Over 60% of Bhutan is legally protected land as national parks or sanctuaries and largely inaccessible by vehicles so donning hiking boots and taking to the hills is an obvious way to explore the country.
On a variety of day trails discover some of the country’s most fascinating sights. Visit Bhutan’s first monastery, Cheri Goemba and enjoy views of the secluded Haa Valley on a trek across the Cheli-La Ridge where on a clear day Mount Jomulhari can be seen in the distance.
Fly to Kathmandu, via Delhi.
Land Kathmandu and drive to the Ambassador Garden Hotel. Enjoy the evening at leisure.
This morning return to the airport and fly to Paro in Bhutan. Land and drive to Thimphu for a short wander around town, a welcome dinner and briefing. (B,D)
Today talk a walk to Cheri Goemba, Bhutan's first monastery. Drive to the start of the trail and walk across the cantilevered bridge over the Wang Chhu (river). Climb steeply to the goemba enjoying stunning views along the way. Special permits have been arranged for a visit to the temple sites. Return to Thimphu and explore the town in a little more detail: visit the Memorial Chorten, the National Library, the thangkha painting school and Changlimithang Lhakhang. (B,L,D)
Today drive to Punakha, a scenic journey via the impressive Dochula Pass at 3,048 metres. Drop down into the fertile Punakha Valley and this afternoon, hike to the temple of Chimi Lhakhang, or the 'Temple of the Divine Mad Monk'. The walk is beautiful and passes through a lovely local village. Drive alongside the Mo Chhu to Punakha Dzong and explore the inner courtyard. Overnight Punakha. (B,L,D)
Today enjoy a day hike to pretty Lumakha Village which is an easier, low altitude trek and the first leg of the Samtengang Winter trek. The trek crosses the longest suspension bridge in Bhutan, crosses the powerful Pho Chhu and passes through terraced fields and forests. End the walk and return to Punakha for overnight. (B,L,D)
Today will be a long drive across the country to Bumthang but the scenery along the way is simply outstanding. The road travels through forested landscapes and over the Pele La Pass at 3,300 metres. In places the road is carved out of the cliff sides. Descend to Trongsa and break the journey with a visit to Trongsa Dzong and the adjacent museum. Continue on the drive to Bumthang and cross another high altitude pass, the Yotung La at 3425 metres before dropping once more into the valley. Overnight Jakar. (B,L,D)
Today enjoy a hike to Tamshing Goemba. Starting from the hotel, visit Jambay Lhakhang and Kurjey Lhakhang then cross the suspension bridge to Tamshing Goemba. Continue on to the bazaar and then either be driven back to the hotel or walk. This is an easy 4-5 hour walk of the pretty Jakar valley. Depending on your walking speed there will also be time to visit the cheese factory, Red Panda Brewery and Jakar Dzong. Overnight Jakar. (B,L,D)
Today drive to the Phobjikha Valley, one of the few glacial valleys in Bhutan and home to the rare and migratory black-necked cranes. Explore the valley including Gangtey Monastery, the only Nyingmapa monastery in Bhutan. Overnight Gangtey. (B,L,D)
This morning explore the valley in search of the black-necked cranes (Nov-Feb). Drive back to Thimphu and time permitting stop in Thimphu for a spot of shopping. This evening, drive down the winding road to Paro and overnight. (B,L,D)
Today hike the stunning Cheli La Ridge. This journey is a real hiking highlight, on clear days Mt Jomulhari and many other high peaks can be seen. The path passes through flower meadows and offers superb views of the Haa Valley and Taktshang Monastery. From the summit, descend through yak pastures and forest to the cliff side Kila nunnery, home to about 30 nuns. Return to the Paro Valley and visit Drukgyal Dzong - a fantastic view of Jhomolhari Peak at 7314 metres can be seen from here. Overnight Paro. (B,L,D)
Enjoy a hike to the iconic Taktshang Monastery perched high on a cliff overlooking the whole valley. In the afternoon visit Bhutan's national museum housed in an old watchtower located above Paro Dzong. At the end of the day there will be time avaialble to take a wander around Paro. (B,L,D)
Take a morning transfer to Paro airport for the flight to Kathmandu. Enjoy an afternoon city tour and overnight Kathmandu. (B)
Return to Kathmandu airport and fly to the UK, via Delhi. (B)
14 day tour, from £5495 per person
- Return flights in economy class with Qatar Airways to Kathmandu, via Doha, from London Heathrow
- Return flights in economy class with Druk Air from Kathmandu to Paro
- All airport taxes & security charges
- Accommodation as stated
- Bed & Breakfast meal basis in Kathmandu
- Full Board meal basis in Bhutan
- All transport in air-conditioned vehicles (4WD vehicles in Bhutan)
- Sightseeing and airport transfers with English-speaking guide/driver
- Bhutan visa included as part of an inclusive tour booked with Regent Holidays
- Tourism development levy
- Travel Insurance
- Tips and gratuities
- Any meals not mentioned
- Beverages are not included in the full board rates
- Nepal visa (multiple entry visa issued on arrival in Kathmandu for US$25 per person (UK passport holders))
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