Central Tibet Biking Tour
Central Tibet Biking Tour

Central Tibet Biking Tour

17 days

Old woman in ceremony on Barkhor Street seen niking in TibetBiking along Yarlung Tsangpo River TibetBiking Stop at Potala along bike tour in Central TibetDebate between Monks in Sera along bike tour in Central TibetGreat Bike Tour in Central TibetPicnic along Tibet bike tourBeautiful urban Jokhang seen along Great Bike Tour in Central TibetKarola Glacier seen along Great Bike tour in Central TibetNorbulinka seen along Great Bike tour in Central TibetHillside Palkhor Monastery seen along Great Bike tour in Central TibetPotala seen along Great Bike tour in Central TibetSamye seen along Great Bike tour in Central TibetTashilunpo seen along Great Bike tour in Central TibetYamdrok Lake seen along Great Bike tour in Central TibetYangbajing Valley seen along Great Bike tour in Central TibetYongbulakhan Palace seen along Great Bike tour in Central Tibet

Explore central Tibet’s highlights on this 17-day biking tour

Adventure awaits in central Tibet! Biking through this region will give you an up-close experience to all its natural and cultural wonders. Cycle from Lhasa and make a loop through phenomenal mountain ranges and valleys, seeing glaciers, lakes, and hot springs along the way. You’ll also get acquainted with Tibetan Buddhism by visiting several remote monasteries along the journey. This 17-day tour will fill your soul with magic from your surroundings.

Begin the tour in Lhasa, where you will stay for a few days to sightsee and acclimatize to the altitude. Get your bike tuned up how you like it, and hit the road on Day 4. Over the next two weeks, you’ll visit natural wonders and be immersed in the undeniable beauty of central Tibet, replete with snow-capped mountains, flowing rivers, prayer flags, and the iconic yaks.

While you’re on the road, your guide will find the best campsites for your group to spend a good portion of this tour camping in the wilderness. When you’re sightseeing in the cities, you’ll stay in comfortable hotels to give your legs and back a break from tent life.

Explore this mystical region of the world by bike for 17 days—an unforgettable journey, for sure! Tibetan temples and wild landscapes await your visit. Get going!

Highlights of the Central Tibet Biking Tour

Camp at the base of snowy mountains and deep blue-green lakes and rivers.
Cycle approximately 900 km on this incredible loop in central Tibet.
Visit the birthplace of the 14th Dalai Lama and the first temples built in Tibet, dating back to the 8th century.
Rejuvenate your mind and body in the steamy geothermal springs in Yangbajing Hot Springs.

Prices

From $1,395USD
17 days
Difficulty
Guided
Hotels, Camping, Guesthouses
  • No Booking or Credit Card Fees
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Central Tibet Biking Tour

Central Tibet Biking Tour Itinerary

Day 1 Arrival in Lhasa

Welcome to Tibet! Your local guide will meet you at the airport or railway station and drop you off at the hotel. For the first couple of days, take it easy and drink lots of water to help acclimate—you want a healthy body for the epic journey ahead!
Overnight Location: Hotel in Lhasa (3,656 m / 11,994’)
Distance: None
Meals: None

Day 2 Sightseeing Bike Tour of Lhasa

Enjoy your first Tibetan breakfast and prepare for a short bike journey around the city. Get your bike fitted and head out for some sightseeing. First, you’ll visit Potala Palace, an ancient site built in 637 by the first king of Tibet, which was later expanded for the Dalai Lamas to stay during the winter. In the afternoon, cycle to Jokhang Monastery thought to be the centre of Tibetan Buddhism and the destination for many pilgrimages. Take time in the evening to check out the open market on Barkhor Street to browse the local handicrafts and delicacies.
Overnight Location: Hotel in Lhasa (3,656 m / 11,994’)
Distance: None
Meals: Breakfast

Day 3 Bike to Parla Lupu Cave Monastery

Once you’ve filled up on breakfast, ride to the outskirts of the city to explore the Parla Lupu Cave Monastery built on the slopes of Yaowang Mountain. The panoramic views of Lhasa below will be worth the effort. Visit Norbulinka, the Dalai Lamas’ summer residence, then head to the Sera Monastery with fragrant roses planted everywhere. Over 200 monks live here, and this afternoon, you will witness the public “Buddhism scripture debates,” which are integral to monks’ education. Return to Lhasa for a good rest to prepare for a big ride tomorrow.
Overnight Location: Hotel in Lhasa (3,656 m / 11,994’)
Distance: 4 hours, 15 km
Meals: Breakfast

Day 4 Cycle to Yangbajing Hot Springs

After breakfast, you begin your cycle tour through central Tibet. Today’s highlight has been listed as one of the coolest places to visit, so get your camera ready! After riding a gentle incline through landscapes of hills, prayer flags, and big skies, you’ll reach Yangbajing Hot Spring. You’ll immediately notice its inviting steaminess and vivid blue hue. Rejuvenate your body with a visit at this natural geothermal wonder, then continue to set up camp for the night.
Overnight Location: Camping (4,500 m / 14,763’)
Distance: 75 km
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5 Cycle Kampala Pass

Get a feel for rural Tibet on today’s route through highland gravel roads, alpine meadows, and agricultural land where you’re sure to see herdsmen completing their daily tasks. Reach the base of Xuegula Pass at 4800 m / 15,748 ft near Xuegula Mountain, the location of one of the world’s highest cycling races a few years ago. You’ll camp under the stars again tonight.
Overnight Location: Camping (4,800 m / 15,748’)
Distance: 56 km
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6 Ride Xuegula Pass

Start the day with an ascent to traverse Xuegula Pass, reaching 5010 m / 16,437 ft. You’ll climb into the mountains here and see many snow-capped peaks surrounding you. A stop next to Xuegula Glacier will mark the highlight of today. Set up camp among the cliffs and sleep under the stars.
Overnight Location: Camping (4,800 m / 15,748’)
Distance: 30 km
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7 Cycle Over Donggu La Pass to Takster Village

Explore some remote Tibetan villages on today’s ride, one with a remarkable fact. After breakfast, bike over Donggu La Pass, the descend into Takster Village. Takster Village is the birthplace of the 14th Dalai Lama. Immerse in the spiritual scenery of rolling green hills, prayer flags, and stupas. Your guide will lead you to the campsite for the night.
Overnight Location: Camping (2,850 m / 9,350’)
Distance: 53 km
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8 Explore Rela Yonghzong Ling Monastery

After breakfast, the route starts with a descent from Takster Village towards the Yarlung Tsangpo River. Follow your guide turning right onto Highway G318, a stretch of road that begins in Shanghai. Bike through the breathtaking Yarlung Tsangpo Valley with a snowy mountain backdrop against a vivid blue-green river and tall peaks around you. Complete today’s journey visiting the Yongzhong Ling Monastery and witness the monks practicing their rituals. Camp for the night in a beautiful spot among nature.
Overnight Location: Camping (3,000 m / 8,842’)
Distance: 70 km
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 9 Arrival in Shigatse

The route today will feel light and easy compared to some in the past few days. Head from camp towards Shigatse, the second-largest city in Tibet with 40,000 inhabitants. Once you arrive, meander through the Tashilunpo Monastery, where they practice the Gelug Sect of Tibetan Buddhism. A remarkable giant Buddha statue guards the premises that contain the tomb of the 4th Panchen Lama (thought to be the reincarnation of Maitreya Buddha). In the afternoon, get to know the Shigatse inhabitants by visiting the local market, browsing their handicrafts, and tasting local cuisine. Head back to the hotel for the night.
Overnight Location: Hotel in Shigatse (3,800 m / 12,467’)
Distance: 44 km
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 10 Ride to Gyantse + Pelkhor Monastery

After breakfast, bike along the Nianchu River on a moderately flat road gaining a little elevation as you get closer to Gyantse. On the way to the hotel for the night, stop at the Pelkhor Monastery, home to Kumbum Stupa, a pagoda representing 100,000 Buddhas. It’s a beautiful complex that has an 8-metre-high copper statue of Buddha inside the centre of the grand temple. Find tranquility here before settling into the hotel for the night.
Overnight Location: Hotel in Gyantse (4,000 m / 13,123’)
Distance: 94 km
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 11 Bike to Longma

Start the day with a steady incline from Gyantse and over Simila Pass at 4353 m / 14,255 ft. From this pass, you’ll have an incredible vantage point overlooking Manla Reservoir, an artificial lake with stunning blue water among dry hills, recognized as the first dam in Tibet. From the viewpoint, you’ll descend to Manla Reservoir for an up-close look before continuing along the Niandui River until stopping to camp for the night.
Overnight Location: Camping (4,000 m / 13,123’)
Distance: 70 km
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 12 Visit Karola Glacier

Rise early and have a hot cup of tea as you soak in your surroundings. The views will continue to impress you, even 12 days into your journey. Starting with an ascent after breakfast, you will cross a mountain pass and come upon Karola Glacier, one of Tibet’s three major glaciers and the eastern source of the Nianchu River. You’ll ride among some great peaks, including one of Tibet’s sacred mountains, Naichenkang Sang Peak. The journey heads downhill towards the stunning Yamdrok Lake. You’ll set up camp here and explore the area tomorrow.
Overnight Location: Camping (4,400 m / 14,435’)
Distance: 81 km
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 13 Explore Yamdrok Lake

Have a hearty breakfast and prepare for an undulating and rewarding ride. After you pass Kampala Pass, stop at an observation deck that overlooks Yamdrok Lake, a pristine vivid blue lake. Don’t be surprised to see black yaks and locals walking its shores. Pedal on a quick downhill towards the Yarlung Tsangpo River, then you’ll cycle through the Yarlung Tsangpo Valley until crossing a bridge to reach Chushur on the other side.
Overnight Location: Camping or Guesthouse (3,100 m / 10,170’)
Distance: 70 km
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 14 Cycle to Tsetang

Rise early to get a jump start on the long ride ahead—this will be the longest of the tour, but the scenery will keep you going. The route leads you through the Yarlung Tsangpo Valley, which has breathtaking views of snowy mountains in the background, earth-toned hills next to you, and vivid blue river water in the middle. Reach Tsetang and settle into the hotel for the night.
Overnight Location: Hotel in Tsetang (3,100 m / 10,170’)
Distance: 123 km
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 15 Bike to Samye Monastery

Congrats! You’ve been cycling across central Tibet for over two weeks. Today’s sightseeing tour includes a ride across the Yajiang Bridge to reach the impressive Samye Monastery built on Habori Mountain. This monastery, founded in the 8th century, holds much history as the first temple built in Tibet. It has architectural influences from India and the Han people. When you’ve completed your tour of the monastery, bike back to Tsetang for one more night.
Overnight Location: Hotel in Tsetang (3,100 m / 10,170’)
Distance: 30 km
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 16 Sightseeing in Gongga

Have breakfast and fuel up for your last full day of riding. Today, you’ll visit two religiously and historically significant places between Tsetang and Gongga. First, stop at the Trandruk Monastery, recognized as one of the oldest temples in Tibet. Then, continue to Yumbulhakang Palace, a gorgeous architectural feat on the peak of Tashi Cishan Mountain. This magnificent palace is the first of its kind in Tibetan history. Cycle to Gongga to spend your last night before departure tomorrow.
Overnight Location: Hotel in Gongga (3,700 m / 12,139’)
Distance: 87 km
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 17 Departure from Gongga

Enjoy a final breakfast in Tibet before heading to the airport or railway station for the next leg of your journey. Pack your souvenirs and camera full of epic photographs from this journey.
Overnight Location: None
Distance: None
Meals: Breakfast

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Central Tibet Biking Tour Price and Dates

This guided tour in Tibet is always run as a custom tour for your group only and the price always depends on the number of people in your group, as well as the time of your travel.

The best time to travel to Tibet for a tour is from April to October.

Dates and Prices Of Custom Guided Central Tibet Biking Tour

Have your own private tour with just your group! Prices below are per person:

From April to June

  • Guided Groups of 2: $3,775 USD per person
  • Guided Groups of 3: $2,950 USD per person
  • Guided Groups of 4: $2,450 USD per person
  • Guided Groups of 5: $2,095 USD per person
  • Guided Groups of 6: $1,850 USD per person
  • Guided Groups of 7: $1,695 USD per person
  • Guided Groups of 8: $1,595 USD per person
  • Guided Groups of 9: $1,495 USD per person
  • Guided Groups of 10+: $1,395 USD per person

From July to August

  • Guided Groups of 2: $4,175 USD per person
  • Guided Groups of 3: $3,295 USD per person
  • Guided Groups of 4: $2,695 USD per person
  • Guided Groups of 5: $2,395 USD per person
  • Guided Groups of 6: $2,095 USD per person
  • Guided Groups of 7: $1,895 USD per person
  • Guided Groups of 8: $1,795 USD per person
  • Guided Groups of 9: $1,695 USD per person
  • Guided Groups of 10: $1,595 USD per person

From September to October

  • Guided Groups of 2: $3,995 USD per person
  • Guided Groups of 3: $3,195 USD per person
  • Guided Groups of 4: $2,595 USD per person
  • Guided Groups of 5: $2,195 USD per person
  • Guided Groups of 6: $1,995 USD per person
  • Guided Groups of 7: $1,795 USD per person
  • Guided Groups of 8: $1,695 USD per person
  • Guided Groups of 9: $1,595 USD per person
  • Guided Groups of 10+: $1,495 USD per person
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Accommodation on Central Tibet Biking Tour

This tour is based 3- and 4-star hotels with modern amenities for a comfortable stay. Rooms are double occupancy, and single travelers will pay a supplement. You will also spend several nights camping in a two-person tent with mattresses provided.

In some cases, the accommodation listed below may need to be substituted for other comparable accommodations.

Single Rooms and Solo Travelers
You can pay a supplement of $380 USD to $450 USD (depending on the season) to have a private room in a hotel while traveling with your group. Contact us and we can try and match single travelers up, where possible.

Hotels on Standard Tour

Yak Hotel in Lhasa

Centrally located and delightful, the Yak Hotel is the perfect home base to explore the wonderful Lhasa. Enjoy some great views from the rooftop.

Night 4-8

Camping in Himalayas

Spend the night in a high-quality two-person tent with comfy camping mats. Go to sleep and wake up amid pristine nature.

Night 9

Mulunlazong Hotel in Shigatse

This hotel with modern décor and clean rooms is a great choice for exploring the city.

Yeti Garden Hotel in Gyantse

Traditionally decorated with wonderful service—what’s not to love? This hotel is a charming place for a good night’s sleep after sightseeing in town.

Night 11-13

Camping in Himalayas

Spend the night in a high-quality two-person tent with comfy camping mats. Go to sleep and wake up amid pristine nature.

Tsetang Hotel in Tsetang

The Tsetang Hotel meets high standards and offers a courtyard to share with other guests. Enjoy great service, clean rooms, and a central location.

Gongga Airport Hotel in Lhasa

Gongga Airport hotel is very conveniently located close to the airport. Comfortable rooms will allow you to rest well before your flight.

What’s included in the Central Tibet Biking Tour?

Meals

16 breakfasts, 13 lunches, and 13 dinners are included.

Accommodations

Accommodation for 16 nights is included in the tour.

Transportation during the Tour

Transport for your luggage is included throughout the tour. Airport or railway station transfers are also included. An escort vehicle will be available on cycling days in case of an emergency.

Also Included

  • Entrance and sightseeing fees
  • Local English-speaking guides
  • Two-person tent for camping nights
  • Camping mattress, cook, cooking equipment
  • Permits for Tibet tour

Not included

  • Bicycle
  • Sleeping bag
  • Meals and drinks not mentioned in itinerary
  • Flights
  • Insurance
  • Anything not mentioned as “Included”
  • Tips + personal expenses

Optional Extras

  • Extra night in Lhasa
  • Extra night in Gongga

Frequently Asked Questions about Central Tibet Biking Tour

Based in Chengdu (Sichuan province, China), with an affiliated agency in Lhasa (the capital of Tibet Autonomous Region), Greatway Tour organizes China tours since 1994. They specialize in adventure and trekking tours in Western China, covering Tibet and the eastern Tibetan area Kham - Amdo in provinces Sichuan, Yunnan, Qinghai, and Gansu. Since 1995, Greatway Tour began to organize self-driving tours across China for individuals and agencies abroad, whether they drive their own vehicles/motorcycles/bikes brought from their own country, or if they need help with renting the kind of vehicles they wish to start their China self-driving journey.

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Central Tibet Biking Tour Map

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Is this tour for me?

We rate this tour as a 5 / 5. You should be physically fit and comfortable riding on poor roads and at high altitudes for up to 8 hours daily.

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