13-Day Bhutan Cycling Tour

Book Now

Tour type

Tour Level: High Level

Tour Comfort: Standard

Tour Period: 13 Days

Tour Highlight

  • Visit important monasteries and fortress temples
  • Ride to Bumthang, one of the most spectacular valleys in Bhutan
  • Explore the bustling market town of Wangduephodrang
  • Cycle through mixed forests, pasturelands, rice fields and rolling fields
  • Challenge yourself with surmounting high passes of over 3,000 metres

tour details

This featured ’13-Day Bhutan Cycling Tour’ offers a fascinating adventure for cycling enthusiasts. Experience Bhutan’s great diversity of landscapes including wide valleys, forests and challenging high mountain passes with seven days of cycling interspersed with scenic hikes. The tour also includes several days sightseeing the country’s most important museums, monuments and religious sites.

Upon arriving at the Paro International Airport, your guide will meet you at the arrival terminal and give you a traditional welcome gift called a 'khadar' (greeting scarf).

After lunch, enjoy an afternoon sightseeing tour around Paro. First, visit the National Museum, which contains many religious relics, works of art and handicrafts that provide a snapshot of Bhutan’s historical, cultural and religious past. Next, visit Rimpong Dzong to see the painting of the great Saint Milarepa, who is considered the master of meditation by the Bhutanese and believed to have attained enlightenment in his lifetime. Afterwards, walk to the beautiful cantilever bridge still in use. Before dinner at the hotel, there will be an orientation on Bhutanese etiquette by your guide.

Dinner and accommodation at a hotel in Paro.
After eating breakfast, begin a full day’s bicycle ride to Thimphu. The average gradient of the road is excellent for cycling and there are few steep climbs or descents. Enjoy riding beside rivers and through rice fields, coniferous forests and hills dotted with chortens and monasteries. After enjoying a picnic lunch at a wayside spot, continue cycling via a narrow gorge through to the widening valley at Namseling. Finally, the quaint suburbs of Thimphu will begin to appear and you will see the impressive Semtokha Dzong, built in 1627. The ‘Bridge of Prophecy’, which is decorated with many prayer flags, will welcome you to downtown Thimphu where you will continue down the main street to your hotel. Enjoy the remainder of the day at your leisure.

Dinner and overnight stay at your hotel in Thimphu.
The day starts with a sightseeing tour of Thimphu beginning with a visit to the National Memorial Chorten. This is decorated with paintings and statues showcasing the Buddhist faith. Next, visit the 12th-century Changangkha Temple, the Drubthob Monastery housing the Zilukha Nunnery, and the School for Arts and Crafts where students are taught the thirteen types of Bhutanese art. Then, continue to the National Library, which is home to a collection of Bhutanese scriptures dating back to the 8th century. Visit the Traditional Paper Factory where you'll learn about the Bhutanese paper-making process and then continue onward to a fascinating replica of a medieval farmhouse at the Folk Heritage Museum, which has a collection of typical household objects, domestic tools and equipment that were used by rural families during the mid-19th century.
If there is time, you can visit a nursing pen of Bhutan's national animal, the takin, and then later Tashichho Dzong, the ‘Fortress of the Glorious Religion’.

Dinner and accommodation at a hotel in Thimphu.
The road to Punakha begins with a 22-kilometre bicycle ride and a height gain of 670 metres up to the Dochula Mountain Pass (3,100 metres). Cycle through hillsides covered in temperate forests rich with rhododendron and magnolia trees and home to several species of deer and monkeys. On a clear day, there's a spectacular view of the Himalayan Mountains from Dochula. The downhill ride from the Dochula into the Punakha Valley is absolutely stunning. Enjoy a rush as you glide on your bike through 50 kilometres of lush forests.

After freshening up in the hotel in Punakha, visit the 1637 Punakha Dzong situated at the joining of the Mo Chu and Pho Chu Rivers. It is the winter headquarters of the Je Khenpo as well as hundreds of monks who move en masse from Thimphu in search of warmer weather. The three-storey main temple of the Punakha Dzong is a breathtaking example of traditional architecture. Its most prominent characteristic is the four intricately embossed entrance pillars crafted from cypress and decorated in gold and silver. Afterwards, proceed to Paro and check into the hotel.

Dinner and stay overnight a hotel in Punakha.
Enjoy exploring the bustling market town of Wangduephodrang before visiting Wangduephodrang Dzong. Built in 1639, the dzong is strategically located at the joining of two rivers. Then, drive over the Pelela Mountain Pass (3,420 metres) on the Black Mountain Range, which divides western and central Bhutan. White langur monkeys can often be spotted in the moss-draped forests in this area. Further on, visit the 18th-century Chendibji Chorten in a quiet forested area that was built to commemorate the defeat of a local demon. Its style is unusual for Bhutan and features painted eyes facing in the four cardinal directions. The imposing Trongsa Dzong can be viewed across a deep canyon, which signals your approach to the town of Trongsa around a curving road.

Dinner and stay overnight a hotel in Trongsa.
After breakfast, visit Trongsa Dzong, a masterpiece of Bhutanese architecture. Trongsa has the largest dzong in Bhutan and its foundations were laid in the 16th century. There are now 22 temples in the complex. Afterwards, enjoy light refreshments and begin cycling to Bumthang, one of the most spectacular valleys in Bhutan and known as the spiritual heartland of the kingdom. The road climbs rapidly up a series of hairpin turns out of Trongsa and then come to the Yutung La Pass after passing through cultivated fields and forested hillsides. From an altitude of 3,400 metres, ride down through a dense, beautiful coniferous forest to the expansive Chummey Valley before continuing on to the town of Jakar in the soft afternoon light.

Dinner and stay overnight a hotel in Bumthang.
In the morning, visit Kurjey Lhakhang, one of the most sacred places in the kingdom and where Bhutan’s patron saint Guru Rimpoche meditated. Then see the 7th-century Jambay Lhakhang, which dates back to the origins of Buddhism in Bhutan and is one of the kingdom's oldest temples. After lunch, visit Jakar Dzong and Tamshing Lhakhang, founded in 1501 by Pemalingpa and home to ancient Buddhist wall paintings. Afterwards, enjoy exploring the village of Jakar, Bumthang’s main township.

Dinner and stay overnight a hotel in Bumthang.
Cycle to the Ura Valley, which is approximately 69 kilometres from Jakar. The ride begins with a height gain of 900 metres over almost 40 kilometres to the Shertang La Pass. The Ura Valley, on the far side, is the highest of the Bumthang Valleys. Extensive pastures line the road and, just before the pass, there is a panoramic view of the mountains of Lunana. Descend from the pass on long looping roads through pastureland and fields to the village of Village. Enjoy some sightseeing in Ura Valley before driving back to Bumthang.

Dinner and stay overnight a hotel in Bumthang.
Drive back to Punakha, stopping in Trongsa for lunch. There will be opportunities to ride along various stretches of the road if desired.

Dinner and stay overnight a hotel in Punakha.
Enjoy a leisurely ride roughly 12 kilometres long to reach Khamsum Yulley Namgyal Chorten, a 3-storey chorten that stands on a beautiful hillock. It is home to paintings belonging to Nyingmapa traditions. Enjoy a picnic lunch on a picturesque riverside before cycling back to Punakha. Afterwards, drive to Thimphu and stay for the evening.

Dinner and stay overnight a hotel in Thimphu.
After breakfast, you can either cycle back to Paro or drive there later to enjoy some leisure time exploring Thimphu. If your visit to Thimphu coincides with the weekend, walk through the Thimphu Market to see the variety of Bhutanese food including basket upon basket of fiery chillies, fresh cheese and fresh greens. Many stalls also sell Bhutanese handicrafts and household items. On arrival in Paro, check into the hotel.

Dinner and stay overnight a hotel in Paro.
Enjoy breakfast and then hike to the Taktsang Monastery, which is built on a sheer cliff face 900 metres above the valley floor. The monastery is also an important pilgrim site for the Buddhists. The great Guru Rimpoche is said to have flown here on the back of a tigress when he brought the teachings of the Buddhist Dharma to Bhutan in the 8th century. The uphill hike is roughly two hours long and if you cannot make the trek there will be a horse transfer available. After reaching the monastery, enjoy refreshments at a nearby teahouse before returning to Paro for lunch.
In the afternoon, drive or cycle the relatively flat road to the ruins of the 17th-century Drukgyel Dzong, built to commemorate a victory against invading Tibetans in 1644. In clear weather, the towering peak of the sacred Mount Jomolhari appears as a stunning backdrop. On the return drive to Paro, visit the 7th-century Kyichu Lhakhang, one of the 108 temples constructed by the Tibetan king Songtsen Gampo.

Dinner and stay overnight a hotel in Paro.
After breakfast, your guide will accompany you to the airport and bid you 'Tashi delek!' for your onward flight.


  • All private transfers, Hotel accomodation and transportation inclusive of taxes during the entire tour
  • Meals as stated in the programme B= Breakfast, L= Lunch & D= Dinner
  • Transfers and tours with English-speaking guides in private air conditioned vehicles
  • All entrance fees as mentioned in the programme
  • Mineral water available in the vehicles
  • Visa fees at US$40 per person


  • Domestic airfare (quoted separately, if requested)
  • International airfare to / from Lao (quoted separately, if requested)
  • Optional tours
  • Surcharges for other language guides
  • Surcharges for Lao Pimai (New Year)
  • Personal travel insurance
  • Personal expenditures, such as drinks, souvenirs, laundry, camera fees, communications, postage, gratuities, etc.
  • Meals and services other than mentioned in the programme
  • Drinks with meals
  • Compulsory gala dinners during festive seasons and peak season surcharges which will be advised at the time of booking or when available
  • Early check-in and late check-out at hotels, if not mentioned in the programme
Tour code: BCT13

Share this package