Journey through Snowy Peaks and Mountain Monasteries

Prices from £3,245 pp

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View day-by-day

Duration14 days / 13 nights (flexible)

ItineraryThimphu - Phobjikha - Bumthang - Merak Sakteng Trek - Trashigang - Samdrup Jonkhar - Guwahati Airport

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Overview

Colourful prayer flags fluttering in the wind, devout monks in red robes, tumbling green valleys and soaring white peaks; welcome to Bhutan! This two-week itinerary will allow you to delve deep into Bhutan’s culture, visiting places few tourists venture. You’ll travel from west to east, taking on the 7-day Merak Sakteng trek before ending your trip in neighboring India.

What's included

  • Accommodation – based on 2 people sharing
  • All meals and local drinks (e.g. tea and coffee)
  • Transport with private driver
  • English-speaking guide at your disposal
  • Entrance fees as applicable

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Location map

Your day-by-day itinerary

A Taste of Thimphu

Today you’ll travel to your comfortable hotel in Thimphu, reputedly the only capital city without traffic lights. Home to an impressive Trashi Chhoe Dzong which hosts one of the most memorable festivals (tsechus) in the country, Thimphu is a wonderful introduction to the country. With numerous temples, unusual museums and a busy weekend market this town will win you over and keep you busy. Don’t forget to check out the world’s largest sitting Buddha perched atop a hill overlooking the capital – you wouldn’t want to miss the views!

Thimphu Dzong courtyard, Bhutan

Swooping Cranes in Sweeping Valleys

You’ll visit one of the most beautiful valleys in the whole of the Himalayas, home to the black-necked crane, Phobjikha Valley. You’ll stay in a charming hotel on the edge of the valley. Whilst here you’ll visit a large monastery which offers beautiful views of the valley and take a trip to the Crane Centre for information on the long-legged birds.

Black-necked cranes in colourful Phobjika Valley in Central Bhutan

Uncover the Legends of Bumthang

Bumthang is the cultural and spiritual heartland of Bhutan. The journey takes around seven hours, but you’ll travel along some of Bhutan’s most scenic passes, covered in prayer flags fluttering in the wind and make quite a few stops along the way. During your stay in Bumthang, you’ll visit the impressive Jakar Dzong, see young monks practice their debating skills, and if you’re lucky, you might witness one of the colourful festivals the region’s famous for.

 

Dancer wearing traditional dress

There are many interesting monasteries and festivals in the region that are well worth a visit, so have a chat with your guide to see what’s going on during your stay. You can also take a trip to Burning Lake, a sacred part of the mountain river and a beautiful spot to relax. This region is also ideal for day hikes during which you can visit numerous remote temples. On the last day of your stay you’ll drive to the Ura Valley, one of the most unusual villages in Bhutan.

Footsteps through Forests & Mountains

In this newly developed 7-day trek, you’ll get off the beaten path and explore the remote eastern Bhutan region of Sakteng Wildlife Sanctuary. You’ll start in the village of Chaling before ending near the regional weaving village of Radhi. Trek through villages, forests and mountains whilst taking a pit stop at different campsites for the night.

Footsteps through Forests & Mountains

The Sakteng wildlife sanctuary is an unspoilt and delicate ecosystem covering 750km2, established specifically to look after the legendary Yeti. It’s home to snow leopards, red pandas, red foxes and the Himalayan black bear. Likewise, the region is native to the semi-nomadic Brokpa people – one of the Himalayas most interesting ethnic groups, who you’ll have the opportunity to visit for a day, discovering their lifestyle and unique culture. This trek will allow you to experience a totally different side of Bhutan to most visitors.

Group of people smiling whilst trekking through Bhutan

Through the Foothills to India

After a night of relaxation after your long trek, you’ll get to explore the city of Trashigang. Here you’ll find the Trashigang Dzong and numerous bars and restaurants. You’ll take a day trip to Trashi Yangtze, where you’ll take a stop off at the Gom Kora, before finding the Chorten Kora and have a go at making your own Bhutanese wood carving after a traditional lunch.

Through the Foothills to India

Back in your car, you’ll follow the rushing glacial waters down the mountains to the south. After one last outdoor picnic, you’ll begin to feel the temperature starting to rise and the traffic slowly increasing. You’ll see and feel that you are close to the heat, noise and colours of India. You’ll stay one night in Samdrup Jongkhar, then cross the border into India the next day.

David on a rickshaw

Speak to our Bhutan specialist, David

“Bhutan felt like a fairy-tale to me; a land where the locals wear traditional dress and archery is practiced against a backdrop of green valleys and blue skies. Visit this country, and you’ll soon believe in legends.”


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