Bhutan

Code: BHWHW

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Activity types:

  • Culture
  • High Mountains

Level

  • Easy
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 £2,765.00 - 12 to 16 nights

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Prices are per person

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Holiday overview

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Discover an ancient Himalayan kingdom, closed off from the world for centuries and shrouded in myth and legend. Walk through valleys under soaring peaks, along roaring rivers to ancient temples and dzong fortresses, where traditional beliefs and ways of life remain unaffected by the modern world.

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

Price includes:

  • 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 Arriving in Kathmandu, we stay at the Hotel Malla (2 nights split between beginning and end of your holiday), a 4-star hotel located in the centre of the city in the Thamel area.
Peaceful-Resort in Bhutan  In Thimpu, the Peaceful Resort (3 nights) offers a very comfortable place to relax, a little out of the centre, and with very friendly and efficient service.
Meri-Phuensum in Bhutan In Punakha we stay at the Meri Phuensum (2 nights). 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 ensuite, comfortable and spacious.
  In the Haa Valley, we'll stay at the Risum Resort (2 nights), located a short distance from the main town, but offering a peaceful stay.
  In Paro, accommodation is at the Tenzinling Resort (3 nights),  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

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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).

Day 1: To Kathmandu - Fly to Kathmandu via Doha.

Day 2: Kathmandu - Arrive in Kathmandu and transfer to the Hotel, for 1 night. Afternoon to unwind and later a visit to the nearby sleeping Vishnu.

Day 3: To Thimpu - Take 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.

Day 4:  Thimpu- Enjoy a short 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 Taschicho Dzong, Bhutan's most impressive building.

Day 5: Thimpu - enjoy 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.

Day 6: To Punakha- This 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.

Day 7: Punakha valley - 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.

Day 8: To Haa Valley - A long but scenic drive today, crossing 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)

Day 9: Haa Valley -We'll walk from Haa town to Juneydrak Hermitage, which takes us through rhododendron forest with fine views.

Day 10: To Paro - a 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.

Day 11: Paro walking and sightseeing - A gentle hike which takes us above Paro giving spectacular views over the valley. You can visit Zuri Goenpa, a 17th century monastery.

Day 12: Taktsang Monastery - 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: To Kathmandu - Fly to Kathmandu (1 night). Afternoon tour of the historic centre and a farewell dinner

Day 14: To London - Transfer to the airport for a return flight to London via Doha


Extend your stay- Chitwan National Park extension

Chitwan National Park is one of Nepal’s biggest attractions, after the mighty Himalaya. This beautiful park is home to a plethora of wildlife, including the endangered one-horned Indian rhino, and healthy populations of tiger and leopard amongst many other species. Your stay in the park will treat you to safaris in this stunning area. Keep your eyes peeled.

Day 14: fly from Kathmandu to Bharatpur and a transfer to the Jungle Villa Resort, your accommodation for exploring Chitwan National Park (breakfast, lunch and dinner included).

Day 15: a full day of activities ranging from wildlife viewing with experienced naturalists to elephant safaris into remote regions of the park (breakfast, lunch and dinner included).

Day 16: one last chance to search for wildlife this morning before transferring to Bharatpur and your flight to Kathmandu. On arrival in Kathmandu you will be transferred to your final night’s accommodation at the Hotel Malla (breakfast included).

Day 17: transfer to the airport for your flight home (breakfast included).

Price includes:

  • 3 nights en-suite accommodation
  • Transfers and return flights to Bharatpur
  • 4 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 2 dinners

Please note there will not be an HF Holidays' leader nor a local leader in Chitwan. All activities are accompanied by local experts.

General Information

Passport
A full passport valid for the duration of the stay is required.

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: http://www.fitfortravel.co.ukwww.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

Iain Riding

Iain has travelled extensively worldwide and welcomes new challenges and adventures such as trekking in the Annapurnas, wild camping in North West Scotland and helping crew a 40ft ketch across the Atlantic from Gran Canaria to St. Lucia. 

He has a good knowledge and understanding of the history and culture of the region, gleaned from his extensive travels in Nepal and India.

Iain has been leading HF Walking holidays, both in the UK and abroad, since 2002, and looks forward to sharing our Bhutan Adventure with you.

Iain is leading 09 October 2017.

Mike Thomas

Mike's love for mountain walking started on a school field trip to Derbyshire, and since then he has thoroughly enjoyed trips to many of parts of the world. Voluntary leading has been a way of life for many years for Mike, and this has included spending two years in Africa, and organising holidays for mountaineering, skiing and cycling clubs.

Since 2000, Mike has lead trips for HF Holidays in the UK, Europe and many Worldwide holidays. He is an enthusiastic leader who loves to share his interest for travelling, and supporting his guests to ensure they have a wonderful holiday. Mike is delighted to be returning to the Himalayas where the people are wonderful and scenery out of this world.

When Mike is not leading walks for HF Holidays, he is walking with his local club, cycling, windsurfing, or volunteering for his local Wild Life Trust.

Mike is leading 6 November 2017.

Reviews

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Dates & Prices

Date Description Nights Brochure price Book
9 Oct 2017 BHWHW - Bhutan Adventure
(Travel included)

Flight - Outbound

QATAR AIRWAYS

  • Depart: 9 Oct 2017, 9:30 p.m.
  • Arrive: 10 Oct 2017, 3:55 p.m.
  • Depart from: London Heathrow
  • Arrive at: Kathmandu International

Flight - Return

QATAR AIRWAYS

  • Depart: 22 Oct 2017, noon
  • Arrive: 22 Oct 2017, 10 p.m.
  • Depart from: Kathmandu International
  • Arrive at: London Heathrow
13 £3,319.00 Book Now
9 Oct 2017 BHWHW - Bhutan Adventure
(Travel included)

Flight - Outbound

QATAR AIRWAYS

  • Depart: 9 Oct 2017, 9:30 p.m.
  • Arrive: 10 Oct 2017, 3:55 p.m.
  • Depart from: London Heathrow
  • Arrive at: Kathmandu International

Flight - Return

QATAR AIRWAYS

  • Depart: 22 Oct 2017, 12:40 p.m.
  • Arrive: 22 Oct 2017, 10 p.m.
  • Depart from: Kathmandu International
  • Arrive at: London Heathrow
13 £3,319.00 Book Now
9 Oct 2017 BHWHW - Bhutan with Chitwan Extension
(Travel included)

Flight - Outbound

QATAR AIRWAYS

  • Depart: 9 Oct 2017, 9:30 p.m.
  • Arrive: 10 Oct 2017, 3:55 p.m.
  • Depart from: London Heathrow
  • Arrive at: Kathmandu International

Flight - Return

QATAR AIRWAYS

  • Depart: 25 Oct 2017, noon
  • Arrive: 25 Oct 2017, 10 p.m.
  • Depart from: Kathmandu International
  • Arrive at: London Heathrow
16 £3,789.00 Book Now
10 Oct 2017 BHWHW - Bhutan Adventure 12 £2,765.00 Book Now
10 Oct 2017 BHWHW - Bhutan with Chitwan Extension 15 £3,235.00 Book Now
7 Nov 2017 BHWHW - Bhutan Adventure 12 £2,765.00 Book Now
7 Nov 2017 BHWHW - Bhutan with Chitwan Extension 15 £3,235.00 Book Now

Prices are per person

Information

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

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