*** Updated 2023 ***
Every year, we carefully update our itineraries to ensure that we are always offering the best and most exciting experience possible. This means taking advantage of newly opened roads, hotels, and restaurants, and constantly seeking out new and unique adventures to make your trip unforgettable. So you can rest assured that when you travel with us, you’ll be embarking on a journey that is fresh, dynamic, and tailored to meet your every need.
May 25th, 2023.
Day 1: Lhasa arrival [3650m]
Welcome to Lhasa! Your English-speaking Tibetan guide and driver will warmly welcome you and accompany you to your hotel. Lhasa is one of the highest cities in the world. We understand that the high altitude of Tibet can be challenging for some, so we recommend taking your time to acclimate. Rest assured, we will provide all the necessary support to ensure your well-being. Remember to drink plenty of water and take a good rest to minimise any altitude sickness symptoms. Get ready to embark on a once-in-a-lifetime adventure! Overnight in Lhasa.
May 26th, 2023.
Day 2: Lhasa sightseeing
At the assigned time, we’ll begin our tour by visiting the iconic Potala Palace. Built in the 17th century by the fifth Dalai Lama, this magnificent palace offers breathtaking views of the entire city and is home to the private quarters of the Dalai Lama, numerous grand state rooms, and chapels. Afterward, we’ll visit the revered Jokhang Temple, founded in the 7th century by Songtsen Gampo, which is considered the most sacred monastery in Tibet. Immerse yourself in the rich cultural heritage of this magical land: take a stroll through the vibrant Barkhor old quarter and follow pilgrims from all over the Tibetan plateau on a kora around the Jokhang Temple. Kora is a term used in Tibetan Buddhism that refers to the practice of circumambulating around a sacred site, such as a temple, stupa or mountain, as a way of showing devotion and accumulating merit. The practice involves walking clockwise around the site, often while reciting mantras, prayers or other sacred texts. It is also believed to bring good fortune and blessings to those who undertake it. Overnight in Lhasa.
May 27th, 2023.
Day 3: Lhasa sightseeing
Today we’ll visit Drepung and Sera monasteries. After breakfast, we’ll venture to the outskirts of Lhasa to witness the grandeur of the Drepung Monastery, the largest in Tibet, which once housed 7000 monks. Along with the monasteries of Ganden and Sera, Drepung is one of the three great centers of Tibetan Buddhist education in the Gelugpa school, also known as the Yellow Hat Sect. Founded in the 15th century, it was the former residence of the Dalai Lama before the construction of the majestic Potala Palace. In the afternoon, you’ll be mesmerised by the famous debates of the Sera Monastery, where the monks engage with vibrant energy in intellectual discourse and challenge each other’s understanding of Buddhist philosophy. It’s a truly awe-inspiring experience not to be missed! Overnight in Lhasa.
May 28th, 2023.
Day 4: Ganden Monastery & warm-up hike day trip [100Km]
We will begin the day with a visit to Ganden Monastery, located atop a hill in the Kyichu valley, 50 km from Lhasa. It is the main seat of the Gelug Sect and was founded by Tsongkhapa in 1409. You can also do a kora around the monastery, which offers peaceful views of the typical Tibetan landscape. After lunch, we’ll hike for some hours in the surroundings to improve our acclimatisation to high altitude. Overnight in Lhasa.
May 29th, 2023.
Day 5: Lhasa – Tsedang [180km, 3575m]
Let the adventure begin! We will head South-East towards the Yarlung Valley, the cradle of Tibetan civilization. Today’s plan includes exploring the region where the ancient Tibetan kings unified Tibet in the 7th century. Our first stop will be at Tsedang, the fourth most important city in Tibet, where we will visit the Yumbulagang Palace which dominates the valley from the top of a hill. Considered as the first construction in Tibet, resembles a medieval fortress. Next, we will visit the Samye Monastery (8th century), the first Buddhist monastery in Tibet. The monastery’s unique architecture forms a gigantic mandala, following the structure of the universe according to Buddhist cosmology. If time permits, we will also visit the Temple of Traduk today. Overnight in Tsedang.
May 30th, 2023.
Day 6: Tsedang – Gyantse [280Km, 7h, 3980m]
Early breakfast to get ready for an exciting day: we’ll start driving West towards Tsang region to ascend the Kampa-la Pass [4797m], where you’ll witness the stunning Mt. Noijin Kangsang [7206m] and the breathtaking turquoise waters of holy lake Yamdrok-Tso. An unreal sight that will leave you spellbound all along the way to the Karo-la Pass [5050m], where you’ll marvel at the glacier that majestically hugs the roadside. The final stop will be the charming Gyantse town, home to the Kumbum Stupa inside Pelkor Chode Monastery, renowned for its exquisite Tibetan art paintings. From the top of the Kumbum, you’ll also be treated to a magnificent view of the majestic Gyantse Dzong fortress overlooking the valley. Overnight in Gyantse.
May 31st, 2023.
Day 7: Gyantse – Sakya [250Km, 4320m]
Our first destination today is the historic Shalu Monastery. Built in the 11th century, the monastery was partially destroyed by an earthquake in the 14th century and then rebuilt, resulting in a blend of architectural styles. Shalu Monastery boasts an impressive collection of Buddhist art and sculptures that are well-preserved. It was a renowned center of learning for various tantric practices and techniques, and some of these skills were described in Alexandra David-Néel’s book, “Magic and Mystery in Tibet,” which impressed the world. Back to the Friendship Highway, we’ll take you to the stunning Sakya Monastery, the principal seat of the Sakyapa Sect founded in 1073 and one of the four major Schools of Tibetan Buddhism. Its powerful abbots governed Tibet during the whole of the 13th century until they were eclipsed by the rise of the Gelugpa Sect. With its unique Mongolian architecture, this monastery stands out from any other you’ve seen before. The lucky ones may get to witness the sunset from atop the monastery walls, accompanied by the hypnotising sound of the monks playing their dungcheng, a traditional long Tibetan horn. Overnight in Sakya.
June 1st, 2023.
Day 8: Sakya – Rongbuk (Mt. Everest) [230Km, 5000m]
Another thrilling day! We’ll reach one of the major highlights of our trip, near Mt. Everest North Base Camp [5200m]. The journey to Rongbuk involves crossing the high passes of Gyatso-la [5220m] and Pang-la [5150m]. Gyatso-la gives the opportunity to view Mt. Everest and the Himalayas for the first time; and from the top of the Pang-la you’ll enjoy amazing views of several peaks like Makalu, Lhotse, Cho Oyu, and Mount Everest. The Rongbuk Monastery is located at the foot of the Everest, and the highest monastery in the world. You’ll spend the night at the tourist camp site located a few Kilometres from the real EBC used by climbing expeditions, where you’ll have direct views of Mt. Everest (Qomolangma). Since 2018 tourists are not allowed to visit the EBC due to environmental protection and now there is a eco-bus shuttle to access Rongbuk. Overnight at simple guesthouse tent (dorm bed without bathroom). Overnight in Rongbuk.
June 2nd, 2023.
Day 9: Rongbuk – Saga [300Km, 4490m]
Start your day early to enjoy the sunrise view of Mt. Everest summit [8848m] on the horizon. After breakfast, we will visit Rongbuk Monastery for a final look of the Mt. Everest North Face. Our journey continues as we drive towards the Northwest, crossing high passes with enchanting views of the surrounding Himalayan peaks such as Cho Oyu and Shishapangma, and the wild and stunning Peikutso lake. Overnight in Saga.
June 3rd, 2023.
Day 10: Saga – Darchen [490Km, 4670m]
Today early morning, we’ll enter the semi-nomadic regions of Tibet’s far west. You will keep your eyes out of the window to see the authentic Tibetan landscapes throughout the long drive, as we traverse through the biggest and highest plateau in the world. Following west the Yarlung Tsampo river, also known as the Brahmaputra in India, we’ll arrive to little town of Darchen, nestled at the foot of Mount Kailash. This is where you’ll prepare yourself for the upcoming trek around the holy mountain. Overnight in Darchen.
June 4-6th, 2023.
Days 11-13: Mt. Kailash Kora during Saga Dawa Festival [52Km, max. altitude 5630m]
We begin the Pilgrimage Kora of Mount Kailash, the most sacred mountain in Asia. Tibetans and Hindu people from all over the World come here for religious reasons. First we’ll go to an important pilgrimage area called Tarpoche where Saga Dawa Festival is held every year on the 15th day of the 4th month in the Tibetan calendar to celebrate the day Lord Buddha Sakyamuni was born, achieved enlightenment and passed away. Saga Dawa is the most significant festival in Tibet and for this reason we all tibetans are willing to visit Mt. Kailash and complete its kora during this time. Our trekking plan is as follows:
Day 11: Trek to Dira-Puk Monastery [20Km, 5-6h, 5050m]. Overnight at guesthouse.
Day 12: Trek to Zutul Puk Monastery, [18Km, 6-8h, 4820m]. Overnight at guesthouse.
Day 13: Trek to Darchen [14Km, 3-4h, 4670m]. Overnight in Darchen. Overnight in Darchen.
June 7th, 2023.
Day 14: Darchen – Guge Kingdom [250Km, 3740m]
Scenic and adventurous journey to the Tibetan Wild West with unique landscapes en route to the tranquil oasis town of Tholing (Zanda). You’ll become an explorer while visiting the Tsaparang citadelle, Guge’s latest capital, of greater significance in the history of Buddhist art. Its remarkable wall murals display close links with Ladakh and Kashmir. You’ll uncover hidden cave dwellings, twisting paths, and tunnels that connect the palaces, immersing yourself in a fascinating and ancient world. We will end the day at Tholing Monastery, once the most significant monastic complex in western Tibet. As we stand over the first capital of Guge, the skyline comprises a vast sweep of the Ladakh Himalaya. Overnight in Tholing.
June 8th, 2023.
Day 15: Tholing – Mapam Yumtso lake [275Km, 4600m]
Today begins the end of your Tibetan journey through the most sacred Buddhist monasteries and greatest mountains on earth. If you would like to start early your day, enjoy the sunrise with Everest peak views on the horizon [8848m]. After breakfast we visit Rongbuk Monastery where we will take a last look at Mt. Everest North Face and then drive back to Shigatse to enjoy a nice shower, sleep in a comfortable bed. And if you have some free time, don’t forget to do the Kora around the monastery to soak up the stunning panorama of the valley and the impressive Dzong (fortress). Overnight in Shigatse.
June 9-10th, 2023.
Days 16-17: Mapam Yumtso lake – Saga – Shigatse [935Km]>
You’ll start your day by watching the sunrise over the holy waters of Lake Manasarovar. Afterwards, we’ll visit the Chiu Monastery before continuing our journey East towards Shigatse, after stopping for a night in Saga. We’ll travel through arid landscapes of sand dunes and wonderful views of the Himalaya Range and the Tibetan Plateau. Overnight in Saga and Shigatse.
June 11th, 2023.
Day 18: Shigatse – Lhasa [272Km, 3650m]
Our last day of our Tibetan traverse goes along the Yarlung Tsampo (Brahmaputra) River. This is the most direct route to Lhasa and part of the Friendship Highway. As early as possible, we’ll be visiting the Tashilhunpo Monastery, built in the 15th century by the first Dalai Lama and currently the seat of the Panchen Lama. On the way, we’ll make a short stop to learn how traditional Tibetan incense is made. Free time for the rest of the day in Lhasa. Overnight in Lhasa.
June 12th, 2023.
Day 19: Tibet departure
Enjoy your last hours in Tibet exploring Lhasa on your own until your guide and driver meet you at the hotel to transfer you to the airport. End of our services.
Consider extending your trip walking the wonderful ancient route between two of our most important Monasteries: The Ganden to Samye Trek. It’s also possible to spend one-two more days visiting holy Namtso lake in North Lhasa (250Km, 3-4 hours drive, one way). Or even take a relaxing day in Lhasa on your own!
Please, contact us for further information about any available extension of your trip.
Book during year 2020-2022 and we guarantee the lowest tour rates for you.
Saga Dawa is celebrated on June 4th, 2023 at Mt. Kailash. This is a special moment to be there. As we do every year, we are organizing our most special trip for this big celebration, starting on May 25th. We do Kora during that time because its meaning for us. We celebrate birth, death and enlightment of Buddha and we all tibetans want to do Kora for a better next life. There will be lots of pilgrims.
This is an original itinerary designed by us after many years of experience and excellence of our guides who have been leading hundreds of our now beloved friends from all over the world. Please, check Tripadvisor, Facebook and Lonely Planet Forum for their reviews.
All participants are responsible for their own travel arrangements to Lhasa. We take care of all China-Tibet VISA process if coming from Nepal. The size of the group is between 4-12 people and the kind of transportation varies according to the size of it: minivan or minibus.
Tour price for 4-12 people, 2850USD per person.
– Single room occupancy supplement: 560USD (hotels only).
Rates shown above include all permits, english speaking tibetan guide, comfortable accomodation, transportation and entrace fees ONLY.
Hotel in Lhasa is House of Shambhala Heritage Hotel in Barkhor area; outside Lhasa we selected best accomodadion available. ALWAYS in double room sharing basis with bathroom and breakfast, except Mt. Everest, Manasarovar (Mapam Yumtso) lake and during Kailash Kora guesthouses. Single room use in hotels available for additional fee. Please, contact us for further details.
Please, contact us for further details. You can also check our upcoming departures if these dates don’t fit your travel plans. You can also book your space the following year 2024 Saga Dawa Festival at Mt. Kailash.
Saga Dawa Festival day at Tarboche is fixed by our tibetan lunar calendar.
This are the dates for the upcoming years:
Year 2024: Saga Dawa 2024 is celebrated on May 23rd. Tour dates: May 13th – 31st.
Year 2025: Saga Dawa 2025 is celebrated on June 11th. Tour dates: June 1st – 19th.
Price varies accoring to the number of people in your group, category of hotel, transportation and other services you request. Please contact us with these important details first.
Consulte salidas especiales al Monte Kaikash con el único español residente en Tíbet.
All borders are open to international tourists. Please contact us by email to check the latest group availability and any further information during 2024. ➜ Read more