It’s big, it’s grand, it’s impressive and colourful; book early to be able to fly into Bhutan to see this spectacle.
Bhutan’s Thimphu Festival is the biggest and grandest of all and takes place in the hugely impressive Dzong.
This 11 day trip concentrates on western Bhutan (Paro, Thimphu and Punakha), with a focus on the Festival. We recommend using Kathmandu as the access point into Bhutan as the 55 min direct flight flys straight past Mt Everest!
On arrival, having explored some of Paro, we drive to the capital Thimphu (overnight) and onto Punakha. We spend some time in this lush green valley exploring Punakha and Wangdue; the Dzongs here are superb. It’s back over the Doche La Pass (3000m), which affords superb views over the Eastern Himalaya and down to Thimphu for the main event.
The Thimphu Festival takes place in and around the hugely impressive Dzong over several days. Your Guide will escort you and explain what is happening as the dancers perform and entertain. It is Bhutan at its colourful best with many locals dressed in their finest clothes. You can come and go as you please, mixing this with seeing other parts of Thimphu.
There are plenty of alternatives; the Library, numerous craft shops, the Takin Reserve, the Radio Tower (great views down onto Thimphu) plus just strolling around the streets and markets are just some of the possibilities.
We visit the iconic Tigers Nest Monastery on the return to Paro the day before you fly back to Kathmandu and subsequently onto London. This is a popular time in Bhutan; very early booking recommended.
- Thimphu’s festival in the hugely impressive Dzong
- Tour western Bhutan, including Punakha
- Experience Bhutan’s unique culture
- Fly straight past Mt Everest from Kathmandu
Clothing and Equipment – No specialist equipment is required. Please refer to our Kit List webpage.
Date and Prices Content
Min number to guarantee the trek’s departure – 1
If Sole Occupation is requested – £185 (includes 7 nights hotel in Bhutan and 2 nights hotel in Kathmandu)
The above prices are based on the relevant month of travel (high season) and an overall min group size of 3. If the overall group size is less than 3, the price will be adjusted; ask for a quote.
International flights are from London to Kathmandu and subsequently into Bhutan. Adjustments can be made for flights into Bhutan from other cities such as Delhi and Bangkok for example; ask for details.
Meet In Country prices (Land Only), exclude any flights.
Low Season months: Jan, Feb, Jun, Jul, Aug, Dec
High Season months: Mar, Apr, May, Sep, Oct, Nov
Quick links to: Kit Lists, Travel Insurance, Travel Health, High Altitude Trekking
When we guarantee a trip and you book it, we guarantee that:
- The trip will not be cancelled
- The trip will run on the dates as advertised
- You will not be surcharged
What the Price Includes
- International flights London – Kathmandu return and Kathmandu – Paro (Bhutan) return (if flight inclusive)
- 2 x overnight hotel stays (B&B basis) including all airport transfers (if applicable)
- Guide, dedicated vehicle and driver in Bhutan
- All hotel accommodation in Bhutan
- All meals in Bhutan
- All entrance fees to local sights, Monasteries and the Festival
- Tourist visa for Bhutan
What the Price Does Not Include
- Travel Insurance
- Nepalese visa
- Tips for Guide and driver
- Personal spending
Tailor Made Option
We can tailor make this trip to suit you; dates, extensions, reductions, adjusted trek itinerary, just about anything. Additional charges only apply when additional services or time are added.
This itinerary uses Kathmandu as the access point into Paro, Bhutan. It is possible to adjust this, OR you can choose Land Only.
For Land Only, we meet you on arrival at the airport in Bhutan; you organise your own flights.
These dates are for 2017 and are provisional; please check they are extant before booking.
24 Sep 2017. Depart UK, fly to Kathmandu
25 Sep. Arrive Kathmandu (Nepal), Transfer to hotel
On arrival in Kathmandu, you will be collected from the airport and transferred to your hotel for an overnight stay at the comfortable Manang Hotel (3*).
26 Sep. Fly Kathmandu to Paro, transfer to hotel
We will transfer you to the international airport for your flight to Paro, Bhutan. This amazing 1 hr flight goes straight past Mt Everest so try to sit on the left hand side of the aircraft. On arrival in Bhutan, you will be met by your Guide and driver at the airport; he will escort you throughout your time in Bhutan. Transfer to your hotel in Paro and potentially sightsee Paro, which will include the imposing Rinpung Dzong, a huge Monastery that overlooks Paro and is typical of Bhutan.Your Guide will brief you on the coming days. Overnight Paro, BLD
27 Sep. Sightsee Paro, drive to Thimphu
Today, you can concentrate on Thimphu.There are so many sights to see in an around here that you will be spolit for choice. There are plenty of short walks, many cultural sights including traditional Thangka paintings, paper factory (hand made), craft making and a nunnery. You can also visit the Radio Tower, which affords excellent views over the town and don’t miss the Takin reserve; the Takin is Bhutan’s National animal and is unique to Bhutan. Overnight Thimphu. BLD
28 Sep. Drive to Punahka
The drive to Punahka takes you through some lovely countryside and over the 3000m Doche La Pass. Be sure to stop here and enjoy the vast views of the Eastern Himalaya. In the afternoon, visit the imposing Punakha Dzong followed by an hours stroll through the local area. Overnight Punahka. BLD
29 Sep. Wangdue Festival
A beautiful drive further east to the remote Phobjikha valley and the black mountain ranges. Visit Gangtey Gompa (a very old Monastery and recently renovated). Overnight will be in Phobjikha. This is the favoured place of the black-necked cranes (November). Overnight Phobjikha, BLD
30 Sep. Drive to Thimphu, Festival and sightsee
Enjoy the drive back over the Doche La back into Thimphu. You will get a good view into the Dzong as you drive down; this is the first day of the Festival. Take this opportunity to see other parts of the capital such as the Radio Tower, the Takin Reserve, Craft shops and the town itself. Overnight Thimphu. BLD
1 Oct. Thimphu Festival
The Thimphu festival is one of the biggest events in the country. It takes place in the huge and impressive Thimphu Dzong. Watch the colourful dances performed by Monks and lay people in their wonderful costumes. They have prepared for this festival for months. Whilst this is potentially a full day, you can leave and return as you wish. The final act of any festival is the unfurling of the huge religous painting down the side of the Dzong. This takes place in the very early hours of the following morning! Overnight Thimphu. BLD
2 Oct. Drive to Paro, trek to Tigers Nest
Drive back to Paro at your leisure in time for lunch. After lunch, trek up to the iconic ‘Tiger’s Nest’ (locally known as Taktshang). Make sure that you are adequately prepared footwear wise as it is a stiff 90 mins – 2hrs up and quite steep in places. The Monastery is perched 900 metres above the valley floor and Guru Rinpoche is said to have flown to the site riding on a tigress. He meditated here for three months. The Tigers Nest is a must see for all visitors to Bhutan. Overnight Paro. BLD
3 Oct. Fly Paro to Kathmandu, overnight
Your Guide and driver will escort you to the airport for your flight to Kathmandu. On arrival, you will transfer to your hotel for the night. B
Note, that you can elect to remove this overnight stop and connect to a flight straight back to London in the evening but please read the information in the box (bottom left).
4 Oct. Depart Kathmandu for London
You will be transferred to the airport for your day flight back to london, arriving same day. B
Note – B: Breakfast L: Lunch D: Dinner