Bhutan Holidays - Jakar Dzong


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Bhutan Holidays - Punakha Dzong

ThimphuHotel Pedling
2 nights
Punakha Hotel Zangthopelri 1 night
Gangtey Dewachen Hotel 1 night
TrongsaYang-Khil Hotel 1 night
Bumthang Mountain Lodge 3 nights
Paro Olathang Hotel 3 nights

Click on the name of the hotel for details.  In Bhutan these are examples of the mid-range hotels that are allocated to the majority of foreign tourists; please note that they are subject to change according to availability at the time of booking.

12 days from £2490

International flights NOT included

Our most comprehensive Bhutan itinerary with a visit to Gangtey and 3 nights in the Bumthang Valley

Whereas most nations judge their success on GNP (Gross National Product), Bhutan's less materialistic approach is to concentrate on GNH (Gross National Happiness)!  This revolutionary philosophy places real value on things such as cultural heritage, health, education, good governance, ecological diversity and individual well-being.



DAY 1 - Arrival in Paro. Drive to Thimphu.

In clear weather, Druk Air’s flight to Bhutan provides a wonderful view of the Himalayan scenery, culminating in an exciting descent past forested hills into the kingdom. On arrival at Paro airport, you will be met by a World Discovery representative. On completion of airport formalities, there will be an interesting drive of about 2 hours’ duration to Thimphu, the capital of Bhutan. On reaching Thimphu drive up to a viewpoint overlooking the valley, before visiting the Takin Research Centre for a glimpse of Bhutan's endangered (and distinctly odd-looking) national animal.  Continue to the imposing Tasichho Dzong, the main secretariat building which houses the throne room of the King of Bhutan. There should be time to wander through the streets of Thimphu before checking in at your hotel.
Meals included: Dinner.

Depending on the timing of the arrival flight, the order of sightseeing in Thimpu on days 1 and 2 may be changed.  The Thimpu Weekend Market takes place on Saturday and Sunday only. 

Day 2 - Thimphu sightseeing.

Begin the morning with a visit to Thimphu's colourful Weekend Market. Close to the market is the stadium, where you can usually see an Archery match in progress (archery is Bhutan's national sport).  Sightseeing today will include the National Memorial Chorten, dedicated to Bhutan’s third king, His Majesty Jigme Dorji Wangchuck (“the father of modern Bhutan”), and the National Library, which houses an extensive collection of Buddhist literature.
Meals included: Breakfast, lunch, dinner.

 Bhutan Holidays - Dochu-La PassDAY 3 - By road to Punakha.

After an early breakfast drive up to the Dochu-la Pass (3,088m/10,130ft) from where on a clear day you can view the glory of the high Himalayan peaks including Gangkar Puensum, the highest peak in Bhutan at 7,497m. Continue to Punakha, and explore the valley, beginning with Punakha Dzong, which served as the seat of the Bhutanese government until the king decided to give this honour to Thimphu in 1955.  After the visit take a short walk, passing by quaint village houses, to Chimi Lhakhang, built by the famous 'Divine Madman', Drukpa Kuenley; the temple is a famous pilgrimage site for infertile women who wish to bear children. Overnight in Punakha.
Meals included: Breakfast, lunch, dinner.

DAY 4 - Drive to Gangtey (Phobjikha).

Continue eastwards via Wangdephodrang (where you will have lunch), continuing through dense forests of oak and rhododendron trees to the town of Gangtey (Phobjikha). In the evening take a walk around Gangtey village and visit Gangtey Goemba, sometimes referred to as 'Gangteng Monastery'.
Meals included: Breakfast, lunch, dinner.

 Bhutan Holidays - Black-Necked Cranes


See the rare and endangered Black-Necked Cranes in the Phobjikha Valley.  These revered birds arrive here from the Tibetan plateau towards the end of October each year (usually between 23 and 26 October) and remain until mid-February.



DAY 5 - Gangtey via the Pele-la Pass to Trongsa.

In the morning explore Phobjikha Valley.  After lunch drive to Trongsa across the Pele-la Pass (3,300m/10,830ft), the traditional boundary between east and west Bhutan. The pass is marked by a large white chorten and prayer flags. There is an abrupt change in vegetation at this point, with mountain forest replaced by high altitude dwarf bamboo. Arrive at Trongsa in the late afternoon.
Meals included: Breakfast, lunch, dinner.

DAY 6 - Trongsa to Bumthang.

After breakfast there will be a visit on foot to the 17th century Trongsa Dzong before you set off for Bumthang, a journey of about 3 hours, over the Yutong-la Pass (3,400m/11,155ft). The road winds steeply up to the pass, then runs down through coniferous forest into a wide, open, cultivated valley known as the Chumey Valley. Arrive in Bumthang in time for a late lunch. There is ample time today to stroll in the village, visit the little handicrafts shop at the entrance to the town, and perhaps take refreshments at a local restaurant.
Meals included: Breakfast, lunch, dinner.

DAYS 7 and 8 - Bumthang.

Two days of sightseeing and relaxation in the beautiful Bumthang region.   You will visit Tamshing Monastery (housing some of the oldest wall paintings in Bhutan), and Jakar Dzong (the administrative centre of the region). You can decide in discussion with your guide how you want to spend the rest of your time here.  There are many fine monasteries and temples in the area, the most impressive being Jampey Lhankang, one of the most ancient in Bhutan (7th century) and the important temple complex at Kurjey Lhakhang.  Bumthang is also the ideal destination to do some walking and you may want to to incorporate some 2 or 3 hour walks into your schedule.
Meals included: Breakfast, lunch, dinner each day.

Bhutan Holidays - Wangdephodrang Dzong


DAY 9 - Bumthang to Paro.

A long journey today as you return westwards along the central highway to Paro. Stop for lunch at a local restaurant in Trongsa, then visit the imposing Wangdephodrang Dzong (pictured left) before finally reaching Paro in the early evening.
Meals included: Breakfast, lunch, dinner.



DAY 10 - Paro.

The valley of Paro (left) contains a wealth of attractions. In the morning, visit Ta Dzong. a former watchtower which is now Bhutan’s National Museum.  Afterwards, walk down a hillside trail to visit Paro Dzong (also known as Rinpung Dzong). After lunch, drive up the valley to view the ruins of Drukgyel Dzong, 18 km from Paro town on the north side of the valley. It was from here that the Bhutanese repelled several invading Tibetan armies during the 17th century. Also visit Kyichu Lhakhang, one of the oldest and most sacred shrines of the kingdom.  In the evening before dinner, visit a traditional farmhouse for an opportunity to interact with a local family and learn something of their lifestyle.
Meals included: Breakfast, lunch, dinner.

DAY 11 - Taktshang Gomba (the Tiger's Nest).

On your final day in Bhutan you will enjoy a walk up through pine forest to view Bhutan's most famous site, the Tiger's Nest Monastery to the north of Paro.  Later on, take a stroll along the main street of Paro, and perhaps visit a few handicrafts shops, or take refreshments at a local café or bar.

Meals included: Breakfast, lunch, dinner.

 Bhutan Holidays - Paro Festival


Bhutan's largest tsechu or festival is held every Spring over a 4 day period and involves spectacular religious dancing displays.  Why not time your visit to coincide with this colourful celebration?  Dates for 2016 are 20 to 24 March [more]


DAY 12 - Depart.

After breakfast, drive to Paro airport for your onward flight on Druk Air.
Meals included: Breakfast.

International Flights.

There are no direct flights between London and Bhutan.  The only flights into the country are on Druk Air, the Bhutanese national airline.  We recommend the Druk Air flights from either Delhi or Kathmandu, which offer the best frequency and are direct.  The return fares from Delhi and Kathmandu are shown in the price grid below and should be added to the tour price.  We are happy to discuss the international flights from London (or elsewhere) to connect with the Druk Air flights, and are also able to offer stopover arrangements if required in Nepal or India en route.
Bhutan can also be reached by Druk Air flights from Kolkata (Calcutta), Dacca, Singapore and Bangkok.

You can either book the international flights yourself, or alternatively World Discovery can book the flights for you (we levy a service charge of £25 per person for this service).


Bhutan Holidays: Bhutan Odyssey (Tour Reference: WDBT003)
2018 Departures
Price per person based on a minimum of two persons travelling together:

Daily departures


Jan, Feb, Jun, Jul, Aug, Dec 
Mar, Apr, May, Sep, Oct, Nov
(all dates)


Single Room Supplements on request.

The price includes:

  • Hotel accommodation as listed above in twin-bedded rooms with private facilities.
  • 11 Breakfasts 10 lunches and 11 dinners as shown in the itinerary.
  • Private transportation throughout.
  • All sightseeing as shown, including entrance fees.
  • The services of private drivers throughout.
  • The services of a private English-speaking guide for the included sightseeing.
  • A visa for Bhutan. This must be obtained before departure from the United Kingdom (we will organise this on your behalf).

Not included in the price:

  • International flights from London. We are happy to discuss the flights with you and give you further guidance.
  • Scheduled flights on Druk Air between Kathmandu and Paro (and v.v.) or between Kathmandu and Delhi (and v.v.).  These airfares are shown in the price grid above and should be added to the tour price.
  • International airport taxes.
  • Optional sightseeing.
  • Tipping. We will give you guidance in this often sensitive matter.
  • Visas for India or Nepal (if required).  We will provide information on how to obtain these visas if you plan to stop off in either India or Nepal en route.

A deposit of £600 per person is required at the time of booking, plus the cost of the international airfare and service charge if World Discovery is booking the flights on your behalf. The balance of the price for your Bhutan holiday must be paid at least 3 months before your departure date.

More Information

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