Mountain Bike Tour Through the Himalayas from Shimla to Dharamshala
How about a Transalp experience in the Indian Himalayas? In addition to great trails and sporty ascents, on this tour you will get instead of Kaiserschmarrn and Schnitzel, Indian curries and rice. Everything else on this mountain bike trip is just a little more exotic than the Alpine experience. The trails usually lead to small Indian mountain villages with laughing children, everything is a bit higher (between 1000 and 3000 m altitude) and also wilder. We certainly have the trails for ourselves and as an intermediate reinforcement a delicious chai always awaits us.
Our mountain bike tour in the Indian Himalayas is a combination of riding, fun, adventure and Indian culture. With stage lengths between 40 and 90 km, the stages are sporty, but also invite for nice breaks. We are practically on the trail of the legendary MTB Himalaya race – only without racing stress. The tour starts in the British-influenced Hillstation Shimla and ends in Mcleod Ganj with the Dalai Lama on the doorstep. We designed the tour in such a way that we are on the road with two bike guides and there are always two different partial routes to choose from – a lighter and/or shorter and a more technically demanding and/or longer route. In this way, even unequally strong participants can enjoy the journey to the fullest to their own potential.
Accommodation is subject to availability in hotels, inns and homestays.
Day 1 Flight to Delhi and arrival Shimla
Directly from the international flight we continue with a short one-hour flight to Shimla. Alternatively, of course, a day can be taken in Delhi. A transfer takes the group to our beautiful Woodville Hotel – an old British army house surrounded by greenery. Here we have time to rest and recover from the long journey. We end the evening with a dinner together. Overnight stay at the hotel -/L/D
Day 2 Shimla acclimatization tour approx. 20-30 km, 500 hm
We start the day quietly with a good breakfast and who likes also with a small yoga session. Afterwards we build up our bikes and take a small bike city sightseeing tour. On the one hand we can adapt to the “Indian traffic rules”, on the other hand we also visit the main sights in Shimla. Also in the program is the Monkey Temple, the famous Shimla Mall, the Vegetable Market and we also put a small stop at the candy shop. On the way there is a lunch together. Overnight stay at Hotel B/L/D
Day 3 Shimla (1800 m) – Dakbanglow 30-40 km, 600 hm
Another shorter tour should completely drive us out of the jetleg and adapt to the altitude here. We leave Shimla and start our tour on forest trails and single trails to our first stage destination. Dakbanglow is a camp in the middle of a magnificent apple plantation. But don’t worry: Camp doesn’t mean camping or showering. No, we have comfortable small bungalows with private bathrooms at our disposal. We end the evening comfortably by the campfire, while we enjoy the delicious food and maybe one or the other Kingfisher beer. Overnight at Camp B/L/D
Day 4 Dakbanglow- Matiana 55 km, 1500 hm
Today, the single trail fun really starts: wild village trails invite you to make full use of the technical skills. If you haven’t quite made friends with trail riding and prefer to have a number easier when it comes to driving technique, you can also take the alternative route with our second guide. Once down, we all meet again and make our way together on the 20-kilometre-long ascent. Here, in Matiana, we meet the highway and also our wonderful mountain resort. Overnight stay at Resort B/L/D
Day 5 Matiana – Kungash 60-85 km, 1200- 2000 hm
Today we have two alternative routes at our disposal: If you want to challenge yourself athletically, take a few extra single trails with you and drive down into a side valley before going on a steep ascent. The other part stays a few kilo-meters comfortably on the main road to Narkanda and then dives down into the world of single trails. It goes down to 1000 m to the huge Satluj river. For those who already road single trails, still have the option to stay on the road or push through the small villages and fields.
Once down, we drive along the river and then take the “Climb of the Day”. Almost 30 km of ascent and 1000 hm are waiting for us on mostly well rolling asphalt in an initially brutal heat. Once at the top, the world looks very different. Here we are far from the civilization and tourism, so that we accept the hospitality of the villagers, who spoil us with cozy rooms and local food at home. Overnight stay at Homestay B/L/D
Day 6 Kungash- Gadagushaini 70 km- 78, 2100 hm
Today we pass through deep Deodar forest and we pass remote villages. A small single trail loop provides an extra to our trail junkies. Then we continue uphill before we cycle down an old village road. Here the next ascent awaits us: from 1500 m it goes up to over 3000 m. A continuous and at first quite steep climb – all off road. The pass rewards with a magnificent view. Then we go down to the tranquil village of Gada Gushaini. This village has been used for many years as the place of rest of the famous MTB Himalaya race. We live in a nice inn, visit the village in the afternoon and end the evening in the peaceful surroundings. Overnight stay in the inn B/L/D
Day 7 Gada Gushaini- Pandoh 77 km, 1650 hm
99% off-road promises today with a nice climb and long descents. In good weather we have wonderful views of the high Himalayas. The stage ends at the River Beas near Mandi. Probably one of the most beautiful stages of this tour. Overnight stay in the hotel. B/L/D
Day 8 Pandoh-Barot 90 km, 2300 hm
The figures may look a little scary, but today is in kilometres, but also relatively fast, as we are mainly on an unavoidable road. The stage serves as a link between the districts of Mandi and Kangra. Nevertheless, the tour has a lot of spectacular views to offer, because we are on a small village road directly on the mountain ridge with fascinating views on both sides. A small path provides variety and we are also in the nice Barot valley. Barot is famous among anglers for its trout and of course we will also taste it for dinner. Overnight stay in the inn. B/L/D
Day 9 Barot-Bir 56 km, 1100 hm
In the MTB Himalaya race, this stage is called “Into the Wild” and this very name hits the exact day. It goes up to the last village of the valley. From here we take a donkey trail, cross the river, push up the slope a bit and then continue on pristine terrain to Billing. Billing is famous for paragliding. But instead of flying down to Bir, we shouldn’t miss the great trails. Bir is a Buddhist enclave consisting of Tibetan refugees with monasteries, Tibetan flags and Buddhist monks. Overnight stay at Hotel B/L/D
Day 10 Bir- Palampur 35 km, 800 hm
Since today is only a short stage on the program, we have time to sleep or maybe take a paragliding flight – half a rest day, so to speak. Later we set off on side routes to Palampur. Overnight stay at Hotel B/L/D
Day 11 Palampur-Mcleod Ganj 65 km 1600 hm
Our last stage is a mixture of tranquil small asphalted roads, some technical single trails and a last nice climb and we have reached our destination. in a nice restaurant we celebrate our tour. Overnight stay at Hotel B/L/D
Day 12 Mcleod Ganj
A day without a bike? Feels amazingly good after 10 days of non stop riding! The program for today is quite flexible: yoga lessons, visit to the Dalai Lama temple and Tibetan museum, momos (Tibetan food) snack and in small cafes enjoy the peaceful atmosphere with a juicy apple pie. Overnight stay at the Hotel B/-/-
Day 13 Day Hike
A nice day hike up to Triund at 2900 m is offered. A beautiful view and leg muscle soreness of a slightly different kind await us. Alternatively, you can just relax in Mcleod Ganj. How about meditation and massage? Overnight stay at Hotel B/L/-
Day 14 Departure Mcleod Ganj, day in Delhi, flight home
Today is the day to return home, first a flight to Delhi and then back home. A day room in Delhi can be arranged if the flights are far apart. B/-/-
Optional: Extra day trip to Agra
We are happy to organize a day to Agra to visit the Taj Mahal in the car with driver and guide.
- all accommodations in hotels, resorts, inns and hometsays (see itinerary)
- up to day 11 full board, after that breakfast included
- Refreshments, snacks, juice, fruit and water during the cycling days
- 2 domestic flights (Delhi-Shimla/Daramshala-Delhi)
- Airport Transfers
- During the cycling days 2 bike guides, bicycle mechanic, accompanying vehicles
- tour guide
International flight Visa (approx. 10-20 €) Bicycle (there are rental MTBs available) Drinks with meals unmentioned meals Day trip to Agra (approx. € per person with driver, guide and entrance fee)
Prices and Dates
Price 4-16 participants: 1800 € per person
This tour can also be arranged as a private tour of 2 people or more on any date.
Best time: April-June/September-October
If you are an Indian citizen please contact us directly for a discounted price.
This tour is real mountain biking – as far away as possible from roads and tarmac. It is modeled on the eight-day MTB Himalaya stage race. However, we have adapted the routes a bit to a tour and have different routes ready for different levels, so you don’t have to be outstanding in technical skills (alternative routes are provided). Otherwise, you should be athletically fit, have a lot of fun with technical riding and also have some adventurous spirit.
This mountain bike trip is new in our travel range to cover the need for real mountain bike tours in the Indian Himalayas – also because it simply has the full potential as a mountain bike destination, comparatively but is still quite untapped.
Due to our affinity for mountain biking, our local rebelliousness, but also because of our multiple participation in local mountain bike races, especially the MTB Himalaya race, which is based on our trip and, we know the Indian trails very well. In addition, we now of course also bring many years of experience in the travel service sector and have the necessary know-how to organize and implement a bicycle trip in India at a high level.
However, this tour will start as a pilot tour for the first time in June. Thus, we ask all participants of our first tour for a lot of openness and some forbearance regarding the mileage and altitude indications – they stick to guidelines.
The mountain bike tour takes place in the Himalayan state of Himachal Pradesh. The name translates as: The land of snow-capped mountain peaks and indeed we will see many of them during our tour. We start in Shimla, the capital of the state. Shimla was the former summer capital of the Britishers and still serves as a refuge for many Indians from the Indian heat in the summer months. Because here at 1800 m altitude the temperatures are pleasant. We end up in Daramshala – another popular tourist destination. Significantly smaller than Shimla, it convinces with charm, Tibetan atmosphere and the Dalai Lama.
In between we will be travelling in very remote regions, but we will never be far away from “cities” with an all-encompassing infrastructure – An escort vehicle is always available to us.
Depending on the altitude, temperatures will be between 20 and 40 degrees Celsius during the day. At night it will not cool more than 15° degrees. In June, dry and clear weather should prevail. Rain showers occur from time to time, but are very rare. Mostly the temperatures are very pleasant and ideal for riding. only when we are “down in the valleys, it becomes briefly tropical hot.
The accommodations vary depending on the stage. All accommodations have double rooms, are clean and there are ways to wash themselves with hot water after the tour. In most cases we even have good to very good hotels with Western comfort.
Until Daramshala on day 11 all main meals are included; during the cycle stages also drinks, snacks and refreshments.
Meals are a colourful mix of continental, Indian and Indian-Chinese dishes. The dishes are mainly vegetarian, always a culinary delight and freshly prepared. Impeccable hygenic conditions are ensured. Drinks for lunch and dinner (except water) are not included in the price of the trip.
Riding skills and fitness
The route is supposed to provide real riding fun for mountain bikers and so we try to get the maximum of technical units out. Basically, the more technical driving knowledge, the better. However, we also offer trail alternatives and it can always be relegated. The stages are long and there are a lot of altitude meters to complete – a good fitness level is required.
What to take along
We recommend taking your own mountain bike with you. Bicycle transport from Delhi to Shimla and Mcleod Ganj to Delhi is provided, as well as bike bag transport from Shimla to Daramshala.
Tools and spare parts are available and are available for sale (tyres, hoses, brake pads, cables) if required. Please bring your own special bicycle spare parts.
Two bike guides (German and English), a mechanic and a driver with accompanying equipment are also included.
The accompanying equipment is used for the transport of luggage, but also for the protection of the participants.