Country – Bhutan.
Season – All year round
Dates, duration – 13 days
Difficulty of the route – Very easy
Day 1: Arrive Paro International Airport, one will experience breath taking views of Mount Everest, Kanchenjunga, and other Himalayan peaks including Bhutan’s sacred Mount Jumolhari and Jichu Drake. On arrival at the airport, representatives of tour company will receive and escort to Hotel Gangtey Palace. This beautiful, historic old mansion belongs to the late Prime Minister’s family. It has a commanding view of the valley and has has been extensively renovated to accommodate guests.
Day 2: Morning: Drive to Drugyal Dzong (a ruined fortress 16 kms away from Paro town). Although in ruins, this Dzong is of great historical importance. It was here that the Bhutanese finally defeated the invading Tibetans and drove them back. One a clear day one can see Mount Jomolhari, Abode of the Goddess Jumo, rising 7,329 metres. On the way back you’ll have an opportunity to visit a typical Bhutanese farm house. The entire Paro valley is relatively flat and is a great start to your first day of bicycling. Lunch at the hotel. Afternoon: Visit Ta Dzong, the National Museum of Bhutan. This was the watch tower of the Paro Rinchen Pong Dzong. It was converted to the National Museum in 1968, and is located on a hill above the Paro Dzong overlooking the Paro valley.
Visit the Paro Rinchen Pong Dzong. This massive fortress is located in Paro valley and is approached by a gently sloping flagstone road and a beautiful covered wooden bridge. Today the Dzong is the administrative seat of the district of Paro, and it also contains a state monastic community of approximately 200 monks. The central tower (Utse) of the Dzong, with its superb wood work, is one of the most beautiful in Bhutan. This Dzong was built in 1645 AD. Overnight at the Gangtey Palace Hotel.
Day 3: After breakfast, either drive or ride bicycles to Thimphu, the capital city. The drive meanders along the Paro and Thimphu river and takes approximately 2 hours (65 kilometers). The gradient of the road is excellent for bicycling as there are no steep climbs or descents. Check into Hotel Druk Yul/other. Lunch at the hotel Afternoon, visit the Memorial Chorten (huge stupa) built in the memory of the third King of Bhutan, King Jigme Dorji Wangchuck, who reigned from 1952-1972. Visit the National Library where ancient manuscripts are preserved. Dinner at the hotel and a reception by your hosts.
Day 4: Morning: Bicycle to the Simtokha Dzong, the oldest Dzong in the country (built in 1629 AD). Opportunity to visit with some of the monks and observe life within the monastery. In the old days, the oldest son of every family was offered to a monastery where the child grew up as a monk. Even now, it is not uncommon for some families to continue the practice. Visit the Handicrafts Emporium where Bhutanese textiles and other handicrafts are displayed and can be purchased. Lunch at the hotel Afternoon, visit Tashichhodzong, the main secretariat building. This massive structure houses part of the Ministries, the offices of the King and the Throne Room. It also houses the State Monastic Body and the living quarters of the Chief Abbot. Visit the Painting School where traditional art is still practised through the instructions in the art of painting Thangkas (sacred Buddhist scrolls). Bicycle to Pangri Zampa Monastery which is just beyond Dechencholing (5 kms from Thimphu). This monastery was the residence of the founder of Bhutan, Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyel when he arrived in Bhutan in 1616 AD. Dinner at the hotel and free evening
Day 5: After an early breakfast, set out for Punakha and Wangdi. On the way, stop at Dochula Pass (10,00 ft) for a hot cup of tea/coffee and to enjoy a spectacular view of the eastern Himalayan mountain ranges (on a clear day). From Dochula, bicycle down into Wangdi which is located 51 kms down. It is an exhilarating ride. Check into hotel and have lunch.
After lunch, visit the Punakha Dzong which houses the district administration offices. It is also the winter residence of the State Monastic Body and its Chief Abbot, the Je Khenpo. Punakha was the former capital of Bhutan. The Dzong lies between two rivers, the Pho Chhu (male river) and the Mo Chhu (female river). This Dzong was built in 1637 AD.
Visit Wangdiphodrang Dzong which is 13 kms from Punakha. This Dzong and the town is perched on a hill, between two rivers and has a spectacular view. The Dzong was built in 1638 AD, a year after the Punakha Dzong was built.
A tour vehicle will follow the bicycle group at all times in case of emergency or general weariness.
Day 6 : Drive to Trongsa, and on the way guests can bicycle certain stretches of the road. The terrain has steep ascents and descents and has some spectacular scenery. Overnight at hotel in Trongsa.
Day 7: After breakfast visit the ancient Watch Tower in Trongsa. This structure sits atop a hillock overlooking the Trongsa Dzong and town. Ancient armors are displayed in the Watch Tower. Visit the Trongsa Dzong, the ancestral home of the present Royal family of Bhutan. It was built in 1648 AD and is one of the most beautiful Dzongs in Bhutan. It is presently the administrative seat of the Trongsa district and the home of the monastic school. Built split levels on a narrow spur, this Dzong is an architectural marvel. The view from the Dzong is spectacular and one can see for many miles. In the old days, it was the vigilance point for both the eastern and western trade routes, thus a strategically important Dzong.
After a light refreshment at the hotel, drive to Bumthang. After crossing a high pass, guests can bicycle all the way to Bumthang. The road is broad and all downhill after the pass. Check into hotel in Bumthang.
Day 8: After breakfast, bicycle around the most beautiful valley in Bhutan. It is possible to bicycle a radius of 60 kms around the valley.
Day 9: After breakfast bicycle to Ura valley some 69 kms from Bumthang. Ura is another beautiful valley over 9,500 ft high. Sightsee in Ura valley and drive back to Bumthang.
Day 10: Bumthang to Wangdi (197 kms). On the way as and when possible, guests can bicycle certain stretches of the road. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 11: Drive to Thimphu. After crossing Dochula Pass guests can bicycle all the way to Thimphu (26 kms downhill). Sight seeing in Thimphu and if the day falls on the weekend visit the famous week end market in Thimphu where the local populace gathers for weekly shopping for produce. Shopping opportunity.
Day 12: Guests can either drive to Paro or bicycle. Check into hotel and have lunch. After lunch hike to the view point of the famous Taktsang Monastery. The hike takes about 4 hours round trip. Evening: Stroll around Paro town and interact with the locals.
Day 13: Drive to airport for departure.
Given itinerary is subject to change to suit your schedule.
Flight to Bhutan:
Best way to enter Bhutan is from Kathmandu (Nepal), New Delhi (India) and Bangkok. Please book yourself flight from your home country to any of those convenient airports, onward flights to Bhutan we will manage. But flight fare is not includes in given price.
- The Bhutan gov. royalty
- Bhutan visa
- All accommodations in twin sharing basis
- All meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner and mineral water)
- A licensed English-speaking tour guide
- Entrance fees of sightseeing points
- Supporting vehicle.
- Personal nature expenses such as bar bills, gifts/souvenirs and travel insurance.