(10 nights 11 days)
This grand tour covers all the places in Sikkim that have made this little mountain state a sought after destination in the Indian Himalayas. You get to see North Sikkim’s alpine meadows & glacial lakes, the verdant thickly forested mountainsides of West Sikkim dotted with terraced fields, small villages & gompas, and some off-beat little explored parts of South Sikkim.
- Day 1: New Jalpaiguri Rly Stn/ Bagdogra Airport - Gangtok (1800 M) 124 kms /4 hrs Arrive at New Jalpaiguri Railway Station / Bagdogra Airport. You will be met and assisted at the station/airport and then drive to reach Gangtok by early evening/evening. Overnight in a hotel/resort.
- Day 2: Gangtok Drive to Tsomgo Lake after breakfast, a high altitude Alpine Lake and proceed further to the legendary Baba Harbhajan Singh Mandir and Nathu La Pass near the border with China. Return back to Gangtok by late afternoon. Evening free for personal activities – you could go downtown to shop & have a taste of this town vibrant night life.
- Day 3: Gangtok - Lachung (2425 M) 116 kms / 4-5 hrs Have breakfast and start for North Sikkim. As the journey continues from Gangtok the route meanders through small villages flanked by fields and valleys until it hits the forest grove of Kabi Langchuk. See the quaint villages of Mangan & Singhik- these villages offer a most glorious views of Kanchenjunga. Drive on to reach Chungthang- a village that lies at the confluence of Lachen Chu and Lachung Chu (Chu means River in the local dialect) and have lunch here. Move on, stop a while at the Vimnala Waterfalls and reach Lachung in the afternoon. Rest of the day is free to enjoy the Alpine picture postcard beauty of this village and the mountainside. Overnight stay in a resort.
- Day 4: Lachung - Yumthang Valley Lachen 95 kms / 4 ½ hrs After breakfast leave for Yumthang – Sikkim’s valley of flowers at 12000 ft (3600 M). The journey from Lachung to Yumthang offers an unforgettable virgin landscape covered with Rhododendron bushes and 108 types of Orchids. Visit the hot springs and enjoy a mesmerizing spectacle of yaks grazing on flower-carpeted meadows with a backdrop of snow peaks. Enjoy a picnic lunch and drive back via Chungthang to reach the village of Lachen in the evening. Overnight stay in a resort.
- Day 5: Lachen (2750 M) Today after early breakfast we proceed to Chopta Valley (Alt 13325 Ft / 4000 M) – an exciting drive through an alpine plateau to the virgin landscapes close to Tibet border. En route we visit Thangu -the last village in North Sikkim mostly inhabited by the nomadic tribes of Tibetan origin. Proceed further to Gurudongmar Lake - situated at an Altitude of 17600 ft (5360 M) this lake is considered as the most sacred Lake of Sikkim and it is certainly the most beautiful. Spend some time in this landscape of eternal beauty and be back in Lachen by late afternoon/early evening.
- Day 6: Lachen South Sikkim at Kewzing (1700 M) 135 km / 7 hrs Leave after breakfast visit the Angora rabbit farm at Rabum. There are only two such farms in India (the other one is in Kullu) shop for 100% pure Angora products. Carry on towards Ravangla district in South Sikkim. It is a long drive but through beautiful valleys and quaint villages. Go past Ravangla town to reach Kewzing village by late afternoon. This is a typical Bhutia Village in South Sikkim with a backdrop of the majestic Mt Narsing & Mt Karbu snow peaks crowning valleys dotted with beautiful terraced fields. On promise here are nature walks, birding, exotic food and interaction with the simple & warm locals. Spend evening around a bonfire drinking Chaang (traditional millet beer) in the company of family members of the farmhouse homestay you’d be staying the night at.
- Day 7: Kewzing This morning we will go for a short tour around the farm and interact with the villagers. From Kewzing we will take you for a pleasant nature walk of 2- 3 hrs to Doling Monastery – on a pristine village trail passing through lush green forest lined with Mendang (Buddhist Stupas), streams with log bridges on the path which takes about two to three hours. Packed Lunch will be served at Doling monastery. After lunch in Doling Monastery head of to Mt. Narsing village and enjoy unbelievable views of Himalayan ranges & snow capped peaks. Please note: those not interested in hiking can instead do a driving excursion to the most picturesque Temi Tea Gardens (the only tea estate in Sikkim).
- Day 8: Kewzing Pelling (2150 M) 32 kms/1 ½ hrs Leave after breakfast and reach Pelling. Check into your hotel room, freshen up and later do a driving excursion to Kecheopalri Lake and the awesome waterfall at Rimbi. Early evening visit the Rabdentse ruins by walk and try to be here for sunset - the scenic view from the top of the ruins scanning across the deep valley, to the mystic heights of the Kanchenjunga range is quite unforgettable.
- Day 9: Pelling Visit the Pemayangtse Gompa in the morning. Post breakfast leave on a driving excursion to the stunning valleys of Uttarey & Dentam – towards the border with Nepal.
- Day 10: Pelling Jorethang (300 M) 70 km / 3 hrs Post breakfast checkout & drive via Legship & Reshi to reach Jorethang. Check into rooms at a retreat on the rocky banks of the Rangeet River at Baiguney. After freshening up & relaxing a bit, drive to Phur Tsa Chu a hot water spring situated at the banks of river Rangeet. There are holy caves that you can visit here. Later drive to Chakung for a walk on the ridge overlooking the Rangeet Valley and Kanchendzonga. Catch the sunset here.
- Day 11: Jorethang Bagdogra Airport/NJP 90 km / 3 ½ hrs Post breakfast get dropped to New Jalpaiguri Rly Stn or Bagdogra Airport, well in time to board your flight/train back home.
PLEASE NOTE: those wanting to include Darjeeling could skip the night at Jorethang. So on Day 10 from Pelling you’d leave after an early breakfast to reach Darjeeling around 1230 hrs (95 km / 4 ½ hrs). Post lunch you could do some sightseeing, try and grab a short ride on the world heritage toy train circuit till Ghoom- the highest station. Spend the evening in the vibrant downtown area. Then on Day 11 you could do an early morning visit to Tiger Hill for spectacular sunrise views of gilded Himalayan Peaks. Later have breakfast and drive 95 km in about 3 ½ hrs and get dropped at NJP/Bagdogra. In case you want to have a bespoke stay in the legendary tea estates then at least a two day stay is recommended i.e. you return on Day 12.