Spiti Valley

26th September 2023

15 Best Things to Do in Spiti Valley: Thrilling Adventures (2023)

Looking to explore the best things to do in Spiti Valley? Look no further! In this blog post, we’ve got you covered.

From our past experience of leading group trips here, we’ve discovered the things to do in Spiti Valley, hidden gems and thrilling activities that will make your adventure truly unforgettable.

So join us as we unveil the top attractions, mesmerizing monasteries, thrilling treks, and encounters with the warm-hearted locals.

Get ready to be captivated by the charm of Spiti Valley and create memories that will last a lifetime.

Interesting Facts about Spiti Valley

1. Spiti Valley, nestled in the Indian Himalayas, is a high-altitude desert region.

2. It is home to ancient Buddhist monasteries, including the famous Key Monastery.

3. The valley offers breathtaking landscapes, with snow-capped peaks, rugged mountains, and pristine lakes.

4. Spiti Valley is known for its challenging and adventurous road trips, such as the thrilling drive on the famous Manali-Leh Highway.

5. The region is rich in cultural heritage and offers a unique blend of Tibetan and Indian traditions, making it a haven for cultural enthusiasts.

Best Things to Do in Spiti Valley

1. River Rafting

River rafting in Spiti Valley is an exhilarating adventure that allows you to navigate through the gushing waters of the Spiti River. The river’s rapid currents and scenic surroundings make it a popular activity for adrenaline junkies and nature enthusiasts alike.

As you raft down the river, you’ll witness breathtaking views of the rugged landscapes, towering mountains, and pristine valleys. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced rafter, Spiti Valley offers various stretches suitable for different skill levels.

This thrilling water sport in the midst of the awe-inspiring Himalayas is bound to create lasting memories and provide an unmatched adrenaline rush.

  • Location: Spiti Valley, Himachal Pradesh, India
  • Famous For: Exhilarating river rafting experience in the gushing waters of the Spiti River, surrounded by stunning Himalayan landscapes.

2. Pin Valley National Park

Pin Valley National Park is a nature lover’s paradise situated in the cold desert region of Spiti Valley. It is home to a diverse range of flora and fauna, including rare Himalayan species.

The park’s picturesque beauty is enhanced by snow-capped peaks, verdant forests, and crystal-clear streams. Trekking through its trails, you may spot elusive snow leopards, ibex, musk deer, and numerous bird species.

The park also preserves the unique culture and lifestyle of the local community, predominantly Buddhist. Exploring Pin Valley National Park offers a serene and immersive experience in the lap of nature.

  • Location: Spiti Valley, Himachal Pradesh, India
  • Famous For: Picturesque national park with diverse flora and fauna, including rare Himalayan species. Offers breathtaking views of snow-capped peaks and crystal-clear streams.

3. Buddhist Monasteries

Spiti Valley is renowned for its ancient Buddhist monasteries, which hold deep spiritual and cultural significance. These monasteries, perched on rocky hillsides, serve as tranquil havens for meditation and learning.

Key Monastery, one of the most prominent monasteries in the region, dates back to over a thousand years and houses a remarkable collection of Buddhist scriptures and murals.

Other notable monasteries include Tabo Monastery, Dhankar Monastery, and Kungri Monastery. Exploring these monasteries allows for a deeper understanding of the local culture and spirituality.

  • Location: Various locations in Spiti Valley, Himachal Pradesh, India
  • Famous For: Ancient Buddhist monasteries perched on rocky hillsides, providing spiritual and cultural insights into the local community.

4. Camping

Camping in Spiti Valley is a remarkable experience that allows you to connect with nature in its purest form. Nestled amidst the majestic Himalayas, the valley offers several camping sites that provide breathtaking views of the surrounding landscapes.

Pitching a tent in Spiti Valley allows you to witness awe-inspiring sunrises and sunsets, gaze at the star-studded night sky, and soak in the tranquility of the pristine wilderness.

Whether you choose to camp near the riverbanks, in the shadow of towering mountains, or in secluded valleys, the experience is bound to rejuvenate your senses and create unforgettable memories of being at one with nature.

  • Location: Various camping sites in Spiti Valley, Himachal Pradesh, India
  • Famous For: Camping amidst the majestic Himalayas, offering breathtaking views of landscapes, sunrises, sunsets, and starry nights.

5. Trek to Dhan Kar Lake

Embarking on a trek to Dhan Kar Lake in Spiti Valley takes you on a scenic journey through mesmerizing landscapes. This moderate-level trek starts from the village of Langza and winds through quaint hamlets, terraced fields, and rugged terrains.

As you ascend, you’ll be treated to panoramic views of the valley, snow-capped peaks, and the sparkling blue waters of Dhan Kar Lake nestled amidst the mountains. The serene ambiance and pristine beauty of the lake make it a perfect spot for relaxation and rejuvenation.

This trek offers a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in the natural splendor of Spiti Valley while challenging yourself physically and mentally.

  • Location: Spiti Valley, Himachal Pradesh, India
  • Famous For: Scenic trek starting from Langza village, passing through picturesque hamlets, terraced fields, and rugged terrains.

6. Village of Giu

The village of Giu is a hidden gem nestled in the Spiti Valley, known for its mysterious and intriguing attraction—the mummy of a Buddhist monk. The naturally preserved mummy, believed to be over 500 years old, is displayed in a small monastery in the village.

The mummy’s remarkably well-preserved state, with hair and teeth intact, fascinates visitors from around the world. The village itself exudes a rustic charm, with traditional mud houses and breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains.

Exploring the village of Giu offers a unique opportunity to delve into ancient Buddhist customs and witness an extraordinary relic of the past.

  • Location: Spiti Valley, Himachal Pradesh, India
  • Famous For: The village houses the naturally preserved mummy of a Buddhist monk believed to be over 500 years old.

7. Baralacha Pass

Baralacha Pass is a high-altitude mountain pass located at an elevation of 16,040 feet (4,890 meters) in the Zanskar Range. It serves as a gateway between the Lahaul and Spiti valleys and is a popular destination for adventure enthusiasts and nature lovers.

The pass offers awe-inspiring vistas of snow-capped peaks, vast meadows, and glacial lakes. Traveling through Baralacha Pass is an exhilarating experience, as the road meanders through challenging terrain and presents breathtaking panoramas at every turn.

The pass is also a crucial link on the Manali-Leh Highway, one of the most iconic and scenic road trips in the world.

  • Location: Zanskar Range, Himachal Pradesh, India
  • Famous For: High-altitude mountain pass at 16,040 feet (4,890 meters) serving as a gateway between Lahaul and Spiti valleys.

8. Stay at Zostel

Zostel is a popular accommodation option for travelers visiting Spiti Valley. With its comfortable and affordable dormitory-style rooms, Zostel provides a vibrant and social atmosphere for backpackers and solo travelers.

The cozy common areas and communal kitchens allow guests to connect with fellow travelers, sharing stories and experiences. Zostel’s prime locations in Kaza and other parts of Spiti Valley offer easy access to nearby attractions, making it a convenient base for exploration.

Staying at Zostel not only provides comfortable lodging but also opens up opportunities for forming new friendships and creating lasting memories with like-minded travelers.

  • Location: Kaza and other parts of Spiti Valley, Himachal Pradesh, India
  • Famous For: Popular accommodation option for backpackers and solo travelers, providing comfortable and affordable dormitory-style rooms.

9. Kaza’s Main Market

Kaza, the main town in Spiti Valley, is famous for its vibrant and bustling main market. The market is a hub of activity, offering a wide range of shops, cafes, restaurants, and guesthouses.

Visitors can immerse themselves in the local culture by exploring the market, browsing through handicrafts, traditional clothing, and local products. The market is also a great place to savor the delectable local cuisine, including momos, thukpa, and butter tea.

Interacting with the friendly locals and witnessing the vibrant atmosphere of Kaza’s main market is an essential part of experiencing the unique charm of Spiti Valley.

  • Location: Kaza, Spiti Valley, Himachal Pradesh, India
  • Famous For: Vibrant and bustling market with a wide range of shops, cafes, restaurants, and guesthouses.

10. Star Gazing

Spiti Valley’s remote location and clear skies make it a paradise for star gazing enthusiasts. Away from the light pollution of urban areas, the valley offers a breathtaking view of the night sky, with countless stars, constellations, and even the Milky Way visible to the naked eye.

The crisp mountain air and serene surroundings enhance the experience, creating a tranquil atmosphere for observing the wonders of the universe.

Whether you’re an amateur astronomer or simply appreciate the beauty of a starlit sky, Spiti Valley’s nightscapes are sure to leave you in awe and provide a profound connection with the vastness of the cosmos.

  • Location: Spiti Valley, Himachal Pradesh, India
  • Famous For: Clear skies and remote location ideal for observing the night sky.

11. Fossil Hunting

Spiti Valley is renowned for its rich geological history and abundant fossil deposits. Fossil hunting enthusiasts have the opportunity to explore the region’s sedimentary rock formations and discover fossils of marine creatures that lived millions of years ago.

The valley’s unique geological composition, shaped by ancient seas and tectonic activity, has preserved a diverse array of fossils.

By embarking on a fossil hunting adventure, visitors can learn about the region’s prehistoric past and marvel at the fossils of ammonites, trilobites, and other ancient marine organisms embedded in the rocks.

  • Location: Spiti Valley, Himachal Pradesh, India
  • Famous For: Rich geological history and abundant fossil deposits.

12. Yak Safari

A yak safari is a one-of-a-kind experience that lets you traverse the breathtaking landscapes of Spiti Valley while riding on these majestic creatures. Yaks, with their sturdy build and thick fur, are well adapted to the harsh mountain environment.

The safari takes you through picturesque valleys, meandering rivers, and lush meadows, offering panoramic views of the surrounding Himalayan peaks.

Riding a yak allows you to immerse yourself in the tranquility of the region and witness its natural beauty up close. The gentle sway of the yak’s stride combined with the mesmerizing scenery creates a unique and unforgettable adventure.

  • Location: Spiti Valley, Himachal Pradesh, India
  • Famous For: Unique adventure allowing travelers to ride majestic yaks through picturesque valleys, rivers, and meadows.

13. Nako Village Walk

Nestled on the banks of Nako Lake, Nako Village is a picturesque hamlet in Spiti Valley that offers a serene and charming atmosphere. Taking a leisurely walk through the village allows you to soak in its rustic beauty and experience the local way of life.

The village is known for its traditional mud-brick houses, colorful prayer flags fluttering in the breeze, and serene Buddhist monasteries. As you stroll through the narrow lanes, you’ll encounter friendly locals, get glimpses of their daily activities, and perhaps even partake in their age-old customs.

The Nako Village walk offers a peaceful retreat and a chance to connect with the warmth and simplicity of rural life in the Himalayas.

  • Location: Nako, Spiti Valley, Himachal Pradesh, India
  • Famous For: Picturesque village situated near Nako Lake. Features traditional mud-brick houses, colorful prayer flags, serene monasteries, and a chance to experience the local way of life.

14. Chill By The Spiti River

The Spiti River, originating from the Kunzum Range, carves its way through the rugged terrain of Spiti Valley, creating a breathtaking landscape. Finding a peaceful spot along the riverbank and spending time there is a rejuvenating experience.

You can relax on the banks, listening to the soothing sound of the flowing water, or dip your feet in the crystal-clear stream. The picturesque surroundings, with towering mountains and lush greenery, provide a tranquil backdrop for unwinding and enjoying the serenity of nature.

Whether you choose to read a book, meditate, or simply bask in the beauty of your surroundings, chilling by the Spiti River offers a perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of daily life.

  • Location: Spiti Valley, Himachal Pradesh, India
  • Famous For: Offers a tranquil atmosphere, soothing sound of flowing water, and stunning surroundings with towering mountains and lush greenery.

15. World’s Highest Post Office

Hikkim, a small village in Spiti Valley, is home to the world’s highest post office. Situated at an altitude of 14,567 feet (4,440 meters), the post office is a testament to human resilience and connectivity even in the most remote regions.

Visitors have the opportunity to send postcards or letters from this extraordinary post office, stamped with the unique distinction of being posted from the highest post office in the world.

It’s a fascinating experience to interact with the postmaster, learn about the challenges they face in operating at such high altitudes, and send greetings to loved ones from this remarkable location.

  • Location: Hikkim, Spiti Valley, Himachal Pradesh, India
  • Famous For: Allows visitors to send postcards or letters with a unique distinction and interact with the postmaster.

Best Time to Visit Spiti Valley

The best time to visit Spiti Valley is during the summer months, from May to July, and the early autumn season, from September to October. During these periods, the weather is relatively pleasant with mild temperatures, clear skies, and minimal chances of rainfall.

The summer months offer the advantage of accessibility as most of the high mountain passes are open, allowing for smooth travel. The landscape blooms with vibrant flowers, and the valleys are lush with greenery.

In the early autumn season, you can witness the stunning autumn colors, adding an extra charm to the already breathtaking scenery. It’s advisable to avoid the monsoon season and the harsh winter months due to heavy rainfall, landslides, and extreme cold temperatures.

How to Get to Spiti Valley

1. By Road

The most common and convenient way to reach Spiti Valley is by road. You can access the valley through two primary routes. The first route is from Manali, where you can take the Manali-Leh Highway and cross the high-altitude Rohtang Pass to reach Spiti Valley. The second route is from Shimla, where you can travel on the Hindustan-Tibet Road, passing through the scenic Kinnaur Valley and crossing the high mountain pass of Kunzum La. 

2. By Train

Spiti Valley does not have a direct railway connection. The nearest railway stations are in Shimla and Joginder Nagar. From these stations, you can hire a taxi or take a bus to reach Spiti Valley. The train journey offers scenic views of the Himalayan foothills, and it’s a great option for those who prefer a more relaxed and comfortable mode of transportation.

3. By Air

The nearest airport to Spiti Valley is in Bhuntar, near Kullu. From Bhuntar, you can hire a taxi or take a bus to reach Spiti Valley. The airport has regular flights from major cities like Delhi and Chandigarh. Another option is to fly to Chandigarh Airport and then travel by road to Spiti Valley.

Where to Stay in Spiti Valley

1. Kaza: Kaza is the main town and administrative center of Spiti Valley, making it a convenient and popular place to stay. It offers a range of accommodation options, including guesthouses, homestays, and hotels. Staying in Kaza allows easy access to nearby attractions and amenities like restaurants, shops, and transportation services.

2. Tabo: Tabo is a serene village in Spiti Valley known for its ancient monastery and peaceful ambiance. It offers a tranquil retreat away from the crowds, surrounded by stunning landscapes. Accommodation options in Tabo include guesthouses and homestays, allowing you to experience the warmth of Spitian hospitality.

3. Dhankar: Dhankar is a picturesque village perched on a cliff overlooking the confluence of the Spiti and Pin Rivers. It is famous for its ancient monastery and breathtaking panoramic views. Staying in Dhankar offers a unique experience, allowing you to soak in the tranquility of the village and enjoy the dramatic vistas.

Where to Eat in Spiti Valley

1. Café Kunzum Top: Located in Kaza, Café Kunzum Top is a popular eatery known for its cozy ambiance and delicious food. The café offers a variety of dishes, including local Spitian cuisine, Tibetan specialties, and international options. Whether you’re craving a comforting bowl of thukpa or want to try the famous momos, Café Kunzum Top has got you covered.

2. Hotel Snow Lion Restaurant: Situated in Tabo, the Hotel Snow Lion Restaurant is renowned for its delectable food and welcoming atmosphere. The restaurant serves a diverse range of dishes, including Indian, Tibetan, and Continental cuisines.

3. Dhankar Monastery Café: For a unique dining experience with a view, head to the Dhankar Monastery Café. Located near the Dhankar Monastery, this café offers a picturesque setting with panoramic vistas of the Spiti Valley. Enjoy a cup of hot tea or coffee while relishing the serenity of the mountains.

Travel Tips & Suggestions

1. Acclimatize gradually to the high altitude.

2. Pack warm clothing and layers for unpredictable weather.

3. Carry essential medications and a first aid kit.

4. Stay hydrated and drink plenty of water.

5. Plan for limited connectivity and carry a backup power source.

6. Respect the local culture and customs.

7. Hire a local guide for better navigation and insights.

Conclusion – Things to Do in Spiti Valley

Embark on an unforgettable journey to Spiti Valley, a treasure trove of hidden gems and thrilling activities. Explore mesmerizing monasteries, challenge yourself with river rafting, and witness the breathtaking landscapes.

Engage with warm-hearted locals and immerse yourself in their rich culture. From the ancient Key Monastery to the picturesque Pin Valley National Park, Spiti Valley offers a myriad of experiences.

Whether you choose to camp under the starry sky, trek to Dhan Kar Lake, or simply chill by the Spiti River, this high-altitude desert region will captivate your senses.

Plan your visit, indulge in the local cuisine, and embrace the serene beauty of Spiti Valley.

FAQs – Things to Do in Spiti Valley

What are the must-visit places in Spiti Valley?

When exploring Spiti Valley, make sure to visit the breathtaking Key Monastery, the ancient Tabo Monastery, and the spellbinding Chandratal Lake. These iconic landmarks showcase the region’s rich cultural heritage and offer stunning panoramic views that will leave you in awe.

How can I reach Spiti Valley?

To reach Spiti Valley, you have a couple of options. You can take a scenic road trip from Manali via the thrilling Rohtang Pass and Kunzum Pass. Alternatively, you can access the valley from Shimla, following the mesmerizing Hindustan-Tibet Road. Both routes offer incredible views, but be prepared for some challenging terrain and high-altitude driving.

What are some adventurous activities to do in Spiti Valley?

Spiti Valley is a paradise for adventure enthusiasts. You can embark on thrilling treks like the Pin Parvati Pass trek or explore the stunning Spiti River on a white-water rafting expedition. For adrenaline junkies, there’s also the option to try mountain biking on the rugged terrain or indulge in rock climbing and rappelling adventures.

Are there any unique cultural experiences in Spiti Valley?

Spiti Valley is known for its rich cultural heritage and warm hospitality. You can immerse yourself in the local culture by participating in traditional Buddhist festivals at the monasteries, interacting with the friendly villagers, and even staying in a homestay to experience the authentic way of life in the valley.

What is the best time to visit Spiti Valley?

The best time to visit Spiti Valley is during the summer months, from June to September when the weather is pleasant and the roads are accessible. However, if you’re interested in witnessing snow-covered landscapes and want to experience the winter charm, you can plan a visit during the colder months of December to February.

Are there any offbeat attractions in Spiti Valley?

Spiti Valley is a treasure trove of offbeat attractions. You can explore the awe-inspiring Dhankar Lake, visit the picturesque village of Langza with its iconic Buddha statue, or head to the stunning Pin Valley National Park, known for its unique wildlife and vibrant flora.

What should I pack for a trip to Spiti Valley?

When packing for Spiti Valley, it’s essential to include warm clothing, as the temperatures can drop significantly, especially at night. Don’t forget to pack sturdy shoes for trekking, sunscreen, sunglasses, a hat, and a good camera to capture the mesmerizing landscapes. It’s also wise to carry a first aid kit and stay hydrated by keeping a water bottle handy.

Next Available Trip

Get ready to explore Spiti Valley with One in the Orange Jacket. Spiti Valley roadtrip is for those who have an affection for long journeys. We pass through some of the areas which were Old Tibet and see numerous monasteries and even visit the a high altitude lake.
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