When is the best time to visit Manali?
Let me tell you right here that this is not the right question to ask.
The question that you need to ask is, when is the best time for me to visit Manali.
There are three main seasons in Manali: summer, winter and monsoon. Nestled in the Beas river valley at an altitude of 2050 m (6730 ft), Manali is one of those places that takes on a different personality with each changing season. Let me show you how:
Manali in Summer: The Ideal Getaway
The months of March to June are considered the summer months in Manali. The temperature averages between 11-25 degree Celsius and the weather is nice and clear.
Summer is the time when the valley is abuzz with adventure sports activities. The months between March and June are the best for experiencing the most iconic and scenic treks of Himachal Pradesh like the Hampta Pass trek, the Hampta Circle, Bhrigu Lake trek and Beas Kund trek.
Apart from trekking, the summer months are also ideal for other adventure sports like paragliding and river rafting.
The pleasant climate during this time is a shelter from the heat for many people living in the plains of Northern India. So if you plan to visit Manali in the summers, expect to see a lot of people around town.
Manali in summer is best for: people looking for a weekend getaway into pleasant weather and adventure sports.
Manali in Winter: The Winter Paradise
September to February are the winters in Manali with January being the peak winter month. It gets pretty cold here this time of the year as temperatures average between 0-5 degree Celsius. During night time, the temperatures may fall below zero!
If you are willing to bear the cold and if you are in search of some quiet time with your loved ones (or by yourself) in a small hill station laden with snow, then winter is the best time for you to visit Manali.
You can stroll along the streets of Manali, stop at the tea shops for a hot cup of chai and visit the hot springs (the oldest natural hot water bath in India!)
If you are in the need of some adventure then winter in Manali has got you covered: hike to the icy waters of Brighu lake or ski down the Manali hillsides and drive around a snowmobile. Even better, get inside a Zorb ball and roll down a hill!
Manali in winter is best for: people looking for an adventure in the snow.
Manali in Monsoon: The Mountain Awakens
The monsoons hit Manali in July and August. And they hit quite hard. Monsoons in Manali are characterised by heavy rain, gushing rivers and landslides. Needless to say, the monsoons are not a time for a leisurely weekend getaway.
Bad weather aside, the monsoons also unleash the greenery of the valley. The rain colors the trees a deep shade of green and the Beas river roars into life. The temperature remains at an average of 20 degree Celsius and you can enjoy the view of the rain clouds hugging the mountains from the windows of hostels in Manali.
Because not many people visit Manali in the monsoon months, accommodation prices are usually lower during this time.
Manali in monsoon is best for: off-season travellers and people open to unexpected adventures.
Like I said at the beginning of this article, there is no such thing as ‘best time to visit Manali’. The best time to visit Manali depends on what you are looking for in a Manali holiday.
Hope this blog helps you plan your own best time. And if you are still left scratching your head – here is some much needed Manali getaway inspo!