The Ultimate Bhutan Tour
Bhutan, Discovery, 15 days - from £2,595 (land only) - from €3,505 (land only) - from $4,540 (land only)
Day 1: Rendezvous at the group hotel in Delhi. Complimentary airport transfers are provided. KE Land Only package services start with dinner and the overnight stay at the group hotel.
Day 2: We take the spectacular flight eastwards along the chain of the Himalaya to Bhutan's only airport at Paro. Arriving in Paro, we check in at our hotel. This is the first day of the festival and if time permits we will make a first visit to the festival which is held in the Paro Dzong.
Day 3: This is the first day of the Paro Festival. As much a spectacle as the whirling masked dancers, are the throngs of local people who dress in their finest robes and come to the festival both for spiritual enlightenment and also to have fun socialising with friends and neighbours. We return to our hotel for a second night.
Day 4: After breakfast at the hotel we will hike up to the classic viewpoint for the 'Tigers Nest' Takstang monastery perched three quarters of the way up a cliff face. In the afternoon we can watch some more of the festival dances before driving (1 hour) to the capital Thimpu where we have a sightseeing tour of the city. Overnight in Thimpu
Day 5: Driving out of Thimpu we cross the Dochu La, with its panoramas of Bhutan's biggest peaks and descend to the very photogenic Punakha Dzong. We then continue to Wangdi which boasts another impressive dzong. Overnight in a hotel in Wangdi.
Day 6: Our journey continues across the Black Mountains to our hotel at Gantey in the lovely Phobjikha Valley. The afternoon we visit the monastery and there is an option to walk the Gantay Nature Trail.
Day 7: This morning we have the option to make an easy walk visiting local villages. In the afternoon we continue our journey east, crossing the Chele La to reach Tongsa where we check into our hotel.
Day 8: In the morning we visit the imposing Tongsa Dzong. We then continue on Bhutan's only road. Climbing to cross the Yutong La, we then descend to the district of Bumthang and our lodge in the town of Jakar.
Day 9: A day for exploration. We drive to one of Bumthang's picturesque valleys where we have the option to make an easy walk. In Jakar itself we can visit the commanding dzong.
Day 10: Back on the road we cross the Thumsing La (3800m) and make a long descent Mongar where we check into our lodge.
Day 11: We drive for approximately 4 hours to Tashigang. We stay overnight at a lodge in this very charming town.
Day 12: We have a day to explore Tashigang. In the morning we visit the impressive dzong and the afternoon is free to enjoy the ambience of the town square with its cafes or to shop for souvenirs.
Day 13: Driving south now, we stop off at Wamrong where we hope to find a festival in progress. Onwards to the Indian border, we overnight in a hotel in Samdrup Jongkhar. Our last night in Bhutan.
Day 14: We cross the border to the airport at Gauhati, fly to Delhi and transfer to our hotel for dinner.
Day 15: KE group package services end after breakfast. Complimentary transfers to the airport are provided.
The above is an example itinerary for the Ultimate Bhutan Tour. Each tour will vary slightly to visit a different festival.
This holiday involves going to high altitude. During the course of your trip you will reach altitudes in excess of 3500 metres. This is not something that you should worry about; the human body is quite capable of adapting to a very wide range of altitudes, but it is important that we follow some simple rules in order to acclimatise successfully. Before coming on this holiday you should read the advice on trekking at high altitude.