First Time in Himachal? Here's a Super Detailed 9 Days Itinerary for You to Cover the Best Places!


Your dreams are coming true and all the stars have aligned! You're finally planning to visit Himachal Pradesh for the FIRST time.

I understand that planning your first trip to Himachal can be a little overwhelming. Especially if you have few days and a limited budget in mind, it is important to plan your trip efficiently.

Photo of First Time in Himachal? Here's a Super Detailed 9 Days Itinerary for You to Cover the Best Places! 1/1 by Dinal Jain
My first time in Himachal Pradesh

So, I have prepared a simple 9 days itinerary to help you plan the most amazing trip to this heavenly state!

Let's dive right in!

Day 1

Day 1: Reaching Himachal

If you're not from Delhi or Chandigarh, take an early morning/ late night flight to either of these cities to begin your road trip.

— Via Delhi: Take any HRTC bus or Volvo to Kasol

— Via Chandigarh: Take any HRTC bus, Volvo or Private Car to Kasol

You can either choose an overnight journey or travel during the day. Either way, it'll take around 14-15 hours from Delhi and 10 hours from Chandigarh to reach Kasol.

Chalaal Village, Himachal Pradesh

Photo of Delhi, India by Dinal Jain
Day 2

Day 2: Walking through the Chalaal Village

On either side of the Parvati river are the villages of Kasol and Chalaal. You can begin walking on the narrow road of Kasol, and through its market you'll reach the Kasol bridge. It is an iron construction that'll let you cross the Parvati Nadi and lead you to Chalaal. This bridge is a landmark that is a popular spot for photographs.

You'll find local homes in vibrant colours, villagers doing their usual chores and kids playing around. Relish the views, talk to strangers and if you take snacks along with you, don't litter. After a simple walk on an almost plain terrain, you'll find yourself among high pine trees. An hour of walking will let you reach the famous Freedom Café.

Freedom Café

A huge café that also offers staying options, Freedom Café overlooks the valley. It has psychedelic artwork all over the place. Enjoy an evening full of trance music if you happen to be here during one of their parties.

Things to eat: Red Sauce Pasta, Coffee.

Chalaal has several homestays that you can spend the night at. It's a good place to savour the silence away from the crowd of Kasol.

Sitting on the bank of the magnificent Parvati River, Kasol

Photo of Kasol, Himachal Pradesh, India by Dinal Jain

Parvati River

The magnificent and magical Parvati Nadi flows graciously throughout Kasol. You can sit by the river carefully and soak in its serenity. Watch the villagers wash their clothes, the animals grazing by the banks, and the sun setting with all its colours.

Alpine Forrest Café

Situated on the edge of river Parvati, this quiet café is a nice location to indulge in some finger food and enjoy the evening with light music. You can sit and watch the sun go down. The lighting will look really dreamy once the night takes over.

Local Momos

You can relish some street food while you're there. Momos are satisfying in the night as the cold breeze touches you.

Soma Inn - A Serene Stay

Right beside the Alpine Forest Café is this economical stay with a beautiful river view.

Room Tariff: Rs. 1200 per day (as per January 2021)

Malana Village, Himachal Pradesh

Photo of First Time in Himachal? Here's a Super Detailed 9 Days Itinerary for You to Cover the Best Places! by Dinal Jain
Day 3

Day 3: Hike up to the mesmerizing Malana Village

With its unique culture and eccentric governance, Malana is a village nestled in the Kullu valley. Spend the day here with the local villagers to learn about their God and other mystical stuff that the villagers believe in.

Read my detailed article on Malana for a conscious trip to this gem:

There's much more to Malana than its Cream

Manikaran Sahib Gurudwara

Photo of Malana, Himachal Pradesh, India by Dinal Jain

Day 4: Hot springs at Manikaran Sahib Gurudwara and discovering Tosh

Day 4

Manikaran Sahib Gurudwara

Take an indulgent dip in the magical natural hot water springs at the Manikaran Sahib Gurudwara. Take a local bus or car to this whimsical religious place.

Linked by an iron bridge over the Parvati Nadi, the gurudwara is on the other side of the main entrance. It also has a Shiv Parvati temple and a huge Langer dining hall. You can even stay at the Gurudwara.

Do follow all protocols like covering your head, washing your own utensils, etc as a way to ensure respect for the local community.

Tosh Village, Himachal Pradesh

Photo of Manikaran, Himachal Pradesh, India by Dinal Jain

Tosh Village

Situated in a quaint corner of the Parvati Valley, Tosh is a village you'll fall in love with at first sight. It has colourful houses with people as pleasant as the weather there. Soft and peaceful, you can end your day with a dreamy sunset right from the top of this village.

Read my detailed article on Tosh for a conscious trip to this gem:

A Magical Sunset in Tosh

The Evergreen Café, Kasol

If you've lived in a metro city or a city with tasty food, Kasol will disappoint you with its bland cuisine.

Though the Evergreen Café is one of those rare places to eat with a fun ambience and tasty food. Its elegant interiors also make it a nice place for a date.

A rainy day in Old Manali

Photo of Tosh, Himachal Pradesh, India by Dinal Jain
Day 5

Day 5: Hit the road, from Kasol to the popular hill station— Manali

It's no hidden fact that this picturesque township is a must-visit place, especially first-timers in Himachal. Nestled in the beautiful Beas River valley, Manali is split into two areas. The old region of the town and the new commercial area i.e. around its Mall Road. If you want to see the essence of the local areas and avoid the crowd, you must stay in Old Manali.

Staying in Manali:

Zostel Manali is one of the best options here. It is located right in the middle of a local vicinity. You'll find children playing, locals doing their daily chores and a 180-degrees-view of the mesmerizing snow-clad mountains. It is also away from the noisy restaurants, perfect for soothing nights.

Old Manali, Himachal Pradesh

Photo of Zostel, Manu Temple Road, Old Manali, Manali, Himachal Pradesh, India by Dinal Jain

The Colourful Old Manali Market

You can spend your first day climbing downhill from Manu temple to the Old Manali bridge. You'll find several cafes, bakeries, Tibetan shops, macrame arts, leather stores, and cute puppies. Take your sweet time to explore anything that comes in the way.

Sethan Village, Himachal Pradesh

Photo of First Time in Himachal? Here's a Super Detailed 9 Days Itinerary for You to Cover the Best Places! by Dinal Jain
Day 6

Day 6: To the Last Village— Sethan

Beat the crowd of Solang valley, and rent a car to head to the Sethan village. It's a secluded village overlooking Dhauladhar range with no cellular connectivity. Just about 12-15 km from Manali, you can enjoy adventurous activities here. From snowboarding to staying in an igloo, get the best package that suits your interests. Right before the village starts, you can rent snow boots and jumpsuits to fully immerse in the joy of snow.

Please note:

1. There is only one washroom in the entire village.

2. Do not litter, bring back all the waste you carry with you.

3. The villagers take a lot of effort to set up their shops at the top, please respect them.

4. Be careful while exploring the forest area.

Café Hopping in Old Manali

Famous for its vibrant cafes, good food and live music, Old Manali has it's own charm. Here are a few cafes I discovered on my trip:

(L) Rocky's Cafe (R) Renaissance Cafe

Photo of Sethan, Himachal Pradesh, India by Dinal Jain

Rocky's Café- Must go here for a 360 degrees view of Manali, lovely apple cider and tasty food.

Drifters Café- An amazing breakfast place, we had delicious aloo parathas with curd.

Raj Food Centre- Economical and tasty lunch. You can have all from momos to Chinese food. Also, the masala chai here is a treat for the cold weather.

Renaissance Café- Amazing pancakes and brownies, you can also have dinner here, with their delicious pastas & pizzas.

Soma Café- Live music and singing, the staff here is really welcoming.

There are many other nice cafes that you can explore on your own.

Disco Valley, Old manali

Photo of First Time in Himachal? Here's a Super Detailed 9 Days Itinerary for You to Cover the Best Places! by Dinal Jain

A Dreamy Star-Gazing Night— Disco Valley

A hardly 15 minutes walk from Zostel Manali, beyond Manu Temple, will lead you to the Manaslu river valley. Also known as the Disco valley, it is a truly magical treat to watch at night. The sky is full of bright stars shining. The streets hardly have any light and so you can see clusters of stars.

Paragliding in Kullu

Photo of Disco Valley, Disco Manali,Old, Old Manali, Manali, Himachal Pradesh, India by Dinal Jain
Day 7

Day 7: Flying in the air and checking off the popular attractions

Kullu is around 1.5 hours away from Manali, and that's where you can head for paragliding. Enjoy a thrilling aerial view of snow-clad mountains and the Beas river.

Paragliding Charges: Rs. 3500 per person (approx.)

Explore Manali's most-loved locations:

Mall Road- Lined up with delicious street food, ice cream parlours, traditional dishes and Tibetan shopping stores.

Hadimba Devi Temple- This popular temple is a must-visit. It has a forest area surrounding it. It's a pleasant place to take a walk.

Old Manali, Himachal Pradesh

Photo of Hadimba Devi Temple, Hadimba Temple Road, Old Manali, Manali, Himachal Pradesh, India by Dinal Jain
Day 8

Day 8: A Serene Day to do Nothing

Travelling through Himachal can be tiring. With the heavy winter wear, walking around valleys, and long commutes. You can have a quiet day to do absolutely nothing. Take in the mountains, take to villagers, play with kids and have a slow day by the river. Prep for the long commute back home!

Jamlu Devta Temple at my Dream Village - Malana

Photo of Manali, Himachal Pradesh, India by Dinal Jain
Day 9

Day 9: A Sweet Goodbye

It's time to bid 'goodbye' to this gorgeous Himalayan state. Take a bus or rent a car to either Chandigarh or Delhi, and from there, head to your home.

Hope you have a great trip in Himachal! ❤️

If you happen to use this perfect guide for your first time in Himachal, do let me know in the comments below! Ready to travel for free? Earn credits and redeem them on Tripoto’s weekend getaways, hotel stays and vacation packages!