Best of Bhutan Bike Tour

bhutan bike tour 2

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Overview

Bhutan is truly a marvel of topography, with a strikingly blue sky and breathtaking views of towering mountains, hilltop monasteries, and whitewashed Dzong-style houses adorned with colorful windows. The landscape is so surreal that you'll find yourself breathless from more than just the high altitude. Allow yourself to be embraced by the warm hospitality and fully appreciate the beauty of your surroundings by bike.

Start

Paro

Finish

Paro

Lodging

casual

Level

challenging

Avg. dist. cycled

50km or 30mi

Group size

Min. 2, Max. 12

Highlights

Highlight Image

diverse topography

Soak into the stunning and dramatically diverse topography of Bhutan. In between the mountains and the plains are highlands, meadows, valleys, and gorges criss-crossed by numerous rivers. This makes every day on a Bhutan bike tour a novel experience.

Itinerary

Brief Itinerary

DayPlacecasual Inns or similarMealsDistanceActivity
DAY 1Thimphu Thimphu TowerL,D
DAY 2ThimphuThimphu TowerB,L,D40km / 24micycling
DAY 3PunakhaHotel LobesaB,L,D65km/39micycling
DAY 4PunakhaHotel LobesaB,L,D30km/18micycling
DAY 5Phobjikha ValleyGakilingB,L,D70km/42micycling
DAY 6ParoMetta ResortB,L,D20km/12micycling
DAY 7ParoMetta ResortB,L,Dhiking
DAY 8ParoB

Detailed Itinerary

Itinerary Image

Day 1: Thimphu

Enjoy a flight to Bhutan over a stack of snow-topped mountains for a large part of the journey. Pray for a clear sunny day for a stunning view! Here we’ll be greeted by Mt. Everest, Mt. Kanchenjunga, as well as Bhutan's unique peaks, Mt. Jomolhari and Mt. Jichu Drakey. To enhance your Himalayan range vistas, please ensure that you are seated on the left side of the aisle.

We meet at the Paro airport and drive to Thimphu. During the journey, make a stop to explore Tamchog Lhakang and enjoy a brief respite in Bhutan's pristine natural environment. We'll have the opportunity to stroll across the historic iron bridge, which has been faithfully reconstructed using the original chain links crafted by the renowned Tibetan bridge builder TangThong Gyalpo in the 15th century.

On arrival at Thimphu, we do a bike fit and later in the evening, visit the Memorial Chorten Stupa, a revered monument erected in honor of Bhutan's third king. Following this visit, savor a delightful welcome dinner at a top-notch restaurant, followed by briefing.

Meals: L,D
Accommodation: Thimphu Tower
Itinerary Image

Day 2: Thimphu

Today we warm up with a short ride around Thimphu. Visit museums, textile weavers, post offices, and markets, and watch archery at the stadium. After lunch, we ride north on tarmac roads passing through Thimphu’s various residential neighborhoods and surrounding villages. On the way back, visit the Changangkha Lhakhang and Trashichhodzong Fortress, a fine example of Bhutan’s rich architecture that holds the office of His Majesty the King and the Prime Minister.

Meals: B,L,D
Cycling Distance: 40km / 24mi
Accommodation: Thimphu Tower
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Day 3: Punakha

We take up with a bit longer ride to balmy Punakha over the mountains. The route takes us through apple orchards and pine forests and passes through Dochu La Pass (3,140m). The landscape changes dramatically from here to rhododendron forest and fir. Take in the breathtaking vistas of the Himalayan ranges from the mountain pass, and then explore the Druk Wangyal Chortens, a series of 108 stupas constructed to symbolize the remarkable legacy of the Fourth King.

After a lengthy descent, we continue our journey along a picturesque stretch of rolling roads that run alongside the river, eventually leading us to Punakha, a picturesque settlement where you can see small stands of apple orchards and locals busying themselves over farmlands.

Thimphu-Phunaka.PNG

Meals: B,L,D
Cycling Distance: 65km/39mi
Accommodation: Hotel Lobesa
Itinerary Image

Day 4: Punakha

Today, enjoy a beautiful countryside ride visiting ancient fortresses, suspension bridges, paddy fields, temples and a school. Soak your feet in the glacial rivers over a picnic lunch.

Post-lunch visit Punakha Dzong. Sitting majestically at the confluence of Pho Chhu and Mo Chhu rivers.

From here, head towards the longest suspension bridge, then proceed northwards to Samdingkha along a charming expanse of rural roads. Afterward, continue riding further towards Khuruthang town before returning to the hotel, completing a pleasant loop.

Meals: B,L,D
Cycling Distance: 30km/18mi
Accommodation: Hotel Lobesa
Itinerary Image

Day 5: Phobjikha Valley

The landscape undergoes a dramatic transformation as we transition from the lush valley to the wetlands in the Nobding valley. Having cycled through enchanting rhododendron forests for most of our journey, the stark contrast of descending into the distinctive open marshlands of the valley is truly remarkable.

Along the way, cross Lha Wang La Pass for a glimpse of Phobjikha Valley. This area is known for black-necked cranes. Wild boars, sambars, Himalayan black bears, leopards and red foxes are also there in surrounding hills. Phunaka-Phobjika Valley.PNG

Meals: B,L,D
Cycling Distance: 70km/42mi
Accommodation: Gakiling
Itinerary Image

Day 6: Paro

Phobjikha valley is a paradise for bikers and today enjoy a ride on beautiful single-track trails that traverses through pine-forests festooned with prayer flags and overlooking the bowl-shaped marshland and meadows. Visit the famous Gangtey Gompa monastery and the Black-necked Crane Information Centre on the way.

Post-lunch, we shuttle to Paro. The drive to Paro takes about 4.5hrs.

Meals: B,L,D
Cycling Distance: 20km/12mi
Accommodation: Metta Resort
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Day 7: Paro

Today, ride to the parking lot and leave the bikes behind and hike up to the Tiger’s Nest, which overlooks the town from its perch on a sheer hill. The 17th-century monastery is a perfect place to get a breathtaking bird’s eye view of the region. Lovely Kyichu Lhakhang is another monastery worthy of your time.

During the return journey, make a stop at the remnants of the Drugyal Dzong fortress, a significant piece of Bhutanese heritage. This fortress served as a strategic watchtower and played a vital role in repelling numerous Tibetan invasions during the 1600s. On a clear day, we can catch a glimpse of the majestic Jumolhari, also known as the 'Mountain of the Goddess,' towering at 7,329 meters (24,029 feet). Afterward, proceed to the 7th-century Kichu monastery, believed to be Bhutan's earliest Buddhist monastery, established by the renowned Tibetan King Songsan Gyempo. Finally, conclude the ride by returning to the hotel.

Enjoy the evening shopping around for various handicrafts and artefacts.

Meals: B,L,D
Accommodation: Metta Resort

Day 8: Paro

Following your morning meal at the hotel, our driver will transport you to the airport.

Meals: B
Accommodation:

Ready to plan your adventure? Download a print-ready detailed itinerary.

Map

Dates and Prices

Members get an estimated 10% off on this trip.

$50/yearLearn more


Single Supplement

From US $615

E-Bike Upgrade

From US $200


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Essential Info

Inclusions

LODGING

All hotels as mentioned in the tour details or similar (subject to availability).

trip leader

Expert Trip Leader(s) who look after your every need and add meaning to your vacation.

bike

Immaculately maintained bike with helmet, suited to a terrain.

shuttle

A Van support follows the group of riders and carries all belongings.

meals

Meals as per itinerary. Guests are given the opportunity to dine on their own so that they discover a location independently.

refreshments

Refreshments and mineral water while cycling.

entrance

Entrance fees to most of the monuments and temples.

E-bikes

E-bikes are available (subject to availability) on this trip at a surcharge.

Additional Inclusions

  • Sustainable Tourism Fee/Tourism Tax (US $200 per day per person)
  • Visa Fees (US $40 per person)
  • All necessary permit fees
  • Airport pick-up and drop
  • All meals

Exclusions

Airport pickup and drop

We recommend to book direclty from airport or hotel.

Beverages

Beverages such as alcohol, tea, coffee, juice at a hotel or restaurant.

Gratuity

Gratuities for your guide team are not included in the trip price.

Arrival & Departure Details

Fly In: Paro

Fly Out: Paro

Bikes

When you have a road and the thrill of a journey ahead of you, it’s imperative to have a good bike to enjoy it. Our fleet majorly consist of the below bikes as a part of this tour. However, sometimes due to height or availability constraints, we may provide a different but similar quality bike.

Bike Image

Stella or similar

ebike

Available at a surcharge

Weather

Bhutan's climate exhibits distinct seasonal variations, making it an enchanting destination for cycling enthusiasts. The country can be broadly categorized into four seasons: spring, summer, autumn, and winter. The most favorable months for cycling are during spring (March to May) and autumn (September to November). During these seasons, the weather is relatively mild, with clear skies and pleasant temperatures, creating ideal conditions for cycling adventures.

In spring, Bhutan's landscape comes alive with vibrant blooms, and the cycling trails are adorned with colorful rhododendrons and other wildflowers. In particular, the lower geographic zones of Bhutan, such as the valleys and lowlands, are ideal for cycling in spring. The temperature ranges from cool to warm, providing a comfortable experience for riders exploring the picturesque valleys and rolling hills.

Similarly, autumn presents a magical spectacle as the lush greenery transforms into a stunning tapestry of gold and crimson foliage. During autumn, the higher geographic zones of Bhutan, particularly the mountainous regions, offer fantastic cycling opportunities. The weather remains dry, with refreshing temperatures, making it perfect for cyclists to traverse the diverse terrains and immerse themselves in Bhutan's rich cultural heritage.

January

Offseason

February

Mixed

March

Best

April

Best

May

Best

June

Good

July

Mixed

August

Offseason

September

Mixed

October

Best

November

Best

December

Good

Best

Good

Mixed

Offseason

Visa

All visitors require a visa before traveling to Bhutan (except those from India, Bangladesh and the Maldives, for whom the relevant processes and fees are different).

We will be handling your visa application on your behalf. To proceed, all participants must share the following documents with us for the application process:

  • Passport copy
  • Recent passport size photo (digital)
  • Arrival and departure flight copy
  • Copy of travel insurance coverage during travel time in Bhutan

Reviews from our friends

Reviews—2023 and older

Robert H. from US

5.0

The journey was excellent

The cycling was hilly but the journey was excellent. All the additional activities were well organized and tailored to our needs. The food (including vegetarian) was good and the guides were kind and helpful.

Silvia H. from US

5.0

Bhutan is an unspoiled

Best: Bhutan is an unspoiled, peaceful and beautiful destination. Our guide, Nim, and driver (Kalden) were kind, caring, flexible and knowledgeable. They were great company to share this amazing experience with.

Darby K. from US

5.0

This was such a great trip!

This was such a great trip! From the stunning views during the biking sections to the cultural activities, this trip had it all. Mr. Sonam and crew took such great care of us and let us focus on enjoying our visit to Bhutan. We highly recommend Art of Bicycle.