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

Worldwide Small Group and Tailor Made Adventure Travel

What’s included

  • An English speaking Bhutanese leader
  • Economy class return air fares from the UK & UK Departure Tax (flight inclusive only)
  • Flights between Kathmandu and Paro and internal Bhutan flights
  • Dwarika’s 5* hotel in Kathmandu, bed & breakfast on twin-share basis
  • Hotel/airport transfers
  • All road transport by private vehicles
  • In Bhutan, good standard hotel accommodation in main towns and best available hotels in outlying towns, on full board, twin-share basis.
  • Bhutan Visa
  • Bhutan Departure Tax
  • Sightseeing where specified
  • Carbon offset flights (flight inclusive bookings)
  • The opportunity to attend one of our pre trip meets in the Cotswolds

Gentle Walking Bhutan Festivals

Walking & Trekking

Bhutan | Walking & Trekking

Gentle Walking Bhutan
Gentle

Suitable for people who enjoy easy-paced walks or exploring the countryside on foot.

Find out more...

Grade: Gentle ? Gentle
Duration:  16 days from the UK  
Walks on: 7 days (Mar, Nov & Dec 17), 6 days (Sep 17)
Private Departures Available

Flight inclusive from £3,645,
Land only from £2,695

Book now or call 01453 844400

The best of Bhutan - gentle walks, cultural highlights and comfortable accommodation.

Highlights

  • First rate accommodation in Bhutan using comfortable hotels and lodges
  • Relax at Dwarika’s hotel in Kathmandu – a unique heritage property
  • Explore the cultural highlights of Bhutan including iconic Taktsang Monastery
  • Excellent and varied programme of gentle walks

Reviews          

It exceeded all expectations, plus we had so much fun with our group. Terrific organisation right from the word go when our dossier arrived. Excellent day to day itinerary. Can't heap on enough praises and would recommend you to anyone interested.
C & B M, Switzerland

Your expertise and knowledge of the country showed in the itinerary and dossier provided. Everything ran smoothly. You gave me a holiday which I will always remember. I embarked on it feeling that I was in safe hands.
Ms G, Lancs

The holiday was wonderful - truly the adventure of a lifetime. Bhutan is a magical Shangri La, beautiful scenery, quite stunning views - almost a lost world. Everything was perfectly organised, Mountain Kingdoms is quite simply the best holiday company we have ever travelled with. Thank you.
Mrs C, West Sussex

The choice of local guide and driver added immensely to the overall holiday experience. In particular their ability to immerse us in local culture was outstanding. We liked the choice of hotels, particularly the more rustic ones, which reflected Bhutanese lifestyle and culture. In Kathmandu, Dwarika's was superb particularly the relaxing ambience and wonderful architecture.
Dr & Mrs T, Dunfermline

I had a lovely time... Best travel company I have ever used...Great customer service, good itinerary, well chosen hotels, good leader and driver. Felt like things had really been thought through. Maximum group number of 12 is good too - we had 9 on our trip and it was a good number.I would highly recommend Mountain Kingdoms - I've travelled with a number of adventure tour operators and you are by...
Ms P, London

The group was small enough to give an intimate view of Bhutan. Our guide and driver were excellent and the choice of areas to visit gave us an insight into both rural and town life in Bhutan. The stay in Gangtey valley was wonderful.
Ms B, Kent

View All

From our many years of experience in Bhutan we have created this great itinerary, our most popular walking holiday with the aim of combining interesting walks, great scenery and comfortable accommodation. We have researched walks to give you the best possible experience, ranging from easy valley walking visiting temples, in effect sightseeing on foot, to more demanding walks for a bit more of a challenge.

We will visit the main towns of Paro and Thimphu as well as Punakha with its fabulous dzong and Bumthang, the cultural heart of the kingdom. You will also visit the lovely Gangtey valley where in the winter months you may see the rare Black-Necked Crane. Finally no holiday to Bhutan would be complete without a visit to iconic Taktsang, the famous Tiger’s Nest Monastery, clinging to a cliff.

Each departure takes in a festival where you can mingle with the locals as they celebrate and socialise.

Private Departures

Gentle Walking Bhutan Private Departure

Gentle walking Bhutan Private Departure
We can offer a private departure of this Bhutan walking holiday for a minimum of two people sharing. Contact the office for further details or to book your private departure.


Call 01453 844400 or Email us


At a glance

Grade: Gentle
Gentle

Duration:  16 days from the UK  
Walks on: 7 days (Mar, Nov & Dec 17), 6 days (Sep 17)

Max. Altitude: Shutre Sae Pass - 3,700m/12,139ft, Day 8

Guaranteed to run for a minimum of 4 clients

Maximum group size: 12

Land only joining city: Kathmandu

Accommodation types: Hotels

Festival:

03 March 2017 departure attends the Punakha Tsechu.

28 March 2017 departure attends the Paro Tsechu.

29 September 2017  departure attends the Thimphu Tsechu.

05 November 2017 departure attends the Black-Necked Crane Festival.

19 December 2017 departure attends the Trongsa Tsechu.

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

Itinerary overview
DayActivity
1-2
This is an example itinerary only, each departure varies, download pdf for details. Fly to Kathmandu. At leisure in Kathmandu.
3-4
Fly to Bhutan and drive to Thimphu with sightseeing and Wangditse Monastery visit.
5
Drive to Punkaha with valley walk and dzong visit.
6
Attend the Punakha Tsechu Festival. Drive to Gangtey.
7
Visit Gangtey Dzong & Black Necked Crane centre.
8
Drive to Chumey Valley with visit to Nimalung and Prakhar monasteries and ridge walk from Tharpaling. Drive to Jakar.
9
Explore the Bumthang valley with valley walk and monasteries of Jakar. Visit Jakar Dzong.
10
Fly to Paro. Sightseeing in Paro Valley.
11
Drive to Haa with Kila Nunnery visit and views at Chele La.
12
Walks in Haa Valley. Return to Paro with visit to Dzong Drakha.
13
Full day in Paro valley with Taktsang visit and other sightseeing.
14-16
Fly to Kathmandu; at leisure in Kathmandu. Fly to London.
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.


  1. Day 1 - Fly London To Kathmandu

    Fly overnight London to Kathmandu.

    Overnight iconOvernight: In flight
  2. Day 2 - ARRIVE KATHMANDU

    You will be met and transferred to the luxurious and stylish Dwarika's Hotel which is filled with Nepalese wooden carvings and statues and has a superb restaurant where you can eat in traditional style. It also has a cool, elegant courtyard and a swimming pool. After the long flight from London there's no better place to relax.

    Overnight iconOvernight: Dwarika's Hotel, Kathmandu
  3. Day 3 - FLY TO PARO (2,280m/7,480ft). DRIVE TO THIMPHU (2,320m/7,612ft)

    Transfer to the airport for the short flight up to Bhutan. On a clear day the panoramic views of the Himalaya are sensational, including Everest and Kangchenjunga, but particularly exciting is the approach through the Bhutanese foothills and the landing, including a few steep turns to land at the tiny airstrip of Paro. Although you are at the mercy of the airline computer, if possible try to sit on the left hand side of the plane for the most spectacular views.

    In Paro you will be met by your Bhutanese guide and driver and will make the drive to Thimphu - this will take about 1½-2 hours. Depending on the flight schedule you may have time for a little sightseeing or exploration of the town on arrival. In any case you may drive up to the Buddha statue on a hill above the town for good views.

    Overnight iconOvernight: Phuntso Pelri Hotel Or Similar, Thimphu
  4. Day 4 - SIGHTSEEING IN THIMPHU AND VISIT WANGDITSE MONASTERY.

    In the morning you will drive up to Sangaygang next to the Bhutan First Broadcasting Service tower, located in the North West of Thimphu. It is only about a mile drive up to the tower so if you feel like you would like to burn a bit more energy you can always walk up instead. From the tower you will have great views over Thimphu Dzong and the Thimphu valley as you start your walk contouring the beautiful hills to visit Wangditse Ghoempa. This walk should take around 1.5 hours. You will have time to visit the Ghoempa before you walk down for another 30 minutes to reach Dechen Phodrang Monastery. This Monastery houses around 450 student monks enrolled in a 8 year course. The monastery is also home to some fantastic UNESCO monitored 12th century paintings. You will then meet your vehicle and be driven back to Thimphu.

    You will return to Thimphu where there will be some time to enjoy some sightseeing. There are many places of interest to visit in Thimphu, including the Tashichhoedzong (the main government buildings), the Textile Museum, the Heritage Museum, the late King's Memorial Chorten, the National Library, the School of Painting and the silversmiths and pottery workshops. The Government Handicrafts Emporium is possibly the best place to look for local handicrafts especially if you are looking to buy national dress. It is interesting to visit the handmade paper workshop and see the paper being made. Some nice items made from handmade paper are also for sale there. You could also visit the Post Office to buy some of Bhutan's very attractive stamps. They also have good t-shirts on sale there.

    While in Thimphu you might also like to visit the 'zoo'. This is in fact a very large enclosure (several acres) just above the town, containing only Takin, the very rare animal found exclusively in Bhutan and parts of China and possibly one of the most quirky and strangest looking animals you will ever see.

    Overnight iconOvernight: Phuntso Pelri Hotel Or Similar, Thimphu
  5. Day 5 - DRIVE OVER DOCHU LA TO PUNAKHA. VISIT CHIMI LAKHANG. PUNAKHA VALLEY WALK.

    Driving out of Thimphu you climb to cross the Dochu La Pass, 3,048m/10,000ft), a spot marked by 108 chortens. Here, weather permitting you may take in a magnificent mountain vista. On clear days there are fabulous views of the eastern Himalaya from here, but this is a beautiful spot even on misty days. You then drive down through varied forest into the lush Punakha Valley.

    Before driving to your hotel for lunch you will visit Chimi Lakhang a temple built by Drukpa Kunley. Known as the 'The Divine Madman', Drukpa Kunley was a 15th Century Bhutanese Lama and is Bhutan's most popular saint and one of the most important figures in Bhutanese folklore. Despite the apparent conservatism of the Bhutanese people, Drukpa Kunley with his unconventional views on sex is a great favourite throughout the country - the phallus symbols painted on the outside walls of many houses date back to his teachings. Chimi Lakhang is especially popular with women who come here to make offerings and to pray for children. This charming lakhang is reached by a short walk across the paddy fields and the short excursion takes about 45 minutes each way.

    In the afternoon you will do a lovely walk in the Punakha Valley. You drive further up the valley and start your walk at a pedestrian suspension bridge that crosses the Mo Chu River and follow up through paddy fields to the base of the hill where Khamsum Yuelley Namgyal chorten is sited. The climb to the top is then quite steep, but takes only 45 minutes or so. This chorten was consecrated in December 1999 and contains sacred relics donated from Punakha Dzong. Leaving the grounds of the chorten via a different gate you descend to join a contouring path which ultimately leads you to the small village of Yabesa and you then follow the Mo Chu downstream past Sonagasha, the King's Palace and on to Punakha Dzong.

    The fabulous Punakha Dzong, one of the most spectacular and important in the Kingdom, is situated at the confluence of two rivers. In 1994 there was a major flood in the town which caused a lot of damage to the dzong, but it has now been beautifully renovated and is a real showcase for Bhutanese craftsmanship and painting. You are normally allowed into the dzong unless there are VIPs visiting. After your visit you may have time to extend your walk southwards down the valley for a further hour or so to reach the large settlement of Khuruthang and continue on to your hotel for lunch or to meet up with your transport.

    Overnight iconOvernight: Zhingkham Resort Or Damchen Resort Or Similar, Punakha
  6. Day 6 - ATTEND PUNAKHA TSECHU. DRIVE TO GANGTEY (3-4 hours)

    Today you attend the Punakha Tsechu, a festival held in the fabulous Punakha Dzong. This is an annual festival introduced by the Zhabdrung to commemorate Bhutanese victories over the Tibetans. During the festival there will be masked dances and other enactments recalling the days when, in the absence of an army, men from the eight Tshogchens, or great village blocks of Thimphu came forward and managed to expel the Tibetan forces out of the country, ushering in a new-found internal peace and stability. Such festivals are great fun for visitors and locals alike giving the chance to attain religious merit, celebrate together and socialise.

    Later you will drive to Gangtey. From Punakha you continue down the valley to the town of Wangdiphodrang whose massive and important dzong unfortunately burnt down in 2012. It is now under reconstruction. You drive through the few houses which mark the former township of Wangdi and then drive up the beautiful wooded valley of the Dang Chu towards the Pele La Pass at 3,300m/10,825ft. Passing the turning to Gangtey you may drive up to the pass for the fine mountain views from there before returning to drive down in to Gangtey.

    Gangtey, also known as Phobjikha, is a beautiful glacial valley, wide, wooded and unspoilt. It is particularly famous as a major wintering ground for Black Necked Cranes, which arrive here late October and stay until early spring before heading back to their breeding grounds in Siberia. These birds are particularly respected in local culture and feature in local tradition as 'heavenly birds'.

    Overnight iconOvernight: Dewachen Hotel Or Similar
  7. Day 7 - HALF DAY GANGTEY VALLEY WALK AND DRIVE TO TRONGSA. VISIT TA DZONG MUSEUM

    Today you may see the Black Necked Cranes, if they are still resident. It can be worthwhile arranging to go to see them before breakfast as they awake and before they fly off to their feeding grounds for the day. Speak to your guide about this.

    This morning you will have the chance for a pleasant walk in the valley. In addition to glorious scenery, the valley boasts some wonderful legends surrounding events and geography, including tales about two different types of Yeti, a large one and a small variety, and many other interesting legends. A number of different walks are possible here and your guide will suggest a suitable one.

    Firstly, it is a short 10-minute drive to reach the Black necked Crane Information Centre. The cranes are usually only resident here between October and mid-February. The centre has interesting displays on the ecology of the valley, a small library on Bhutanese wildlife and birds and some telescopes for observing birdlife. Driving on it is another 10-15 minutes to reach the small hilltop settlement of Gangtey and its impressive gompa, built in the 17th Century. From the gompa you can follow a network of foot trails and farm tracks down from the hill top and down the valley visiting various villages and points of interest.

    Later, you drive out of the valley and over the Pele La to reach the town of Trongsa. You will see Trongsa's splendid dzong long before you reach it because the road takes you up a long side valley before eventually turning back to Trongsa town. Trongsa has an exceptionally dramatic dzong, the ancestral home of the royal family. Because of its important strategic location this was one of the most important dzongs in the country. Set above the dzong is the Ta Dzong, the watchtower, a lovely old building which has been recently beautifully renovated and houses an excellent museum with several floors of royal memorabilia and sacred artefacts. The views from the roof are worth the climb.

    Overnight iconOvernight: Yangkhil Resort, Trongsa Or Similar
  8. Day 8 - DRIVE TO CHUMEY AND UP TO THARPALING. RIDGE WALK 3-4 hours. DRIVE TO THE BUMTHANG VALLEY (2,580m/8,465ft)

    From Trongsa you drive across the Yotong La and towards Bumthang. The Bumthang region encompasses four major valleys and Jakar town where you will stay for two nights is in the main valley called Chokhor. The other valleys are the Ura Valley which is to the east, Tang valley which is slightly more off the beaten track and the Chumey Valley. In Chumey your first port of call is the Nyimalung Monastery. Founded in 1938, the monastery is home to over 100 musically talented monks. From here you can walk down in 10 minutes to visit Prakhar Monastery a quaint village temple. Then rejoining your vehicle you will visit Zugney, a famous centre for weaving, where you will see the industry that is an integral part of Bhutanese society. It's said that every Bhutanese home is equipped with a loom for weaving and young girls are proficient in the craft before they reach the age of twenty.

    You then drive up to the cluster of temples at Tharpaling - a sacred spot and place of meditation, founded by Geluwa Lonchen Rabchampa (1308-1363) during his self-exile from Tibet for ten years. Several picturesque monasteries dot the hillside above the Chumey Valley with views over Domkhar (Chumey) and Domkhar Summer Palace. After a picnic lunch, you start the 4 hour walk along an old trail back towards Chumey. The path starts out beneath craggy cliffs, from where it climbs fairly gently up to the ridge top and reaches the Shutre Sae Pass at 3,700m/12,139ft. Sited on the pass in a glass case is a statue of the founder of Tharpaling. From here the views are phenomenal - looking south you can see over the Chumey/Domkhar Valley with the Black Mountains in the distance. The other way you get fabulous and unexpected views over Jakar town with the new airport runway and the dzong clearly seen far below. Beyond and further north, you can see towards the high mountains - perhaps even Mount Gangkar Punsum on a clear day.

    You descend from the pass in beautiful forest, nearly all downhill. On the higher reaches, you pass through pine, fir and rhododendron forest. Eventually you reach the road again at a huge area of prayer flags where you will meet your transport and head to your hotel in Jakar.

    Overnight iconOvernight: Ugyenling Hotel, Jakar Or Similar
  9. Day 9 - BUMTHANG VALLEY WALK WITH TEMPLE VISITS 2-3 HOURS AND VISIT TO DZONG

    Today you will be able to explore around Jakar town with a short, almost entirely level walk taking in some of the principle sights of the valley. From the hotel you can walk to Jambay Lakhang. This is one of the country's oldest temples, built in the mid-7th Century. One interesting feature to look for is the set of three steps in the main temple. The first step, now hidden below floor level, is said to represent the time of the past or 'historical' Buddha. The second, very well worn, step represents the present Buddha, whilst the third step above, is said to represent the age of the future Buddha. The point at which the second step is worn down to ground level is held to be the time when the world as we currently know it will end.

    From Jambay you take a farm track along the valley floor and walk for 30 minutes to reach Kurjey Lakhang, a series of three large temples. The oldest of the temples here houses a rock indented with the body shape of Guru Rinpoche, whilst the most recent dates back just 25 years and was built by the Queen Mother - Ashi Kesang Wangchuck. Descending from the temples you cross a suspension bridge and walk downstream for 45 minutes to Tamshing Lakhang, the most important Nyingma gompa in the Kingdom, established in 1501 by Pemalingpa. Inside you can see a suit of chain-mail armour, which Buddhists believe will bring good fortune if worn and then walked around the inner temple three times. Your transport will meet you outside the gompa and return you to your hotel. On the way you visit Jakhar town-ship and later you may visit the picturesque Jakar Dzong, the 'Castle of the White Bird', so called because a white bird was supposed to have indicated the most auspicious place to build. Before returning to your hotel you will have some free time or time for more exploration or shopping.

    Overnight iconOvernight: Ugyenling Hotel, Jakar Or Similar
  10. Day 10 - FLY TO PARO. SIGHTSEEING IN PARO VALLEY.

    Today you will transfer to the small domestic airport at Jakhar for the short flight to Paro.

    The Paro Valley has had a great strategic importance in the history of Bhutan and was in the past an important staging post on the trade routes with Tibet. Paro Dzong, situated on a rocky outcrop above the Paro Chu and with views down both sides of the valley was historically one of Bhutan's strongest and most strategic fortresses and before the rebuilding of the Tashidodzong in Thimphu it was also the seat of Bhutan's National Assembly.

    On arrival you will transfer to your hotel. Later you will have time for some sightseeing in the Paro Valley. You may visit the historic Paro Dzong which sits above the valley. Above the dzong the ancient watchtower houses Bhutan's National Museum and a fantastic collection of Bhutanese national treasures. Displays in the various galleries depict a wide range of Bhutan's history and culture and includes an impressive collection of ancient thangkas depicting Bhutan's important saints and teachers, as well as some fearsome festival masks, a collection of religious statues and some early stone carvings as well as some original iron links from the nearby Tamchhog Bridge. You may like to walk down into town from the watchtower and have a wander round Paro township before returning to your hotel.

    (If the flight to Paro is cancelled today then you will drive back to Paro over the next two days instead of visiting the Haa Valley)

    Overnight iconOvernight: Olathang Hotel, Paro Or Similar
  11. Day 11 - DRIVE TO CHELI LA ,CONTINUE TO HAA.

    After breakfast you will drive in about 1 ½ hrs up to the Cheli La, a pass at 3,990m/13,090ft, where in clear weather you will have wonderful views of the snow-capped mountains to the west which mark the border with Tibet.

    After admiring the views, you drive down into the Haa Valley down many zig zags. As you approach you will notice three almost identical conical hills in a line on the other side of the valley. These are believed by the locals to be the physical manifestations of three very important Buddhist saints. The left one is Manjushri (the god who holds the flaming sword which cuts the knot of ignorance), the middle one is Chenrizig (the Buddha of compassion of which the Dalai Lama is the human incarnation) and the right hand hill is Chana Dorji (this being the protector god of Bhutan). Collectively they are known as Rigsum (three hills). As you descend further you look down on the square yellow roof of the main monastery/fortress, Namgay Dzong. Spread around the dzong are the buildings of the Indian Army dating from the visit of President Nehru - the Indian army has a presence in Bhutan ostensibly to protect the kingdom from possible invasion from China. Although part of the dzong is used by the Indian Army the central tower of the Dzong is still used by the local people. The old town itself is just to the north-west and is really quite attractive with traditional two storey shops and a post office. There is a large school in Haa.

    It is worth driving up to the very top of the valley for an overview. This takes about 40 minutes (11kms) and is a very pretty drive. From here you will get really good views of Haa valley itself as well as over to the mountains in the west. Coming back down towards the town you take a spur road to Talung village which is 20 minutes on a rough road. This village is situated in a small side valley and it's a good idea to take the vehicles to the top of the village and then walk down through the houses for a look at a typical Haa village. You may well receive 'invites' into one or two of the farmhouses which would provide an interesting look at the way of life and standards of living of typical Bhutanese farmers.

    You can re-join your vehicle at the bottom of the village and then drive the short distance to the bottom of a track for a nice walk up to Yongto Gompa, an ascent of 100 metres which takes about 30 minutes. Yongto Gompa is perched on a ridge overlooking the main valley and is one of the oldest monasteries in Haa, thought to have been built in the 15th century. From here you walk steeply down the hill, 30 minutes and 200m descent, through pine trees, to Yangtha village. This is a large village on the floor of the main valley. In 2001
    they suffered a huge fire which destroyed 12 houses. Amazingly, the fire left the temple of the village perfectly intact. After the fire the King visited the people of the village and paid for the reconstruction. The new houses are built in exactly the same traditional style and blend in remarkably well.

    Overnight iconOvernight: Lechuna Heritage Lodge Or Similar, Haa
  12. Day 12 - WALK TO KILA NUNNERY. DRIVE BACK TO PARO.

    After breakfast you drive back up to the Cheli La. You will then walk to the Kila Gompa nunnery. The gompa is surrounded by a lush forest dominated by tall firs and sparkling mountain streams tumble down slopes which are covered with a variety of wildflowers and plants. The Gompa is a peaceful retreat for Buddhist nuns who dedicate their lives to spiritual fulfilment. About 30 nuns live here, ranging in age from about 20 to 80 years. The community is one of the oldest of seven nunneries in Bhutan, and was initially established in the early 9th century as a meditation site. The nuns live a life of contemplation and seclusion, with daily prayer and spiritual practice. The temple itself is surrounded by numerous meditation huts, and many hidden caves lie inside the rocky cliffs. After being destroyed by fire, the temple was rebuilt and officially established in 1986. Your vehicle will meet you for the drive back to Paro.

    Overnight iconOvernight: Olathang Hotel, Paro Or Similar
  13. Day 13 - A DAY IN THE PARO VALLEY. WALK TO TAKTSANG (3,110m/10,203ft) 4-5 hours AND FURTHER SIGHTSEEING

    Today you will walk up to the famous Tiger's Nest, Taktsang Monastery - a fitting climax to your trip. The monastery is perched some 600m/2,000ft up on a cliff overlooking the valley and was said to be where the legendary Indian saint, Guru Padma Sambhava, flew from Tibet on the back of a tiger to defeat five demons, who were opposing the spread of Buddhism in Bhutan. It's a steep uphill walk through woods, of about 1½-2hrs, to reach a tea house (an ascent of 340m/1,115ft). Apart from offering welcome refreshment this tea house is one of the principle viewpoints of the monastery, and those who prefer not to climb any further can relax here whilst others continue on. If there is a particular religious gathering or VIP visit in progress, you will not be able to enter the monastery but the further half an hour's ascent is well worth it, as it brings you to another viewpoint directly across from the monastery. If you are able to make a visit, the final section of the walk takes you from here steeply down approximately 100m/330ft into the gorge that separates you from the monastery and then climbs back up again to reach the monastery gate. You descend back to the valley floor by your outward route back to where your vehicle will be waiting. The full walk to the monastery and back involves approximately 740m/2,428ft of ascent.

    There will then be time for further sightseeing in the afternoon to places you have not already visited. You may visit the ancient temple of Kyichu Lakhang which was one of 108 temples built by Songtsen Gampo an important early Tibetan king, to pin down the Bon demon who was thought to hover over the whole of Tibet. You might also drive up the valley to the atmospheric ruins of Drugkyel dzong, a fort which originally protected the Paro valley from invasion from Tibet.

    Overnight iconOvernight: Olathang Hotel, Paro Or Similar
  14. Day 14 - FLY TO KATHMANDU

    Today you will say goodbye to your Bhutanese guide and driver and check in for your flight back to Kathmandu. After a sensational take-off and weather permitting you should have a scenic Himalayan flight past Chomolhari, Bhutan's second highest peak, Kangchenjunga and Everest to arrive back to Kathmandu, where you will be met and transferred to the Dwarika's Hotel.

    Overnight iconOvernight: Dwarika's Hotel, Kathmandu
  15. Day 15 - AT LEISURE IN KATHMANDU

    Today you will have a day to relax, shop, or sightsee in Kathmandu, one of the most fascinating medieval cities in the world. Perhaps take a taxi to Thamel for a leisurely walk through the bustling and colourful streets. You might also visit Patan for lunch in the restaurant attached to the Patan museum. The Patan museum is well worth a visit as is Patan's Durbar Square and various nearby palaces and temples.

    Also, the important Hindu temple complex of Pashupatinath on the banks of the Bagmati River is only a 15 minute walk from the hotel (ask at the hotel desk for directions). It is a real experience to go there first thing in the morning when local people visit the temple with offerings for the god Shiva. Nearby, Boudhanath with its ancient Buddhist stupa and crowds of circumambulating pilgrims is just a 15 minute taxi ride away and is well worth a visit. It is nice to visit there just before sunset, and watch the sun set over the stupa while sipping a cold beer on the rooftop terrace of a café. A fitting way to bid goodbye to Nepal!

    Overnight iconOvernight: Dwarika's Hotel, Kathmandu
  16. Day 16 - DEPART KATHMANDU

    This morning you will transfer to the airport for your international flight home. Arrive London early evening

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
Fri 29 Sep - Sat 14 Oct 2017Guaranteed£3285 Book£4145 Book
Sun 5 Nov - Tue 21 Nov 2017Fully BookedContact usContact us
Tue 19 Dec - Wed 3 Jan 2018Available£2695 Book£3645 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 £550
  • Single Room Supplement
    From £610
Insurance
  • Cover starts from £114
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

  • An English speaking Bhutanese leader
  • Economy class return air fares from the UK & UK Departure Tax (flight inclusive only)
  • Flights between Kathmandu and Paro and internal Bhutan flights
  • Dwarika’s 5* hotel in Kathmandu, bed & breakfast on twin-share basis
  • Hotel/airport transfers
  • All road transport by private vehicles
  • In Bhutan, good standard hotel accommodation in main towns and best available hotels in outlying towns, on full board, twin-share basis.
  • Bhutan Visa
  • Bhutan Departure Tax
  • Sightseeing where specified
  • Carbon offset flights (flight inclusive bookings)
  • The opportunity to attend one of our pre trip meets in the Cotswolds

What’s not included

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


Review your holiday

Reviews

Read holiday reviews by Mountain Kingdoms travellers.

Overall score:           (Based on 15 reviews)

Memorable holiday to Bhutan          

A fantastic and memorable experience which exceeded all my expectations, superbly organised with excellent guides and drivers. A holiday of a lifetime, thank you all so very much.

Gentle walking in Bhutan          

The trip was well organised.

A fascinating introduction to a fascinating country          

Absolutely perfect introduction to Bhutan with a mix of walks, guided tours of temples and dzongs, and a festival. Hotels were of high standard of comfort. Guide was knowledgeable, personable and really made the trip. Even the driving was a fascinating experience.

Wonderful two week holiday in Bhutan          

A great two weeks spent exploring Bhutan with a great guide - Karma. This is my third visit to Bhutan and I was happy to be seeing new places. Everything went to plan and both Guide and Driver could not do enough to ensure we were well cared for. We had some super "spontaneous" experiences - came across the semi-final of an Archery competition; a darts match; and even met and spoke to the King!! Also stumbled upon a Buddhist ceremony involving a bonfire and firecrackers. The walking was challenging, being at altitude, but there was always an alternative if you couldn't or didn't want to walk.

Bhutan walking holiday          

Prompt relies to emails, clearly laid out and comprehensive trip dossier and itinerary. Whole trip well-organised, guide and driver experienced.


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.


Horse Riding day excursion, Bhutan
  • Enjoy great mountain views and rides through beaufitul meadows
  • Suitable for all grade of rider from beginners or less advanced riders to more experienced riders
  • Ideal excursion from Bumthang

More Details

If you are visiting the Bumthang region during your visit to Bhutan we are now happy to offer a day excursion to go horse riding up in the Tang Valley.  The Tang Valley, located east of Jakar, is the most remote of the valleys of the Bumthang region and is a region of dense forest with small villages and farms with several interesting temples found there. The fine Ugyencholing Palace, formerly a royal palace and now an interesting museum is also located in Tang and houses many fine exhibits providing an interesting insight into the former life of a Bhutanese noble family.

These excursions are organised from the Tang Community Farm. The horses are a small but sturdy local breed called Yueta, normally standing less than 15 hh. As the horses are quite small there is a weight limit of 100kgs for this excursion.  Horses are ridden in English saddles with snaffle bridles and hard hats are available on loan. While there may be occasional opportunities to trot or possibly even to canter, due to the nature of the trails and the terrain rides are normally taken at quite a quite slow pace.
We offer three options for riding in Tang, two of which are suitable for all grade of rider from beginners or less advanced riders to more experienced riders, while a longer ride is suitable for more experienced riders.


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 Cottage 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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