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Classic Bhutan

Thimphu, Punakha, Gangtey, Bumthang, Paro

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This example itinerary

from £7,200 $8,100 pp

13 days

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Highlights

  • Wake up to a spectacular view of the sunrise over the Himalayas
  • Visit the country’s first-ever monastery to have your fortune told by a monk
  • Join local women and say a prayer at the Temple of Fertility
  • Enjoy the serene experience of meditating at dawn with Buddhist monks
  • Taste local cheese at the cheese factory before washing it down with Bhutanese beer at Panda Brewery

This example itinerary

from £7,200 $8,100 pp

13 days

Speak to Katie

+44 (0)203 137 1247

+1 (0)800 635 8124

What’s Included

  • 12 nights Full Board 
  • All private guiding and hiking
  • Cultural and temple visits described below
  • Bike excursion
  • Brewery and cheese factory visit and tasting
  • International Economy class flights 
  • All private transfers

Example Itinerary

Day 1-2

THIMPHU, Bhutan

  • Hike through the valley to the Phajoding Monastery to see where young monks are initiated into the Dharma
  • Spot the enormous golden Buddha that sits atop a meditation hall

Bhutan’s capital city is the heart of the country and home to Thimphu Valley, the giant Buddha and an abundance of monasteries.

Begin in Thimpu, where you’ll spend one night at Six Senses Thimpu – a luxury hotel in the shadow of the Himalayas with sweeping views over Thimphu Valley and Great Buddha Dordenma. With a guide, visit the golden Buddha statue and the National Memorial Chorten before crossing over a cantilever bridge to have your fortune told by a monk at Bhutan’s country’s first monastery. Inside the hotel walls, stroll around the apple orchards, try traditional Khuru dart throwing and catch a cultural performance on the sunken garden stage.

Day 2-4

PUNAKHA, Bhutan

  • Be awed by the stunning architecture of the Punakha Dzong, a 17th century riverside palace
  • Visit the Temple of Fertility and its nearby local villages and rice paddies

Once the capital of Bhutan, Punakha is full of interesting history, monuments and scenic views over the Pho River.

Travel to Punakha over the Dochula Pass, winding past exceptional views of the snow-capped Himalayas. Once here, spend two nights at Six Senses Punakha, an elegant hideaway set amidst rice fields with meditation huts and a market garden. Make the most of the surroundings by hopping on a riverside bike ride and strolling around Punakha Dzong, or hike along the Butterfly Trail to the Khamsum Yulley Namgyal Chorten. For those wishing to ramp up the adrenaline, we can arrange white water rafting along the Pho River. In the evening, sip on riverside cocktails and soaking up the majestic scenery.

Day 4-7

GANGTEY, Sri Lanka

  • Light butter candles as you pray with the monks in the monastery over breakfast
  • Explore Jigme Singye Wangchuck National Park to see black-necked cranes, muntjacs and sambars

The secluded nature of Gangtey flaunts endless adventurous hikes in outstanding mountainous scenery.

Continue to Gangtey, one of the most secluded spots in the world, where you’ll spend three nights at Gangtey Lodge. Set in a protected reserve nestled up high in the mountains, the lodge is home to adventure, comfort and spiritual awakening. Take in local culture with archery lessons in the grounds, meditation at Buddhist Shedra, and a visit to its 17th-century monastery. Soak up the beautiful, panoramic scenery whilst trekking from Gangtey to Phoikha Valley, with hikes reaching to extremely high altitudes – a sighting of the infamous black-necked crane would tick off the trip!

Day 7-9

BUMTHANG, Bhutan

  • Temple hop around Bumthang, with the highest concentration of ancient temples in Bhutan
  • Picnic at Dozam Nature Park by the side of the gushing river, a secret amongst locals

Considered as Bhutan’s most historic district, Bumthang showcases temples, monasteries and sacred sites.

Take a scenic drive through dramatic landscapes of farmland, gorges and farmhouses to reach Bumthang where you’ll spend two nights at Amankora. Home to 29 monasteries and temples, Bumthang is coined as the spiritual heart of the country. Be sure to study the elaborate paintings of Kurjey Lhakhang and uncover the holy nature of Burning Lake. Foodies will enjoy feasting on traditional delicacies at a farmhouse lunch, and tasting local beer and cheese at the valley’s Panda Brewery and cheese factory. After a strenuous day of chasing langur monkeys and mountain goats, indulge in a Bhutanese healing tradition.

Day 9-11

PARO, Bhutan

  • Hike through the mountains to the Tiger’s Nest monastery, precariously built into the cliffside
  • Visit an artisanal brewery with seven different types of beer brewed, including Bhutanese red rice lager

Set in Western Bhutan, the valley town of Paro is perfect for exploring its surroundings on foot, as well as promising an immersive spiritual and wellness retreat.

Finish your Bhutanese journey in Paro with two nights at Bhutan Spirit Sanctuary, set in the idyllic Neyphug Valley and along a winding dirt track. Once here, be captivated by the mesmerising and secluded rural landscape dotted with mountain trails, monasteries and dzong architecture, as well as the fine selection of artwork. From making a wish over a butter lamp to meditating at dawn with monks, this sanctuary is ideal for the spiritually curious. With great emphasis on wellness, spend half a day at the spa addressing your physical and spiritual ailments after a morning mountain hike. This is the perfect base from which to trek to the famous Tiger’s Nest monastery, perched right on the cliff face. Join those on a pilgrimage as you wind up the mountainside to this sacred spot, with spectacular views framed by thousands of colourful prayer flags, and the perfect iconic image of Bhutan to finish your trip on.

Georgina

We want to thank you both so much for making our holiday one of the most memorable experiences of our lives. We will be ambassadors for this magical country forever. We have already persuaded several friends to go to Bhutan!

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