Bhutan Guided Walking Holiday

Touch the skies as you explore the mountain kingdom with stunning cliff-top views

Code: BHWHW

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Activity types:

  • Culture
  • High Mountains

Level

  • 2
More information

Difficulty indicator

Difficulty is measured on many factors such as distance, ascent/descent, terrain, weather and more. There's no magic formula, but from our experience we use yellow for easy, orange for medium and red for hard. Challenger holidays require a high level of fitness and stamina.

More about difficulty levels

From £3,095.00 - 12 to 13 nights

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Prices are per person

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Holiday overview

Download Bhutan Trip Notes 2018

Trek along rolling Himalayan pathways, visit the National Memorial Chorten and explore the legendary clifftop monastery of Taktsang. Explore Punakha, Paro and Thimpu – one of the world’s quietest capital cities – and discover the scenic and enchanting Haa Valley.

Holiday highlights

  • Experience fascinating culture and history of Bhutan, closed off for centuries
  • Walk in marvellous Himalayan scenery, past historic forts (dzongs) and monasteries in dramatic locations
  • Walk up to the spectacular Taktsang ‘Tiger’s Nest’ Monastery, clinging to the cliff face
  • Explore the interesting towns of Punakha, Paro and Thimpu, one of the world’s quietest capitals

Prices include:

  • 12 nights’ accommodation in en-suite rooms 
  • Full board from dinner on arrival to breakfast on day of departure
  • A full programme of guided walks led by local guides and an HF Holidays’ leader
  • All sightseeing and entrance fees
  • Travel by coach/minivan
  • Return flights between Kathmandu and Paro with Druk air
  • Tips

In pictures...

Accommodation

Hotel-Malla in Bhutan

Hotel Malla, Kathmandu - 1nt at start and end of the tour

In Kathmandu we stay at the Hotel Malla at the the beginning and end of the holiday. This 4-star hotel is centrally located in the Thamel area of the city.

Peaceful-Resort in Bhutan

Peaceful Resort, Thimpu - 3nts 

The Peaveful Resort offers a very comfortable place to relax, a little out of the centre, and with very friendly and efficient service.

None

Meri Phuensum, Punakha - 2nts

Located in a superb vantage point with views down over the river, the hotel is a little outside of town, affording us some peace and tranquility. Rooms are all en-suite, comfortable and spacious.

 Risum-Resort in Bhutan

Risum Resort, Haa Valley - 2nts

In the Haa Valley, we'll stay at the Risum Resort, located a short distance from the main town, but offering a peaceful stay.

 Tenzinling-Resort in Bhutan

Tenzinling Resort, Paro - 3nts

In Paro, accommodation is at the Tenzinling Resort,  a family run resort, in an elevated position overlooking the Paro valley. 


On occasion we may need to change the accommodation listed above. If this happens, your replacement accommodation will be of the equivalent standard or higher. In the rare instance this is not possible, we will contact you in advance.

Itinerary

Guided Walking & Sightseeing in Bhutan

We've made some changes to this holiday for 2019, so both itineraries are detailed below to help you choose the trip which most excites you!

2018 Itinerary | 2019 Itinerary

Download Bhutan Trip Notes 2018

This culturally weighted sightseeing holiday with easy to moderate walks in the Himalayan foothills. Walks are 2-10 miles (3.25-16km) to a maximum altitude of 10,500 feet (3,150m). The most difficult walk is to Taktsang Monastery, taken slowly, with approximately 1,509 feet (453m) of ascent over 2 miles (3.25km).

Days 1-2: Outward flight & Kathmandu

Statues of three Golden Budhas in KathmanduFly to Kathmandu via Delhi, and transfer to the hotel, for 1 night. Afternoon to unwind and later a visit to the nearby sleeping Vishnu.

Day 3-5: Thimpu

Tango Monastery BhutanTake a spectacular flight over the Himalayas to Paro, on a clear day some of the highest Himalayan peaks can be seen. On arrival, drive to Bhutan’s laid back capital Thimpu for 3 nights. Depending on flight times, we may have time to explore Thimpu and visit the Takin Sanctuary. If this is not possible, we will try to fit this in tomorrow.

The following day enjoy a walk to the Tango Monastery, otherwise known as the 'Divine Madman' monastery. Visit the Folk Heritage Museum and the National Library of Bhutan. Evening visit to Taschichho Dzong, Bhutan's most impressive building.

We also take a day hike to Phadojing Monastery. Phajoding takes its name from the saint Phajo Drugom Zhigpo, who meditated there in the 13th century and is considered to be one of the most sacred meditational sites in Bhutan.

Days 6-7: Punakha Valley

punakha valley bhutanThis morning take a walk around Thimpu, visiting the handicraft stores, and the Arts & Craft school. We'll also visit the National Memorial Chorten, the Memorial Stupa of the 3rd King of Bhutan before driving to Punakha valley via the Dochula Pass (10499ft/3200m). Weather permitting there will be some great views of the Eastern Himalayan range from here. You'll pass 108 stupas donated by the Queen for the wellbeing of the country. We'll enjoy a walk enroute to the Divine Madman Temple. Arrive in Punakha late afternoon for a 2 night stay.

The next day we walk for approx. 4 hours to Khamsung Yuelley Namgyal Stupa. From the viewpoint we'll look down at the Mochu river valley. The walk is through picturesque untouched landscape. We'll also visit the Punakha Dzong, located at the confluence of two rivers, the Pho-chu (male) and Mo-chu (female). Time will be spent exploring Punakha town, a former capital of Bhutan.

Days 8-9:  Haa Valley

Haa ValleyA long but scenic drive crosses the highest pass Chele La Pass which separates the Haa Valley from the Paro Valley. The Haa Valley is known as the 'Hidden Land Rice Valley', one of the most picturesque places in Bhutan. (2 nights)

Here we'll walk from Haa town to Juneydrak Hermitage, which takes us through rhododendron forest with fine views.

Days 10-11: Paro & the Taktsang Monastery

Tigers nest BhutanA drive of approx 2 hours returns us to Paro (3 nights), one of Bhutan's most historical centres. Short afternoon walks to the National Museum and to Dzongdrakha, an unusual village built precariously on a rock face, with beautiful views of Bondey village and the valley below.

A gentle hike which takes us above Paro giving spectacular views over the valley. You can visit Zuri Goenpa, a 17th century monastery.

We'll also take the hike to the famous Taktsang Monastery, also known as the Tiger’s Nest, which clings to the cliffs high above the valley floor. The ascent has a number of places to stop and admire the views, and is taken steadily. The first buildings date from around 1680 and legend says that Guru Padmasambhava, who brought Buddhism to Bhutan, arrived here on the back of a flying tigress.

Day 13: Kathmandu & return flight

Kathmandu DuskFly to Kathmandu (1 night) for an afternoon tour of the historic centre and a farewell dinner.

The following day we transfer to the airport for a return flight to London via Delhi.

2019 Itinerary

2019 Bhutan Trip Notes will be available to download soon

Days 1-2: Outward flight & Kathmandu

Statues of three Golden Budhas in KathmanduFly to Kathmandu via Delhi, and transfer to the hotel for 1 night. Afternoon to unwind and later a visit to the nearby sleeping Vishnu.

Day 3-4: Thimpu

Tango Monastery BhutanTake a spectacular flight over the Himalayas to Paro: on a clear day, some of the highest Himalayan peaks can be seen. On arrival, drive to Bhutan’s laid back capital Thimpu for 2 nights. Depending on flight times, we may have time to explore Thimpu and visit the Takin Sanctuary. If this is not possible, we will try to fit this in tomorrow.

The following day enjoy a walk to the Tango Monastery, otherwise known as the 'Divine Madman' monastery. Visit the Folk Heritage Museum and the National Library of Bhutan, and enjoy an evening visit to Taschichho Dzong, Bhutan's most impressive building, and a short walk to the Big Buddha Statue, known locally as Kunsel Phodrang.

 

Day 5: Punakha Valley

punakha valley bhutanWe drive to Punakha valley via the Dochula Pass (10499ft/3200m). Weather permitting, there are some great views of the Eastern Himalayan range from here. You'll pass 108 stupas donated by the Queen for the wellbeing of the country and visit a royal chapel, Druk Wangyel Ihakhang.

From the Pass, we'll hike to the Lungchusey gompa for 360 degree views of the surrounding mountain panoramas before returning to Dochula and continuing to Punakha, where we stay for 1 night.

Days 6-7: Gangtey, Phobjikha Valley

Haa ValleyWe drive to the Phobjikha Valley and to Gangtey, where we'll stay for 2 nights. We visit the monastery, the largest Nyingma monastery in Bhutan and dating from 1613, and hike through this beautiful glacial valley; depending on the time of year, we may spot the venerated black cranes that make this valley their home.

The next day, we drive to the village of Longtey, near to the Pele La Pass; from here, we start our walk up and over Kayche La to Gangtey. A gradual climb passes through thickets of dwarf bamboo, birch, rhododendron, hemlock and fir to Kayche LA, which is marked with prayer flags. The other side of the pass is largely meadow, and this section of our walk is all downhill through the surrounding farmland.

We'll also make time to visit the crane centre near to our hotel.

Days 8-9: Punakha Valley

We return to Punakha. On arrival, we walk to the village of Chimi Lakhang and the Divine Madman Temple. We continue our journey by bus from Sangchen Dorji Lhuendrup Lhakhang nunnery to Lapsakha village. We'll walk through the village, visiting farmhouses and watch the farmers go about their daily farming lives.

Later this afternoon, we visit Punakha Dzong, Bhutan's former capital, and spend time exploring.

The next day, we drive to Kabisa; from here, we walk to Khamsung Yuelley Namgyal Stupa through rice fields and untouched landscapes. There is a spectacular view from this majestic temple over the Mochu river valley, which we'll take some time to enjoy before descending into the valley through rice fields to the small village of Soneagasa.

Days 10-12: Paro

We drive to Paro, where we'll take a walk to Kyichyu Lhakhang. We'll also visit the National Museum and Paro Dzong and enjoy lunch in town. We'll enjoy another walk, following a route which winds through pine forests to the peace and tranquility of a monastery. We continue on to explore the Dzongdrakha, an unusual village built on a rock face, surrounded by amazing panoramic views of the valley below. 

We spend the next day walking in the area around Paro. This is a gentle hike which takes us above Paro, giving spectacular views over the valley. You can visit Zuri Goenpa, a 17th century monastery.

We'll also take the hike to the famous Taktsang Monastery, also known as the Tiger’s Nest, which clings to the cliffs high above the valley floor. The ascent has a number of places to stop and admire the views, and is taken steadily. The first buildings date from around 1680 and legend says that Guru Padmasambhava, who brought Buddhism to Bhutan, arrived here on the back of a flying tigress.

Days 10-12: Return to Kathmandu

We fly from Paro to Kathmandu; the time of the flight may change, but there should be free time for you to relax, explore at your own pace or join your guide for a short walk around Durbar Square (additional cost, payable locally). This evening we'll enjoy a farewell dinner.

On our final day, transfer to the airport for the return flight to the UK.

Extension

Chitwan National Park

Extend your holiday to Bhutan with a journey into Nepal to explore the wonders of the Chitwan National Park, a prime spot for wildlife watching. Established in 1973 and formerly named the Royal Chitwan National Park, this was the first national park in Nepal and is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Covering an area of lowland meausring 932km2, altitudes within the park range from 100m in river valleys to 815m in the Churia Hills. With a tropical climate, there is a rich abundance of flora and fauna to see as you explore the park accompanied by local experts. From grassy areas to jungles, hundreds of species call the park home: you may spot a Bengal tiger or a leopard, elephants or the rare one-horned rhino. For bird lovers there's also a huge diversity of bird species to spot

NoneDay 14 - From Kathmandu we take an afternoon flight to Bharatpur. We'll then drive to our accommodation in the north of the national park.

 

 

 

  

NoneDay 15 - A full day of activities in the national park. The exact programme for your stay will be given to you on your arrival, as activities are adjusted according the the season and weather conditions, but to give you a flavour activities range from wildlife viewing with knowledgeable and experienced naturalists to elephant safaris in more remote areas of the park. It's also possible for you to explore the local forests independently, but for your safety (there are wild animals living there, after all!) you should ensure a local guide accompanies you.

None

Day 16 - This morning we'll have a final opportunity to search for wildlife in the park. We return to Bharatpur for our flight to Kathmandu; on arrival, we'll transfer to our hotel in the Thamel district. Located in the heart of the city, this is an ideal location if you want to pick up any last minute souvenirs.

 

 

Day 17 - We transfer to the airport for our flight home

Price includes

  • 3 nights' en-suite accommodation
  • Transfers and return flights to Bharatpur
  • Full board, from breakfast on Day 14 to breakfast on Day 17

Please note: All activities are accompanied by local experts, with no HF Holidays' leader or local leader.

Essential Information

Passport
A full passport valid for a minimum period of six month from the date of entry.

Visas
All visitors to Bhutan need a visa. This will be arranged in advance by our agents and is included in the holiday cost. IMPORTANT: In order to achieve this we will require a photocopy of your passport details at least 10 weeks before departure.

Visas are also needed for Nepal, because if travelling with the group one night is spent in Kathmandu either side of the Bhutan visit, and as such a Nepalese multiple-entry visa is required. If you intend to stay longer in Nepal, a visa for the appropriate number of days will be required. Full details will be supplied with your travel documents.

It is possible to obtain Nepal visas on arrival in Kathmandu, however it can take time completing the form and queuing. If you plan to get your visa on arrival, please download and complete a form from the Nepalese Embassy web site. This will save time on arrival.

Health advice
Before booking, you should check with your doctor to see if any health precautions are needed. The following websites provide a wealth of information on travelling and health: www.fitfortravel.nhs.uk  www.traveldoctor.co.uk  

Vaccines: Diphtheria, Hepatitis A, Typhoid, Tetanus & Polio vaccinations are recommended. Malaria and Rabies are sometimes recommended too.

Climate
Most of the region through which we travel enjoys a temperate climate, with the temperatures seldom exceeding 28°C (82°F) in summer or dropping below 0°C (32°F) in winter. Due to the altitude temperature can drop at night, and all hotels are heated. All things considered the best time for travel is from the end of February until May and from October to mid December.

Money
In Bhutan the currency is the Ngultrum (BTN). The Indian rupee is also legal tender. Major convertible currencies and travellers' cheques can be exchanged at banks in all major towns. Certain credit cards (Mastercard, Visa & American Express) are accepted at a few large hotels and shops.

In Nepal the currency is the Nepalese Rupee (Rs). The import of local and Indian currency is prohibited. Away from major centres Rs500 & Rs1000 notes can be difficult to exchange, please carry some smaller notes. Credit cards are widely accepted. ATM’s are available in Kathmandu & Pokhara.

Traveller’s cheques are not advised.

Time

Nepal GMT + 5.45 hrs, Bhutan GMT + 6 hrs

Tipping
Tips are included on this holiday.

For flights information please see the Dates & Prices tab.

Leaders

Richard Tolley

Richard has led for HF Holidays for 11 years, travelled extensively throughout the world and has led several worldwide holidays.  He lives on the edge of the Lake District, runs a guided walking business and holds a Mountain Leader Certificate. A keen rock climber he is involved in the writing and production of rock climbing guidebooks for the Lake District. As a member of a Lake District Mountain Rescue team Richard is proud to hold the Queen’s Medal for service to Mountain Rescue. He has a passion for all aspects of mountains and mountaineering including photography. 

Richard has previously led our Passage to Patagonia, Grand Canyon and Burma tours

Richard is leading our 08 October 2018 departure

Len Harbottle

Len has a passion for the mountains and has been walking them since his school days, where he headed to the Lake District on regular monthly trips. He has extensive experience of mountain walking in the UK, Europe and Nepal. During his first trip to Nepal, he successfully trekked to the summit of Mardi Himal, the most southerly mountain of the Annapurna range.

Len has been a leader for HF Holidays since 1995, leading holidays throughout the UK, Europe and has led the Nepal Panorama holiday including the first HF trip after the earthquakes affected the Nepal nation. With his love of meeting people and interest on learning other cultures, he is looking forward to returning to the region, in particular comparing cultures between Nepal and Bhutan, and is keen to share this passion with our groups so that they have a truly memorable holiday.

When he is not leading, Len is an active member of a mountain rescue team in South Wales and an executive officer of the South Wales Search and Rescue Association.

Len will be leading our 05 November 2018 departure. 

Reviews

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Dates & Prices

Here at HF Holidays, we pride ourselves in offering a unique holiday full of experiences that you can’t find with anyone else. Find out what's included in this holiday.

Date Description Nights Brochure price Book
9 Oct 2018 BHWHW - Bhutan Adventure - Without Flight 12 £3,095.00 Book Now
6 Nov 2018 BHWHW - Bhutan Adventure - Without Flight 12 £3,095.00 Book Now
14 Mar 2019 BHWHW - Bhutan Adventure
(Travel included - Departs from: London Heathrow)

Flight - Outbound

JET AIRWAYS

  • Depart: 14 Mar 2019, 8:40 p.m.
  • Arrive: 15 Mar 2019, 2:25 p.m.
  • Depart from: London Heathrow
  • Arrive at: Kathmandu International

Flight - Return

JET AIRWAYS

  • Depart: 27 Mar 2019, 9:30 a.m.
  • Arrive: 27 Mar 2019, 5:40 p.m.
  • Depart from: Kathmandu International
  • Arrive at: London Heathrow
13 £3,999.00 Book Now
15 Mar 2019 BHWHW - Bhutan Adventure - Without Flight 12 £3,099.00 Book Now
7 Oct 2019 BHWHW - Bhutan Adventure
(Travel included - Departs from: London Heathrow)

Flight - Outbound

JET AIRWAYS

  • Depart: 7 Oct 2019, 8:40 p.m.
  • Arrive: 8 Oct 2019, 2:25 p.m.
  • Depart from: London Heathrow
  • Arrive at: Kathmandu International

Flight - Return

JET AIRWAYS

  • Depart: 20 Oct 2019, 9:30 a.m.
  • Arrive: 20 Oct 2019, 5:40 p.m.
  • Depart from: Kathmandu International
  • Arrive at: London Heathrow
13 £3,999.00 Book Now
8 Oct 2019 BHWHW - Bhutan Adventure - Without Flight 12 £3,099.00 Book Now
4 Nov 2019 BHWHW - Bhutan Adventure
(Travel included - Departs from: London Heathrow)

Flight - Outbound

JET AIRWAYS

  • Depart: 4 Nov 2019, 8:40 p.m.
  • Arrive: 5 Nov 2019, 2:25 p.m.
  • Depart from: London Heathrow
  • Arrive at: Kathmandu International

Flight - Return

JET AIRWAYS

  • Depart: 17 Nov 2019, 9:30 a.m.
  • Arrive: 17 Nov 2019, 5:40 p.m.
  • Depart from: Kathmandu International
  • Arrive at: London Heathrow
13 £3,999.00 Book Now
5 Nov 2019 BHWHW - Bhutan Adventure - Without Flight 12 £3,099.00 Book Now

Prices are per person

Prices include:

  • 12 nights’ accommodation in en-suite rooms 
  • Full board from dinner on arrival to breakfast on day of departure
  • A full programme of guided walks led by local guides and an HF Holidays’ leader
  • All sightseeing and entrance fees
  • Travel by coach/minivan
  • Return flights between Kathmandu and Paro with Druk air
  • Tips

Other important information

  • Single room £425 (2018), £400 (2019)
  • Chitwan extension from £560 (2018), £499 (2019)

Information

  • Single room charge: from £380
  • Non-member associate fee: £10 per person

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