The Essence of Bhutan Grade: Sightseeing and Walking

£3,975.00

Book Now
Duration:
13 nights (including 2 overnight flights)
Event Category:
Sightseeing and Walking Holiday
Group size:
Minimum 8 Maximum 16
Holiday Dates
22 September - 5 October 2025, Mon - Sun
Location
Bhutan
Grade
Sightseeing and Walking
Deposit Required
£500 deposit within 7 days of booking / £1500 2nd deposit on 15 June / Balance 15 Mar 25

 

Join us as we explore the kingdom of Bhutan with its ancient traditions, awe-inspiring scenery and fascinating culture. It is a place of wonder and a joy to discover. Learn about the traditional way of life and enjoy the spectacle of a Bhutanese festival in the capital, Thimpu.

We explore the fascinating Bhutanese culture and the country’s incredible landscape alongside our local guide. We visit Taktsang Monastery, the Tiger’s Nest perched on the mountainside and accessible by a steep stepped path. We see the forested hills and majestic Himalayan mountains as we journey across this beautiful land.

Known as the Kingdom of the Thunder Dragon, Bhutan is a stunning destination and a deeply spiritual country. We will take in the highlights and hope to enjoy the trip of a lifetime.

Itinerary (subject to change)

Day 1: Leave UK on overnight flight to Paro via India

Day 2: Arrive in Paro and meet our local guide and driver. Transfer to Thimpu (1 hr), stopping at a 16th century temple and iron bridge along the way. After arriving at the hotel,  we hope to have time to visit the big buddha statue, thought to be the biggest in the world, and the nearby temple. We also hope to see local crafts being made – weaving of the national dress and paper making (all activities today depend on arrival time) Dinner and holiday briefing.

Day 3: This morning, we attend the annual Thimpu Tshechu festival, one of the most important in the country. We see monks perform a sacred dance in elaborate costumes and  ferocious masks. It is a festival that is much revered by the local people. After lunch, we head out of the centre to walk up through forest to a high point with fabulous views. Return to Thimpu to enjoy more of the festival atmosphere. Walk 2.5 miles/ 200m ascent.

Day 4: Set off towards Punakha, the former capital in the 17th century. On the way, we get out at the stunning  Dochula Pass to walk up to a temple at Lungchuste. There is wonderful scenery with views of snow-capped mountains and the valley below. From here, we continue by road to Punakha with a visit to the famous 16th century fertility temple. Walk 4.5 miles /500m ascent. 2 hours driving

Day 5: Drive out into the surrounding hills for a short hike to the Khamsum Yuelling temple with its 100+ stupas. Enjoy the thrill of taking the longest suspension bridge in Bhutan before exploring the Magical Fortress, the 2nd oldest and 2nd largest dzong in Bhutan. From here, we head to a Buddhist nunnery, perched on a hilltop with fabulous views of the surrounding valleys. Walk 2 miles / 200m ascent.

Day 6: Today, we head to Phobjikha, stopping on the way for views of the Black Mountains. When we arrive, we visit the Gangtay Gomba, a school and college known for its unique architecture. We then head off on a nature trail and learn about the black necked cranes which migrate here in winter. Walk 3 miles /150m descent. 2 hours driving

Day 7: We head to Trongsa today, driving through wonderful scenery and high mountain passes dotted with villages along the way. We stop off at a magnificent 18th Century stupa before arriving in Trongsa where we visit the museum – one of the best places to learn about the history of the kingdom. We then visit Trongsa Dzong, the largest in Bhutan and in a magnificent location. 2.5 hours driving

Day 8: Drive to Bumthang, known as the Switzerland of Bhutan due to its mountain landscape. We drive through mountain passes and visit the Fortress of the White Bird before arriving in Bhumtang. Tonight we stay in a local rural home and enjoy typical Bhutanese hospitality. 2.5 hours driving

Day 9: Enjoy an uphill hike to enjoy beautiful views across the Jakar Valley. We then explore the local sights around Bumthang including the Red Panda Brewery. Walk 3.5 miles / 750m ascent

Day 10: We head out to the Burning Lake today on a day excursion to the Tang Valley. The lake is a popular pilgrimage spot.

Day 11:Take the morning flight to Paro where we have time to explore the temples and museum. There is time to relax in Paro – shopping, coffee, pastries…Flight 30 minutes

Day 12: Today we hike up to Taksang, the Tigers Nest, a monastery perched on a sheer cliff face. There is  a café half way up for refreshments. The monastery is probably the most famous in Bhutan and much photographed due to its stunning location. On arrival, there is a guided tour before we head back down to the waiting bus. We have an afternoon at a local farmhouse where there is an optional hot stone bath for tired muscles, followed by trying your hand at a traditional bow and arrow before sampling the local rice wine. Celebration dinner. Walk 4.5 miles/ 500m ascent

Day 13: Transfer to the airport for our flight home.

Day 14: Arrive home after overnight flight.

£3975 single room on 10 nights/ shared homestay 1 night. £300 discount per person in a twin shared room and shared homestay. Please note: if there is nobody to share with, the single price is applicable. Price includes: 11 nights’ accommodation – 10 in hotels / resorts, 1 in homestay with shared room Flight from New Delhi to Paro (provided by local agency) Internal flight (provided by local agency) All meals Private transport and driver throughout Licensed local guide Airport transfer meeting flight provided by local agency Tours, entrance fees, local guides Visa for Bhutan Tour route permit Sustainable development fee. This fee goes towards free education, free healthcare, poverty alleviation, along with the building of infrastructure. Not included: Flight to New Delhi Transit visa for India Discretionary Tips Travel Insurance – must cover altitude up to 3700m. Our highest accommodation is at 2700m but some of the walking goes higher, up to 3600m. Personal Expenses
We stay in comfortable 3 star hotels and resorts on 10 nights. 1 night is spent at a local homestay where the accommodation is shared. Most likely twin rooms but it could be more than that depending on numbers and location. Be prepared to share for 1 night.
Sightseeing and Walking This trip is predominately sightseeing and you will need a good level of stamina to enjoy it as we cover a lot of ground and many sights of interest. Due to the mountainous nature of the country, the walks we undertake involve a significant amount of ascent so a good level of fitness is required. The longest walk is under 5 miles. The biggest height gain is 750m but we can go at a suitable pace with stops. We generally walk below 3000m but there are 2 walks which go above this height. It is, however, easy to descend if necessary. Not suitable for leisurely walkers.
The trip is guided by a licensed local guide who will be with the group throughout plus local tour guides in various locations. Clare Kelly will be on the trip but it will be organised and led by the local guide.
Flights from New Delhi to Paro are organised by the local operator so you will just need a flight to New Delhi. Please note, you will need a transit visa for India (around £100). Exact flights will be confirmed once the schedule for Autumn 2025 has been released.

£3,975.00

Discount:
Available Dates: Please select a date below
  • 22/09/2025
Total: 3975