The Royal Bhutan Tour

08 Nights / 09 Days

When should you go: 20 October - 28 October

Nestled high up in the Himalayas like an eagle's nest, mystical Bhutan restricts tourism and trekkers need permission. Nonetheless, it is worth exploring this Shangri-la in the peaks. A visit to this enchanting and magical kingdom is incomplete without a visit to the Paro Dzong, a massive fortress that towers up into the mountain. Stop at the delightful Swiss farm for beer and cheese.

Then there is the Trashi Choe Dong and the Jakar Dong you must visit and round it off by a visit to the bustling, heady, weekend market and the Motithang Reserve, with an eyeball to eyeball confrontation with the Takins, Bhutan's national animal. There is mountain biking to be done here on rugged trails and ecotourism, rafting and trekking with an overnight stay at a local farmhouse. Imbibe the culture of Bhutan during a weeklong exhilarating stay. It is a bit chilly but a lot thrilling up there.

  1. Day 1- Fly to Paro

    Take a flight to Paro. It offers spectacular views of hills, alpine forests, small monasteries, temples and flat-roofed farmhouses. A single road lined with willows, clear mountain streams, families working in the roadside fields and one of Bhutan’s most attractive Dzongs (fortress monasteries) create breathtaking views. Overnight at hotel.

  2. Day 2- Drive to Punakha

    Drive through Bhutan's only highway, via the capital city Thimpu and across the Dochu La to Punakha, the traditional winter capital of Bhutan. Punakha Dzong is the winter home for over 1000 monks. Each year the Punakha festival celebrates the famous victory over the Tibetans, who were repulsed while trying to recapture the sacred statue of Avalokiteshvara, brought to Bhutan by Shabdrung in 1637. Overnight at lodge.

  3. Day 3- Day Rafting trip on Pho-Chu

    2 hr hike from Punakha to Samdenkha. After relaxing for a while we come down some exciting class III rapids and some spectacular scenery. This three hour trip is the best day rafting trip in Bhutan. Overnight at lodge.

  4. Day 4- Drive Punakha to Gantey

    After breakfast at our lodge, we head east again, towards the Pele La. The continuation of our drive takes us by way of the pleasant town of Wangdi, which has another commanding dzong on a spur above the river. This is one of a handful of monasteries in Bhutan of the Nyingmapa Buddhist sect. Overnight at lodge.

  5. Day 5- A day in the Phobjikha Valley

    The Phobjikha valley is one of the few places in the Himalayas where the black-necked crane overwinters, having spent the summer on the high plateau of Tibet. There is also plenty of opportunity for us to visit the monastery today and to meet the local people. Overnight at lodge.

  6. Day 6- Drive back to Thimpu

    Make an early start for the drive back to Thimpu, which is sited in a broad, green valley and surrounded by terraced rice fields. Later sightseeing/excursion to the great Tashichoedzong Palace, which houses the offices of the King and is the summer residence of the Je Khenpo, the spiritual head of Bhutan. Overnight at hotel.

  7. Day 7- Optional Tango Monastery hike

    Stretch your legs with an optional hike up to Tango Monastery which sits in a commanding location above the northern end of the Thimpu Valley. This beautiful and well-kept monastery dates back to the 15th century and is one of the most important centres of Buddhist learning in Bhutan. Overnight at hotel.

  8. Day 8- Return to Paro, Taktsang Monastery hike

    Drive back to Paro and have the afternoon free for exploration. Option to walk up to the famous cliff-side Taktsang Monastery, also known as the 'tiger's nest'. This monastery has the most stunning location, perched on a ledge of a cliff high above the Paro Valley. Overnight at hotel.

  9. Day 9- Onward Flight

    Transfer to Paro Airport to catch the onward flight back.

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