Extreme caution is required around children.
Further information on traffic and riding can be found here and here.

What kind of food and drinks will we be having in India?2019-12-18T06:29:54+00:00

Western food is generally not available, so we’ll be having simple, often vegetarian meals as well as regional specialties throughout the tour. Hearty breakfasts will not always be available. We can promise you a wide range of cuisine, with a special emphasis on local specialties. In general, a lot of curry is served in India, and little meat – chicken being the most common non-vegetarian food – but plenty of vegetables, legumes and rice. Indian cuisine is generally well-spiced, easily digestible and not overly hot. Vegetarians will have no problems in India.
Indian beer is not always up to international standards. The most common brands are Kingfisher, Castle and San Miguel. The local Chang beer is quite effective but requires a bit of getting used to. Wine – when it’s available – is even more of an acquired taste than Chang. Mineral water and beverages such as Coca Cola can be purchased anywhere and must be carried individually.

Should I bring Indian rupees to India, or are US dollars preferable?2019-12-18T06:29:18+00:00

You are not allowed to bring Indian currency into the country or take it out. You may bring the equivalent of up to US$ 5,000 in foreign currency into the country without prior notice. We recommend bringing euros in €50 and €100 notes. Please make a note of the daily exchange rate to avoid getting a bad rate at the airport. American Express Traveler’s Cheques are no longer in common use and will cause unnecessary hassles. Credit cards (Maestro, Visa and MasterCard) with PINs can be used for cash advances from ATMs in many towns.
You will need the equivalent of around €100 to €150 for drinks, lunch and tips per week.

What’s a typical day on the road like?2019-12-18T06:22:49+00:00

A travel day normally begins at 8 am with breakfast. Around 9 am, after a short briefing by the road captain, it’s time for the day’s riding, the mileage of which can vary quite a bit. Plenty of time will be available for lunch and coffee breaks, of course. Depending on the day’s mileage, we’ll reach the destination hotel between 3 and 4 pm.
Since our tours vary considerably, we may also hit the road at 8 am on high-mileage days – which is also nice, because then we have the whole day ahead of us.

What’s the time difference?2019-12-18T06:28:18+00:00

Indian standard time is 5.5 hours ahead of GMT.

Tour Concept by RC Hendrik

About RC Hendrik