Bhutan Tours & Holidays

Small Group Tours & Tailor-Made Holidays

Overview

With our passage through the bridge, behold a curious transformation. For just as Alice, when she walked through the looking-glass, found herself in a new and whimsical world, so we, when we crossed the Pa-chhu, found ourselves as though caught up on some magic time machine fitted fantastically with reverse, flung back across the centuries into the feudalism of a medieval age. So wrote the Earl of Ronaldshay upon entering Bhutan in 1923. Nearly a century later and those words still hold true, ...

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Meet the Expert

Speak to Shalmali to start planning your trip to Bhutan

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Group tours

Travel to Bhntan with like-minded people on one of our small group tours (usually max size 12), featuring knowledgeable local guides and an expert tour leader.

TAILOR-MADE HOLIDAYS

Whether you want to travel on one of our award-winning itineraries or build your own journey from scratch, our expert consultants will help create the perfect tour for your tastes and budget. Below are a few suggestions of the kind of trips we can offer, all of which can be tailored to you.

SUGGESTED ITINERARIES

HIGHLIGHTS OF BHUTAN

BEST EXPERIENCES

Hike to the Tiger's Nest Monastery

Hike to the Tiger's Nest Monastery

The Tiger’s Nest Monastery is one of the most famous and sacred of Bhutan’s monasteries, built on a rock ledge a thousand metres above the valley floor. Hike to the monastery, soak up the views and partake in a prayer ceremony

Learn to cook Bhutan's national dish

Learn to cook Bhutan's national dish

Take a cooking class at a local restaurant hosted by a team of chefs who will demonstrate some local delicacies. You'll learn to make the national dish of Bhutan - the fiery ‘Emma Datshi’ made with chilies and local Bhutanese cheese, which you can then devour

Make sand mandalas with a monk

Make sand mandalas with a monk

Visit a local monastery to be shown the ancient art of sand mandala, designed to cleanse the soul and liberate it towards enlightenment. The monks create an intricate pattern from sand which symbolises the unity of life, and then will help you make your own

Visit Gangtey Monastery

Visit Gangtey Monastery

A complex of five temples surrounding a central tower, the Gangtey Monastery, founded in 1613, is situated above the picturesque Phobjikha Valley. The village here is inhabited mainly by the families of the 140-strong priest community who look after it

Peruse the weekend market

Peruse the weekend market

Explore the fascinating and famous weekend market of Thimphu, one of the largest farmers markets in Bhutan, with produce brought here from all over the country. You'll find everything from dried fish and wild honey to textiles and local handicrafts

Enjoy a farmhouse lunch with locals

Enjoy a farmhouse lunch with locals

Get a glimpse into village life by enjoying a locally-sourced meal with a family in Punakha. Make friends in a traditionally decorated, colourful Bhutanese farmhouse, made entirely out of stone and mud, and trade stories with your hosts!

Marvel at black-necked cranes

Marvel at black-necked cranes

Every October, one of the most beautiful spots in Bhutan, the Phobjikha Valley plays host to the Black-necked Cranes flying in from Tibet to escape winter. They circle the Gangtey Monastery three times before landing amongst the protected marshlands

Explore the Tang Valley

Explore the Tang Valley

Pema Lingpa, the famous saint, was born in the Tang Valley of Bumthang. Past the Dechenpelrithang sheep farm, you can find a path lined with prayer flags which leads you to a gorge where the river forms a pool and you can discover his image carved on the rock

Hike to Cheri Goemba

Hike to Cheri Goemba

Trek to Cheri Goemba, a monastery built by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal in 1620 and where he spent many years in meditation. Cheri today has numerous hermitages and small temples located on its slopes, commanding spectacular views

TOP PLACES TO VISIT

Bumthang

The sacred heart of Bhutan, Bumthang is made up of four separate valleys that are blessed with some of the country’s most revered settings and ancient temples. It was to here that Guru Rimpoche first ...

Gangtey

The Phobjika Valley is a broad, fertile glacial trough that occupies the landscapes of central Bhutan. Wonderfully scenic and home to the stunning 17th century Gangtey Monastery, this area is the main ...

Paro

The Paro Valley is a wide and verdant region of west Bhutan, recognized as one of the most beautiful in the whole country; it's also home to the country's only airport and therefore forms a natural stop ...

Punakha

The country’s former capital, Punakha lies amongst the fertile valleys of the Pho Chu and Mo Chu Rivers, where the surrounding farmlands produce oranges, bamboo and rice. Overshadowing this lush landscape ...

Thimphu

The Bhutanese capital lies along the western banks of the Wang Chhu River, amongst the valleys and woodlands of the western central part of the country. The political and economic heart of the country,...

OUR FAVOURITE PLACES TO STAY

Luxury | Boutique Hotel

Amankora Bumthang, Bumthang

Located in the centre of the Bumthang valley, Amankora Bumthang comprises 16 luxurious suites in four separate areas. Each features a traditional bukhari stove, king-sized beds, a terrazzo-clad bath,…
Luxury | Boutique Hotel

Amankora Gangtey, Gangtey

You won't miss your TV or swimming pool at Amankora Gangtey. The wooden walls, fireplace, cosy beds and incredible views and walks outside will keep you occupied. In fact, with the farmer's hot stone…
Luxury | Hotel

Como Uma Punakha, Punakha

The ideal retreat for travellers in search of peace and adventure, this exquisite luxury lodge is set deep in the Uma Punakha Valley overlooking the Mo Chu river. Two villas and nine rooms with large…
Premium | Hotel

Naksel Resort & Spa, Paro

Naksel Resort & Spa is a community based, eco-friendly and energy efficient project that blends traditional Bhutanese architecture with modern comforts and amenities. The main construction materials…
Luxury | Hotel

Pemako Thimpu, Thimphu

Blending Bhutan's Dzong architecture with modern design, the Pemako Thimpu, formerly the Taj Tashi, is Thimpu's most luxurious five star hotel. Deep in the valley, its 66 rooms look out onto the city,…
Luxury | Boutique Hotel

Six Senses Paro, Paro

The latest luxury addition to Paro, Six Senses Paro is located on a hill at the elevation of 2670 metres, with commanding views of the valley below. This luxury lodge offers 20 spacious and…
Luxury | Hotel

Six Senses Thimphu, Thimphu

The Six Senses at Thimphu is set within apple orchards and is surrounded by pine forests, located at 2,645 metres, with dramatic views of Thimphu valley and the mountains beyond. The indoor spaces and…

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WHEN TO GO

As far as the climate is concerned Bhutan has everything from tropical jungle with heat and humidity pushing into over-drive and High Mountain passes where it regularly snows. From November – March it will likely be cold at night but you should have clear weather and great views of the Himalayas. Average temperature from Paro - Bumthang: Day time is 11c and Night minimum -5c in Jan. East Bhutan will be max 16c and minimum 10c at the same time. You can expect snow fall at any time between Paro and Bumthang in the higher areas.

Meet the expert, Shalmali

Shalmali is our Indian Subcontinent expert, who has travelled extensively in the region.

Speak to Shalmali by calling
+44 (0)20 3944 6258

Hike to Taktsang and make a traditional prayer offering, enjoy archery at the local range, Thimphu farmers market, hike in the forests of Phobjikha valley, visit Punakha monastery festival, cycle to Haa valley or make a sand mandala with a Buddhist monk.

USEFUL INFORMATION

Health and Vaccinations 

There are no mandatory immunisations for travellers to Bhutan though you should be up-to-date with Typhoid, Tetanus, Polio and Hepatitis A. Malaria is present in some parts of Bhutan. Please note we are not medical professionals and so we highly recommend you seek advice from your local GP or travel centre as to the correct immunisations and preventative treatments. 

Currency 

In Bhutan the official unit of currency is the Bhutanese Nu. This is a closed currency and can only be exchanged in country.  

To check out the latest exchange rate for the places that you are visiting you can go to www.oanda.com.  

Cultural Sensitivity 

Bhutan is the only country on the planet where Buddhism is the state religion, and as a result the people are outstandingly laid-back and friendly.   

Whilst visiting the Dzongs men will need to wear a collared shirt (either full or half sleeved), and both sexes must wear full-length trousers/skirt and shoes. You will not be allowed to enter if you are wearing hats, shorts or short skirts, flip-flops or regular t-shirts.  

On our tours we frequently interact with local people, each with their own distinct customs and traditions. We therefore ask you to be considerate and to treat them with respect. Your guides will be able to advise you accordingly.  

Language & Religion 

In Bhutan, the official language is Dzongkha with many regional dialects so that, as in India, English is often used to overcome regional language problems.    

The Drukpa Kagyupa sect of Buddhism is the official ‘state’ religion, with some monasteries still following the Nyingmapa School, both of which are disciplines of Mahayana Buddhism. The law provides for freedom of religion and thus the many ethnic Nepalese who live in the south of Bhutan practice Hinduism.  

Time 

Bhutan is 5 hours ahead of GMT.   

A useful website to check the time zone differences is www.worldtimezone.com.  

Food and drink 

In Bhutan spicy chillies (ema) and cheese (datshi) blended with a wide variety of vegetables, meats, poultry and fish are found on many Bhutanese menus. Red rice is the staple food (like brown rice in texture, but with a nutty taste – the only variety of rice that grows at high altitudes), but Bhutanese are very fond of meat, especially dried meat.   

Favourite beverages include butter tea, locally brewed rice wine and beer; the local beer is called Chang. Bhutanese also drink Arra, home-brewed alcohol distilled from rice, maize, wheat, or barley.  

 

Travelling Solo In Bhutan

All of our small group tours are designed to cater for solo travellers: the number of solo travellers will vary from tour to tour, but usually over half will be travelling alone. Get all of the excitement of discovering new places combined with the security of travelling with an organised group, with like minded people.