"A great chance for a true Eco trip with EcoCompanion! Renewable energy source, stunning scenery, Indian culture - all you have to do is be able to ride a bike?"
The North-eastern state of Sikkim is one of India’s lesser explored destinations. Located almost entirely within the mountainous Himalayan region, Sikkim has long been a popular trekking and mountaineering hot-spot. More recently, it has become a favourite location for mountain bikers, with its hilly terrain and stunning scenery providing the perfect setting for the adventure sport. This unique cycling holiday takes you through the small but incredibly diverse state, allowing you to get intimately close to the heart of Sikkim’s rich culture and heritage. The third highest mountain in the world, Kanchenjunga, is located in Sikkim and, although you won’t attempt to ride to the top (thank goodness!), you’ll enjoy breathtaking views of this magnificent peak throughout the tour.
During the 13-day tour, you’ll cycle through changing scenery, from verdant sub-tropical rainforests to high-altitude mountainous terrain. Along the way you’ll pass by beautiful meadows, traditional villages, lush rice and tea fields and visit some of the state’s oldest and most revered monasteries including Rumtek, Pemayangtse and Dubdi. Admire the sacred Kachiuri Lake and discover the state’s new, bustling capital – Gangtok. Finally, ride into the world-famous hill station of Darjeeling: climb Tiger Hill to get an awe-inspiring glimpse of Everest as you watch the sun rise behind the snow-capped mountains, and find out for yourself whether or not India’s tea really is the best in the world…
Active India Holidays are local operators and, as such, have seen first-hand the benefits that tourism can bring to some of India’s most remote regions. They understand that tourism often helps to alleviate poverty and develop communities and, as part of the global tourism industry, acknowledge that they too have a crucial role to play in providing commercial benefits and financial impetus in local communities. The company is conscious of both the negative and positive impacts its operations potentially have within sensitive environments and communities, particularly in the Himalayas where most of Active India’s trekking and adventure operations are conducted.
Travelling through India on two wheels is not only a great way to really immerse yourself in the country, but is also an eco-friendly carbon neutral activity. Active India employs local staff, and uses locally-owned hotels, products and food, helping to support communities by inputting valuable financial resources into the local economy. Furthermore, this also creates a more authentic India travel experience for tourists – so everyone’s a winner! Active India hopes to contribute towards building a tourism industry that brings pleasure to travellers whilst also constructing a future for the local people and places that the industry depends on.
Arrival in Delhi: Arrive at Delhi’s international airport and receive a traditional ‘Swagat’ (welcome) before transferring to your hotel. The remainder of the day is free.
Delhi – Bagdogra – Gangtok: After breakfast, travel to the airport to board your flight to Bagdogra. Here, you’ll board a vehicle that will take you to Gangtok. Check in to your hotel before heading out to explore the city.
Gangtok: Enjoy some fantastic sightseeing in Gangtok, Sikkim’s capital. Visit the Namgyal Institute of Tibetology, a museum that boasts an incredible collection of artefacts relating to Tibetan Culture and Vajrayana Buddhism including books, thangkas, icons and rare manuscripts. Next, visit the Royal Chapel, the main place of worship for Buddhists, and Enchey Gompa. Set dramatically on a ridge overlooking Gangtok and with a spectacular view of Mount Kanchenjunga, this monastery was established in 1909 and is a beautiful and sacred place of worship.
Gangtok – Martam Village: Today’s cycling route begins with a descent into the valley before the trail climbs gradually through paddy fields and past small villages. En route to Rumtek, visit Rumtek Monastery, the seat of the third highest monk in Tibetan Buddhism (the Karmapa Lama). One of Sikkim’s main monasteries, it has a fantastic collection of unique art, icons and ancient manuscripts. After your visit, get back on your bike for a short climb towards a rocky mountainside, followed by a gradual descent past lush rice fields to reach the beautiful village of Martam. Check in to the Martam Village Resort and enjoy the view of the wide valley of terraced paddy fields surrounded by forested hills.
Martam – Ravangla via Temi Tea Garden: The first part of today’s ride passes through the small terraced villages of Sirwani and Sang. Next is a breathtaking descent to Makha bridge, followed by a gradual climb towards Ravangla. You’ll stop by at Sikkim’s only tea plantation, Temi Tea Gardens, on the way. Cycle past small waterfalls to reach Ravangla – here, you’ll enjoy unparalleled views of the Greater Himalayas, including the major peaks of Kanchenjunga, Pandim, Kabru and Sinialchu.
Ravangla – Yuksom: After breakfast your cycling tour continues to Yuksom via Tashiding monastery. This hill-top monastery is highly revered, and it is believed that even the smallest glimpse of the monastery can cleanse people of all sins. After the visit, continue past small villages, rice fields and waterfalls to reach Yuksom, a base camp for trekkers. Upon your arrival you’ll check in to your hotel before visiting Dubdi Monastery, also known as ‘the Hermit’s Cell’. Built in 1700 BCE, It is one of Sikkim’s oldest monasteries.
Yuksom – Pelling: Although today’s ride is short, it is fairly challenging. Departing in the morning, a scenic descent takes you past some beautiful waterfalls. Heading downhill, you’ll enjoy views of terraced paddy fields in the valley as you cycle past small villages to reach Pelling. Situated at an altitude of 2,072 metres, Pelling offers great views of whole mountain ranges. Check in to your hotel and enjoy the rest of the day free for relaxation or exploration!
Pelling – Rinchenpong: After breakfast, continue towards Pemayangtse Monastery, one of the state’s oldest and most important monasteries. Admire the impressive view of Mount Khangchendzonga and enjoy lunch before descending towards Dentam. Next, you’ll climb gradually before making a final downhill ride to Rinchenpong.
Rinchenpong – Nayabazar – Darjeeling: Today’s ride is mostly downhill, and will take you past terraced rice fields and small settlements to reach the bustling border village of Nayabazar. Next, you’ll drive into Darjeeling in West Bengal, leaving the state of Sikkim behind you.
Darjeeling: Spread over a steep mountain ridge, surrounded by lush tea plantations and with a backdrop of snow-capped Himalayan peaks, Darjeeling is world-renowned for its fantastic scenery as well as its tea. It is also known for its famous toy train and its rich abundance of flora and fauna. Your day starts early with a visit to Tiger Hill to enjoy a spectacular view of the sun rising over Kanchenjunga. You may even spot Mount Everest, the world’s highest peak, in the distance! Indulge in some well-deserved sightseeing – visit the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute and Museums, a zoological garden housing yaks, Siberian tigers and red pandas, and the Tea Garden.
Darjeeling – Kurseong via Old Military Road: Leave the hotel in the morning and ride towards Ghoom, past small hamlets overlooking tea plantations. Visit the Ghoom Gompa, one of the oldest Tibetan Buddhist monasteries in the area, before riding along the ‘old Military road’. You’ll enter ancient conifer forest and cycle past small waterfalls, meeting hardly anyone along the way. Tonight’s accommodation takes the form of an old colonial house which has been converted into a hotel – sit on the veranda, sip tea and reflect on your fantastic tour whilst enjoying views of the plantations. Bliss!
Kurseong – Bagdogra – Delhi: Transfer to Bagdogra after breakfast to board your flight to Delhi. Upon your arrival, check in to your hotel before enjoying the rest of the day at your leisure. Why not explore the bazaar for some last-minute shopping?
Departure: After breakfast, transfer to Delhi’s international airport for your onward flight.
- The rate shown is a 'from' price per person (on a double sharing basis)
- Click 'Ask a Question' up above to speak to the operator directly about this tour's departure dates, availability and costs
- Refunds: 80% refund available until 30 days prior to check-in; 50% refund available 15 days prior to check-in; 25% refund available 6 days prior to check-in; within 5 days of check-in there will be no refund.
- Breakfasts while at hotels
- Full board meals during camping
- English speaking monument sightseeing guides at cities
- Services of a cycle mechanic throughout the tour
- All land transport
- Government service tax as applicable
- Travel insurance
- Indian visa fees
- Bike hire charges (approximately £100 per bike for the entire trip)
- Personal cycling equipment (helmets, panniers, or any other gear)
- Any monument entrance fees
- Flights (domestic/international)
- Any optional activities or services not mentioned in inclusions
- Services of any professional English speaking tour leader/escort during the tour
- Miscellaneous expenses for tips, laundry, drinks, any medical emergencies and souvenirs etc.