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Top Active Holiday Destinations and Circuits for Summer in North India

Some travellers prefer adventure, activities, walking, trekking, bird watching, etc. over touristy sightseeing. Active holidays combine offbeat stays with many activities, adventure and nature centric experiences into a unique holiday experience.

Popular destinations and holiday circuits for active holiday travellers are:

Himachal Pradesh

Narkanda / Thanedar, Sangla, Shoja and Tirthan Valley are some of the popular destinations in Himachal Pradesh for active holiday travellers and are part of a popular circuit known as Himalayan Golden Triangle, which takes travellers through remote Himalayan locations, totally away from tourists, where you undertake activities such as walking, trekking, bird watching, etc.

Narkanda (8000+ ft) / Thanedar (7500+ ft)

The apple orchard areas of Narkanda and Thanedar (18 kms Apart) are perfect destinations for offbeat travellers. 60-80 kms away from touristy Shimla, the area offers an opportunity for walks, short treks and to get acclimatised. The proximity to Chandigarh airport (180 kms) makes this the favourite start point of the Himalayan Golden Triangle

Thanedar Views

Sangla (9000+ ft)

Sangla is where you can enjoy Baspa riverside character and spectacular views of snow-clad mountains. You arrive here for walks, overnight camping, multi-day treks (covering Bhabha Pass or Rupin Pass), to visit Indo-Tibetan border (Chitkul) and to just enjoy a totally cut off and non-touristy Himalayan experience.

Shoja (8500+ ft)/ Banjar Valley (5000 ft) / Tirthan Valley (3500 ft)

Shoja, Banjar Valley and Tirthan Valley are three destinations 20 kms apart, offering travellers a Himalayan experience, mountain passes, riverside character and wide ranging activities such as walking, trekking (Great Himalayan National Park, Bash Leo Pass, etc.), fishing (Trout), water-based activities and bird watching.


Tirthan Valley

Kasol (5000 ft)

Kasol (Kullu Valley) offers travellers offbeat character, superb riverside / Himalayan views and a popular base point for some of the celebrated walking trails and treks in the area (e.g. Malana Trek). Kasol combines well with a Manali stay and is a popular summer holiday destination for active holiday travellers.


The Garhwal region of Uttarakhand is the adventure hub of India for white water rafting, hiking, trekking and bird watching. Summer opens up campsites where active holiday travellers arrive for activities, adventure and a thorough Himalayan experience.

Some of these destinations are as under:

Chakrata (6000+ ft)

Chakrata is a Himalayan hamlet set away from touristy Mussoorie (60 kms) and is renowned for being an adventure getaway. You visit for soft adventure, rope-based activities, walking / soft trekking and wide ranging activities. This combines well with other hamlets in the area such as Chamba, combining activities such as rafting enroute and the renowned Nag Tibba Trek.


Dhanaulti / Kanatal / Chamba (8000 ft)

Dhanaulti / Kanatal / Chamba are three Himalayan hamlets set away from touristy Mussoorie (30-60 kms) offering super views and wide ranging soft adventure activities. Campsites are set up in summer where active holiday travellers visit for pleasant weather, soft adventure activities and a camping experience. The proximity to Dehradun Airport / Railway Station makes it a favourite for a standalone adventure getaway.

Jayalgarh (2000 ft)

Jayalgarh is set on Alaknanda, a tributary of the holy river Ganga and is renowned for its water-based activities, most notably white-water rafting. Jayalgarh offers an excellent stopover enroute to higher Himalayan destinations for active holiday travellers.

Rafting at Jayalgarh

Kund / Chalkot (6000 – 8000+ ft)

Kund is a riverside hamlet and is a base point to explore Chopta Valley (walking, bird watching) and treks around it (Tungnath and Chandrashila). Chalkot is another hamlet where travellers get an experience of overnight camping with a stay right on the edge of a hillock with spectacular Himalayan views in the heart of a reserve forest.


Auli (10000 ft)

Auli is the ultimate Himalayan getaway. It offers 270 degrees views of the Nandadevi range of Himalayas and has a number of walks / treks for active holiday travellers to explore.

Uttarkashi (3000-5000 ft asl)

Uttarkashi is a popular base point for popular treks in the area (such as Dayara Bugyal, Gangotri Glacier, etc.). Uttarkashi is also the base point for white water rafting in the area. It offers superb Himalayan views, offbeat camping style stays and a wide range of soft adventure activities for active holiday travellers.

Uttarkashi Views

Binsar (7000-8000 ft asl)

Binsar is a major hub for village walks in Uttarakhand. There are 2 nights to 7 nights village walk programmes with an overnight stay in villages, authentic hospitality of the villagers and simple ethnic cuisine. You experience amazing panoramic views enroute and village walks programmes are meant for the well-heeled experiential travellers.

Active holidays are popular with evolved urban travellers with grown up children and is one of the fast-emerging segments for evolved travellers for summer.

Click to explore the Best Summer Holidays under ₹25,000 in India!
Click to explore the Top Adventure Holidays in Uttarakhand!

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