Travel to Tibet from Spain
Why travel from Spain to Tibet? Well, besides the fact that Tibet is incredibly interesting and diverse, it’s also not as cold as you might think it is. That’s right, for Spanish people, who tend to spend their days living in (sometimes) boiling hot weather, Tibet’s temperature during the day time probably won’t make too much of a difference.
What to Make Sure You Have from Spain to Tibet
To enter Tibet, you’re going to need a Tibet travel permit. Depending on where you’re travelling from, where you’re going to have to pick it up from will differ. If heading to Tibet from mainland China, your tour company should organize the whole thing for you, and make sure that everything runs smoothly. If you have booked our Tibet tour, we promise to help you get Tibet Travel Permit for free.
You will also need to email photo copy your passport, the Chinese Visa, your photos to our travel consultants.
If you’re travelling from Kathmandu in Nepal, however, you’re going to have to wait in the city for a few days before you’re able to leave. It’s a relatively simple process to get the permit, but because you’re entering Tibet from another country, it can mean a little longer of a wait. The indispensable travel documents involve Group Tourist Visa and Tibet Travel Permit.
From both locations though, you’ll have to depend on a reliable travel agency to obtain the travel documents. Obtaining this is also relatively simple, but it does mean a little waiting before you set out on your journey from Spain.
Different Ways to Travel from Spain to Tibet
You’ve got a few options for travelling from Spain to Tibet. First, however, you’re going to need to make it to either China or Nepal. Unless you’re planning a long overland trip on the Trans-Siberian Railway, you’re probably going to fly. This is easily done by booking a ticket from Madrid to your chosen destination (Beijing and Chengdu are the best options).
From there, you then have different options depending on where you flew to. If you’re in Kathmandu, then you can take either a plane or a car to Lhasa. A plane is quick, yet taking a car can be incredibly beautiful (if somewhat time consuming). However, due to the renovation of Gyirong Port, Sino-Nepal border, flight is the only in an out.
From mainland China, you can either fly or take a train. Since the train has many benefits (altitude sickness and incredible views) over flying, we’re going to include those below. The best spots for taking the train from in China, are either Chengdu or Beijing.
Direct Flight to Nepal then a Kathmandu-Lhasa Flight to Lhasa, Tibet
Flying into Nepal will help to dramatically reduce the time it takes you to get from Spain to Tibet. Especially considering that a lot of your journey will be done by plane. On top of this, you’ll be able to see Gyirong Port (the Sino-Nepal border) which is not quite yet (at the time of writing) up and running for the public, but should be by the end of 2017.
Despite the reduced timespan, however, there are a few things which aren’t so great about this route for travelling from Spain to Tibet. Primarily, you’re going to find yourself having to gain extra travel documents. You’ll need to leave your passport with the Nepalese authorities and wait a few days to get the correct visa in Kathmandu. This will add some extra time onto your journey.
Kathmandu is the only international location which can fly to Lhasa, and there are usually just two flights per day. You can also drive between Tibet and Kathmandu for some absolutely incredible scenery. It’s highly recommended.
Direct Flight to Beijing then the Beijing-Lhasa Train to Lhasa, Tibet
The most obvious route for entering Tibet is by first flying to Beijing, then taking a train from Beijing to Lhasa. It’s a simple, solid plan. Beijing is China’s capital city, and if you happen to have forgotten anything before you set out for Tibet proper, you’ll be able to buy it in Beijing.
Flying into Beijing is easily done via international flight, which only take 11 hours, non-stop from Madrid. Once in Beijing, getting the train to Lhasa is the hard part. It will take you around 41 hours, and departs twice daily (at 12:10 and 20:00).
The extra journey time, however, does have its advantages. One of these in particular is the ability to slowly adjust to the higher altitude of Tibet during the train journey. It’s been reported that 90% of the time, it’s possible to avoid high altitude sickness by slowly adjusting. The Beijing-Lhasa train for travelling from Spain to Tibet, is perfect for that.
On the train, you’ll find simple dining options and all necessary facilities, along with hard sleepers (for a little extra), so that the journey isn’t too unbearable.
Direct Flight to Chengdu then the Chengdu-Lhasa Train to Lhasa, Tibet
Spain to Tibet through Chengdu is probably one of the quickest and easiest options for getting into Tibet. You are given all the benefits of the train (including altitude adjustment and the ability to purchase last minute supplies in the Chinese mainland), and you’ll be able to see some incredible sights as you head north from Chengdu.
Chengdu Railway Station
Lhasa train departs from Chengdu every other day at 14: 48. Chengdu-Lhasa train will head northwards and enter the Tibetan plateau from the North, give you some incredible views of China’s low and high altitude landscapes.
The primary benefit of taking the Chengdu to Tibet route is that you’ll be able to spend some time in Chengdu, home to Sichuan food and Pandas.
When Should You Go
The best time to travel from Spain to Tibet is either during August or September. During this time, the temperature is warm, the weather not so wet, and you’re left with prime conditions for exploring. If, however, August and September don’t work for you, then April to November is equally as suitable.
During August or September, the temperature is warm, the weather not so wet.
Anything Else you Should Remember
Whilst most Spanish people might be used to the heat, then might not be as used to the radiation from the sun. Due to the altitude, the sunlight is intense and will hurt if you don’t protect yourself. Make sure to pack some sunscreen all year round, along with a decent pair of sunglasses, and clothes which will help you stay somewhat covered up.
Make sure to pack some sunscreen all year round.
In additional, also make sure that you’re prepared for the change in altitude. If you need to, pack some medication and start taking it before you head to Tibet. It can make a huge difference when it comes to arriving in Lhasa. Especially if you’re travelling from Spain to Tibet.
Which Route is the Best
Which route for getting from Spain to Tibet is best, really depends on what you think you’ll be able to handle. If you haven’t been to such high altitudes before, or know you can suffer from altitude sickness, then it’s a good idea to take either the Beijing or Chengdu train routes.
However, if you’re more than happy to stay in another country for a while before heading into Tibet, then it might be best to fly to Kathmandu first. However, you will have some extra paperwork troubles by taking this route.
The Chengdu to Tibet tour is highly recommended. You’ll be able to see a lot of Tibet on the train whilst coming in, and then, if you decide you want to see more, you can take another tour further west of Lhasa and towards places like Mt. Kailash. This allows for you to see the most of Tibet, whilst remaining in relative comfort, and not having to wait around for your travel permit to clear.