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Tiger’s Nest Monastery, Bhutan

Bhutan

Bhutan tailor-made holidays

Introduction

Eccentric, exclusive and somewhat expensive, Bhutan is like no other. Bhutan travel is all-inclusive and all tourists on Bhutan holidays or tours to Bhutan must travel on a pre-planned itinerary as this is the only way to explore, but the delights of this fascinating, mystical kingdom, whose name translates as ‘Land of the Thunder Dragon', more than make up for it.

Bhutan has a culture that seems to have remained unchanged since the beginning of time – yet you'll find modern delights in luxury hotels that lie in the shadow of awe-inspiring landscapes, historic monasteries and exquisite temples. Start in the pretty capital Thimpu, all ancient buildings in a spectacular deep valley – but it's most well-known for its Buddhist sites. The massive Tashichho Dzong is a fortified monastery and government palace with gold-leafed roofs that dominates the bright buildings below, while the Memorial Chorten, a whitewashed structure with a gold spire, is a revered Buddhist shrine dedicated to Bhutan’s third king, Jigme Dorji Wangchuck. The Golden Buddha Dordenma is unmissable, too – an enormous mountain statue that celebrates the 60th anniversary of fourth king Jigme Singye Wangchuck and is home to 100,000 other smaller bronze, gold-gilded Buddha statues.

Dramatic scenery abounds, but some of the most striking can be seen on the flight into Paro from neighbouring Nepal, when you'll pass eight of the world's ten highest peaks before touching down. Just an hour’s drive from the Bhutan capital Thimpu, Paro is home to the sacred Tiger’s Nest cliffside monastery that clings to the mountains above the eponymous valley's dense forests. Sacred sites and historic architecture abound, contrasted with terraced rice fields and tiny farmhouses that dot the valley – but go higher and you're afforded stunning views of the winding Paro Chhu River. In this mountainous country there's plenty of options for trekking; tackle the Jhomolhari or Snowman Trek for particularly spectacular views.

Punakha and its amazing Punakha Dzong is one of the most stunning structures in Bhutan with its rolling green hills and picturesque river – reaching here from Thimphu to Punakha affords those who make the journey stunning views over the Dochula Pass and even the big-name peaks of the spectacular Himalayas. 

Gangtey is carved by glaciers in a region named Phobjikha, filled with myriad hiking trails and religious sites such as the Gangtey Goempa Monastery perched atop the valley, while the country's spiritual centre is Bumthang. Home to many precious Buddhist sites, dzongs, temples and palaces, this region is made up of four main valleys, Ura, Chumey, Tang and Choekhor, all carved by the ancient glaciers.

At a glance

Flying time from UK
10 hours

Time zone
GMT +6

Currency
Ngultrum (NU) = 100 chetrum (Ch)

Language
Dzongkha

Travel advice
Check the FCO for latest visa & travel advice

Special offers in Bhutan

Nepal & Bhutan Discovery

16-day tailor-made journey from £4,635 pp incl. flights

Special
offer

– Save up to £415 pp
Book by: 30 September 2018

There can be few other places on earth with such rich history and awe-inspiring landscapes as Nepal and Bhutan. Explore it all on this twin-country tour that takes in ancient cities, hidden temples and soaring Himalayan peaks.

Top itineraries in Bhutan

Best of Bhutan

9-day tailor-made journey from £3,195 pp incl. flights

A land of gilded temples, mysterious monasteries, mist-shrouded valleys and soaring peaks, Bhutan has been beguiling holidaymakers since it opened its doors to the world in 1974. And, on this tailor-made adventure, you'll take in its highlights with private touring and transfers throughout.

Nepal & Bhutan Discovery

16-day tailor-made journey from £4,635 pp incl. flights

Special
offer

– Save up to £415 pp
Book by: 30 September 2018

There can be few other places on earth with such rich history and awe-inspiring landscapes as Nepal and Bhutan. Explore it all on this twin-country tour that takes in ancient cities, hidden temples and soaring Himalayan peaks.

Highlights of Bhutan

11-day tailor-made holiday from £3,885 pp incl. flights

On this adventurous tour of Bhutan, you'll visit the capital, Thimphu, before traversing mountain passes to reach the charms of its valley towns – Punakha and Paro – after enjoying a slice of village life in Gangtey. Expert-led tours and excursions bring it all to life.

See all itinerary ideas

Top places to stay in Bhutan

Gangtey Lodge, Gangtey Valley

Small & intimate lodge

Showcasing architect-designed interiors and stunning valley views, this remote lodge pairs traditional farm-house charm with modern boutique luxuries in freestanding bathtubs and log burning fires. It's the ideal base for exploring Gangtey Valley on everything from included walks to temple visits.

Uma by COMO, Punakha

Small & intimate lodge

An intimate luxury lodge in the lush Punakha Valley on the Mo Chu River, that focuses on wellbeing and health

Uma by COMO, Paro

Contemporary lodge

Uma by COMO is an intimate wellbeing-focused resort located in the beautiful Paro Valley, Bhutan.

Taj Tashi Thimphu

Traditional hotel

Taj Tashi in Thimphu has a fantastic spa, and is excellently located near many of Bhutan's top tourist attractions

See all places

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When to go to Bhutan

Average temperature (℃)
Average rainfall (mm)
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Max temp Min temp Rainfall

Bhutan has two high seasons: March to May, and September to November. The autumn, post-monsoon, offers the best Himalayan views, while the spring brings mild weather and spectacular rhododendron blooms. Fewer tourists and lower prices also make winter a viable option, although it can get quite cold during December and January, especially in the mountains. The humid summer months (June-August), when heavy monsoon rains make trekking all but impossible, are best avoided.

See regional weather

Bhutan articles

  • Royal Spotlight: Bhutan & India

    The first time a British royal visited the subcontinent, the towering basalt of the Gateway of India was erected in his honour. Now, Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge have just visited India and Bhutan. Follow in their footsteps with our ideas of a perfect luxury holiday in these countrie…

  • Wexas launches new India & Beyond brochure

    Out now, the new Wexas India & Beyond brochure. Order and customise your own copy with our easy online tool.

  • Upcoming festivals in the Asia Pacific

    Festivals provide a great opportunity to soak up local culture in your chosen destination. Here's our pick of some of the best coming up over the next few months.

See all articles

Meet our Bhutan experts

Speak to a tailor-made specialist on 020 7590 0613

Meet the team

Why book with Wexas Travel?

At Wexas, we specialise in bespoke travel experiences. Our itineraries are just samples of what we can arrange, and can be changed depending on your precise needs, finances and ideas by our experienced destination specialists.

Contact one of our consultants on 020 7590 0613 to discuss how we can tailor your holiday.

Learn why Wexas is the leader in creating luxury holidays. What is tailor-made travel?

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Every step of the way

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