Find your ideal cycling holiday
India - Rajasthan (With Flight)
2nd November 2019 - 17th November 2019 (16 days)
This is a moving-on tour with full vehicle support and several rest days, making it a feasible tour for a wide range of cycling abilities. The accommodation is in good quality, character hotels, several of which were originally the homes of rich merchants or princes. Most of the cycling is on minor roads with light traffic, providing a unique opportunity not only to see the usual highlights of Rajasthan but also to experience rural life at close quarters.
The itinerary includes the Pushkar Mela, a dazzling annual Camel Fair that attracts the greatest concentration of nomadic tribes people to assemble anywhere in India, in which camels and cattle are traded. This is one of India’s most exotic gatherings and a magnet to photographers from across the world. Visits to Jaipur, Jodhpur and Udaipur show a lifestyle unchanged for centuries.
- Holiday Type Guided
- Tour Manager Pat and John Ashwell
- Grade Moderate
- Booking Status Places Available
- Accommodation Hotel & Camping
- Board Basis Half Board
- Travel Arrangements Air
- Road / Off Road Road
- Holiday Style Moving-on
- Vehicle Support Full Vehicle Support
- Holiday Ref 03382
Saturday 2nd November
Fly from London Heathrow to Delhi on Virgin Airlines flight VS300, departing at 2135.
Sunday 3rd November
Arrive Delhi at 1130. Vehicle transfer to hotel. Prepare cycles. Stay 1 night.
Monday 4th November
Vehicle transfer part way then cycle to Jaipur (the pink city). Stay 2 nights.
Tuesday 5th November
Free day in Jaipur to see Jaipur city, the Palace of the Winds and the Amber Fort.
Wednesday 6th November
Part vehicle transfer and part cycle to Roopengarh Fort, the home of the Maharaja and Maharani of Kishangarh. There should be time to visit the interesting village before viewing the sunset from the ramparts of the fort. Stay 1 night at Roopengarh Fort.
Thursday 7th November
Cycle from Roopengarh to Pushkar. Evening visit to Pushkar lake. Stay 2 nights in luxury tents.
Friday 8th November
Free day to visit Pushkar’s camel fair, a colourful gathering of tribal people and their animals from all over Rajasthan.
Saturday 9th November
Part vehicle transfer and part cycle to Kumbhalgarh. Opportunity to visit the impressive fortress near the hotel. Stay 1 night.
Sunday 10th November
Cycle from Kumbhalgarh to Udaipur situated on the banks of romantic Lake Pichola. Stay 2 nights.
Monday 11th November
Free day in Udaipur to take a guided tour of the City Palace on the banks of Lake Pichola, view the exquisite architecture of the gleaming Lake Palace Hotel and/or take a sunset cruise on the lake.
Tuesday 12th November
Vehicle transfer 40kms then cycle through the Aravali Hills through small villages to the impressive Jaine temples at Ranakpur. Continue to Narlai. Stay 1 night.
Wednesday 13th November
Cycle/vehicle transfer from Narlai to Rohet. Stay 1 night at the Rohet Garh, a 350-year-old house, once the abode of the local ruler, now converted to a heritage hotel.
Thursday 14th November
Cycle to the city of Jodhpur on the edge of the Thar Desert, dominated by the massive Meherangarh Fort. Stay 1 night.
Friday 15th November
Opportunity for a guided tour of Meherangarh Fort and the bustling Clock Tower market. Vehicle transfer to railway station for overnight sleeper train to Delhi, departing at 1930.
Saturday 16th November
Arrive Delhi 0630. Vehicle transfer to the hotel. Free day to visit local sights. Stay 1 night.
Sunday 17th November
Early-morning transfer to Delhi Airport for Virgin Airlines flight VS301 to London Heathrow, departing at 1335. Arrive London Heathrow at 1730.
Cycling distances: 70 – 90km per day
Accommodation & Meals
Eleven nights are spent in excellent 3-4 star hotels, including some converted forts, all of which have air-conditioning or a ceiling fan and ensuite facilities. Most have a swimming pool. Rooms will be shared two people per room. Two nights are spent in comfortable walk-in tents with flush toilets at the Pushkar Camel Fair, two people sharing a tent, and one night is spent on the overnight sleeper train, six people per compartment. It should be noted that interruptions to power and water supplies occur all over India, thus hot water is generally available but cannot be guaranteed. Breakfast, lunch and evening meal are included on all cycling days; breakfast and evening meal on all free days.
Back-up vehicles will be travelling with the group for the purpose of taking luggage, giving assistance to riders on route and providing lunch. Some vehicle transfers will be necessary to cover the distances involved.
Passports, Visa & Health
EU citizens must hold a passport that is still valid for at least six months at the end of the tour, and a visa will be required. Holders of non-EU passports are advised to check whether they require a visa.
There are no compulsory health-related requirements for EU residents although it is strongly recommended that you are vaccinated against: Typhoid; Hepatitis A and B. Tetanus and polio vaccinations should also be up to date at the time of travel. You should contact your doctor at least 3 months prior to travel to obtain these vaccinations and the latest advice to travellers.
Our Booking Conditions stipulate that, for holidays outside the UK, travel Insurance is mandatory. Details of the level of cover needed and other conditions you should check are stated in the Booking Conditions. CTC Cycling Holidays & Tours Ltd cannot accept responsibility for any costs that may be incurred due to insufficient insurance cover.
The price of £2,655 is based on a minimum number of 14 people taking part in the holiday and is calculated at a rate of 85 Rupees to £1 sterling (based on exchange rates published on www.x- rates.com on 18 December 2018; please note Booking Conditions, clause 3). If there are insufficient bookings by 24th August 2019, we will contact you and return all monies paid, although in certain circumstances the holiday may still run at below minimum numbers but at the same price.
- Return flights from London Heathrow to Delhi
- Return coach transfers between Delhi airport and hotel
- Vehicle transfers as per the Itinerary
- Back-up vehicle to carry luggage and transfer group and cycles on occasions
- 11 nights hotel, sharing room
- 2 nights tent, two sharing
- 1 night sleeper train, Jodphur to Delhi, 6 sharing per compartment
- 14 night half-board with lunch and light refreshments on cycling days
- Mineral water supplied on cycling days
- Maps for cycling
- Porterage and assistance with baggage and cycles
- Services of an English speaking guide throughout
- CTC Cycling Holidays & Tours costs
Price Does Not Include
- Travel to and from London Heathrow
- Meals in transit
- Drinks with lunches and evening meals
- Lunches on non-cycling days
- Visa costs - budget £60 (see Additional Information)
- Gratutities for support crew - budget £40
- Any other personal expenses
- Travel Insurance
A deposit of £265 per person is payable upon booking, with the final balance of £2,390 per person to be paid ten weeks prior to departure, by 24th August 2019.
Should you be forced to cancel your booking for any reason you must notify us in writing. Cancellation charges are as follows:
Written notice received:
Before 24th August 2019
From 24th August 2019 through to departure
The Area Covered By The Holiday
Rajasthan, more than any other State in India, brings to life images of the exotic east. Palaces and forts are scattered like jewels across the mainly desert landscape, bearing silent witness to the once opulent lifestyle of the ruling classes. At the other end of the spectrum, you will be able to contrast the daily life of the rural communities for whom mere existence is a struggle. Whilst much of India rushes headlong into the age of technology, most of Rajasthan remains firmly rooted in the 18th century.
This most exotic of Indian states is often called the desert state. However, only 68% of its vast area is true desert. This tour is centred on the eastern side of Rajasthan and the Aravali Hills where the land is more fertile with green river valleys and even the occasional lake. Folk culture is very much alive and evident in the dress of the various tribal groups who add explosions of colour in defiance of their surroundings.
Rides & Rest Days
You may cycle at your own pace, taking time to explore and take photographs. The Tour Manager will co-ordinate the movements of the following vehicle to give priority to the slower riders in the group. Faster riders may go ahead if they wish. Plenty of time has been allowed for personal sightseeing.
There are no major hill climbs, and distances are moderate. Cycling conditions can occasionally be testing due to the poor condition of some of the minor roads we use, but you will benefit from the absence of heavy traffic. Individual use of the back up bus will be available, but at some time during the day it will be delivering luggage to the hotel and may not be available precisely when you need it. You will enjoy this holiday more if you prepare by riding on a regular basis during the weeks leading up to the tour.
Accommodation & Meals
Accommodation throughout the tour is of a high standard; in fact the hotels are a feature of the tour. Many of the hotels are listed as heritage buildings and were once owned by the ruling classes of Rajasthan. Some still are. The evening meals served at hotels will be buffet style with good choice for vegetarians. A light lunch will be provided on all cycling days.
The maximum number of participants will be 18 excluding the Tour Manager(s).
Weather & Clothing
It should be warm and dry with daytime temperatures up to 28℃. Sun cream is strongly recommended. Head and eye protection are essential. A light windproof may be useful as it can be chilly early mornings and evenings. Modesty is expected in villages and when visiting religious sites. Ladies should cover their legs and shoulders when not cycling (a beach wrap is ideal as a quick cover up when stopping in villages) and avoid skimpy tops when cycling.
Cycles & Equipment
A lightweight mountain bike or touring bike will be suitable. It should be in good condition. Pay particular attention to wheels, tyres and brakes. We recommend 32mm (1.5”) tyres minimum. It is advisable to fit a calibrated cycle computer, as this will aid navigation. Lights will not be necessary. Each participant will be expected to carry sufficient spares and tools to deal with punctures and minor repairs. Helmets are not mandatory but if you do not intend to wear one, please check that your travel insurance will cover you in the event of a claim.
Suitable hire bikes are available via our agent in Delhi, the cost of which is not included in the tour price. Please contact the Tour Manager for further information.
Maps & Guides
We will be cycling on minor roads not normally shown on maps available in the UK. Maps and route sheets will be provided. The ’Lonely Planet Guide to Rajasthan’ is a useful source of information.
Travel Insurance & Advice
Before booking you should check the latest travel advice from the Foreign & Commonwealth Office including security and local laws, plus passport and visa information, at www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice or on 0845 850 2829.
It is necessary that all travellers to India obtain a tourist visa before departure from the UK. We will provide information on how to do this, but you will need to apply and obtain this yourself. Budget £60.
Sterling can be exchanged for Indian Rupees at Delhi airport. Daily drinks and snacks should cost no more than £10 per day (alcohol is more expensive than in the UK – Beer is £4 per bottle in upmarket hotels); budget £40 for crew tips. Tipping is very much part of the culture and is usually expected. It is customary to tip for small services (luggage, restaurants, bar etc). Please make an allowance for this when budgeting for your holiday.