Trip reference number: Group Tour

Trip Operator: TransIndus

Essential Bhutan

From: £2145.00

Discover the magic and mystery of Bhutan on this interesting tour covering the sights of Paro and Thimphu, and taking in the astonishing fortified monastic complexes at Punakha. Also included is the beautiful valley of Gangtey, famous for its population of migrant black-necked cranes, and an excellent base for walks. The tour is bookended with short stays in the capital city of Nepal, Kathmandu, where you will have the opportunity to do some sightseeing and souvenir shopping between flights.


Day 1  Kathmandu

Greeted on arrival in Kathmandu transfer to the Malla hotel or similar for an overnight stay. The afternoon is at leisure to explore the bustling Thamel quarter on your own.

Day 2 Kathmandu, Thimphu

Take a short flight on Druk Air, Bhutan’s national carrier, landing in Paro. Greeted on arrival and driven to Thimphu, the capital city, for your two nights’ stay at Kisa Hotel or similar.

Day 3 Thimphu

A full day is spent visiting the sights of Thimphu. This includes an impressive dzong, a fortified monastic building found in nearly all of Bhutan’s main settlements as well as the King’s Memorial, the Painting School where students undergo a 6-year training in Bhutan’s 13 traditional arts and crafts, Simply Bhutan Museum, Textile Museum, Buddha Point and a local craft bazaar.

Day 4 Thimphu, Gangtey

Begin the journey eastward with a morning’s drive up to the Dochu-la pass (3,088 metres). Continue on to Gangtey and the valley of Phobjika. Two nights are spent at the simple Dewachen Resort or similar.

Day 5 Gangtey

The valley is considered sacred to the Bhutanese as it is the winter residence of a small but significant black necked crane population that migrate over the Himalaya from Tibet. Visit the
black necked crane centre to learn more about these birds and the significant place they hold in local folk lore.

Day 6 Gangtey, Punakha

Drive to Punakha in the morning for one night at the Damchen Resort or similar. Visit the beautiful Punakha Dzong this afternoon, considered to be one of the finest examples of dzong architecture in Bhutan. Later take a short excursion to Chimi Lhakhang also known as ‘Fertility Temple’.

Day 7 Punakha, Paro

Drive in the morning to Paro (4-5 hours). En route visit Simtokha Dzong, the oldest fortress of the country, which now houses the School for Buddhist studies. Stay at Gangtey Palace hotel or similar for two nights. Afternoon is at leisure. Optional activity: Experience a local hot stone bath.

Day 8 Paro

A full day’s sightseeing including visits to the Ta Dzong, which houses the National Museum, the Rinpung Dzong and an arduous walk up to the famous Taktsang (‘Tiger’s Nest’) monastery, which rests precariously on a rocky hillside overlooking a wide forested valley.

Day 9 Paro, Kathmandu

Fly back to Kathmandu for an overnight stay at the Malla hotel or similar.

Day 10 Kathmandu

Transfer to the airport.

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