Cycling India's Hill Stations

16 days
Suitable for:
Age 16+
Activity level:
Moderate / Challenging
Activity Rating - Moderate/Challenging
Trip code: 
Way to Travel:
Guided Group
Group size:
Min age:

A superb point-to-point ride taking us through the stunning scenery of Himachal Pradesh

A superb ride taking us through a huge variety of scenery and the endless variety of India - the incomparable Golden Temple of the Sikhs at Amritsar, the home of the Dalai Lama at McLeod Ganj, the fascinating Hindu temple town of Mandi and the magnificent former capital of British India at Shimla. In between are quiet country roads, frequent superb views of the Himalaya glinting in the distance and the satisfaction of reaching the highpoint of the Jalori Pass.


  • The Golden Temple at Amritsar
  • McLeod Ganj, home to the Dalai Lama
  • Cycle across the Jalori Pass (3223m)
  • The former colonial hill station of Shimla


Key information

  • 11 nights hotels, 3 nights lodge, 1 night homestay
  • 10 days cycling with full vehicle support
  • Group normally 6 to 16, plus local cycling leader and driver. Min age 16 yrs.
  • Countries visited: India

What's included

  • All breakfasts, 3 lunches and 4 dinners 
  • All accommodation
  • Transfer for group flights
  • Local bike hire

What's not included

  • Travel insurance
  • Visas and vaccinations
  • Single supplement
Call for general departures:
+47-22 41 30 30
Call for tailor made trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.


Days of Cycling

Moderate to challenging: 13-16km/8-10miles an hour


Approx. 90% tarmac, 10% unsurfaced roads

Day by day breakdown
Day 345.0km/28.0miles
Day 446.0km/28.0miles
Day 555.0km/34.0miles
Day 635.0km/22.0miles
Day 750.0km/31.0miles
Day 845.0km/28.0miles
Day 927.0km/17.0miles
Day 1058.0km/36.0miles
Day 1133.0km/20.0miles
Day 1262.0km/38.0miles

Responsible Travel

At Exodus we believe in the power of Responsible Travel.

Every time we travel, we are part of a global movement that creates jobs, builds more sustainable societies, encourages cultural understanding and safeguards common natural and cultural heritage. To learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus click here… 


  • Day 1

    Start Amritsar.

    The group flight will arrive in the afternoon and we transfer to our hotel. Those who have made their own flight arrangements will join us at the hotel. In the evening we pay our first visit to the Golden Temple to experience the impressive evening ceremony. 
    Standard Hotel

  • Day 2

    Visit Golden Temple; transfer to Pragpur.

    In the early morning we will pay a second visit to the Golden Temple. Mid-morning we will transfer by road to Pragpur, India’s only UNESCO World Heritage Village (approx. 5 hours). The rest of day is free for you to explore Pragpur; the village is set on the southern edge of the Kangra Valley and is a wonderful place to explore and sample local rural life. The village’s history, architecture, people and local crafts are fascinating.
    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 3

    Cycle to Kangra through traditional villages and scenic valleys; optional visit to Kangra Fort.

    We start our bike ride by cycling along the quiet backroads of the Kangra Valley, passing through a sub-tropical landscape of pine, sal and bamboo forest, cultivated fields and small villages. The terrain is undulating with short climbs and ascents; it is a great introduction to cycling in India. We end the day in the small town of Kangra, once the capital of the region on the edge of the Dhaual Dhar range. Time permitting we can cycle (or take a taxi) 4km to the crumbling yet sturdy Kangra fort which has stood for over 1000 years. 
    Basic Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 4

    A long steady uphill climb to McLeod Ganj (2000m); late afternoon sightseeing.

    A short but challenging day climbing over 1000m to the hill stations of McLeod Ganj/Dharamshala, home to the exiled Dalai Lama. We leave early to cycle in the cool morning and cross the last of the Kangra Valley to the base of the Dhaula Dhar, the outermost range of the Himalaya. Most of the altitude gain is in the last 10km of the day when we follow the road up from Dharamsala (the lower town) - taking in the 10km of hairpin bends and switchbacks to McLeod Ganj. It is reasonably graded so can be done at a steady pace - and there are plenty of places to stop and admire the views across the valley and the 4000m peaks above us. Depending upon the time of year this could be the busiest stretch of the ride - but passing traffic will offer plenty of encouragement - and there is always the support bus. This amazing town is a fine reward and we have time to wander around the small but crowded bazaar and visit the sights - the Dalai Lama’s Temple, St John’s Church, The Tibetan Library - or go shopping in the many handicraft stalls! 
    Basic Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 5

    To Andretta (1100m) via Norblingka Institute on the undulating back roads below the Dhaula Dhar range.

    In the morning there is time to finish off any sightseeing (or shopping in the many handicraft stalls!) that we didn’t fit in yesterday. We then have our first great descent, back down the road to Dharamsala. We stay just above the true valley and follow quieter roads through truly unspoilt villages stopping for lunch along the way. We also visit the Norbulingka Institute, dedicated to preserving Tibetan arts and crafts. Above us loom the peaks of the Outer Himalaya, some 4500m high. A fantastic day of cycling across varied terrain, but with no major ascents or descents brings us to the small village of Andretta, home to a curious selection of artists and potters. We stay in a private village house and can wander freely about the village and its surrounds. 
    Basic Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 6

    Continue towards Jogindernagar via Baijnath Temple.

    A day of cycling through the lovely scenery of Himachal’s prime tea growing area. There is little of western tourist 'importance' on this route but there is a quietly famous Shiva temple in Baijnath. Dedicated to Shiva in the form of Vaidyanath, the Baijnath temple has been continuously under worship ever since its construction in 1204 AD one of only 12 such temples in India, it is also a beautiful example of the early mediaeval temple architecture known as Nagara style. The beauty of today’s ride is really the scenery - the tea gardens, grazing buffalo, wild forest, daily village life all set against the backdrop of the Himalaya. We stay the night in Jogindernagar, terminus of the narrow gauge Kangra railway. 
    Basic Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 7

    Cycle to the historic temple town of Mandi; time to explore the town and old temples.

    Today we leave the Kangra Valley behind and head for Mandi at the foot of the Kullu Valley. We are closer to the mountains now, with a different topography and vegetation as we move into the temperate zone. A beautiful quiet side road takes us past a Tibetan monastery and on to Bir, famous as a paragliding site. We then have a long descent on a slightly busier section of the ride into the market town of Mandi. With its houses clinging to the banks of the Beas River, Mandi is a bustling town with over 300 old and new temples. Time permitting we will visit one or two of the best. 
    Standard Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 8

    An easier day cycling along the Beas River to Larji in the lower part of the Kulu Valley.

    We cut though the Outer Himalaya following the course of the Beas River into the Kullu Valley. Its striking landscape makes it a popular Indian tourist destination though traditionally its economy has been based on agriculture; it is famous for its apple orchards. It is also well known for its hand-woven shawls and caps. The mountains rise steeply either side; we trace the contours and climb some steep sections, with terraced fields and the famous Kullu orchards becoming more dominant. Leaving the main Kullu Valley road we come to Larji (975m), a small hamlet providing an excellent spot for trout fishing. As there is limited accommodation here we ride to a lodge a few kilometres further up the Tirthan Valley to Bali Chowki. 
    Basic Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 9

    A challenging day cycling through traditional remote villages to Shoja (2600m).

    From Larji we begin to climb slowly. We are on the fringes of the Great Himalayan National Park - home to bear, leopard, wild cats - and surrounded by temperate forest - pine, oak, horse chestnut. We pass through Banjar, with its attractive wood-fronted shops lining the narrow street. It has the best examples in the area of timber-bonded Himalayan architecture in the fort-like rectangular temple of Murlidhar (Krishna). From Banjar the road steepens to Shoja, a village surrounded by dense forest of deodar and larch. Shoja is a picture postcard village on a mountain ledge overlooking the valley, with apple groves, long wooded walks and distant views of the Pir Panjal range. 
    Basic Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 10

    Climb to the Jalori Pass (3223m) for fantastic views across the Pir Pinjal and the great Himalaya; downhill to Luhri.

    A tough day as we head over the Jalori Pass at 3223m. A steady climb turns into a rather steep final ascent so there are no prizes for getting there first. Above 2500m, cool-temperate forests of fir and spruce or oak occur, whilst over 3000m, these forests grade gently into a sub-alpine zone of birches and rhododendrons, diminishing in size as the treeline is approached. Birds of prey visible here include Lammergeiers, Himalayan Griffon Vultures, and Golden Eagles. From the pass, which marks the dividing line between the Inner and Outer Saraj, there are splendid views of the Pir Pinjal and Tibetan peaks. The beauty of the ridge line separating the Inner and Outer Saraj was first extolled by Penelope Chetwode, daughter of the Commander in Chief of the British Army in India in 1931. She accompanied her mother on foot and horseback from Shimla to the Rohtang Pass via the Jalori Pass. She returned to India in 1963 to trek the entire distance once again. Her book, Kulu: The End of Habitable World, describes this journey. From here it is all downhill, an exhilarating 40km passing through Ani and eventually reaching the gorge of the great Sutlej River. We finish the day at our hotel in Luhri. 
    Basic Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 11

    Another climb to Narkanda (2700m) for stunning views of the peaks on the Tibetan border.

    A brisk start for the long climb out of the Sutlej Valley. The ascent is nearly 2000m but the route is very pretty and with breathtaking views of mountain peaks, so plenty of excuses to stop for photos en route. Taking the support bus is, of course, always an option. We pass through the Kotgarh Valley, famous for its world class apples, and we will have lunch at Point Oddi which is a well-known local establishment, here you will have a great opportunity to meet the locals. We stop for the night in Narkanda, with distant but fine views of the peaks on the Tibetan border. 
    Basic Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch
  • Day 12

    Cycle to the famous hill station of Shimla.

    A great day of cycling to end our trip. From Narkanda we follow the main route contouring around the hills through the last simple villages and pine forest. There are great views into the deep Sutlej Valley and back to the snow-capped peaks, visibility permitting. We cross a small col at 2450m before descending to the sprawl of Shimla. Most of the route is level or gently undulating, a real treat after the last couple of days. The last few kilometres through Shimla to our hotel can be quite chaotic, but always fun. Our hotel marks the end of the ride and we say goodbye to the bikes. 
    Standard Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch
  • Day 13

    Free day to explore Shimla.

    A much deserved day of leisure to explore Shimla and its surrounds. There is time to visit the local sights of this faded colonial hill station and revisit some of the British Raj history - particularly the magnificent Viceroy's Lodge. Those wanting more exercise can undertake one of the short walks to local viewpoints such as Jakhu Temple, and there's plenty of shopping along the Mall.
    Standard Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 14

    Take Viceroy's narrow gauge 'Toy Train' to Kalka; connect with onward train to Delhi.

    Today we take the delightful narrow gauge train from Shimla through the foothills to Kalka. The line was completed in 1903 and runs 97km from Shimla to Kalka, taking approx. 5 hours. There are 107 tunnels and over 3km of bridges. At Kalka we connect with an onward train to Delhi, arriving late in the evening.
    Standard Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 15

    Free day to explore India's capital.

    Today you are free to relax, explore the sites of New and Old Delhi (an optional sightseeing trip will be organised if you wish) or you can do some last minute shopping (our hotel is located in Karol Bagh, a bustling market area). Highlights of Delhi include a walk through Old Delhi's narrow streets, around the market area of Chandni Chowk, the Red Fort (apart from if you are in Delhi on a Monday), Jama Masjid (India's largest mosque), Sheeshganj Gurudwara (Sikh Temple) and Humayun's Tomb. 
    Standard Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 16

    End Delhi.

    For those who are on the flight inclusive package we depart for Delhi airport in the morning for the day flight back to London. The arrangements for those not flying with the group ends after check out.

    Meals included: Breakfast
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Essential Info



Visas are required if you are British and for most other nationalities. For UK residents full details of the visa process can be found here. Other nationalities should check with their travel agent or the relevant embassies.

If your trip visits Ladakh, in the very north of India, or Sikkim in the northeast, do not mention this on your Indian visa application. This can sometimes slow down or even cause the embassy to reject your visa.

When you reach immigration, you are required to pick up an immigration form. If you have an e-visa, ensure you stand in the correct queue - please follow the signs to the e-visa booth (in Delhi this is at the back of the immigration hall). You will need to fill out an additional form at the booth - please make sure that you have the details of your start hotel ready (these details can be found on your Final Joining Instructions).




There are no mandatory vaccination requirements. Recommended vaccinations are: Polio, Tetanus, Diphtheria, Typhoid, Hepatitis A. The risk of malaria is slight but you may wish to consult your GP or travel health clinic for further advice. Dengue fever is a known risk in places visited. It is a tropical viral disease spread by daytime biting mosquitoes. There is currently no vaccine or prophylaxis available for Dengue, therefore the best form of prevention is to avoid being bitten. Some of our India trips spend time at altitude. In regions over approx. 2000m, there is low to no risk of mosquito-borne diseases. For trips going to altitudes of over 3000m there is a risk of being affected by Acute Mountain Sickness. Our itineraries are designed to enable everyone to acclimatise to these altitudes, but you should be aware that it is still possible for you to be affected. Please see the TRIP NOTES for further information.

Eating and Drinking

All breakfasts, 3 lunches and 4 dinners included. 

You should allow at least £10 (approx. US$16) per day for lunch and dinner when these are not included. You can eat out very cheaply in India, but if you go to the more expensive restaurants you will spend more than the suggested amount. In a lot of towns there is a choice of restaurants and a choice between Indian and Western style food however please note that this is not always the case; on some of the days cycling the choice of food is very limited. If you are a vegetarian, India is probably one of the best destinations to travel to. Tea and soft drinks are very cheap. A (large!) bottle of beer is approximately £3 (approx. US$4.80). You can refill your water bottle with mineral water from the 20ltr containers located in the support vehicle.


October to April is the ideal time to visit Northern India but we also run trips in May as this is a lovely time to be in the foothills. On the plains, days are warm to hot (18-30°C) and nights cool or mild (7-15°C). Humidity is very low and little rain can be expected. You should bring a jumper for the cool evenings as well as sun hat, sun cream and sunglasses. When in the hill stations the day time temperatures will be warm and sunny (10-25°C) with cool to cold nights (0-15°C). Although the departures are timed to coincide when the weather is normally good, you should remember that in any mountain area the weather is never wholly predictable and you should be prepared and equipped to deal with any differences in weather beyond the conditions described above.

New Delhi

Is this trip for you?

This trip is classified Road

Activity Level: 4 (Moderate/Challenging)

Average daily distance: 45km (28 miles)

No. of days cycling: 10

Full vehicle support

Terrain and route: approx. 90% tarmac, 10% unsurfaced roads. Rides are mostly undulating with some steep and prolonged ascents but also some fantastic long downhill sections. Some sections of road may be damaged and rough.

This trip covers quite a range of different terrain and cycling conditions, from short easier days on good roads to a couple of steeper and longer climbs on poor quality roads. It should be achievable for anyone who is a regular cyclist.

There is no technical riding and all the roads are generally in reasonably good condition though there can be sections that are unpaved and pot-holed, more so after monsoon (July to September in this part of India). 20km of the road over the top of the Jalori Pass is also unpaved. Although we go higher than 3000m, there is plenty of time for acclimatisation and altitude is unlikely to be more of a problem than being short of breath.

A good level of fitness is required if you wish to cycle the full route. However, as the ride is fully supported there is always the option to enjoy the scenery from the support vehicle.

All in all, a trip for the keen cyclist taking in a heady mix of scenic, historic and ethnic diversity that reflects the cultural melting pot that is India.

Please note that the Archeological Survey of India (ASI) are responsible for the conservation of many monuments in India (including the Taj Mahal) and very occasionally this may mean that work is taking place at sites visited on this trip. The ASI’s schedule is never published so it is not possible to forewarn our clients of when work will be taking place.

Following a review of all our trips we have categorised this trip as generally not suitable for persons of reduced mobility. However if you are a regular traveller on such trips, please contact customer services to discuss the trip and your personal condition.

Call for general departures:
+47-22 41 30 30
Call for tailor made trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.


Hotels, lodges and homestay

11 nights hotel, 3 nights lodge, 1 night homestay. We will be riding through areas which are not geared up to western tourism, and some of the accommodation is quite basic - facilities in Himachal Pradesh are generally simpler than other parts of India, and meet 2/3-star standards (local rating). Hotel rooms have ensuite facilities, but the plumbing can be erratic. The most basic places we stay at are in Andretta, Larji, Shoja, Luhri and Narkanda - the bathrooms do not have showers and are instead equipped with a typical Indian 'bucket shower' and a geyser, where you use a jug and the bucket of warm water to bathe (this method actually wastes much less water than the way we Westerners do it.)

It is advised to take a sheet sleeping bag liner or light-weight sleeping bag to use in some of the more basic rest houses, which can be cold in October and November. Some of the more basic hotels don't have twin bedded rooms, on these few occasions an extra bed or mattress will be provided for the room.


Call for general departures:
+47-22 41 30 30
Call for tailor made trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Expert Blog Entries

  • Reviewed November 2019
    Leesa Hodgson

    Tough but Rewarding

    A great trip with challenging cycling & beautiful views

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The encouragement of the group towards one another when cycling became difficult

    What did you think of your group leader?

    We had great tour leaders in Sanjay & Manu they were lot's of fun and had great knowledge of the area & the culture.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be prepared for plenty of hill climbing, which done at a steady pace is achievable.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Wonderful trip never to be forgotten. Even though we were off the beaten track for a few days, evening meal times were great fun and the food was excellent. Summary of our trip: We were very fortunate to have a fantastic group of 14 people to enjoy the sights and sounds of India with.
  • Reviewed October 2019
    David Couzens

    India Hill Stations

    Wonderful cycling, wonderful scenery and wonderful guides.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The people on the trip. A fantastic group of people.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Sanjay and Manu were exceptional. Two fantastic leaders. If you're lucky enough to get them on your trip you'll have a great time.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    The cycling is tough but rewarding. Make sure you get plenty of hill climbing practice in. You'll also need to be confident in traffic as the standard of driving on India's road leaves a lot to be desired.
  • Reviewed May 2019
    Janel Hannis

    Epic trip in Epic Country!

    Having done about 10 trips with Exodus now, this one excelled.. It is challenging, rewarding, interesting, fun, exciting, all mixed in with a heady charm offense that India is.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I enjoyed the climb up the Jalori Pass, (3200m); one minute in the snow-line, 56 downhill kms later, in the soaring heat - 38degrees I'm guessing! Extra-ordinary contrast in one day!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Excellent leader. Difficult to manage a small group of 4, but did a good job nonetheless. Interesting information about the country and always jolly and helpful.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Not really... If you pick this tour you are obviously quite fit, so just stay hill fit.. A range of suitable clothing and wet weather gear is useful.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Just an awesome trip, I would eagerly do again!
  • Reviewed December 2018
    anne hillman

    You cycle all the way!

    One of the great joys of this trip was that you cycle for 10 days without having any transfers. There is, as has been mentioned, a fair amount climbing compared to other trips of similar grading. However few have really steep gradients so you can generally just get into your rhythm and up you go! The added bonus being some long fabulous downhill sections. It goes without saying that the environment is stunning, ever changing with glorious views of the surrounding mountains, rivers and valleys. We didn't see any other tourists (except in Amritsar and Shimla) and were welcomed with warmth and big beaming smiles where ever we went. Enjoy!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The visit to the Golden Temple at night along with the welcome of the local people.

    What did you think of your group leader?

  • Reviewed November 2018
    Peter Gomes

    Great riding in the foothills of the Himalaya

    This centrepiece of the trip is ten straight days riding the foothills of the Himalaya. The riding is mostly in areas that are undeveloped in terms of tourism and where the accommodation is basic, it's really basic. As is to be expected, the riding is undulating from a low of 600m to a high of 3,100m amidst the snow atop the Jalori Pass. I clocked it at over 40,000 feet of vertical ascent in total over the 10 days, which is far higher than the other grade 4 rides we've completed (Sri Lanka, Peru). The scenery is stunning with plenty of opportunity to stop and admire distant snow covered peaks rising over 5,000m. At one point, I could see twelve gradually rising hills stacked one behind the other into the distance. Magical. The trip opens with two visits (evening and morning) to the Golden Temple in Amritsar & closes with a day in each of Shimla and Delhi with the joy of the toy train ride down the mountain from Shimla to the plain at Kalka. Food is plentiful and very cheap, and we had no tummy issues at any point. As long as you are reasonably cycling fit and prepared for some rather basic accommodation, this is another trip to add to your list.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    In terms of cycling, probably the final section up to the Jalori Pass with snow on either side of the road as I climbed. Everyone rode at their own pace and we all made it to the top for chai and chocolate. I also enjoyed the climbs to Dharamsala/Mcleod Ganj and Narkanda both topped off by stunning views from our hill-stop overnight stays. Oh, and of course all the descents, where we all got to be eight year old again. I was impressed by the quality of the food at the many road-side eateries that we stopped at for chai and/or lunch. I was not alone, given the clamour for seconds and even thirds. Away from the bike, the trip got off to a terrific start with the visit to the Golden Temple which was inspiring both in terms of the temple complex but also the people whom we encountered. A truly humbling experience as one of our party put it. Also quietly impressive was the visit to the Norbulingka Institute which seeks to preserve Tibetan culture. Once off the bike, we enjoyed Shimla with the pedestrianized Mall staking a claim for the longest yet cleanest street in India, and the impressive Viceroy's Lodge was worth the walk from our hotel. The train from Shimla to Kalka was a fun must-do and once in Delhi : old Delhi's bazaars, India Gate, Rahtrapati Bhavan, the Red Fort and Humayun's Tomb were personal highlights. Ultimately, unless you're a hard-core cyclist, its about people and a lovely moment was when we stopped a local beauty spot for a picnic lunch and encountered a collection of children on a school trip to the same spot. The brief post lunch cricket match between the school boys and we tourists that ensued was a joy.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Tapesh was a tribute to Exodus and India. A bundle of energy, he kept us in line without being overbearing but was fun throughout, contributing to a really cohesive group almost from Day 1.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    1. The basic hotels are really basic, especially the one in Bali Chowk. Bring warm clothing with a down jacket a must, certainly in November. Sleeping bag liners & thermal underwear, and a range of hats also strongly recommended. 2. Eat vegetarian. The food is always fresh, tasty and inexpensive. We quickly gave up on meat once we realised the most chickens in India seemed to have die of starvation. 3. Drink only bottled water. It's plentiful and you don't need to take chances. 4. In Delhi, the metro system (nearest station 5 min walk from our hotel) is excellent: new, frequent, inexpensive (50p per day) & far less crowded than our tube. Great way to get to & from the sights.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This is India. You will often be accosted by young locals wanting "selfies". Enjoy the attention. The infrastructure is very variable and customer service whilst well-intentioned sometimes falls quite a way short of western standards. Chill, go with the flow and remember you're on holiday.
  • Reviewed November 2018
    Angela Jackson

    Great cycling, fantastic scenery.

    The Golden Temple was a wonderful place to visit and a real highlight, make sure you have your best selfie smile as we got asked to be in lots of photos! The cycling is great through fantastic scenery and more remote , quiet locations and the high hills with long distance views of the mountains. With the opportunity to see some forts and temples along the way.The hotels were better than expected albeit basic -The Judges Court Hotel at Pragpur was lovely. The people were just wonderful giving us lots of encouragement along the way. Shimla is also a great place to visit and The Viceroy's Lodge is worth the walk.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The Golden Temple. Stopping at a local school and watching the outdoor assembly, then saying good morning to about 100 children as they marched passed us back to the classroom, then posing with the teachers for a photo! Cycling all the way!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Manu worked very hard throughout the trip and he has a great sense of humour and together with the backup crew made a great team. It was a real bonus to have Valerie Parkinson on the trip and to have her insights into the environment and culture as well as her knowledge of the region, the religions and history.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    We are only leisure cyclists and had been doing a 35mile ride once per week, with some hills, so don't be put off by the hills on this trip. Days were warm / hot, we wore an extra layer on the high pass days. Nights are cold and a duvet jacket is essential - even indoors. We did not need sleeping bags but thermal underwear came in useful on a couple of nights.
  • Reviewed May 2017
    Simon Cuming

    Cycling India's Hill Stations

    An excellent trip visiting key sights in North West India including Amritsar and Shimla and cycling through the villages, towns and high passes of the region. A rewarding trip for those who don't mind being challenged by a good stiff climb and long descents!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The long grind up Jalori Pass - tough and challenging but all the more rewarding for it!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Sanjay was an excellent, attentive, and knowledgeable guide, I can't imagine him dealing with any situation with anything other than good humour!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Although graded moderate/challenging, none of the group could spot the moderate cycling day! so one for the experienced/determined cyclists only - but all the more rewarding for the effort required!
  • Reviewed December 2016
    David Cook

    MIS - November 2016

    A really good way to experience a relatively unpopulated rural region of India but also pulling in the iconic Amritsar and Shimla.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Visiting the Golden Temple in Amritsar. Cycling up hill all day to Narkanda! Sighting the distant snow covered peaks of the Himalayas Visiting Shimla and seeing the sunset. Train journey from Shimla to Kalka

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Sanjay was calm and re-assuring at all times, a very good group leader - managing our expectations of the cycling and the accommodation all of the way. In addition, on this trip, he had also to deal with the Indian currency availability problems - this he dealt with, so that it had no impact on our trip.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Read the trip notes carefully - in particular comments on the grading of the trip and the types of accommodation (it is "basic" in the more remote locations and this exacerbated by the cool night temperatures at this time of the year - November)

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    A well run trip.
  • Beautiful scenery

    I can really recommend this trip if you like mixing cultural experience with nature, beautiful scenery and cycling - of course. Its marked as challenging, but it was in general much easier to do than I had expected, only Jalori Pass was a bit though, but can be done at a slow pace. And there is no rush, you can do it in your own speed, slow or fast as you like, there is plenty of time to reach your destination.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    All... The cycling through the beautiful landscapes, villages and monastery areas were the main thing, but also the Golden Temple in Amritsar was a wonderful place to visit, as well as the closing ceremony at the Waga border (optional tour). Although we covered a small part of India, still we saw such a huge variety in culture and nature in this trip and Shimla was a wonderful place to end the cycling.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Harish was an excellent tour leader, always helpful with everything we needed, giving good advice on everything we asked about - shopping, travel in India, culture, history, politics etc. and always a good laugh. He also had good relations with the driver and cycle mechanic - they were a great team!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Bring a little bag to carry in front of your bike for camera - you will have to stop so many times to take pictures. A gel saddle will also be a good idea.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Accomodation varies in quality throughout the trip - just as its described in the trip notes. Some places were really fantastic, especially the home stay in Andretta. The food was always good and when its not included, eating out in India is really cheap. Take this trip if you want to see a different part of India, a little off road and no so "touristic" - its absolutely fantastic.
  • Reviewed December 2012


    This is probably the best of the 7 exodus cycling trips I've done. It's hard, a full C but full of variety and interesting things to see. I really liked the fact that we could (if we wanted) cycle the whole route from start to finish, made the trip much more satisfying. Someone calculated that our cumulative total ascent over the 10 days came to just over 9000 metres, that's equal to cycling up Everest!! Some cycling trips I've done have felt more like a bus trip with a bit of cycling thrown in. You really don't get that feeling on this trip.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Cycling up the hill to Dharamsala and cycling over the Jalori pass.We had a real sense of being off the tourist trail, indeed we didn't see another westerner after leaving Dharamsal until we got to Simla and even there I was surprised how few europeans we saw. 

    What did you think of your group leader?

    pramud was great as was his assistant, Vijay.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    November is a very good month to go as the day time temperature was ideal, never too hot. However it got very chilly on some nights and the hotels don't have heating so take a down jacket, thermals and hat and gloves. You'll need long trousers for cycling over the jalori pass.Some of the hotels are definitely basic but there's nowhere else to stay, this trip is definitely off the beaten track.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I enjoy cycling in India more than in any other country I've visited. There's always something going on and people to talk to, especially now more and more young people speak such good english! Now that so many people have mobile phones with cameras we found we were being photographed just as much as we were taking photos.

Dates & Prices

An overview of flight options

Exodus is committed to making joining our tours as easy as possible, wherever you live. We generally only block book seats from London, but this certainly does not mean that you need to fly from there. Depending on the route and airlines available, there will usually be various options available for those who want to fly from their local airport.

This page aims to provide a useful overview of the options available to our clients. However, the best flight arrangements should be tailored to your personal requirements, so please contact our Sales team for expert advice.


What kind of options do I have ?

1. We can book for you: Flights from anywhere in the world - not via London  

Depending on the route, this may be direct or via an overseas hub like Amsterdam, the Middle East or elsewhere. On short haul routes there may be direct flights with low cost airlines, charter flights or scheduled airlines. Exodus can book most, but not all, of these for you. The most appropriate airline may be different to that which we use for the group flight from London, but many people now travel on different airlines and meet up with their fellow passengers at the destination.

Pros Cons
  • May be the most direct route
  • Often the extra fare compared to the London flight is minimal.
  • As you will be in the hands a single airline for your entire journey, the airline will be responsible for your bags and your connections.
  • You may not be able to join the group transfers. However, we can usually arrange private transfers, or book your flights to try and coincide with the group transfers. See notes on transfer arrangements below.


2. We can book for you: Connecting flights from your local airport to London

Exodus can book connecting flights to London so you can join the group flight there. Connecting times will be followed according to airline advice, or as requested by clients. There are two types of fares we can use for this option: a 'through-fare' or a 'published fare'.
a) A 'through-fare' is where you will be in the main airline's care throughout. You change planes, but your bags are checked all the way through to your final destination. 

b) A 'published fare' ticket is completely seperate from your onward ticket from London. It is usually cheaper than a through-fare but will need to be paid for and issued as soon as it is booked. This can be a problem if your tour has not yet reached minimum numbers. On 'published fares' neither airline is aware that you have connecting flights, so Exodus is responsible for timing your connection, not the airlines involved. The tickets are also usually non changeable and non refundable.

Pros Cons
  • Depending on the fare type, Exodus or the airline is responsible for flight connections.
  • Through fare tickets can be expensive.
  • On a published fare, tickets must be issued immediately; tickets on published fares can be very difficult to change if onward flight times change; bags are not checked though to your final destination.
  • Published fares are non-refundable.


3. Booking some or all of the flights yourself

You can also book connecting air travel yourself, either to London, or all the way to the start point. There may be certain airlines or routes we don't have access to, so this is always an option. However, if you make your own travel arrangements you become liable for any delays, cancellations or missed connections, and Exodus is not required to offer refunds if you have trouble reaching the start of your trip.

Pros Cons
  • You might find cheaper fares, or routes not available to Exodus.
  • You are responsible for any delays or missed connections, and the cost of the tour is not protected should you miss your flight be cancelled.


 Notes on transfer arrangements

Sometimes it is possible to travel on a different airline to the group flight from London. Where this is the case, we need to think about ensuring you meet up with the group with minimum extra cost and hassle.

  • On certain trips, it is easy to arrive on a different flight and still meet the group at the hotel with time in hand. We can usually arrange private transfers (at extra cost) or offer advice on taking a taxi to the start hotel.
  • On other trips (especially in Europe), the transfer meets the group flight and then travels some distance to the first night's accommodation. Where this is the case, our Sales team will try to arrange flights that arrive before (and depart after) the group. However, we do have to make it clear in your final documentation that if your flights are delayed, the transfer cannot wait for you. While Exodus or our local operators will do what we can to help you reach the start point of the tour, any additional costs must be paid by the client. 


Next steps? 

Call our Sales team on: 0203 733 0698

Email your query: [email protected]

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