Thimphu, Bhutan’s capital is located in a Himalayan valley in the country’s western interior. This small city is the centre of commerce, religion and government and known for its Buddhist sites. The massive Tashichho Dzong, a Buddhist monastery and fortress houses the King’s Throne Room. Memorial Chorten, is a revered Buddhist shrine dedicated to the Third King of Bhutan, Jigme Dorji Wangchuck. The gigantic 51.5-meter bronze statue of the Great Buddha Dordenma, sits amidst the ruins of Kuensel Phodrang, overlooking the Thimphu valley.
This tour starts with touring Thimphu’s historical and Buddhist sites. Travel East to Punakha, the ancient winter capital of Bhutan, located in a sub-tropical valley. Visit, Punakha Dzong, on the confluence of Pho chhu (Male river) and Mo chhu (female river). Next to a small town of Wangdue Phodrang, before travelling to Gangtey (in Phobjika valley) home to the endangered black-necked cranes. Continue to the spectacular Bumthang valley in the heart of the country before returning to Paro, the resort town of Bhutan.
TRAVEL UNTAMED ON THIS 11-DAY BHUTAN HONEYMOON TOUR...
And, experience Himalayan culture in the beautiful Bumthang valley.
Thimphu, Gangtey, Bumthang, Punakha, Paro
(11 Days – Travel Any Day)
Day 1 – Arrive Bhutan
Paro/ Thimphu The flight to Paro is one of the most spectacular of all mountain flights. You will fly over a wall of green hills known as ‘dwars’, or doors to the Himalaya. You will see Mt Everest, Mt Kangchenjunga, Mt Makalu and some of the most beautiful Himalayan peaks - a never-to-be-forgotten vista of a lifetime.
On arrival, you will be received by our representative, who will escort you to your hotel in Thimphu. The transfer to Thimphu takes approximately 1 ½ hours.
Amankora Thimphu (L,D)
Day 2 – Tour
Thimphu Take a comprehensive tour of Thimphu with your private guide and driver to see the highlights, including the Trashi Chhoe Dzong, the seat of Bhutan’s government, the Pangri Zampa, two 16th century buildings, and a short hike to Cheri Gompa, the monastery where the first monastic body was established in the Kingdom. Back in town you should be able to visit a few of the capital’s cottage industries ranging from traditional paper making to hand rolled incense.
Amankora Thimphu (B, L, D)
Day 3 – Explore
Phobjikha Valley We take an early morning drive to Phobjika Valley, visiting enroute interesting sights like the 17th century Simtokha Dzong and the ancient wall paintings at the Hongtsho (Gompa) monastery. The journey continues over the 3,050m mountain pass with majestic views of the Himalayan peaks. Time permitting and depending on the season, we visit the Black-Necked Crane Centre; time spent in the Centre’s hide is a must to view the breeding cranes.
The Phobjikha valley is one of the most beautiful open valleys in Bhutan. It is a breeding ground for the endangered black-necked cranes which migrate here in the winter months and for this reason is designated as a conservation spot by the WWF.
Amankora Gangtey (B, L, D)
Day 4 – Transfer
Bumthang The journey to Bumthang is perhaps long, but certainly memorable, with dramatic landscapes of terraced farmland, deep river valleys and precariously perched farmhouses. The drive passes through Trongsa, ancestral home of the royal family.
Upon reaching Trongsa you may take time to stroll this quaint village and official business permitting, perhaps visit the Trongsa Dzong, ancestral home to Bhutan’s monarch where you will often find novice monks reciting mantras or practicing on sacred horns, flutes or drums. The drive onward to Bumthang takes you over the picturesque Yotong La and down into the Chhume Valley, home of Bhutan’s famous Yatra weaving. Here you will have a chance to browse the traditional textiles and perhaps see the weavers create their intricate handiwork.
Amankora Bumthang (B, L, D)
Day 5 & 6 – Explore
Bumthang In Bumthang, visit the Wangdichhoeling, home to the royal family and the grand Kurjey Lhakhang, once the resting place of the Buddhist saint Padmasambhava, popularly known as ‘Guru Rimpoche’ and Jambay Lhakhang, one of 108 Buddhist temples built in the 8th century by the Tibetan king, Songtsen Gampo, where the early winter festivals draw thousands of Bhutanese for their annual blessings.
Amankora Bumthang (B, L, D)
Day 7 & 8 – Explore
Punakha Drive to Punakha, the ancient winter capital, located in a sub-tropical valley with warm summers and pleasant winters. Visit the beautifully located Punakha Dzong, built on the confluence of Pho chhu (male river) and Mo chhu (female river).
Your day in Punakha Valley begins with a hike up through the fields along the banks of the Mo Chhu to the upper end of the valley. On return, visit the impressive Punakha Dzong, the winter residence of the monastic order’s leader and his entourage of monks. Time permitting, visit Chimi Lhakhang, the temple of fertility and dedicated to Lama Drukpa Kuenley, known locally as the ‘Divine Madman’.
Amankora Punakha (B, L, D)
Day 9 & 10 – Transfer & Explore
Paro Driving back to Paro is equally interesting, catching the Himalayan views that you may have missed on your way in. Set in a pine forest here is the Amankora lodge and its spa. In the afternoon, there is an opportunity for a quick stroll to some of the valley’s oldest and holiest religious monuments or a ramble down Paro’s main street.
In the morning, take in a tour Ta Dzong (watchtower) and the dominating Paro Dzong, a fine example of Bhutanese traditional architecture. Then hike up to view one of Bhutan’s most revered monuments, the Taktsang Gompa, more commonly referred to as the ‘Tiger’s Nest’. The 3-4 hour trek offers spectacular views of this sacred monastery perched on a cliff face 900m above the valley floor.
Amankora Paro (B, L, D)
Day 11 – Airport Transfer
Depart Paro Transfer to the airport for your onward flight.
Make this your holiday
Getting There International flight to Bangkok or New Delhi are available from major UK cities on a variety of carriers. From there flights to Bhutan are with Druk Air. We will arrange your flight tickets and visa clearance and forward them to the Druk office at the airport from which the flight originates. Transfers within Bhutan will be arranged by AwimAway. On your arrival, our representative will meet and greet with your private car and driver, that will be available to you for sightseeing excursions or shopping trips at your convenience.
When to go Winter in Bhutan is from mid-November till mid-March, and at this time of the year the climate is dry and sunny for the most part, temperatures peaking at around 15c. During the spring months of March, April and May, Bhutan offers warm days and cool nights. It is a great time for treks and to watch the flora and the many birds of Bhutan.
By the middle of June, clouds begin to build up for the monsoon that arrives in July. By mid-September the monsoon clouds have all but dried and the skies begin to clear. The two-month window between October and November offers clear skies but it can get cold in the night. It is also a good time for trekking in the Himalayas, sitting around a camp fire and seeing the high Himalayas in the morning and evening golden light.