Sightseeing & Mountain Biking
If you enjoy Mountain Biking and wish to experience as much of Nepal as possible in a week holiday this ‘Around Kathmandu Mountain Biking’ tour is an excellent option. This is a 5-day biking trip on the ridge-top trails which encircle the Valley’s rim. We travel along little-used dirt roads away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Only a short bike ride away lies a delightful world of wooded slopes, small villages, hidden temples and the views which include all of the principal peaks of the Nepal Himalaya – from Makalu to the Annapurnas providing some excellent, easy to semi – technical single track riding along old jeep roads. During these five days we will experience all of the sights, sounds, tastes and smells that make up life in Nepal’s ‘Middle Hills’. We will visit the historic cities of Patan and Bhaktpur, hill resort of Nagarkot with its sunrise view of the entire Nepal Himalaya and the temples, monasteries and picturesque villages tucked away in the forests along the way. We are so close to the bustle of Kathmandu, but so far off the beaten tourist trail.
With the mornings spent cycling above a sea of clouds, it would not be an exaggeration to call this a heaven for mountain bikers! Throughout the trip, support vehicles carrying all our gear will either follow behind us or be with us at the end of the day. Whether you ride for fun, or take it more seriously, challenges lie around every corner.
You will be greeted by a panoramic view of snow-capped mountain peaks sprawling down below once you fly in the sky of Kathmandu. A representative and driver from our office will meet you at the airport and escort you to your hotel. The representative will help you check into your designated hotel. At the hotel you will be briefed about your trip activities.
After the early morning breakfast, you travel along the exotic locales of Kathmandu, where more diversified cultural settings in the valley welcome you. A day tour of the valley will take you to Boudhanath, where you will grab an opportunity for the insightful peep into the invaluable culture attached to Buddhism. This may make you feel like you have just been on a spiritual journey. Boudhanath is one of the largest dome-shaped stupas in the country where the practices of Buddhism can be observed at its best. Then it continues to Pashupatinath, the major Hindu shrine with countless temples dedicated to different Hindu deities within its widespread area. However, the main temple Pashupatinath is dedicated to Lord Shiva. The Destroyer - Shiva dwells here as protector of animal kinds as per the myth. A final destination to explore is Patan Durbar Square, where Mahaboudha Temple, Kumbeshwor temple, Krishna Temple, Golden Temple and many other places of Patan, will unveil before you as an open museum showcasing intricately carved windows, intrinsic roof struts, statues of gods and goddesses, temples designed in pagoda style with sensual carvings and repose metalwork facades and many other exquisite facets.
You begin with a classic 50 km mountain bike trail, at first on roads through Patan to Lubhu, climbing up the rough track to the quiet Newari village of Sisneri. So near to Kathmandu, but away from the busy track, it is a photographer's paradise, with the contrast of richly colored villages against a backdrop of snowcapped mountains. After a steep 500 meters climb, it is wild trail downhill to Panauti, home of the oldest temple in Nepal, the Indreshwar Mahadev. Reunited with your support vehicle, which could not follow you for the whole route, you camp beside the river at this idyllic settlement.
You have a choice of the road climb up to Dhulikhel, or a more adventurous track, which goes more steeply up through terraced fields to the Buddhist pilgrimage temple of Namo Buddha and then down to Dhulikhel. This involves a ride of about 35 km. Your overnight at Dhulikhel offers fantastic sunset views of the great chain of the Himalaya.
It is downhill on a little-used tarmac road towards the mediaeval town of Bhaktapur, where you will spend a long lunch exploring a wealth of his historic temples and courtyards. The afternoon is a steady series of switch-backs up onto the main ridge, where you find another spectacular resort at the hill-station of Nagarkot.
Himalayan mountain biking does not get much better than today's ride. Early morning usually creates a sea of clouds in the valley beneath you, and you can look beyond this to a mountain panorama which stretches from Makalu to the Annapurnas. The riding terrain is also superb as you slowly make your way along an old jeep track, traversing the ridges of Kattike, Manichup and Chipu Dara. You must be very careful not to take a wrong turning on this part of the route, as the false descent will only mean a long carry back up to the ridge! After about 40 kms, you stay in a local lodge at Chisapani, just to the north of the main ridge. You have magnificent views of the Annapurnas from Chisapani. Support vehicles cannot follow you along this part of the route and porters will carry your essentials.
Fit and well-acclimatized after the exercise of the last few days, you take the opportunity on your final day of biking to climb the valley's second highest mountain Shivapuri 2732m, before plunging back to Kathmandu on one of the best downhill rides in the area, via the reclining Vishnu Temple at Budhanilkantha. A hot bath awaits you at the Hotel before you re-box your bikes and start the celebrations of completing a memorable ride.
Transfer to the airport in time to catch you flight home.