|From||To||Base Fee||Final Price||Note|
|01/01/2021||31/10/2022||1210 €||1535 €||Per person "starting from" in low season|
Day 1: Paro 32km, 3hours
The flight often gives fantastic views of the Himalaya, including Everest and Jhomolhari, & particularly exciting is the section through the Bhutanese foothills and the thrilling landing. Try to sit on the left hand side of the plane for the best views. You will be met on arrival by our representatives and then transferred to your hotel.
This afternoon you will be assigned to your bikes and set of on your first ride which is designed to get you used to your bike and the roads of Bhutan, luckily the we in Bhutan drive on the left hand side of the road, so there shouldn’t be any issues there. From the bottom of the valley you will head through the quaint town of Paro, with its traditional Bhutanese architecture and archery fields. It is a gentle incline that will lead you up to the junction that splits the road between Taktsang and Drugyel Dzong. Today you will be visiting Drugyel Dzong ,but the dramatic view of Taktsang from here will wet your appetite for your later visit.
The road gets a little bit steeper here as you make your way up the valley but it shouldn’t prove to be too much of a challenge as long as you take your time. The dzong itself is a fascinating building with a rich history. The building was in ruins after a fire destroyed it in 1951, however now it’s being restored. This is the point where a lot of our treks start from, Soi Yaksa trek, Jhomolhari trek, Laya Gasa Trek and the epic Lunana Snowman trek.
When you finish exploring you will cycle back down the valley to Paro, stopping en-route to visit the interesting Druk Home Museum.
Overnight in Paro
Day 2: Cycle to Thimphu
Altitude: 2320m 55km 4 hrs. Approx.
Cycling elevation and descent - Ascent: 550m Descent: 611m
Today you will cycle down to Paro and across the traditional wooden covered bridge to the foot of Paro Dzong (Rinpung Dzong). From here you will follow the river along the valley floor on quiet roads before a short climb that will take you down to the junction at Chuzom where the road splits between the roads to the Ha valley, to Phuntsholing and also your road to the capital of Bhutan, Thimphu.
From here the road undulates as it makes its way up to the big gates that mark the start of Thimphu. All the way along the road there are fantastic views of lush green valleys stretching away on your left hand side. As you enter Thimphu you will notice that there are new buildings appearing on the outskirts of the town. It's interesting to note that even the new buildings follow the traditional styles of architecture.
After lunch you will cycle to your hotel to freshen up and then you visit beautiful Thimphu Dzong. This is a perfect time to see the dzong as the soft light of the late afternoon casts long shadows across the Dochey (central courtyard) as the monks chant inside the Utse (central tower).
Overnight in Thimphu
Day 3: Cirucit ride with stop at Guru Lhakhang
31km, 3 hrs. Approx.
Cycling elevation and descent - Ascent: 421m Descent: 595m
This morning as you begin cycling the road undulates and before long you will reach a large image of Guru Rinpoche that has been carved into the rock face. Just round the corner from here there is a great view up towards the high mountains of the Himalaya. Continuing for a few more minutes you will arrive at Guru Lhakhang - a small temple built in 1959 by Tibetan refugees - which you will stop to explore. Riding on, the next sight you see is Cheri Gompa, perched on the hillside straight in front of you and with Tango Gompa to the right, also precariously placed. Cheri Gompa, the oldest in Bhutan. If you cross
the old cantilever bridge you will find a grassy area, with a large prayer wheel and chorten which makes an ideal lunch spot.
After you have enjoyed your picnic lunch, it's time to hop back on your bikes as you head off on your return journey to Thimphu. The riding in the afternoon starts off on a beautiful quiet forest dirt road that passes through the remote villages of this area, don't be put off by the short sharp climb at the start, it's a lot easier after this. All that remains is to follow the winding road down to Thimphu to complete what has surely been a fantastic day.
Overnight in Thimphu
Day 4: Cycle to Punakha via Dochula pass
72Km, 6 hours Approx.
Cycling ascent and descent - Ascent: 989m Descent: 2,100m
Today is the big cycling challenge of the trip, the Dochu La at 3,150m. There is no getting around the fact that this is a big climb at over 800m higher than where you start from, but the good news is that the gradient is a steady 4% all the way up the 21km climb and at no point does it become too steep to cycle. However, if at any time you find the climb too tough, the back up vehicle can always give you a lift!
The scenery is the most breathtaking part of this climb. On your right hand side you will have excellent views back down to Thimphu, and all around you will be the lush green forest which only gets better and better as you enter a national botanical park, roughly half way up. There is time to take a well deserved break and enjoy the fantastic vista. On a clear day panoramic views can be had of the eastern Himalaya, including Bhutan's highest mountain, Gangkar Punsum, 7,550m.
From here there is only one direction to go, down. it's time to start your 45km descent. It takes around 2-3 hours to make your way to the bottom. Upon reaching the valley floor it's a short ride up to visit Drukpa Kunley's temple. Built in the centre of the Punakha Valley and called Chimi Lhakhang, this temple was built by the "Divine Madman" to celebrate his victory over the demoness of the Dochu La. It is famed for the many phallic symbols that can be found here.The Divine Madman - Drukpa Kunley (1455-1520) In Bhutanese mythology, Drukpa Kunley is one of the most beloved and revered
sages of Tibetan Buddhism. Many are the legends that surround him and he followed a wandering lifestyle and was both an eccentric and highly regarded saint. He was renowned for his shocking behaviour and his ability to perform miracles. He taught a form of Tantric Buddhism and advocated that sexual freedom was at the centre of Truth. The wooden phalluses that hang from the corners of Bhutanese houses and the paintings of penises that you often see on either side of the front door of houses are a relic of his teachings.
Overnight in Punakha
Day 5: Visit Punakha Dzong. Drive/ cycle to Gangtey 2900m. 83Km, 3-4 hours Approx. Cycling elevation and descent - Ascent: 1900m Descent: 325m
There will be time this morning for a visit to Punakha Dzong. This really is an incredible structure. Standing outside the main entrance you are struck by the sheer scale of the building. The inside is even more impressive.
After your visit you will join your vehicle for the drive up to Gangtey. There is the option for those who really want to challenge themselves to actually cycle up this massive climb. It really is a challenge as the length of the climb is around 70km long. If you decide to undertake this challenge you will need to leave early in the morning and will be unsupported by the van for most of the way. For everyone else we suggest the very pleasant ride from Punakha to Wangdiphodrang, 23km (under 2 hours), taking the less busy road on the left hand side of the river. From Wangdi continue to the Kychu Lodge before climbing aboard the back-up vehicle.
This drive to Gangtey will take you up the road leading to the Pele La, however you will turn off a few km from the top in order to make it to Gangtey. The views on the way up are fantastic but then you will have begun to expect nothing less by now. At the top of the valley is the impressive Gangtey Gompa - with its commanding views over the valley it's a 'must-see' location.
Afterwards, as you make your way down to the bottom of the valley floor you will be struck by how wide open this valley is, it's quite unlike anywhere else in Bhutan. This valley is also home to the Black Necked Cranes and hopefully
you will be able to catch sight of a few. Mostly they leave in early March for Tibet but you may see a few stragglers before they depart.
Overnight in Gangtey
Day 6: Gangtey – Gogona- Khotakha- Chuzomsa
Distance: 85 km, 3-4 hours Approx. Cycling elevation and descent - Ascent: 450m Descent: 1826m
This is one of the highlights of the ride. Normal tourist do not travel this route. The road is rough and rocky and weaves through a mixed forest of juniper, bamboo, rhododendrons and magnolia. After crossing Tsele La Pass (3440m) we descend to beautiful Gogona Village. The road winds gently above the village, then a long gradual climbs to Shobju la pass (3410m). Riding down, we overlook the broad Khotakha Valley. The village comprises of about 60 rustic houses.
We ride along the steep terraced wheat fields to a cluster of houses of Whachay village and eventually meet the paved road at Tikke Zampa Bridge. Ride further to Chuzomsa for another 6 km on a tarmac road.
Overnight in Chuzomsa
Day 7: Chuzomsa – Paro
Distance: 119 km. 5-6 hours Approx. Cycling elevation and descent - Ascent:1626m Descent: 950m
Today we ride back to Paro. We will ride back down hill till mitsena and ride further/ driver till dochula pass and freewheel till Thimphu. We can continue riding till Paro or if you are too tired can drive till Paro.
Overnights in Paro
DAY 8: PARO | HIKE TO THE TAKTSANG (“TIGER’S NEST”) MONASTERY
Minimum Altitude: 2195 m, Maximum Altitude: 3120m
No journey to Bhutan is complete without a visit to Taktsang monastery. After breakfast drive through Paro valley-one of the most beautiful valleys in Bhutan, graceful willow trees and rushing glacial river beneath snow covered peaks to take an excursion to Taktsang Monastery, also known as Tiger’s Nest, (one of the most sacred places in Bhutan due to its association with the Patron Saint Guru Rinpoche). It is believed that Guru Rinpoche reputedly flew to Paro Taktsang cliff in the form of Guru Dorji Drolo, mounted on a flaming dakini-tigress in the 747 A.D., where he meditated and subdued evil spirits.
On the way back from Taksang take a drive to Drukgyel Dzong
(Fortress) where Bhutanese warriors fought Tibetan invaders centuries ago, once a ruined fortress now being reconstructed. The snowy dome of sacred Jhomolhari, "mountain of goddess'' can be seen in all her glory from the approach road to the Dzong. In the evening stroll around Paro town to explore at your own.
Overnight in Paro
Day 9: Depart Bhutan
Drive to the airport for flight to your onward destination. Our representative will then bid you farewell.
LOW SEASON: January, February, June; July, August, December
Price per person (single individual): euro 1970
Price per person (Group of 2 people): euro 1875
Price per person (Group of 3 people) euro 1210
HIGH SEASON: March, April, May, September, October, November
Price per person (single individual): euro 2370
Price per person (Group of 2 people): euro 2275
Price per person (Group of 3 people) euro 2010
The price includes:
- accommodation for 08 nights in a 3*** hotel/camp
- meals as scheduled - full board
- English speaking guide for the whole tour
- Mountain bike rental
- Bhutanese entry fee
- Mountain bike charge
The fee does not include
- Flights to Bhutan
- drinks, meals not mentioned
- tips (around USD 10 per day)
- currency adjustment
- everything not expressly specified in "the price includes"