All About this Tour
Ride dirt trails from ridge to ridge and take in majestic views of the Himalayan ranges of Langtang and Annapurna ranges as we make our way from the ancient Kathmandu Valley to lakeside Pokhara.
We ride 347 km, about 80% off road, in 9 cycling days. We designed the route to give a wide variety of riding. There are some first-class single-track trails to gentler dirt roads. Many roads and trails traverse the mountains, and our route winds up and down hillsides. We guarantee you will never be bored by the riding.
Suitability: This trip is for an experienced mountain biker with good riding skills who has had a fair amount of off-road riding time and who enjoys some challenging climbs and trails.
Biking Conditions: We will cycle on a mixture of surfaces – from jeep-width dirt trails to single tracks to paved roads. There is some technical riding involved on this tour, with the added challenge of cycling at higher altitudes than most are used to. This trip is fully supported, and weary cyclists can take breaks in the support vehicles if required.
We meet at the hotel and spend the afternoon seeing Kathmandu's best attractions. We'll visit the temple hilltop of Swoyambhunath (also known as the Monkey Temple), revered by Hindus and Buddhists alike, and to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Durbar Square in the heart of the city, featuring the iconic architecture of the old city. After our afternoon through the alleyways of Kathmandu, we meet for dinner and a trip briefing.
After breakfast, we drive to the hill station of Nagarkot on the north-eastern rim of the Kathmandu Valley and then proceed by bike a further 4 km uphill to the highest point of Nagarkot Tower, surrounded by forest. From here, if it’s a clear day, we'll have views from Ganesh Himal to Everest. Then we ride downhill to Nala on dirt trails until Bhaktapur – an ancient Newar town that has preserved its culture as well as its cobbled streets, palaces, temples, elaborate carvings, gilded roofs, and open courtyards. We'll spend an hour or so exploring the alleyways of this UNESCO World Heritage town. We cycle on side roads to return to Kathmandu via the Guheshwori Temple, for a true insight into the typical village life of the Kathmandu Valley.
Today’s ride will be mostly uphill until reaching the northern rim of the Kathmandu Valley and the hill station town of Kakani at 2,073 m (6,800 ft). There may be a bit of traffic initially, but after crossing Balaju Water Garden, we have Nargarjun (Queens) Forest, the home of the former king, shading our ascent. We gradually climb to the Mudkhu intersection, and then it's nice and flat and down to Teenpiple. It's a steady climb to Kakani though, and one which offers some lovely sights on a nicely paved road. After Teenpiple, we will then be riding a gradual uphill section via terraced farm land - mostly potato and radish – to Ranipauwa intersection. As we climb the last 4 km to Kakani, the beautiful Langtang range greets us on the left as we look north directly into 7000+ m peaks. Here are great views of the Langtang, Dorje Lakpa, and Ganesh Himal and Trisuli Valley. A full tented camp with Sherpa crew will greet us at Kakani.
Breakfast with a sunrise view, and then we start the all downhill ride on paved roads. Once we reach the bottom, we are greeted by the gushing white waters of the mighty Trisuli River at the entrance to the Trisuli Valley. As we proceed deeper into the Himalayan foothills, you will see several settlements with terraced fields and the unusual sight of a few trout fish farms before the town of Trisuli Bazaar. Once we reach Tadi, the trails become flatter and wider before reaching our camp and time to enjoy the riverside.
We continue to ride by the side of the Trisuli River to Galchhi on a semi-paved road and then take our support vehicle to Gorkha, a former capital of Nepal, where we have a tour of the historic Royal Palace of the former Shah dynasty, residing on top of a hill at 1135 m (3281 ft) The king would watch over his people as far as his eyes could see from the tallest palace in the very centre of Nepal! Gorkha is also the home of the great Gurkha warriors - who fought with knives (Kukuri’s) against guns and developed a fearsome reputation.
You have great downhill ride from Gorkha. In 10 km, we descend 600 m. At the end of the downhill, we join a paved road that takes us down to the Madi river crossing. Here, we get off the paved road to take a suspension bridge across the river. A gentle 5 km climb follows then we roll down for the next 10 km to the Marshyangdi River. We stop for lunch at the town of Turture. After lunch, we continue on the paved road for the next 14 km before we have a 2-km climb to reach Sundar Bazar. We camp next to a stream on the outskirts of this bustling town.
Leaving the Annapurna views behind, we ride alongside the Naudi Khola (Khola means small rivulet in Nepali) into beautiful Kunchha. Here we take a break and have some local tea before heading westwards along the Risti Khola to Kumalgaon. We regroup before heading north on dirt trails and ride mostly uphill to Bhorletar, passing typical, small Nepali villages on the way.
Today's riding will be a bit of challenge as we cycle mostly uphill and on dirt tracks. We are heading to Begnas Ridge, where again you'll be treated to amazing Himalayan views. We stop for tea at Sarke Bhanjyang before we have the reward of a descent down trails to the water’s edge of picturesque Begnas Lake. We set up camp on the side of the lake. The fantastic Himalayan views dominated by the peaks of the Annapurnas plus the lake views will surely leave an impression.
After having breakfast alongside Begnas Lake, we ride again mostly uphill for about 15 km on red dirt trails to the top of Tiwari Danda, and on a clear day, there'll be stunning views back to Begnas Lake. From here, we bike onto Kalikasthan and Kali Temple (named after the goddess of victory over evil powers) and the spot for our overnight camp. We'll have a bird’s eye view of Pokhara Valley and our final destination.
Our final day of riding will be on a mix of dirt and paved trails. We first ride through the villages of Chautartha, Lapsi Danda, and finally Bijayapur Khola, where we join the main road into Pokhara Lakeside, the main tourism hub of Pokhara and Nepal’s 2nd largest city. It is the beautiful lake that dominates the town, and next to it we'll find our hotel. After lunch, you'll have time to explore Pokhara's many cafes or to hire a boat and spend some time on the lake. After nine days of cycling, it's time to relax!
After breakfast, you will be transferred to Pokhara centre to start another adventure or to fly or drive back to Kathmandu.
Because some people can't imagine going on a trip without their own beloved bicycle, we do not provide them as part of this tour. However, you can hire bikes locally for the price listed in the tour pricing section. The bikes are well-known makes of mountain bikes with lightweight alloy frames, 24- to 27-speed gearing, v-brakes, and Shimano components and front suspension. If you bring your own bike, please make sure it is a mountain bike, preferably with front suspension, in good mechanical order.
Basic spares and tools are carried by the guide and on the support vehicle, though we cannot guarantee having spares for every conceivable problem. Carrying a basic tool kit, a spare tube and a pump while riding is recommended.
Wearing a helmet is required on all our biking adventures and is non negotiable. If you do not wear a helmet you will not be allowed to cycle. Your tour leader is trained in first aid and emergency rescue, but to a large degree you must be responsible for your own safety while riding. It is therefore compulsory that you take out travel insurance that will cover you for a mountain biking tour.
You will be led by a local English-speaking guide and if the group is 9 people or more we will add another guide to the tour. All our guides are well informed in the history, culture and religions of the area where you are biking and are skilled at passing that knowledge on to you. Your guide is also medically trained and an experienced cyclist, able to handle most minor repairs en route.
There are no compulsory vaccinations although it is strongly recommended that you are vaccinated against: Typhoid; Hepatitis A and B. Tetanus and polio vaccinations should also be up to date at the time of travel. If you have come from an area infected with yellow fever you are required to be vaccinated before entering the country. Please speak to your doctor/physician for the most recent information.
Temperatures and climate vary according to the altitude. Nepal has two seasons – the dry season runs from October to May and the wet (monsoon) season from June to September, when 80% of the rain falls. Nepal’s weather is generally predictable and pleasant with March to May (spring) and September to November (autumn) being the best times to visit. The Kathmandu Valley, at an altitude of 1,310 m/ 4,297 ft, has a mild climate, ranging from 19-27ºC/67-81ºF in summer, and 2-20ºC /36-68ºF in winter. Come prepared for chilly evenings and bring proper gear for brisk early morning starts and descents.
In Kathmandu, guests can look forward to staying at the Tibet Hotel. During our route to Pokhara we'll be staying in comfortable hotels and resorts and spend two nights at the centrally located Hotel Landmark in Pokhara. All accommodation described in the itinerary are included in the tour cost.
Meals are included in the itinerary as B = breakfast, L = lunch, and D = dinner. Camping meals will be prepared by the cook team and feature Nepali and Western-style cuisine. Any special dietary requirements can also be catered for as well. Please let us know at the time of booking.
Keeping you completely hydrated is a job we take very seriously. Cold water and energy-restoring drinks are included in the tour price. Soft drinks and other beverages during meals are not included. Beer and alcohol are NOT included in the price.
SpiceRoads does not require you to pay a surcharge for travelling alone. We will arrange for you to share accommodation with another traveller of the same gender and if we can not match you up we will provide a single room at no extra charge. If you prefer not to share a single supplement is payable to guarantee your own room. The cost of the single supplement is listed above.
We recommend that you tuck away a few extra dollars a day for incidentals. Included entrance fees are those for the listed sites and national parks that are part of the itinerary. Any other site fees are not included.
The currency is the Nepali rupee (Rs) and there are Standard Chartered Bank ATMs in Kathmandu and Pokhara that take international cards. However, to be safe, we suggest you change money in Kathmandu and carry cash as backup in case the power goes down, the ATM is out of order, or you lose or break your plastic. Major credit cards are widely accepted at midrange and better hotels, restaurants and fancy shops in the Kathmandu Valley and Pokhara only.
If this is the tour for you here's what you need to do to confirm your place: Read our Booking Conditions
From the tour page click the 'Book Now' link. All departures for this tour will appear, just select the date you'd like to travel. There is a minimum number of participants (usually 2) required to enable the trip to go ahead. Once the minimum number is reached, the trip status will change from 'Available' to 'Guaranteed to Depart'. Once a trip is guaranteed to depart you are free to book your flights and make other travel arrangements. If you are unsure about the trip status, please email us or call our office. For the next steps you'll need to know the names of the people traveling and have either a Visa or a MasterCard. If you wish you can also provide extra details such as passport numbers, height, or you can add that later by logging into Manage My Trip (we'll set up an account for you automatically if you don't already have one). However, if you wish to get a children's discount, please do fill out the date of birth of the riders. If you are having any problems, please send us an email, or give us a call (+66 2 381 7490) and one of our travel specialists will assist you with your booking.
For Long Tours (7 days or more) to guarantee your place we require a 30% or 500 USD deposit, whichever is the greater. For Short Tours (6 days or less) we require full payment to guarantee your place. We also require that you take out travel insurance when you book your holiday. Besides covering you during your holiday it will also enable you to claim for any money that you have paid to us, including your deposit, should you have to cancel your trip.
Full payment must be paid 45 days before the departure date with fees for any bicycle rental(s), single supplement(s) and extra hotel nights. Our confirmation will include personal details you provided us (including your flight information), visa application advice, a packing suggestion list and a detailed tour itinerary. It will also include a checklist to ensure you get everything ready for your holiday.
On the rare occasions when we, SpiceRoads, must cancel a trip, all payments received to date will be 100% refunded, which constitutes full settlement. There will be absolutely no deductions. If you, the client, must cancel your reservation, your cancellation fee will be determined according to when you cancel. For full details, please read our cancellation policy.
For those who have been on several long tours with us we reward customer loyalty by offering repeat customers a special discount off the tour price (excludes single supplement and bike rental). If this is your fourth scheduled tour or more you will receive a 5% discount. If this is your eighth scheduled tour or more we will extend a 10% discount. The discount will be reflected in your online booking, but please contact us if any questions. Loyalty discounts can not be used in conjunction with any other offer. Note: Only tours of 7 days or more will be applicable for loyalty discount.
International flights, to and from the start and finish points are not included in the tour price. Once your tour is Guaranteed to Depart you can book your flight. Please contact us for advice before arranging flights for the best arrival and departure times. We would only cancel a trip for an extreme circumstance, but in that case, where we cancel your trip, we cannot be liable for losses incurred relating to any flight booking you have made. Please claim any losses from your travel insurance that you acquired when you booked your holiday.
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The information in this document is given in good faith, and covers the average range of conditions likely to be found on this trip. Please note that the itinerary is subject to change due to unforeseen circumstances, however, we will always do our best to adhere to this original itinerary