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Check out snow-capped mountains, push yourself to pedal up incredible passes, admire swooping valleys, absorb the mesmerising Buddhist culture, meet hospitable locals and marvel at their traditional clothes. If all of that doesn’t whet your appetite for a cycling adventure in the kingdom of Bhutan, then nothing will. This is a journey like no other, taken across challenging but oh so rewarding landscapes that will remain forever etched in your memory.
- TypeFully Guided
- Duration15 days
- Culture LevelAdventurous
- Skill Level4 - Advanced
- Activity Level3 - Active
- Elevation4 - Challenging
- Distance492.7 miles
- Avg. Daily Distance37.9 miles
How do I get a visa to Bhutan?
All nationalities require a passport for entry into Bhutan. Please ensure your passport is valid for at least 6 months from date of entry. Contrary to just about the entire rest of the world, Bhutan does not issue Visas before you arrive through their Embassies or Consulates. The only way to get a Visa is to get it on arrival to the country. However, you can’t simply show up at their doorstep and be allowed in. You must apply with a tour operator and submit an application form for approval BEFORE you arrive. The Tour Operator will submit your application for approval to the DOT, and their approval process takes a minimum of 1 week.
Do I need a visa to India?
Yes, an Indian visa is needed since you will be crossing the border for the transfer to Guwahati Airport.
All foreign nationals entering India are required to possess a valid international travel document in the form of a national passport with a valid Indian visa. An e-visa facility is available for nationals of most countries.
Passport should have at least six months validity from the date of arrival in India. The passport should have at least two blank pages for stamping by the Immigration Officer.
International Travellers should have a return ticket or onward journey ticket,with sufficient money to spend during his/her stay in India.
Additional information and e-visa application can be found on their official website, https://indianvisaonline.gov.in/visa/index.html
How long is the tour? How many days of riding?
This tour is 15 days long, with 12 riding days.
How many riders will be in the group?
Groups can be from 1 to 16. For groups of 9 or more, a second guide joins the tour.
Is there a minimum age for this tour?
Yes, riders must be 18 years old by the time the tour starts.
Can I rent a bike for the tour?
Yes, quality mountain bikes can be hired for the duration of the tour. The bikes are well-known makes with lightweight alloy frames, 24 to 27 speed gears, v-brakes, have Shimano components and front suspension.
E-bikes are also available for hire which can help manage long distances and climbing terrain through the use of a pedal-activated electric motor.
What's the tour like?
This bike tour is a true classic with Himalayan mountain passes, sweeping descents, magnificent views, clean air, and abundant culture and history in one of the most secluded countries in the world. The total distance is around 789 km (490 mi) in eleven full and two half days of riding. The riding varies between some easier shorter days and some challenging days due to the altitude and gradients involved. Cycling at over 3,400 m (11,154 ft) above sea level takes a little bit of getting used to for most people, and we will need a few days to acclimatize. Participants should be in relatively good overall physical shape with at least a moderate degree of cycling experience. The accommodations are generally 3-star hotels with traditional amenities. The tour operator has attempted to keep the tour as authentic as possible and tried to use local small accommodation wherever possible. Regardless of the location, every day you can be assured to get a comfortable room and a good night's sleep. Outstanding scenery, abundant wildlife and flora, and a deeply religious and benevolent people makes for a truly wonderful bike trip that will live in your memory forever.
Suitability: You can expect some tough days in the saddle. We will also be cycling at altitudes between 2,000-3,000 m (6,561-9,842 ft), which also increases the difficulty. Being physically fit will of course be a huge asset, but, as the tour is fully supported, the van is always close at hand if needed.
Biking Conditions: This tour is primarily on paved roads with very little traffic. The road conditions will vary and some sections will be bumpy. The tour climbs up and over many mountainous passes and ends on the Assam plain. There are quite a few challenging climbs, some more than 20 km (12mi), as well as some fast, sweeping descents. Any portion can be skipped by utilising the support vehicle.
Am I safe?
The tour leader is trained in first aid and emergency rescue. But to a large degree, riders must be responsible for their own safety during the tour. It is therefore compulsory that you take out travel insurance that will cover you for a cycling tour.
Where does the tour start and finish?
The tour starts in Paro, Bhutan. It can be accessed via Paro International Airport (PBH).
The tour will finish in Guwahati, India with an airport transfer to Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport (GAU)
Do I have to pay if travelling alone?
You are not required to pay a surcharge for travelling alone. The tour operator will arrange for you to share accommodation with another traveller of the same gender. If you cannot be matched, they will provide a single room at no extra charge. If you prefer not to share, a single supplement is payable to guarantee your own room.
Please see a message from the tour operator about policies relating to COVID-19
Updated: July 24, 2020
Due to the ongoing global impact of coronavirus (COVID-19) and with many international borders remaining closed for an extended period, Spiceroads has decided to suspend the majority of tours until at least 30 October 2020.
While this is extremely disappointing for all of us, the safety and security of our travellers, along with that of our staff and partners, has always been the most important factor.
If you were booked on a tour that has been suspended due to the pandemic, you will automatically receive a credit of 100% of monies paid (of your deposit or full payment) which can be redeemed as follows:
- You can re-book a tour now for a future travel date before 30 September 2022.
- You can hold on to your travel credit until you are ready to re-book on any future departure before 30 September 2022.
We apologise for the inconvenience and sincerely hope you will understand and support us during this unprecedented crisis. Spiceroads is a small company with a big heart and we are doing everything we can to work through this crisis and plan to start operating tours again as soon as we can. In the meantime, we thank you for your patience and understanding in these unprecedented times and are communicating with everyone booked on the impacted tours.
If you are booked on a tour that is due to depart from 1 November 2020, there are currently no changes to your trip, and it is currently scheduled to depart as planned. We are monitoring the situation closely and will notify you directly if your tour is affected.
If you want to cancel your booking, you can receive a credit for the amount paid to use on a new tour with a departure date before 30 September 2022.
For new bookings please see our flexible booking conditions below:
Terms & Conditions:
- We require a deposit (as listed on the individual tour pages) or full payment to reserve a place for you on a tour.
- In the event that we are unable to operate the tour, this deposit will be transferred to another tour at your discretion or held as a credit for use anytime until 30th September 2022.
- The balance of the tour’s cost (final invoice) must be paid 45 days before the departure date with fees for any bicycle rental(s), single supplement(s) and extra hotel nights.
- In the case where a booking is made when there are less than 45 days until the tour departure date, the tour’s cost must be paid in full within 48 hours of receiving an invoice from SpiceRoads.
- In all cases, tour fees must be paid “in full” before participation in a tour. No person(s) will be allowed to join a tour without fully settling their invoice and receiving a confirmation number from SpiceRoads.
- Some last-minute miscellaneous fees (visas, additional local hotel bookings, etc.) can be settled on the day of arrival.
Flexible Booking Policy
- This policy allows for multiple changes to the departure date.
- The change will only be approved if it is requested by the client in writing a minimum of sixty (60) days before the departure date.
- In the event the change request is moving to a different tour, then a price adjustment may need to be applied and your tour consultant will advise on what this will be.
- Deposit terms are 30% on booking or US$500 whichever is the greater.
- Any cancellation without rescheduling forfeits the deposit paid, until 45 days, at which time it is 70%, until 15 days at which time it is 100%.
Are helmets included when hiring a bike?
Yes, if you're hiring a bike from the operator, a complimentary helmet is provided, although you are welcome to bring your own if you wish.