The Ultimate 7 Day Manali Travel Itinerary
Best of Manali in One Week
While MANALI was always famous for being the base point for some of the Best Treks in the Himalayas, such as the Hampta Pass Trek, Beas Kund Trek, Bhrigu Lake Trek among others and the starting point for the famous Manali – Leh Road Trip ; with the inauguration of Atal Tunnel, which has reduced the travel time by over 3-4 hours, and has now become the gateway to the Lahul Valley, Manali in general has once again become an attractive destinations for travellers, backpackers and road trippers from all over India. Not only that, Manali has also become a hub for Digital Nomads and is one of the best places to Work from Mountains.
This 7 Day Manali Travel Itinerary is NOT the conventional Manali Circuit that the tour companies offer, but rather a mix of all the best experiences that Manali has to offer, including – Cafe Hopping in Old Manali | Trekking and Camping in the Himalayas | Road Tripping in the Himalayas and exploring quaint offbeat hamlets around Manali.
Also included in this Manali Travel Itinerary are accommodation recommendations, if you are wondering Where to Stay in Manali !
- Best of Manali in One Week
- Tips and Recommendations
- 7 Day Trip to Manali – Brief Itinerary
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The 7 Day Manali Travel Itinerary
Day 1 – Reach Manali | Stay in Old Manali
Reach Old Manali, check in to your Hotel or a Hostel or a Homestay, and If you are wondering where to stay in Old Manali, here are some of our recommendations :
Hostel : Alt Life Manali | Zostel Manali | The Hosteller Manali | YOLO Backpackers – Manali
Homestay : Orchard’s House – The Hidden Tribe | The Professor’s Hut | Drifter’s Inn
Hotel : Apple Country Resorts | The Orchard Greens Resort and Spa | Keekoo Manali
Once you have settled in, just take a walk around the area, and acquaint yourselves with the surroundings.
You might as well, take an auto or walk till the Mall road, and indulge in some shopping.
Also, if you are wondering how to Reach Manali? – The best and the most cost effective way to reach Manali is by getting on an overnight AC Volvo from Delhi or Chandigarh. Alternatively, you can just drive on your own, or if you are coming in a group, a private cab can also be an economical option.
Day 2 – Experience the charm of Old Manali
Old Manali has a charm of its own, and that is something that can be experienced only by staying there, and wandering on the streets.
The best way is to start the day with a relaxed breakfast at Rocky’s Cafe. For this you’ll have to go all the way till Manu Temple.
After having a nice hearty breakfast, you can either choose to make Rocky’s Cafe your Workstation With a View, or can slowly start descending, taking your time, and checking out anything that catches your eye.
Dining With a View
Your next step can be Renaissance for some delicious Pizzas or the Drifter’s Cafe for some Pizzas, Burgers or Pasta.
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If you are looking to buy some funky jewellery, or some Pahaadi style clothes, keep an eye out on the multiple shops selling such stuff in Old Manali.
As you further descend down, you will reach Evergreen Bakery. Stop here, and do try out some of the yummy sweets they sell. You might like to try out the Chocolate Macaroons or the Carrot Cake or anything else.
Next depending on what time it is, you can go to the river side, and soak in the quintessential Old Manali vibes.
River Manalsu flowing through Old Manali – The Quintessential Manali setting
You can even cross the river, and enjoy a stroll to Hadimba Temple.
While you are near Hadimba Temple, you might also want to check out Southern Souls, if you are craving some delicious South Indian food.
You can call it a day, whenever you feel tired, or when it starts to get dark.
Day 3 – Road Trip to Atal Tunnel and beyond
Day 3 of this One Week Trip to Manali is reserved for a Road Trip to Lahul Valley via Atal Tunnel. Atal Tunnel aka Rohtang Tunnel, built under the Rohtang Pass, that took around 10 years to be fully operational, has become the most famous attraction for everyone who is visiting Manali.
At a length of 9.02 kms, Atal Tunnel is the longest tunnel above 10,000 feet, and cuts the travel time between Manali and Leh by around 3-4 hours. You enter the tunnel in Manali and end up in the Lahul Valley. And the very fact that you can travel from Manali to Sissu in 15-20 minutes via the Atal Tunnel is what has turned Atal Tunnel into the most talked about attraction in and around Manali.
Under ideal conditions, one can go all the way till Baralacha La Pass and come back to Manali on the same day, however if you take your time, there are plenty of nooks and corners enroute Darcha, where you can spend time just enjoying the moment and the scenery.
One can always take a cab, however to truly experience the thrill of riding through the Atal Tunnel and immersing yourself in the surroundings, go on a bike / scooty.
PS – There are plenty of places from where you can rent a 2 wheeler in Manali.
Day 4 and 5 – Go on a Trek – Bhrigu Lake
Deemed to be the prettiest grassland trek in Himachal, the Bhrigu Lake Trek is something that should definitely be on your radar, which is why I have added the Bhrigu Lake Trek in this 7 Day Manali Travel Itinerary.
While the best time to do the trek is definitely between May and September, when it’s all green and the clouds are at your level, one can trek up to Bhrigu Lake practically any time of the year, subject to the weather conditions.
Please note that the temperature during summers hovers around 20-25 C in the daytime and falls to 5-7 C at night. In winter the temperature gets lower with 10-15 C around daytime and nearly 0 to -7 C at night. Almost half a year the lake remains frozen, and one can enjoy the sight of snow even during the early summer time.
Bhrigu Lake Trek is a Easy – Moderate level trek, and can be easily done in 2 days, provided it hasn’t snowed yet, as snow makes the trail more tricky and you need to be cautious and you ultimately end up taking more time
On Day 1 you trek for roughly 4-5 hours covering a distance of 6 kms from the starting point at Gulaba at an altitude of 9000 feet until the campsite at Rola Kholi, which is at an altitude of 12,500 feet.
On Day 2 you start early in the morning and start the 4-5 kms trek uphill to reach Bhrigu Lake from Rola Kholi. Ideally it should take you around 3-4 hours to reach Bhrigu Lake, which is at an altitude of 14,000 feet, while taking intermediate breaks enroute to snack on and to enjoy the mesmerising views of the mighty Himalayan Peaks including Deo Tibba and Hanuman Tibba.
A 30 – 45 minute stoppage at Bhrigu Lake should be more than enough for you to take it all in !
On the way down, it shouldn’t take you more than 2 hours to reach back to the campsite Rola Kholi, where you have your brunch / lunch.
If you happen to go with any trek company, chances are that you’ll stay back at the campsite for the night, but we recommend you to start heading back to Gulaba by 2 – 3 PM max.
As it’s all downhill, you should be back to Gulaba by 6 PM, and you can go back to your hotel/hostel – take a relaxing hot shower, have a hearty meal, and have a good night’s sleep.
Yes, you will be stretching it out on Day 2 and will be walking for almost 16 kms, but trust me, it’s better than staying an extra night in the tents, and walking down on the 3rd day.
Alternatively, you can also check out the Lama Dugh Trek, if Bhrigu Lake Trek is not feasible.
Day 6 – Head to Hallan Village | Disconnect with the World
A 45 minute – 1 hour drive from Old Manali is Hallan Village – A quaint hamlet in the lap of Himalayas, away from the chaos of Manali. And in this quaint hamlet, you will find a couple of rustic home-stays and hostels, with unparalleled views of the majestic Himalayas, that can be your new Workstation with a view.
If you are lucky and there are clouds in the sky, you will fall in love with the setting, as the skies in front of you will be a canvas dotted with clouds, and numerous colours during sunrise and sunset.
The best thing about spending the day in Hallan – 1, is that there are no distractions, and you don’t have to go anywhere looking for food, meaning you can be at peace, and have your creative juices flowing.
Being away from the hustle bustle of city life and the crowd that Manali attracts, Hallan – 1 is without a doubt, one of the best places to be based out of during your Workation in Manali as you can easily Disconnect wIth the World and Re-Connect with yourself.
Day 7 – Departure from Manali
As it’s the last day of this 7 Day Manali Travel Itinerary, you can either wake up early and catch one last sunrise in paradise or can take it slow and wake up whenever you do without having to worry about the alarm.
Take in the last few moments of the bliss, soak it all in, and post lunch head back to the bus stop and take the bus to Chandigarh / Delhi.
Tips and Recommendations
#1 If you don’t want to do a long trek such as Bhrigu Lake Trek or Lama Dugh, you can opt for shorter hikes around Manali. And the ones that I’ll recommend are a hike up to Jogni Waterfalls, and a hike to Manali Wildlife Sanctuary, which is one of Manali’s Hidden Wonders.
#2 If you are a solo traveller, I highly recommend you to check into one of the hostels in Old Manali such as The Hosteller Manali | YOLO Backpackers – Manali | Alt Life Manali | Zostel Manali , so that you can interact and meet fellow travellers and plan for the activities listed in this 7 Day Manali Travel Itinerary, together. It’ll end up being more economical.
#3 If time permits, and you can extend your stay, you might also want to check out some of these Boutique Home-stays in and around Manali such Zostel Homes Shuru | Mid Orchard Cottage | Zostel Homes Rumsu from where you can Work from Mountains as well.
7 Day Trip to Manali – Brief Itinerary
Day 1 – Reach Manali | Stay in Old Manali
Day 2 – Experience the charm of Old Manali
Day 3 – Road Trip to Atal Tunnel and beyond
Day 4 and 5 – Go on a Trek – Bhrigu Lake / Lama Dugh
Day 6 – Head to Hallan – 1 Village | Disconnect with the World
Day 7 – Departure from Manali
I hope you enjoyed going through this 7 Day Manali Travel Itinerary, and found it as a useful Travel Resource for your One Week Trip to Manali. Don’t forget to Pin this Manali Travel Guide, for your future trip.
If you enjoyed reading this 7 Day Manali Itinerary and Travel Guide, you might also want to check out some other Travel Guides and Itineraries, that you can take in and around India!
- The Epic 7 Day Leh – Ladakh Road Trip Itinerary
- 7 Day Uttarakhand Road Trip Itinerary
- The Dharamkot Travel Guide
- One Week in Kerala – God’s Own Country
- Sikkim Travel Guide + 7 Day Travel Itinerary
- 7 Day + 10 Day North Sikkim Road Trip Itinerary
- The 7 Day Myanmar Road Trip Itinerary
- 7 Day Road Trip to Bhutan – The Last Shangri La
- 10 Day Nepal Travel Itinerary and Guide
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13 thoughts on “The Ultimate 7 Day Manali Travel Itinerary”
I’ve only been to Manali as a child and I really do not remember it being so gorgeous! I love how your itinerary is not the cliche, common one that travel companies offer. Bhrigu Lake seems to stand out for me and would be the obvious choice to include in my itinerary. I’d love to spend time exploring Old Manali as well. Trekking and camping are two favourite activities, so those are definitely going in my list of things to do in Manali.
Medha Verma recently posted…Best camping spots in the UAE Part 1 | Jebel Jais
Manali is a beautiful place and it was my first ever trip to North India back 8 years. I can’t believe it’s so long I haven’t visited Himachal. I did touristy things but didn’t know it has so many things to do. This looks ideal itinerary to spend the best time in the mountain s. Bookmarking this guide for the next travel as you have covered helpful tips and recommendations, places to eat and stay.
Mayuri Patel recently posted…Places to Visit in Agra in One Day: Tour from Delhi
I haven’t heard of Manali before, but it looks like a beautiful place to explore and go hiking through. I love the view you get from your first dining experience, and the dumplings and pizza looks really tasty. Your guide is really well organized which makes a trip here so much more easier!
It’s amazing – all these pictures could be from totally different regions of the world, yet still, they are so close to each other. I would love to hike these majestic mountains – and in the evening, I’d enjoy these dishes I see on your pix. 😉
The beauty of Manali tugged at the heartstrings while reading this post and brought make memories of our own Manali trips. You have rolled the best of Manali experiences in this 7-day itinerary. The Bhrigu Lake trek is one experience that we have missed and would love to experience at the first opportunity. Hope we get back to Manali soon.
Sandy N Vyjay recently posted…Our Experience At Club Mahindra Puducherry | Pondicherry
I have been following your manali and work from mountain trail for sometime now and I am so jealous. Even more so after reading this post of seven days. Of these, the one thing that I really want to do is drive through Atal tunnel. Have heard so much about it . Maybe this summer! (Fingers crossed)
Ami Bhat recently posted…Birds, Bugs & Beasts at Galibore Nature Camp
Manali is such a beautiful place to be, one of the best in the mountains. And I am glad to see that your Manali itinerary does not use the typical touristy circuit rather gives a feel of real Manali and its character. This is definitely an indepth travel guide for Manali full with helpful tips and recommendations, places to eat and stay.
Soumya Gayatri recently posted…Lisbon To Belem: How To Plan Your Day Trip
I vaguely heard about Manali, but I now learned a lot from your post. I like your itinerary as you give time for visitors to adjust to the altitude before they do the hike. Bhrigu Lake looks pretty, and I’m sure it looks magical in person. And I think pizza at Renaissance tasted better with a view like that.
Hey, Arnav! Thanks for this very comprehensive guide to Manali. I’ve only heard about it a few times before but didn’t know much about the place. Good to know about the new tunnel and also the hostel option for solo backpackers. I’m going to try to include this on my itinerary for my next visit to India.
Ummi Nadrah recently posted…Madame Tussauds Bangkok (Review, How to Go, and More!)
Manali is still on my bucket list. The views are spectacular. But I was in Shimla and Dharmasala, and I love this part of India. I would love to explore and hiking in the next areas. Your Manali Itinerary looks great. It’s very informative, with plenty of tips helpful in trip planning. I would love to visit this region.
I have never heard of the area but I am a keen hiker. I know India has some excellent trekking routes and looks like I should be adding Manali to it. The views look amazing and the intinerary matches my needs. PossiVille sounds like a great place to unwind after a few days hiking. i love days like this when there is no one around and I can chillax.
Danik recently posted…Scottish Castles: Inveraray
I have always wanted to make my way to the Himalayas, and I had heard of Manali before. I love traveling to place in which the main things to do & see are all outdoors and nature related- disconnected from civilization. However, it is great to know that this is one of the best places to work from the mountains, as that need is growing more and more prevalent. Thanks for sharing!
Manali sounds like such an incredible place to visit, and you’ve really managed to highlight some incredible places to visit. The view from Rocky’s Cafe is breathtaking, and so many other places are eye catching as well, like Bhrigu Lake or PossiVille. This intinerary is absolutely amazing and seems to hit so many “must sees” in a week!
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