The most popular tour length for Tibet travel is normally around 7-8 days, which is usually enough for a trip to the major highlights of the plateau.
The first few days are mostly spent in Lhasa, sightseeing around this ancient charm city and acclimatizing to the high altitude before traveling elsewhere on the plateau. And the rest of the week is up to you to decide where to go.
Here our experienced travel gurus recommend some classic one-week Tibet travel routes and ideas as follows for your reference.
One-Week Tibet Tour with Everest Base Camp Visit
One of the most popular tours in Tibet, the iconic Lhasa to Mount Everest Small group tour could be the best choice for those looking for an ultimate one-week journey on the plateau.
The tour begins in Lhasa, with the usual 2-3 days of sightseeing and acclimatization. Visit the Jokhang Temple and Potala Palace, and explore the pilgrimage route around Barkhor Street.
After finishing the city tour with the major monasteries, you will head out of Lhasa, and pass Lake Yamdrok to Gyantse, home of the Pelkor Chode Monastery and the Kumbum Stupa. Then you continue to Shigatse, to visit the famous Tashilhunpo Monastery.
On leaving Shigatse, you will head through Tingri Town to turn south to the famous Everest Base Camp (EBC). The base camp gives you the best views of the stunning Mount Everest, and you have the option of staying in the Rongbuk Monastery Guesthouse or tent guesthouses (in the peak season only).
Enjoy the stunning scenery of Mount Everest.
You can wake in the morning after a good night’s sleep to catch the sun rising on the eastern slopes of the world’s highest mountain. Then get some breakfast before exploring the Rongbuk Monastery, the highest Buddhist monastery in the world. Later, you will depart from this awesome place and head back to Lhasa.
One-Week Tibet Tour in Lhasa and Surrounding
An alternative to crossing the plateau is to head in a different direction and travel north to Lake Namtso after departing from Lhasa.
One of the Great Three Sacred Lakes of Tibet, Namtso is also known as the Heavenly Lake, and is the highest saline lake in the world. The tour is a mere six days for this amazing experience, and begins and ends in the Tibetan capital.
Starting with the sightseeing tour of the City of Sunshine, you get to visit all the major landmarks of the Tibetan capital. Then it is out of the city and along the road north and the trip up to Lake Namtso takes around four hours.
The Namtso Lake is also known as heavenly lake.
Namtso Lake is sandwiched between the Nyenchen Tanglha Mountains to the east and the vast open plains of the Changtang Grasslands to the west. The views of the Nyenchen Tanglha Mountains are spectacular. If lucky, you can even see the traditional nomadic herders tending their yaks along the lake shore.
You can also enjoy a trek along the lake shore and around the small Tashi Dor island, and explore the meditation caves, before driving back to Damxung for the night stay.
Then the drive back to Lhasa on the next day is still filled with delights, as you will be able to visit Chimelong Nunnery and Tsurphu Monastery on the way, to get more interesting discoveries of Tibetan religions and culture.
One-Week Tibet Tour of Overland Adventure
The trip from Lhasa to Kathmandu is an amazing overland experience that begins in the Tibetan capital and takes you all the way across the vast Tibetan plateau to the Kathmandu Valley.
The tour starts with the first few days being spent in Lhasa, sightseeing and acclimatizing. You will get the chance to visit the Potala Palace, the Jokhang Temple, and the monasteries surrounding the city.
After that, you will travel overland to Shigatse following the smooth Friendship Highway. You will pass the stunning Lake Yamdrok on the way to the town of Gyantse, with its stunning scenery and beautiful turquoise waters.
Pass Lake Yamdrok during the trip from Lhasa to Kathmandu.
In Shigatse, you will visit the famous Tashilhunpo Monastery, the seat of the Panchen Lama, before heading off to stay overnight at the amazing Everest Base Camp. Here you will get to see the stunning sights of the summit of the world’s highest mountain, and tour around the Rongbuk Monastery, the highest Buddhist monastery in the world.
After departing from EBC, you will travel to the beautiful Gyirong Valley, and on down to the town of Gyirong. Here you will stop for the night before heading off to the border in the morning. After crossing the border between China and Nepal at Gyirong Port, you will take the scenic journey from the mountains to Kathmandu.
The alternative to this 7-day epic adventure across the plateau is to do the same trip in reverse, which takes eight days instead. This is because you will acclimatize along the way from Kathmandu and Gyirong Town, before heading off to EBC and the rest of the plateau.
One-Week Tibet Tour with Trekking Experience
If you are hoping to trek in Tibet during your week-long stay, then there are some great hikes on the plateau that you can try. One of the best Tibet treks is the 3-day hike from Ganden Monastery to Samye Monastery. The trek follows the ancient pilgrimage trail between these two famous centers of Tibetan Buddhism.
The hike is normally done after touring Lhasa and acclimatizing, and you will spend the night at the Ganden Monastery Guesthouse, after touring this ancient gompa, before beginning the hike on your fourth day in Tibet.
Ganden Monastery is the beginning of the scenic trek.
The three-day hike takes you through stunning valleys and across alpine meadows that rarely see people, and takes you over several rocky passes that exceed 4,500 meters. You also get to pass through nomadic herders' campsites, a unique opportunity to see how these ancient people live.
Once you arrive at Samye, you will get time to visit this ancient monastery, the first Buddhist monastery in Tibet, built in the 8th century by the Tibetan king, Trisong Detsen. After staying the night at the campsite close to the monastery, you will head back to Lhasa for your last day in Tibet.
One-Week Tibet Tour with Train Experience
One of the best ways to reach Tibet is by train, and the trains from mainland China run daily to Lhasa. Our 7-day Xining to Lhasa train tour, complete with a cultural visit to Shigatse, is the ideal way to explore this great land in all its glory.
The trains depart from Xining, and travel along the famous Qinghai Tibet Railway to reach the Tibetan capital. The train journey takes just 22 hours, arriving in the morning of the following day. Accommodation on the train is comfortable, and you are suggested to book a sleeper berth so that you can arrive in Lhasa refreshed and ready for your high-altitude adventure.
The train trip takes you through the Kunlun and Tanggula Mountains, crossing high mountain passes at more than 5,000 meters and giving you some of the most spectacular views of these stunning ranges.
The Tibet train will cross Tanggula Mountains.
After the Kunlun Mountains, you will cross Kekexili National Nature Preserve, the northernmost nature park on the plateau, and home to many indigenous species, including the rare Tibetan antelope.
After crossing the Tanggula Mountains, and the world’s highest railway pass, the train journeys down across the Changtang Grasslands and through the Nyenchen Tanglha Mountains to Lhasa.
Once in Lhasa, you will spend the first few days exploring the highlights of the city. Then you will travel overland to Shigatse, traveling past the beautiful Lake Yamdrok and the ancient town of Gyantse, stopping to tour the Pelkor Chode Monastery and the Kumbum Stupa.
In Shigatse, you will visit the Tashilhunpo Monastery and the major sights of Tibet’s second largest city, before driving back to Lhasa along the Yarlung Tsangpo River Valley, ready for your trip home.
While you may only have a week to tour Tibet, this is normally more than enough for you to get a decent taste of Tibetan plateau life.
Tibet is a land that would take many times to explore completely, and for most, taking a good and well-organized week-long tour is a great way to start that whole Tibetan experience.
If you are looking for a good week-long tour of Tibet and all its wonders, contact us and talk to our professional consultants and travel experts. Join us and let’s get you off to the Roof of the World.