Kailas - Tibet's Sacred Peak - Saga Dawa Festival
Tibet, Trek & Walk, 20 days - from £3,395 (land only) - from €4,245 (land only) - from $5,945 (land only)
Day 1: Rendezvous at the group hotel in Kathmandu. Complimentary airport transfers are provided. KE Land Only package services begin with dinner and overnight at the group hotel.
Day 2: A free day in Kathmandu while our agent processes the group visa for Tibet. There is the option for a guided tour of some of the city's most important sights.
Day 3: We make the dramatic flight across the Nepal Himalaya from Kathmandu to Lhasa. We are met at the airport and make the 1 hour transfer from there to our hotel in the city.
Day 4: A day in Lhasa for sightseeing and acclimatisation. We visit the spiritual centre of Lhasa, the Jokhang Temple, and the surrounding market area of the Barkor. Overnight in Lhasa.
Day 5: In the morning we will visit the Potala Palace, the most spectacular of the sights of Lhasa.In the afternoon we have an excursion to the impressive Sera Monastery located outside the city. Overnight in Lhasa.
Day 6: Taking the new paved highway beside the Tsangpo River (Brahmaputra) we drive to Shigatse where we visit the Tashilunpo Monastery. Overnight in a hotel.
Day 7: We drive across a pass (4500m) which offers views of the Himalayas. Beyond the town of Lhatse we cross the Tsangpo River and set up our first camp of the trip.
Day 8: A long drive, heading west across the Tibetan plateau is compensated by spectacular views of the range of snowy peaks of the Himalaya to the south. We make a camp near the remote town of Saga.
Day 9: Another day of driving on a good paved road through a contrasting landscape of ochre desert and high mountain brings us to the isolated habitation of Paryang, where we make camp.
Day 10: A spectacular finale to our drive across western Tibet, with holy Mount Kailas ahead of us as we reach Lake Manasarovar. Camp on the lakeshore.
Day 11: We spend the morning at the lake. In the afternoon we have a short drive to Darchen and from here we travel by local transport or on foot into the Lha Chu Valley. Arriving in Darboche (4700m), the site for the Saga Dawa Festival beneath the imposing dome of Mount. Kailas, we set up our camp close to the 'Pilgrim's Village'.
Day 12: At the festival. At the gathering for the Saga Dawa prior to the raising of the flag pole, there is usually horse racing and a variety of market stalls. We can enjoy the festival atmosphere or take a walk up onto the cliffs where the sky burials take place.
Day 13: The Saga Dawa flagpole raising is normally mid morning. After lunch we begin the circuit of Kailas, today trekking beside the Lha Chu to Driraphuk Gompa where we set up camp.
Day 14: We cross the Drolma La (5600m), festooned with colourful prayer flags and resonating with repeated mantra. After appropriate ceremony on the pass we descend into the the Lham Chu Valley and make camp.
Day 15: Trekking beside the Lham Chu, we visit Zutulphuk Gompa and the cave of Milaripa before reaching a camping place at the corner of the valley.
Day 16: Today we continue the descent of the Lham Chu Valley as views of Manasarovar and Rakas lakes open up ahead framed by the snowy peaks of the Himalya. Arriving back in Darchen, we have completed the kora of Kailas and we meet our vehicles for the short drive to a camp at Hor Manasarovar.
Day 17: Return drive to a camp midway between Paryang and Saga.
Day 18: Today we cross the Lalung La and then the Shung La (5200m) before descending to Zangmu on the Nepal/Tibet border, where we overnight in a hotel.
Day 19: We say goodbye to our Tibetan guide and drivers and cross the border into Nepal. Onward drive to Kathmandu, where we check into our comfortable hotel.
Day 20: KE Land Only package services end with breakfast. Complimentary airport transfers are provided.
This holiday involves going to very high altitude. During the course of your trip you will be spending at least one night above 4000 metres and/or trekking to 5000 metres or above. This is not something that you should worry about; the human body is quite capable of adapting to a very wide range of altitudes, but it is important that we follow some simple rules in order to acclimatise successfully. Before coming on this holiday you should read the advice on trekking at high altitude.