Call us: +44(0)1453 844400Email us: info@mountainkingdoms.com

Worldwide Small Group and Tailor Made Adventure Travel

What’s included

  • A Bhutanese leader
  • Economy class return air fares from the UK & UK Departure Tax (flight inclusive only)
  • Flights between Kathmandu and Paro and hotel/airport transfers
  • 5-star hotel accommodation in Kathmandu, twin share, bed and breakfast basis
  • In Bhutan, good standard hotel accommodation in main towns and best available hotels in outlying towns, on a twin share and full board basis
  • Bhutan visa
  • Bhutan departure tax
  • All road transport by private vehicles
  • Sightseeing where specified
  • A free high-quality Mountain Kingdoms micro fleece
  • The opportunity to attend a pre-trip meet in the Cotswolds

Definitive Cultural Tour of Bhutan Festivals

Tour

Bhutan | Tour

Definitive Cultural Tour of Bhutan

Duration:  13 days from the UK

Flight inclusive from £3,645,
Land only from £2,795

Book now or call 01453 844400

A wonderful, easy-paced tour designed to get 'under the surface' of Bhutanese culture.

Highlights

  • Visit all the key cultural sights, including iconic Taktsang Monastery
  • Spend time in rural villages and see artisans at work
  • Stay in good quality accommodation throughout Bhutan
  • Relax at Dwarika’s unique heritage property in Kathmandu

Reviews          

…my hopes and expectations were very high and I was not disappointed – it was a superb holiday.
Mr W, Dorset

knowledge and experience which is unique
giving both a European and Bhutanese perspective. We really enjoyed the contact that he gave us with his family.

It was fantastic - even better than we had imagined… both Michael and Kinsey our Bhutanese guides were brilliant, and made the tour special both in their own ways. I don't know how we can find a holiday which will beat this one!
Mr & Mrs C, Oxon

I was extremely impressed with your company's trip planning, itinerary and general organisation. I really loved my holiday. Thank you for taking me to the most remarkable place.
Ms D, Bristol

This was an excellent holiday. Michael Rutland was superb and we enjoyed meeting his family and visiting his home. All in all it is difficult to see how you could improve on this holiday.
Mr & Mrs B, Middlesex

We felt throughout that we were in the hands of accomplished experts in the field. We particularly enjoyed taking a trip that was so far removed from many other tour packages. The tour combined awe-inspiring scenery, local contact, expert insights into a serene way of life, deeply committed staff, good accommodation (for that part of the world) and mostly excellent vegetarian food that is so hard...
Mr & Mrs W, Surrey

View All

This tour visits the main valleys of western Bhutan, travelling over mountain passes that offer stupendous views. There is no trekking, but we explore the towns on foot and also enjoy some gentle village walks.

We meet villagers and weavers in their own homes, and travel right into Bhutan’s interior. The towns of Bhutan are dominated by enormous monastery-fortresses, or dzongs, that still stand after earthquake and war and are in use today. Centuries of isolation have left the Kingdom of the Thunder Dragon a unique place. The architecture is unlike anything else found in the Himalaya – houses are painted with magic symbols to keep out evil spirits, national dress is commonly worn and the “Dragon” sect of Buddhism thrives. Bhutan is also renowned for producing the highest quality fabrics in the Himalaya.

We explore all aspects of Bhutanese culture on this captivating tour including the unforgettable experience of attending a Bhutanese festival on our April, September and November departures.


At a glance

Duration:  13 days from the UK

Max. Altitude: 3,990m/13,090ft, Chele La pass / 3,140m /10,302ft Dochu La pass 04 Nov 16 Departure

Guaranteed to run for a minimum of 4 clients

Maximum group size: 12

Land only joining city: Kathmandu

Accommodation types: Hotels

Festival:

April 2017 departure attends the Paro Tsechu.

September 2017 departure attends the Thimphu Tsechu.

November 2017 departure attends the Black Necked Crane festival.

Meal arrangements: Bed and Breakfast in Kathmandu and full board elsewhere.

Leader: Michael Rutland
Michael Rutland

Michael, who has known Bhutan since the early Seventies when he was Tutor to the previous King, has an encyclopedic knowledge about its fascinating history and culture. 

He founded the UK-based Bhutan Society, which is dedicated to increasing knowledge about the kingdom and raising funds for worthwhile projects, including schools and village schemes.  He was awarded an OBE for services to British-Bhutan relations.

Leader: Local leader, Bhutan
Local leader, Bhutan

Our holidays in Bhutan are led by fully qualified English-speaking guides. Mountain Kingdoms have been taking visitors to Bhutan since 1986, and our guides are some of the best in the Kingdom. They speak fluent English, as this is taught in all Bhutanese schools, and are fully qualified guides. The Tourism Authority of Bhutan maintains that a Bhutanese trek or tour leaders must pass their guiding exams in Thimphu before accompanying groups of foreign visitors. Our guides receive regular ‘top- up’ training and 15 of our regular leaders have completed an extended training course organised by Mountain Kingdoms in Bhutan.


DayActivity
1-2
This at a glance itinerary is based on our April 2017 departure. The exact itinerary varies by departure, please see our detailed itineraries for full details. Fly to Kathmandu.
3-4
Fly to Paro and drive to Thimphu. Visit the Paro Tsechu festival.
5-6
Visit Tigers Nest Monastery and drive to Thimphu. Sightseeing in Thimphu.
7-8
Drive to Punakha, visit Drukpa Kunley’s temple and Talo Gompa. Visit Khamsum Yuelley Namgyal Chorten and Punakha Dzong.
9-10
Drive to Haa via the Chelila La pass. Exploration of Haa Valley. Return to Paro.
11-13
Fly to Kathmandu. Explore the medieval city's bazaars and temples before returning to the UK.

Map

Map Key

  • AirportAirport
  • General point of interestPoint of interest
  • Mountain RangeMountain Peak
  • TrekDay walk in this area
  • FlightsFlights
  • Internal TransfersInternal Transfers
  • Trek routeTrek

2017

DatesAvailabilityLand OnlyFlight Inclusive from
Sat 8 Apr - Thu 20 Apr 2017Available£3335 Book£4210 Book
Thu 28 Sep - Tue 10 Oct 2017Available£2795 Book£3645 Book
Sat 4 Nov - Thu 16 Nov 2017Available£3360 Book£4210 Book
Sat 16 Dec - Thu 28 Dec 2017Available£3270 Book£4120 Book

Hold your place

Not quite ready to book? Why not call us on 0044 (0)1453 844400 to hold a no obligation place while you make up your mind?

 
Optional supplements
  • Single Room Supplement
    From £470
  • Single room supplement
    From £470
Insurance
  • Cover starts from £89
No Surcharge Guarantee

No surcharges will be applied to your holiday after you book. Prices on this website are updated regularly. The Flight Inclusive holiday price, or Land Only holiday price, will be confirmed to you at the time you make your booking. There will be no surcharges after your booking has been confirmed.

Flight inclusive holidays

The 'flight inclusive' holiday prices shown on this website are based upon our preferred airlines and the best priced economy class fares we are able to secure at the time of publication.

We will be able to advise on fares with alternative airlines, upgrades to Business Class, and the options for flights from regional UK airports, please contact us for more details.

What’s included

  • A Bhutanese leader
  • Economy class return air fares from the UK & UK Departure Tax (flight inclusive only)
  • Flights between Kathmandu and Paro and hotel/airport transfers
  • 5-star hotel accommodation in Kathmandu, twin share, bed and breakfast basis
  • In Bhutan, good standard hotel accommodation in main towns and best available hotels in outlying towns, on a twin share and full board basis
  • Bhutan visa
  • Bhutan departure tax
  • All road transport by private vehicles
  • Sightseeing where specified
  • A free high-quality Mountain Kingdoms micro fleece
  • The opportunity to attend a pre-trip meet in the Cotswolds

What’s not included

  • Travel insurance
  • Visa fees for Nepal
  • Lunch and evening meals in Kathmandu
  • Tips


Review your holiday

Reviews

Read holiday reviews by Mountain Kingdoms travellers.

Fantastic trip leader          

We enjoyed travelling as a small group. We were especially fortunate to have Michael as our leader as he gave us his unique insight.

Enlightening trip to Bhutan          

A most enlightening trip to a mountain kingdom which will remain in my memories as an extremely spiritual and peaceful experience. A great team gave us some very special insight into the harmony of life in Bhutan. A visit to Michael Rutland’s home was most special for our afternoon lunch and discussion. The Black-Necked Crane Festival was most interesting.

Excellent trip to Bhutan          

It was an excellent trip particularly enhanced by Michael Rutland's knowledge and experience which is unique - giving both a European and Bhutanese perspective. We really enjoyed the contact that he gave us with his family. We really enjoyed the Paro festival and the dzong.

Off-the-beaten-path          

Being in a small group. Visiting the Haa Valley which seemed to be off the regular tourist circuit. My fellow travellers were delightful. Our local guide Karma and drive Sangay were both excellent and most helpful. I especially enjoyed our visit to the Haa Valley and would recommend that it become a regular feature of trips to Bhutan.

Definitive Cultural Tour of Bhutan          

Bhutan is a fascinating country; warm, friendly and undemanding people, magnificent scenery and cultural heritage coupled with a calm and relaxing ambience.


Extend your holiday

Dwarika’s Resort Dhulikhel, Nepal
  • Luxuriously furnished accommodation
  • Enjoy stunning mountain views of the Himalaya
  • Relax and rejuvenate in the top of the range spa
  • Take a dip in the refreshing infinity pool
  • Restaurants serve locally sourced organic food

More Details

Dwarika’s Resort is a charming hotel located just an hour’s drive from Kathmandu city and set on a ridge above the town of Dhulikhel. At an altitude of 1,700m/5,600ft and enjoying panoramic views of the mountains, Dwarika’s Resort is the perfect way to relax and feel revitalised and rejuvenated. The resort promises ‘a Himalayan approach to well-being in rustic luxury.’

Built in Dwarika’s own inimitable style the resort offers a relaxing atmosphere of complete harmony in the tradition of ancient Buddhist and Hindu beliefs. The rooms are spacious and luxurious and are set in lovely gardens with inspiring mountain views. Facilities include an infinity pool overlooking beautiful countryside, top of the range spa facilities, a fitness centre, a Chakra sound therapy centre and a Himalayan salt room and meditation room all inspired by a blend of Vedic Philosophy and Buddhist Medicine.

The resort offers an impressive range of ayurvedic treatments as well as yoga and meditation and classes. Its wonderful restaurants offer delicious food, sourced locally and from Dwarika’s own organic farm, with delicious menus carefully created to complement Dwarika’s philosophy and treatments. Other activities include lovely walks to visit their farm or to explore the surrounding area and visit traditional villages such as the legendary Namobuddha Monastery or the Newari village of Panauti, to experience the simple joys of Nepalese rural life.


Bhutan Hotel Upgrades
  • Upgrade your accommodation for your trip in Bhutan.
  • Choose from lovely boutique and spa hotels in various destinations.

More Details

For our brochure trips to Bhutan we offer good standard tourist hotels and lodges. However, nowadays Bhutan also offers some lovely boutique and spa hotels which we are pleased to offer as upgrades on your trip.


Tibet Extension
  • Visit some of Tibet's most important historical and cultural sites and monasteries of Tibetan Buddhism.
  • Offers a scenery completely different to that of Bhutan and Nepal.
  • Suitable to add to any holiday flying in/out of Kathmandu.

More Details

​A visit to Tibet offers an exciting extension to a visit to Nepal or Bhutan. Regular flights to Lhasa from Kathmandu make it possible to visit most of the major sights in and around Lhasa on an 8 day itinerary and a visit to Tibet will provide an exhilarating contrast to your trek or tour in Nepal or Bhutan. Tibet’s high plateau offers totally different and starker scenery to that of the other Himalayan countries. Here you will see some of the most important historical and cultural sites and monasteries of Tibetan Buddhism – the Potala Palace and Samye, Ganden and Drepung Monasteries.

If taking this extension you will need to spend an extra day beforehand in Kathmandu while our agents there process your Tibet visa. They will need your passport for the day for this purpose. You need to let us know in good time if you wish to take this extension as we need to put this process in hand and send your details to the Chinese Embassy in Kathmandu well before your departure date.


Tiger Mountain Lodge, Pokhara
  • Fly from Kathmandu to Pokhara in the Annapurna range of Nepal
  • The lodge is an ideal base for you to relax in a rural mountain setting
  • Beautiful outdoor swimming pool reflecting view of the Annapurna range
  • Delicious Nepali dishes & continental specialities made from local fresh ingredients, home-grown herbs & garden salads

More Details

Why not extend your adventure in Nepal by visiting the beautiful Tiger Mountain Pokhara Lodge. Tiger Mountain Pokhara lodge is a lovely place, situated on a ridge half an hour outside Pokhara and enjoying the most stunning mountain views over the Annapurna range of mountains.

The lodge is an ideal base for you to relax in a rural mountain setting, away from the bustle of town. With a central lodge, bar and dining room, the comfortable rooms are arranged in clusters of cottages resembling a Nepali village. All have attached bathrooms, private verandas and Himalayan views. Daily menus feature a range of Nepali dishes as well as continental specialities made from local fresh ingredients and home-grown herbs and garden salads. You may enjoy lovely walks through the forests and villages of the lovely countryside surrounding the lodge, escorted by trained local guides. The beautiful swimming pool reflects the distant white peaks of the Annapurna range. The lodge also offers a range of Ayurvedic and shiatsu therapy and yoga and meditation sessions are also available (at additional cost). You may also venture further afield to visit Pokhara, Nepal’s second city located on a lovely lake and also enjoying spectacular views.


Everest Flight - extension
  • Fly within five nautical miles of Everest
  • As well as Everest, see views of other 8,000m giants; Makalu, Kanchenjunga, Cho Oyu and Lhotse
  • Flights operate in the early morning, when weather conditions are at their best.

More Details

While in Kathmandu, why not experience the spectacular sight of Mount Everest? Instead of trekking into the region to gain a good view of this must-see landmark you could see it in under an hour! We fly with either Buddha Air or Mountain Air who both operate modern Raytheon Beechcraft 1900 aircraft. These hold between 16 and 18 people and as the seating is only two abreast everyone is guaranteed a window seat.


Chitwan National Park - extension

Chitwan National Park - extension
  • Activities include; bird watching, elephant washing, canoe ride, elephant experience, landrover safari and jungle walks
  • Choice of accommodation from budget to luxury
  • Suitable to add to any holiday flying in/out of Kathmandu

More Details

Why not extend your adventure in Nepal by visiting Nepal’s jungle region for a complete contrast to the high mountains and the Kathmandu Valley. Chitwan is home to a rich and varied wildlife. Here are found wild elephant, rhinos, leopard, sambar, chital (spotted) deer, wild boar and
arguably the most magnificent of cats, the Royal Bengal Tiger. You may even see sloth bear, gaur (wild cattle) and crocodiles. Chitwan is also wonderful for birdlife especially in the spring, when the jungle rings day and night to the calls of several kinds of Asian cuckoo.


Agra, Taj Mahal & Jaipur - extension (Nepal)

Agra, Taj Mahal & Jaipur - extension (Nepal)
  • 3-day and 6-day extension options available
  • Add to the beginning or end of your holiday in the Himalaya
  • Sights include the Red Fort, Taj Mahal, City Palace and Amber Fort

More Details

After your adventurous trek to the Himalaya why not add an exciting trip to Agra to see the sights of the one time capital of the great Mughal empire? Or, if you have more time available, perhaps a longer trip visiting both Agra and another gem of the ‘Golden Triangle’, Jaipur. For those travelling to or from Kathmandu for their holiday it is very straightforward to stop off in Delhi en-route to make a side-trip in India. Whichever option you take, once in Agra you will be looked after by one of our fully trained, English-speaking guides who will show you around the Red Fort, the Taj Mahal and the ancient city and mosque of Fatehpur Sikri. For those travelling on to Jaipur, you will take guided visits to the Amber Fort, Palace of the Winds and City Palace, and have time to explore the colourful bazaars of the ‘Pink City’.


Bardia National Park - extension

Bardia National Park - extension
  • Jungle activities including an elephant experience, bird watching, rafting and nature walks
  • See wild elephant, rhinoceros, leopard, deer, wild boar and if you are lucky, the famous Royal Bengal Tiger
  • Stay at the delightful Tiger Tops Karnali Lodge situated on the edge of the park

More Details

After your adventurous time in the Himalaya why not add a relaxing Jungle Safari to your trip?
The Royal Bardia National Park is situated in the west of Nepal. We use Tiger Tops Karnali Lodge, which is acknowledged to be the best lodge in the area. Bardia’s remote geographic location and the fact that the lodge has only 12 rooms, lends a degree of exclusivity to the experience, in comparison to other more popular parks. From the lodge you will be able to participate in safaris and have the chance of seeing some of the country’s wonderful wildlife, for instance, wild elephant, rhinoceros, leopard, deer, wild boar and if you are lucky, the famous Royal Bengal Tiger. There is also the possibility of visiting the villages of the Tharu tribal people that surround the lodge. With its abundant wildlife, relaxing lodge and first class service, our Bardia extension is an experience you will savour!


Shivapuri Heights Cottages extension
  • Escape the crowds and hustle and bustle of Kathmandu
  • Walks available from the cottage - explore the nearby countryside
  • Single and double rooms available, or exclusive hire of the entire cottage
  • Breakfast and dinner included, plus unlimited tea and coffee

More Details

While in Kathmandu, why not experience an exclusive, private, home away from home? Shivapuri Heights Cottage is a “home-stay-style” property that offers a great escape from the hustle and bustle of the City. It is located in 2 acres of land at an altitude of 6,000ft /1,830m on the edge of the protected Shivapuri Reserve, with beautiful views looking down into the Kathmandu Valley.


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