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12 Days | 11 Nights
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Cycle tour from the foothills of the Annapurnas at Pokhara, traversing beautiful Nepal by bicycle to the green valley of Kathmandu, in the shadow of the Himalayas throughout. Along the way spot rhinos, tigers, and bears in the wild Chitwan National Park on this unforgettable epic cycling journey.
Giant mountain bikes
4 to 14
Comfortable hotels and guesthouses
Nepal is a breathtakingly beautiful country, from the soft light of the subtropical Terai in the south, which lies just above sea-level, to the snow-capped peaks to the north, at over 8,000m. With many parts of the country offering fine views of the mountains, there is no need to get right among them to witness the majestic yet ethereal beauty of the range.
This is a classic off-road journey between Pokhara and Kathmandu spending no more than 40km on paved roads. The route travels through villages and small towns, and through 'Kipling-esque' jungle home to tigers, elephants and rhinos - may of which are highly endangered, and even extinct in other parts of South Asia.
The journey ends at the stunning Kathmandu Valley where a tour of the city introduces some of its many and wonderful UNESCO historical sites.
Join us on this unforgettable journey through one of the world’s most diverse countries that is broadly achievable to all cyclists with a good level of fitness. Experience the huge variety of landscapes, cultures, and wildlife that make this tour truly epic.
255 - 345 Km riding. The terrain is a mixture of sealed and unsealed secondary roads and tracks. On this tour we rarely cycle on tarmaced roads, about 40 kilometres in total. The majority of the ride is on small hard packed dirt roads through the villages with minimal traffic. The road surface can at times be rough and broken, depending on seasonal conditions. In most cases, there is a comfortable line through the puddles or potholes and it makes for more interesting riding than a perfect road.
Cycle jeep tracks through the village of Hot Chili down to the idyllic Begnas Tal lake.
Safari through the UNESCO World Heritage Chitwan National Park and spot elephant, rhino, monkeys and perhaps a tiger!
Pedal along the jungle at the foot of the Himalayas then stop for lunch at the incredibly beautiful Twenty Thousand Lakes.
Spend the day visiting some of Kathmandu’s numerous UNESCO World Heritage sites.
Our trip starts at Kathmandu airport for our early morning flight to Pokhara. This is a stunning half hour trip right along the Himalayan Range, passing four of the world’s giant mountains over 8000m - an experience not to be missed!
On arrival, we will get fitted out with our bikes and then go for a short and relaxed warm-up ride along the lake after which Pokhara is named. The afternoon is free to explore this charming lakeside town. Some of the many things to do include walking up to the famous Peace Pagoda with its incredible view of the Himalayas, shopping for local or Tibetan handicrafts, taking a microlight flight or how about throwing yourself off the nearest mountain! Pokhara is a mecca for paragliders - soaring above the town, they fill the skies like circling eagles. No Meals
Leaving Pokhara, we soon find ourselves off the main roads and climbing over a distance of around 11km. Paved road gives way to jeep tracks a few kilometers before our day’s high point, which is just after the village of Hot Chili. Climbing out of the village, we turn off onto a doubletrack trail just before the ridge and begin an incredible, sustained descent down to the beautiful Begnas Tal Lake.
This is a long, challenging day of mountain biking that sees us traverse two small ridges via Sundari Danda (‘Beautiful Ridge’ in Nepali) and descend to the Mhodi Khola river at Borletar. Initially, we cycle jeep trails, but after a short climb to the second pass, we find ourselves on a great downhill on a single track that takes us through stunning terraced fields. As we ride, we are continually met by amused locals who question our sanity for biking through their remote villages. We reach Bhorletar after about 20km and from here we pedal along the river on a wide jeep trail for the rest of the day, but don’t be fooled, there are some challenging little climbs left to do on this final section.
This morning we follow the Seti river downstream towards its junction with the Trisuli river. The gorge we ride through has some wonderful forest and occasionally opens up into small farming hamlets, where people will watch us cycle through with amazement! We'll have a picnic lunch by the river along the way, before reaching the little suspension bridge at Ghumaune Ghat.
From here we continue by van to the bustling, bazaar town of Narayangath, where the vast Gangetic Plains of southern Nepal and northern India meet the Himalayan foothills. Here we check into our hotel and enjoy a late lunch. In the mid-afternoon, we set off to explore the vibrant bazaar and sample the local mode of transport - rickshaw! Return to the hotel in the evening where dinner is served.
After breakfast we mount our bikes again and hit the local Terai trails, sharing our way with local bicycles and maybe an ox cart or two. Heading out of town, the little ‘paved’ road soon runs out and we pedal onto the dirt tracks. We continue cycling on small roads and little walking trails through the gorgeous fields and villages of the indigenous Tharu people of the Terai. Look out for the traditional village buildings with their characteristic, tribal style wall paintings. Along the way, we'll enjoy a lazy picnic lunch and drop into a local tea shop or two as well. By mid-afternoon we will arrive at our jungle lodge, where we will be based for the next few nights.
Today is dedicated to a jungle safari in the UNESCO World Heritage Listed Chitwan National Park- an unforgettable experience! There will be a jungle walk and a morning elephant ride with a great chance of seeing rhino, various types of monkeys and deer, and perhaps even a tiger if we are very lucky. Your experienced guides will teach you all about jungle life, the ways of the animals living here, the exotic jungle flora and abundant birdlife, and all about the conservation programmes being run in the park.
We top off an amazing day with a ride down the Rapti River in local style dugout canoe to spot not one, but two types of crocodiles (don’t worry, they are small crocs!) as well as beautiful birdlife and wildlife sheltering near the river. We then ride our bikes back through villages and fields to our jungle lodge for a drink and the chance to catch a view of animals coming down to the river for a drink at dusk. A truly unforgettable day!
It's back on the bikes today as we continue through the hypnotizing Terai landscape, with its unique ‘soft focus’ light, along with the amazing jungle corridor between the Himalayan foothills and Chitwan National Park. At Bishazaar Tal (Twenty Thousand Lakes), one of the most beautiful places in all of Nepal, we'll stop for a packed lunch, with jungle and lakes all around and, if it's a clear day, views up to the snow capped mountains. Seeing 8,000m peaks while standing at 150m above sea-level is not something you do every day!
We continue cycling and by late afternoon reach Sauraha. Here you will find shops, internet cafes, restaurants and bars, and the rest of the day is free to spend exploring the town, or just relaxing with a drink by the river as the sun goes down.
Today we continue pedaling east along the Rapti River along small dirt tracks and single trails, through farmland, small villages and forest where there is a real chance of us running into some rhinos!
Following the border of Chitwan National Park we can see the human/wildlife interaction and conflict and will learn about the challenges the National Park poses for the locals' livelihoods and safety, and also the challenges for the animals. After a packed lunch along the way, and a further hour's riding, we have the choice of loading up the bikes in the van to drive the last 30 min to our destination or riding along the highway for a short section before getting off onto jeep tracks again.
Our destination today is the Gyan Farm, a lovely little farmhouse set in the countryside close to the National Park, nestled in a green grove of trees right next to the river.
Today offers a great deal of flexibility and can be taken as a rest day if you wish, or you can join in either morning or afternoon rides as suits you. Our suggested morning ride heads towards the eastern side of Gyan Farm towards the Uttarpani & Driver Danda (hill). About 70% of the way is single track with a half hour gradual climb, gaining views of the surrounding landscape as you pedal, followed by a swift, flowy singletrack back to the farmhouse through the forest.
Back at the farm, we can enjoy lunch and a cool dip in the pool, followed by time for a little afternoon siesta in the poolside hammocks. Later in the afternoon, those seeking more riding can cycle towards Round Hill via single tracks and a very cool suspension bridge. After about 45 minutes of gradual uphill, we stop for a drink at our favorite little shop, with a great chance to have a chat with the locals who hang out there. From here we ride down the most exciting and flowy single track where you blast down plenty of drops and natural wall rides and swift switchbacks. Back at the river, we wind our way to the farm for a well-earned drink by the pool.
A leisurely morning follows breakfast before we head out for a jungle ride through fields and into the Sal forest. Sal are the tall trees indigenous to the area, which give an incredibly hard and highly prized wood. We have a great and totally different style of ride this morning on the forest’s natural pump tracks and along great single tracks with lots of turnings and flowing switchbacks.
After a last poolside lunch back at the farm, we transfer around 4 hours back into the Kathmandu Valley, where we arrive in time for a quick shower and change before we head out for a dinner to celebrate the completion of our cycling.
No cycling today, instead, a full day tour to some of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites of the Kathmandu Valley.
Our first stop is the hilltop Swayambhunath, also known as the 'Monkey Temple' for the many resident monkeys that scamper around the myriad of small shrines and stupas. From here we will proceed to Boudhanath - one of the biggest Buddhist stupas in the world, with its four pairs of eyes aligned in the four cardinal directions. Home to the Tibetan community in exile and ringed by houses, monasteries and shops it is a great place to observe Tibetans practice their devotions.
Our final exploration today takes us to Pashupatinath, one of the holiest Hindu temples in Nepal. Dedicated to Pashupati (Shiva in his incarnation as 'Lord of the Animals'), the temple is situated on the banks of the sacred Bagmati River, and is the main cremation site for Hindus in the Kathmandu Valley, with burning ghats lining the river banks below the temple.
Dinner tonight is free for you to explore the many culinary options that Kathmandu has to offer.
This morning is free to relax and get the last bits packed until it is time for us to come and pick you up for your final ride to the airport. We hope you have had an amazing time in Nepal and we bid you farewell, for now and we hope to see you in the Himalayas again soon.
No matter where we are some things don’t change. Great bikes are essential to a great cycle tour. All the bikes we use are current Giant, hardtail mountain bikes, with appropriate tires, lockout front suspension and hydraulic disc brakes. Sizes available to suit all heights.
On this tour, accommodation ranges from extremely comfortable and stylish hotels in the major tourist centers of Kathmandu and Pokhara to some simpler hotels and guesthouses, but at all times the rooms are clean and comfy.
Grasshopper has always focused on quality riding and experiences and food is an important one of these experiences! We understand the importance of a quality meal after a ride, and we aim to open horizons in your culinary adventure, with delicious and exciting local fare. From mouth-watering snacks presented mid-ride to the adventurous tasting local delicacies, you will never go hungry!
This tour has been handcrafted by Grasshopper's Expedition Engineers. This team brings with them a wealth of knowledge on all things Asian, and all are experienced in the delivery of outstanding expeditions. In addition to a Grasshopper representative joining you, you will be supported by a well informed, English speaking local guide who can provide unique insights on the local customs, cultures and landscapes. Your guide 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.
Take it Home
A beautiful souvenir Grasshopper cycling jersey is yours to wear and take home. We also provide a Grasshopper drink bottle as an extra memento.
4 to 14
This tour is guaranteed for a minimum of 4 travelers. And we limit the group size to only 14 travelers so that you get all the attention you want in an intimate group.
There is no surcharge for single travelers - we will match you with another same-sex single traveler. If you want a single room there is an optional upgrade that you can book.
Every day was a new adventure! The riding was challenging but very fun, especially downhill! I had an amazing trip surrounded by amazing people!
Follow this link for general travel information about Nepal.
Multi-day Cycling Tours Frequently Asked Questions
We’ve carefully planned out this itinerary to be one of our more adventurous cycling tours, with some rewarding bike rides, incredible views, cultural immersion, and once-in-a-lifetime experiences. As you make your way from Pokhara to Kathmandu, you’ll have the chance to go on a jungle safari, stay in a farmhouse, and visit local villages for an in-depth look at Nepalese culture. Although a somewhat challenging ride awaits, your cycling efforts are doubly rewarded with incredible views of the Himalayas and stops at some of Nepal’s most beautiful hidden gems. We’ve worked out all the small details so you can relax and enjoy the ride.
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