Bhutan being a mountainous country, it has always fascinated many foreigners, offering a great adventure for bicycling enthusiast. You will view the beautiful scenery and it will be an adventure because of the challenges of surmounting a new pass over 3000 meters every day. The route along Bhutan’s West-East Highways are approximately 600kms, winding up showing mountains with beautiful drops of thousands of feet one too high an adrenaline to feel the slightest pinch of monotony.
As you progress along the route, some changes take place like the discernible change in the flora and temperature, when one gradually descends down from the aping heights into the temperate regions of the east. While through the route you will witness the most appealing villages where the houses are old and strong, built with mud and stones in the olden times. The twist and turns of a deep ravine along the narrow mountain trails and the vista of the majestic Himalayan ranges stretching to the horizons before you is the excitement in Bhutan. The thrill of bicycling in the panoramic terrain of Bhutan is an adventure that beckons to every cyclist in the search of something extraordinary!
Depending on the choice of route, one can traverse long and the winding roads which pass through low foothills, the higher river valleys and the great high Himalayas. These three zones comprise the geographical variations of the country. It is a dream come true for a cyclist willing to go forward and capture the magnificent scenes and sights.
The best suitable months for the cyclist in Bhutan are the spring months of March, April and May. Autumn is also excellent if one is willing too! (September, October and November)
13 days Bicycle Tour
Day 1: Arrive at -Paro (2280m)
The flight to Paro offers breathtaking view of the mighty Himalayas. On arrival at Paro International Airport, complete your visa formalities and you will be received by your tour guide from Mythical Bhutan Travels and escort to Hotel. Evening at leisure.
Day 2: Paro sight seeing
Morning, drive to Drugyal Dzong, which is 16 Kms away from the Paro town. The Dzong though in ruins played a very important role in defending the valley from Tibetan Invasion. The word Drugyal means “Victories Bhutanese” and it was built to commemorate the victory over the Tibetan forces. On a clear day, one can see the Bhutan’s sacred mountain Mt. Jomolhari (7,329m) from the approach road to Drugyel Dzong. On the way back you’ll have an opportunity to visit a typical Bhutanese farm house. The valley of Paro is relatively flat and is a great to start your first day of bicycling. Lunch at Town / hotel. After lunch, visit National Museum located on a promontory overlooking the valley. The building was originally built as a watchtower for the Dzong. Visit Ringpung Dzong which houses the office of the district governor and district monastic body. Walk down the stone path and through the traditional wooden bridge, which is one of the fine specimens of Bhutanese architecture.
Day 3: Paro – Thimphu (2350m) 55 km & 1hour 15 min drive.
After breakfast, either drive or ride bicycles to Thimphu, through the winding road all the way down following the Paro river and reaches to the confluence (Chu- Zom). You will then drive across this bridge and then turn towards the left to Thimphu. The drive will take about 1hour & 15 min (55km). The gradient of the road is excellent for bicycling as there are no steep climbs or descents. Afternoon, after lunch visit National Library (it has a vast collection of ancient manuscripts and religion art facts), National Painting School (Where students are taught painting, calligraphy, embroidery, wood carving, sculpture), Folk Heritage museum (is dedicated to connecting people to the Bhutanese rural past through exhibits demonstration, educational programmes and documentation of rural life. Evening at leisure.
Day 4: Thimphu sightseeing
In the morning: bicycles visit Simtokha Dzong, (5km from Thimphu) the oldest Dzong in the country (built in 1629 AD). It now houses the Institute for Language and Culture studies. Visit Bhutan Postal Office, to see the famous stamps of Bhutan. Next is Handicrafts emporium, to see the Bhutanese hand-woven textiles and other crafts. After lunch, bicycle toPangri Zampa Monastery which is just beyond Dechencholing (5 kms from Thimphu). This monastery was the residence of the founder of Bhutan, Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyel when he arrived in Bhutan in 1616 AD. On returning back visit National Memorial Chorten, built in memory of the 3rd late King. Evening at leisure.
Day 5: Thimphu – Wangdi (3150 m) – Punakha (1350M) 93 km & 3 hrs drive.
After breakfast, drive to Wangdi and Punakha via the Dochula Pass (3150 m). The pass is marked by hundreds of rippling prayer flags, and 108 Namgyel Khangzang Chortens. The pass offers the most spectacular view over the high peaks of the eastern Himalayas (if weather permits). From Dochula, bicycle down to the tropical valley of Wangdue Phodrang (1350m) It is an thrilling ride. Visit Wangdi Dzong and after lunch, drive or bicycle to Punakha. Visit the former capital of Bhutan, now serving as the district administrative center and also the winter residence of the Je Khenpo (Chief Abbot). Punakha Dzong built was in 1637 and is beautifully located in between the two rivers called Pho (male) and Mo (female) chhu (river). The first historical National Assembly was also held in this Dzong in 1953.
Day 6: Punakha – Trongsa (2200m) 152 km & 5hrs & 30 min drive
After breakfast, drive to Trongsa and on the way guests can ride the bicycle at certain stretches of the road. The terrain has steep ascents and descents and has some spectacular scenery.
Day 7: Trongsa – Bumthang (2600m) 68 km & 2hrs 30 min drive.
After breakfast, visit Tongsa Dzong, the most impressive Dzong in the kingdom. It was built in 1644 by Chhogyel Minjur Tenpa, the official who was sent by the Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal to unify eastern Bhutan. Also visit Ta Dzong (watchtower) on the hillside above the town, dedicated to the epic hero, King Gesar of Ling and continue your journey to Bumthang en-route cross Yutong-la pass (3,400m). From the pass guests can bicycle all the way to Bumthang. The road is broad and all downhill after the pass.
Day 8: Bumthang sightseeing
Morning after breakfast, ride the bicycle around the most beautiful valley in Bhutan. It is possible to bicycle a radius of 60 kms around the valley.
Day 9: Bumthang – Excursion trip to Ura (3100m) – 65 km & 2 hrs 30 min drive
After breakfast drive / ride bicycle to Ura valley, 69 kms from Bumthang. Ura is another beautiful valley over 9,500 ft high. Sightseeing in Ura valley and drive/ride bicycle back to Bumthang.
Day 10: Bumthang – Wangdi – 197 km & 6hrs 30 min drive
After breakfast, drive back to Wangdi and on the way if the guests feel like to bicycle at certain stretches of the road, you are welcome.
Day 11: Wangdi – Thimphu – 70 km & 2 hrs 30 min drive
Today, drive to Thimphu via Dochula Pass. From the pass, guests can bicycle all the way to Thimphu (26 kms downhill). On arrival at Thimphu after check in to hotel, if the day falls on the weekend visit the famous week end market in Thimphu where the local populace gathers for weekly shopping. In the late afternoon /evening, explore Thimphu city before dinner.
Day 12: Thimphu – Paro – 55 km & 1hour 15 min drive.
Morning after breakfast, guests can either drive to Paro or bicycle. After lunch, hike up to Check the view point of the famous Taktsang Monastery. The round trip hike takes about 3-4 hours. Legend says that in the 8th century, Guru Rimpoche who is regarded as the second Buddha meditated here for sometime. The place now is one of the holiest pilgrim sites for the Mahayana Buddhist. IN the evening explore the Paro village town.
Day 13: Departure by Druk-air
Early breakfast and drive to the airport for your departure.
NOTE: A tour vehicle will follow the bicycle group at all times in case of emergency or general weariness.