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Holiday Overview


  • Challenging climbs, endless descents, the perfect cycling holiday
  • The monasteries at Punakha, Tongsa, Gantey and Jakar
  • Meet Bhutan`s colourful people by bike
  • Please see note below about the ongoing road widening work

The classic bike ride across Bhutan is one of the world's most challenging cycling holidays. At the eastern end of the Himalaya, sandwiched between India and Tibet, the 'Shangri La' kingdom of Bhutan is renowned for its colourful Buddhist culture and for the beauty of its unspoiled mountain scenery. A single spectacular road runs west to east across the country, traversing a succession of steep-sided and heavily wooded ridges. Presenting long climbs on easy-angled switchbacks, as well as mind-blowing descents that seem to last for hours, this largely deserted single-track highway provides the basis for one of the worlds' great bike journeys. Starting out from Paro and crossing several high passes, we accumulate a total of 15,500 metres of ascent and a staggering 18,200 metres of descent, en route to the eastern land border with India at Sandrup Jongkhar. Staying primarily in characterful lodges and with plenty of opportunity to meet the Bhutanese people, this is an unmissable adventure biking holiday. A sparsely populated country, Bhutan is often likened to Switzerland because of its small size, jealously guarded isolation and stunning mountain scenery. More than 90% of the population are hill farmers who live in small villages spread over rugged mountain country. Buddhist teachings and philosophy are influential throughout the kingdom, as they have been since the 7th century and a deep and traditional reverence for nature has led to Bhutan imposing some of the strictest standards of environmental preservation in the world. More than 65% of the land is still under forest cover and some of the rarest of Himalayan wildlife, such as the blue sheep, takin and golden langur, are quite common. It is generally reckoned that even the most experienced traveller will find Bhutan to be a revelation and we cannot disagree. In this country known as Druk Yul, the 'Land of the Thunder Dragon', the fortunate visitor will find a rare combination of harmony and accord, amongst incredible natural beauty. The air is clean and unpolluted, the mountains are magnificent and the architecture is inspiring. Bhutan is the least visited of all the Himalayan countries, as a direct result of a deliberate government policy that restricts the number of tourists allowed into the country.

Please note that the ongoing process of widening Bhutan's East-West Highway (scheduled for completion in 2017) is reaching its peak and this is seriously affecting the nature of the ride - please contact the KE Office for details. During the ride, you can expect to encounter long sections of roadworks, where the tarmac has been removed and hardcore has been laid in preparation for resurfacing. The hardcore sections can be rough and you can choose to either ride them or travel in the bus. In dry conditions, the unmade sections are simply more challenging to ride than the old tarmac road. If it is wet, they can be muddy and unpleasant. In some places we might also encounter short delays as we await our turn to traverse these roadworks. The end product of all this work will, of course, be a smoother ride for our groups in the future).


explore international

Explore International. This is one of our Explore International holidays. Participants on these trips can book through KE or through one of our international partners. This helps us to gather together sufficient numbers of like-minded adventurers to get your holiday up and running quickly. Led by an English-speaking guide, the cosmopolitan nature of these groups can be an important part of the experience!

Is this holiday for you?
ADVENTURE CYCLING. A mountain bike fitted with semi-slick tyres is ideal for this holiday. This is a mostly road-based trip and is suitable for regular weekend riders. The road is narrow, little used and 90% tarmac, with rough sections on the high passes. (Note: A programme of road improvement has been ongoing for several years and we will certainly come across roadworks during the ride. These sections of roadworks can be 10 or even 20 kilometres long, where the tarmac has been removed and hardcore laid in preparation for resurfacing - see note above. This trip has some long days and several tough climbs. There are 10 road passes to cross on this spectacular ride, the highest of which are the Pele La (3420m) and the Thumsing La (3800m). What goes up must come down, and the descents are equally awesome, the longest involving 3259 metres of descent over 85 kilometres - one of the longest in the world. The climbs are usually not steep and the roads are generally narrow and almost traffic-free. Biking at altitudes between 600 metres and 3800 metres, we will notice a marked difference in temperatures - from very pleasant and warm to cold and frosty on the highest of the passes. Winter clothing is recommended for the highest of passes and some of the descents will be cold! The average time in the saddle will vary between 6 and 8 hours each day, with at least 2 longer days of up to 10 hours, inclusive of stops, covering in excess of 100 kilometres. The route is rideable in the time we have allowed, but we do have a support vehicle throughout and riders finding the going tough can opt to take a rest at any time. Aimed at regular bikers, this holiday will provide a sustained challenge and you will need a good level of fitness to fully enjoy it! BIKE HIRE AVAILABLE LOCALLY.

Brief Itinerary

View in full
  • Meet at the group hotel in Delhi. Transfers from Delhi Airport are provided.
  • Fly to Paro in Bhutan. Meet our Bhutanese hosts and transfer to our hotel in the Paro Valley.
  • Cycle from Paro towards Thimpu, turning off to climb over the Dochu La (3050m) to Punakha.
  • Cycle via Wangdi and up into the Black Mountains. Overnight at Gantey (3000m) in the Phobjikha Valley.
  • Continue across the Pele La (3420m) with another fantastic descent on a twisting road Tongsa.
  • Cycle up to the Yutong La (3400m) and descend into the district of Bumthang. Overnight in Jakar.
  • Cross the Ura La with views of Lunana to the north. Then, cross the Wangthang La to our valley camp.
  • A long and gradual ascent to the Thumsing La (3800m) and a stunning descent to Mongar.
  • Cross the Kori La, descend Sheri River and make a final climb up to the town of Tashigang (1100m).
  • Heading south, bike on an undulating road via Kanglung and Khaling to Wamrong.
  • Climb to cross a final pass (2450m). From here, it's downhill all the way to Samdrup Jongkhar.
  • Drive to Gauhati Airport in India. Fly to Delhi, day rooms at an airport hotel. Depart Delhi.
Sun 13 Nov - Thu 24 Nov Code BHMB/03/16/ Adult$4,000 Status Limited Availability Book now
More information
  • Bhutan Thunder Dragon Ride
  • The departure reference for this tour is BHMB/03/16/
  • This tour begins on Sun 13 Nov and departs on Thu 24 Nov
  • This departure has limited availability. Don't delay - secure your place today with a deposit of $1,000
  • Single Supplement $800 - Group hotel nights in Delhi & Bhutan (single tent not included)
  • Single Tent $50
The LAND ONLY dates and prices are for the itinerary joining in Delhi. For clients making their own flight arrangements, Delhi Airport is the most convenient for transfers to the group hotel. Please refer to the 'Joining Arrangements and Transfers' for further details.

Flights SHOULD NOT be booked until you have received your booking confirmation and the departure is showing 'Guaranteed to Run' or 'Limited'.

BOOK WITH KE CONFIDENCE - No surcharge guarantee

The price of our holidays can change depending on a variety of factors but unlike some other tour operators, KE have undertaken to guarantee the Land Only price of your holiday will not change after you have booked. The price when you book is the price you will pay, whether you are booking for this year or the next. Book early to avoid any tour price increases, get the best flight prices and take advantage of our 'No Surcharge Guarantee'.

KE Adventure Travel is a fully ATOL licensed and bonded tour operator with ABTA and AITO.


Map & Itinerary

The Route

  • airport
  • point
  • trip direction
  • bike
  • transfer

Holiday Itinerary

  • Meet at the group hotel in Delhi. Transfers from Delhi Airport are provided.

    Rendezvous at the group hotel in Delhi which is conveniently located close to the airport. Complimentary airport transfers are provided for all clients arriving on this day. Since group members can arrive on different flights throughout the day, we have not included meals. KE Land Only services begin with overnight at the group hotel.

    • Accommodation Hotel with swimming pool

  • Fly to Paro in Bhutan. Meet our Bhutanese hosts and transfer to our hotel in the Paro Valley.

    We transfer back to Delhi International Airport to check in for the Druk Air flight to Paro. This flight is one of the most spectacular of all mountain flights and as we descend into the Paro Valley there are splendid views of alpine forests, small monasteries, temples and flat-roofed farmhouses. The Paro Valley is enchanting. A single road lined with willows, clear mountain streams, families working in the rice paddies and one of Bhutan’s most impressive Dzongs (fortresses) creates a memorable first impression. Our arrival in Paro is usually in the late afternoon and, after meeting our Bhutanese guide and crew, we transfer to our hotel and have time before and after dinner to put our bikes together ahead of our classic journey. Altitude at our hotel in Paro is 2400 metres.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Meals bld

  • Cycle from Paro towards Thimpu, turning off to climb over the Dochu La (3050m) to Punakha.

    We make an early start today for the first day’s ride of our trip across Bhutan. Our destination being Punakha. The beginning of our ride, to Chhuzom (2068m), is a gentle introduction to the day but then we begin to climb and follow the Wang Chu upstream through a mixture of rice fields and coniferous forest to a widening of the valley at Namseling. Finally, the quaint suburbs of Thimpu begin to appear to our left and we see the impressive Simtokha Dzong in the middle of the valley. Thimpu is the only large settlement in Bhutan and is spread out across a wide valley. However, our new itinerary bypasses Thimpu - and the construction of the new Thimpu-India Highway - and turns east to Punakha on the main east-west road across Bhutan. The road up to the Dochu La (3050m) is relatively quiet compared to the morning ride and the hillsides on either side of the road are covered in luxuriant temperate forest and an abundance of rhododendron and magnolia. The lower slopes are even more lush, with orange trees, bananas and bamboo. Several species of deer and monkeys make their home in this forest. We will meet our support vehicles at the pass and have a stop for rest and refreshment. The pass is marked by many prayer flags and a large chorten. A viewpoint just above the chorten offers a magnificent panorama of the Eastern Himalaya, including the all of the giant 7000 metre peaks of Lunana in north-eastern Bhutan. The downhill from the Dochu La into the Punakha Valley will leave you speechless - 2000 metres of descent, through lush forest and jungle, over a distance of 50 kilometres. We will stay at a hotel close to Punakha and, providing we arrive early enough, we will be able to visit Punakha Dzong, Bhutan’s old winter capital, home to over 1000 monks.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Ascent 1500m

    • Distance 118km

    • gps data View now

    • Meals bld

    • Descent 2600m

    • Time 8 - 9 hrs cycling

  • Cycle via Wangdi and up into the Black Mountains. Overnight at Gantey (3000m) in the Phobjikha Valley.

    The 'Central Road' across the Black Mountains was completed only 20 years ago and its completion brought about great changes to the people of central Bhutan. We leave our hotel and cycle down to the river and the valley bottom, crossing a bridge at 1200 metres. We then have a short climb to the village of Wangdi followed by a relatively flat road for 20 kilometres to a bridge across the river just past the village of Tikke. We stop for a tea break and then begin a long climb over the Black Mountains. This is a deceptively long climb, gaining over 2000 metres to a junction with the side road to Gantey just beyond Nobding. We should be conscious of the clock today as it is one of the hardest days biking. Crossing the pass we descend into the Phobjika Valley, which is one of the few winter homes of the black-necked crane which migrate here from the Central Asiatic Plateau, usually in late October. A short descent leads into the valley and to our hotel, which is located a short distance beyond the small village of Gantey. The village houses are clustered around the monastery. The altitude at Gantey is 3000 metres.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Ascent 2400m

    • Distance 75km

    • gps data View now

    • Meals bld

    • Descent 700m

    • Time 7 - 8 hrs cycling

  • Continue across the Pele La (3420m) with another fantastic descent on a twisting road Tongsa.

    Our hotel is close to the feeding grounds of the black-necked cranes and depending on the time of year, there can be between 500 and 1000 in the Phobjika Valley and it is possible that we will be woken by their distinct calling. We load our bikes into the support vehicles for the short climb back to the pass, but have time to call in at the new Visitor Centre to take a closer look at the cranes. These birds are tolerant of people and regularly feed near human settlements and domestic livestock, perhaps because local religious beliefs protect them across much of their range. Moving on from this fascinating spectacle, we head eastwards once again, continuing our climb to the nearby Pele La (3420m). There is a good chance that we will see langur monkeys in the forest on this section of our ride. At the pass, the forest opens out a little and we should find yaks grazing by the side of the road. Looking back from the pass, it is possible to see Chomolhari (7219m). The Pele La is the third of our big passes and by now we should be getting used to the climbs. This pass is traditionally known as the boundary between Western and Central Bhutan, and the landscape, which spreads out on the far side of the pass, is different to that on the western side. Previous groups have encountered snow on the pass, so be prepared for some cold riding downhill. Another amazing descent follows (1530 metres). It is downhill almost all the way for 60 kilometres to Tongsa. We take a break for tea at Chenjebi, with its magnificent Stupa (the only one of its kind in Bhutan) which was built to ward off the demons of the valley. After crossing a bridge at Nikkarchu we enter Tongsa district and follow a dramatic section of the road that is carved into the side of a cliff high above the Mangde Chu. The scenery is beautiful - forest as far as the eye can see and with Tongsa Dzong visible from 30 km (19 miles) away, at the end of the valley. Tongsa means 'new village' - it was founded in the 16th century, which is relatively recent for Bhutan. After so much downhill riding the final 300 metre climb up to Tongsa Village makes for a tough end to the day’s ride. We will have time in the afternoon to take a look around the Dzong, which is situated on a spur over the Mangde Chu, which has a commanding view in every direction. Altitude at Tongsa is 2200 metres.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Ascent 800m

    • Distance 77km

    • gps data View now

    • Meals bld

    • Descent 1700m

    • Time 5 - 6 hrs cycling

  • Cycle up to the Yutong La (3400m) and descend into the district of Bumthang. Overnight in Jakar.

    The road climbs rapidly through a series of hairpins out of Tongsa and there are great views back to the dzong and out across the valley. After passing through cultivated fields for a while, we re-enter the forest and at a distance of 30 kilometres from Tongsa we reach the Yutong La (3400m). Descending to a low point of 2650 metres at a village called Chumey, the scenery is once again totally different as we enter the wide-open Bumthang Valley. After a short climb to Kiki La, we turn a corner for a great descent to Jakar where there is one of the oldest temples in Bhutan, founded by the Dorje Linpa in 1445. From almost 20 kilometres away we can see Jakar Dzong, high above the village. Altitude at Jakar is 2600 metres.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Ascent 1700m

    • Distance 70km

    • gps data View now

    • Meals bld

    • Descent 1200m

    • Time 6 - 7 hrs cycling

  • Cross the Ura La with views of Lunana to the north. Then, cross the Wangthang La to our valley camp.

    The height gain of 900 metres to our fifth pass, the Ura La, is achieved after almost 40 kilometres of biking. The Ura Valley, on the far side, is the highest of the Bumthang valleys. Extensive sheep pastures line the road and just before the pass there is a panorama of the mountains of Lunana to north. We descend from the pass by long loops, through pastureland and fields to Ura Village for lunch. From here it is a further 24 kilometres over the Wangthang La to our camp on one of the few flat places in the valley. Altitude at our camp is 3300 metres.

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Ascent 1700m

    • Distance 77km

    • gps data View now

    • Meals bld

    • Descent 860m

    • Time 6 - 8 hrs cycling

  • A long and gradual ascent to the Thumsing La (3800m) and a stunning descent to Mongar.

    Today is a long day and if we wish to cycle the whole way, we need to set off at first light. After a short descent to a bridge, we start climbing immediately to the Thumsing La (3800m). The ascent, over 9 kilometres is quite gradual and the scenery is stunning, as we pass through dense forest of conifer and rhododendron. The pass marks the boundary between Central and Eastern Bhutan and is the last of our high altitude climbs. Not hanging around as its usually cold on the pass we set off on what must rank as one of the most enjoyable and breathtakingly beautiful biking descents in the world. From the pass the road plunges 3200 metres to the valley floor at 590 metres. The whole descent, over 85 kilometres, passes through dark conifers and then a mixture of deciduous and conifer woodland before entering the semi-tropical zone at an altitude of around 1800 metres. Bamboo and an array of rare plant life line the sides of the road but you may be too involved in the dizzying descent to notice! The section between Sengor and Namling has the reputation for being the most hair-raising section of the road across Bhutan, but is just perfect for bikes. Hewn out of the side of a cliff, and above a vertiginous drop for most of the way, this is the most exhilarating part of the trip. By the time we reach Lingmithang for lunch, the temperature will have risen considerably and we will feel as if we have arrived in the tropics. After this 5 hours of solid downhilling most people will be simply speechless. Altitude at Limithang is 600 metres. The sting in the tail is a final 20 kilometre climb to the village of Mongar (1600m). Ride distance 109 km (68 miles) with 1671 metres of ascent and 3492 metres of descent.

    • Accommodation Lodge

    • Ascent 1500m

    • Distance 109km

    • gps data View now

    • Meals bld

    • Descent 3300m

    • Time 6 - 8 hrs cycling

  • Cross the Kori La, descend Sheri River and make a final climb up to the town of Tashigang (1100m).

    Another great descent in store for us today, but first we have a further 20 kilometres of our climb to finish en-route to the Kori La (2450m), the first of two relatively 'minor' passes. The road then descends rapidly through cornfields and banana groves and, after 10 kilometres, reaches the start of the famous hairpins at Yadi (1500m). After a further 30 kilometres of interminable bends, we arrive at a bridge across the Sheri River at just 600 metres. This is the second longest descent of the trip, a sparkling 1850 metres. Back in the hot tropical climate, we can enjoy a very pleasant ride along the side of the Gamri River to the bridge and check post below Tashigang. A steep 10 kilometre climb finishes off quite a hard day’s biking. Tashigang sees very few tourists and facilities are limited, but we try and stay in the 'best place in town’, which is in reality a basic lodge. Altitude at Tashigang is 1100 metres.

    • Accommodation Lodge

    • Ascent 1700m

    • Distance 91km

    • gps data View now

    • Meals bld

    • Descent 2200m

    • Time 6 - 7 hrs cycling

  • Heading south, bike on an undulating road via Kanglung and Khaling to Wamrong.

    We have now reached the most easterly point of our journey and the road now heads south for approximately 200 kilometres to Samdrup Jongkhar, Bhutan's eastern road border with Assam. This day is another tough one and often catches people out, being so close to the end of the ride! At first we have a hot climb for 30 kilometres to the university at Kanglung and then continue climbing to a small pass at 2450 metres. Beware of the false summits, but look out for the views of the peaks of north-eastern Bhutan and Arunachal Pradesh. After a further 40 kilometres of undulating riding, we reach the quaint village of Khaling in time for lunch, which is famous for its weaving and handicraft. We bike onwards to Wamrong and camp a short distance beyond the village on one of the few flat spots in the valley! Altitude at our camp is 2100 metres.

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Ascent 2300m

    • Distance 78km

    • gps data View now

    • Meals bld

    • Descent 1200m

    • Time 7 - 8 hrs cycling

  • Climb to cross a final pass (2450m). From here, it's downhill all the way to Samdrup Jongkhar.

    Unlike western Bhutan, where the road goes over passes between one valley and the next, the road here follows ridges almost the whole way and is marked throughout with stone chortens. A long climb, with the road switching from left to right, across the spine of the ridge, leads to the high point at 2450 metres and then down through 2 small settlements to a point where we can safely say that there is no more uphill. The road descends rapidly to the plain through a dense tropical forest with an abundance of teak and bamboo. We re-group at the village of Diwathang where there is a large memorial chorten dedicated to those who lost their lives building the road across Bhutan. A relatively short distance beyond the village lies the Bhutanese frontier check-post and beyond that, at the precise point where the mountains and the plains meet, is the small frontier town of Samdrup Jongkhar. We cycle to the border gate for photos and then return to our hotel in town. We re-pack our bikes for the journey home and have dinner. A small celebration will certainly be in order as you will be one of only a tiny handful of people who have completed what is arguably the most beautiful and challenging bike ride in the world.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Ascent 1150m

    • Distance 95km

    • gps data View now

    • Meals bld

    • Descent 3200m

    • Time 6 - 7 hrs cycling

  • Drive to Gauhati Airport in India. Fly to Delhi, day rooms at an airport hotel. Depart Delhi.

    This morning we drive for 3 hours to Gauhati, the capital of Assam, where we go straight to the airport to check in for the flight to Delhi. Making use of day rooms at our hotel close to the airport, there should be time for a shower and a final dinner in Delhi before transferring to the international airport to check in for our homeward flight. KE Land Only services end on arrival at Delhi Airport.

    • Meals bd

Holiday Information

  • A KE biking leader
  • Delhi Airport transfers (on Day 1 and Day 12 of the Land Only itinerary)
  • Internal flights and all land transport as detailed in the itinerary
  • Support vehicles and drivers throughout the time that the group spends in Bhutan
  • All accommodation as detailed in the trip dossier
  • Meals as described in the Meal Plan
  • Travel insurance
  • Indian and Bhutan Visas
  • Delhi Airport transfers (other than on Day 1 and Day 12 of the Land Only itinerary)
  • Tips for local support crew
  • Departure taxes
  • Miscellaneous expenses - drinks and souvenirs etc
  • Some meals as described in the Meal Plan
  • Bike Carriage on the flights - please check with the airlines for charges

Typically the food in Bhutan is not very spicy though the Bhutanese do themselves eat a lot of chillies both raw and cooked. The hotels and lodges that we use generally offer a range of dishes including those designed for the Western palette.

All meals are included except lunch and dinner on Day 1 of the Land Only itinerary and lunch on Day 12.
The majority of clients will arrive in Delhi on the British Airways flight, which arrives in the morning. Airport transfers are provided for all flights arriving in Delhi on Day 1 of the Land Only itinerary. Transfers back to Delhi Airport are also provided on the evening of Day 12 of the Land Only itinerary. A representative of our local agent will assist with these transfers from and back to Delhi Airport.

On arrival in Delhi we stay in a tourist class hotel near to the airport. On our return to Delhi at the end of the trip, the group will have time for an evening meal in a restaurant before transferring to the international airport. Although no overnight hotel is included on this last night we make use of a couple of day rooms to allow us to shower and change ahead of our homeward flight. We use the best available standard of hotel and lodge accommodation during our time in Bhutan and there are one/two nights where we will probably have to camp. All accommodation is allocated on a twin-sharing basis. If you are travelling by yourself you will be paired up with another single client of the same sex. It is possible to hire a single tent for the camping nights, at additional cost (please note that single tent hire does not include single rooms in hotels). Depending on availability, it should also be possible to book a single room for the hotel night in Delhi and for the hotels and lodges in Bhutan. For additional hotel prices and single supplement costs please refer to the dates and prices page of the trip on our website.

View the gallery below for images of the style of accommodation used

This holiday will be led by a KE biking leader. In addition, when in Bhutan, the group will be accompanied by a Bhutanese tour guide, one or more support vehicles and drivers and a camp crew.

Approximately £150 (or the equivalent in US$ or euros) should be allowed for miscellaneous expenses including the 3 meals that you might have to purchase directly. We recommend that you carry your travel money in the form of cash, since you will exchange the majority of this on the day of your arrival (into Indian rupees in Delhi and Bhutanese Ngultrum at Paro Airport). Sterling and US$ are equally acceptable in both India and Bhutan. It is possible to withdraw cash (rupees only) from cash machines in certain banks in Delhi using credit and debit cards. The Bhutanese Ngultrum is tied to the value of the Indian rupee and Indian rupees are an accepted currency throughout Bhutan. We recommend that you get your Indian rupees in 100 rupee notes, as 500 rupee notes are not accepted in many places in Bhutan. You should allow approximately £50 for tips to the local staff. If you are intending to buy expensive souvenirs, you should budget accordingly (credit cards can be useful in this respect). Also, if you expect to buy considerable quantities of soft drinks or beer, you should make an allowance for this.

Tipping is the accepted way of saying ‘thank you’ for good service. Tips do not form part of the wages of your support crew but they are very much appreciated. It is important to remember that tipping is voluntary and should be dependent on good service. Normally the tips are given at the end of the trip and this is best done as a group. Your group leader will give you help and advice on this. Most groups will give the tips with a bit of ceremony (or sometimes a party) on the last evening, to mark the end of the trip. As a guide, we recommend that each group member contribute around £50 to these tips. At the end of a trip many people also like to donate various items of their equipment to their crew, who work so hard to make the trip a success. Fleeces, gloves, hats, scarves and even socks (clean of course) are always warmly received by the crew.

Taking a bike on an aircraft is usually straightforward. Different airlines have differing policies with regard to baggage allowances and transporting bikes. We advise you to visit the website of your chosen airline and check out their baggage allowances before purchasing your air ticket. Take account of the weight and dimensions of your intended check-in baggage in advance of your arrival at the airport, since airlines can charge for both excess and oversize baggage, or refuse to carry oversized baggage. With regard to the flight from Delhi to Paro, the check-in baggage allowance is 20kg, with an excess baggage charge of approximately $3.50 per kilo. For this flight, we do try to get an extra allowance with the airline, Druk Air, but this is not guaranteed and if you are over the 20kg you may need to pay the excess. For the flight back to Delhi from Gauhati, the check-in baggage allowance is 15kg (in common with most internal flights within India) and the excess baggage charge is approximately $5 per kilo. If you are travelling with your own bike, we recommend that you pack sensibly ahead of this flight to reduce the weight of your check-in baggage. Consider wearing some of your heavier items of clothing and put your bike shoes and pedals (not tools) in your hand luggage, for example. Any additional charges incurred for transporting your bike on any of the flights required for this adventure are the responsibility of each individual client.

This is ADVENTURE CYCLING. You can use a mid-level mountain bike, such as a Specialized Rockhopper Pro or a Trek 6500 Disc, equipped with suspension forks. Semi-slick tyres work well on long journeys of this type on variable tarmac roads and gravel jeep tracks. Please call us if you are unsure about the suitability of your current bike. We cannot stress enough the importance of ensuring that your bike is in perfect working condition before you start this trip. You are depending on your bike to transport you throughout your trip, across demanding terrain. It is VITAL to ensure it is THOROUGHLY SERVICED to guarantee it is in good mechanical order before departure. If you are not mechanically minded, get your local bike mechanic to service it for you. For home mechanics, points to note particularly are:

a) Check rims and if they are worn / cracked / dented replace with a new rim / wheel to avoid wheel failure. It is especially important to check that the rims on rim-braked bikes are not worn concave by the brake blocks – replace them if they are.

b) Check wheels are true and spoke tension is tight.

c) Check and, if required, adjust / grease ALL bearings and quick release skewers.

d) Check and, if required, replace brake and gear cables.

e) Check disc / brake pads, mounts and cables / hydraulic lines - replace if necessary.

f) Check - lube / threadlock and tighten - all bolts (esp. suspension pivots, bottom brackets, disc rotor bolts and disc mount bolts).

g) Check chain, cassette and chain rings for wear – replace as necessary.

h) Make sure you have the right tyres, inner tubes and BIKE SPECIFIC SPARES for your bike.

Whilst not essential, it is a good idea that you familiarise yourself with how to carry out at least some basic repairs to your bike e.g. fixing a puncture, changing an inner tube. Naturally our bike guides will always be happy to assist with any repairs, but due to the often remote nature of our trips, being able to carry out a simple repair can save time and the inconvenience of waiting for assistance.

Travelling with a bike is usually as straightforward as travelling with any other type of baggage, providing you have packed it adequately. We have many years experience of travelling with our bikes, and nowadays we think that the best way to travel and fly with a bike is to partially dismantle it and put it into a purpose made soft bike bag. Although more expensive than a cardboard bike box, they are smaller in size to transport and are considerably easier to handle. To pack your bike you simply remove both wheels and pedals and prepare it for travel as follows. Obviously, extra care when packing your bike can minimise the chances of accidental damage occurring in transit. Ask your local bike store for plastic wheel hub protectors (which will prevent damage to your bike bag) and plastic fork and frame spacers, insert the spacers into the dropouts, tape them in place and then put extra padding over this area. Use pipe insulation lagging (from your local DIY store) to cover frame tubes, forks and seat post. If required, remove your bars from the stem and attach them carefully to your frame/forks using plastic ties or pvc tape -ensure that your Ergo/Sti levers are well padded to minimise the chance of damage. You may also wish to remove your rear gear mech, pad it with foam and tape it to the chainstay out of harm's way. Finally, you should partly deflate your tyres, but leave some air in them to help absorb any impact on the wheels. Don’t forget to pack wheel skewers, pedals and any bolts you have removed, these are the items that tend to get left behind. Finally, find an old cardboard bike box and cut out panels to fit inside your soft bike bag for extra protection. Don’t forget to bring sufficient packing materials to pack your bike on the way home. PLEASE DO NOT USE a purpose-made rigid bike box -these are heavy (which can put you over your baggage allowance) and are also too bulky to be easily stored or transported on the group’s support vehicle.

Throughout this trip we have the back up of one or more support vehicles. Each morning our main baggage will be loaded onto the support vehicle which will follow the group on the day's ride. The local biking leader and the support vehicle driver will watch over the group and will carry mobile phones, allowing you to contact them in the case of a breakdown or other incident. We want everyone to enjoy their cycling experience on this trip and we recognise the importance of group members being allowed to cycle at their own pace. So, although the group will become split up at times, we have regular stops to ensure that it's never long before we regroup. The support vehicle will pick up any group members who wish to take a break from cycling at any time.

One option is that you take your own bike on this holiday. After all, it is the bike you know best. However, with bike carriage on long-haul flights increasingly costly, it can make good sense to hire a bike locally. Our local agent can provide imported Trek 4300 Disc bikes with Shimano Acera components, Hayes Dyno Sport hydraulic disc brakes, Suntour 100mm front suspension, Bontrager wheels and fast-rolling Schwalbe Marathon 26x1.75 inch tyres. The bikes are available in a range of frame sizes – 16.5, 17.5, 18.5 and 19.5 inches. Bikes can be reserved, subject to availability, at a cost of $200 (April 2016 – subject to change) for the duration of the holiday. This cost will be paid locally and can only be paid for in US$ cash. The cost will not cover you if you lose the bike or damage it beyond 'fair wear and tear'. You may need to leave credit card details as security when you pick up the bike. If you want to hire a bike, please contact the KE office and we can reserve one on your behalf. We must stress that your hire contract will be with the local hire company and that KE cannot be held responsible for any issues arising from bike hire. If you do hire a bike, we recommend that you take your own shoes, pedals and possibly even your saddle, which will go a long way towards making it feel like your own bike. You will also need to take your own helmet, which must be worn at all times when riding.

All KE clients will receive a FREE KE trek bag.  These have been specially made to stand up to the rigours of adventure travel.  Your KE bag will be posted to you when your trip is guaranteed to run or on receipt of your booking if the trip is already guaranteed.  If you have travelled with us before and already have a KE trek bag you can select an alternative free gift in the booking process.

This holiday involves going to high altitude. During the course of your trip you will reach altitudes in excess of 3500 metres. This is not something that you should worry about; the human body is quite capable of adapting to a very wide range of altitudes, but it is important that we follow some simple rules in order to acclimatise successfully. Before coming on this holiday you should read the advice on trekking at high altitude. You can also talk to one of our trekking experts if you have any concerns about altitude.

The following is a basic checklist to help you with your packing. We recommend using the layering principle of clothing for predominantly cool climatic conditions and cold evenings. Good padded cycling shorts are essential.


Your bike MUST be at least a mid level Mountain Bike such as a Specialized Rockhopper Pro or a Trek 6500 Disc. Front suspension is recommended but not essential. It is vital that your bike is THOROUGHLY SERVICED and in perfect working condition before the trip.



  • Stiff-soled cycling shoes or SPD’s

  • Neoprene over shoes for extra warmth


  • Base-layer - short sleeve cycling top (x 2)

  • Mid-layer - long sleeved cycling top (x 2)

  • Outer layer - lightweight waterproof jacket

  • Warm Fleece jacket or jumper

  • Down Jacket (for evenings)

Daypack and contents

  • A cycling daypack (e.g. Camelbak) of at least 20 litres total capacity is recommended

  • Water bladder - min. 2 litres

  • Lightweight waterproof top

  • Multi-tool

  • Puncture repair kit

  • Inner tube

  • Pump

  • Camera

  • Sun cream (inc total bloc for lips/nose)

  • Small roll of gaffer tape

  • Warm Fleece Jacket or Jumper

  • Lightweight loose trousers to wear over shorts for modesty

  • Basic First Aid Kit. Including: antiseptic cream, throat lozenges, diarrhoea treatment (Imodium), painkillers, plasters and blister treatment, Insect repellent, and re-hydration salts (Dioralite).


  • Regular biking gloves

  • Winter biking gloves or warm over-gloves


  • Padded cycling shorts (x 2)

  • Warm Cycling tights or tracksters


  • Biking glasses

  • Cycling helmet – mandatory

  • Fleece headband

  • Buff

Trek Bag Contents

  • Travel and post biking clothes for predominantly cold conditions

  • Trainers/Leisure shoes for apres biking

  • Wash bag, towel, toiletries, including anti-bacterial handwash

  • Warm hat

  • Insect repellent (75 - 100% DEET)

  • Small padlock (to lock trek bag)

  • Sleeping bag liner (optional)

  • Headtorch and spare batteries

Mattresses are provided for the 2 nights camping on this trip, along with a sleeping bag, blankets and pillows. As there are always concerns with excess weight on the internal flights, you do not need to bring a sleeping bag for the camping. We do suggest that you bring a lightweight sleeping bag liner.


Please note: If you are hiring a bike you do not need to bring spares – just a pump, repair kit and a couple of standard 26 x 2 inch inner tubes with Presta valves.

You should bring the following with you as a minimum. Whilst not essential, it is a good idea that you familiarise yourself with how to carry out at least some basic repairs e.g. fixing a puncture, changing an inner tube. Naturally the bike guide will always be happy to assist with any repairs, but due to the often remote nature of our trips, being able to carry out a simple repair can save time and inconvenience waiting for assistance.

  • Tyres You will need fast rolling semi-slick or even slick tyres suitable for mostly dry tarmac conditions. Since the roads are rough in places, we suggest that you don’t opt for a very low volume tyre. Something around 1.9 inches in diameter will work well and provide a measure of comfort.

  • Pump

  • Plastic tyre levers

  • Small tube of grease

  • 1 rear brake cable

  • 1 rear gear cable

  • Spare set of brake blocks / disc pads (front and rear)

  • 2 spare spokes for front and rear wheels

  • Spoke key

  • 3 x inner tubes Spare chain links

  • Liquid chain lube (bottle not aerosol)

  • Multi-tool with Allen keys

  • Chain link extractor (if not on multi-tool)

  • 2 x puncture repair kits

  • A rag and brush for cleaning bike and drive train.

  • Spares specific to your bike **

KE tools and spares

On all of our trips we carry a toolkit and a basic range of spares for emergencies. As bikes become increasingly part specific it is impossible to carry a comprehensive range of spares compatible with all makes and models of bike. ** Please ensure you bring any bike-specific spares, which might be needed - such as disc brake bleed kits (and appropriate fluid), shock pumps etc.

Energy Gels/Sports Drinks/Power Bars

Our back up vehicle will carry ample supplies of water, snacks and lunches but if you like a particular energy gel, sports drink or power bar we suggest you bring a selection of your preferred choice along. 

For each holiday there is a minimum number of participants required to enable it to go ahead. Once the minimum number is reached, the trip status will change from 'Available' to 'Guaranteed to run'. You can check the trip status for each departure in ‘Dates and Prices’ table. Other than in exceptional circumstances, we will not cancel a trip once it has achieved this guaranteed to run status and so you are free to proceed with your international flight booking and other travel arrangements.

A passport with 6 months remaining validity at the end of your stay is generally required. The information that we provide is for UK passport holders. Please check the relevant embassy or consulate for other nationalities. It is your responsibility to ensure that you have the correct travel documents and visas for your holiday. Visa requirements and charges are subject to change without notice. If you are travelling outside the EU you should have at least 2 blank pages in your passport for each country that you visit.

Visa Bhutan

All nationalities require a visa. KE will apply for the visa for you. The visa fee is $40 and this will appear on your final invoice. We require copy of the information page of your passport. A colour scan must be emailed or posted to us at the earliest opportunity.

Visa India Double Entry

All nationalities require a visa that allows Double Entry into India and you need to make arrangements for this before departure. Note: the new India e-Tourist Visa is single entry only and not suitable. Please apply for your visa through the Indian Embassy in your home country. The cost of the regular Tourist Visa (one year validity and multiple entry) is currently (Jul 2016) £109.44.  Please download the detailed information document: Visa PDF Multi Entry India

A visa processing company such as Travcour can help with your application. Travcour charge £45 to process your application and a further £9 (for postage) if you want them to handle the scanning of your passport and photo.

You should contact your doctor or travel clinic to check whether you require any specific vaccinations or other preventive measures. You should be up to date with routine courses and boosters as recommended in the UK e.g. diphtheria-tetanus-polio and measles-mumps-rubella, along with hepatitis A and typhoid. Malarial prophylaxis is not usually required for trips in the mountains, however if you are visiting rural and remote low lying areas then they might be necessary. On holidays to more remote areas you should also have a dentist check up. A good online resource is Travel Health Pro.

The unit of currency in Bhutan is the Bhutanese Ngultrum.

We recommend you check if you require an adaptor for your electrical items at:

The better conditioned you are the more you will enjoy your trip. We suggest that you adopt a sensible weekly exercise regime and fit in a number of long cycle rides in hilly country to ensure you are physically capable of taking part in this trip - this will also provide you with an opportunity to make sure all your riding kit is tried and tested before you travel. Cycling is obviously the best activity to prepare for this trip, however, running, squash and swimming are also good for developing aerobic fitness and stamina.

As a reputable tour operator, KE supports the British Foreign & Commonwealth Offices ‘Know before you go’ campaign to enable British citizens to prepare for their journeys overseas, and we recommend that all KE travellers take a look at the FCO Travel Advice for their chosen destination on the official FCO website: North Americans can also check out the U.S. Department of State website: for essential travel advice and tips.

KE treat the safety and security of all clients as the most important aspect of any trip we organise. We would not run any trip that we did not consider reasonably safe.  Should the FCO advise against travel for any reason, we will contact everyone booked to travel to discuss the situation.  We receive regular updates direct from the FCO and are in constant touch with our contacts on the ground.  If you have any questions about government travel advice, please call our office.

In general the climate of Bhutan is colder and damper than one would expect to find in the Himalaya of India or Nepal. The monsoon usually arrives in June, and lasts until the end of September, bringing with it the heavy rainfall, which is responsible for the lush vegetation, which carpets much of Bhutan. May, October and November are the best months to visit Bhutan. The dates of this trip have been chosen to take advantage of the narrow window between the monsoon and the onset of the winter snows, which can make the crossing of the high passes impossible. We can expect changeable weather clear, cool and sunny with occasional snow or rain. As with any mountainous area, weather prediction is notoriously difficult and weather patterns can be very localised. We can expect daytime maximum temperatures of between 15 and 20 degrees Centigrade at altitudes of around 2000 metres. Crossing the higher passes we may encounter temperatures around freezing, or even below. At night-time, the temperature will drop to freezing or just above.

  • Bhutan, (Lonely Planet Guide). Stan Armington

  • Bhutan, Land of the Thunder Dragon. Owen Edmunds

Bhutan Himalaya. 1:380 000. ITMB Publishing

Indexed general road map with street plans of Thimpu and Paro.

Extend Your Holiday


When booking your holiday, you will be able to 'add an extension option'.

Once we have received your booking we will contact you to discuss additional services required for the extension and to take any additional deposit.

Delhi City Tour

Old Delhi is centred on the Red Fort and is a labyrinth of narrow, bustling streets including Chandni Chowk bazaar. Must-sees here include the majestic tower of the Qutab Minar, as well as the Red Fort, built by Emperor Shah Jahan. New Delhi was the creation of the British Raj who wanted to show their ascendency over the former Mogul rulers with many grand buildings designed by the greatest ever British architect, Sir Edwin Lutyens.

Delhi City Tour

From $110 per person

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Agra and the Taj Mahal 1 day tour

The Taj Mahal is the most famous man-made wonder of the world. Easily accessible from Delhi, the Taj can be visited in just one day. This one-day tour departs Delhi at 6am on the Shatabdhi Express train. On arrival in Agra you will be met by your driver and guide for your full day of sightseeing. With its laid-back lifestyle and immense wealth of architecture, handicrafts and jewellery, Agra is amongst the most remarkable cities in the world.

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In the morning you will visit Agra Fort on the sands of the river Yamuna. After lunch at the Taj View Hotel you will visit the world famous Taj Mahal. There will also be time for souvenir shopping in the bazaar close to the fort. Agra is famous for its handicrafts, mostly inlaid marble-work, leather goods, jewellery and textiles. Return journey to Delhi is by private car or train - depending on whether you are departing Delhi the same night.

Agra and the Taj Mahal 1 day tour

From $285 per person

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Agra, the Taj Mahal and Jaipur 3 day tour

The Taj Mahal in Agra is the most famous man-made wonder of the world and easily accessible from Delhi. Our 3 day tour visits Agra, Fatehpur Sikri, Jaipur and the Amber Fort. You will depart Delhi on the early morning express train to Agra where a full day's guided sightseeing includes the Agra Red Fort and the Taj Mahal and stay overnight in a hotel. In the morning you depart Agra by private car to Jaipur, stopping en route at the 'ghost' city of Fatehpur Sikri. On arrival in Jaipur you check-in to your hotel and have time to explore the famous 'Pink City'.

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The following morning you visit the Jaipur City Palace and Palace of the Winds. After lunch you leave Jaipur for the impressive Amber Fort, a superb example of Rajput architecture, stunningly situated on a hillside overlooking a lake, reflecting its terraces and ramparts. In the late afternoon, you will make the 4-hour drive back to Delhi.

Agra, the Taj Mahal and Jaipur 3 day tour

From $580 per person

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Agra and the Taj Mahal 2 day tour

The Taj Mahal is the most famous man-made wonder of the world. Easily accessible from Delhi, this 2-day tour departs Delhi at 6am on the Shatabdhi Express train. You will have 2 days to explore the fascinating city of Agra. You will stay overnight at a (minimum) 3 star hotel on B&B basis. On day 1 you will visit Sikandra, Agra Fort and have a tour of the city. There will also be time for souvenir shopping in the bazaar close to the fort.

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Agra is famous for its handicrafts, mostly inlaid marble-work, leather goods, jewellery and textiles. On day 2 you will visit the world famous Taj Mahal and the ‘ghost city’ of Fatehpur Sikri, a superbly well-preserved, four hundred year old, temple and palace complex built by the third Mughal Emperor – Akbar. Return to Delhi by private car.

Agra and the Taj Mahal 2 day tour

From $375 per person

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From $116 per room per night

Florence Inn

From $97 per room per night Combining comfort and elegance with economy, the Florence Inn is our preferred group hotel in Delhi. Well appointed throughout and with a smart lobby, it is immaculately clean. The staff are very friendly and helpful. The Florence Inn is just 5 minutes walk from Karol Bargh market and the metro station making it an ideal location for exploring the city.


From $166 per room per night Situated in Lutyens’ Delhi within 10 minutes walk of the famous Lodi gardens and Khan Market, Claridges oozes old-world charm and luxury. Set in a landscaped garden with swaying palm trees, you can get right away from the hurly burly and enjoy gracious Indian hospitality. The guest rooms and suites are classically decorated and equipped with all modern conveniences as you would expect in a hotel of this calibre. Claridges contains several excellent restaurants offering a choice of world cuisine and there is an outdoor swimming pool and a health club.

Maidens Hotel

From $133 per room per night Operated by the Oberoi group and set in 8 acres of garden with shady trees, Maidens is one of Delhi's oldest hotels. Built in the early 1900s, it has retained its colonial charm and offers spacious well appointed rooms with high ceilings. The hotel has a restaurant serving international and Indian cuisine, a garden terrace extending to an open courtyard, and a small intimate bar. There is no pool. Located in Old Delhi, it gives easy access to Mughal monuments and the colourful Chandni Chowk bazaars.

Manor Hotel

From $144 per room per night This 2-storey, 15-room boutique hotel in a pleasant garden setting is very distinctive. With clean modern lines and contemporary furnishings the Manor Hotel has an understated elegance and comfort which is very appealing. Its public areas contrast cool Italian mosaic flooring with warm rich wood panelling, and you can enjoy a high level of service which is friendly and efficient. The hotel has an award winning restaurant and a bar. There is no pool but the hotel has a Wellness centre with yoga and massage. The Manor is located in a quiet residential area close to the Lodhi Gardens.

Ambassador Hotel

From $133 per room per night Situated in Lutyens’ Delhi next to Khan Market, this art deco style hotel designed by British architect Walter George in 1945, is a listed heritage building. Its location makes it convenient for both the airport (22km) and the city centre (10 minutes by dive). The Vivanta-by-Taj Ambassador is operated by the Taj group of hotels, so you can expect the best of hospitality and service.

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