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10 Days | 9 Nights
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Tour the Kingdom of Bhutan by bicycle and by foot on guided treks. Bhutan is a remote, little-visited and mystical country perched on the southern Himalayas between Tibet and North India. This 10-day bike & hike cycle tour showcases Bhutan's unique culture, history and natural beauty with some rewarding activities along the way.
Cannondale Quick 1 Disc
Local Bhutanese leader
2 to 14
Ride / Hike / Archery
Low Season Discount: For the months of December, January, February and June, July, August, we have a special low season discounted rate of $3050 per adult.
Besides its stunning natural scenery, the enduring image of Bhutan for most visitors is the strong sense of culture and tradition that binds the kingdom and clearly distinguishes it from its larger neighbors. Take a guided ride & trek through this mystical kingdom that, due to its policy of restricting visitor numbers to protect its culture, has long remained an enigma.
We won't lie, parts of the ride will be a challenge complete with mountain climbs and thrilling descents, and you will be riding at altitude. But the effort is doubly rewarded with beautiful views and an adrenaline-fueled sense of personal achievement. The combination of bike travel with guided treks will give you a satisfying active experience rewarded with plenty of unforgettable experiences and scenery. Immerse yourself in the magical culture of Bhutan on your active holiday.
186 Km riding. 98% of the roads are sealed but all the riding takes place at altitudes from 1300m to 3400m - you need to be prepared for all uphill or downhill riding. Most of the ride is on well maintained sealed roads, and drivers are courteous and give space, but as always when cycling, keep your road awareness. Bhutan is a sparsely populated country so traffic is light and gets even lighter as we travel east.
Make it private: Bhutan trips can be run as private tours for two or more people at a 20% surcharge.
Your climb to the Dochula Pass will be rewarded with stunning views to all sides before you descend into the verdant Punakha Valley.
Visit the 16th-century Gangtey Monastery and Crane Information Center where rare black-necked cranes roost.
Cycle the wide open Gangtey valley before lessons in Bhutan’s national sport: archery.
Hike the Gangtey Nature Trail and trek to Tiger’s Nest Monastery for some alternate activities.
Welcome to Paro, a sacred town in the Paro Valley of Bhutan. We will pick you up at the airport and transport you to our hotel of choice that features an optimal view of lush paddy fields in the surrounding valley and the mountains that frame it.
For those who have the energy and are not jet-lagged, we take a little time in the afternoon to see some of the sights of Paro and have the first introduction to Bhutan and it's culture. This includes a visit to your first dzong: an incredibly grand Bhutanese fortress. These are situated at strategic locations throughout the country and are an imposing sight to behold.
Paro sits at a height of 2200m, so we’ll take it easy today with a short ride to get used to the altitude, warm up the legs, acquaint ourselves with the bikes and see a little more of Paro Valley. The setting of our ride today provides spectacular views of the verdant valley and towering mountains, cut with rice paddies and thick forests that are mostly left untouched. We'll cycle to a ruined dzong and a farmer's house along the way and enjoy some time out in town to get a sense of the valley.
Time to leave Paro and begin the ride across Bhutan! This first point to point ride is the easiest on the tour. Our Bhutanese friends describe this day as 'flat' as you will only be cycling from a 2100m high stretch of road to 2350m throughout the journey, although the road does undulate and there is no such thing as ‘flat’ roads here! In the afternoon take a leisurely walk through the Thimphu Market area and explore the foreboding yet elegant dzong.
The first pass of the trip, Dochula, sits at 3050m and offers a breathtaking panoramic view of the Eastern Himalaya on a clear day. After a long climb up to the pass, you'll love zooming along the downhill section that takes you 40km rolling all the way down until the junction towards the Punakha Valley. The final section undulates along the valley to our overnight stop at Punakha which sits at a lowly altitude of 1350m.
We take a day to explore the beautifully situated dzong at Punakha, once the summer capital. While pedaling down a mostly unsealed back road, we get great views of the river and Punakha Dzong. Before the Dzong, however, you must cross a terrifying or exhilarating suspension footbridge (the feeling depends on your perspective). Either way, it will take your breath away!
This is the longest and highest suspension footbridge in the country stretching over 200m above the Pho River. After a picnic lunch, we ride back to the hotel and the rest of the afternoon is free for rest and relaxation off the bike or you may choose to wander around for a brisk walk in the valley or spend some time exploring town.
Today we travel to Gangtey, a valley famed for its conservation efforts. Along the way, we'll walk to the famous fertility temple. The drive from Punakha takes us to the Lawala Pass at 3300m after which we descend into the beautiful Phobjika/Gangtey Valley where we visit the Gangtey Monastery and Crane information center. The Gangtey Monastery, established in the 16th century, is a significant center for the Nyingmapa school of Buddhism and will provide an interesting cultural stop on our journey. Gangtey Valley is an ecological hotspot for Bhutan, known to be the roosting site of the rare black-necked crane that is an extremely honored bird in Bhutan. We’ll make a visit to the Crane Information Centre for further exploration.
Today we cycle for half of the day in the beautiful valley of Gangtey / Phobjikha. The day is casual and can be custom tailored with recommendations from your guides. We can proudly claim that by this stage of the tour, after going through the challenges and rewards of the cycling journey together, your guides will feel like family. In the afternoon we have archery (Bhutan’s national sport) lessons for the group as a fun way to round out the day.
Soon after breakfast, we’ll begin trekking on the popular Gangtey nature trail. The two-hour-long hike takes us across the grounds of the black-necked cranes that roost here during the months of November until May each year and provides us with peaceful forest views. We then retrace our route through the Dochula pass to the breathtaking valley of Paro, where we’ll return to our palace accommodation.
While in Paro, we will also take a tour of the recently opened Namgay Artisanal Brewery craft brewery. This is the first such establishment to open in Bhutan and is an incredible operation. Spend the evening at leisure or you may choose to enjoy a walkabout in Paro Town.
In the morning, we’ll trek up to one of Bhutan's most venerated sites: the Tiger's Nest Monastery. This stunning site is precariously perched on the side of a cliff 900m above the Paro Valley floor. Tiger’s Nest has been recognized as one of the most spiritual sites in Bhutan and many eminent saints have meditated in this area. Reward your physical activity by soaking up the energy of this place!
You should now be quite familiar with the town of Paro and after dinner, the final evening is yours to enjoy at your leisure, a return to the craft brewery for a few celebratory drinks may be in order!
Your tour ends today with breakfast and a transfer to the Paro Airport in time for your departing flight.
Quality, well maintained Cannondale Quick 1 Disc mountain bikes are provided on this tour. These dependable machines offer good flexibility for varied riding conditions, being light enough to tackle the climbs and fitted with powerful hydraulic disc brakes to smooth out the descents.
All hotel nights are in 3-star hotels and resorts so you can stay comfortable throughout your journey.
An experienced English speaking, local leader will host you on this trip who is well spoken, very well knowledgeable, and charming. Our leaders are often cited as being the main highlight of the tour. We use local guides who have a passion for their country and are always well informed on topics ranging from history, politics, cuisine and importantly local customs and cultures. Our leaders will take pride in introducing you to every aspect of their country and will help you to connect with the villagers you meet along the way. They also will keep your safety and comfort top priorities at all times.
An air-conditioned backup support vehicle is always available in case you want a break from riding, and to carry your luggage.
All meals are included throughout the whole trip. All dietary requirements catered for. Bhutanese food is unexpectedly delicious, often with brown rice and a mix of vegetables, meat, and chilies.
A beautiful souvenir Grasshopper cycling jersey is yours to wear and take home.
2 to 14
This tour is guaranteed for a minimum of just 2 travelers. And we limit the group size to only 14 travelers so that you get all the attention you want in an intimate group.
On this tour we provide Wahoo ELEMNT bike computers for additional navigational support. These are the latest in user-friendly navigation tech from Wahoo Fitness. With Wahoo devices you will be able to track your progress and monitor your route. Beyond their basic setup, the geek-cyclists will find Wahoo ELEMNTs to be excellent data mining devices allowing to measure almost any aspect of the ride.
This charming 3-star hotel sits among the stunning panoramas of the Paro Valley. With comfortable rooms and classic, Bhutanese style, this hotel is a great welcome to the nation of Bhutan.
Situated in the Punakha Valley with a view of the Phunatshang River, this hotel allows you to enjoy true Bhutanese hospitality. The lobby is hand-painted by a local artist in traditional Bhutanese style, and deluxe rooms offer a beautiful view of the countryside below.
This hotel is a family-run boutique property located in Gangtey Gonpa near the famous monastery, offers dramatic views and deluxe, comfortable rooms. After a restorative sleep in this quiet hotel, wake up to stunning views of the Phobjhika valley!
You provided me with the journey of a lifetime, and the group provided for it to be a worthy challenge with people whose common denominator is first and foremost, to maintain and perpetuate this magical fragility! I can only speak on my behalf, but I do not think I fall on deaf ears with this expression of pleasure and happiness!
Probably one of the best experiences I have had in Asia - from about 7-8 trips in the last 10 years.
Tandin was an amazingly experienced guide who went out of his way to ensure that our riding, hiking and cultural experiences were ones to remember.
Being fully in Bhutan by cycling and hiking, rather than looking at it from a bus window, was the best decision I made about how to travel there. Sometimes the journey is the destination.
What a wonderful way to see Bhutan. The countryside is truly stunning - photos don't do it justice - and the people are friendly and always smiling. Our guide was a delight and whilst the cycling and hiking could be challenging on some days, a cold beer fixed it every time. I highly recommend this trip!
I really enjoyed every bit of this tour. Our guide and support team members were so fun, knowledgeable and professional, the sights were refreshing and the bike ride was just right for my capability (well-described itinerary really helped me find my comfort level). Safety - a key point for a female solo traveler - was never an issue on this trip as I was always well-taken care of. I definitely left with a good, positive vibe.
Follow this link to find general travel information for Bhutan.
Multi-day Cycling Tours Frequently Asked Questions
Since Bhutan has only recently opened its country to tourism and still limits its number of visitors each year, the country has remained a mystery for most foreigners. We’ve taken advantage of this little-explored place in order to bring you on an adventure that encompasses all of Bhutan’s charms and best scenery. On this active adventure, you will enjoy satisfying cycling through spectacular scenery and hiking excursions to magical places, and even an archery lesson to mix things up.
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