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15 day tour from £2978
An overnight direct flight from London to Delhi.
The flight arrives in Delhi in the morning. You will be transferred to your 4 star hotel with the rest of the day at leisure. Explore the imperial city of Delhi – The Red Fort, Qutab Minar (tallest stone tower in world), enjoy a drink and meal in Connaught Place or go shopping in the amazing Janpath street market.
An early start to the day with a 07:20 Shatabdi Express to Amritsar. Shatabdi Express is one of the fastest and fully air-conditioned luxury trains in India running at a speed of 140km/hr. These trains are mainly used by tourists and business people for traveling between major cities. We arrive in Amritsar by 13:00. You will be introduced to your bikes which will be handed over to you after a briefing session. Visit the Sikh temple in the evening and the markets of Amritsar.
Amritsar, Pathankot, Dharamshala
Yes it’s about time! The day we get on our bikes and head 200kms northwards into the hills.
The first part of our motorcycle journey will take us across the plains of the Punjab on the main road to Pathankot – the gateway to Himachal Pradesh and the Himalaya. This road will give you time to get used to your bike and Indian traffic! From Pathankot we will make the 3hr journey to Dharamshala where the road becomes narrower and winding as the altitude rises. Throughout the journey there will be the beautiful backdrop of the Himalaya.
In the morning you will get the opportunity to explore Dharamshala and McLeodganj, home of Tibetan exiles and the Dalai Lama. At a height of 1,768m and set against a background of high peaks on three sides, it is a glorious setting. You can even go for a swim in the melt waters - very cold! In the afternoon we will start our journey to Mandi through the Kangra Valley. As we make our way to Palampur we pass through numerous tea plantations. All in all, a lovely ride.
Mandi, Shoja, Jalori pass, Sarahan
You should be used to your bikes by now as we take you into the mountains proper. You need to be on top of your riding game, as today we will be doing our first mountain pass; the Jolari Pass at 3,350m is by no means the highest pass we do but it is one of the steepest. Furthermore, the road conditions (if you can call it a road) are interesting! We will descend from the Jalori Pass and join the old Hindustan - Tibet Road. This road was originally part of the Silk Route; work on the actual road was started in 1850 by Lord Dalhousie who wanted to continue and enhance the trade ties with Tibet. It is a spectacular road with adventure and challenges awaiting around every corner. Magnificent.
Sarahan, Recong Peo, Kalpa
The scenery just gets more awe-inspiring as we head deeper in to the mountains and towards the Spiti Valley. Today sees us leave Sarahan nice and early as we follow the Sutlej River towards the Baspa Valley. The road in parts has been cut into the mountainside and there are sheer drops (150m+). It is breathtaking. We will be heading for the District HQ of Recong Peo - at Peo, as it is known locally, we will make a short detour to the Sub-Divisional Magistrates Office who will issue us with Inner Line Permits. Once we have got our permits we will head up to the beautiful village of Kalpa and our hotel. The views of the 6050m high Kinner Kailash are truly stunning.
Kalpa, Chitkul, Sangla
Back down the road and into the stunning Baspa Valley. The road along the Baspa Valley must be one of the most scenic in the world. We are now heading for the last Indian village before the Tibetan border, Chitkul. This small village (population of approx 700) is located at an altitude of 3,3435m and the Tibetan influence makes it presence felt. For those of you who want a bit of exercise we will take you on a short trek (4km each way to the village/outpost of Nagasthi). No civilians are allowed beyond this point as a few miles across the mountains lies Tibet. Back to the bikes and then its a short 45 minutes ride to our accommodation. We will be staying in Tents but don’t worry, these are large Swiss style tents with attached bathrooms and hot water. In the evening we will have a BBQ, sit by the bonfire and enjoy the mountain air.
It is hard to see how things are going to get better but they are. Day 9 is a long day but what a day - today is the day that we will be entering the wonderful Spiti Valley. It is a day of motorcycling that you will remember for the rest of your life. We will continue to follow the course of the Sutlej River until it converges with the Spiti River - hairpin bends and steep climbs are the order of the day. Our inner line permits will be checked at Jangi - from there the terrain begins to change as we move from Kinnaurs heavily forested landscape to the stark high altitude desert of the Spiti Valley. After a breathtaking day we will arrive at Tabo. Tabo is home to the second most important Buddhist monastery in the entire Himalayan region.
Tabo, Dankhar, Kibber, Kaza
Today is a day for exploring the magical Spiti Valley and is beautiful monasteries (Gompas). The terrain is incredible - it must be the closest thing to riding on the moon. Kaza is only 50kms away from Tabo but we will take you off the main road to visit some of the local sights. Visits will include the spectacular monasteries at Dankhar and Ki, a visit to the ones of the highest villages in the world at Kibber. Alternatively, we can visit the Pin valley, home of the elusive Snow Leopard. It is possible to take our bikes into the Pin Valley as far as Sangam. To visit the village we will need to use the Jhoola Bridge, a single wire suspension bridge which is crossed sitting in a sling and sliding on the wire with the help of an Ibex horn!
This is one of the toughest days on the bike as we will be tackling two high mountains pass. The first is Kunzum La, which at 4550m is the highest pass that we will be going over. The road conditions can be quite bad especially if it has recently rained. However, it is well worth the effort when you get to the top. The second pass is the Rohtang pass which separates the Lahaul and Spit Valleys from the Kullu Valley. The road is always busy through the summer months as it is popular with visitors to Manali who want a day out to see the snow at the top of the pass!
A day for chilling out. Explore the beautiful hill station of Manali, do some shopping or hire a mountain bike visit the famous Hadimba Temple. The choice is yours.
Your final day on the bike as we make the journey to the hill station of Shimla. Our route will take us through the heart of the beautiful Kullu Valley - the Valley of the Gods.
Shimla, Kalka, Delhi
We are back on the train. However, this time it is a Narrow gauge railway which will take us the 96kms from Shimla to Kalka. The ‘Toy Train’ as it is affectionately known, crosses 864 bridges, passes through 103 tunnels and takes approx 5hrs to complete the journey. Part of India’s ‘Unesco’ protected railway lines - it is a train journey that you will never forget and an ideal opportunity to chill out and take in all the scenery. From Kalka we will take the Shatabdi Express to New Delhi, check into our final hotel and enjoy our final night with a farewell dinner.
Morning transfer to the airport for your return flight back home.