For many adventurers, the allure of travel is in the land itself.
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Popular Cultural Holiday
This is a small group guided holiday. The group is usually between 4 and 16 in size, with an average of 12 like-minded clients booking individually, in a couple or as friends together.
Download the detailed trip notes for everything you could possibly want to know about this trip, including detailed itinerary and full kit list.
This was my 7th cycling trip and all have been great fun. All these experiences allow me to become a self appointed expert! It is fascinating to compare the trips, the leaders, the transport, the accommodation etc. This trip is graded moderate/challenging but so is Sri Lanka, for example. The latter was a doddle compared to Nepal. This trip has multiple big hills, very long descents and a substantial amount of off-road. It was also the 'fastest' and 'fittest' group I've ridden with - on an Exodus trip. There were regular occasions when some riders had to hop on the bus (not unusual on these trips). If the group is fast then the slower riders have to get on the bus or the quicker ones have to wait a long time at the meet up point. The grading is subjective but I would urge all potential customers to get as fit as they possibly can so that they can get the most out of the trip. I would also suggest to Exodus that they drop the moderate out of the description. LASTLY, book this trip NOW as there is a rumour that it may get dropped - it's not in my latest brochure!
There was the usual mix of hotels - higher quality than I expected. The food was enjoyable curry buffet. The guide and his staff were just the job. Broadband was available in every hotel lobby and sometimes in the bedroom. The hotel in the mountains with a sunrise view of Everest was very cold (both room and restaurant) so take suitable clothing. I'm sure (I've been before) Kathmandu smog/air has got worse. Take a buffy/face mask and strepsils! There is the usual mix of cultural visits - temples, monasteries etc. The school visit, partially sponsored by our guide, was uplifting as well as being at the top of a big hill (walk up, cycle blast down rough road).
Snowy mountain tops and the visit to the school
I left my heart in Nepal, the people are kind and generous and the landscape diverse and beautiful. This truly was the trip of a lifetime and we were lucky enough to share the experience with a fantastic, fun group of travellers, I miss cycling those steep hills, or undulating Nepalise flat as described by the wonderful Kumar.
Getting up early to see the sunrise over the Himalaya was breathtaking, getting a small glimpse of Everest when the clouds lifted momentarily.
Chitwan was fantastic, elephants, rhino, crocs all in abundance, the lodge was amazing with lovely local food.
Trekking into the jungle to visit a Buddhist shrine surrounded by prayer flags and receiving a blessing was incredibly moving and humbling.
Being invited into villagers homes, sharing tea and local snacks with our hosts and basking in their sedate and calm lifestyle,free from the materialistic western world.
What can I say, Kumar is a fantastic guide and a wonderful human being, I am honoured to think of him as a life long friend and will never forget him, snickers, Kasuw and our wonderful driver.
Made sure we had the trip of a lifetime, always smiling always professional.
Nothing was too much trouble for Kumar, his local knowledge and organisational skills made everything run like clock work and ensured we got the most from our time in Nepal.
We took too many warm clothes, practise hills!
The trip of a lifetime with a first class guide and team, can't wait to return to Nepal.
This was my 4th Exodus trip, and my 3rd cycling holiday. It met all the high standards I have come to expect from Exodus....but with a special magic brought from the amazing Nepali people. The cycling and food were great, but for me what really made this trip special was the extreme warmth, friendliness and interest we got from the people all over the country. From tiny villages in the remote countryside to bustling towns -I was made to feel like a valued and long lost friend wherever I went! It is even more amazing when you consider the tough times they have been through following the 2015 earthquake. People in the cities wear t-shirts that say "Nepal Will Rise Again"....and I 100% believe they are right in that.
This will sound weird....but it is is the moment a penniless villager came out of her mud hut to give me a gift of a cucumber!! We were on our way to Chitwan national park, and our guide was exploring a new route. The people in this village were obviously poor and had nothing really, but they were so excited to see us that they all came out and we stayed chatting for 40 min. Many photos ensued...and because it was a hot day, one lady came out with gifts of cucumbers for us, which we ate on the spot as if they were apples. I have never tasted such a good cucumber
Kumar was fantastic. Exodus leaders are always very good....but he was extra special. Full of boundless energy and joy, which rubbed off on everyone in our group. Extremely knowledgable,very kind, proud and passionate about his country. He worked his socks off to make sure we were all happy and were left with a good impression of Nepal. He never stopped smiling. I think he is part of the reason we got such a good response from all the Nepali people we met. I have arthritis in my knees and so took on this trip with some trepidation how much cycling I could actually do - but Kumar took the time to listen & understand my problem so he could advise me how to get the maximum joy out of the cycling I was able to do,
If you have any spare room in your suitcase -take some old (but wearable) t-shirts. Kumar will arrange for these to be donated to the poorest village families....and you will never forgot the look of happiness on their face at having their first set of new clothes in a decade! :)
A camera (or phone camera) is a must....but what was really special on our trip was a lady who took a polaroid-style camera, to give the villagers photos of themselves to keep. They loved it! Many of them had never seen a photo before and it was very sweet to see their reactions.
Don't be put off by stories of earthquake damage. It really won't affect your holiday much at all. Yes some of the famous old temples are damaged...but there is so much else to see that I for one didn't feel like I missed anything. The spirit of the Nepali people is amazing, and they are fighting back to recover after the tragedy of 2015. It is a poor country, and they need tourists to begin visiting again. For me this was a life-changing holiday, and I can't wait to go back. As my 4th Exodus holiday, for me it comes joint-first together with the 2 week cycling Vietnam tour.
My personal favourite is the Pashupatinath temple, to the north east of Kathmandu city centre. You know those photos you’ve seen of the sadhus or holy men, with the long dreadlocks and ash covered bodies? Well this is where most of them hang out!
Regarded as one of the holiest temples of Lord Shiva, it’s so old that nobody is certain when it was founded. Like Varanasi in India, cremation pyres line the banks of the Bagmati river and it’s one of the most fascinating places in the Kathmandu valley to people watch.
Joanna Zubr - Customer Operations
‘In-country’ bike hire should be arranged at the time of booking, and the cost will be added to your invoice. Please note that there are a limited number of bikes available locally. We always have to match a person's height to the bike frame size and, as there are a limited amount of each size, we cannot always guarantee availability of the correct frame. Therefore it is recommended you add the local bike hire as early as possible.
Andy Ross - Product Manager
The distances are manageable, the terrain can be rough and some of climbs are pretty steep. That said, anyone with a fair amount of fitness will be ok.
There are only a few ‘technical’ bits, all of which are pretty short – if you are not comfortable with it then just walk for a short while. If all you are used to is a gentle Sunday ride around the park then you will find this trip pretty challenging, but very rewarding should you take it on.
Day 2 is ok in terms of hills (though there are a few short, steep climbs), it is pretty rough terrain though – dirt tracks, sometimes pretty narrow (no support vehicle for a few miles but you are warned of this in advance). Scenery is fantastic, just take it slow, make use of all the gears (the bikes are good quality front suspension mountain bikes) and its certainly manageable.
Day 3 has some long climbs – the whole day is mainly uphill, also of course some really fun descents too – one of which is fairly technical, again some of the “roads” are pretty rough going. However, the majority is on tarmac, just don’t expect UK standards! You have all day to cover 20kms so there is no rush and plenty of stops to rest and refuel if needed.
Day 4 is the toughest day! The trip notes state that the distance ridden is 65km. However this is completely dependent on the group – for ours, we were in the bus for the first and last sections (about 22km). The last section is really hard going if attempted (15km ish of steep climb) – I remember the leader saying that only one group had attempted it previously. Even if some of the group want to give it a go (presuming the pace of the group during the day allows time for it), the rest can get on the support bus. By missing that final climb, we had a very nice 5/6kms of downhill to finish the day before getting on the bus for the final 15km.
Day 5 is all downhill, from here on out its definitely B grade. Though it is Nepal, don’t expect any days without a few climbs!
Andy Gibbins - Costings manager
No, a quality local hire bike is included in the overall price of this cycling holiday.
If you prefer the familiarity of your own bike, you may of course bring it along. A discount of GBP150 will apply if you do so.
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|Date||Trip Status||Price excl. flights (pp) from|
|Sun 24 Sep 17 - Sat 07 Oct 17||Available||Price excl. flights (pp) from EUR €2,155||Book now|
|Sun 05 Nov 17 - Sat 18 Nov 17||Available||Price excl. flights (pp) from EUR €2,155||Book now|
|Sun 26 Nov 17 - Sat 09 Dec 17||Available||Price excl. flights (pp) from EUR €2,155||Book now|