14

8 days
434km

Medium

US$3900

Highlights

Cycle over four Himalayan Passes

Visit Punakha Dzong

Ride all the way from Paro to Bumthang with no transfers

Spend a day in each town along the way to enjoy the sights

Hike to Tiger's Nest Monastery


Itinerary

DAY 1 - ARRIVE PARO

After an exciting flight into Paro you'll be picked up at the airport and taken to your hotel.  After freshening up spend the after visiting some of the town's main attractions including the imposing Dzong and museum.

DAY 2 - Paro Day Ride

Take a day to get used to the altitude by riding up the valley to Drukgyel Dzong, a ruined dzong at the end of the road. The ride will also give you a chance to see village life by stopping by the home of a local friend for a cup of butter milk tea and and look around their farmhouse.

DAY 3 - CYCLE TO THIMPHU

After preparing the bikes set off on a 'Bhutanese flat' ride to the capital city. The tends downhill for the first half down the Paro Valley then turns uphill as you head up the Thimphu Valley. The dramatic mountains of Bhutan will be all around you as you pedal along Bhutan's best road. The last section takes you into the growing town of Thimphu. In the late afternoon visit Thimphu Dzong. 

DAY 4 - CYCLE TO PUNAKHA

The climb out of Thimphu is not steep but at 16km in length it does take some time to ride. Take your time and enjoy the ascent. Once at Dochula Pass you'll have ascended to over 3000m elevation. On a good day the views of the Himalayan Range are laid out in front of you. Take a little time at the Pass to visit the 108 chorten and maybe hang a prayer flag before an incredible 40km decent takes you all the way down to 1200m elevation. 

DAY 5 - PUNAKHA

Today's ride is an enjoyable out and back ride north of Paro to Tashithang passing through lush forests which are famous for their rhododendron trees, and an area well known for its birdlife and wild orchids.

DAY 6 - PUNAKHA

Enjoy a lovely morning ride exploring Punakha. Ride over the longest and highest suspension bridge in Bhutan and visit Punakha Dzong, one of Bhutan's most impressive dzong.

Day 7 - Cycle to Gantey

The ride to Gantey is made up of what will be for most people the longest uphill climb they will ever attempt. The total distance for the day is 70km with just over 50km of climbing all the way up from the Punakha Valley (1300m) to Lawa La Pass at 3300m. The ride is dramatic as you climb up in the Black Mountains. With an average of 4.5% it is not a steep climb so it's all about settling into a steady pace and enjoying the ride. With such a large change in altitude the scenery changes throughout the day and in clear weather finishes with views of snow capped peaks.

Day 8 - Gantey

Gantey is a remote farming valley without a central town and our cosy hotel complete with fireplaces in each room makes for a perfect place to enjoy the vistas. The valley is also a protected nature reserve for the black-necked cranes who winter here. With a day to relax you can take a walk around the farmhouses or go for a longer (but easy) walk around the valley.

Day 9 - CYCLE TO TRONGSA

Another dramatic day on the bike takes you 80km over two passes on a fun 27km descent through pine forests and villages, and then along a road which has been cut out of the steep mountain side. Trongsa is a classic Bhutanese town - more of a village but dominated by a huge historic dzong.

Day 10 - CYCLE TO BUMTHANG

The final ride of the trip takes you over Yutong La Pass, at 3400m the highest pass you with ride over. This 67km ride finishes in Bumthang Valley so it finishes with a great twisting descent through more beautiful forests.

Day 11 - Bumthang

After a long ride it's time to relax a little and enjoy a day to explore this beautiful valley, full of ancient temples, wonderful fresh food, a microbrewery, and perhaps a picnic and game of Bhutanese darts (very different from the western version). We would normally do this day on foot to walk from place to place but it would be possible to ride.

Day 12 - Wangdue Phodrang

It's time to start heading back west. Using our support vehicle today you'll be driving back along the same route as you cycled as far as Wangdue Phodrang near Punakha. It's a long drive so we take a good amount of time to stop in Trongsa to visit the incredible museum which is housed in the dzong watchtower.

Day 13 - Paro

Back in the support vehicle it is another few hours of driving to get back to Paro. After lunch head  out to the Tiger's Nest Monastery, one of Bhutan's most iconic and impressive sights, and hike up to explore the monastery that hangs from the sheer cliff face.

Day 14 - End of tour

The tour finishes with your transfer to the airport for your flight home. 


Inclusions

3 star hotels - upgrades are available in most towns.

All meals, entrance fees, transport and guiding.

Bike hire.


Modifications

There are so many adjustments possible in this itinerary. Any of the days spent in the towns along the way could be removed to shorten the itinerary plus there are other options for further rides if you want to do harder or easier activities along the way. It would be possible to skip day 1 in Paro and transfer directly to Thimphu after flying in to Bhutan removing two days of cycling. For strong cyclists it would be possible to see Punakha Dzong on day 3 after arriving on the ride from Thimphu. It is worth discussing with us what you would like to do so that we can adjust this itinerary to suit your requirements.


Pricing

LOW SEASON

1 person: $5200
2 people: $5000
3-5 people: $4400
6-16 people: $3900

Dec-Feb & Jun-Aug

All prices are per person in US dollars

HIGH SEASON

1 person: $5700
2 people: $5500
3-5 people: $4900
6-16 people: $4400

Mar-May & Sep-Nov

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