Lhasa – Kathmandu Overland

Grade 1 2 3 4 5
Grade 3 – Challenging
Fairly demanding tours, usually in the high Himalaya, going up to 13,000'/ 4,000m. Roads can be unpaved and bumpy, and will usually take you into uninhabited or sparsely inhabited areas. Average driving is 5-6 hours a day.
Tour Difficulty Grading

Our Nepal and Bhutan tours are graded easy to moderate, involving activities such as driving, sightseeing, short walks, boating, canoe and elephant rides. They take you to the foothills of the Himalaya, well below 10,000'/ 3,000m, or further down to the lowlands. Where long overland drives are involved, we use 4WD Toyota Land Cruiser jeeps for smaller groups and Toyota Coaster minibuses for larger groups. For overland trips between Kathmandu, Pokhara, and Chitwan, we use deluxe tourist bus services. The roads may take us up a Himalayan gorge or through the open plains of the Terai. Wherever they take you to, the views are breathtaking; driving through the land offers spectacular pictures of Nepal's diverse landscapes. Tours are graded on the basis of altitude, road condition, driving hours per day, and length of trip.

Grade 1 – Easy
Tours in the foothills staying below 6,500'/ 2,000m. Roads are relatively good, and average driving is 2-3 hours a day.
Grade 2 – Moderate
Tours in the foothills and the lower middle-hills going up to 10,000'/ 3,000m. Roads are generally good, but at times may involve short "off-road" stretches. Average driving is 3-5 hours a day.
Grade 3 – Challenging
Fairly demanding tours, usually in the high Himalaya, going up to 13,000'/ 4,000m. Roads can be unpaved and bumpy, and will usually take you into uninhabited or sparsely inhabited areas. Average driving is 5-6 hours a day.
Grade 4 – Demanding
These trips require participants to be in good health. All of them take you into the high Himalaya, altitudes ranging from 9,000'/ 2,800m to often in excess of 16,500'/ 5,000m. Roads venture into sparsely populated or uninhabited high-mountain wilderness. Average driving is 6-9 hours a day.
Note on altitudes
The altitude definitions indicate elevations through the major part of the tour. Tours usually involve side-trips into elevations exceeding the altitude ranges defined for their grades. Grade 3 & 4 tour itineraries are designed to allow proper acclimatization, with acclimatization days when we take exploratory trips to higher elevations.


10 days – 7-day drive from Lhasa to Kathmandu via Gyantse, Shigatse, Rongbuk, and Kyirong
  • Tours of the Potala, Norbu Lingka, Jokhang & Barkhor, Sera & Drepung monasteries, Tashi Lhunpo, and Palkor Chode
  • 7-day drive through the Tibetan plateau with stops at Gyantse, Shigatse, Xegar, Rongbuk, and Kyirong
  • Encounter the awe-inspiring North face of Everest
  • Visit Sakya and Rongbuk monasteries, Discover the spectacular Kyirong valley
  • Flight over the Himalaya from Kathmandu to Lhasa
Friendship Highway

Lhasa – Kathmandu Overland is the ultimate overland trip taking you across Central Tibet to descend right through the Himalaya to Nepal. You visit the key shrines and monasteries and traverse the desolate, breathtaking vastness of the Tibetan plateau to encounter the magnificent North face of Everest. And you discover the warmth and profound spiritualism of the Tibetan people.

Our trans-Himalayan adventure begins with the spectacular hour-long flight over Mt. Everest and the Himalaya to Lhasa, the religious and spiritual center of Tibet. For the next two days we acclimatize and take in the sights in and around Lhasa. We then begin our drive across the Tibetan plateau, skirting the Yamdrok Tso to Gyantse. We visit the Palkor Chode and Kumbum stupa before continuing to Shigatse, Tibet’s second largest city. Here we visit the Tashi Lhunpo, the seat of the Panchen Lama. We then turn off the Friendship Highway to visit the Sakya monastery, before crossing two 5,000m / 16,000′ passes to Rongbuk, the highest monastery in the world. A morning excursion to Everest Base Camp is rewarded with a dramatic view of the North face of Everest. We meet the Friendship Highway near Tingri and descend to the beautiful Kyirong valley where our Tibet experience nears the end. We cross the border to Rasuwa and drive through the middle hills of Nepal to Kathmandu.

On this classic 10-day tour, the sights in and around Lhasa and the adventure of the trans-Himalayan drive across the desolately beautiful valleys of Central Tibet will leave you inspired by the rich religious heritage and spiritualism of the Tibetan people, and overwhelmed by the spellbinding landscapes of the Roof of the World.

Note: This tour is subject to the Nepal – Tibet border being opened by the Chinese authorities, which is expected by August. In the event that the border isn’t reopened, we are offering the 10-day fly-in and fly-out Tibet Overland tour as an alternative.

Trip Itinerary

Day 1  Fly Kathmandu – Gongkar; drive to Lhasa.
Days 2-3  Lhasa: the Jokhang, Potala, Norbu Lingka, Sera and Drepung monasteries.
Day 4  Drive to Gyantse skirting the Yamdrok Tso.
Day 5  Morning visit Palkor Chode and Kumbum stupa. Late morning drive to Shigatse. Visit Tashilhunpo monastery.
Day 6 Drive to Xegar, visiting Sakya Monastery en route.
Day 7 Drive to Rongbuk. Visit Rongbuk Monastery.
Day 8 Early morning excursion to Everest Base Camp. Drive to Tingri.
Day 9  Drive to Kyirong.
Day 10  Drive to Rasuwagadhi; change transport and drive to Kathmandu.

Dates and Pricing

Aug 29 - Sep 7
Sep 26 - Oct 5

Oct 24 - Nov 2
Nov 21 - Nov 30

  Standard Hotels
4 - 5 personsUS$ 1670
6 - 8 personsUS$ 1480
9 - 12 personsUS$ 1410
Single room supplement US$ 305
Airfare Kathmandu - LhasaUS$ 390
Cost Information
Cost Information

The tour cost quoted is the cost per person, and includes:

  • Hotels: Accommodations on twin / triple room-sharing basis with breakfast.
  • Tours: All sightseeing tours with a certified native English-speaking guide.
  • Transfers: All land transfers by car (Toyota Corolla or similar) or van (Toyota Hiace or similar).
  • Permits, Fees, & Taxes: All applicable monastery entry fees on sightseeing tours, Tibet permit (ATP) fees, and taxes.

Not included in the cost are:

  • Airfare Kathmandu - Lhasa. Airfares quoted are subject to change without notice.
  • China group visa fee (US$ 145 for U.S. nationals, US$ 85 for non-U.S. nationals – subject to change without notice).
  • Meals other than breakfast.
  • Personal clothing & equipment (upon confirmation you’ll receive a clothing & necessity checklist of items we recommend you bring).
  • Personal expenses, bottled / alcoholic beverages, and tips to crew.
  • Insurance: We strongly recommend that all trip participants be covered by their own personal insurance that also covers emergency evacuation.
  • Photography charges Some places may charge for taking photographs.
  • Other unforeseeable expenses that may arise due to factors beyond our control, such as landslides or flight cancellations.
  • Nepal re-entry visa It is advisable to get a double- / multiple-entry visa for Nepal.


  Standard Hotels
LhasaHotel Dhood Gu
GyantseGyantse Yeti Hotel
ShigatseShigatse Hotel
XegarEverest Hotel
RongbukHotel Everest View
TingriSnow Leopard Guest House
KyirongGuest House
Suggested Trips