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.

Sun Temple, Bhutan

An Introduction to Bhutan

  • TAILOR-MADE HOLIDAY IDEA

Duration

13 Days

Prices Start from

£4,000pp (ex. flights)

Suitable for

Couples Adventure Traveller Photographers

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.

Key Highlights of this Itinerary

Monk enjoying his colorful mask dance at yearly Paro Tsechu festival in Bhutan, Paro, Bhutan 1

Spring Festivals

Bhutan hosts the annual Punaka and Paro Festivals in March and April.

Prayer Beads, Bhutan 2

Monastic Life

Walk or drive to remote working monasteries to observe monastic life.

Buddhist Temple, Bumthang, Bhutan 3

Bumthang Valley

Visit Bumthang Valley, the spiritual heartland of Bhutan.

Monks, Bhutan 4

Private blessing

Experience early morning prayer ceremonies followed by a private blessing.

Why we like it

This holiday suits anybody interested in immersive cultural travel. For the first time visitor, it is the perfect blend of views, Bhutanese culture, and walks. Explore the capital of Bhutan before crossing spectacular passes into Central Bhutan with your own exclusive driver and guide. Driving plays a large element of getting around this country as road journeys are inevitable to get around.

Explore our suggested itinerary

Bhutan on your wishlist? Talk to our experts about tailoring this trip for you.

  • Day 1

    Delhi

  • Day 2

    Delhi - Paro - Thimphu

  • Day 3

    Thimphu

  • Day 4

    Thimphu - Punakha

  • Day 5

    Punakha - Bumthang

  • Day 6-7

    Bumthang

  • Day 8

    Bumthang - Gangtey

  • Day 9

    Gangtey

  • Day 10

    Gangtey - Paro

  • Day 11

    Paro

  • Day 12

    Paro - Delhi

  • Day 13

    Delhi

Day 1

Delhi

Day 2

Delhi - Paro - Thimphu

Giant Buddha, Thimpu, Bhutan

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.

Day 3

Thimphu

Day 4

Thimphu - Punakha

Punakha Dzong, Punakha, Bhutan

Bhutan hosts the annual Punaka and Paro Festivals in March and April.

Day 5

Punakha - Bumthang

Bumthang Dzong Monastery, Bhutan

Explore Bumthang’s green countryside, valleys, snowcapped hills, and fast-flowing streams.

Day 6-7

Bumthang

Overlooked by the impressive Gangtey Gompa, the area is renowned for its black-necked cranes.

 

Day 8

Bumthang - Gangtey

Day 9

Gangtey

Black-Necked Cranes, Gangtey, Bhutan

Overlooked by the impressive Gangtey Gompa, the area is renowned for its black-necked cranes.

Day 10

Gangtey - Paro

Day 11

Paro

2 Monks dancing for colorful mask dance at yearly Paro Tsechu festival in Bhutan

Bhutan hosts the annual Paro Festival in March and April.

Day 12

Paro - Delhi

Day 13

Delhi

Our travel experts can tailor this itinerary to suit you.

More details

Prayer Flags, Bhutan
Bhutan

Dochu-La Pass

Drive up to the Dochu-La pass (3,088m/10,130ft) stopping 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 of Masagang, Tsendegang, Terigang and also Gangkar Puensum, the highest peak in Bhutan at 7,497m can be seen from this pass.

Haa Valley, Bhutan
Bhutan

Cycle Downhill

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.

Taktshang Monastery, Paro, Bhutan
Paro, Bhutan

Tigers Nest 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 the 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.

 

Read More
2 Monks dancing for colorful mask dance at yearly Paro Tsechu festival in Bhutan
Bhutan

Bhutan Festivals

Festivals or tshecu are an intrinsic part of Bhutanese life. They are colourful with masked dancers and bright costumes. Bhutan hosts the popular Punakha, Thimpu and Paro Festivals which attract thousands of people. There are also smaller festivals happening throughout the year which may feel more authentic, as they don’t attract such large numbers of tourists. Travel with Steppes and visit Khotakha Valley, known as “Beyul” -the hidden valley. With new lodges on the horizon to provide a comfortable stay, a visit to the Khotakha Festivals held in May, August and September will offer greater local interaction.

Gangtey Valley, Bhutan
Gangtey, Bhutan

The Black Cranes of Phojikha Valley

Overlooked by the impressive Gangtey Gompa, the area is renowned for its black-necked cranes. These rare birds escape the cold Tibetan winters by sheltering in this lush valley. Well worth a visit is the Crane Information Centre, where you can observe the cranes through binoculars and learn more about these endangered species. There is a one-day festival dedicated to the crane