Find your ideal cycling holiday
Taiwan South to North (With Flight)
2nd November 2020 - 17th November 2020 (16 days)
The island of Taiwan offers the opportunity to ride stunning and challenging routes in one of the most beautiful corners of the world. With its mountain ranges, rolling paddy fields, ocean roads, ultra-modern cycle lanes and world-famous cuisine, Taiwan provides the perfect blend of safety, comfort and adventure to make it an ideal location to explore by bike.
There is also a unique opportunity to ride the route of one of the toughest yet most stunning climbs in the world, known as the Taiwan KOM Challenge. Starting alongside the Pacific Ocean, the route winds its way up through the majestic Taroko Gorge, with towering marble cliffs above and roaring rapids below, to the summit of Mount Wuling (3,275m), Taiwan's highest passable mountain road.
Taiwan is a food lovers paradise from seafood to street food with twenty streets alone in Taipei, Taiwan's capital, dedicated to food. Whilst in Taipei take the elevator to the top of Taipei 101, the 509m tall tower and formerly the world's tallest building. Full vehicle support.
- Holiday Type Guided
- Tour Manager Julie & Nic Hodgetts
- Grade Challenging
- Booking Status Fully Booked
- Accommodation Hotel & Guesthouse
- Board Basis Some Meals
- Travel Arrangements Air
- Road / Off Road Road
- Holiday Style Moving-on
- Vehicle Support Full Vehicle Support
- Holiday Ref 03454
Monday 2nd November
Fly from Birmingham to Dubai on Emirates flight EK040 departing 1330, arriving 0035 next day.
Tuesday 3rd November
Continue to Taipei on Emirates flight EK366 departing 0340, arriving 1535, followed by a 45 minute minibus transfer to our hotel in Taipei. Stay 2 nights. Meals: D
Wednesday 4th November
After assembling our bikes we can test them out by riding out of Taipei along the dedicated river cycle path to the foot of Maokong mountain. 40km (250m total ascent). Meals: B
Thursday 5th November
Today the bikes and luggage are transported by minibus. We take the 300kmph Taiwan High Speed Train to Kaohsiung (1½ hour journey), followed by a minibus transfer (1½ hour journey) to Kenting National Park and our accommodation. On arrival there may be time for a short bike ride. Stay 1 night. Meals: B D
Friday 6th November
We journey north and spend most of the day riding through the pristine national park. We ride through jungle covered mountains and past golden beaches and, after the biggest climb of the day, descend to the coast at Donghe. After lunch we continue along the coast road to our accommodation in Taimali. Those seeking an easier option can take a minibus transfer for this last stretch. 131km or 90km (2,157m or 1,529m total ascent). Stay 1 night. Meals: B D
Saturday 7th November
We continue north along the coast through Taitung County, flanked on either side by gorgeous tropical beaches and jungle covered mountains. We stop to look at Taiwan’s uphill river and, after a quick refuel at the famous Donghe Bun Shop, we continue to our accommodation in Chenggong. 80km (630m total ascent). Stay 1 night. Meals: B D
Sunday 8th November
Our day starts with a visit to the nearby Sanxiantai Bridge. This footbridge is a phenomenal piece of architecture designed to resemble a dragon, and connects the mainland to the Island of the Three Immortals. We continue north, passing the Baxian Sea Caves, and crossing the Tropic of Cancer before ending our day with a sharp 200m climb over the Haian Range into the rift valley and our accommodation in Ruisui. We spend the evening enjoying the traditional Japanese hot springs. 70km (960m total ascent). Stay 1 night. Meals: B D
Monday 9th November
Yesterday's ocean views change as we ride through the rift valley. Largely untouched by Taiwan’s development boom, small farming communities continue in much the same way as they have for centuries. We head north along one of Taiwan’s most loved cycling routes, winding between the paddy fields and the foothills to the east, and on to our accommodation in Hualien. 74km (1,200m total ascent). Stay 2 nights. Meals: B D
Tuesday 10th November
Rest Day to explore Hualien City and the surrounding area. Or, for those wishing to ride, we'll take a 49km, mostly flat route, to Liyu Lake (popular for Taiwanese canoe racing) and the East Coast National Scenic Area (where you can witness spectacular views of Hualien City and the mighty Pacific Ocean). In the evening we’ll make a group visit to Hualien’s huge night market to sample Taiwan’s delicious street food such as oyster omelettes, bao and its famous fried chicken. Meals: B
Wednesday 11th November
Today, after an early start, we ride the Taiwan KOM Challenge. The first 20km is flat before we start the 87km of climbing, winding up through the Toroko Gorge. We’ll pass over stunning bridges, through tunnels and on some spectacular stretches of tarmac as we climb. There will be frequent refuelling stops and always the opportunity to jump into the minibus. After reaching the summit of the Wuling Pass, those not wishing to ride the 40km downhill can take a minibus transfer to our accommodation in Lishan. 108km (4,245m total ascent). Stay 1 night. Meals: B D
Thursday 12th November
After yesterdays big climb, today we have two small climbs and descend over 3,500m. We pass through Yilan county which is home to the Kavalan Whisky distillery and the Jiaoxi hot springs, which are close to our accommodation in Jiaoxi. 120km (1,600m total ascent and 3,556m total descent). Stay 1 night. Meals: B D
Friday 13th November
After a couple of big days in the mountains we head back to the coast. Our first stop will be at Juifen, an old Japanese gold mining town where we can explore the bustling market street before descending a little further to the Golden Waterfall. Then a short 15km ride along the coast to our overnight in Keelung, a thriving port city famous above all for its fabulous night-time street food. 101km (1,376m total ascent). Stay 1 night. Meals: B D
Saturday 14th November
On our final cycling day we leave the coast behind at Keelung and climb inland towards Taipei. Our first stop will be at Shifen where local tourists release fire lanterns for prosperity. We will also visit Shifen Falls, the biggest waterfall on the island. We then ride along the valley before making our final climb and descent back to the Taipei river cycle path. 75km (1,274m total ascent). Stay 2 nights. Meals: B D
Sunday 15th November
Rest day. After packing our bikes we have the day to explore Taipei and take in the sights. These include the Chiang Kai-Shek memorial, Taipei 101 or hike up Elephant Mountain to watch the sunset. Meals: B
Monday 16th November
We have the morning free before taking a 45 minute minibus transfer to Taoyuan airport for Emirates flight EK367 to Dubai departing 2345, arriving 0540 next day. Meals: B.
Tuesday 17th November
Continue to Birmingham on Emirates flight EK039 departing 0725, arriving 1125.
Meals: B = Breakfast D = Dinner
Accommodation & Meals
Seven nights are spent in hotels and six nights in guesthouses, sharing twin or double en-suite rooms. All breakfasts and ten dinners are included. Participants with any special dietary requirements are asked to contact the Tour Managers prior to booking.
On cycling days two minibuses will transfer luggage and when necessary participants and their bikes (with bikes on a roof rack). They will also transport the group from and to the airport.
Passports, Visa & Health
EU citizens must hold a passport that is still valid for at least six months at the end of the tour. A visa is not 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, though it is strongly recommended that you are vaccinated against Hepatitis A. Tetanus vaccination 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 £2,950 is based on a minimum number of 14 people taking part in the holiday; please note Booking Conditions, clause 3. If there are insufficient bookings by 24th August 2020, 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 between Birmingham and Taipei
- Return minibus transfer from Taipei airport to the hotel in Taipei
- 7 nights hotel, 6 nights guesthouse, sharing room
- 13 breakfasts, 10 dinners
- Other minibus transfers as detailed in the itinerary
- Train from Taipei to Kaohsiung
- Services of a local English speaking Mandarin guide
- Limited supply of snacks and water on cycling days
- CTC Cycling Holidays & Tours costs
Price Does Not Include
- Travel to and from Birmingham airport
- Lunches or refreshments during the day
- Drinks with dinner
- Gratuities for local guide and vehicle drivers (allow $20 USD)
- Any other personal expenses
- Entry fees at any attractions visited
- Travel Insurance
- Single occupancy supplement (£450, subject to availability)
A deposit of £500 per person is payable upon booking, with the final balance of £2,450 per person to be paid ten weeks prior to departure, by 24th August 2020.
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 2020
From 24th August 2020 through to departure
The Area Covered By The Holiday
This tour goes from south to north and touches all four regions of the island. Taiwan is located between the southeastern coast of the Asian continent and the East Asian islands distributed among the western Pacific Rim. To the north is Japan, to the south are the Philippine Islands and to the west is Mainland China. Taiwan is 395km long and 144km wide with a total land area of around 36,000 square kilometres.
Taiwan has steep mountain ranges that mostly run from north to south. The highest point is Yushan Peak at 3,952m, making it the highest peak in northeast Asia. Since mountain areas cover the majority of the island, Taiwan’s ecological resources are abundant.
Kenting National Park covers 181 square kilometres of land, 152 square kilometres of sea and is divided into two parts by the long and narrow Hengchun Longitudinal Valley Plain that extends from north to south. With coral sea cliffs teemed with fringing reefs along the west coast, the park features a large number of mountains in the north, and coral tablelands and foothills in the south. The plain formed by fault valleys has the vast Lake of Longluan, together with rising coral tablelands and limestone caves to the east. The east side of the coral tablelands features unique sand rivers and sand waterfalls formed by the combined effects of winds and rivers, as well as coral cliffs, sunken caves and stalactites.
The park has a rich biodiversity of fauna and flora including 15 species of mammals, 310 species of birds, 59 species of reptiles and amphibians, 21 species of freshwater fish, 216 species of butterflies and various insects.
Sanxiantai is an popular tourist attraction for its rocky coastal views and 10km long beach and several islands located on the coast of Chenggong Township. The area is well known for its long footbridge in the shape of a sea dragon that connects the coast to the largest island.
Rides & Rest Days
This tour is classified as challenging and suitable for experienced touring cyclists capable of riding over 100km on some days. Roads are sealed and generally in good condition, but there are some rough stretches. On several days there are demanding climbs, especially the Takora Gorge, but the minibus will carry all luggage and provide assistance to tired riders if requested. There will be a rest day in Hualien (with optional cycling).
Accommodation & Meals
Breakfast and dinner will be taken at the accommodation but, on some evenings, dinner may be taken at a nearby restaurant, indoor market or street market. On cycling days the minibus will carry a limited supply of snacks and water. Lunches and snacks can also be bought from local stores or road side vendors.
Emirates current free checked-in baggage allowance is a maximum weight of 25kgs. You can check in as many bags as you like as long as the total weight does not exceed the maximum weight of 25kg. The total dimensions (length + width + height) of an individual bag (or you boxed bike) should not exceed 300cm (118 inches), bags or bike box exceeding this limit will not be accepted as check-in luggage. Your bike must be properly boxed or bagged, handlebars turned, pedals removed and tyres deflated.
Emirates customers are also permitted one (1) piece of carry-on baggage that should not exceed 55cm x 38cm x 20cm (22 x 15 x 8 inches) and must weigh no more than 7kg (15 lb).
The maximum number of participants will be 18 excluding the Tour Manager(s).
Weather & Clothing
The north of Taiwan is in a sub-tropical climate zone, while the south is in a tropical climate zone. November is their autumn with average low and high temperatures of 18°C (64°F) and 26°C (80°F). It is one of the best times of the year to visit Taiwan, with mostly sunny and pleasant weather and little rain. Sun protection as always is highly recommended. A range of clothing will be required as it should be warm at lower levels but possibly much cooler in the mountains with the chance of rain.
Cycles & Equipment
A road, touring or hybrid bike is suitable for this tour. You should ensure your cycle is well maintained, paying particular attention to wheels, tyres and brakes. A low bottom gear (e.g. small chainring the same size or smaller than the largest cog on your rear wheel) is recommended. If you are unsure about gears, please discuss with the Tour Managers. Mudguards are optional but show courtesy to those who are following you in wet weather. Lights are a requirement for riding at night and in low visibility weather. New tyres are recommended of at least 25mm diameter. Participants will be expected to carry each day sufficient spares and tools to deal with punctures and minor repairs. Wearing a cycle helmet is not mandatory but is recommended.
Maps & Guides
GPX files, outline route maps and cue sheets will be supplied electronically with the final tour details approximately 6 weeks prior to the start of the tour. A digital map of Taiwan for Garmin bike GPS's can also be supplied. Please contact the Tour Managers for more details or to request a digital map.
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.
Your travel insurance must cover you for this type of cycling holiday and also cover you for riding at the tours maximum altitude of 3,275m.