Tailor-Made Holiday

An Introduction to Bhutan

Discover the highlights of Western and Central Bhutan

14 days

from £3,995pp (excluding flights)

Cut off for centuries, nestled high in the Himalayas and sandwiched between India and China, Bhutan is diverse and enigmatic. Our 14-day classic journey idea is the perfect holiday for anybody visiting Bhutan for the first time, taking in the main sites of Western and Central Bhutan.

  • Breathe in fresh mountain air as you stand in the shadows of Himalayan giants
  • Accompanied by an expert guide, learn about the politics and culture of this fascinating Kingdom
  • Walk or drive to remote working monasteries to observe monastic life
  • Experience early morning prayer ceremonies followed by a private blessing
  • Visit Bumthang Valley, the most spiritual place in Bhutan.

Fly from Delhi, Calcutta, or Bangkok to Paro in Bhutan where you take a short drive to Thimpu to spend a few days. Acclimatise and explore the capital of Bhutan before continuing eastwards, crossing over spectacular passes into Central Bhutan to visit Punakha, Gangtey and Bumthang. View peaks of the Northern Himalayan Ranges on clear days. End your Bhutan holiday spending a few days in the magnificent Paro Valley where you trek up to see the Tiger's Nest Monastery as the grand finale to this Himalayan adventure.

Another extraordinary experience to be included during your journey is to take to the saddle and bicycle. Break up long, winding journeys by car by cycling some of the downhills. This is not only exhilarating but gives you a closer connection to your environment and its people.

March to April and September to October are the best times for a holiday to Bhutan. In the spring months, the valleys are carpeted with wild flowers and now is the time of year Bhutan hosts to the Punaka Festival and Paro Festival. There are also smaller festivals happening in autumn and the monsoon clouds have dissipated and so views of the mighty Himalayas are at their very best.

For a more detailed itinerary with great ideas on what to do and where to stay, please get in touch with our experts.

Price Excluding Flights £Flight cost from 
£ 3995 £ 1150
  Click here to see what is included/excluded

what is included

  • All accommodation
  • Internal flights
  • International flights as detailed
  • Sightseeing with private guide as per the itinerary
  • Transfers as detailed

what is excluded

  • Gratuities
  • Travel Insurance
  • Visas


Itinerary at a glance

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Day 1

Fly London to Delhi overnight

Day 2

Day at leisure in Delhi

Delhi may be one of the world's largest metropolis, but architectural wonders - new and old - fill the city, hidden beneath Delhi's urban sprawl. Mughal treasures, including the Red Fort and Jama Masjid, are complemented by more recent additions to Delhi's architectural heritage, such as the stunning Lotus and Akshardham Temples. Meanwhile, contemporary Delhi thrives in Connaught Place, which - with its colonially-designed buildings, - is the most westernised part of the centre. Globalisation is in evidence, with brand names splashed across every storefront.

You will be staying at The Lodhi, bed and breakfast

Day 3

Fly Delhi to Paro

Bordered by forested mountain peaks, Paro Valley is the entry point for all travel to Bhutan. The small town of Paro, which was established in the 1980s, sits at an elevation of 2,250 metres and consists of just one main street.

One of the most beautiful arrival points for any country, this quiet town consists of just a handful of colourful buildings and captures the essence of provincial Bhutanese life. The surrounding valley is a mix of small villages, historic buildings, monuments and wonderfully terraced fields.

Drive from Paro to Thimphu

A journey of approximately 30 minutes.

Little over half a century old, Bhutan's young capital was barely more than a small village before its meteoric rise to prominence in 1961. Chosen by the King to be the new face of a reformed Bhutan, and to replace the ancient capital of Punakha, the city is still developing at a rapid pace.

Despite its relatively large size by Bhutanese standards, the city retains a friendly feel and relaxed small town vibe. Little shops and colourful marketplaces fill the city, squeezed between growing signs of modernity and constant reminders of Bhutan's steadfastly traditional way of life.

You will be staying at Three-Star Accommodation in Thimphu, full board

Day 4

Thimphu Full Day Sightseeing Tour
Today take a full day guided sightseeing tour visiting the Tashichho Dzong on the banks of the Wang Chu, and the largest working monastery in the country. This is also where the National Assembly and the King’s Throne Room are housed (please note that this visit is only possible when the monks are not in residence).

Further sightseeing of the capital may include the Painting School, which was established in 1975 and where three different arts namely carving, painting and free hand arts are taught.

After lunch visit the National Library where the State Holy Books are preserved. The National Library is constructed like a temple so that there is an alter on every floor of the building. The ground floor has eight Chortens (stupas) representing the eight great deeds of Buddha. The collection of holy books in this floor are Kanjurs and Tenjurs (speeches of Buddha), and statues of Shabdrung, Padmasambhava and Amitayus are placed on the alter of the first floor. The holy books are the oldest in the Kingdom and the script in these books is written in gold. The top floor houses printing blocks and other historical instruments utilised in bygone days.

Please note your guide can easily tailor the day to your interests and requirements.

You will be staying at Three-Star Accommodation in Thimphu, full board

Day 5

Drive from Thimphu to Punakha

After an early breakfast, drive up to the Dochu-la pass (3,088m/10,130ft) stopping briefly here to take in the view and admire the chortens, Mani walls, and prayer flags which decorate the highest point on the road. If skies are clear, the high Himalayan peaks towards the northeast will be revealed in all their glory. On a clear day, the following peaks can be seen from this pass (left to right): Masagang (7,158m), Tsendegang (6,960m), Terigang (7,060m), Jejegangphugang (7,158m), Kangphugang (7,170m), Zongaphugang (7,060m) a table mountain that dominates the isolated region of Lunana, and finally, Gangkar Puensum, the highest peak in Bhutan at 7,497m.

Bhutan's ancient capital for more than 300 years, the town of Punakha lies in a lush valley at the confluence of the Pho and Mo Rivers. Still scattered with treasures from its regal past, the town is best known for the commanding Punakha Dzong. This magnificent building is often said to be Bhutan's finest structure.

A pleasant town that makes the most of its scenic locale, Punakha is renowned for its fertile land. The surrounding valley sits at a lower altitude than most of Bhutan and produces an abundance of rice, oranges and bananas.

Visit to Punakha Dzong
Visit Punakha's most famous sight, its eponymous dzong. Meaning the 'palace of great happiness', this is one of the country's most majestic structures and the second oldest dzong in Bhutan. Located on the confluence of Punakha's two rivers, the current building dates back almost 400 years and has been extended during the subsequent centuries. Standing six storeys tall and topped with a brass roof, the Punakha Dzong has survived a number of fires and a severe earthquake. Inside, the relics of a number of Drukpa Buddhist leaders are housed, including those of Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal.

You will be staying at Three-Star Accommodation in Punakha, full board

Day 6

Drive from Punakha to Bumthang

A drive of approximately seven hours.

You will be staying at Three-Star Accommodation in Bumthang, full board

Day 7

Several Days of Exploring
Bumthang abounds with things to do and see. Follow the guide on day hikes through the area's beautiful valleys; discover secluded village communities and bustling market towns.

You will be staying at Three-Star Accommodation in Bumthang, full board

Day 8

You will be staying at Three-Star Accommodation in Bumthang, full board

Day 9

Drive from Bumthang to Gangtey Valley

After breakfast, you will be driven to Phobjikha Valley, one of the most pleasant glacial valleys in Bhutan. Today’s journey back to Phobjikha will be a lengthy one, taking lunch en route. We will then drive on through the mountains. On arrival, visit the Black Neck Crane Centre before checking in to your accommodation.

Otherwise known as Phojikha Valley, this wide glacial vale sits in altitudinous central Bhutan. Free of trees and contrasting strongly with the narrow valleys that are synonymous with Bhutan, this idyllic expanse boasts a pair of beautiful winding rivers.

Overlooked by the impressive Gangte Gompa, the area is renowned for its black-necked cranes. These rare birds escape the cold Tibetan winters by sheltering in this lush valley.

You will be staying at Three-Star Accommodation in Gangtey Valley, full board

Day 10

Day Exploring Gangtey Valley
Spend the day exploring this beautiful area; take in the views of the Gangtey Gompa, the only Nyimgmapa-sect monastery to the west of the towering Black Mountains.

In the afternoon, visit the Crane Information Centre, where you will receive detailed information regarding the Phobjika Valley and the black-necked cranes. The centre is also equipped with binoculars to watch the cranes with. There will also be a chance to watch a 15 minute documentary about the endangered black-necked cranes

You will be staying at Three-Star Accommodation in Gangtey Valley, full board

Day 11

Drive from Punakha to Paro

Leave Gangtey Valley and travel west over the Chela La Pass to the city of Paro, which is approximately 6 hours away.

You will be staying at Como Uma Paro, bed and breakfast

Day 12

Half Day Walk to Taktshang Monastery
Visit the impressive Taktshang Monastery, meaning 'Tiger's Nest'. Arguably Bhutan's most famous monastery, this sacred building was built over a cave used for meditation by Guru Rinpoche. Said to have arrived here by flying tiger, Guru Rinpoche is regarded as the 'Second Buddha' by Ningma Buddhists.
Sitting precariously on a cliff ledge, this holy place of pilgrimage takes around two hours to reach on foot. The steep path passes through coniferous forest up to a viewpoint from where there are spectacular views of the monastery.
Those who are feeling energetic can continue to the Temple of Taktshang. The path is challenging, but the temple's magnificent location makes it worth the effort.

You will be staying at Como Uma Paro, bed and breakfast

Day 13

Fly Paro to Delhi

You will be staying at The Leela Palace, Delhi, bed and breakfast

Day 14

Fly Delhi to London


Below you can see some of the wonderful places we recommend you stay on your journey.

The Lodhi

The Lodhi

The Lodhi Hotel is a modern, chic city hotel with a zen-like feel set amongst three acres of gardens....

View Accommodation

The Leela Palace, Delhi

The Leela Palace, Delhi

This palatial, luxury palace hotel is located at the heart of New Delhi, in close proximity to the city centre, the presidential palace and many of the major historical monuments....

View Accommodation

Como Uma Paro

Como Uma Paro

Uma Paro offers five star comfort and a unique style in the wildly beautiful Himalayan country of Bhutan....

View Accommodation

For a more detailed itinerary with great ideas on what to do and where to stay, please get in touch with our experts.

Destination Experts

Our experts have unrivalled firsthand knowledge of Bhutan

Joe Parkes, Travel Expert

"It was extremely helpful to work in conjunction with Joe and his much more up to date knowledge of India and arrive at an itinerary which we were happy with. We enjoyed the whole trip and probably what made it special for us was the fact that all the arrangements worked so well and we really didn’t have to worry about anything at all. Even when we decided to make a small change it was dealt with efficiently and promptly. We can't think of anything that would have made our trip more enjoyable."

"The service from start to finish has been excellent. Joe was very quick to respond to any queries and put together an excellent itinerary at short notice."

"A pleasure to deal with Joe. Efficient, helpful, knowledgeable and fun!"

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Kate Hitchen, Travel Expert

"Kate was calm and bent over backwards to accommodate my jitters about going to Kashmir in the light of tighter FCO guidelines just a few days before our departure. She was absolutely correct in advising against what I thought we should do. Several times during the holiday we said that, 'Kate was dead right about that!'."

"We asked for a rather particular kind of Indian holiday. You delivered it in full. Highlights? Honestly, each day was a highlight in itself. "

Read More

For a more detailed itinerary with great ideas on what to do and where to stay, please get in touch with our experts.

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