Sikkim is a great place for a soothing vacation. It has a great combination of snow-clad mountains, valleys with beautiful rhododendrons, waterfalls, lakes, a tea estate and much more. Here, we have suggested a week-long itinerary, based on our own experience, which you can use for a perfect holiday in Sikkim.
First things, first!
This travel itinerary is 9-days long assuming your trip starts on a saturday and ends on the next sunday. As you will figure, you can easily tinker with it to suit your exact need. Also, while this itinerary holds good round the year, things become a bit complicated in off-season (October – March). In off-season, your expectations and your plans need to be slightly more flexible as is also detailed in our other post – What to expect in Sikkim in Off-season – which is based on our trip to Sikkim in February 2015
For this suggested Itinerary, Gangtok will act as your starting base station. If it’s a group tour and your friends are coming from different cities, you’ll all assemble at Gangtok.
Day 1 – Arrival at Gangtok
If you’re arriving by flight, you’ll need 4-5 hours to reach from the Bagdogra Airport to Gangtok. Sikkim Tourism Helpdesk at the airport can arrange a 6-seater like an Innova or Scorpio for INR 3000. If you prefer to take shared-taxis, you’ll be charged INR 250 / person and the vehicle will vary depending upon availability.
The 4-5 hour journey is likely to be a treat, with the first views of the mountains, Teesta river, and small towns on the way. Mid-way, you may stop at Rangpo which is famous for its Momos.
Bonus Tip: To make the most of your road journeys in Sikkim, travel during the day. While heading to Gangtok, consider sitting on the left side of your vehicle to enjoy the views.
Arrive at Gangtok and check-in to your hotel. The day is free for you to walk the streets, explore the city, and soak in the holiday mood. You may consider spending time at MG Marg and Lal Bazaar. Don’t indulge in a shopping spree yet since it will be way too much to carry to your next few destinations. It’s best to just window-shop for the moment and buy later when you’re about to finally leave Gangtok for your hometown.
In Gangtok, we stayed in Hotel Sai Kripa. You can read our full review here.
(Photo) Hotel Sai Kripa – Great Host, Budget Hotel, Good Rooms, Water Heaters Available, Not-so-good food preparation. Located about 1.5 km from MG Road and Lal Bazaar, the tourist hotspots.
Day 2 – Transfer to Lachen and stay (from Gangtok – 109km / 3 hours 30mins)
Have breakfast and leave for Lachen, latest by 10 AM. Enjoy the scenic beauty on your way to
Lachen. After reaching Lachen, check-in to your hotel. Explore the small town, and soak in the culture of these hills.
Important: For trips to places in North Sikkim , you’ll need to hire a local taxi on a packaged tour. There are options for shared taxis as well. Whatever your choice, you’ll need to make arrangements a day in advance and submit documents for necessary permits to avoid unnecessary delays.
While this place was in our original itinerary, we couldn’t cover this place and northwards due to poor weather conditions in the area. But that was in February, which is an off-season and doesn’t guarantee access to all the popular destinations. Alternatives for off-season vacation covered further below
Day 3 – Head Northwards towards Gurudongmar Lake and close the day at Lachung.
In the morning, after an early breakfast, drive to Thangu (13,500 ft, 31Kms from Lachen). Pass through Chopta Valley (13,200 ft). It is rich in alpine vegetation. After this, drive
towards Gurudongmar Lake (17,000ft). Gurudongmar Lake is one of the highest situated lakes in North Sikkim. Only Indian Nationals are allowed here. After visiting Gurudongmar Lake, head to Lachung for the night.
Bonus Tip : If you reach Lachung by evening, and are in mood for a lively evening and supper, make sure you visit Pema Shop. More details here.
In Lachung, we stayed at Tashi Yenkhel. Great Hosts, Good Food and a great view of the mountains. Read our full review here.
Contact Details :
Day 4 – Excursion to Yumthang Valley and return to Gangtok
Lachung is one of the most demanded tourist destination in Sikkim. It is covered in snow during winters and in summers it has blooming Rhododendron covering the whole place. In the winter months there is snow all around the place and the snow clad mountains adds to the beauty of the place.
After an early breakfast, head towards Yumthang valley, which is nearly 26 kilometers, an hour’s drive, from Lachung. It is situated at an elevation of 11800 feets. On the way from Yumthang valley, one may visit the famous hot spring which is known for its curative properties. Other noteworthy places include Katao and Yumesamdong (also known as Zero Point). Zero Point, is further northwards of Yumthang and requires an additional permit to be obtained from Gangtok.
Day 5 – Excursion to Tsomgo Lake and Baba Mandir (45 km / 2 Hour)
After breakfast, drive up for a memorable excursion tour to Himalayas in the eastern part of Sikkim. Thanks to news of road construction by China on the other side of the eastern border, Indian government has also paved wide roads on this route. Tsomgo Lake (12,400 ft./ 39 km from Gangtok) is one of the highest altitude Himalayan Lake. This beautiful, oval shape lake is almost 1 km long with an average depth of 50 ft. After this, drive up for Baba Harbhajan Singh Memorial (13,000 ft / 15 km / 30 Mins) also known as Baba Mandir.
Return to Gangtok by the evening. You may visit M.G Marg and Lal Bazaar – the popular Shopping area in Gangtok. This time you may shop to your heart’s content or till you can carry no more.
Day 6 – Cover tourist attractions in Namchi and then head towards Ravangla
After an early breakfast, proceed towards Namchi. On your way to Namchi to you will cross Temi Tea Garden which is Sikkim’s sole Tea estate. The tea is marked by its exotic odour and flavour. You may stop at one of the restaurants on the way, buy tea varieties, take a walk in the tea estate, as well as get photos clicked in local attire.
Next, head towards Char Dham in Namchi. The Char Dham is a tourist destination and has scaled replicas of the four most revered Dhams of the Hindus – i.e. Jagannath, Dwarika, Rameswaram, Badrinath – in the same fantastic complex. As you proceed towards Ravangla, you may also visit Tendong Hill which has a huge Buddhist Statue. In Ravangla, visit the Buddha Park in evening. Later check-in to your hotel
Day 7 – Head towards Peling (7,200 ft) and cover important sites around it
Have an early breakfast, and head towards Peling. Instead of checking-in at the hotel, cross Peling, and visit the important sight-seeings in the area. You should give priority to Kanchenjunga Falls and Khecheopalri Lake. This lake is also one of the sacred Buddhist lakes and it is believed that whatever is wished in front of the lake comes true. You may also stop at Rimbi Waterfalls and Rimbi Power Project on the way.
On your way back to Peling, you may consider stopping and spending some time at the Darap Village and Sewaro Rock Garden. Back in Peling, you can visit the New Helipad, and enjoy the view of the valleys. This point also gives a great view of the Kanchenjunga Mountain. Alternatively, you can cover this point early in the morning next day.
In Peling, we stayed at Hotel Sikkim Aurora. Great hosts, Good Ambience, Good Food and just a 100m from the new Helipad. Read our full review here
Day 8 – Cover Points in Peling and head to Siliguri / Bagdogra
The New Helipad offers a great view of the Kanchenjunga at sunrise. A delight for the photographers in the house. Head back to hotel and leave after breakfast.
Visit Pemayangtse Monastery. After spending some time there, head to Rabdentse Palace Ruins. Rabdentse was the ancient capital of Sikkim. The palace ruins also give an amazing view of the valley.
Bonus Tip: Instead of going to the Rabdentse Palace Ruins by your vehicle, walk your way from the monastery to the palace via a small village. The light trek / walk is downhill and you’ll reach the Palace ruins in less than 30 mins (about 1.5-2 km). If you go to the Palace by your vehicle, you’ll have to walk 1 km uphill to reach the palace ruins and it takes almost the same time.
After covering these points, head towards Siliguri / Bagdogra and check-in to your hotel for the night.
Day 9 – Back to Hometown
Time to head home with great memories. Don’t forget to share photos and your experience 🙂
Total Tour Cost
Since we visited Sikkim in off-season, we couldn’t visit each of the places in this itinerary. But, the tour costing is Sikkim pans out based on the total number of days spent. Our trip was 8-days long and for the 6 of us our total trip costs excluding flight tickets were approx INR 75000 i.e. approx INR 12500 per person (February 2015)
127 thoughts on “Complete Itinerary for a Week-Long Vacation in Sikkim”
Beautiful description n very well curated article. Thanks.
We are visiting sikkim in Sept. 7 nights n 6 days.
We have an infant with us n thought if covering pelling n gangtok, 3 days each. Staying at royal demazong gangtok n baiguney club mahindra.
Any suggestions from your end would be of great help.
Glad that found our blog helpful 🙂
Since you’re traveling with an infant it’s great that you have kept the itinerary relaxed.
Do cover the attractions mentioned on the way to pelling and a quick stop at Namchi checking out the tea gardens is a must too.
You could do the Pelling Darjeling route too if you’re willing to make the trip a little less relaxed, otherwise this sounds great.
Do carry rain gear since it will be raining cats and dogs in the north east then.
In case you have any queries do drop a comment.
Hope you have a great trip.
Happy traveling 🙂
Wonderful and well curated blog.we too are a group of six people and planning to visit sikkim and darjelling this december. i have few doubts in my mind, it would be of much help if you help me in clearing them
1. you booked a private taxi or shared one and what about the price of it?
2. please enlighten me about the money you spent on accommodation
Glad that you liked our Blog.
1) We had booked a private taxi, the cost will vary depending on season but should be somewhere around 35-40 k for the whole trip.
2) We used a local travel agent to book all the hotels and cabs for us, so we wouldn’t know the split for hotels but you can get a decent room for INR 1000/- in most places in sikkim, Gangtok might be a little expensive.
Hope this helps. Have a great trip.
Happy Traveling 🙂
I am planning to visit Sikkim for honeymoon in Feb 2018 for 5N6D trip starting from 10th feb. Could you please suggest if it is good idea to visit sikkim during this period
Congratulation on your wedding 🙂
Sikkim will be cold in Feb, North Sikkim might experience snow fall and traveling to that part of Sikkim might take longer than usual.
Also, in North sikkim Zero point and other places of sight seeing might not be operational due to snow.
Having said that, it is a beautiful time to visit if cols does not scare you. Gangtok and peling can easily be done even if you decide to not do north sikkim or unable to do it on ground due to road blocks or anything.
Hope you have a great trip.
Happy Traveling 🙂
Your blog is really helpful and very succinct. I am planning my honeymoon in Sikkim in from 4th to 12th May 2018. I wanted to know how would the weather be in May and whether it rains which would mean I might have to change my itinerary.
I have gotten in touch with a local tour operator and after reading the blog I find his prices exorbitant! Thanks to your blog… I will now try to book everything myself… any chance you could suggest local cab service there.. because finding hotels from Mumbai is easier than finding reliable travel services which is crucial given the difficult terrain in Sikkim.
Thanks for sharing your experience. I was really in a doubt in planning my trip to Sikkim, however your post has really helped me in an organized way now. Thanks for that.
I am planning my trip in April first week with another my family and I have two more questions after reading your post. Would appreciate if you can help.
1. Is La Chung and Lachen is the same place. If not then can I travel both the places and Yumthang while coming back to Gangtok?
2. Did you visit Kalimpong as well. Is it worth travelling there?
Thanks again for your help.
First of all my heartfelt appreciation for your patience in replying to most of the comments and for sharing your experience.
Thank you so much!
Abundantly useful and I have planned my itenary based on your blog. We are visiting Sikkim this May and I have booked the hotels for most of the places. The place I am staying at Gangtok do not have any local tour operators. If anyone going through this comment can suggest me a tour operator, that would be great. We are a family of four, visiting for 10 days.
Thank you and stay blessed 🙂
Thanks for sharing your experience .A well written blog with travel tips and suggestion.The itenary also has all the places I was looking for.I got a fair idea to plan the itenary. We are planning for a trip in the 2nd week of May for 8 days .We are a family of four. I was excited about North Sikkim .Pls suggest the clothing we need to carry as most places in North Sikkim are at a high altitude.
what are the places you should not miss in Sikkim, Darjeeling, Gangtok – love nature, quite, mountains, green etc.
Lovely Blog! Wonderful snaps you shared!
GANGTOK is capital town and a popular holiday destination of Sikkim. A bi-cable Jig-back Passenger Aerial ropeway of 935 meters long from Deorali Bazar to Tashiling Secretariat via Sikkim Legislative Assembly was built in the year 2003. The visitors can have a panoramic view of the full Gangtok city while taking a ride in this ropeway.
I read your comments on Sikkim tour and I found it very helpful, so just need few details on my tour to Sikkim.
I have booked Club Mahindra Resorts in Baiguney and Gangtok from 21st Dec to 30th Dec and for few days yet to be booked so looking to book at Kalimpong and i have planned my Itinery accordingly, However I do want to Visit Lachung and Gurdongmar lake, so just want to confirm is it good time to visit these two places so accordingly I will plan my Stay in advance or should I book once I reach there.
Secondly should I book Cabs once I reach Sikkim or do I need to book Cabs in advance and also what will be the frequency of Cabs and the Cost for both shared as well as personnel as I am travelling in month of Dec.
Hey, I am glad I bumped on to your website. I have bookmarked this page for my next visit to Sikkim. Its very well detailed.
Now I am very jealous. I have been planning a sikkim tour with my gang and they have failed me every time. Now I have made up my mind on a solo trip.
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