Most tourists like to visit Tibet from May to October which is the high season. The temperatures are warmer, the landscape is green and healthy and with lush prairies and verdant forests. However, winter is one of the best times to take a tour to Tibet, and it is not as cold as you think it will be.
Tibet is located on a high-altitude plateau and surrounded by tall mountain ranges, which block the rainfall from reaching the plateau. This means that most of Tibet except for the southeast areas are made up of the desert steppe, permafrost or tundra. Although the weather does vary a lot from region to region, the most of Tibet experiences frost for about six months which are from November to April and the highest lakes will freeze throughout winter.
Winter is the best time to visit Tibet
Winter in Tibet means cold, dry climate conditions, with long periods of very clear skies. Compared to summer, the oxygen content of the air is spread thinner, making the air less dense. This makes for much better pictures, as clarity through the thinner air is improved. So if you want to get that perfect shot of Mount Everest, or see the universe around you more clearly on a clear, starry night, then winter is the perfect time to go.
One can sometimes feel surrounded by people because the majority of the tourists visiting Tibet in the high seasons. The tourists lining up in front of the monasteries and temples in and around Lhasa. Winter is the ideal time to come to Tibet nonetheless. And experience the glorious region without the crowds of tourists. And in Lhasa and other places where tours can be run in the winter months, is not as cold as one might imagine.
The higher altitudes are the places that experience most of the snow in winter, leaving a majority of the plateau comparatively free of snow, and with the bright winter sunshine, temperatures during the day are comfortable. The average daytime temperatures across Tibet range from 10 to 18 degrees, which is warmer than many places in northern China. With clear skies throughout the winter months, the blazing sun can make the daytimes feel almost summer-like. January and February are the times when it is most likely to snow in the lower-altitude areas of Tibet, and even then, the snow is not normally very deep. However, at this time of year, the snow on the higher mountains and passes may be very deep and unstable, so visits to certain very high regions of Tibet are off-limits when the snow is at its heaviest.
The main drop in temperature comes at night when it drops to well below freezing. And this can be countered by warm clothes, a good sleeping bag, and tent if camping, and even the luxury of a warm, cozy hotel. All of the hotels used in our Tibet Winter tours are of excellent quality and have working heating in all the rooms, so your stay is even more comfortable than ever. Whether you are staying in Lhasa in a nice hotel, or out in the middle of Tibet in a local tent guesthouse, you are guaranteed to be warm and comfortable wherever you go.
Tibet Winter Tours
We have developed some of the best winter tours based on our expertise in Tibetan culture which can give you the most perceptiveness into the one and only Tibetan culture and religion. From the astounding sight of the Butter Lamp festival in Lhasa, where butter lanterns are lit all around Jokhang Temple, to the unique beauty of the monastic debates at Sera Monastery, we have got various tours to satisfy every need and have hand-selected the best of Tibetan culture and religion, to bring a unique set of winter tours that will delight and amaze you.
Spend five days in and around Lhasa, exploring the unique sites of Jokhang Temple, Potala Palace, and Sera and Drepung monasteries. Or join a longer tour that takes you across the region from Lhasa to Shigatse, the second largest city in Tibet, passing the stunning Lake Yamdrok on the way, and then pays a visit to the majestic Mount Everest, standing high above the surrounding Himalayan Mountains.