Departure: New Delhi
Duration: 15 Days
Trip Grade: Gentle
This really is cycle touring at its most refined; generally short days on the road combined with the most splendid heritage accommodation in Rajasthan make this a luxury ride to remember. You'll stay in some of the most imposing forts in India, experience the magic of the desert and sample the rich and colourful culture of Rajasthan, with some fantastic cycling in between! Relatively short days in the saddle, combined with generally flat terrain, make this one of our less strenuous tours, ideal for the less-experienced cyclist.
Day 01: Arrive in Delhi
You'll be met at the airport and taken to a comfortable hotel, with the rest of the day free to either relax or take in some sights.
Day 02: Day in Delhi, overnight train to Mandawa
We'll spend the day having a look round historic Delhi, and then board a train in the evening for Mandawa.
Day 03: Day in Mandawa
We'll arrive in Mandawa in the morning and go straight to our historic hotel, Mandawa Fort. This region, called Shekhawati, is famously dotted with mansions adorned with colourful frescos, built by local merchants. We should have time in the afternoon to have a look round one or two of these unique homes, also giving us an opportunity to test our bikes out, and to get a taste of Indian roads.
Day 04: Mandawa to Nawalgarh (30km)
A short first day on the road takes us through the historic villages of Mukhundgarh and Dunlod, great places to break up the journey. We spend the night in Roop Niwas Palace, a beautiful heritage hotel.
Day 05: Drive to Sikar (35km), cycle to Kuchaman (70km)
The journey to Sikar is along a relatively main road, so we'll drive to the other side of town and then cycle to Kuchaman, and another period hotel, along quiet, rural roads.
Day 06: Kuchaman to Rupangarh (50km)
Another gentle day's ride takes us to imposing Rupangarh Fort, built in 1611 by the rulers of this strategically important region, and operating as a magnificent hotel since 1997. Have a good look round!
Day 07: Rupangarh to Pushkar (80km)
We'll avoid the main road and instead take the back roads to Pushkar. An important pilgrimage centre, Pushkar is a fascinating little town, set on a lake right on the edge of the desert. We'll have time to take in the soothing calm of the lakeside area before retiring to the desert for dinner, where we'll eat by candle light and get to hear the amazing "desert flutes".
Day 08: Day in Pushkar
A chance to either relax in Pushkar or, for the more energetic amongst you, there'll be an optional day trip by bicycle to see the sights of Ajmer, 11km away.
Day 09: Drive/Cycle Pushkar to Deogarh (70km cycling)
We'll take the main highway south from Pushkar by jeep for 60km. We'll then turn off, get on our bikes and cycle gently undululating back roads through the Sojat Hills all the way to Deogarh. Deogarh Mahal is one of the most imposing forts in Rajasthan, set high on a hillside at 2,100m, and prides itself in offering travellers, "the comforts of today with an ambience of the past".
Day 10: Deogarh to Kotri Raola (50km)
Another day riding through rolling hills, another period property to enjoy at the end! Renowned as a horse riding area, Kotri Raola is beautifully situated in the heart of one of Rajasthan's greenest areas.
Day 11: Kotri Roala to Kumbhalgarh (60km)
Kumbulgarh's fort is one of the most impressive in Rajasthan, set atop the Aravalli range at 1100m. The beautiful ride up shows us how difficult it must have been to attack the fort – it's only been taken once in 600 years!
Day 12: Kumbhalgarh to Udaipur (80km)
Today we'll be crossing the Bhorat Plateau, meaning flatter riding than the previous few days. Depending on how we're feeling, we'll probably jump in to the jeeps before getting to Udaipur itself; the ride in can be a bit hectic!
Day 13: Day in Udaipur
Famous as the setting for James Bond's 'Octopussy', Udaipur is one of the most beautiful cities in India. Whitewashed palaces surround a picturesque lake, giving the whole town a noble elegance, which together with its tranquil atmosphere make Udaipur a uniquely soothing place to stay.
Day 14: Flight to Delhi
An early morning flight means there'll be time to either spend a last day shopping or sightseeing in Delhi, or otherwise to go on an a day trip to see the amazing Taj Mahal.
Flights home Bon voyage!