Panorama of Bhutan Tour

17 Day – Private tour with air-conditioned car, driver and guide
From £3395 low season & £3795 high season
ABTA and ATOL protected holidays

This comprehensive Panorama Bhutan Holiday Package will give you an amazing insight into this beautiful country. Starting from Assam in India you will travel by road into Eastern Bhutan and head westward travelling the breadth of the country arriving in Paro. Relatively less visited by foreign tourists, Trashigang and Mongar in Eastern Bhutan offer unspoilt countryside, pristine valleys and charming villages still unaffected by globalisation. Bumthang and Gangtey have arguably the prettiest valleys and some of the most impressive dzongs in Bhutan. The more popular destinations like Punakha, Thimphu and Paro, offer a magnificent insight into Bhutan’s cultural heritage, textiles, art & crafts. This epic journey fittingly culminates with a visit to Tiger’s Nest monastery, a picture postcard symbol of Bhutan.

This tour is by private car with a guide accompanying you throughout the journey and accommodation is in characterful hotels.

Please remember all our private tours are designed to meet your exact requirements, and this tour is just an example to help inspire you. If you would like we can also arrange your flights for a fully ATOL protected holiday. Contact the team for more information on 01792 315499 or email info@aitholidays.com

Panorama of Bhutan Holiday Package Highlights

Monument with 108 Choten, Dochula Pass, Bhutan

A wonderful comprehensive tour with visits to:

  • Samdrup Jongkhar, Trashigang, Mongar, Bumthang, Gangtey, Punakha, Thimphu & Paro
  • A stop to admire Haling (bird valley)
  • Amazing scenery passing the highest passes in Bhutan
  • Fabulous mix of rural Bhutan, the most important monuments and temples as well as the city of Thimphu
  • Insight into the handicrafts and textile industry
  • Excursion to Taktshang Monastery, affectionately known as Tiger’s Nest

Panorama of Bhutan Tour Itinerary

On arrival at Kolkata airport you will be met and transferred to your hotel for an overnight stay. The remainder of the day is at leisure.

Accommodation: Pride Hotel, Kolkata

 

This morning, you will be collected from your hotel and taken to the airport for a short flight to Guwahati. You will be met and driven to Saidpur Songkhram in Bhutan which is about 3 hours away for an overnight stay at Phuntsok Yangchow Hotel. In the evening, take a stroll around the town and visit Zangtho Pelri Lhakhang, a three-storied temple dedicated to Guru Rinpoche, a central figure in the transmission of Buddhism to Tibet.

Approximate travel time and distance: 3 hours, 110 Km
Accommodation: Phuntshok Yongkhar Hotel
Meals included: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Today your drive to Trashigang will take about 6 hours. On route one of the highlights is a stop to admire Haling (bird valley), one of the most beautiful and lush, fertile valleys in Bhutan. The valley has a rich birdlife and is also famous for its Bhutanese textile weaving.

Your evening visit to Trashigang Dzong offers remarkable views of the surrounding countryside. Built in 1659, the dzong also serves as the administrative seat for the district.

Approximate travel time and distance: 6 hours, 180 Km
Accommodation: Druk Deothjung Resort, Trashigang
Meals included: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

The day begins with a visit to the Rangjung Wiesel Coiling Monastery, set in beautiful countryside. The monastery has a flourishing community with several branches, monasteries and retreat centres. It also has on show a fascinating graphical representation of the five senses of human moulded from barley flour and butter.

This is followed by a visit to Radhi village, popularly known as the ‘rice bowl of East Bhutan’. The vast rice fields around the village produce most of the grains for Eastern Bhutan. Radhi Village is also famous for silk weaving. The local craftsmen make a living from fine raw silk or Bura textiles using the conventional back-strap loom and traditional dyes. As a result, Radhi village produces some of the most authentic high quality raw silk textiles in Bhutan.

Accommodation: Druk Deathpunk Hotel, Trashigang
Meals included: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

This morning, the drive to Monger takes about 3 hours. On the way, you will visit Drumette Lhakhang, one of the largest and most important monasteries in eastern Bhutan. The monastery was founded by a highly accomplished Ani (nun) named Chosen Zangpo in the 16th century, the granddaughter of the famous religious master Teuton Pema Lingpa (the Treasure Discoverer). It is deeply associated with Teuton Pema Lingpa and the Pelling tradition of Buddhism and houses a fine range of spiritual treasures. Today it is the source of spiritual inspiration to local communities.

After lunch it’s a visit to one of Bhutan’s newest dzongs,  Monger Dzong. Despite being built in 1930, it has been constructed using the same method and traditions of other dzongs with no drawings or nails being used.

Approximate travel time and distance: 3 hours, 96 Km
Accommodation: Wangchuk Hotel, Mongar
Meals included: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Today enjoy a long but scenic journey to Bumthang crossing the 4,000m high Thrashing la pass. This is one of the most beautiful journeys in the Himalayas with gushing waterfalls, steep cliffs, constantly changing vegetation and colourful flower beds.

On the way, one stop will be at the fascinating Uri valley (3100m) which is the highest of the four Bumthang valleys. Villages in Uri have clustered houses – an unusual feature in Bhutan. There will be time to explore the village and visit the temple dedicated to Guru Rinpoche.

In the evening take a leisurely walk around the town centre.

Approximate travel time and distance: 6 – 7  hours, 196 Km
Accommodation: Bumthang Mountain Resort, Bumthang
Meals included: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

A full day starts with a visit to Jamey Lhakhang, the ancient temple built by Tibetan King Songster Gamp in 659 A.D. as part of a chain of 108 simultaneously constructed temples. Then a short distance away is the sacred site of Kurje Lhakhang, comprising of three big temples surrounded by 108 chorten walls.  The oldest temple is constructed on the rock where Guru Rinpoche meditated, the second temple has a colossal statue of Guru Rinpoche and the third is dedicated to the happiness of all living beings in the kingdom.

Picturesque Jakar Dzong is the next place to visit. Constructed in 1549, the dzong is perched on the hilltop overlooking Choekhor Valley. The dzong played an important role as a fortress in defending the eastern Dzongkhags. It also became the seat of the first king of Bhutan. The dzong has several distinct features including a 50m high watchtower and a sheltered passage with protected water supply in case of siege.

After lunch the day continues with a  visit to Drobji Weaving Centre, an initiative of local women supported by WWF-UK, to generate income and achieve self-sufficiency. The weavers here produce exquisite dress materials including the gho (male dress), kira (female dress), and kabney (scarf).

The day ends with a visit to Bumthang Brewery, a state-of-the-art microbrewery producing Swiss-style unfiltered Weiss beer, locally known as ‘Red Panda Beer’.  This was the first of its kind in Bhutan, producing draught beer, apple cider, wine, apple brandy. Learn the process of making unfiltered Weiss beer and at the neighbouring Swiss Farm get an insight into the cheese making process.

Accommodation: Bumthang Mountain Resort, Bumthang
Meals included: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

This morning your adventure takes you to Trongsa crossing the Yutong La pass at 3400m.

The first visit is to Ta Dzong, a watchtower built in 1652 standing on a promontory above the town, It has now been converted into a state-of-the-art museum offering an insight into the significance of Trongsa in Bhutan’s history.

Then visit majestic Trongsa Dzong. Built in 1648, it is the largest fortress in Bhutan which stands on a spur overlooking the gorge of the Mangdi Chhu River. This massive structure has many levels, which slope down the contours of a hill on which it perches. Because of its highly strategic position as the only connecting route between east and west, it used to be the seat of power over central and eastern Bhutan and the vanguard of the warriors. Every King of Bhutan has first served as the Trongsa Penlop (Governor) before ascending to the Raven Crown throne. Trongsa Dzong remains one of the most aesthetic and magnificent works of traditional Bhutanese architecture.

After exploring Trongsa, you continue to Gangtey crossing Pele La pass at 3300m. This pass is regarded as the traditional boundary between East and West Bhutan and is marked by a large number of prayer flags.

On the way to Gangtey, there is also a stop at Chendbji Chorten, a Nepalese style stupa with eyes painted at four cardinal points which was built in the 18th century by a Lama named Shida

Approximate travel time and distance: 2.5 hours 70 km and 3 hours, 85 km
Accommodation: Dewachen Hotel, Gangtey
Meals included: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

The day begins with a visit to Gangtey Goempa, perched on a small hill. The Monastery is the biggest Nyingmapa monastery in Bhutan and is home to Gangtey Tulku, a highly respected reincarnate lama. The monastery complex has a school, meditation facilities and residential quarters for monks and is surrounded by a quaint village mainly inhabited by the families of the 140 Gomchens (caretakers) of the monastery.

Then explore the fascinating U-shaped Phobjikha valley, formed from glacial action. Now a designated conservation area, the valley is the winter home of the endangered, black necked crane which migrate from the arid plains in the north during winter months. It lies on the periphery of the Black Mountain National Park and has two beautiful meandering rivers, Nakay Chhu and Gay Chhu.

You can also visit the Black Necked Crane Information Centre, which houses an observation room equipped with high power telescope and spotting scopes for catching the best view of the cranes during season. The centre also offers information on the natural and cultural history of Phobjikha Valley.

Accommodation: Dewachen Hotel, Gangtey
Meals included: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

The morning drive to Punakha takes about 3 hours.

In the afternoon visit Punakha Dzong, built at the junction of the Pho Chu and Mo Chu Rivers. Constructed in 1637, this majestic dzong has served as both the religious and administrative centre of Bhutan. The dzong has a six-story, gold-domed tower with courtyards and religious sculptures.

Then take a short excursion to Chimi Lhakhang, located on a hill in the centre of the valley.  Also known as a Temple of Fertility, it is believed that people who would like children, are blessed with a child by praying at this temple. From the temple, there is an interesting trail through rice fields to a charming local village, Pana. A walk through the village gives a glimpse into the lifestyle of rural Bhutan.

Approximate travel time and distance: 3 hours, 85 km
Accommodation: Meri Puensum Resort, Punakha
Meals included: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

If you’re feeling active, the morning hike to Khamsum Yuelley Namgel Chortenwill will take about an hour each way. The Chorten dominates the upper Punakha Valley with commanding views across the Mo Chhu River and the mountainous peaks of Gasa.

After lunch your visit to Talo village, includes Talo Sangnacholing Dzong which is built on a plateau offering majestic views of surrounding villages. There will be time to explore the beautiful village farmhouses with their flower gardens, see the fields of colourful crops and meet a local family to learn more about rural life.

This is followed by a stop at Sangchhen Dorji Lhuendrup Lhakhang Nunnery, perched on a ridge amid pine trees overlooking Punakha and Wangdue valleys. The nunnery is fascinating with a 14-foot bronze statue and a temple complex housing a higher learning and meditation centre for nuns as well as a skills training centre.

Accommodation: Meri Puensum Resort, Punakha
Meals included: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

The drive to Thimphu this morning will take about 2 ½ hours.

On the way you will stop at the Royal Botanical Garden which displays the rich natural biodiversity of Bhutan. The park houses a wide variety of wild plants, and links the Jigme Singye Wangchuck National Park with the Jigme Dorji Wangchuck National Park.

A short drive then takes you to Dochu La pass at 3088m. The highest point of the pass is lined with chortens and decorated with prayer flags. The main chorten is surrounded by 108 smaller chortens built in three layers. On a clear day, you get excellent views of the highest mountain peaks of Bhutan including Gangkar Puensum, which is the highest at 7570m.

On arrival in Thimphu, stay at Lemon Tree Hotel for two nights.

In the evening visit Memorial Stupa, built in 1974 to honour the Third King, Druk Gyalpo, Jigme Dorji Wangchuck. The stupa is a prominent landmark in the city with its golden spires and bells. Unlike other stupas, it does not enshrine human remains only Druk Gyalpo’s photo in ceremonial dress. Later enjoy a stroll around Thimphu city centre.

Approximate travel time and distance: 2.5 hours, 75 km
Accommodation: Lemon Tree Hotel, Thimphu
Meals included: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

 

The busy day starts with an excursion to Buddha Dordenma, located on a hilltop in Kuenselphodrang Nature Park which is a serene location used for meditation. At over 51 m high the gilded bronze statue of Shakyamuni (Buddha), is one of the largest statues in Bhutan, and it is surrounded by around 125,000 smaller gilded bronze Buddha statues.

This is followed by a number of visits to help you learn more about Bhutan. Firstly, the Postal Museum which houses rare and unique stamps and showcases the progress of postal services in Bhutan. In the neighbouring Post office you can get your own personalised postal stamps made. Then you will visit the Textile Museum, with its many exhibits including pattern weaves, the role of textiles in religion, textiles from indigenous fibres and the Royal collection.  Followed by the National Institute for Zorig Chusum, (Arts & Crafts School) which preserves and promotes thirteen traditional art and crafts and The Folk Heritage Museum.

You can then explore the bustling, colourful Centenary Farmers Market, where farmers from different parts of the country gather to sell their farm products. For many the wide assortment of products on offer (including handicrafts) and its picturesque setting, makes this one of the highlights of the tour.

The day ends with a visit to Trashichhoedzong, ‘fortress of the glorious religion’. This is the centre of government and religion, site of monarch’s throne room and the seat of Je Khenpo or Chief Abbot. Built in 1641 by the political and religious unifier, Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, it was reconstructed in 1960s in traditional Bhutanese manner, without nails or architectural plans.

Accommodation: Lemon Tree Hotel, Thimphu
Meals included: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

This morning’s drive to Paro is along scenic highway (55 Km, 1.5 hours). On the way stop at Simtokha Dzong which was built in 1629 and is believed to be the first dzong built in Bhutan. If not the first it is the oldest dzong to have survived as a complete structure.

Stay in Paro Eco Lodge for two nights.

In the afternoon visit Ta Dzong.  Originally built as watchtower, Ta Dzong now houses a National Museum. Its extensive collection includes antique thangkha paintings, textiles, weapons & armour, household objects and a rich assortment of natural and historic artefacts.

A short walk down the trail from Ta Dzong is Rinpung Dzong or Paro Dzong.  Meaning Fortress of the Heap of Jewels, this dzong has a long and fascinating history. Explore the wooden galleries lining the inner courtyard with fine wall paintings illustrating Buddhist tales.

Approximate travel time and distance: 1.5 hours, 55 km
Accommodation: Paro Eco Lodge, Paro
Meals included: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

 

This morning embark on a fascinating excursion to Taktshang Monastery or Tiger’s Nest. This starts with an uphill walk and the complete round trip takes about 5 hours. Even if for those who don’t make the whole trip there are still good views of the monastery. This is one of Bhutan’s most famous monasteries, perched on the cliff side 900m above Paro. Legends has it that Guru Rinpoche arrived here on the back of a tigress and meditated at this monastery. This site has been recognised as a most sacred place, visited by every Bhutanese at least once in their lifetime.

In the afternoon, visit Drukgyel Dzong. Built by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal in 1646, this dzong commemorates an early military victory over Tibetan invaders. On a clear day, you can enjoy views of Mount Chomolhari (7,314m) from the village below the Dzong.

On the way back to your hotel, there is a stop at the 7th century Kyichu Lhakhang, one of the 108 temples built in the Himalayas by Tibetan King, Songtsen Gampo. The building of this temple marks the introduction of Buddhism in Bhutan.

Accommodation: Paro Eco Lodge, Paro
Meals included: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

In the morning, you will be taken to Paro airport for your flight to Kolkata. You will be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel for an overnight stay.

Accommodation: Pride Hotel, Kolkata
Meals included: Breakfast

You will be transferred to the airport for your flight.

Meals included: Breakfast

Sights to enjoy on the Panorama of Bhutan Tour

Buddhist Monastery, Samdrup Jongkhar, Bhutan
Trashigang Dzong, Bhutan
Bhutan Style Door, Bhutan
Hands of a Woman Weaving, Bhutan
Women Harvesting Rice, Bhutan
Chenbji Chorten on the way to Bumthng, Bhutan
Trongsa Dzong 1, Bumthang, Bhutan
Trongsa Dzong, Bumthang, Bhutan
Jakar Festival, Bumthang, Bhutan
Bumthang Valley, Bhutan
Rinpung Dzong, Paro, Bhutan
Dzong Monastery in Punakha, Bhutan
Gangtey Village and Goemba Buddhist Monastery, Bhutan
Gangtey Monastery, Phobjikha, Bhutan
Mo Chhu River, Punakha, Bhutan
Chimi Lakhang Temple, Buddhist monastery, Punakha District, Bhutan
Bbuddhist Monks at Punakha Dzong, Punakha Bhutan
Buddhism Prayer Wheels at Chimi Lhakang Monastery Punakha, Bhutan
Khamsum Monastry, Bhutan
Khamsum Yulley Namgyal Choeten, Thimphu, Bhutan
Monument with 108 Choten, Dochula Pass, Bhutan
Dochula Pass, Bhutan
Monument with 108 Choten, Dochula Pass, Bhutan 1
Lighting of Praying Candles in Zangdopelri Monastery, Thimphu, Bhutan
National Memorial Chhorten, Thimphu Bhutan
Buddha Dordenma Statue, Thimphu, Bhutan.jpg
Mountain Valley Landscape, Thimphu, Bhutan
Giant Buddha, Thimphu, Bhutan
Fresh Food Market in Thimphu, Bhutan
Thimphu Street Scene, Bhutan-
Paro Dzong, Buddhist Monastery and Fortress, Bhutan
Kyichu Lhakhang Temple, Paro, Bhutan
Tiger's Nest Monastery, Paro Taktsang), Bhutan

Buddhist Monastery, Samdrup Jongkhar, Bhutan

Bhutanese Women Turning Prayer Wheels, Trashigang, Bhutan

Trashigang Dzong, Bhutan

Bhutan Style Door, Bhutan

Hands of a Woman Weaving, Bhutan

Rice Harvesting, Bhutan

Chenbji Chorten, Bhutan.

Trongsa Dzong, Bumthang, Bhutan

Trongsa Dzong, Bumthang, Bhutan

Jakar Festival, Bumthang, Bhutan

Bumthang Valley, Bhutan

Rinpung Dzong, Paro, Bhutan

Punakha Dzong, Punakha, Bhutan

Gangtey Village and Goemba Buddhist Monastery, Bhutan

Gangtey Monastery, Phobjikha, Bhutan

Mo Chhu River, Punakha, Bhutan

Chimi Lakhang Temple, Buddhist monastery, Punakha District, Bhutan

Bbuddhist Monks at Punakha Dzong, Punakha Bhutan

Buddhism Prayer Wheels at Chimi Lhakang Monastery Punakha, Bhutan

Khamsum Monastry, Bhutan

Khamsum Yulley Namgyal Choeten, Bhutan

Monument with 108 Choten, Dochula Pass, Bhutan

Dochula Pass, Bhutan

Dochula Pass, Bhutan

Lighting of Praying Candles in Zangdopelri Monastery, Thimphu, Bhutan

National Memorial Chhorten, Thimphu Bhutan

Buddha Dordenma, Thimphu, Bhutan

Mountain Valley Landscape, Thimphu, Bhutan

Buddha Dordenma, Thimphu, Bhutan

Fresh Food Market, Thimphu, Bhutan

Thimphu Street Scene, Bhutan-

Paro Dzong, Buddhist Monastery and Fortress, Bhutan

Kyichu Lhakhang Temple, Paro, Bhutan

Tiger's Nest Monastery, Paro Taktsang, Bhutan

Places on the Panorama of Bhutan Tour

Pricing and Inclusions

The price guide for this 17 day Bhutan tour is

  • £3395 in low season
  • £3795 in high season

Please remember all our private tours are designed to meet your exact requirements, and this Bhutan Panorama Tour is just an example to help inspire you.

For more information please email info@aitholidays.com or call our India specialists on 01792 315499.

ABTA and ATOL Protected Tour Package

Authentic India Tours is a member of ABTA and ATOL. All the holidays on this website are ABTA protected. If you would like us to arrange your holiday including flights we will be happy to provide a quote and your holiday will also be ATOL protected.