Our People
  • Amy Waters snow biking Our Team

    Steppes Travel is made by the people who work here. Incredible holidays are made possible because of their vast travel experience and the great enthusiasm they bring to their work.

  • William Dalrymple Our Tour Experts

    We carefully select our experts based on their knowledge, companionship and influence, ensuring that you can travel with the most knowledgeable leaders in the field.

  • Liz Bonnin Heroes and Heroines

    The people who lead the way when it comes to those things which matter to us: exploration, the environment, women’s empowerment and education.

Punakha Dzong, Punakha, Bhutan

Bhutan holidays

An enigma that few tourists even know exists. We were one of the first accredited operators for the country – and have been enlightening travellers with Bhutan’s peaceful disposition and unique identity for over 20 years.

Bhutan nudged its door open to tourism in the late 80s and by the mid-90s was allowing a restricted 3,000 people in per year. We were one of the first companies to be fully accredited and have been organising holidays there ever since. In Bhutan, it is still who you know rather than what you know, and we know all the right people.

Prayer Wheels, Bhutan
Bhutan
Haa Valley, Bhutan
Bhutan
Flags on Tiger's Nest Temples, Bhutan
Tiger's Nest Temples, Paro, Bhutan
Festival Dancer, Bhutan
Bhutan
Taktshang Monastery, Paro, Bhutan
Paro, Bhutan
Punakha Dzong, Punakha, Bhutan
Punakha, Bhutan

Why We Like Bhutan

One cannot fail to like a country which measures itself through gross national happiness. It offers peace and tranquillity, unmatched physical beauty, an attractive culture and people and a genuine sense of wellbeing and enlightenment. Nowhere is this more obvious than in the ancient monasteries, or dzongs, which serve as the administrative headquarters for each region. Bhutan is a tonic for the soul and should be visited by everyone once in their lifetime.

Bhutan
Bhutan
Bhutanese Doorway, Bhutan
Bhutan
Wild Sheep, Bhutan
Bhutan
Prayer Wheels, Bhutan
Bhutan

What to Expect on Your Bhutan Holiday

In the early days, Bhutan was considered the preserve of the more dedicated traveller. Travel was challenging, the roads were poor and the standard of hotels left much to be desired. However, with the opening of new luxury lodges, holidays to Bhutan have taken on a different aspect and it is now possible to drive and fly (by internal flight or private helicopter) the width of the country in great comfort.

Our local partners are some of the best in the business and provide the highest standard of service, offering incredible guiding, extremely experienced drivers and the most comfortable vehicles available. Visiting the key sites of Bhutan are of course important during your trip, but we endeavour to always show you something a little different, away from the usual tourist routes.

 

 

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Six Senses Bhutan, Gangtey, Bhutan
Six Senses Bhutan, Gangtey, Bhutan
Amankora, Gangtey, Bhutan
Aman Gangtey, Gangtey Valley, Bhutan
Uma by COMO, Paro Valley, Bhutan
Como Uma Paro, Paro, Bhutan
Taj Tashi, Thimphu, Bhutan
Taj Tashi, Thimphu, Bhutan
Deluxe Suite Living Room, Taj Tashi, Thimphu, Bhutan
Taj Tashi, Thimphu, Bhutan

Bhutan's Accommodation Options Explained

In an effort to protect Bhutan’s environment and culture, the government has placed a minimum fee of $250 per person per night for visitors to Bhutan. Included in this cost is standard accommodation, all meals at the standard hotels and local restaurants, services of an English speaking guide, private transport with an experienced driver, sightseeing, entrance fees, basic camping experience/equipment and taxes.

Steppes uses the best standard hotels available in each region, however, they can be very simple the further east you travel. If you prefer a more luxurious approach to travel, luxury hotel brands such as Como, Taj, Six Senses and Aman operate across Bhutan and we’d be happy to discuss which of these would suit you best.

 

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Explore Bhutan

  • Paro
  • Thimpu
  • Punakha
  • Gangtey and Phobjikha Valley
  • Bumthang

Experiences

It’s all here. Things to see and do, places to explore and moments to discover.

Bumthang Flights

If you are short on time and wish to avoid the long drives, take a short 20-minute flight from Paro to Bumthang. Alternatively, drive to Bumthang stopping off en route but then return to Paro by plane.

The Bumthang Owl Trek

The Bumthang Owl Trek is short, yet fascinating. The trail takes you through dense forests of bamboo, juniper, blue pine and rhododendron trees, with gorgeous views of Mt. Gangkar Peunsum peak.

Hike to the Sacred Cave of Shugdrak

Take a short 10-minute hike up to the sacred Guru Rinpoche cave. A series of ladders you past a lovely butter-lamp shrine to a rock-face chapel.

See Black-Necked Cranes

Spot the rare and beautiful Black-Necked Cranes of the Phobijkha Valley during their migration from Tibet, between November to mid-March.

Hike the Gangtey Nature Trail

The Gangtey Nature Trail is a gentle two-hour trek that lets you admire and absorb the remarkable Phobjikha Valley.

Punakha Day Trek

Spend the day walking through traditional farmland and paddy-fields to Khamsum Chorten, where the views down to the Mo Chhu (river) and Punakha Dzong (monastery) are utterly spectacular.

Walk to The Temple of the Divine Madman

Chimi Lhakhang or the ‘Fertility Temple’ is a small temple dedicated to the rogue Buddhist leader, known as the Divine Madman. The temple is unique due to the sheer number of illustrations of the phallus.

Thimpu’s Archery Ground

With Archery as Bhutan’s national sport, watching an archery tournament in Thimpu’s stadium is a thrilling event. Competitors demonstrate exceptional skill, hitting targets up to 145m away.

The Giant Statue of Buddha Dordenma

This massive golden Buddha statue commands the entry to the Thimpu Valley and houses a large chapel full of thousands of Buddha statuettes.

Suggested Holiday Idea

The Painting School

Marvel at the beautiful work produced by the students at Thimpu’s Painting School. It is hard not to be impressed by their exceptional skill and discipline.

Suggested Holiday Idea

Bhutan Family Adventure

Travelling with kids in Bhutan isn’t going to be a walk in the park, but it’s certainly a worthy experience. Swap the kids club for a more enriching holiday for the entire family.
The type of family that comes to Bhutan loves exploring and getting stuck in. With the constant reassurance of your excellent guide, kids can have a go at so many activities.

10 days

from £4,500 pp

See holiday idea

Sun Temple, Bhutan
Bhutan

An Introduction to Bhutan

This 13-day classic journey is the perfect holiday for anybody visiting Bhutan for the first time, taking in the main sites of Western and Central Bhutan whilst staying in a mix of traditional Bhutanese guest houses and uniquely styled five star comfortable hotels.

13 days

from £4,000 pp

See holiday idea

Meet our experts

A passion for travel runs right through every one of our experts - meaning they're always ready with first-hand insight about their specialist countries.

Kate Hitchen

My travels were first inspired by my love of the UK, which I take as much pleasure in exploring as countries far and wide. For me, travel is all about the adventure, the people I meet and the food I sample along the way.

Talk with our experts
  • 01285 880 980

Frequently asked questions about Bhutan

How will I get around the country?

Is Bhutan safe to travel around?

Is the national dish really chili in cheese?

Is there anything I should read before leaving for Bhutan?

What should I see in Bhutan?

A friend told me to make sure I sit on the left-hand side of the plane on the flight to Paro. Is this true?

Are there any traditions or social etiquettes I need to remember during my visit?

Does a trip to Bhutan involve lots of trekking?

What is the time zone in Bhutan?

How long are the flights to Bhutan from the UK?

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Joe was FANTASTIC! He really knew his stuff and really guided us to a terrific trip!

Bhutan

Why Choose Steppes?

Our knowledge and expertise set us apart. So too our curiosity. It is this that drives us to create a journey that is really bespoke to you, all the while ensuring we travel and operate sustainably.

Are you ready to discover extraordinary once again?


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