Glimpses of Bhutan
Taktsang Palphug (or Tiger’s Nest) monastery is Bhutan’s most iconic landmark. It is a prominent Himalayan Buddhist site that clings impossibly to a sheer cliff face 900 hundred meters above the Paro Valley. Legend states that Guru Rimpoche flew to the site atop the back of a tigress and meditated in the cave in the 7th century A.D. The cave has been considered a sacred site ever since and many famous saints have travelled to meditate in it. Padmasambhava is credited with introducing Buddhism to Bhutan and is the tutelary deity of the country. Today, Paro Taktsang is the best known of the thirteen Taktsang or "tiger lair" caves in which he meditated.
On this tour, you arrive in Paro and transfer to Thimphu, Bhutan's charming capital. After a brief stay, journey into central Bhutan over Himalayan passes offering great vistas into Punakha. Visit the stunning Punakha Dzong and hike up the surrounding valleys and visit rural villages. Drive to the scenic Gangtey (in Phobjikha Valley), known for the endangered black-cranes. Return to Paro and trek up to the famed Taktsang Monastery (Tiger's Nest), one of the most important icons of Bhutan.
TRAVEL UNTAMED ON THIS 7-DAY GLIMPSES OF BHUTAN TOUR...
And, experience medieval monasteries that dot the landscape.
Bhutan is a land of soaring mountain peaks, lush meadows and densely forested hills and valleys. With its medieval buildings, charmingly decorated with bright colours, you might feel as if you’ve stepped back in time. Bhuddhism is the lifeblood of this country and at the centre of all things.
Designed for first time travellers and romantic couples. This one week tour can be easily combined with our private tours to India, Nepal, Sri Lanka or Bangkok. The tour explores the valleys of Paro , Thimphu and Punakha, with a private guide and driver, all while staying at luxury properties with local character and atmosphere.
On arrival in Paro, enjoy a beautiful drive through the mountains to Thimphu, Bhutan's charming capital. The best way to explore Thimphu is by foot and experience the local culture. A walk up and down the street will always be enlightening. From the farmers that come to trade supplies in the city, to Bhutanese businessmen, to the monk body there will always be a colourful gathering passing by.
Then journey into central Bhutan via Himalayan passes offering great vistas to Punakha the winter capital located in a sub-tropical valley and visit the stunning Punakha Dzong. Enjoy peaceful walks through rural farm villages, receive a blessing from a monk or opt to hike up a mountain for panoramic views of the valley.
Return to Paro and trek up to the famed Taktsang Monastery (Tiger's Nest), a breathtaking monastery clinging to a cliff that is one of the most important icons of Bhutan. Legend has it that in the 8th century, Guru Rimpoche flew here on a tigress and meditated there before spreading Buddhism in the region. Later visit the Kyichu temple one of the 108 temples built in the 7th century by the Tibetan King Songsten Gampo.
Glimpses of Bhutan For first time travellers and romantic couples
Paro, Thimphu, Phobjikha, Punakha
(7 Days – Travel Any Day)
Day 1 – Arrive Paro, Bhutan
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.
Taj Tashi Hotel – B, (Local Restaurant – 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.
Taj Tashi Hotel – B, (Local Restaurant – L, D)
Day 3 – Transfer & Explore
Punakha Continue to Punakha, the ancient winter capital, situated 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). Drive to the nearby Wangdue Phodrang, a small township with clusters of shops tightly packed together. Enjoy a peaceful walk through rural farm villages, receive a blessing from a monk or opt to hike up a mountain for beautiful panoramic views of the valley. Alternatively, relax at your luxurious hotel, set among rice terraces and traditional Bhutanese farmhouses.
Uma Hotel – B, (Local Restaurant – L, D)
Day 4 – Explore
Gangtey/ Phobjikha The journey to Gangtey (in Phobjikha Valley) is very scenic, as the road passes through bamboo, rhododendron and conifer forests, meadows and river valleys. The Phobjikha Valley itself is very wide and bowl-shaped and one of the most beautiful open valleys in the country.
Explore its secluded monasteries and temples, which present a literary treasure trove, largely untouched and still not fully explored. Meet the local villagers, known as the Bjopkha (nomadic people), who speak a different dialect from Dzongkha, the official language of Bhutan.
Gangtey, situated at 2,400m, is home to the endangered, graceful black-necked cranes that fly in from northern China, Mongolia and Siberia in the winter. It is a birdwatchers’ paradise and you will see Hill Partridges, Dark-breasted Rose finches and many other bird varieties here. We can organise a 3-day birdwatchers’ Gangtey trek.
Uma Hotel – B, (Local Restaurant – L, D)
Day 5 & 6 – Transfer & Explore
Paro The drive back to Paro is through the idyllic countryside, dotted with villages and paddy fields, crossing rivers and over the high mountain pass (3140 m) from where, on a clear day, you can have a superb view of the Eastern Himalayas. In Paro you will take a comprehensive tour with your private guide visiting ancient temple and Dzongs and exploring the beautiful valley.
Next day take a hike to the famous Taktsang Monastery (‘Tiger's Nest’), an hour and a half uphill. The monastery is perched on a rocky ledge with a sheer drop of nearly 900m. It is said that in the second half of the 8th century, Guru Padma Sambhava, the saint who converted Bhutan to Buddhism, alighted here on the back of a tigress. Here we enjoy snacks and tea at the cafeteria with magnificent views across the valley.
Zhiwa Ling Hotel – B, (Local Restaurant – L, D)
Day 7 – Airport Transfer
Depart Paro Transfer to the airport for your return flight.
Make this your holiday
Getting There Flights are available to Bangkok or New Delhi from major UK cities on a variety of carriers. From there flights are with Druk Air. We will arrange your flight tickets and visa clearance details and forward them to the Druk office at the airport from which the flight originates.
Getting Around: Transfers from Paro airport in Bhutan for this tour will be arranged by AwimAway. On your arrival our representative will be waiting for you at the airport with your private car and driver. The car willbe available to you for sightseeing excursions or shopping trips at your convenience, and can be used to travel throughout Bhutan by road.
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. in the daytime and falling below zero at night. 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 be cold in the night. It is also a good time for trekking deep into the Himalayas, sitting around a camp fire and seeing the high Himalayas in the morning and evening golden light.
Passport/ Visa Land entry: AwimAway.com representatives will meet you at Bagdogra airport in West Bengal to escort you to the land border at Phuentsholing and handle entry formalities for you.
Air entry: If you are coming by air, we will forward your flight tickets and visa clearance details to the Druk Air station at which the flight originates. Please have ready at hand any documentation we have sent you concerning this, or your tour. Kindly be at the check-in counter two hours before the expected departure time for your flight.
Passport & visa arrangements: Your passport should be valid for at least a month after your planned date of departure from Bhutan. Passports are stamped when you arrive, and the visa is valid for two weeks, but can easily be extended in Thimphu if your stay in our country is longer.