A classic ride taking in the sheer beauty of east Taiwan's rugged Pacific coast with pristine beaches, hot springs and stunning Taroko Gorge. This trip runs Taipei to Kenting.
This classic route takes us from Taroko Gorge down along the coast, and into the lush East Rift Valley, before we re-emerge on the rugged Pacific East Coast, enjoying a rest day at the laid-back surf village of Dulan. The final legs of the ride take us past Taitung, south along the increasingly dramatic coastal cliffs and then inland across the mountains to Kenting in the tropical south. At day's end the island offers yet more surprises: whether marvelling at the sheer power of the Pacific, soaking away the stresses of life in one of the island’s numerous hot springs or just slurping down a hearty bowl of delicious noodles, Taiwan assaults your senses and leaves you hungry for more!
10 days duration
425 km distance
Trip Features & Tour Inclusions
What makes Grasshopper so special?
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Top quality, well maintained Giant mountain bikes in a full range of sizes are included in your tour, fitted with hybrid tyres for touring.
Hotel nights are in comfortable 3-4 star hotels, resorts and B+Bs.
In Taiwan we use a mix of local and foreign leaders, all of whom are fluent in both English and Chinese. Whilst our leaders all come from different backgrounds and have a mindboggling array of hobbies and interests, they share a passion for exploring this beautiful island on two wheels, and are well informed on topics ranging from history, politics, cuisine, local customs and cultures. Our leaders take pride in introducing you to every aspect of the country and will help you to connect with the the people you meet along the way. For groups of 4+ people a cycling guide will also join the group, and for groups of 2 and 3 your guide will drive the support vehicle.
An air conditioned backup support vehicle is always available in case you want a break from riding, and to carry your luggage.
The island’s unique cultural and geographic diversity means that mealtimes are always a culinary adventure in Taiwan. The Pacifc’s rich bounty gives ample opportunity to sample super-fresh seafood, which the Japanese influence has nurtured into a love for sushi, whilst on terra firma the East Rift Valley is home to some of the island’s finest tropical fruit orchards producing dragonfruit, grapefruit, mangoes, oranges, papaya, pomelos and pineapples to name but a few. In the cities everything is available around the clock, but in remote areas meals typically consist of two or three meat and fish dishes, two or three vegetable dishes, plus staples of rice or noodles, with fruit to finish. Meat dishes are usually chicken or pork, but beef, lamb, boar and other more exotic choices are sometimes on offer. Beer is available almost everywhere, but good wine is more difficult to find. Included meals are listed in the day by day itinerary, and drinking water is always included with meals. Any soft or alcoholic drinks are not included and will be at your own expense.
Energy bars and local snacks are provided to keep your energy levels up for the riding, and clean water and electrolyte drinks are always available to keep you well hydrated.
Take It Home
A beautiful souvenir Grasshopper cycling jersey is yours to wear and take home.
2 to 10
This tour is guaranteed for a minimum of just 2 travellers. And we limit the group size to only 10 travellers so that you get all the attention you want in an intimate group.
There is no surcharge for single travellers - we will match you with another same sex single traveller. If you want a single room there is a an optional upgrade that you can book.
for Bike Taiwan
Arrival Day in Taipei
Today people will be arriving at different times throughout the day. We'll meet in the evening to get to know one another over dinner and have an introduction to the tour. Meals: D
Transfer to & Hike Taroko Gorge
Today we transfer to the train station for the scenic journey to Xincheng, gateway to breathtaking Taroko Gorge which forges its way through the Central Mountain Range.. Whether shrouded in mist or glowing in sunlight this sheer marble gorge is a captivating sight. We’ll take a gentle but stunning hike en-route to our overnight accommodation deep in the heart of the chasm. On arrival we’ll have a bike fitting and a cycling and safety briefing to prepare us for the ride. Meals: BL
Cycle to Yanliao
We make an early start for an exhilarating ride down through Taroko Gorge and to the sea. Avoiding the main highway we ride narrow lanes lined with banana palms and temples, taking beachside rest stops on our way south along the coast. After lunch in Hualien we’ll move away from the city, ending today’s ride at the seaside settlement of Yanliao, famous for its seafood. Meals: BLD
Cycle to the Ruisui, East Rift Valley
Today we take a break from the coast, venturing into the picturesque but little visited East Rift Valley, a land of lush green rice paddies and small aboriginal communities. After lunch at a community-run organic farm restaurant we continue south to Ruisui, where hot springs await! Meals: BLD
Cycle to Dulan
Today we continue through the bucolic valley scenery, but then make our way southeast across the beautiful Coastal Mountain Range, on a lovely road often with more monkeys than cars. Once we re-join the coast it’s only a short hop south to the laid-back surf settlement of Dulan, also famous for a recent aboriginal arts revival which encompasses music, painting and sculpture. Meals: BLD
Rest day in Dulan
Today is free to relax on the beach, hike, surf, visit some of the local sights or just read a book and rest your bum! Meals: B
Cycle to Shangwu
Fresh from our day out of the saddle we continue south along the East Coast, and bearing inland to our simple, but lovely overnight stop near the tiny fishing harbour at Shangwu. Meals: B
Cycle to Sizhongxi
Today we ride south through the jungly low hills of the Hengchun Peninsula on small, little used roads passing remote aboriginal communities on our way to the pretty village of Sizhongxi where we spend the night at a lovely hot spring resort. In the evening we head out for a meal of local aboriginal specialties. Meals: BLD
Cycle to Kenting
Today we backtrack a few kilometres to join a lovely little road which takes us through remote mountain scenery, and past abandoned aboriginal settlements before emerging on the rugged East Coast. We then work our way south along the coast, rounding Taiwan’s southernmost point before reaching Kenting, Taiwan's tropical playground. In the evening we’ll head out for a final dinner to celebrate our incredible Taiwan ride. Meals: BD
Tour Concludes in Kenting
The tour ends after breakfast. Kenting is well connected by bus to Kaohsiung from where there are international and regional flights, and a high-speed rail link to Taipei. If the lure of the beach is too much to resist we can book additional nights in Kenting. Meals: B
What's the Riding Like?
Mostly hilly terrain
6 days riding
Wherever possible we ride on small, little-used roads through beautiful scenery, but given Taiwan’s narrow coastal belt there are a few unavoidable stretches on bigger roads with some traffic, although these often have designated cycle lanes. The terrain varies from gently undulating along parts of the East Coast to steep ascents and descents over the coastal mountain range. There is always a support vehicle on hand to give you a lift if you need a break from the riding.
Taiwan’s varied topography and location on the Tropic of Cancer gives it a diverse climate with countless separate micro-climates. Broadly speaking the best times to visit are autumn (October to December), which generally offers clear, warm sunny weather (18-28°C) and spring (March-May), which has similar if slightly wetter conditions, with the humidity on the rise as summer approaches.
Summers (mid-May to the end of September) are hot and humid (28-35°C) with the risk of heavy tropical downpours and typhoons, particularly in July, August and September. However if you’re used to the heat and are prepared for the possibility of the odd typhoon this is also a beautiful time to ride in Taiwan – the hills are alive with flowers and wildlife, tropical fruits burst from seemingly every tree, and many villages celebrate traditional festivals. This is also the time you’ll see the most local riders out on the road.
The 'cold' of winter (December to March) is really only felt in the north and northeast (12-24°C) , which are prone to rain showers and colder temperatures, but in the south and southwest conditions are typically dry and mild during this period. Winter is generally a very comfortable time to ride, particularly in the south, and is the most enjoyable time to soak in the island’s countless hot springs.
What our guests tell us...
Just a selection of our great reviews!
Even though we have done several such tours before, this one was different and a very special experience.
Friendly and chilled yet very professional [guide] - made sure we didn't get lost / run out of food or water - very attentive to our needs and wishes! Seemed to know the itinerary like the back on his hand - always pointing to places / things of interest on the way. Bradley is also very knowledgeable about Taiwan and its culture so was a real pleasure to chat with. Couldn't have
wished for a better tour guide!
Brad is brilliant. Very attentive to our needs and very knowledgeable and fun. Was a pleasure to have him as our guide!
Excellent tour, great way to see & get to know Taiwan. Well organised. Would use Grasshopper again.
Now I know why so many bikes are made in Taiwan. This beautiful, friendly mountainous island is made for riding.
We knew how fun Taiwan was but to do it by bike was even better!
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