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8 Days Multisport Activities and Cycling Holiday in Bhutan

Paro, Bhutan

Leisure Cycling Holiday Bhutan

Discover the ancient kingdom of Bhutan by many modes. Mix a bit of scenic alpine cycling, a dash of cultural hiking, a splash of thrilling whitewater rafting, and you have the Pedalers Pub & Grille “Multisport Adventure - Discover Bhutan”. Come explore the fabled Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan by bicycle, raft, and foot, and tour its many wonders and discover its delightful culture and traditions.

Key information

  • Trip type: Guided
  • Lodging: Point to point
  • Terrain: Combination of paved and hilly
  • Starts in: Paro
  • Ends in: Paro
  • Difficulty level: Moderate (cyclist needs to have a good level of fitness, terrain is mostly hilly or unpaved but they will ride on flat terrain sometime, 31-45 miles per day)
  • Total Distance: 110 miles / 178 kilometers
  • Bike type: Touring bike (included in the price)

Highlights

  • Scenic cycling rides
  • Hiking at Taktshang Goemba
  • Visit historical temples and monasteries
  • Rafting at the Pho Chu River's class 2 and 3 rapids
  • Daily breakfast, lunch, and dinner
  • 7 nights accommodation

Styles


5 cycling days in English
Spoken languages: English
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Accommodation

During this cycling holiday, you will be provided seven nights of accommodation.

Program

Your journey begins with several days of bicycle touring, first exploring the seldom visited valleys north of Bhutan's capital city of Thimphu, where you will visit the Gompas of Pangri, Tango, and Cheri. Then, you will bike up and over Dochula Pass and down into the Punakha Valley. Shuttle is available, too. Explore the valley by bike, cycling to the spiritual capital at Punakha Dzong.

Other than the optional climb, most of your bicycling is in valleys, with rolling hills, and scenic landscapes. Switching modes of travel, you will explore areas away from the roads, during a half day of hiking in Punakha ascending to beautiful temples perched high above the valley floor.

Then, cool off in the afternoon with some whitewater rafting on the Pho Chu River, with Class 2 and 3 rapids, big enough to be fun, small enough for all to enjoy. You will finish the adventure back in Paro with a hike to fabled Taktshang Goemba, better known to foreigners as Tigers Nest, a temple perched on a sheer cliff face, hundreds of feet above the valley floor.

And unlike many other tours, you will have special permits to hike to the actual monastery for a visit, not just view it from far away.

Day 1: Arrival in Paro, exploration of the national museum and Thimphu

Your multisport adventure through the fabled kingdom starts with one of the world's most scenic flights, coming into the Paro Valley. After stepping off the plane into the cool mountain air, you will enjoy lunch and then a short drive to Thimphu (60 kilometers / 2 hours). If time permits, you will visit the National Museum of Bhutan.

You will have time to admire the museum's collection of rare Bhutanese artifacts and art, traditional weaving, and other eclectic pieces. In the afternoon, you will prepare the bikes and enjoy a brief sightseeing pedal around the city. Wind down your first day in Bhutan with the welcome dinner and orientation. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner is included.

  • Cycling distance: 15 miles / 25 kilometers
  • Terrain: Flat

Day 2: Bike north to visit Pangri, Tango, and Cheri Gompas (fortified monasteries)

The ride on this day heads through a region not often seen on other bike tours in Bhutan, pedaling north to visit the Pangri, Tango, and Cheri Gompas. These fortified monasteries have provided spiritual guidance to the local residents for centuries. Now, the Tango and Pangri Gompas are centers of higher learning, with Pangri teaching astronomy and Tango instructing monks in Buddhist philosophy.

Cheri monastery was built in 1620 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal in memory of his father. Beautiful frescoes of saints, who have attained Buddhahood, adorn the monastery, including a very beautiful statue of 'Tara'. It is now a center of three-year retreat for the monks. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner is included.

  • Cycling distance: 36 miles / 58 kilometers
  • Terrain: moderate hills

Day 3: Shuttle to the 108 Chortens atop Dochula Pass, descend on bike to Punakha

Mid-morning, you will shuttle to Dochula Pass (you also have the option to cycle up). The views from the pass are magnificent, offering a panorama of the eastern Himalayas. Enjoy lunch at the pass before starting the 26-mile descent from the pass to Punakha through the leafy temperate forests and semi-tropical zone with abundant orange trees, bananas, and bamboos.

Breakfast, lunch, and dinner is included.

  • Cycling distance: 31 miles / 50 kilometers (43 miles / 69 kilometers if you cycle up)
  • Terrain: alpine descent
  • Pass: Docula (3100 meters)

Day 4: Leisurely cycling to visit Punakha Dzong and rural Bhutan

This day's relatively flat ride offers opportunities to visit some of the famed temples of the region and enjoy the quiet rural countryside. On this day, you will visit the Punakha Dzong built in 1637 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel, a Buddhist saint who unified Bhutan in the 17th century.

Punakha served as the capital of Bhutan until 1955 and it still is the winter residence of the Je-Khenpo (Chief Abbot) and the central monk body. You will again spend the night in Punakha. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner is included.

  • Cycling distance: 28 miles / 45 kilometers
  • Terrain: Small hills

Day 5: Punakha and Pho Chu River

You will hike through the hills surrounding Punakha, then descend to the riverside for rafting the Pho Chu River's class 2 and 3 rapids. Switching modes of travel today, you will set out for a hike through the countryside, visiting several small villages before reaching a temple overlooking the valley.

From this higher vantage point you can enjoy great vistas of the area through which you rode yesterday and will raft later today. Descending back to the valley floor, enjoy a great Bhutanese lunch before setting out to raft the Pho Chu River. This scenic float throws some class 2 and 3 rapids at you to excite and refresh, a great way to round out the visit to the Punakha Valley.

Breakfast, lunch, and dinner is included.

Day 6: Paro

You will take a shuttle to Paro, where you will stay in the historic governor's mansion and visit the family farm of your guide.

After breakfast, you will be shuttled back to Paro, where you will spend out the last couple of nights. The hotel here is the former residence of the local governor.

In the afternoon, you will visit a small village further up the valley, home to the family of a Bhutanese manager. This is an opportunity to experience the daily life, as you visit the family farm and explore the village. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner is included.

Day 7: Taktshang Goemba (Tigers Nest Monastery) to Paro

On this day, you will hike to Taktshang Goemba (Tigers Nest Monastery), and then return to Paro for a farewell dinner with dancing. In the morning, you will enjoy a hike to visit the renowned Tigers Nest Monastery (Taktshang Goemba). You will have permits to actually visit the temple and will enjoy most of day here in the mountains, hiking, and sightseeing.

The Taktshang Goemba is one of Bhutan's most spectacular monasteries, clinging to the cliff face, high above the surrounding valley floor. Upon your return to Paro, you will have a chance to finish your last-minute shopping needs. You will gather for a final Bhutanese dinner, swapping tales of the ride and country. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner is included.

Day 8: Departure

You will take the shuttle to the airport for your onward flight. Breakfast is included.

Included excursions

  • Visit to the Punakha Dzong
  • Visit to the National Museum of Bhutan
  • River rafting at the Pho Chu River's class 2 and 3 rapids
  • Hike to Tigers Nest Monastery (Taktshang Goemba)

Location

This cycling tour will be held in various places in Bhutan, including Paro, Thimphu, Pangri, Tango, and Cheri Gompas, Dochula Pass, Punakha, Punakha Dzong, Pho Chu River, and Taktshang Goemba.

Bhutan

This unique country, thought to be the inspiration for Shangri-la, has managed to combine tourism with growth without sacrificing its soul. The ancient ways of life still prevail, men go to work dressed in traditional robes called “gho”, and women in their wrap around kiras. Ancient architectural styles influence newer hotels.

Food

Daily breakfast, lunch, and dinner is included in the cost of the packages. Fresh mountain vegetables and chilis are combined with cheese for flavorful dishes that have been enjoyed through the centuries.

The following meals are included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

The following dietary requirement(s) are served and/or catered for:

  • Regular (typically includes meat and fish)
If you have special dietary requirements it's a good idea to communicate it to the organiser when making a reservation

What's included

  • All cycling rides
  • Daily breakfast, lunch, and dinner
  • 7 nights accommodation

Cancellation Policy

  • A reservation requires a deposit of 25% of the total price.
  • The deposit is non-refundable, if the booking is cancelled.
  • The rest of the payment should be paid 45 days before arrival.
8 days / 7 nights
from --
Monday September 23, 2019
(8 days / 7 nights)

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