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Motorcycle road trip India / Himalaya - To the Gateway of Tibet

Motorcycle road trip India / Himalaya

To the Gateway of Tibet

Travel into the remote Kinnaur and Spiti Valleys for an extraordinary adventure along the surreal trails bordering Tibet.

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Daniel will guide you!

Ben, Travel designer

He splits his time between leading tours and running our Delhi office. But of one thing's for sure: his love for motorbikes is undivided!

This out-of-the-way motorbike tour is one of our most exclusive Himalayan experiences. A demanding itinerary, accessible for just a few weeks in late summer, for bikers with nerves of steel. Between two worlds, you’ll ride through changing landscapes from a lush green land to a rocky desert world. Slender mountains, deep valleys, high passes, and little Buddhist monasteries perched on mountain flanks – and you’ll feel you are touching the stars by Chandra Taal, a large high-altitude lake of indescribable beauty.

Useful information
Period September
Duration 14 days incl. 10 days riding
Available extensions
Level Demanding
English-speaking tour leader
Accommodation Standard
From €2,650/pilot

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Your Motorcycle Tour in Himalaya 13 stages - 838 miles

delhi spice
D1 / Arrive in Delhi

Your first day is all about a smooth arrival in Delhi: you’re met at the airport and transferred to the hotel in the city centre. Your room is available from noon onwards. You have two options: you can stay at the hotel and rest after the flight or go out and explore India’s bustling capital.

tourists himalaya
D2 / Delhi - Nalagarh

We make an early start and head to Nalagarh in a private vehicle, crossing the green landscapes of the Punjab, the country’s most fertile region. We check in to Nalagarh Fort, an ancient royal palace in a small village in the Himalayan foothills.

rider india himalaya
D3 / Nalagarh - Shimla - 75 miles

We spend some time getting used to our Royal Enfields and take them for a few short rides on mountain roads surrounded by pine forests, oak woods and shrubs, enjoying one invigorating curve after the other. We arrive in Shimla, the capital of Himachal Pradesh and a charming hill station at 2,000 m altitude.

royal enfield india
D4 / Shimla - Sarahan - 105 miles

The road winds across the Himalayan foothills. We pass orchards, pine forests and mountains peppered with meadows in the distance until we reach Sarahan at 2,300m altitude. Sarahan is the gateway to the mystical Kinnaur valley with increasingly steep landscapes, where we spot our first real mountains and glaciers.

women india himalaya
D5 / Sarahan - Sangla - 99 miles

We climb up Sutlej Valley on the famous Hindustan-Tibet road, an ancient route linking Lhasa and the Punjab plain. At the end of the leg, we leave the main valley and take a narrow track that winds its way deep into a rocky gorge, ultimately opening up into a scenic alpine valley. We end the day taking a short ride to visit Chitkul, a picturesque village in Kinnaur district.

mountains india himalaya
D6 / Sangla - Nako - 112 miles

We ride through Sutlej Valley and carry on towards the Tibetan plateau. As we ride up towards the northeast, the lush green landscapes make way for starker, more barren scenery with the Sino-Tibetan border not too far away. We spend the night in Nako, a charming, typically Tibetan village at 3,600 m altitude.

motorcycle trip himalaya
D7 / Nako - Kaza - 75 miles

We push on into Spiti valley. We cross many villages en route, where Buddhism is omnipresent, before we arrive at Tabo in time for lunch. Still heading north, we reach Kaza, the “capital” of Spiti at 3,600 m altitude.

road himalaya
D8 / Kaza - 56 miles

We have a rest today and only take the bikes for a short ride. We visit the impressive Dhankar Gompa, a monastery perched high up on a ridge, before heading to the tiny village Lallung. We head back to Kaza for lunch.

motorbike tour india himalaya
D9 / Kaza - Kibber - 31 miles

Another short but action-packed riding day, which leads us to the high-altitude village of Kibber (4,200 m). We take a short ride to Tashigong and enjoy some fantastic off-road riding. We visit Kibber, a village surrounded by mountains that tower over 5,500 m altitude.

mountains himalaya
D10 / Kibber - Chandra Tal Lake - 112 miles

We head back down near Kaza and continue northwest. We cross the Kunzum pass (4,600 m), which separates Spiti and Lahaul. We take a rest at the pass to admire the colourful Tibetan flags fluttering in the wind and the breathtaking beauty of the glaciers surrounding us. On the last part of this leg, we take a bumpy track to Chandra Tal Lake at 4,200 m altitude, an unforgettable moment!

road himalaya
D11 / Chandra Tal Lake - Naggar - 124 miles

The most trying day awaits us with lots of tracks and rocks. We head back down to Chandra Valley before crossing Rohtang pass (3,900 m), a border between two worlds: on one side is stark Tibetan beauty and on the other, the lush Kullu Valley, known as the “Valley of the Gods”. The road down to Manali (at 2,000 m altitude) is impressive with its endless hairpin curves.

old woman india
D12 / Naggar - 50 miles

We visit the charming, green Kullu Valley. We pass traditional villages and orchards (which is why the valley is also known as Apple Valley) and visit Naggar and its fifteenth century fort. We go back to Manali, where some souvenir shopping is in order.

woman india
D13 / Manali - Delhi

You can have a free day in Manali (buffer day in case of any delays), where you can make any last-minute purchases and take one last walk in the Himalayan foothills. In the evening, we take a “Deluxe” night bus to Delhi.

temple india
D14 / Delhi - International airport

Depending on your flight schedule, you may have time to visit the bustling Indian capital, do some shopping or visit one of the Royal Enfield stores. You are transferred to the airport, where our services end.

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the full program

Available extensions

le taj mahal
Taj Mahal / 2 or 3 days

You're taken to Agra from New Delhi in a private vehicle with driver. During 2 or 3 days, visit the fabulous Taj Mahal, Fatehpur Sikri and the Red Fort of Agra.

varanasi benares
Varanasi (Benares) / 2 days

2​ days to discover the sacred town of Varanasi. ​An English-speaking guide​ ​shows you around ​the Buddhist city of ​Sarnath, one of the four holy Buddhist cities.​ As the sunsets, you take a stroll along the Varanasi ghats​ and​ attend Aarti, a daily worship ritual.​ ​On the second day, you t​ake a boat tour at sunrise​, visit the University, Bharat Mata Mandir​ and the rest of the city.​

The riders' opinions

Spiti Valley - Absolutely fantastic!

“Absolutely fantastic. The pre-trip organization and communication was stellar. The itinerary and accommodations were well planned and our guide, mechanic, and support driver collectively allowed for a trip where any risk of stress was quickly replaced with nothing but pure delight. I took the Spiti Valley tour ("Gateway to Tibet") which offered otherworldly views and rich cultural exposure. The remote area was particularly enjoyable as even when compared to other Himalayan routes there was very little traffic... truck or otherwise (The last thing I want to do is to go to a remote location to be stuck endlessly maneuvering around slow trucks). I sing the praises of Vintage Rides at every possible opportunity. I've ridden motorcycles all over the world either independently or with a tour group and this trip was tops! I wish I had sooner discovered Vintage Rides and they will certainly be my choice again. Vive la Moto! (If you like to see the video of the trip it is at advmotorbike dot com under "global moto"... it will say in image more than my words can convey!)”

I would recommend Vintage Rides to any …

“I would recommend Vintage Rides to any rider contemplating a guided motorcycle tour. Right from my initial email with Denise, the professionalism and attention to detail was reassuring. Everything was organised for us and our tour guide Josh was fantastic from start to finish. The Royal Enfields were a lot of fun and suited the type of riding we did, the scenery was simply mind blowing and the tour was the best holiday and adventure ever. On top of all this, the value for money was excellent. I will be touring with Vintage Rides again. I did the Trans Himalayan in India.”

Wonderful experience with great company

“My group of 12 friends had a wonderful experience riding in the Himalayas with Vintage Rides. From the fantastic Pierrey our tour guide to the work done by the backroom staff to ensure this unique experience went without a hitch, this a very experienced and highly recommended company to put your trust in for such a journey. Will definitely use them again at some time in the future - perhaps Mongolia.”


Upcoming departures

From June 16th 2019 to June 29th 2019
From September 8th 2019 to September 21st 2019
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