above the clouds 24 … spiti valley

Adventure trip through the Himalayans
Chandigarh – Sangla – Tabo – Spiti Valley – Manali

It would perhaps be a bit presumptuous to speak of humanity’s last great adventure – but this fantastic motorcycle trip through the mystical Himalayas will definitely become one of your very personal highlights in life. The highest mountain range in the world has always been one of the places of longing in the Western world. Through impressive high valleys and lonely villages, you continue over the highest passable mountain passes in the world. And on unpaved roads that are no longer legally passable in Europe – this makes every off-road enthusiast’s heart soar. But we won’t just drive through the Himalayan massif. Rather, we would also like to get to know something about the mystical, Buddhist-influenced culture and the centuries-old traditions. At the barbecue, around the campfire, at the folklore dance of the locals or visiting a monastery together, there is plenty of opportunity to get to know your friendly fellow travelers and spend nice hours together.

In the last two years we have driven across large parts of the northern HIMACHAL PRADESH and have been enchanted by the fantastic surroundings, the incredible gravel roads and the diversity of the different regions. These impressive experiences form the basis for the Himalayan road trip 2024, which we would like to experience together with you. This time we will stay a little east and make our way to the enchanting SPITI VALLEY. On this year’s route we encounter significantly more vegetation before we drive through the typically picturesque valleys and passes of the Himalayas again. The above-the-clouds Tour 2024 also goes over some of the highest passable passes in the world, over challenging gravel passes, through streams and water fords but also always through Indian mountain villages, past people and lots of monasteries, temples and spiritual statues.
We planned the route very carefully for you with our local partners. However, one must not forget that we are traveling in an area close to the border that has only been opened up more and more to strangers in the last few years. This can lead to very short-term changes to plans, which our spontaneous organizational talents on site will take care of on a routine basis.
Unforeseeable road closures, capricious weather or last-minute decisions by local governments can lead to deviations from the route at any time – the tour plan should not be seen as binding in detail – for this we would have to strictly adhere to the tourist routes – which we definitely don’t want.
Because every spontaneous complication and every problem we encounter makes the adventure of our motorcycle trip together complete.

Period: September 08th to September 21st 2024

Booking double room: € 4,499 per person
Booking a single room: € 4,899 per person

your motorcycle

You will be traveling with a gravel-tested Royal Enfield Himalayan.
Your adventure bike has the following key data
Power: 24.5 HP
Displacement: 411 cc
Engine: single cylinder
Seat height: 80 cm
Weight: 185kg

The Himalayan has been specifically designed for the rugged terrain of the Himalayas and is regularly maintained to ensure a safe and enjoyable ride.

We may be able to get the brand new and completely revised Royal Enfield Himalayan 450 from our rental company. In this case, the above key data will change in your favor.


key facts


Chandigarh – IXS Shaheed Bhagat Singh


Chandigarh – IXS Shaheed Bhagat Singh


September 08 to September 21, 2023


13 nights in mid-range hotels, homestays
and glamping tents

total distance:

about 1500 km

road conditions:

50% – 70% proper offroad (dirt and gravel roads)


medium to demanding

driver´s licence:

motorcycle license and proof of
International driver’s license

entry requirements:

passport and visa


Your motorcycle is insured with a deductible of 500 euros liability and comprehensive insurance.

We recommend taking out travel cancellation and international health insurance.


route im detail

For those who arrived yesterday, we recommend grabbing a tuk-tuk and spending a day in the city or to spend some time in the famous rock garden. All travelers should have arrived by evening to get some needed rest from the journey, so that we can enjoy a come-together dinner together in the evening and get to know each other over a drink at the roof-top bar.

In the morning we start with the exciting part to hand out your bike for the big adventure. Everyone will get a lovely Royal Enfield Himalayan. With our machanix you can make the needed  adjustments to feel comfortable on your bike that you will ride on the journey. When everyone is well prepared and the luggage is stowed in our support car, we set off for Mashobra: We leave Chandigarh on the southern outskirts of the city in order to avoid the hectic traffic and slowly get used to our motorcycles on the relaxed asphalt route. We stop at the nationally known restaurant Giani Da Dhaba in Dharampur for a second breakfast or lunch and fortify ourselves for the remaining kilometers to Mashobra, which are lined with apple orchards and green hills. Before we reach the epic mountain village, to enjoy the view of the snow-covered peaks of the Himalayas.

Our first real Himalayan stage begins early in the morning, which takes us into the beautiful mountain range dotted with serpentines, valleys and mountains. Today’s “long ride” takes us through various vegetation zones and gives us a foretaste of the road conditions for the next few days in the GRAVEL.
The first taste of real chai tea huts invites us to take a traditional tea break, which we like to take advantage of every now and then. At lunch time halfway along the route we enjoy the local specialties and are full of anticipation for one of the most charming places in the region. With the colorful houses on the hillside and the view of the holy mountain Kinnaur Kailash, Kalpa quickly captivates everyone. After having dinner together, we relax our exhausted bodies and celebrate the end of our epic day on the bikes around the campfire – weather permitting.

Today is a short stage to Sangla but the day will have breathtaking sections and will challenge us in various aspects, which will reward us with real motorcycle adventure feeling and fantastic views. Enough time and opportunity to take a few nice pictures along the way and linger at one or two beautiful spots.
Our great accommodation awaits us with delicious food just outside Sangla.

After a good night’s sleep, today we dedicate ourselves to the traditional town of Sangla, which is known for its Kinnaur architecture, which is well worth seeing. We stroll through the town in peace, visit the temple, let the local culture and folklore wash over us and generally relax a little from the last few days in the saddle.

Finally we saddle up our fire chairs again to make our way to Spiti Valley. Via Spello and Nako we cross a few smaller passes before the wonderful Spiti valley – “Mittelland” – lies in front of us. The unique mud huts, buildings, temples and stupas made of clay give this region a very unique flair. Of course, we absorb the spirit of the region with a night in one of the typical mud huts. Tabo itself is a small town on the banks of the Spiti River. The city surrounds one of the most sacred Buddhist monasteries, which according to legend is said to be over a thousand years old and where the Dalai Lama also retreats. Thousands of Buddhists made a pilgrimage to Tabo for the Kalachakra initiation ceremony conducted by the Dalai Lama in 1996, thereby gaining nationwide fame.

After a leisurely breakfast we continue the journey along the Spiti River. The national road takes us past numerous sights and deeper into the Spiti Vally. We make small but very worthwhile detours to some of the sights. The Buddhist Dhankar Monastery from the 11th century is particularly impressive with its extensive rock buildings and the fantastic view over the famous Spiti Valley. At todays destination in Pin Valley, we again find a variety of clay buildings – but this time with a much simpler and more “original” look. At 3,800 meters above sea level we are now pretty high up, so we’ll definitely take it easy in the evening.

Through the Pin Valley we go back a bit towards the Spiti River. A few particularly beautiful off-road kilometers and the Bhabha Pass sweeten the stage for us. There is enough time to look at some of the sights along the way and enjoy the breathtaking views. We then turn north at the Spiti River to complete the last few kilometers to the “capital” of the Spiti Valley.
The topography, the climate and the dry desert ahead are very reminiscent of Ladakh or Tibet. Surrounded by high mountain ridges, Kaza quickly enchants its visitors with its very special charm. When we arrive at one of our destinations, we set up our tents here for two days and chill out in the town and enjoy the comfort of the hotel. We also use the time to come into contact with the country and culture.

The break day in Kaza offers a wealth of activities that can be done around Kaza: from hiking to sightseeing to off-roading or just putting your feet up – everything is possible.

The bags are packed again and we saddle the horses to head towards Manali. But before that we make a few more meters in altitude by crossing the almost 5,000 m high high mountain pass Kunzum La Pass. It doesn’t go far lower, because our camping tents are waiting in Chandrataal at approx. 4,300 m – our highest overnight location. The name Chandrataal (or Chandra Tal) is a little misleading, as it is a very idyllic mountain lake. Tonight you will be resting the night at the lovely lake, a good sleep is guaranteed!

As soon as everyone is back on their Royal Enfield Himalayan we leave the camp towards the valley. Today’s stage also brings a lot of altitude – but towards sea level. To save fuel, we glide towards the Rohtang Tunnel, which connects the plateau with the Shanag Valley. Maybe the old pass is still open and someone will come up with the idea of taking this instead of the tunnel. Let’s see how we feel today. Either way, we arrive at the RideInn in the afternoon. Our “Himalayan Headquarters” spoils us with very friendly people, cozy rooms and amazing food. We settle in here again for two days and mentally prepare ourselves for our farewell to the incredible Himalayas.

Before the very last stage, we enjoy the “different” Manali today. The spirit and the strangers who live there are reminiscent of Goa. A stroll through pleasant old Manali invites you to shop for last-minute souvenirs and souvenirs from the Himalayas. In the evening we will celebrate our last evening together and let ourselves be inspired once again by the special hospitality, the fantastic food and the special spirit at RideInn. Time to reflect on the trip again with your new friends and highlight the most beautiful experiences.

Assuming that everyone left the farewell evening early enough, we set off for Chandigarh this morning. The closer we get to the city, the more traffic increases and the warmer it gets. We enjoy the last stage and, as always, stop for a chai tea and lunch along the way. Depending on when the flights home leave the next day, there may be another opportunity to say goodbye together in the hotel and wallow in the “heroic deeds” of the last few days. At sea level, the fitness level returns, which normalizes climbing stairs again and gives some scope for the celebrations.

See you next year……

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