Tour of the Dragon Route
This trip follows the route of the 268 km Tour of the Dragon, widely considered to be the most challenging one-day bike race in the world. Our trip is six days, including three days on the Tour of the Dragon route, which allows plenty of time to enjoy spectacular views and experience Bhutan’s unique culture. Our tour guides will lead you up and over all four of the mountain passes that the race has to offer, plus the exhilarating descents into lush valleys. Along the way, we will visit many of Bhutan’s majestic cultural and cherished religious sites.
For cyclists that plan to ride in the next Tour of the Dragon, which is in September 2014, we also offer rigorous training sessions and coaching about the race beyond our six-day trip. Please contact us for details.
Guests on the Tour of the Dragon Route are welcome to extend their stay in Bhutan with one of our customized trips or a trek with our Bhutanese partner, Yangphel Travel.
We welcome you to Paro, fit you on a bike and enjoy a brief ride to the impressive National Museum before a welcome dinner at the luxurious Zhiwa Ling hotel.
Enjoy a fabulous breakfast before the 30-minute flight to Bumthang, where we will visit one of the holiest sites in all of Bhutan, a woodcarving school and enjoy a 28 km ride through rolling farmlands and fields of buckwheat.
Ride from the traditional start of the race – the rotary in Jakar – to Tsrongsa, a distance of 68 km that passes through forests of blue pines and rhododendrons, plus ascents of the Kiki La (2,870 m) and Yotong La passes (3,425 m). After the Yotong La pass, riders will be thrilled by the 29 km descent into Trongsa.
After a visit to the majestic Trongsa Dzong, riders will travel 120 km to the small village of Chuzomsa. The early part of the route is dominated by the rocky cliffs and mountain waterfalls of the gorgeous Jigme Singye Wangchuk National Park, the largest temperate forest reserve in the entire Himalaya. As you exit the national park and reach the village of Chendebji, you will begin the climb to Pela La (3,420 m) and slowly witness the forest give way to acres of dwarf bamboo and herds of yaks. The extraordinary 42 km descent will pass through numerous micro-climates and end at a small resort on the Dang Chhu river (1,325 m).
Riders embark on the final 80 km to the capital of Thimphu. The route includes nearly 2,000 meters of elevation gain up and over Dochu La (3,150 m), followed by an energizing descent to the finish line in the city square. While in Thimphu, guests can spend time in the local markets before a private dinner with a member of the Bhutanese government.
Hike to the Tiger’s Nest monastery before a well-deserved spa treatment and celebratory farewell dinner at the Zhiwa Ling hotel.
Please contact us to discuss your preferred dates.
Photo Courtesy of T. Wagner & PJ Blankenhorn