Day 01: Arrival at Paro
Your flight to Paro will be an unforgettable experience, offering you breath taking views of the of Mount Everest, Kanchenjunga, and other Himalayan peaks including Bhutan’s sacred Mount Jumolhari and Jichu Drake. On arrival at the airport, our representative will receive and escort you to the Hotel, where lunch will be served. Being your first day, you can explore Paro town and some of its landmarks. Overnight at hotel.
Day 02: Paro-Thimphu (65 km.)
You will begin your biking excursion, the first being to Thimphu, Bhutan’s capital, which will take you approximately 05 hours depending on the level of professionalism and biking skills. It is a leisure ride along willow trees and banks of the Paro and Wangchu rivers. The first part, till Chunzom (where the Paro and Thimphu rivers merge), is an easy ride, with an even landscape, without any uphill ride.
From Chunzom, the road gradually ascends, but not to massive heights. You will be riding along Bhutan’s busiest highway, the road linking Thimphu to Phuentsholing, the gateway to Bhutan from the Indian state of West Bengal and Bhutan’s commercial capital. However, traffic is nothing close to those found in other countries, though it is high by Bhutanese standards.
After your arrival at Thimphu, you could either choose to relax or bike around the vicinity of the capital. You could ride uphill to the Buddha Point, where construction of the World’s Largest Buddha statue is almost complete. From there you will see an amazing view of Thimphu. Otherwise, you could bike to Sangaygang, another place that offers you a view of the entire Thimphu valley.
If you wish to go a little longer, you can bike to the foothills of Tango and Cheri Monasteries. It would be more than an hours ride along the Wangchu river and takes you along the banks of Thimphu’s historic structures, such as the Tashichhodzong, Parliament building, Dechhencholing Palace and outskirts of Thimphu town like Begana and Kabjisa villages.
Night halt at hotel.
Day 03: Thimphu-Punakha (71km.)
The ride begins with a descend till Semtokha and then climbs up till Dochula Pass (3,100m). It will take about two to three hours, depending on your pace. The ride is through scenic beauty comprising of pine trees. The treat at the Pass will make up for your effort, with the Pass offering you the first glimpse of the Eastern Himalayan Ranges, comprising of snow-capped peaks with heights ranging from 6000m to 7554m.
From Dochula Pass, the ride is all downhill till the sub tropical valey of Punakha. It will take you through dense forests comprising outgrowths of rhododendron, bamboo and changing vegetation.
Before reaching Punakha, you can bike to Chimey lhakhang/monastery, a 15th century structure associated with Lam Drukpa Kuenley, popularly known as the “Divine Madmonk.”
After lunch at a local restaurant in Punakha, you can explore the fertile and flat valley of Punakha by riding north towards the Crown Prince’s Monastery perched on a strategic location on a hill top overlooking the rich rice terraced fields. In between you can also visit place of historic significances, such as the Punakha Dzong (Fortress), which was once Bhutan’s capital.
Overnight at hotel.
Day 04: Punakha-Gangtey (83 km).
The ride today will be strenuous, especially the latter part as you begin biking from Chuzomsa. All along the ride, you will be seeing the beautiful village of Sha. You will cross the ruins of the historic Wangduephodrang Dzong (Fortress) that was razed tragically by a fire in 2012.
The ride uphill will be through dense forest, with the route being the East-West lateral highway. However, you have no reason to worry, for the backup vehicle will always be there following you.
Once you enter Phobjikha valley, you will have a thrilling experience as you bike across one of the most beautiful valleys in Bhutan and winter home to the endangered Black necked cranes.
Day 05: Gangtey – Paro (205 km)
Visit Gangtey monastery, and begin biking back to Paro. It is through the same route you made the forward ride. You can choose to bile as and when you want and use the backup car, too.
Upon arrival at Paro, you will be treated to a hot stone bath.
Day 06: Paro – Taktsang monastery hike
After breakfast, we will bike for about an hour till the road end to Taktsang monastery, “Tiger’s Lair.” The five hour round trek follows an ancient path marked by river powered prayer wheels to the holiest Buddhist Shrine in Bhutan and the ultimate point of pilgrimage. A blend of the spiritual and architectural wonder, the monastery is perched on a 1000m cliff overlooking the valley. Legend has it that the great Indian saint, Guru Padma Sambhava, flew from Tibet to Taktsang on the back of a tigress to tame five demons, who were opposing the spread of Buddhism in Bhutan in 746 A.D.
On the way back, we will ride to Drugyel Dzong, ”Castle of the Victorious Drukpa,” located 16 kilometers from Paro town. In ruins now, this Dzong was built to commemorate Bhutan’s victory over the invading Tibetan forces in the 16th and 17th centuries.
On a clear day, one can see the Jhomolhari Peak, “Mountain of the Goddess” from here. If time permits, we will visit a local farmhouse.
The ride is a beautiful one along the banks of Paro river and beautiful pine trees. Other historic places like the 7th century Kyichu Monastery, the National Museum and Paro Rimpong Dzong (Fortress) can be visited.
Overnight at hotel
Day 07: Depart from Paro
After breakfast, our guide will escort you to the airport for your next destination.