Famed for its breathtaking mountain scenery, pristine nature and well preserved ancient Buddhist culture, Bhutan is a tiny country nestling beside Tibet on the southern flanks of the eastern Himalaya. Bhutan is a perfect destination for cycle touring in the Himalaya on good paved roads with little traffic amid stunning landscapes and diverse ecosystems. Rides are challenging with long but gentle climbs to 3000+ metre passes but the cyclist is rewarded with ever-changing views and long descents into deep forested valleys dotted with ancient Dzongs (fortresses), monasteries and temples.
Known by its people as the ‘Kingdom of the Thunder Dragon’, Bhutan is a deeply traditional country where the people have an almost spiritual relationship with their land. Cycling here you will find a devoutly Buddhist culture, unchanged over centuries with monasteries at the heart of every community and colourful festivals taking place year round.
Once a year Bhutan is host to one of the world’s toughest one day races covering 268 kilometres – called the Tour of the Dragon. The race showcases the superb road riding opportunities in Bhutan from Bumthang in central Bhutan to Thimphu in the west through different but uninterrupted ecosystems and over four mountain passes that offer views of some of the highest peaks in the world.
Few mountain bikers visit Bhutan but the pickings are rich with dirt trails over high passes and virgin single track rides through beautiful valleys such as Punakha and Phobjikha. Here you can ride through pristine forests, between beautiful alpine pastures, meeting yak herders and visit isolated Buddhist monasteries along the way. Wherever you go you are sure to receive a warm welcome from the cheerful and respectful Bhutanese people.